On Friday, November 12th, Widener Law’s Delaware campus hosted the annual Delaware Tax Institute program in the Ruby R. Vale Moot Courtroom. The program, entitled “Time to Take Your Medicine: New Health Care Reform Taxes, Lapse of Bush Tax Cuts and Other Initiatives,” brought together accountants, tax attorneys, and other tax professionals to discuss important tax developments.
Registration for the daylong program began at 8 a.m., and Widener Law Professor Nick Mirkay
offered a short welcome at 8:30 before the day’s first panel discussion. The first panel, 2010 Income Tax Developments, featured Charles J. Durante, Esq. of Connolly, Bove, Lodge & Hutz, LLP; Adele McIntosh of Daniels & Tansey, LLP; and Kathryn S. Schultz, CPA of Belfint, Lyons & Shuman, P.A. The day’s second panel discussion, Recent Developments in Estate Planning, featured Richard J.A. Popper, Esq. of Young Conaway Stargatt & Taylor LLP; William H. Lunger, Esq. of Martin & Lunger, P.A.; Jocelyn Margolin Borowsky, Esq. of Duane Morris LLP; and Kimberly M. Gill, Esq. of Morris, Nicholas, Arsht & Tunnell LLP.
Following a luncheon in the Barrister’s Club, the 2010 Delaware Tax Institute’s Distinguished Speaker – Attorney Karen L. Hawkins, director of the Internal Revenue Service’s Office of Professional Responsibility – gave her address at 1 p.m. She gave a brief history of the origins of the Office of Professional Responsibility, or OPR, and talked about the office’s purpose before discussing a new office being created called the Returns Preparer Office, or RPO, designed to govern the conduct of those authorized to prepare tax returns. Of her office’s power to punish the misconduct of tax preparers, she said, “It is a incredible power that you have over people’s livelihoods.” She closed her remarks by discussing a few recent cases against individual tax preparers guilty of misconduct.
A panel entitled Health Care Reform – Time to Take Your Medicine followed the Distinguished Speaker. Participants on that panel included Mark D. Scarafone, Senior Vice President of Health & Benefits at Aon Consulting; Timothy J. Snyder, Esq. of Young Conaway Stargatt & Taylor LLP; and John P. Garniewski Jr., CPA at Wilmington Family Office.
The program closed with two breakout sessions. The first – State & Local Tax Initiatives – featured Patrick T. Carter, Director of the Delaware Division of Revenue; Laura L. Papas, the Deputy Director of Finance for the City of Wilmington; and Kenneth Stewart, CPA, Master, Sidlow & Associates, P.A. The second breakout session, entitled Recent IRS Examination & Ruling Experiences, featured W. Donald Sparks II, Esq. of Richards, Layton & Finger, P.A. and John P. Garniewski Jr., CPA at Wilmington Family Office, as well as representatives from the Internal Revenue Service in Philadelphia.