IR-2021-12, January 13, 2021
WASHINGTON – The Internal Revenue Service today announced the appointment of 13 new members to the Internal Revenue Service Advisory Council.
The IRSAC, established in 1953, is an organized public forum for IRS officials and representatives of the public to discuss various issues in tax administration. The council provides the IRS commissioner with relevant feedback, observations and recommendations. It will submit its annual report to the agency at a public meeting in November 2021.
The IRS strives to appoint members to the IRSAC who represent the taxpaying public, the tax professional community, small and large businesses, tax exempt and government entities and information reporting interests.
The following people were appointed to serve three-year appointments on the council beginning this month:
Jeremiah Coder −Tax Director, PwC, Washington, D.C. − Coder has 15 years of technical tax expertise focused on domestic, international and state tax policy issues spanning different industries, client types, issues and countries. Currently, he provides policy and technical advice to clients regarding international, U.S. and Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development tax developments, including digital taxation and information reporting programs like the Common Reporting Standard/Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, Country-by-Country Reporting, International Compliance Assurance Program, and other international initiatives dealing with the supply of information to tax authorities. He previously worked as an adviser to the OECD and at a global law firm. Coder represents large business and international industries and is a member of the American Bar Association, Federal Bar Association, International Fiscal Association and Business at OECD Tax Committee.
Sam Cohen − Government Affairs/Legal Officer, Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Mission Indians, Santa Ynez, Calif. − Cohen is chief legal and government affairs officer for a federally recognized Indian tribe, the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Mission Indians. He advises the tribe and its members on the application of federal, state and tribal laws. He has worked with IRS Indian Tribal Governments Office on a notice for draw-down loans and a notice for refunding tribal government bonds. Cohen has also worked on a $93 million Tribal Economic Development Bond issuance for a new hotel tower and parking garage. He is a member of the General Welfare Exclusion Subcommittee of the Treasury Tribal Advisory Committee. Cohen represents Indian Tribal Governments.
Jodi Kessler − Assistant Director Tax, MIT, Cambridge, Mass. − Kessler has 13 years of experience in higher education focusing on all aspects of taxation, including federal, state, local and international filing rules and requirements; gifts to and from a university; rules on withholding and reporting of all types of payments made by a university; and providing information on entity creation and dissolution. Kessler has collaborated with several departments to advise on all types of tax rules and informational reporting at universities including The Ohio State University and Harvard University. At the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, she analyzed reporting and developed improved processes for reporting payments including employee compensation, service and non-service scholarships and fellowships, independent contractors and foreign recipients; she has developed trainings on the tax implications and reporting requirements of payments MIT issues to both U.S. tax residents and nonresidents. Kessler represents colleges and universities. She is a member of the National Association of College & University Business Officers.
Steve Klitzner – Attorney, Steven N. Klitzner, P.A., North Miami Beach, Fla.− Klitzner has more than 20 years of experience representing taxpayers before the IRS. He devotes 100% of his law practice to tax resolution and controversy work. He is admitted to the U.S. Supreme Court, U.S. District Court Southern District of Florida, and U.S. Tax Court. Klitzner has had multiple speaking engagements with the American Society of Tax Problem Solvers and teaches continuing education courses to certified public accountants, enrolled agents and attorneys around the country. Klitzner represents small business and individual taxpayers and is a member of the Florida Bar Tax Section, American Society of Tax Problem Solvers, Advisory Board of the Tax Freedom Institute, South Florida Tax Litigation Association and Florida Lawyers Network.
Charles Parr – Partner, ABIP CPAs & Advisors, San Antonio, Texas − Parr has over 40 years of diversified tax and audit experience with small to large publicly and privately held companies, both in private practice and with two Big-Four Firms; merger and acquisition representation, due diligence review, feasibility studies, financing and tax consultation; litigation support in bankruptcy and non-bankruptcy proceedings on corporate reorganizations and other technical tax testimony; medium to large corporate bankruptcy ‘turnaround’ reorganization planning, business management consultation, and related tax compliance; planning, supervision of information gathering, and technical review for compliance and information reporting of U.S. based multi-nationals and non-U.S. multi-nationals operating within the U.S; feasibility study, implementation and ongoing compliance filings for large and small Foreign Sales Corporations and Interest Charge – DISCS; domestic and foreign large-case corporate IRS examination representation and coordination with legal counsel in provision of information, technical research and expert witness testimony. Parr represents large business and international industries and is a member of American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Texas Society of CPAs.
Luis Parra – CEO, Key Accounting and Tax Services, Bronx, N.Y. − Parra has 20 years of experience in tax audit representation, accounting, taxes, budget planning for diverse individuals, and business and non-profit organizations in the Northeast and Caribbean. Parra previously worked for 12 years in payroll in Puerto Rico. He is an enrolled agent who has worked with field and office examinations, appeals examinations, collections and representation. Parra has been a tax instructor for more than 20 years, teaching in English and Spanish throughout the country through his continuing education company, ‘American Tax Club, Inc.’ (Ameritax). He serves as a Spanish instructor designated by the IRS Stakeholder Liaison Office in New York and the Latino Tax Professionals Association. Parra represents small business and individual taxpayers and is founder and past president of the Latino Association of Tax Preparers. He is also a member of the National Association of Tax Professionals, National Association of Enrolled Agents, Latino Tax Professionals Association, and United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
Phil Poirier − Vita Volunteer; Consulting Services, Del Mar, Calif. − Poirier has been a Senior Fellow with the Center for Social Development at Washington University in St. Louis. His work focuses on finding ways to improve the tax and financial lives of low- and moderate-income Americans, including active-duty military service members. He has experience as a Volunteer Income Tax Assistance preparer with low income and military taxpayers; national VITA organizations on program issues, including cybersecurity; with Washington University in assisting taxpayers in improving their financial lives; and with companies focused on the development of tax-related online tools and mobile user experiences. Poirier has extensive background in tax, electronic tax administration, consumer and professional online and mobile offerings, and regulatory/policy issues in the digital economy. For almost 20 years, he worked with Intuit in legal, policy, business development and compliance positions. Poirier is former chair of the IRS Electronic Tax Administration Advisory Committee. Poirier represents VITA and the digital services community and is a member of the Taxpayer Opportunity Network.
Seth Poloner − Executive Director/Global Head of Operational Tax Advisory Group, Morgan Stanley, New York, N.Y. − Poloner has 16 years of experience as a tax attorney at both a large international law firm and a major global financial services firm. In his current role, he leads a team of tax attorneys and professionals responsible for legal interpretation, advice and risk management related to global operational taxes. He provides advice on all aspects of U.S. information reporting and withholding, including non-resident alien and backup withholding; Forms 1042-S and 1099 reporting, including cost basis; validation of Forms W-9 and W-8; and the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, Qualified Intermediary and Qualified Derivatives Dealer regimes. Poloner also provides business unit advisory support for the firm’s retail wealth management business, including advising with respect to new products and transactions, addressing client inquiries and drafting and updating tax-related policies and communications. Poloner represents the information reporting and withholding community and is a member of the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association Tax Compliance Committee.
Dawn Rhea − Legal Officer, Evergreen Financing Management/Hampstead Ventures, Inc. Woodland Hills, Calif. − Rhea’s practice area focuses on complex legal and tax issues arising in the context of financing, asset and equity acquisitions and mergers. Rhea was previously a National Tax Director with Moss Adams LLP where her practice focused on tax controversy and the complex tax issues arising in the context of mergers and acquisitions. She worked with middle market taxpayers, largely comprised of West Coast-based C corporations, S Corporations and partnerships, including many Silicon Valley-based high-tech companies, as well as the shareholders, partners and individual owners of such entities in sales to private equity, assets/equity sales to strategic investors; privately owned foreign companies in venture capital financing. She was a leader in the firm’s tax controversy and strategic planning, transaction cost and 280G practices. Rhea represents large business and international industries and is a member of the California Bar, the New York Bar, the American Bar Association and the Society of Louisiana CPAs.
Paul Sterbenz − Director of Information Reporting, Fifth Third Bank, Cincinnati, Ohio − Sterbenz has 25 years of experience performing information reporting and withholding in the financial services industry. He manages consultation and support to areas of the bank responsible for the production and filing of information reports (including Forms 1099 series, 1042-S, etc.) and the production and filing of annual withholding tax returns (including Forms 945 and 1042). Sterbenz is responsible for managing the bank’s Foreign Bank and Financial Account Report filings and manages the bank’s relationship with IRS and other tax authorities with respect to audits and process issues including the corporation’s response to penalty and B notices. He monitors regulatory and legislative developments and advises management on the potential tax implications of new legislation, regulations and rulings. Sterbenz is a member of the American Banking Association’s Information Reporting Advisory Group and was the moderator of the 2019 Tax Reporting & Withholding Conference held in Washington, D.C. Sterbenz represents the information reporting community and is a member of the American Bankers Association.
Kathryn Tracy − Managing Partner, Kat & Bud Enterprises LLC, Buckeye, Ariz. − Tracy has owned and operated an accounting and income tax firm since 1992. Her accounting practice offers full-service electronic bookkeeping, accounting and tax preparation services. She prepares over 1,600 returns annually for individuals, corporations, partnerships, non-profit organizations, and estates and trusts. She also prepares information reporting returns. Tracy is a former IRS Revenue Agent (1987-1992) with individual and business audit experience, including payroll returns. She played an active part in the fraud-non-filer group researching complex tax law issues. Tracy works with the IRS local Taxpayer Advocate Service office and speaks to various professional groups throughout Arizona. She has been a VITA volunteer and instructor for 32 years and served on team that wrote the 2019 and 2020 Form 6744 VITA/TCE Volunteer Assistor’s Test/Retest. Tracy represents VITA and individual taxpayers and is a member of the National Association of Enrolled Agents.
Wendy Walker − Solution Principal, Sovos, Minneapolis, Minn. − Walker is Solution Principal at Sovos, a global tax software company. She helps ensure customers (including financial institutions and insurers, multinational corporations, cryptocurrency exchanges, gig platforms and more) remain compliant with their obligations., Walker appears regularly in business and industry publications such as Law360, CPA Practice Advisor and Cointelegraph. She previously worked at J.P. Morgan Chase, where she led the team responsible for the implementation of operational policies and processes for Forms W-8 collection and validation in corporate procurement, and where she was responsible for information reporting of mortgage servicing and default related transactions, as well as oversight of the production and filing of more than 12 million Forms 1098, 1099-INT, 1099-A, 1099-C, 1042-S and 1099-MISC annually. Walker represents the information reporting community and is a member of the Chamber of Digital Commerce, Council for Electronic Revenue Communication Advancement and National Association of Computerized Tax Processors.
Katrina Welch − Dallas, Texas − Welch has over 25 years of tax, management and strategic decision-making experience. Most recently, she worked for Ecolab, the global leader in water, hygiene and energy technologies and services, with operations in more than 170 countries; she led a team of tax professionals with strategic and operational responsibility for planning, tax provision, compliance and controversy, as well as global mergers and acquisitions. Previously she was the leader of global tax function at Texas Instruments. She served as the Tax Executives Institute 2019-2020 International President and has been a TEI member for over 20 years, previously serving as TEI Senior Vice President, a member of TEI Executive Committee and on the TEI Board of Directors. Welch represents large business and international industries and is a member of the Tax Executives Institute.
The 2021 IRSAC Chair is Ben Deneka, program manager with The Tax Institute at H&R Block. In addition to managing H&R Block’s relationship with the IRS, Deneka represents H&R Block in the Security Summit and various industry working groups, including CERCA. He currently resides in Pittsburgh, Pa.
For more information, please visit the IRSAC overview page on IRS.gov.