Southern Federal Tax Institute

Facebook   LinkedIn

Instagram   Twitter

UPCOMING INSTITUTES

October 21 – 25, 2024
October 27 - 31, 2025
October 19 - 23, 2026

EMAIL SIGNUP

Join the Southern Federal Tax Institute mailing list.

59th Annual Southern Federal Tax Institute
October 21 - 25, 2024

SUNDAY EVENING, OCTOBER 20, 2024

5:30-7:30

Registration Begins

MONDAY MORNING, OCTOBER 21, 2024
Tiffany A. Altizer, Presiding
Sponsored by: Miller & Chevalier Chartered

7:15-9:00

Registration

8:00-9:00

Breakfast

9:00-10:30

Recent Federal Income Tax Developments
This session highlights significant changes affecting taxpayers over the past twelve months, addressing significant court decisions, rulings, and statutory and regulatory developments.
Bruce A. McGovern, South Texas College of Law, Houston, TX
Cassady V. “Cass” Brewer, Georgia State University College of Law, Atlanta, GA

10:30-10:45

Break

10:45-12:00

Recent Federal Income Tax Developments (cont'd)

12:15-1:05

Mid-Day Program: The Taxman Cometh – Hot Topics in Tax Controversy
What a year it was! The IRS is coming after your captives, easements, large partnerships, monetized installment sales, and high-net worth clients. This presentation will discuss how to react when the IRS comes calling, including recent areas of audit focus. This presentation will also discuss the recent decisions coming out of the Tax Court including those on captives and highlight considerations regarding how to wind-up captives and tax-effectively redeploy captive assets.
Sponsored by Chamberlain, Hrdlicka, White, Williams & Aughtry and presented by John Hackney, Erin Hines and Mark Lubin

MONDAY AFTERNOON, OCTOBER 21, 2024
Michael J. Desmond, Presiding
Sponsored by: Miller & Chevalier Chartered

1:15-2:15

Tax Legislative Outlook
Two veterans of Capitol Hill will provide their perspectives on the current tax policy landscape, including a review of recently enacted legislation and Treasury-promulgated guidance. They will also address what additional legislation has the potential for enactment given the pending Presidential and Congressional elections, as well as preview the impact of potential election results on next year's tax policy landscape.
Marc J. Gerson, Miller & Chevalier Chartered, Washington, DC
Russell W. Sullivan, Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, LLP, Washington, DC

2:15-3:15

The Practical Tax Implications of the Supreme Court’s 2024 Administrative Law Decisions
The Supreme Court considered fundamental issues of administrative law in Relentless, Loper Bright, and Corner Post. There are few areas of administrative law where the rules that govern agency action have a more profound day-to-day impact than in tax. This panel will discuss the Supreme Court’s decisions and the effect of those decisions on the day-to-day practice of tax professionals.
Kristin Hickman, Minnesota Law School, Minneapolis, MN
David Foster, Kirkland & Ellis LLP, Washington, DC

3:15-3:30

Break

3:30-4:30

Moore v. United States And The Sixteenth Amendment
This presentation will explore the Supreme Court’s much-anticipated decision in Moore v. United States and its place in the Court’s Sixteenth Amendment jurisprudence. The Moore decision sheds important light on Congress’s taxing power and provides clues for deciding future disputes over Congress’s power to enact wealth taxes.
Lucas C. Townsend, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP, Washington, DC

4:30-5:30

International Tax Controversy: Notable Cases, Rulings and Developments
New IRS Commissioner, new budget, and new priorities. The IRS is increasing scrutiny in the international area, focusing on unreported foreign assets and activities, repatriation taxes, foreign investors with U.S. property, FATCA violations, tax withholding on foreign payments, receipt of foreign gifts, unfiled international information returns, foreign retirement plans, and much more. This presentation identifies and explains critical international tax cases, administrative rulings, and other key developments in 2023 and 2024.
Hale E. Sheppard, Chamberlain, Hrdlicka, White, Williams & Aughtry, Atlanta, GA
James Parks, Bennett Thrasher LLP, Atlanta, GA

5:30-7:00

Cocktail Reception

TUESDAY MORNING, OCTOBER 22, 2024
James B. Sowell, Presiding
Sponsored by: McGuire Sponsel

7:30-8:30

Breakfast

8:30-9:20

Hot Topics in Partnership and Real Estate Taxation
This session will cover recent developments in the partnership tax arena, with an emphasis on investment and joint venture considerations relating to energy tax credits enacted under the Inflation Reduction Act (the “IRA”). Topics covered will include special partnership rules relating to buying and selling IRA credits, as well as the investment tax credit at-risk rules.
Julie M. Marion, Sheppard Mullin, Chicago, IL

9:20-10:10

Schedules K-2 and K-3:  the Why, the What and the How
Entering the third year of the Schedules K-2 and K-3 filing requirement provides an opportunity to reflect on how the reporting has evolved and the lessons learned since that first year. This presentation will briefly discuss the Schedules K-2and K-3 filing and highlight notable changes. Additionally, the presentation will discuss interesting presentational issues that have arisen and provide practical guidance on how to get ahead of the information required for disclosure (and prepare your clients). Lastly, the presentation will touch on potential avenues when accurate information is unavailable or otherwise incomplete.
Annette M. Rojas, Ernst & Young LLP, Miami, FL
Joseph Medina, Ernst & Young LLP, Washington, DC

10:10-10:25

Break

10:25-11:15

Self-Employment Tax Issues of Limited Partners, “As Such”
This session will cover the ongoing controversy involving the limited-partner exclusion to the SECA tax base provided by Section 1402(a)(13) that continues to play out during audit, before courts, and in the IRS regulatory arena. Additionally, the presentation will address the uncomfortable interaction between the SECA tax regime and that governing the Net Investment Income Tax (NIIT).
David H. Kirk, Ernst & Young, LLP, Washington, DC

11:15-12:15

This Way to the Exit: Partnership Disposition Considerations The path chosen to dispose of a partnership interest can lead to varying tax consequences. This presentation will explore structure and tax considerations partners should take into account when planning to exit from a partnership.
Jon G. Finkelstein, KPMG LLP, Washington, DC

12:15-1:05

Mid-Day Program: TBD

TUESDAY AFTERNOON, OCTOBER 22, 2024
Lisa M. Zarlenga, Presiding
Sponsored by: McGuire Sponsel

1:15-2:15

The Economic Substance Doctrine:  Evolution of the Doctrine and a Look at Its Current Application
This presentation will focus on the economic substance doctrine, a judicial doctrine that was codified in 2010. Over the years courts have developed judicial doctrines, including the economic substance doctrine, to ensure that in appropriate circumstances taxpayers are prevented from obtaining tax benefits that Congress did not intend. Most recently, the codified economic substance doctrine was applied to disallow tax benefits in Liberty Global, Inc. v. United States, which is being appealed to the Tenth Circuit. This presentation will discuss the history of the doctrine, identify issues arising under the codified provision, and explore when the doctrine might apply to transactions.
Eric Solomon, Ivins, Phillips & Barker, Chartered, Washington, DC

2:15-3:15

Current Topics in Corporate Taxation
This presentation will provide an overview of the latest developments in corporate tax, including tax issues associated with the payment of termination fees, changes in IRS corporate ruling practice, changes to the FIRPTA rules, issues associated with the deductibility of sell-side banker’s fees, and downstream reorganizations.
Michael Carew, Kirkland & Ellis LLP, Chicago, IL

3:15-3:30

Break

3:30-4:30

From Cradle to Grave:  The Lifecycle of an LBO
This presentation will examine the issues and opportunities that arise in each phase of the lifecycle of an LBO, from the structuring of the acquisition, through the initial holding period and potential partial exit, to a complete exit. Among other things, the presentation will examine whether and how to achieve a stepped-up basis, and how the transactional technology varies depending on the target’s legal form. The presentation also will explore traps for the unwary that come up on acquisition, various considerations that arise in determining an optimal capital structure, and different exit and monetization strategies.
Joshua M. Holmes, Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, New York, NY

4:30-5:30

Navigating Uncertain S Corporation Status
Despite the multi-decade rise of tax partnerships and the more-recent lowering of corporate tax rates, S corporation status remains popular. Unfortunately, what also remains popular are the many circumstances in which a corporation and its shareholders unintentionally lose (or never obtain) such status. The government has offered, and continues to expand, various remedial pathways. This presentation will survey these circumstances and the evolving ways to preserve or to obtain such status.
Aaron Nocjar, Steptoe LLP, Washington, DC

WEDNESDAY MORNING, OCTOBER 23, 2024
George A. Hani, Presiding
Sponsored by: Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, LLP

7:30-8:30

Breakfast and Registration

8:30-9:45

Hot Topics in Employment Taxes and Fringe Benefits
This presentation will provide an overview of how the IRS computes employment tax liabilities during an audit and the application of the accountable plan rules. The presentation next will move into a discussion of current fringe benefit and employment tax issues, including the tax treatment of employment-related settlement payments; Federal and state tax issues with remote workers; and the emerging payroll trend, “On-Demand Pay.”
Thomas M. Cryan, Jr., Ivins, Phillips & Barker, Chartered, Washington, DC

9:45-10:45

SECURE 2.0: What’s Happening and What’s on the Horizon for Retirement Plans?
It’s not hard to predict that, as we enter the last quarter of 2024 and look over the horizon at 2025, implementation and operation of SECURE 2.0 retirement plan changes will still be hot topics. How are the 2024 changes going, now that we’ve been working with them for some time, such as Long-Term Part-Time Employees, changes to plan correction procedures, new distribution options, and all of the reporting needed for participants who decided to elect to have their employer contributions made to their accounts as Roth amounts? And, aren’t we all excited about the mandatory automatic enrollment in all new and many existing 401(k) and 403(b) plans that looms before us in 2025? (Hmmm … maybe not.) This presentation will review the retirement plan landscape as of the end of 2024 while looking forward to what lay in store for 2025, highlighting in the process any regulatory guidance intended to help plan sponsors react and make decisions.
Ilene H. Ferenczy, Ferenczy Benefits Law Center, Atlanta, GA

10:45-11:00

Break

11:00-12:00

The New Frontier: An Overview and Analysis of the Latest Guidance Addressing the Treatment of R&D Costs under Section 174
This presentation will address the latest round of guidance addressing the treatment of R&D costs under Section 174 post-TCJA and the requirement to capitalize and amortize such costs beginning in 2022. The presentation will address the nature and scope of the new requirement, ranging from the breadth of costs “incident to” specified research & experimental (“SRE”) expenditures to appropriate allocation methodologies available to taxpayers. Additionally, the presentation will evaluate the evolution of the treatment of software development costs and its current state under Section 174, implications of contract research arrangements under Section 174, and the procedural tools that warrant consideration under the latest guidance.
Michael D. Resnick, Eversheds Sutherland LLP, Washington, DC

12:15-1:05

Mid-Day Program: Bridging Comfort Levels with Tax Insurance
This panel will discuss opportunities to bridge a risk tolerance gap for your clients using tax insurance in M&A, real estate, tax credit, controversy and litigation contexts.
Sponsored by Alliant Insurance and presented by James Chenoweth

WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON, OCTOBER 23, 2024
Zachary M. Leder, Presiding
Sponsored by: Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, LLP

1:15-2:15

Update on IRS Enforcement Efforts for Partnerships and High-Net Worth Individuals
With the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act and increased IRS budget, as well as the new procedures under the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, the IRS is significantly increasing its examination focus and other enforcement activities relating to partnerships and high-net worth individuals. This presentation will provide an update on these increased enforcement activities and what practitioners/taxpayers need to consider in preparing for and handling partnership and high-net worth examinations.
Bryan C. Skarlatos, Kostelanetz LLP, New York, NY
Matt Cooper, Deloitte Tax LLP, Washington, DC

2:15-3:15

Oh BOI! Staying Compliant with Beneficial Ownership Information Reporting Under the Corporate Transparency Act
Under the Corporate Transparency Act, all non-exempt U.S. companies (and some foreign companies) must report their beneficial ownership information to Treasury by no later than January 1, 2025. The consequences for failing to report can be significant – even criminal. This presentation will discuss who has to report, who is exempt, and what information the reporting companies must file. The presentation also will address some of the more complicated (and in some cases still unclear) questions regarding ownership and substantial control over reporting companies, while considering best practices for complying with the new law.
Ian A. Herbert, Miller & Chevalier Chartered, Washington, DC

3:15-3:30

Break

3:30-4:30

Ethics of Using Artificial Intelligence in Tax Practice
In late 2022, OpenAI launched ChatGPT, a generative artificial intelligence program that uses chat functionality to answer questions about anything. While generative AI may be able to draft documents ranging from routine correspondence to a complex analysis of recent court opinions, tax practitioners will have to carefully consider how to use this new technology while still upholding their ethical obligations to clients. To those unapprised, generative AI can pose risks implicating practitioners’ duties, including the duties of competence, supervision, and confidentiality. This presentation will discuss the power of generative AI technology, its potential impact on the world of tax, and the ethical considerations of its use in tax practice. (Submitted for 1.0 hour of ethics credit.)
Caitlin R. Tharp, Steptoe LLP, Washington, DC

4:30-5:30

IRS Operations: Past Practices and the Path Ahead
With $60 billion in supplemental long-term funding and a mandate to implement an array of new and expanded tax expenditure programs, the IRS is at an historic cross roads in its work to administer and enforce the nation’s tax laws. At the same time, the agency is working to reverse years of declining staff levels and modernize its systems to improve its levels of service. The IRS’s former Commissioner, Chief Counsel, and acting Chief of Staff will provide background on and context for these challenges and discuss the opportunities they present.
Charles Rettig, Chamberlain, Hrdlicka, White, Williams & Aughtry, Atlanta, GA
Michael J. Desmond, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, LLP, Los Angeles, CA
Tom Cullinan, Chamberlain, Hrdlicka, White, Williams & Aughtry, Atlanta, GA

5:30-6:30

Exhibitor’s Cocktail Hour

THURSDAY MORNING, OCTOBER 24, 2024
Alan F. Rothschild, Jr., Presiding
Sponsored by: Bessemer Trust

7:00-8:00

Breakfast and Registration

8:00-9:30

Recent Federal Wealth Transfer Tax Developments
This presentation will review significant judicial decisions, administrative guidance, and statutory developments relating to wealth transfer taxation over recent months, providing a thorough update on the current estate planning landscape.
Stephen R. Akers, Bessemer Trust, Dallas, TX

9:30-10:30

Here Comes the Sun(set): Getting Ready for the Avalanche of Complicated Gift Tax Returns
In 2012, estate planning professionals worked with clients on huge numbers of complicated gifts in advance of scheduled tax law changes, and in 2013 they faced the music of reporting those gifts. With the planned sunset of the doubled wealth transfer tax exemptions on January 1, 2026, history appears likely to repeat itself. In anticipation of the high volume of gifts to be made prior to 2026, this session will discuss incorporating gift tax return preparation as part of the gift planning process, suggest best practices for reporting, and highlight common errors seen on gift tax returns.
Kathryn Baldwin Hecker, Arnall Golden Gregory LLP, Atlanta, GA

10:30-10:45

Break

10:45-12:00

Choice of Fiduciary:  Governance issues, Successors and Tax Impacts
Brook H. Lester, Diversified Trust, Memphis, TN
The seemingly mundane task of choosing a fiduciary to serve a family can have many long-term impacts on the trust and beneficiaries. This presentation first will focus on how the choice of a trustee can impact the family governance model, including family harmony, as well as the governance of any business operations held in the trust. Next, the presentation will explore the difficult task of trustee succession, particularly for dynasty trusts. These choices can have challenging multi-state income, and potentially estate tax impacts, that need to be addressed before a fiduciary is named.
Brook H. Lester, Diversified Trust, Memphis, TN
Carl L. King, Culp Elliott & Carpenter P.L.L.C., Charlotte, NC

12:15-1:05

Mid-Day Program:  Hot Topics at the Intersection of Estate Planning and Business Valuation
Sponsored by MPI and presented by Todd G. Povlich

THURSDAY AFTERNOON, OCTOBER 24, 2024
Martha Louise R. Lewis, Presiding
Sponsored by: Bessemer Trust

1:15-2:15

Current Developments in Estate and Gift Tax Audits and Litigation
This presentation will address current issues and trends in the transfer tax controversy arena at the audit level, appeals and in litigation. It will include issues related to the valuation and transfer of interests in closely-held entities, the use of formula clauses, positions taken by the IRS and ways to address them at the planning level.
John W. Porter, Baker Botts L.L.P., Houston, TX

2:15-3:15

Trustee Conundrums: Practical Drafting Approaches from a Fiduciary’s Perspective
Trustees face many practical challenges. Increasingly, trustees share responsibilities with co-fiduciaries, trust protectors, and investment or distribution advisors, and must navigate this division of responsibility. Trustees have a duty to keep beneficiaries informed, but the trust’s grantor may not want the beneficiary to receive information. Trustees are charged with managing trust assets, which can be challenging if there are concentrations or illiquid assets. Trustees must balance the interest of multiple beneficiaries and classes of beneficiaries, and must successfully navigate challenging family dynamics. The presentation will address these challenges and will provide points for consideration in drafting trust documents.
Kerri Mast, Brown Brothers Harriman, Charlotte, NC
Brandon A.S. Ross, J.P. Morgan Private Bank, Washington, DC

3:15-3:30

Break

3:30-4:30

Is an LLC for Me? Formation and Operation of a Family Investment Company
A family investment company can be an integral, valuable part of a client’s estate plan. But an LLC is not a one-size-fits all proposition. Administration is not “set it and forget it.” How can we optimize organizational documents for clients? What are the major decisions points? What are the best practices for administration? What does the Corporate Transparency Act mean for these companies? Join us to dig into the practical work that goes into successful family investment LLCs.
A family investment company can be an integral, valuable part of a client’s estate plan.  But an LLC is not a one-size-fits all proposition.  Administration is not “set it and forget it.”  How can we optimize organizational documents for clients?  What are the major decisions points?  What are the best practices for administration? What does the Corporate Transparency Act mean for these companies?  Join us to dig into the practical work that goes into successful family investment LLCs.
Miriam Wogan Henry, Jones Walker LLP, New Orleans, LA

4:30-5:30

The SECURE (“Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement” or “Sending Everyone Cowering Under Reduced Expectations”) Act and Other Recent Developments in Estate Planning with Retirement Assets
The SECURE Act brought about a sea change in planning for the disposition of retirement assets. The recently issued proposed regulations answered some questions and created new ones. And now, we have more changes from the recent enactment of SECURE Act 2.0. This presentation will cover these and other developments in this important area; maybe even final Regulations?!
Robert K. Kirkland, Kirkland Woods & Martinsen LLP, Liberty, MO

5:30-7:00

Cocktail Reception

FRIDAY MORNING, OCTOBER 25, 2024
Farhad Aghdami, Presiding
Sponsored by: Synovus Trust Company, N.A.

7:00-8:00

Breakfast

8:00-9:00

Giving Away the Family Business: Tax Strategies for Transferring Closely-Held Businesses to 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4) Organizations
With the rise of social philanthropy, founders of closely-held family businesses may wish to transfer the bulk of a business to a charity or social welfare organization but may not realize the complexity of the rules applicable to exempt organizations. This presentation will examine the various options for holding business interests in exempt organizations, such as donor advised funds, private foundations, supporting organizations, and 501(c)(4) organizations. In the course of describing these options, the presentation will explore the planning opportunities and tax implications of each avenue, including excise taxes and ways to avoid them.
Kelly L. Hellmuth, Holland & Knight LLP, Jacksonville, FL

9:00-10:00

To Whom and When Does an Estate Planner Owe Duties?
The technical intricacies of estate planning are tough enough, but the challenge becomes still more intimidating when the identity of the person(s) to whom the planner owes legal and ethics-based duties is unclear and when the period during which such duties are owed is amorphous. Even the most honorable estate planning professional, if not sensitive to these issues, can find him or herself confronting a very difficult dilemma. This presentation will tackle the following serious issues: (1) When Does the Lawyer-Client Relationship Begin and When Does It End?; (2) Relationship Between the Trustee’s Lawyer and the Beneficiaries; (3) When a Lawyer Can Owe Duties to a Non-Client; and (4) A Lawyer’s Obligations to a Client After Active Representation Has Ended. (Submitted for 1.0 hour of ethics credit.)
Charles A. Redd, Stinson LLP, St. Louis, MO

10:00-10:15

Break

10:15-11:30

Estate Planning for Modest Estates: Practical Tools Every Estate Planner Should Know
Our clients are mortal but not all have an ultra-high net worth. This presentation will review core estate planning techniques that can apply no matter a client’s wealth and how they fit into an overall plan. The presentation also will examine practical strategies, tools, and techniques essential for clients who may not be subject to estate taxes (but that wealthy clients will appreciate too!).
Melissa J. Willms, Davis & Willms, PLLC, Houston, TX
Mickey Davis, Davis & Willms, PLLC, Houston, TX

11:30-1:00

Secrets of Successful Families: Creating a Lasting Legacy
How can you help families avoid the “shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves in three generations” phenomenon? Not only is it important to prepare the money for the family, but it also is important to prepare the family for the money. This presentation will highlight common characteristics of families who have successfully transferred their values—in addition to their wealth—to future generations and will provide examples of practical planning techniques that have helped such families build lasting legacies.
Justin T. Miller, Evercore Wealth Management, LLC, San Francisco, CA