TEI Intensifies Direct Engagement With Tax

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One of the many benefits of active engagement in TEI’s advocacy activities is the potential to meet face-to-face with tax authority decision-makers to discuss issues important to TEI and its members’ companies. These important meetings help shape tax policy and administration in the United States and worldwide, strengthen TEI’s relationship with tax authorities, and cement TEI’s reputation as an effective and valuable contributor to the tax system.

Several recent meetings demonstrate TEI’s commitment to engaging fruitfully with tax authorities. For example, TEI’s Canadian Commodity and Income Tax Committees recently held their traditional liaison meetings with the Canada Revenue Agency and the Department of Finance Canada. These four meetings, which took place on December 5 and 6 in Ottawa, continued the mutually beneficial relationship between TEI’s Canadian membership and the Canadian government. As a result of this valuable relationship, the Canada Revenue Agency and the Department of Finance routinely reach out to TEI for the Institute’s input on various tax policy and administration issues. Jun Ping and Steve Saunders, respective chairs of the Canadian Commodity and Income Tax Committees, led the meetings on behalf of TEI in coordination with Region 1’s vice president, Mark Caluori. TEI’s tax counsel, Kelly Madigan, and I assisted in developing the agenda for the meetings.

Across the Atlantic, members of TEI’s EMEA Chapter have led the charge in developing an informal yet productive relationship with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s Center for Tax Policy & Administration (CTPA) and the European Commission’s Directorate General for Taxation and Customs Union (DG TAXUD). TEI has traditionally provided input to the CTPA and the DG TAXUD on tax policy and administration by submitting comments in response to the organizations issuing formal public consultation documents. In 2023, TEI’s EMEA Chapter has organized several face-to-face, one-on-one meetings between TEI and CTPA and DG TAXLUD personnel. Topics discussed at these meetings included 1) Pillar Two policy, compliance, and tax dispute resolution; 2) working from anywhere; and 3) tax certainty. Sandra Esteves, chair of the EMEA Direct Tax Committee; Ralf Thelosen, EMEA Chapter president; Nick Hasenoehrl, Region 11 vice president; and Karine Halimi-Guez, chapter member, have taken the lead in organizing meetings with the CTPA and DG TAXUD and developing the agendas.

TEI also plans to resume its liaison meetings with the US Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service. TEI last held these meetings in February 2020, just before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, which disrupted the ability to hold them. The Treasury liaison meetings were traditionally held with the assistant secretary for tax policy, deputy assistant secretary for international tax affairs, tax legislative counsel, and international tax counsel at the Treasury’s Office of Tax Policy (OTP), with additional personnel as needed. Attendees at the IRS liaison meetings have included the commissioner, the deputy commissioner for services and enforcement, the head of the Large Business & International Division, the chief of appeals, and the IRS chief counsel, along with other personnel. TEI attendees have traditionally included the Executive Committee, relevant standing committee chairs, and TEI’s executive director and legal staff. As of this writing, the meetings are targeted for this summer.

In addition to various meetings with tax authorities, TEI has continued its formal engagement on tax policy and administration issues important to its members around the world. (A summary of recent comment letters and other submissions can be found in this issue’s Institute News here.) As always, you should find all of TEI’s submissions and comment letters at www.tei.org/advocacy. If you have advocacy issues you believe TEI should address or would like to join a TEI standing committee, feel free to reach out to a member of TEI’s legal staff, whose contact information is available at www.tei.org/contact-us.

Ben Schreck is TEI tax counsel.

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