Capes Sokol Tax Symposium

About the Symposium 

This program offers courses developed in accordance with the Statement on Standards for Continuing Professional Education Programs set forth by NASBA and the AICPA and adopted by the Missouri State Board of Accountancy.

Members of Capes Sokol’s Tax Controversy and Litigation practice group developed the courses. Our team consists of attorneys and other professionals with vast experience handling tax controversy and litigation matters. It includes attorneys with advanced degrees in tax law and in-depth knowledge of international taxation, a Certified Public Accountant, a former federal tax prosecutor, a former public defender, and a former IRS Special Agent who spent 28 years investigating federal criminal tax cases. Four of our lawyers are Fellows of the American College of Tax Counsel.



2020 Capes Sokol Tax Controversy Symposium

November 13, 2020 · 8:00 AM – 2:00 PM (CST)

Delivery Method: Group Live
Presented Online Due to COVID-19

Eligible for 6 CPE*/CLE+ Credit Hours
Including 2 Regulatory Ethics Credits

Prerequisites: None
Program Level: Basic to Intermediate

*For additional informaton regarding CPE credit, please click here.

+This program is pending approval in Missouri for continuing legal education credit.

About the Team

Experience makes the difference in tax disputes.

Capes Sokol’s Tax Controversy and Litigation practice group represents individuals and businesses in civil and criminal tax disputes involving the Internal Revenue Service, various states’ Departments of Revenue, and the United States Department of Justice.

Our team consists of attorneys and other professionals with vast experience handling tax controversy and litigation matters.  It includes attorneys with advanced degrees in tax law and in-depth knowledge of international taxation, a Certified Public Accountant, a former federal tax prosecutor, a former public defender, and a retired IRS Special Agent who spent 28 years investigating federal criminal tax cases.  Four of our lawyers are Fellows of the American College of Tax Counsel.

We are respected leaders and lecturers, often called on to speak on civil and criminal tax issues in St. Louis and throughout the country. Members of our team have collectively taught the Tax Fraud Prosecutions course at the Washington University Law School for over 30 years. We are leaders in local and national tax and accounting organizations, including the American Bar Association Section on Taxation, the Taxation Section of the Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis, and the Missouri Society of Certified Public Accountants.

Whether working with individual taxpayers or businesses, we strive to reach out-of-court resolutions when it is in our client’s best interest.  When necessary, we apply our wide breadth of experience to litigate cases before the United States Tax Court, Federal District Courts throughout the United States, the Missouri Administrative Hearing Commission, and state courts in Missouri and Illinois.

Policies & FAQ

Members of Capes Sokol’s Tax Controversy and Litigation practice group developed the courses. Our team consists of attorneys and other professionals who routinely represent clients in criminal and civil tax cases before the Internal Revenue Service, the Missouri and Illinois Departments of Revenue and Federal and state courts.

The matters we handle include:

  • Criminal tax investigations and litigation
  • Civil audits and administrative appeals
  • Significant tax collection matters
  • Claims for innocent spouse relief
  • Trust fund recovery penalty investigations
  • Litigation in U.S. Tax and District Courts
  • Domestic and offshore voluntary disclosures
  • Tax compliance advice
  • ​Representation of tax professionals in preparer penalty investigations, injunction actions, and in matters before the IRS Office of Professional Responsibility
Complaint Resolution Policy

To register complaints about course content or delivery method and to inquire about the timeliness and accuracy of CPE credit posting for this event, please contact our offices at 314.721.7701.

CPE Policies & Requirements

To receive a Certificate of Attendance for proof of CPE credit, participants must check-in and check-out with the on-site representative at the Symposium.

A certificate will only be issued in the name used to register for the symposium and will be sent to the email address provided at registration. Each participant will receive a link to the Certificate of Attendance via email within 10 business days.

Please note, CPE Certificates are distributed via email and delivery may be impacted by your organization’s spam filter settings.

If you do not receive your CPE certificate within 30 days, please contact Alexandra Schenk at schenk@capessokol.com, and provide your name and email address.

Group Internet Based Presentation Policies:

Webinar Length:

  • Participants must be logged into the live seminar for at least 50 minutes. Time prior to the start of the webinar or after the webinar does not quality.
  • If individuals are late to the presentation by more than 5 minutes, they may not be issued a certificate.
  • Per NASBA, we are unable to issue certificates for viewing times of less than 50 minutes.

Technology:

  • Participants are encouraged to use their PC and not their cell phone or tablet to ensure their attendance is captured and they can participate in polling questions.
  • Due to NASBA participation requirements, participants must answer the polling questions that arise during the presentation.

Capes Sokol Cancellation Policy

  • Capes Sokol reserves the right to cancel an event due to inclement weather or other circumstances which would make the event non-viable.
  • If Capes Sokol cancels an event due to inclement weather, registrants will be notified via email and should take appropriate safety precautions.
  • Should circumstances arise that result in the postponement of an event, registrants will have the option to either cancel or transfer their registration to the same event at the new, future date.

Individual Cancellation Policy

If you are registered for the Symposium and unable to attend, please let Capes Sokol know at least 48 hours before of the Symposium.

Refund Policy

Due to there being no cost associated with attendance at the Symposium, there will be no refunds issued.

Past Symposiums

2016

Program Information:Program Description:Learning Objectives:
Employment Tax Examinations: Practical Tips for Helping Your Client Through a Payroll-Related Mess

Speakers:
  • Sara G. Neill
  • Laura E. Krebs Al-Shathir
The IRS and Department of Justice Tax Division have recently identified employment tax compliance as a top priority. Employment tax examinations are on the rise and penalties for non-compliance can be substantial and include a lengthy prison sentence. This program will offer practical tips and strategies when representing clients who have been less than compliant with their payroll tax obligations.Learn to recognize and appropriately advise a client with a history of payroll tax noncompliance including:
  • use of the voluntary disclosure programs
  • effectively representing a non-compliant employer in an IRS employment tax examination
  • strategies for defending against the assertion of the Trust Fund Recovery Penalty
  • the differences between how the IRS and courts categorize service providers as employees versus contractors
TEFRA Repeal and Other Important Updates in the Law Relating to Tax Controversy

Speakers:
  • Laura E. Krebs Al-Shathir
  • Sanford J. Boxerman
This program will summarize the key provisions of the legislation repealing TEFRA and the impact of TEFRA repeal on partnership tax audits. The program will also provide an update regarding the IRS’s Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program and a discussion of significant cases in 2016.
  • To have a general understanding of the legislation repealing TEFRA and the landscape of partnership tax audits for tax years beginning in 2018, including the role of the “Partnership Representative.”
  • To understand the status of the IRS’s Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program.
  • To learn about significant tax cases decided in 2016 that impact the work of tax controversy practitioners.
“These IRS Notices Just Won’t Stop!”: Effective Use of The Collection Due Process and Innocent Spouse Provisions to Successfully Resolve Your Client’s Tax Delinquency.

Speakers:
  • Michelle F. Schwerin
  • Megan Haupt
  • Sara G. Neill
This program will offer an overview of the Collection Due Process and Innocent Spouse provisions of the Internal Revenue Code and provide practical tips for the practitioner when utilizing these provisions to resolve their client’s federal tax delinquency.
  • An overview of the Collection Due Process (“CDP”) procedures
  • Practice tips for when and how to request a CDP hearing and effective representation during the hearing itself
  • An overview of the Innocent Spouse procedures
  • Practice tips for successfully obtaining Innocent Spouse relief at the administrative level

2017

Program Information:Program Description:Learning Objectives:
The Cash-Based Business: What Every CPA Should Know Before Preparing The Return

Speakers:
  • Michelle F. Schwerin
  • Jeanne M. Schaller
Cash businesses present a myriad of issues for the CPA preparing tax returns and providing representation before the IRS. This panel will address various common dilemmas CPAs face, including: due diligence requirements; the ability to make representations to the IRS concerning cash receipts and expenses; dealing with sales tax and unreported cash sales; addressing employment taxes and “off the books” employees; and a preparer’s potential liability for a client’s unreported taxable cash receipts.
  • To understand due diligence requirements when preparing returns for cash-based taxpayers.
  • To recognize ethical obligations when representing a cash-based taxpayer before the IRS.
  • To identify issues arising with cash based-taxpayers involving reporting cash receipts and expenses, sales tax and unreported cash sales, and employment taxes.
  • To understand a preparer’s potential liability for a client’s unreported taxable cash receipts.
The Reasonable Cause Defense: Effective Strategies When Requesting Penalty Abatement

Speakers:
  • Michelle F. Schwerin
  • Sara G. Neill
This program will address the reasonable cause defense to the Section 6662 (and other) penalties and discuss important considerations prior to requesting relief. Based on their own experience as well as federal tax law, the speakers will provide effective strategies for obtaining relief.
  • To understand the §6662 penalty’s reasonable cause defense.
  • To recognize the time at which to request an abatement and other important considerations.
  • To know what the IRS looks for when considering a penalty abatement request.
  • To understand effective strategies for obtaining penalty relief.
Potpourri: Important Updates in Federal Tax Controversy and Litigation

Speakers:
  • Sanford J. Boxerman
  • Sara G. Neill
This panel will provide important updates and current developments in federal tax controversy and litigation, including Bitcoin and Virtual Currency; recent changes at the IRS Office of Appeals; passport restrictions for “seriously delinquent” taxpayers; employment tax enforcement; and recent court decisions of interest.
  • To understand developments concerning virtual currency.
  • To learn about recent changes in the IRS Office of Appeals.
  • To understand the tax collection provisions enacted as part of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act, which includes revocation or denial of passports.
  • To learn about the IRS and the Department of Justice’s employment tax initiative.
  • To learn about recent court decisions of interest.
To Speak or Not to Speak: Balancing Ethics in IRS Representations

Speaker:
  • Laura E. Krebs Al-Shathir
In representing a Taxpayer before the IRS, the CPA must comply with multiple pressures, including his or her obligations under Circular 230 and AICPA and Missouri Board of Accountancy standards. The CPA must engage in adequate due diligence, be responsive to government requests, and zealously advocate on behalf of his or her client. Oftentimes, these obligations conflict with one another and the CPA must navigate carefully. This panel will address ethical dilemmas in representation, including when (and how) a CPA should question his or her client and when (and how) to tell the Government that the “conversation” is over.
  • To recognize conflicting obligations of due diligence, responsiveness, advocacy.
  • To identify ethical obligations under Circular 230, AICPA Code of Professional Conduct and standards set by the State of Missouri.

2018

Program Information:Program Description:Learning Objectives:
From the Tax Return to the Witness Stand: Best Practices and Ethical Considerations When Your Client Has Sensitive Tax Problems*

Speakers:
  • Sanford J. Boxerman
  • Sara G. Neill
Ethical issues and other problems can arise for the practitioner long after the filing of his client’s return. When the return is audited or otherwise investigated, the practitioner can be asked, by the taxpayer and the government alike, to provide information or testimony. The presenters will discuss best practices and ethical issues faced by practitioners who have clients with sensitive tax problems and who find themselves caught up in post-filing government proceedings.
  • To recognize the ethical obligations that arise when the practitioner suspects or learns that his client is dishonest.
  • To recognize the ethical obligations implicated, and understand best practices, when the government seeks records or testimony from a practitioner whose client is under audit or investigation.
  • To understand, and thereby avoid, certain preparer penalties contained within the Internal Revenue Code.
Tug of War: Dealing with Tax Liens and Other Claims Against Real Property

Speakers:
  • Drey A. Cooley
  • John S. Meyer, Jr.
  • Michelle F. Schwerin
Taxes can affect a taxpayer’s real property in multiple ways: Under IRC section 6321 and/or Missouri statute 143.902, the IRS or Department of Revenue may file a tax lien against a taxpayer’s property when that taxpayer has unpaid liabilities. These liens affect a taxpayer’s ability to transfer or borrow against that property. In addition, property tax is assessed annually against the property itself. This program will review how various liens and encumbrances, including taxes assessed against the property may affect real property and strategies for addressing various interests against a property.
  • To understand the steps in transferring property.
  • To know how to perfect a lien and what it means to be a secured creditor.
  • To recognize the priority of interests and timing issues between tax liens and other creditors.
  • To understand the steps and best practices for getting a federal and state tax lien released or subordinated.
  • To recognize when a taxpayer may want to appeal the assessment of property tax and strategies for appealing.
Update and Q&A with Managing Counsel and Manager of Collection & Tax Assistance Bureau of the Missouri Department of Revenue

Speakers:
  • Michael S. Kisling, Managing Counsel, Missouri Department of Revenue
  • David J. Zanone, Manager, Collection & Tax Assistance Bureau, Missouri Department of Revenue
Representatives of the Taxation Division of the Missouri Department of Revenue will provide an overview of the DOR’s new policies and procedures, including newly revamped collection programs. Time will be allotted for questions from the audience.
  • To learn about the hierarchy at the DOR and its newly formed extraordinary collections group.
  • To understand your client’s assessment and collection alternatives from the perspective of the DOR, including the Voluntary Disclosure and Offer in Compromise programs.
  • To learn what questions you should be asking your client before contacting the DOR.
  • To question the presenters about DOR policies and procedures.
Sales Tax Audits: Digging Out from the Mountains of Paper, POS Reports, and Sales Receipts

Speakers:
  • Laura E. Krebs Al-Shathir
  • Drey A. Cooley
  • Michelle F. Schwerin
The Missouri Department of Revenue’s Field Compliance Bureau regularly conducts audits of in-state and out-of-state taxpayers to determine compliance with the state’s sales and use tax laws. These audits often trigger significant anxiety and stress for a taxpayer-client. This program will provide guidance on what to expect and practical tips and strategies when representing a client in a sales and use tax audit, multi-state audits and the likely impact of recent Supreme Court case, South Dakota v. Wayfair, Inc.
  • Best practices for handling a Missouri sales and use tax audit, negotiating with the DOR and the procedures for challenging a proposed assessment.
  • Understanding the DOR’s strategies for addressing outstanding sales and use tax liabilities, including litigation/injunctions, preventing or delaying licensures, and owner/responsible person liability.
  • Procedures for multi-state audits and best practices for handling them.
  • How the recent Supreme Court decision, South Dakota v. Wayfair, Inc., will likely impact clients engaging in out-of-state transactions.
Roundtable Ethics: Common Issues that Arise During Taxpayer Representation*

Speakers:
  • Capes Sokol Tax Attorneys
Circular 230 is a Treasury Regulation that provides rules governing practice before the Internal Revenue Service. These rules, along with the AICPA Code of Professional Conduct, provide guidance to CPAs representing clients in resolving tax matters. This lunchtime program will address current issues and the ethical guidance that should direct a CPAs response. Set in a roundtable format, participants will have the opportunity to discuss these issues in small groups as well as collectively review the relevant guidance.
  • Identify ethical issues and appropriate responses.
  • Understand relevant Circular 230 and AICPA guidance.

2019

Program Information:Program Description:Learning Objectives:
“My Spouse Did What?!?”: Avoiding Ethical Pitfalls When Both Spouses Are Your Clients

Speakers:
  • Sara G. Neill
  • Michelle F. Schwerin
A myriad of potential ethical issues may arise when both spouses are your clients. This presentation will provide practical tips for successfully handling (and withdrawing from) these representations and avoiding an ethics complaint, referral to the IRS Office of Professional Responsibility, or lawsuit.
  • To identify and address the potential conflicts of interest when engaging in the dual representation of spouses whether during tax return preparation, a civil audit, or tax collection matter.
  • To recognize when a client has a viable claim for innocent spouse relief, what actions will bolster or weaken the claim, and how to appropriately discuss these issues with your client(s). Practice tips for preparing a claim for relief and negotiating with the IRS will be provided!
  • To understand the impact of joint and several liability on tax collection and practical tips for advising spouses with a joint liability when innocent spouse relief is not a viable alternative.
“Hey, IRS, Give Me My Money Back!”: Everything You Need to Know About Claims for Refund

Speakers:
  • Sanford J. Boxerman
  • Michelle F. Schwerin
Whether voluntarily or not, some taxpayers pay more to the government than they actually owe. This presentation will address the nuts and bolts of refund claims and strategies for handling them, including the many ways in which a taxpayer can file a claim for refund, the procedures for filing a claim, the importance of developing an administrative record, and the options for challenging the IRS’s denial of a claim for refund.
  • Understand the multiple ways in which a taxpayer may submit a claim for refund and the procedures through which a claim is considered and challenged.
  • Recognize importance of deadlines and what happens when a taxpayer fails to file in time.
  • Learn practical tips for developing a record to support the taxpayer’s claim.
Offers in Compromise with the Managing Counsel of Collections for the Department of Revenue

Speakers:
  • Michael S. Kisling, Managing Counsel, Missouri Department of Revenue
  • David J. Zanone, Manager, Collection & Tax Assistance Bureau, Missouri Department of Revenue
The Taxation Division of the Missouri Department of Revenue will provide an overview of the DOR’s Offer in Compromise program and factors the DOR examines when considering a taxpayer’s Offer. Time will be allotted for questions from the audience.
  • Identify procedures and best practices when filing different kinds of Offers in Compromise.
  • Understand how the DOR considers an Offer in Compromise.
Taking the Sting out of Generosity: Navigating Federal Gift Tax Rules and Potential IRS Controversies

Speakers:
  • Lisa M. Adams
  • Laura E. Krebs Al-Shathir
Certain estate and gift tax planning behaviors can lead to costly unintended consequences. This program will address common issues in estate and gift tax planning, recent developments, and strategies for successfully resolving associated tax controversies.
  • To provide a basic understanding of the federal estate and gift tax regime.
  • To identify estate and gift tax planning strategies ripe for IRS scrutiny.
  • To learn tips for successfully navigating estate and gift tax examinations
Dancin’ to the Jailhouse Rock: When Not Paying Taxes Becomes A Crime

Speakers:
  • Sanford J. Boxerman
  • Sara G. Neill
The IRS and Missouri Department of Revenue send notices to taxpayers who fail to pay their taxes. Both agencies offer collection alternatives such as Offers in Compromise and Installment Agreements. But when does your client’s failure to pay his taxes on time become a crime? At what point does failure to pay become tax evasion? And when your client owes taxes, what are your ethical obligations? Learn the answers to these questions and many more during this presentation.
  • Identify at what point your client’s failure to pay his taxes on time becomes a crime.
  • Understand the difference between failure to pay and tax evasion.
  • Learn about recent cases where the Department of Justice successfully prosecuted taxpayers for failing to pay taxes on time.
  • Learn about the Missouri Department of Revenue’s recent efforts to collect tax using criminal prosecution.
  • Understand your ethical obligations when advising a client who owes taxes and avoid becoming a co-conspirator in a client’s tax evasion scheme.

State CPE Disclosure

* The National Registry of CPE Sponsors (“Registry”) is a program offered by the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (“NASBA”) to recognize continuing professional education (“CPE”) program sponsors who provide CPE programs in accordance with nationally recognized standards. The Registry is accepted by the majority of state boards of accountancy as providers of qualifying CPE credits for licensing purposes. Many state boards of accountancy require CPAs to earn required CPE credits through companies approved on the Registry. As a sponsor registered with NASBA, our courses are developed using national guidelines and in accordance with the statement of standards related to CPE development and presentation issued by NASBA. In addition, we have verified that our program meets requirements adopted by the Missouri State Board of Accountancy and the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation.

For additional information about jurisdictions that accept registry sponsors and any additional requirements, please click here.

Registry Statement

Capes Sokol is registered with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) as a sponsor of continuing professional education on the National Registry of CPE Sponsors. State boards of accountancy have final authority on the acceptance of individual courses for CPE credit. Complaints regarding registered sponsors may be submitted to the National Registry of CPE Sponsors through its web site: www.nasbaregistry.org​

​Sponsor Identification Number: #139382