Ca. Tax Lawyer 2017, VOLUME 26, NUMBER 1

Message from the Chair

By Betty J. Williams

Ben Franklin penned his infamous quote regarding the certainty of death and taxes in 1789. As tax practitioners, many of us find comfort in the fact that we will never become obsolete due to the complexity and ever-changing tax laws. We are also all taxpayers. While we may represent clients in a variety of ways to reduce tax liabilities, defend positions taken on tax returns, and design business transactions that are both beneficial and lawful from a tax perspective, we also understand that every tax dollar we save our clients is a dollar that is not raised for the government coffers.

Whether to inspire a change in the tax laws, or to propose practical alterations, Taxation Section members have long expressed a belief that our Section should have a voice concerning state and federal tax laws. We are, after all, nearly 3,200 members strong, practicing in the 6th largest economy in the world.

We now have that voice. I am particularly pleased to announce the new Comment Letter Project, which will allow the Taxation Section to submit letters to legislative bodies, the IRS, Franchise Tax Board, State Board of Equalization, and other tax agencies as appropriate, and in response to their requests for comments on regulations, proposed legislation, statutory provisions, or areas in need of guidance. This will allow our members to interact with other tax practitioners and government officials and to influence tax policy and legislation.

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