“The world is changing. We have competition from all over the world,” said Eric Solomon, director of national tax services for Ernst & Young and former assistant secretary for tax policy at the U.S. Treasury, as he addressed an audience of attorneys and accountants at the 2012 Delaware Tax Institute held on Widener Law’s Delaware campus on Friday, November 16, 2012.
Observing that “transactions are becoming more complex” and that “people are increasingly mobile,” Solomon explored trends in global taxation in the early portion of his remarks before moving on to consider the so-called “fiscal cliff” currently facing Congress and the possibility of reforms to the federal tax system.
“What is the purpose of the tax system?” he asked rhetorically before noting, “You certainly want to help economic growth – you certainly don’t want to stunt economic growth.”
“One needs to decide how much the tax code should be used to achieve social policy goals,” observed Solomon as an example of some of the fundamental disagreements that make any reform of the tax code difficult.
“My personal view is a hope – an expectation – that Democrats and Republicans will get together to resolve these issues,” he said of the “fiscal cliff.”
The daylong program also featured a variety of panels bringing together distinguished tax professionals to discuss new and emerging trends in a variety of topics. The first panel of the morning featured Kathryn S. Schultz, a CPA at Belfint, Lyons & Shuman, P.A. and Charles J. Durante, Esq. of Connolly Gallagher LLP discussing income tax developments for 2012. Schultz presented Selected Individual, Small Business, Estate, and Gift Tax Changes for 2012 and 13 while Durante spoke about some of the cases that were decided in 2012.
The morning’s other panel, Recent Developments in Estate Planning, featured Jocelyn Margolin Borowsky, Esq. of Duane Morris LLP; Kimberling Gill, Esq. of Morris, Nichols, Arsht & Tunnell LLP; Richard J.A. Popper, Esq. of Young Conaway Stargatt & Taylor LLP; and Panel Chair Thomas R. Pulsifer, Esq. of Morris, Nichols, Arsht & Tunnell LLP. The afternoon panels focused on The Impending Cliff and Tax Controversies: Trends in Federal and State Audits.