July 28, 2021 | The Tax Gap & IRS Funding

We will discuss the tax gap, the difference between federal tax owed and what is collected by the IRS. IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig made headlines in April when he estimated that the gap could be as large as $1 trillion per year. The Biden administration and a group of bipartisan lawmakers are looking to close the gap to create a source of revenue for other spending projects, such as infrastructure. That goal would likely require additional IRS resources for enforcement, including funding and new personnel. We will consider how that enforcement might be conducted and how it could affect taxpayer service.

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Cara Griffith
President and CEO, Tax Analysts

As the moderator for our Taxing Issues webinars, Cara objectively analyzes issues and asks probing questions that challenge panelists to explain and defend their positions.

When she’s not moderating Taxing Issues webinars, Cara provides strategic oversight for Tax Analysts. She has led efforts to improve the Tax Notes suite of products and to aggressively pursue transparency in the administration of tax systems. Previously, Cara managed the editorial department, including the flagship daily news publications and weekly magazines. She has written for a broad range of tax policy publications, including Tax Notes State, The Tax Adviser, The Hedge Fund Law Report, and The Hill. She regularly speaks at tax conferences and other events, discussing a variety of technical tax issues as well as the need for transparency in tax administration.

Cara has a BA in political science and a BA in international studies from the University of Evansville and a JD from the George Washington University Law School.

Nina Olson
Executive Director and Founder, Center for Taxpayer Rights

Nina E. Olson is the Executive Director of the Center for Taxpayer Rights. From March 2001 to July 2019, Nina served as the National Taxpayer Advocate of the United States, an independent organization within the Internal Revenue Service, dedicated to assisting taxpayers resolve their problems with the IRS and making administrative and legislative recommendations to mitigate those problems systemically. She has submitted 39 annual reports to Congress, and testified before congressional committees over 60 times. Before serving as the National Taxpayer Advocate, Nina founded and directed The Community Tax Law Project, the first independent Low Income Taxpayer Clinic in the US. She also maintained a private legal practice, representing taxpayers in disputes with the IRS. 

Nina has received many awards and recognitions, including the American Bar Association Section of Taxation’s Distinguished Service Award for Lifetime Service, Pro Bono Award, and Jules Ritholz Memorial Merit Award for Outstanding Dedication, Achievement, and Integrity in the Field of Civil and Criminal Tax Controversies; the Tax Foundation’s Public Sector Distinguished Service Award; and Pro Bono Awards from the Virginia State Bar, the Virginia Bar Association, and the City of Richmond Bar Association. In 2016 she was recognized by Tax Analysts as one of the Top 10 Outstanding Women in Tax (internationally).

Nina received her LLM in Taxation from Georgetown University Law Center, her JD from North Carolina Central University School of Law, and her AB (in fine arts) from Bryn Mawr College.

Fred Goldberg
Of Counsel, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom

Mr. Goldberg first joined Skadden in 1986, following two years as chief counsel of the Internal Revenue Service. From 1989 until 1992, Mr. Goldberg served as commissioner of the IRS, and during 1992 he served as assistant secretary of the Treasury for Tax Policy. He returned to Skadden in December 1992.

Working with his tax department colleagues in Skadden’s Washington, New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Palo Alto and overseas offices, Mr. Goldberg’s practice focuses on advising clients as special tax counsel on sensitive matters, and representing clients on tax controversies and IRS administrative and regulatory proceedings.

Mr. Goldberg advises clients as special counsel on a wide range of complex transactional and compliance matters. In addition to advising on novel tax administration issues, he has directed compliance and management reviews on behalf of senior executives and boards of directors of various companies. On a selective basis, Mr. Goldberg counsels clients on legislative matters. Mr. Goldberg has represented clients and groups of companies on issues of industry-wide significance in administrative proceedings before the IRS and the U.S. Department of Treasury, including on behalf of companies in the following industries: airline, automotive, banking, consumer products, health care, heavy manufacturing, insurance, investment, pharmaceutical, professional services, telecommunications and utilities.

Mr. Goldberg represents business, tax-exempt and individual clients during all phases of civil audits, administrative appeals and litigation. A primary focus of Mr. Goldberg’s practice has been working with clients on innovative and high-stakes dispute resolution efforts in disputes with the IRS. Among the controversy matters he has worked on are tax accounting issues, transfer pricing, IRS challenges to R&E and energy tax credit claims, placed-in-service issues, IRS challenges to various capital market transactions, the status of tax-exempt bonds, the examination of tax-exempt organizations, the tax treatment of corporate distributions and reorganizations, the valuation of going concerns, international restructuring transactions, the tax treatment of insurance contracts, and compliance with information reporting and withholding rules.

Resident in Skadden’s Washington office, Mr. Goldberg was a member of the National Commission on Restructuring the IRS, a member of the Center for Strategic and International Studies National Commission on Retirement Policy and executive director of the Bi-Partisan Congressional Commission on Entitlement and Tax Reform.

Sponsorship opportunities for Taxing Issues events and webinars are available.  Please click here for more information.