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Villanova University Graduate Tax Program’s Inaugural Tax Policy Symposium

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Fundamental Tax Reform and Tax Policy Issues in Election Year 2016

Featuring U.S. Representative Patrick Meehan

As the 2016 Election Year intensifies, candidates will provide their views and proposals for tax reform. At Villanova University Graduate Tax Program’s inaugural Tax Policy Symposium—Fundamental Tax Reform and Tax Policy Issues in Election Year 2016—you will be introduced to the most salient issues within the debate, and the distinction among the various proposals that will impact your business and personal economic affairs.

This event will bring together a cross section of business leaders—from tax and accounting to legal and government to renowned academics—to discuss the economic and societal issues surrounding the need for fundamental Tax Reform. Patrick Meehan, U.S. Representative of the Seventh District of Pennsylvania and a member of the House Ways and Means Committee, will be the featured speaker.

The symposium will take place on Thursday, June 2, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law (299 North Spring Mill Road, Villanova, PA). It is free and open to the public.

This program is approved for 3.5 substantive CLE credits by the Pennsylvania Continuing Legal Education Board and for 4 Continuing Professional Education (CPE) tax credits for Certified Public Accountants.


Click to register

Networking and Coffee:
 8 – 8:30 a.m.


Welcome: 8:30 – 8:45 a.m.

Edward A. Liva, Professor of Practice and Director of the Graduate Tax Program, Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law


Featured Speaker: 8:45 – 9:15 a.m.
“An Update from the House Ways and Means Committee”

Patrick Meehan, Representative of the Seventh District of Pennsylvania, U.S. Congress


Panel 1: 9:15 – 10:30 a.m.
“An overview of the current U.S. tax system that has been in place since 1986, and the need for fundamental tax reform, including the viability of a Consumption Tax.”

Ronnie Dassen, Tax Principal, U.S. VAT Practice Leader, Deloitte Tax LLP
Hank Gutman, Retired Partner, KPMG LLP 
Jeff Kummer, Director of Tax Policy, Deloitte Tax LLP 


Panel 2: 10:45 – 11:30 a.m.
“Proposals to Tax Carried Interests”

Jim Sowell, Principal, KPMG LLP 
Jonathan Talisman, Partner, Capitol Tax Partners


Panel 3: 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
“International Tax issues and the prospects for tax law changes that will impact multinational corporations and business”

Madeleine Barber, Senior Vice President and Chief Tax Officer, Tyco
J. Richard Harvey, Distinguished Professor of Practice, Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law
Mindy Herzfeld, Contributing Editor, Tax Notes International


Networking Lunch: 12:30 – 2 p.m.

Hank Gutman, Retired Partner, KPMG LLP

Hank Gutman retired in 2015 after 16 years at KPMG. Gutman was principal in charge of the Federal Tax Legislative and Regulatory Services group from 1999 to 2014 and was the Director of the KPMG Tax Governance Institute from 2006 to 2015. Throughout his career, Gutman has counseled major multinational corporations on various implications of tax legislative change. He has represented clients in legislative and administrative matters before the Congress, the Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service. Gutman was the Chief of Staff of the Congressional Joint Committee on Taxation from 1991 to 1993. The Joint Committee is the statutorily designated non-partisan advisor to the Congress on the revenue, economic and technical aspects of all tax legislation. Gutman also served as Deputy Tax Legislative Counsel in the Treasury Department Office of Tax Policy, where he received the Treasury Exceptional Service Award. Additionally, Gutman taught full time at the University of Pennsylvania and Virginia Law Schools for 10 years and has authored a number of publications


J. Richard Harvey, Distinguished Professor of Practice, Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law

Since August 1, 2010, J. Richard Harvey has been the Distinguished Professor of Practice at the Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law School and Graduate Tax Program. Immediately prior to joining the Villanova faculty, Harvey was the Senior Advisor to the IRS Commissioner advising on tax administration and policy issues. He was a liaison with the U.S. Treasury Department Office of Tax Policy, Congressional staff and the Department of Justice. He also coordinated efforts among various IRS groups including the Chief Counsel’s Office and LB&I (formerly LMSB). From 1986 to 1988 Professor Harvey was the Senior Accountant in the U.S. Treasury Department, Office of Tax Policy and participated extensively in the negotiation and implementation of the 1986 Tax Reform Act. Harvey is a frequent speaker—including major speeches to the Canadian Tax Foundation, Multistate Tax Commission, American Bar Association, Tax Executive Institute, Wall Street Tax Association and Institute for International Bankers. He has also testified before Congress on the international tax planning done by Apple, Inc. and other multinational companies


Mindy Herzfeld, Contributing Editor, Tax Notes International

Mindy Herzfeld is a contributing editor to Tax Notes International, where she writes on international tax policy and cross-border transactions. She has a background in international mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, spinoffs and inversions, intellectual property restructurings, venture capital investing and private equity structures. Previously, Herzfeld was in the international tax group of Deloitte Tax LLP, where she worked in the National Tax office, before joining the New York office to specialize in international M&A. Before Deloitte, Herzfeld practiced tax law in-house and at Weil Gotshal & Manges LLP in New York. She also served as a judicial clerk for Judge I. Leo Glasser of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York. She holds a JD from Yale Law School, where she was a senior editor of the Yale Law Journal; an LLM from Georgetown University Law Center, where she was a Graduate Tax Scholar and recipient of the Tannenwald Prize; and a BA magna cum laude from Barnard College.


Jeff Kummer, Director of Tax Policy, Deloitte Tax LLP

Jeff Kummer is the Director of Tax Policy at Deloitte Tax LLP. He has more than 20 years of experience in the tax policy arena and is currently responsible for communicating emerging tax developments in the U.S. Congress, the Internal Revenue Service and Treasury Department and the federal courts to the Firm and its clients. Kummer oversees the content development of Deloitte’s Tax News & Views as well as thought leadership publications on issues such as the U.S. deficit and prospects for fundamental tax reform. His Capitol Hill experience includes working on tax and budget issues for former U.S. Senator and Senate Finance Committee member Steve Symms, R-Idaho. Kummer holds a BS in Political Science from the University of Idaho and an MBA from Johns Hopkins University.


Patrick Meehan, Representative of the Seventh District of Pennsylvania, U.S. Congress

Patrick Meehan represents Pennsylvania’s 7th Congressional District in the United States Congress. Currently serving his third term in Congress, Meehan serves on the influential House Ways and Means Committee, as well as the Committee on Ethics. On the Ways and Means Committee, Meehan serves on the Trade and Oversight Subcommittees. The Ways and Means Committee is the House's chief tax-writing body, with broad jurisdiction over issues critical to Southeastern Pennsylvania like health care and trade. Prior to his election to the United States Congress, Meehan earned an impressive record as one of the Philadelphia area’s most respected prosecutors. Appointed by the President, Meehan served as the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. Prior to his appointment as United States Attorney, Meehan served as the District Attorney of Delaware County. A native of Cheltenham, Montgomery County, Meehan is a graduate of Bowdoin College and the Temple University School of Law.


Jim Sowell, Principal, KPMG LLP

Jim Sowell is a former chairman of the Real Estate Committee of the American Bar Association (Tax Section) and a former vice chairman of the Tax Policy Advisory Committee of the Real Estate Roundtable. He is a member of the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts, where he is an active participant on the Government Relations Committee. Sowell also is on the Board of Trustees for the Southern Federal Tax Institute, where he formerly served as President. Sowell has written articles for various publications and speaks at numerous conferences. Before joining KPMG, Sowell was with the national tax offices of other major accounting firms. Prior to that time, Sowell was with the U.S. Department of Treasury (Office of Tax Policy) where he served first as an attorney advisor and then as an associate tax legislative counsel. While at the Treasury Department, Sowell was primarily responsible for administrative guidance and legislation involving partnerships, real estate investment trusts, like-kind exchanges and other issues. The many matters that Sowell was involved in while at Treasury included the regulations relating to partnership mergers and divisions, the partnership basis adjustment regulations, the regulations relating to amortization of intangible property and the legislation relating to taxable REIT subsidiaries. Prior to the Treasury Department, Sowell was an associate at King & Spalding LLP in Atlanta. Sowell was chief tax editor of the Florida Law Review and was a graduate editor of New York University’s Tax Law Review.


Jonathan Talisman, Partner, Capitol Tax Partners

Jonathan Talisman is a founding partner of Capitol Tax Partners and has extensive experience in tax policy and tax planning. Previously he served as the Assistant Secretary for Tax Policy for the U.S. Treasury Department during the Clinton Administration. In that capacity, he had supervisory responsibility for policy decisions relating to all Federal tax matters—including the president's budget proposals, other legislation regulatory guidance and tax treaties. Also he directly advised the president, the secretary of the treasury and other senior administration officials on matters of tax policy and tax legislative strategy. Talisman previously served at the Treasury as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Tax Policy and the Tax Legislative Counsel. Before joining the Treasury Department, he served from 1995 to 1997 as the Chief Democratic Tax Counsel of the Senate Finance Committee under Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D-NY) and from 1992 to 1995 as Legislation Counsel to the Joint Committee on Taxation. Prior to his tenure in government, he worked in the Washington office of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld. Talisman currently serves on the Board of Advisors to the Tax Policy Center and was chair of the Formation of Tax Policy Committee, American Bar Association Tax Section. He also currently serves as an adjunct tax professor at Georgetown University Law Center, where he teaches tax policy. He holds a JD from the University of Virginia School of Law, and a BS in Commerce from the University of Virginia. He was admitted as a certified public accountant in Maryland in 1981.

Panel 1_Ronnie Dassen slides
Panel 1_Hank Gutman slides
Panel 1_Jeff Kummer slides
Pane 2 slides
Panel 3 slides