Taxation Section Committees
Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee
The mission of the DEI Committee is to amplify voices, increase participation, and create opportunities for historically underrepresented groups in the field of tax law. In support of its mission, the DEI Committee is currently developing programs that foster inclusivity and diversity within the Taxation Section. These programs include a CLE seminar, a mentorship program that connects experienced tax attorneys to new and transitioning attorneys, and an opportunity for attorneys in the Taxation Section to volunteer in K-12 classrooms. The DEI Committee meets on the first Friday of each month.
For more information, check out the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee webpage.
Estate and Gift Tax Committee
The mission of the Taxation Section's Estate and Gift Tax Committee is to provide a forum and other services for legal practitioners working in the area of federal and state estate and gift taxation. The committee meets six times a year to discuss estate and gift tax issues. In addition, ad hoc task forces meet periodically to address specific estate and gift tax problems. Such task forces frequently review and/or draft proposed legislation.
Representatives from the state Department of Revenue regularly attend committee meetings, giving the department and committee members the opportunity for open and frank discussion of the many complex issues now surrounding state estate taxes.
Committee meetings are held in several locations across the state, with participants linked by telephone conference. Currently meetings are regularly held in Seattle, Tacoma, Bellevue, Bellingham, Wenatchee, and Spokane.
Any member of the Taxation Section is welcome to join the committee. Please contact the committee chair if you wish to participate and for information on meeting locations.
International Tax Committee
Alinsson A. Sierra
The goal of the International Tax Committee is to provide a forum for discussion and education for practitioners in the area of international taxation and cross-border transactions. The committee meets in conjunction with the Washington Society of CPA International Committee to discuss current issues in international taxation and tax planning. The committee also collaborates with other Tax Section committees to arrange presentations on a wide variety of topics with international tax implications.
IRS Liaison Committee
This committee works to promote communication between members of the Bar and the IRS. In addition, the Committee seeks to provide information regarding IRS procedure and to update the membership with developments at the IRS.
The WSBA Justice and Diversity Initiatives (JDI) Department reviews all bills introduced during a legislative session, and apprises the appropriate WSBA section of the proposed legislation. The Taxation Section's Legislative Committee was recently formed for the purpose of creating a presence in the legislative process. The goals of the Legislative Committee are to review the bills referred to it by the JDI Department; inform the Tax Council and all Section members of any bills being considered by the Legislature that pertain to state and local taxation; provide an avenue for Section members to voice their input; and, based upon this input, determine whether to voice a unified response to the Legislature, what the response will be, and the most effective way to advocate our position before the Legislature.
Currently, the Legislative Committee is seeking members to create and implement a plan to meet these goals. The Committee needs to determine the following: What is the most efficient way to communicate the proposed bills to Section members? How can we best gather Section members' input? What is an effective way to determine whether a response will be made on behalf of the Section? Once the decision is made to respond, what will the Section's response be? How should the Section present that position to the Legislators?
If you are interested in becoming involved in the legislative process, please join the Legislative Committee. Meetings will be scheduled as deemed appropriate by the Legislative Committee members.
Pro Bono Committee
Darin T. Jensen
The WSBA Taxation Section members utilize their talents to play an instrumental role in assisting low-income taxpayers within our communities. The Federal Tax Clinic provides effective tax assistance to low-income residents of Washington state in tax disputes with the IRS. Our services are the coordinated effort of the Washington State Bar Association, the Federal Tax Clinics at the University of Washington and Gonzaga University, and volunteer tax attorneys. We also assist the WSBA in other pro bono endeavors, including the Home Foreclosure Program.
The Pro Bono Committee of the Taxation Section of the WSBA is currently looking for volunteer attorneys who are interested in preparing some individual income tax returns for clients of the Low-Income Taxpayer Clinic of the UW School of Law. The return preparation will not be done onsite at the clinic, so the volunteers can prepare the returns within their personal schedules. Volunteers should have taken at least one basic income tax class and have some tax prep experience outside of preparing the individual's own tax return. There is a free two-hour orientation session, for which volunteers will receive two CLE credits. Additionally, each volunteer can apply for up to four additional CLE credits for the tax return preparation work completed. This is a total of six free CLE credits each year. If you are interested, please contact Darin Jensen.
Each year, the Taxation Section awards a $5,000 scholarship to an individual who is pursuing an LL.M. degree, plans to practice in Washington state, and will become an active member of the Taxation Section. Your donation makes this possible and helps a law student pursue a future in tax law. Please make a donation online or mail a donation by check, payable to:
Washington State Bar Foundation
1325 Fourth Ave., Suite 600
Seattle, WA 98101
Please note Tax Section Scholarship on your check. Thank you for your contribution!
This scholarship would not be possible without the generous support of these attorneys and firms:
- Colvin + Hallett
- Foreman, Appel, Hotchkiss, Zimmerman & Bauscher, PLLC
- Garvey Schubert Barer
- Law Offices of Jennifer A. Gellner, LLM., PLLC
- Helsell Fetterman LLP
- Kutscher Hereford Bertram Burkart LLC
- LeSourd & Patten, P.S.
- Skagit Law Group PLLC
State and Local Tax Committee
The State and Local Tax Committee (SALT) provides a forum for attorneys to address concerns specific to state and local taxation in Washington, review current developments in this area, and communicate with the Washington State Department of Revenue and other government officials and entities as needed.
To this end, the SALT Committee holds quarterly meetings currently in Seattle with participation available by telephone; any member of the Taxation Section is welcome to join. The SALT Committee also sponsors subcommittees as needed. For information on meetings and subcommittee activities, please contact the Committee Chair.
Transactional Tax Committee
The Transactional Tax Committee is a forum for discussion and education for lawyers practicing in taxation of business transactions area of law. Past committee meetings have covered tax issues in workouts, INDOPCO regulations and capitalization rules, contingent consideration and liabilities in taxable transactions, and Circular 230 tax opinion standards.
If you are a current WSBA Taxation Section member interested in joining the Transactional Tax Committee, please contact the committee Chair.
Young Lawyer Committee
To send a message to the list serve, please contact the Website Committee chair.