The New York City Department of Finance held its 2016 Tax Representatives and Practitioners Program (“TAXRAPP”) this past Wednesday. Based on the filled-to-capacity banquet room at the New York Athletic Club, it seems that a lot of us wanted to “rap” about taxes.
Being too young to have participated in any meaningful “rap sessions” and too old to have grown up with rap music, I always wondered what the creator of the TAXRAPP acronym had in mind. Nonetheless, while a lot of useful information was exchanged, none of us were sitting barefoot on the floor or riffing poetically to a techno inspired beat. Instead, what we were treated to were the insights of the key policymakers for the New York City Department of Finance as well as the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance.
I have attended many a TAXRAPP over the years and this was perhaps the most informative ever. I attribute this in part to the major overhaul of the New York State and New York City corporate tax structure over the past two years. Many practitioners attended to find out the latest changes to the rules and the impact on their clients. While useful, those attending only to find out the rule changes are really missing the point.
It is not often that you have the opportunity to hear from so many of those who had a hand in helping our lawmakers write the law as well as administer it on a daily basis all in one place at one time. Insights to be garnered during the all-day session included how the law will be applied and why; problems in administration for the Department and taxpayer; and areas the Department recognizes are unanswered and would like input from both taxpayers and practitioners.
Staying on top of the law is the bare minimum a tax professional should do. At Berdon, we encourage all, from first year associates to the most senior partners, to be on the pulse of what our tax administrators are thinking and how the latest creation of our lawmakers will actually be implemented. Attending TAXRAPP is a great tool to get that insight in one place at one time.
Questions about changes in New York tax law? Contact me at WBerkowitz@BerdonLLP.com or your Berdon advisor.
Wayne Berkowitz, a tax partner and head of the State and Local Tax Group at Berdon LLP, advises on the unique requirements of governments and municipalities across the nation.