US Improves International Tax Enforcement by Confirming Assistant Attorney General for the Tax Division and Approving for Ratification 3 Tax Treaties

On March 29, 2012, the U.S. Senate improved potential for U.S. international tax enforcement by confirming the nominations of . the confirmation of Kathryn Keneally as Assistant Attorney General for the Tax Division and Michael E. Horowitz as Inspector General for the Justice Department as well as approving the income tax treaty with Hungary and the protocols to the income tax treaties with Switzerland and Luxembourg.

Keneally most recently worked as a partner at Fulbright & Jaworski LLP in New York. For over 25 years, Keneally represented clients in tax controversies and defended against allegations of tax, securities and bank fraud, money laundering, currency transaction reporting, false statements and other financial crime.

Since 1994, Keneally has chaired numerous committees for the American Bar Association (ABA) Taxation Section.  Most recently, she served vice chair for Committee Operations for the ABA Taxation Section and as co-chair of the ABA National Institute on Criminal Tax Fraud and Tax Controversy.  She previously served as chair of the ABA Civil and Criminal Tax Penalties Committee, the ABA Standards of Tax Practice Committee and the ABA Subcommittee on Department of Justice Procedures.

From 1993 to 2008, Keneally served on the U.S. Sentencing Commission Practitioner’s Advisory Group.

Keneally began her legal career in 1982 as the law clerk for U.S. District Judge for the Eastern District of New York Edward R. Neaher.  She received her J.D. from Fordham Law School, her LL.M in Taxation from New York University and her B.S. from Cornell University.

Most recently, Horowitz worked as a partner at Cadwalader, Wickersham, & Taft LLP, where he focused on white collar defense, internal investigations and regulatory compliance.

The confirmation of Keneally was important because there has been no Assistant Attorney General for the Tax Division during the Obama Administration despite the prioritization of international tax enforcement.

The approval of the three tax treaties and/or protocols are important because each of the three countries are important financial center jurisdictions and the treaties all have modern tax enforcement cooperation provisions.  The U.S. has had and still has a number of important outstanding requests for bank information with the Swiss government.

For approval of the three tax treaties, see

http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/executive_calendar/xcalv.pdf

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