Pricing Information and Discounts


Register Online


Hotel / Venue Information


Deloitte "Understanding Communications Taxation" Pre-Conference Tutorial


About the Sponsors


CPE Information


For more information about the program agenda or to exhibit/sponsor the event, contact Matthew Lucas at: mlucas@telestrategies.com


TeleStrategies' Homepage


AireSpring
Alianza
ALLO Communications
Altaworx
Altice
Amazon
American Tower
American Water Works
Anybill Financial Services
AT&T
AT&T Services
ATN International
ATT
Avalara
Blackfoot Communications
Blulogix
Breezeline
BullsEye Telecom
Cable One
CCH
CERTifytax
Charter Communications
Clearfly Communications
CLA
CloudCALL
Co-Mo Connect
Compliance Solutions
Consolidated Comm
Convergeone
CoreDial / BCM One
Cox Enterprises
Deloitte Tax
Di Fiore
DISH
Education Networks of America
Ernst & Young
Eversheds Sutherland
Evoca TV
FiberComm
Fletcher, Heald & Hildreth
Fusion Connect
GCI Communication
General Motors
Globalstar
Globenet
GMG
Granite Telecommunications
Grant McCarthy Group
Grant Thornton
Heald & Hildreth
Home Telecom
IDI Billing Solutions
KPMG
Lingo
Low Latency Communications
Lumen
Marashlian & Donahue
Mattey Consulting
Mediacom
Missouricom
MNJ Technologies
Momentum Telecom
Moss Adams
NEC Cloud Communications
Nelson Mullins Riley and Scarborough
Nextiva
OIT
Optical Communications
Peninsula Fiber Network
Precisely
PricewaterhouseCoopers
Qualcomm
RBM
Reed Smith
Reserve Communications
RingCentral
RSM US
Ryan
Salesforce
ServiceTitan
Smart City
SpaceX
Strandberg Strategy
Strata Networks
Syniverse
TCA
T-mobile
TaxConnex
TDS
Tor Daley
Tri-Co Connections
TSI
Twilio
Uniti Fiber
US Cellular
Verizon
Verizon Communications
Vertex
Viasat
Windstream
Ziply Fiber


 

CSI

Avalara PWC KPMG VertexCLA Deloitte

Wolters Kluwer

Sutherland

EY

davis wright

Reed Smith

Ryan

Etax



“Jim Nason was exceptional. His knowledge and communications skills made for a knowledgeable and thorough subject presentation. Great job!”
– Bonnie Boggs, Sierra Telephone



“I attend this program every year. There are always knowledgeable people with great information.”
–Rasheda Murphy, Powernet Global Communications



“After attending last year’s conference, I came away with information from one of the sessions which prompted a refund totaling over $4.2M”
– John Figueirdo, Verizon Wireless



“… exceeded my expectations. It seems to be becoming more informative and relevant to our job functions in this increasingly difficult time of doing more with less”
– John Dolan, Verizon



“Excellent content – well worth the time”
– John Boyles, Comcast



“Very valuable information.  Great speakers. Excellent networking!”
– Amy Karpf, Cavalier Telephone



“The speakers are top-notch.”
--Bill Thiemann, Centennial Communications



“Very good, very focused discussion.”
--Jay Goodrich, Verizon Wireless



“So much to learn!  The materials and speakers were very well organized.”
-- Amy Karpf, Talk America



“The most comprehensive telecom taxation conference available today.”
-- Joe Hartman, Radianz Americas



“A must attend conference for anyone in the telco tax world.”
-- Norene Hartug, Frontier Communications



“Excellent content yet again.  Well worth the time.”
-- John Boyles, Comcast



“This is a must attend for anyone in the field of telecommunications taxation.”
-- Terri Westover, Frontier Communications



“This is the number one conference to identify best practices in the telecom tax world.”
-- Roy Drukker, Fairpoint

 

Communications Taxation 2023

Thank you everyone for a fantastic 2022 show!

Mark your calenders! We look forward to getting everyone back together next May 3-5, 2023 in New Orleans. The venue is confirmed, the date is firm.

About Communications Taxation

For 22 years, Communications Taxation has brought together the nation's top tax professionals to address the challenging and complex domain of telecommunications taxation, regulatory compliance and fees.

Who attends: The program typically attracts between 300 and 400 tax professionals from all sectors of the communications and technology industry -- including wireline, mobile, cable, Internet, VoIP, enterprise services as well as cloud, social media and content providers. See the list of attending companies from last year's program below.

Why you should attend: Whether you are new to communications taxes and regulatory compliance, or an industry veteran, the experts at Communications Taxation will show you how to lower your tax bill, improve compliance, streamline tax operations, pro actively prepare for audits, better defend your company's audit position, leverage case studies/precedent to lower liabilities, manage digital/cloud/content offerings, prepare for "what's next" and -- most importantly -- network with your industry peers to learn and share experiences.

2023 Program: Look for a call for speakers by November 2022, due by February 2023.

Questions about the Program? Interested in exhibiting / sponsoring? Have feedback from prior years? Please feel free to contact me!

Sincerely,
Dr. Matthew Lucas, Program Chair
mlucas@telestrategies.com


Communications Taxation 2022 Agenda

May 4, 2022 - Pre-Conference Tutorial

May 4, 2022 - Pre-Conference Workshops

CSI


Telecommunications Taxation 2022
"Day 1" Conference Sessions
(Previosly held: May 2022)

Dr. Matthew Lucas -- TeleStrategies, Conference Chair

Taxing the Metaverse

There has been a lot of buzz about the Metaverse, along with related trends like cryptocurrency, NFTs, AI and web 3.0. Business leaders are trying to make sense of it all and wondering what kind of strategy - if any - they need to implement. This panel will address what the Metaverse is; how telecoms will participate in it; and the practical steps tax departments should be taking to position themselves for the changes that the Metaverse will bring.

Jamie Brenner (Moderator) – Partner, PwC
Rebecca Lee – PwC Lead Tax Partner, focused on Metaverse and Digital Assets
Will Perri
– PwC Lead Metaverse SME


Universal Service Contributions Reform is Happening Now! Find Out What it Means for Your Business 

Carol Mattey, author of the USForward Report, joins a panel of esteemed telecom attorneys to discuss the on-going USF reform proceeding. Pursuant to Congressional directives, the FCC opened a Notice of Inquiry to solicit input on ways to reform the USF in light of the broadband investments in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. This once in a generation proceeding could spark meaningful changes to the program that will impact the bottom lines of nearly every business in the telecom, broadband, and information services sector. Carol Mattey will explain why the current program is on a death spiral and how the addition of broadband revenue into the USF contribution eligible revenue base can stabilize and sustain the program. Telecom attorneys will discuss other alternatives being floated before the FCC, including assessing edge providers, “hybrid” connections and revenue-based models and direct Congressional appropriations. The panel will also debate the merits and implications of pending appeals filed by Consumers Research, et. al, in the 5th and 6th Circuits wherein the constitutionality of the USF program is being challenged. 

Jonathan Marashlian (Moderator) – The CommLaw Group / Marashlian and Donahue
Carol Mattey
Mattey Consulting, LLC 
Brita StrandbergStrandberg Strategy 
Steve Augustino – Nelson Mullins Riley and Scarborough LLP



Beyond the AI Hype - Practical Applications of Artificial Intelligence in Indirect Tax

We’ve all heard about the power of Artificial Intelligence, or Machine Learning, as having the potential of changing how we analyze data and transactions, but what are the practical applications of these tools in our day-to-day jobs? In addition to providing a high level overview of AI technologies and how they work, this session will focus on the practical uses of AI specifically for sales and use tax and property tax data analysis. Multiple use case examples will be given to show how you may be able to use AI in your day-to-day activities to create efficiencies and higher value for your organization.

Kevin Boyer  Partner, Ernst & Young
Ivan Roussev Tax Technology Senior Manager, Ernst & Young
Steve Vitale Tax Technology Senior Manager, Ernst & Young


Dark Fiber, Property, Franchise Taxes in Louisiana Parishes and throughout the USA, Right of Way and Franchise Tax Agreements 

Many telecom companies have Dark and Lit Fiber.  Louisiana has parish franchise taxes.  Texas and Virginia has Rights of Way Taxes.  This session provides an overview on property tax considerations for tangible personal property and links the Transaction Tax/Billing/Tax Rating considerations.  From a Property Tax viewpoint, the speakers will review the differences in local vs. state assessed filing and identify exposure areas that are often overlooked.  Additionally, the speakers will consider various state assessed returns and the importance of reviewing the related assessments for errors and how these returns can oftentimes function similarly to gross receipts returns. Last, the session will cover how to develop the internal reporting necessary to support your property tax function.  

Derek Cazel - EVP - Tax Rating Services, Compliance Solutions, Inc
Steve Davis CPA
- EVP Corporate Services. Compliance Solutions, Inc
Mark Lammert CPA
- CEO, Compliance Solutions, Inc


Getting Your Bills Right: Real World Help with Invoice Presentation of Telecom Tax and Fee Line Items

This panel of seasoned practitioners will help you navigate the challenges of presenting telecom tax and fee line items on your bills so that you can avoid pitfalls, limit opportunities for customer confusion, and mitigate risk. The panel will focus on bill presentation requirements, truth-in-billing, bundled service charges, customer privacy, recovery items and Universal Service Fund pass-through. They will also explain how to best navigate the many differences between regulatory fees and telecom taxes - among the wide variety of jurisdictions that impose them - and address how changes at the Federal Communications Commission may impact these issues.

Toby Bargar – Senior Tax Strategist, Avalara
Rick Heller – Managing Director, SALT Telecommunications & Cloud Services, Deloitte
Stephanie Weiner – Partner from Harris, Wiltshire & Grannis

KPMG

Audit Defense Strategy

Carriers spend an inordinate amount of time and money defending prior positions in the face of auditors armed with 20-20 hindsight. Meanwhile, the same jurisdictions are facing budget crises never before seen, thereby making audit recovery their first priority. This session presents views from seasoned veterans from some of the largest providers regarding current audit issues and industry trends, as well as pragmatic perspectives on audit defense best practices and success strategies.  

Kirsten Gulotta Multistate Tax Service, Deloitte Tax LLP
Justin Gulotta – Multistate Tax Service, Deloitte Tax LLP
Dan Stumpf – Manager, Tax Controversy, T-Mobile
Eric Schaefer – Senior Manager, Tax Technology, Twilio Inc.


SALT Communications Industry Tax Considerations in 2022

What issues are communications industry tax professionals spending most of their time reviewing today?   Emerging services and changing service offerings create endless questions for tax departments.  The most obvious question, is the service taxable, includes determining whether the service is a telecommunications, internet access, data processing, or information service with little, if any, guidance from state and local jurisdictions.  The taxability of these services also requires an analysis of questions, like service sourcing, 911 fee application and regulatory application, that, while not new, present unique challenges.

Audra Mitchell – Managing Director, KPMG
Eli Geffin – Director, Research & Planning, AT&T
Kathy Makas – Director, Regulatory Tax, Verizon
Toni Mincic – Director Tax Controversy, Lumen


“Garbage In” is “Garbage Out!" -- Advanced Issues in Tax Engine Mapping to Ensure Accuracy and Optimization

The key to accurately calculating taxes and fees for companies in the telecom and information technologies fields boils down to “tax engine mapping.” If your data inputs are inaccurate, imprecise, or otherwise non-optimized, you can be confident the data outputs – the dollar values invoiced, collected and remitted – will likewise be imperfect. This panel session will guide you through some of the challenges commonly encountered when mapping VoIP products, including how to properly code them to reflect optimal assessments under the federal USF and TRS programs. Panelists will also discuss recent developments at USAC and their impact on tax mapping decisions and cover best practices around mapping VoIP services, bundles and other complex mapping issues impacting enhanced services, SaaS, UCaaS, and various flavors of VoIP solutions. 

Jonathan Marashlian – Managing Partner, Marashlian & Donahue, PLLC
David Rubenstein – Senior Tax Specialist - Telecommunications, CCH
Allison D. Rule – Partner, Marashlian & Donahue, PLLC


State Tax Legislative and Litigation Update

This session will provide an update on key litigation and controversies involving the taxation of newer technologies and the proliferation of cross-over products that integrate with telecommunications services, as well as the taxation of traditional voice, applications and data services. The session will also review legislative initiatives impacting the telecommunications industry.

Eric Tresh  Eversheds Sutherland
Liz Cha  Eversheds Sutherland


Vendor/Customer Relationships to Improve Tax Outcomes

Getting indirect taxes correct in today’s environment is very challenging given the complexity of data, the availability and accuracy of data, and the speed at which our tax departments must respond to deadlines and taxing authorities. What if vendors and customers could work more collaboratively to help each other out in this endeavor for tax accuracy? What’s in it for the vendor to participate in these dialogues? How can the customer be more engaged to achieve better tax results. This session will have perspectives from both a vendor and a customer to discuss what we all can do together to achieve improved tax results.

Kevin Boyer – Retired Partner/Contractor, EY
Glen White – Director – Tax, AT&T
Rudy Blahnik – Managing Director, EY
Natalie Haynes – Tax Partner, EY


Bring On the Audit: Key Strategies for Mitigating Assessments on Exempt Sales

Exempt sales present unique challenges for the telecommunication industry due to the complexities of the tax regimes at play, exempt customer data, and annual regulatory filings, to name a few.  Not to mention that there are likely several business units that own a small piece of the exempt sales process, each with their own objectives and requirements.  These challenges often times lead to the tax department “holding the bag” when state auditors show up.  The panel will identify the challenges and issues that present themselves upon audit while offering proven proactive strategies for preparing exempt sales transactions for audit.  If your company is subject to audits of exempt transactions and is currently utilizing a home grown or third party exemption certificate management solution you will not want to miss this session.

Tom McCarthy – CEO Founder of CERTifyTax – Co-Founder GMG Consulting
Ray Diaz – COO of CERTifytax
Liz Bopp – AVP of Tax AT&T


Tax Engine Care and Maintenance: Is your System Due for a Service? 

Just like maintaining your car, tax engine maintenance is all about saving you time and money in the long run. Maintenance involves extensive tax technical analysis, the most up-to-date testing, and the use of diagnostics to help maintain the original performance and integrity of your tax engine. “Routine servicing” isn’t just your tax engine’s monthly content update; it should also include reviews of any business and tax policy changes that can potentially impact the setup and configuration of the system today. But, like your car, your tax engine also needs a periodic “comprehensive diagnostic” to run its smoothest. A regularly scheduled “ten-point inspection” can provide both an in-depth understanding of your indirect tax technology and processes, as well as an opportunity to address any deferred maintenance.  This session will review best practices for both monthly and long-term maintenance of your tax engine to reduce audit risk and customer complaints related to inaccurate tax calculation. As they say, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

Tiffany DeBerry Sr. Manager - T-Mobile
Steven Frazee – Senior Manager, KPMG
Curtis Carter – Manager, KPMG
Sana Panjwani – Manager, KPMG


State and Federal Corporate Income Tax for Telecom Operations 

This session addresses the top-level federal and state income tax considerations specific to the telecom industry. The speakers will first look at certain states that have specific telecom company statutes and/or recent tax decisions to ensure that the correct returns are being filed and reporting is in accordance with these statutes; assess trends in apportionment methods at the state levels to assist you in keeping up with the state tax changes; review pass-through entity updates in minimizing tax burden and ensuring shareholder/partner compliance; and, finally, will provide an open forum for attendees’ experience in dealing with these issues in audits. This session is suitable both as an industry primer, as well as an update for veterans.

Steve Davis CPA - EVP Corporate Services, Compliance Solutions, Inc
Mark Lammert CPA
- CEO, Compliance Solutions, Inc


Pursuing & Defending Transactional Tax Refunds

While it would be nice to rely on states’ audit functions to ensure that your company pays the “right” amount of tax, the reality is that taxpayers must be assertive and protect their own interests.  This includes the pursuit and defense of refund claims.  Whether in the context of an audit or as a standalone pursuit, knowing how and when to pursue a refund claim—and when to forego one—are critical to maintaining a healthy tax department.  This session will provide practical recommendations and strategic considerations to empower your tax department to identify, document, and pursue transactional tax refunds.

Ashley R. Rivera Reed Smith
Anthony Solomon American Water Works Company


Avalara

Telecommunications Taxation 2022
"Day 2" Conference Sessions
Previously held: Friday May 6, 2022


davis wright

Not Your Local Yocals Anymore …

Local taxing jurisdictions have always been a pain point, but the pandemic and decreasing tax collections have led to broad interpretations of the term “telecommunications”.  The blurred lines between telecom and software services have not helped, and have even served to embolden certain local taxation departments.  This panel will explore the audit and litigation landscape at the local level.  Including audit mitigation strategies, sourcing issues and opportunities, and a discussion on where we see the focus on local issues going in the coming years.

Dustin Davis – Principal, Ryan 
Tod Matthiessen – Ryan 


ASC450 Exposures & Remediation - Asking for Forgiveness

Do your indirect tax accruals make you nervous? Worried that you haven't taken into consideration the pre-Wayfair and post-Wayfair nexus expansion laws? How do you decide how much to reserve? This session will cover the best practices in indirect tax audit management and remediation, from tracking audits, to prioritizing, and closing, tying to ASC 450 reserves and remediation via VDAs, private letter rulings or other informal methods, as well as some of the challenges being faced by others in your industry.

Jamie Brenner - Partner, PwC 
John Barnes - Senior Director, Transaction Tax, T-Mobile
DeAnna DiNapoli - Manager, PwC
David Prebut - Senior Vice President Tax, Altice



Don’t Sleep on Sourcing - Old Topic, New Challenges  

SALT revenue sourcing is an increasingly complex and controversial issue in the telecommunications/technology industries as taxpayers and tax jurisdictions alike are struggling to adapt to rapidly evolving offerings. The similar-but-different treatment for transaction tax versus income tax further muddies the waters. This session will consider the tax sourcing issues for new products and services for both tax types: Is it where performed or benefit received, and where is that anyway?  What about PPU, Goldberg, the SSTA sourcing rules, other state specific rules? What about traffic studies, IP address, phone number, ‘service’ location, billing address, population statistics, or consumer market data? How to source wholesale transactions and whether there are sourcing look-through requirements to the customer’s customers?  How to source charges for purposes of nexus, marketplace sales, new digital and digital services?

Rob Morse – Director, PwC
Elizabeth Bopp – AVP of Tax, AT&T
Joseph Greco – VP Tax, Verizon  


SALT Controversies – Audit Assessments & Refund Denials

The speakers in this session will discuss positions state and local taxing jurisdictions are taking as a basis for denying tax refund claims and issuing tax assessments against Communications Industry companies.  Understanding the instances where jurisdictions are attempting to limit the available time within which to file refund claims, narrow exemptions and expand the tax base will help prepare you to defend your company’s taxing methodology and reduce your company’s risk of tax exposure.

Jeremy Blocher – Partner, KPMG
John Vann – Senior Manager, KPMG
Steve King – Senior Manager, External Tax Policy, T-Mobile


Selling Your Telecom Company? Going Out of Business? Avoid Unpleasant Surprises and Hidden Costs by Properly Deactivating Your 499 Filer ID with USAC and Tackling Other Wind Down Requirements

This session will provide a tutorial on the Filer ID deactivation process at USAC, as well as other regulatory loose ends, to ensure your telecom company properly winds down operations after a merger, sale, or other end of business circumstances. Whether you sell your company, or business unit, or stop providing regulated telecom service for another reason, it can be tempting to think of the closing date or the date you stop providing service as the end of your responsibilities (and the end of your liabilities).  Unfortunately, the process to close-out your company’s 499 filer ID and complete related filings at the FCC, State Utility Commissions and even tax agencies can create a long tail. Understanding the process and how to navigate it can help your company save time and money as well as help you plan strategically in the context of a transaction or wind down. 

Jackie McHugh – Partner, Marashlian & Donahue, PLLC
Seth Williams – Member, Fletcher, Heald & Hildreth, PLC





The Power of Analytics – A “Hands On” Workshop (part 1 of 2)

Do you want to become proficient at developing and presenting Analytics for use in your tax department? This session is not a presentation but instead is a workshop in which you will work through example exercises on your computer with coaching from our presenters. While you may not be proficient after a one hour session, you will walk away from this session with the confidence that you can learn how to generate world class analytics. Requirements for this session: bring your computer to this session with PowerBI installed (free from Microsoft with a Microsoft Office license).

Natalie Haynes  – Tax Partner, EY
Rudy Blahnik – Tax Managing Director, EY


Can “Gross” ever be Removed from Gross Receipts Taxes? The Expanded Application of Gross Receipts Taxes

Gross receipts taxes are making a dangerous come-back at the state level. Additionally, local jurisdictions are increasingly adopting an expansive view of the application of gross receipts taxes. This session will discuss the policy considerations for and against gross receipts taxes (such as pyramiding) and current issues and controversies associated with the proper application of those taxes. 

Maria Todorova  Partner, Eversheds Sutherland
Brandi Drake   Director, Transaction Tax, Charter Communications


Lifecycle of Billing System/Tax Engine Implementation

Billing and tax system implementations can take a life of their own and can consume the entire job of a tax professional.  This session will go over the key points and pitfalls to look out for during the entire life cycle of a billing and tax system implementation.  The key stages in an implementation include project approvals, system selections, requirements gathering, configuration and testing, and post implementation support.  These implementations often take years to complete from preplanning to final execution.  Join PWC and Vertex as we walk through these key stages of an implementation.

Frank Giovannone – Senior Manager, PwC
Kiran Seshagiri – SAP Practice Leader, Vertex Inc.





The Power of Analytics – A “Hands On” Workshop (part 2 of 2)

This is a continuation of the 10:10 session.

Do you want to become proficient at developing and presenting Analytics for use in your tax department? This session is not a presentation but instead is a workshop in which you will work through example exercises on your computer with coaching from our presenters. While you may not be proficient after a one hour session, you will walk away from this session with the confidence that you can learn how to generate world class analytics. Requirements for this session: bring your computer to this session with PowerBI installed (free from Microsoft with a Microsoft Office license).

Natalie Haynes  – Tax Partner, EY
Rudy Blahnik – Tax Managing Director, EY


Telecom Tax Issues in M&A Deals     

As the 4th industrial revolution continues to develop and 5G becomes the platform for tomorrow's economy, M&A volume is expected to edge up as many companies seek to transform themselves through acquisitions into a hybrid of telecom, technology and media content providers. In this session we will examine transactional taxes issues arising during an M&A deal (buy side or sell side), including stock vs. asset purchases, successor liability, material exposure areas and post deal integration issues. We will highlight tax due diligence practical approaches including effective data requests, and analysis, management queries, and due diligence report formats.     

Arti Deliaj – Director, PwC
Nicholas Carey – Manager, PwC 
Mauricio Keene – Senior Director, Indirect Taxes, Salesforce


Technology Trends: What’s Next for Taxation?

If you want to understand what is next in taxation, the best place to look is at the applications, devices, hosting and network infrastructure under development. This session will peek around the corner of technology and help you make sense of the innovations, technologies and shifting business models that are driving the communications industry forward. Topics covered include cloud architectures, virtualized 5G network cores, autonomous robots/drones, IoT/industrial IoT, private 5G/enterprise networks, nanotechnology, meta/AR/VR platforms, emerging/embedded devices, and more.

Dr. Matthew Lucas – TeleStrategies
Joseph Greco – VP Tax, Verizon