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Deloitte "Understanding Communications Taxation" Pre-Conference Tutorial


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


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11:11 Systems
8x8
AERO Communications
Alianza
ALLO Communications
Altice
Amazon
AT&T
AT&T Services
ATN, International
Avalara
Bandwidth
BCM One
BDO USA
Brightspeed
Breezeline
CCH
Ceretax
Charter Communications
CLA (CliftonLarsonAllen)
Comcast
Compliance Solutions
Computer Services
Consumer Cellular
Correct Solutions
Cox
Crown Castle Fiber
Dean Tax Services
Deloitte
Dialpad
DISH Network
DXC Technologies
Electronic Tax Systems
Ernst & Young
Eversheds Sutherland
Five9
Fletcher, Heald & Hildreth
FORVIS
GCI Communication
Genesys Cloud Services
Google
Granite Telecommunications
IDI Billing Solutions
KPMG
Liberty Communications
Local Linx MA
LogicomUSA
Lumen
Maner Costerisan
Marashlian & Donahue
Mediacom Communications
Menlo
MetTel
Momentum Telecom
Moss Adams
Motorola Solutions
NEC Cloud Communications America
NECAM
Nelson Mullins
Nextiva
Nitel
Optical Communications Group
P&N
Peninsula Fiber Network
PHONE.COM
PricewaterhouseCoopers
RSM US
Ryan
Service Titan
SimSIP
Sinch
Smart City Telecom
Strandberg Strategy
Syringa Networks
T-Mobile
T-Mobile USA
TaxConnex
TEC
Telnyx
TELUS Communications
Tor Daley
TSI
Twilio
Uniti Fiber
US Cellular
Vertex
Windstream
WOW!
Ziply


 

CSI

Avalara CLA
PWCKPMGceretaxVertexDeloitte

Wolters Kluwer

Sutherland

EY

Ryan

DMA

CertifyTax



“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 2024

Tax Returns May 1-3, 2024 to Tampa at the The Westshore Grand Hotel

2024 Agenda Posted Below!
Over 25 sessions announced - with a few more pending.
Session times and additional speakers to be confirmed.

About Communications Taxation

For 24 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 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 last year's attending companies 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.

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 2024 Program Schedule

Wednesday May 1, 2024
  8:30AM - 12:30 PM Pre-conference Tutorial: Understanding Telecom Taxation
Presented by Deloitte
  1PM - 4:30 PM

Pre-conference Workshops (Concurrent):
Workshop 1: Understanding USF
Workshop 2: Understanding Generative AI Systems for Taxation
Workshop 3: Using Power BI and Alteryx to Manage Data

  6:00 - 8:00 PM Conference Reception
Thursday May 2, 2024
  7:30 AM Registration and Exhibits Open, Breakfast
  8:15AM - 12 noon Conference Keynotes and Morning Panels
  12 noon Sponsored Lunch
  1:15 - 4:45 Conference Sessions (panels, breakouts)
  4:45PM Cocktail Reception
  8:00 PM Tax Party (TBD)
Friday May 3, 2024
  7:15 AM Registration and Exhibits Open, Breakfast
  8:00AM - 12 PM Conference Sessions (panels, breakouts)
  12 noon (sharp) Conference Concludes - safe travels home

Wednesday -- May 1, 2024
Pre-conference Tutorial and Workshops






CSI

Thursday, Friday -- May 2-3, 2024
Conference Sessions


Dr. Matthew Lucas -- TeleStrategies, Conference Chair

Two Decades of Regulatory Evolution: The Pulver Order’s Monumental Impact on VoIP and other Enhanced and Emerging Communications Technologies

20 years ago the Pulver Order revolutionized VoIP and triggered a ripple effect across the communications industry. This keynote will shed light on the technological advancements and regulatory transformations catalyzed by this landmark decision as well as how the order paved the way for the emergence of data-driven entities, fundamentally altering the landscape for applications and software-as-a-service (SaaS) platforms.

The speakers will also cover recent, nuanced reintroduction of regulations -- examining their implications not only for VoIP but also for a diverse array of advanced communication technologies and services. By offering insights into future regulatory landscapes, the speakers aim to equip stakeholders across various sectors with the knowledge necessary to navigate potential challenges and seize emerging opportunities.

Jeff Pulver - VoIP Pioneer & Disruptor, Co-Founder at Vonage, Founder at pulver.com and VON:Evolution

Jonathan Marashlian - Managing Partner, Marashlian & Donahue, PLLC, The CommLaw Group


Tax Department of the Future

This keynote will illuminate the path forward for tax departments, navigating the nexus of legislative and regulatory shifts, data complexities, and technological advancements. We delve into the pivotal role of data, process optimization, and technology integration in streamlining compliance amidst evolving regulatory landscapes. Additionally, we address the importance of proactive audit readiness and effective controversy management strategies, empowering tax departments to adapt, innovate, and thrive in an environment marked by rapid change and heightened scrutiny. By embracing agility, data-driven decision-making, and proactive risk management, we outline a road map for tax departments to evolve into strategic partners driving business growth and resilience in the digital age.

Jamie Brenner - Partner, PWC
Other PwC and Industry subject matter specialists



SALT Communications Industry Tax Considerations in 2024

What questions are communications industry tax professionals spending most of their time reviewing today?   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.  While technologies are evolving, and services and the way those services are offered are constantly changing, many of the questions stay the same: How is the service sourced?  What are the identifiable service components?  What unbundling rules and laws might apply?  We will also discuss the other state and local tax questions industry tax professionals are currently focused on.

Jeremy Blocher – Partner, KPMG
Audra Mitchell
 – Managing Director, KPMG 
Scott Adams – AVP Tax, AT&T
Curtis Carter – Manager, US Communication Tax, Google
Kathy Makas – Tax Director, Lumen


Leading practices in controversy: Let’s get tactical in reviewing changes in law, administration, and tax agencies approach to refund claims and audit reviews

Every business with sales and use tax obligations will eventually find itself in an overpayment or audit situation. Securing that refund or minimizing assessments — can present unique and state-specific challenges. During this session, we will review and discuss the common compliance errors, legislative changes leading to ripe opportunities or risks, how taxpayers are leveraging Artificial Intelligence (AI) on large data sets, and leading practices for dealing with state revenue agencies. 

Natalie Haynes – EY Partner
Rachel Quintana  EY Partner


State Tax Litigation Update

This session will provide an update on key litigation and controversies involving the taxation of telecommunications services, including the application of telecommunications taxes to hardware and software, court interpretations of the limitations of the Internet Tax Freedom Act and the unbundling of taxable and nontaxable products and services. 

Eric Tresh – Eversheds Sutherland
Liz Cha – Eversheds Sutherland


Generative AI: A Year After ChatGPT Shook the World

This presentation will delve into the transformative role of generative AI in the field of tax. We will explore the significant developments over the past year, highlighting how these advancements have streamlined various accounting processes. The discussion will also address potential pitfalls and provide strategies to avoid them, ensuring a smooth integration of AI tools in your daily operations. Looking ahead, we will speculate on the future potential of generative AI within tax, focusing on upcoming trends and technologies. Finally, we will examine real-world use cases, demonstrating the practical applications and benefits of generative AI in the tax sector. Join us as we navigate the exciting intersection of artificial intelligence and tax.

Eric Schaefer Practice Lead, Technology & Communications, Ceretax


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
Kristin Hoover CPA - Chief Operating Officer, Compliance Solutions, Inc


In Local Taxation – The Stream is Strong

Across the country, localities and states are taking aggressive positions on taxation of streaming and digital services.  Led by for-hire audit and law firms, these jurisdictions are seeing dollars. But what about taxpayer fairness, due process, and prescribed administrative processes? This panel will explore the landscape across the US related to these streaming and digital issues and the impacts on your business.  

Dustin Davis – Principal, Ryan 
Tod Matthiessen – Ryan 
Invited Industry Speakers


Organizing Total Taxes for Telecom

Are you challenged to organize your tax function to cover all areas of tax and maintain proper controls?  We will be discussing some of the best practices for aligning a tax function with a telecom company’s total tax profile.  This will include an overview of the data sources that are commonly use, a discussion of what can go wrong within a tax function, and control principles to help mitigate risk and result in a high-performing tax function.

Jerry Bregg - Principal, CLA
Industry panelists


Generative AI versus Machine Learning. Is There a Place for Both?

KPMG explores the differences around Generative AI and Machine Learning and how each technology fits within a Communications company’s indirect tax practice. Investigate the relevant indirect tax use cases for both ML and GenAI.  KPMG will demonstrate how machine learning can be leveraged during the use tax accrual review process. KPMG will also discuss uses of “Prompt Engineer” techniques and how to apply these techniques with use cases in Controversy, Planning, and Compliance. 

Steve Vitale – Managing Director, KPMG
Andrew Steinhaus – Senior Manager, KPMG


Compliance Best Practices – Deep Dive Q & A 

The Communications industry is a dynamic, ever-changing world of possibilities. Carriers want to offer their clients the latest solutions and superior service while growing their bottom line. But what about regulatory rules and tax obligations? Do they fall on you or your clients? How do you establish a tax policy that’s optimized and defensible in an audit?  Questions are many and the answers may be fuzzy.

David Rubenstein – Senior Tax Specialist - Telecommunications, CCH
Invited Guests


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.  

Kathy Saxton Multistate Tax Service, Deloitte Tax LLP
Invited Guests


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


Lifecycle of Billing System/Tax Engine Implementation

Billing and tax system implementations are very involved and can take a life of their own.  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 and it is critical that the tax professional is engaged throughout the lifecyle. 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.


Data, Technology & AI in Telecom Compliance

In this session we delve into the intricate landscape of state and local indirect tax compliance, focusing on the challenges faced by traditional telecommunications, cloud communications, and technology companies. With a spotlight on compliance data lifecycle, we explore the complexities of managing and interpreting data sourced from billing systems, tax engine systems and other financial data systems to ensure accurate reporting and adherence to complaince frameworks. By leveraging cutting-edge technologies like AI, we navigate the evolving indirect tax and regulatory landscape, offering insights and strategies to optimize compliance processes and mitigate risks in an increasingly dynamic industry where the tax departments are asked to do way more with way less resources.

Frank Giovannone - Senior Manager, PWC
Nausher Hoodbhoy - Partner, PwC
Industry panelists


Sitting on the Fence: Is it SaaS? Information Service? Telecommunications Service?

Understanding the tax and regulatory implications of your technology solution can be challenging at best. These technology solutions often straddle the fence as to whether they are regulated or not, and whether they are taxable or not. The key is to unpack exactly what the solution does and how it does it. Does it replace an existing telecommunications service? Is it involved in call routing? Does the service touch the PSTN? Answers to these questions are key to ensure compliance on all fronts. This session digs in to the complexities and nuances facing companies who provide technology solutions that straddle the regulatory and tax fence, specifically:

Jonathan Marashlian – The CommLaw Group, Managing Partner
Robert Dumas – TaxConnex, Managing Partner


Navigating the Indirect Tax Terrain: Compliance and Registration in the Telecommunications Industry

In an ever-evolving telecommunications landscape, understanding the nuances of transaction taxes, property taxes, and business license taxes is paramount. Join us for an enlightening session, where we'll delve into the complexities of these tax considerations. We'll discuss how to navigate the registration process, ensure compliance, and avoid potential pitfalls. Whether you're a seasoned professional or new to the industry, this session will provide you with valuable insights and practical strategies to effectively manage your tax obligations.

Sue Caputo Managing Director, KPMG
Tess Onderick – Managing Director, KPMG
Kim Wick – Principal, KPMG


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


Advanced Technologies and How AI is Changing the Practice of State & Local Tax

This session will cover the key trends and issues tax departments are facing related to advanced tax technologies including a primer on new technologies and relevant terminology. The session will also include a discussion regarding common use cases, management of competing tools within organizations, and developing the next innovative use. 

Rudy Blahnik - EY Managing Director
Natalie Haynes- EY Partner


Old and New Frontiers: Gross Receipts Taxes, New Taxes/Fees and Legislative Trends

Gross receipts taxes are making a dangerous come-back at the state level. Additionally, states and local governments are considering/enacting new taxes and fees applicable to the communications industry (think 988 fees, Colorado delivery fees, digital ad/data taxes, etc.). This session will include a discussion of the complexities associated with the proper application of those taxes and highlight related issues and controversies

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


Telecommunications Taxation Top Ten Developments and Rulings

This breakout discussion will focus on the latest trends and state developments throughout the last year. Keep up to date with how states are approaching nexus, trying to expand their tax bases, and continuously stretch the meanings of their statutes and regulations.

Liz Bopp - Managing Director - PwC
Industry panelists


Telecom Taxes Practical Issues in M&A Deals

As 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 – Partner, PwC
Nicholas Carey – Manager, PwC 
Industry panelists


Purchase Agreement Pitfalls and How to Avoid Them

This session will address common telecommunications tax issues that arise during transactions and how the transaction’s purchase agreement can either help avoid or exacerbate those issues. It may not be hard to find standard contract language to drop into a purchase agreement, but if both parties to the agreement do not understand how that language impacts their obligations regarding who will pay telecommunications taxes, it can cause significant post-closing conflict between the buyer and seller. Understanding the ins and outs of your purchase agreement will help you plan strategically and allow for a smooth transition from seller to buyer.

Seth L. Williams - Member, Fletcher, Heald & Hildreth, PLC


ASC450 Exposures & Remediation

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.

Justin Harrison - Senior Manager, PwC
Industry panelists