IRS Gets a New Soldier in War Against Tax Shelters

Nicholas J. DeNovio, a former PwC partner from the National Tax Office in Washington, D.C., has joined the IRS staff to help sniff out and eradicate abusive tax shelters.

Part of Mr. DeNovio's role will be to coordinate the anti-tax shelter efforts of many departments of the IRS. His investigatory responsibilities will include gathering data from audits, taxpayer disclosures, and tax shelter documents to quickly identify shelters that the agency may challenge. This will help the public understand more quickly which shelters are questionable, and will better direct the energies of other IRS agents who might otherwise waste time chasing down and questioning information about legitimate shelters.

Mr. DeNovio has a background in international tax issues, providing him with specific skills and experience needed to address offshore tax haven abuses. He practiced law at Baker & McKenzie in Miami throughout the 1990s prior to joining PricewaterhouseCoopers in May 1999.

The recent crackdown on abusive tax shelters has added an extra layer of uncertainty to the fast changing world of what is considered an appropriate service for a CPA firm to perform for its clients. Many larger firms packaged and sold these tax shelters, and when the IRS started disallowing them, unhappy clients began hiring lawyers and are now going after the CPA firms who sold them the packages.

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