Daily Tax Update - January 4, 2007

STEPTOE & JOHNSON LLP OPENS CHICAGO OFFICE: On January 1st, Steptoe & Johnson LLP announced it opened a Chicago office. Nine partners whose practices focus on commercial, insurance, and reinsurance litigation will join Steptoe from Gardner Carton & Douglas’ Chicago office. Together with recent additions in DC and in a new Steptoe office in Century City, this group represents a further step toward the firm’s goal of expanding its national litigation footprint. The group joining from Gardner Carton will total 15 to 20 staff and attorneys.

  • Roger Warin, Chairman of Steptoe & Johnson LLP said, "With the addition of this group we will have instant critical mass in Chicago, enhancing our national litigation practice. The opening up of a Chicago office with such a fine group of lawyers will also enable us to serve better those clients doing business in Chicago and litigating in the Mid-West."
  • Additional information can be accessed via: http://www.steptoe.com/news-274.html

110th CONGRESS CONVENES: Today, the 110th Congress convened under the leadership of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV).  Yesterday, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) unveiled the first 100 hours of the new session which he called the “Six for '06" agenda.  The "Six for '06" agenda includes priorities such as ethics and lobbying reform, increasing the minimum wage, and repealing tax breaks for oil companies.  Hoyer said, “What we want to do in the first 100 hours is do exactly what we promised the American people that we would do and that we debated over the last six months ... taking America in a new direction.”

The House calendar for the first 100 hours includes:
January 9 - Implement the 9/11 Commission Recommendations
January 10 - Increase the Minimum Wage
January 11 - Expand Stem Cell Research
January 12 - Allow Negotiation for Lower Prescription Drug Costs
January 17 - Cut Interest Rates on Student Loans
January 18 - End Subsidies for Big Oil and Invest in Renewable Energy

IRS KICKS OFF 2007 FILING SEASON: Today, the IRS announced that it will send out 17 million Form 1040 tax packages for 2006 to taxpayers who have previously filed paper returns. Changes this year include procedures for requesting the telephone excise tax refund, new refund deposit features and recently enacted tax breaks.

  • IRS Commissioner Mark Everson said, "Taxpayers will have a number of tax benefits and features available this year. We encourage taxpayers to take a few minutes to review these changes, particularly those involving the recently enacted tax law provisions. The IRS will do everything it can to minimize the impact on taxpayers."
  • Additional information can be accessed via: http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=165667,00.html

INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE - CIRCULAR 230 DISCLOSURE:
As provided for in Treasury regulations, advice (if any) relating to federal taxes that is contained in this communication (including attachments) is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of (1) avoiding penalties under the Internal Revenue Code or (2) promoting, marketing or recommending to another party any plan or arrangement addressed herein.

STEPTOE & JOHNSON LLP - TAX PRACTICE
Steptoe & Johnson LLP has one of the largest and most diverse law firm tax practices in the country. The practice covers the entire spectrum of federal taxation, including representation of businesses before the Congress, Treasury and the national office of the IRS; transactional planning for domestic and multinational corporations; complex audit and controversy work for corporations and other business interests contesting IRS adjustments; litigation before the Tax Court, Court of Federal Claims, district courts, courts of appeals and the Supreme Court. The firm's tax practice also encompasses all aspects of employee benefits (ERISA), executive compensation, tax-exempt organizations and charitable giving. Steptoe has an extensive state and local tax practice, representing an array of business clients on complex sales and use tax, corporate income tax and property tax matters, both advising those clients and handling audits, administrative appeals, and litigation for them. Read more information on Steptoe's tax practice.