The tax law firm Burt, Staples & Maner LLP has joined Ernst & Young as the accounting firm expands its international tax practice.

BSM managing partner John Staples and his team of professionals have joined the Big Four firm, EY announced Thursday. Staples and his Washington, D.C.-based law firm focus on information reporting and withholding, or IRW, and are joining EY’s global network of professionals who focus on international corporate tax reporting. Staples will become EY’s global IRW markets leader.

“John Staples and his team at BSM are widely recognized as leaders in information reporting and withholding,” said EY Americas vice chair of tax services Kate Barton in a statement. “Staying current on global withholding tax developments and what it means to the overall business is critically important—today more than ever. The addition of this group and the appointment of John Staples as EY global IRW markets leader is part of EY’s ongoing commitment to investing heavily in our global tax reporting services so we can help our clients address complex reporting issues wherever they operate.”

Staples noted that IRW has become an increasingly complex area with the worldwide implementation of the U.S. Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, or FATCA, regime through country specific intergovernmental agreements, the overhaul of the U.S. withholding and reporting rules that apply to U.S. source payments to non-U.S. persons, and the rapid evolution of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development’s Common Reporting Standard and its automatic exchange of information requirements. Monitoring the global implementation of FATCA and the Common Reporting Standard and identifying in-country variations has become critical for businesses and individuals to remain compliant with increasingly complex withholding and reporting requirements, EY noted.

Staples has been a partner at BSM for 13 years, focused primarily on IRW. His clients include major financial institutions, multinational corporations headquartered in the United States and Europe, banking and business associations, foreign governments, and high net worth individuals. Previously, Staples spent eight years with the Internal Revenue Service, holding a variety of high level executive positions including Associate Chief Council (International) and Assistant to Commissioner Margaret Milner Richardson.

“By joining EY, the former BSM professionals together with EY’s IRW team will be able to deliver a suite of globally integrated IRW services that are not available anywhere else in the marketplace,” said Staples, now a principal in the Financial Services Organization of Ernst & Young LLP. “There is no one-size-fits-all reporting and compliance solution, but we have the global capabilities, knowledge, technology and resources to help organizations navigate the tax reporting challenges, whether large or small, that they may face anywhere in the world.”

In addition to John Staples, the following individuals have joined EY from BSM:

• Philip Garlett joined BSM in 2006 from the IRS, where he rose to special counsel to the deputy associate chief counsel (Strategic International Programs) and the Deputy Associate Chief Counsel (International Field Service and Litigation) in the Office of Associate Chief Counsel (International). He was a key drafter of the U.S. withholding and information reporting regulations, as well as the qualified intermediary agreement. From 2001 to 2005, Garlett headed the Harmful Tax Practices Unit at the OECD in Paris.

• Jonathan Jackel has been an advocate for government and private clients, litigating tax cases and planning international financial structures. His expertise includes the implementation of cost basis reporting issues for debt instruments, options, wash sales, short sales, and securities lending. He has advised on FATCA compliance for both domestic and foreign clients and helps financial institutions and individual clients with foreign bank account reporting, or FBAR, issues, including disclosures of past noncompliance to the IRS. Jackel writes the "Eye on FATCA" column for Tax Notes International.

• Forbes Maner has been a partner with BSM since its founding. He has focused primarily on controversy issues, including tax audits and litigation. He has handled tax and non-tax controversies since 1978, with approximately half of his experience on tax cases. His experience includes oil and gas pricing cases, environmental compliance cases, and Freedom of Information Act issues in state and federal agencies and courts.

• Evan Wamsley joined BSM in 2010. He advises foreign and domestic clients on a variety of withholding tax and international tax matters, particularly FATCA implementation. Previously, he spent eight years with Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP.

In addition to the above, Dan Burt will be engaged as a consultant. He previously served as attorney-advisor to the International Tax Counsel to the U.S. Treasury and then to the Under Secretary of the Treasury for International Tax. He supervised the development of legislation, regulations and IRS revenue rulings and negotiated on behalf of the U.S. with foreign tax authorities. He advises clients on complex international tax issues.

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