IRS to Host Six Practitioner Forums: The Internal Revenue Service is hosting six, three-day Nationwide Tax Forums to educate the tax practitioner community.

The forums, now in their 13th year, have been completely revamped with more advanced seminar topics and a greater number of seminars on tax law than previous forums offered. Approximately 15,000 tax professionals attended last year’s forums.

Scheduled for this year are advanced seminars on abusive schemes, tax shelters, basis determinations, alternative dispute resolution options, tax credits, retirement plans, compliance initiatives and other issues. There are also seminars on 2003 income tax law changes, electronic filing, Earned Income Tax Credit hot topics, becoming an enrolled agent and applying for tax-exempt status.

The IRS’s monthly Web cast program, Tax Talk Today, will present “Everything’s Electronic” via a live downlink to the Atlantic City tax forum, and forum attendees will be able to pose questions to the show’s panelists.

The National Association of Enrolled Agents, the National Association of Tax Professionals, the National Society of Accountants and the National Society of Tax Professionals will all present seminars at the upcoming forums.

The dates and locations of this year’s six forums are:

● July 8-10 in Atlantic City, N.J.

● July 22-24 in Orlando, Fla.

● August 5-7 in Atlanta.

● August 19-21 in St. Louis.

● September 2-4 in San Antonio.

● September 16-18 in Las Vegas.

Prospective attendees can visit the Tax Professionals page on the Web site, or call Public Affairs International at (301) 593-0200.

Snowe, Voinovich, Hold Swing Votes on Bush Tax Plan: Republican Senators Olympia Snowe, of Maine, and George Voinovich, of Ohio, hold the critical swing votes on President George W. Bush’s $550 billion tax cut.

The lawmakers stated that they could not stand behind a tax cut higher than $350 billion, noting that economists have forecast a deficit of $425 billion this year in addition to the added $79 billion price tag for the war in Iraq.

However, organizations that back Bush’s plan are stepping up the pressure on moderate Republicans. The Tax Relief Coalition, a tax-cut advocacy group, urged its membership to call lawmakers’ offices to urge them to support Bush’s plan.

Another group, the Club for Growth, a pro-tax-cut political action committee, is spending roughly $100,000 on a series of TV ads in the senators’ home states of Ohio and Maine.

Congress returned from its recess on April 28.

House Okays Alternative Fuel Bill: The House voted 247 to 175 in mid-April to approve an energy policy bill that includes some $18.7 billion in tax incentives for energy conservation and the production of traditional and alternative fuels.

The bill, HR 6, would provide $6.7 billion in conservation provisions, $5.7 billion in reliability provisions and $6.4 billion in production provisions, according to estimates from the Joint Committee on Taxation.

Bush Urges Senate to Confirm Everson: President George W. Bush reiterated his call to the Senate to confirm Mark Everson as commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service.

Everson’s nomination to succeed the now-departed Charles Rossotti as IRS chief has been approved by the Senate Finance Committee, but must go before a full Senate vote.

Reflecting the president’s position, White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said, “The IRS needs to be an important part of the corporate accountability effort to restore confidence in American business. This requires a commissioner in place to direct the activities of this agency.”

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