Double Taxation: A Take On All Things Taxes

Understanding The New Tax Law: a Q&A With David Kirk, Former IRS Attorney Turned EY Tax Partner

If you make your living in the tax world, you know David Kirk, even if you don’t think you know David Kirk.

If you’ve ever applied for a late S corporation election, you know David Kirk. If you’ve ever computed a client’s liability for the net investment income tax, you know David Kirk. And if you’ve ever been wowed by the acting chops on the guy who played Captain Kirk in that Star Trek-themed training video the IRS put out, well then, you know David Kirk.

OK, I made that last one up. But David Kirk is still one impressive dude.

After earning his undergraduate degree at Syracuse, Kirk added a law degree (University of Pittsburgh) and LLM (Georgetown) to his resume before joining the IRS as an attorney with the Office of the Chief Counsel. Within Chief Counsel, Kirk landed with the Passthroughs and Special Industries division, where he specialized in the treatment of partnerships, S corporations, estates and trusts.

While with the IRS, Kirk worked tirelessly to make our lives easier. He authored Revenue Procedure 2013-30 – which offers late relief from a missed S corporation, QSub, or entity classification election — sparing advisors from many a rough conversation with clients.

Kirk’s magnum opus, however, was his work as the primary author of the regulations under Section 1411, the provision of the Affordable Care Act that imposes a 3.8% surtax on net investment income. At a time when practitioners were struggling to keep up with an abundance of new law – the repair regulations, the individual mandate, and the expiration of the Bush tax cuts, to name a few – Kirk’s proposed and final regulations under Section 1411 provided much needed guidance in a way advisors could understand and implement.

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Authored by Tony Nitti, Withum Partner and writer for Forbes.com.