Reminder:  Attorneys may obtain CLE credit for authoring published articles.  To request CLE credit use Colorado Supreme Court Board of Continuing Legal and Judicial Education Form 6, which is available at: Anyone interested in publishing an article in this newsletter may contact Michelle McCarthy of Gantenbein Law Firm, LLC at 720-722-0187 or



The Tax Section of the Colorado Bar Association

Cordially Invites You to a Luncheon Presentation:

Marijuana Taxation Update

On Wednesday, May 10, 2017 Jennifer Benda of the Denver law firm Fox Rothschild LLC will present an overview on Federal taxation of marijuana and a discussion of IRS enforcement issues for marijuana companies.  This presentation will focus on IRS enforcement trends, recent litigation involving section 280E, administrative guidance, legislative proposals, strategies for defending audits and strategies for tax court petitions in front of the U.S. Tax Court.

Wednesday, May 10th, 2017, 12:00 p.m.

At:  Davis, Graham & Stubbs, LLP

1550 17th Street, Suite 500

Denver, Colorado


$15.00 – Tax Section Member, Registered attendance with lunch

$20.00 – Non-Section Members with lunch

$10.00 – Phone-ins

Submitted for 1 general CLE credit 


Please RSVP by emailing  You may also RSVP online at


The Colorado Bar Association cordially invites you to a luncheon presentation:


Sponsored by the Colorado Bar Association’s Tax, Real Estate, Trust and Estates, and Business Law Sections

Wednesday, June 14th, 2017, 12:00 p.m.

 At:  The Brown Palace

321 17th Street, Denver, Colorado 80203


$30 – Tax, Real Estate, Business, Trust, and Estate Section Member (registered with lunch)

$35 – Non-Section Members (registered with lunch)

$20 – Call-in participants

$20 – Registered attendance (without lunch)


Trevor Crow (Business Section) advises closely-held entities through the whole business life cycle, including entity selection, formation, equity and debt financing transactions, acquisitions and the eventual transfer or sale of the business.

Michelle McCarthy (Tax Section) is a leading tax and business attorney with Gantenbein Law Firm. Ms. McCarthy is the Legislative Policy Committee liaison for the Tax Law Section of the Colorado Bar Association.  Ms. McCarthy is a well-known and published author on taxation and business, including several legal and scholarly articles regarding the taxation of marijuana in Colorado and sales and use tax issues in Colorado. Ms. McCarthy has provided House and Senate testimony in support or opposition of Colorado taxation issues, and presenting legislative updates for Colorado lawyers. 

Kristin Decker (Real Estate) is an attorney with Moye White.  Ms. Decker’s practice focuses on land planning, zoning, real estate, and land use related issues, as well as local government law.  Ms. Decker frequently teaches CLE courses on land use, real estate, and mineral interests.

Patrick Thiessen (Trust and Estates) Prior to joining Poskus, Caton & Klein, P.C., Mr. Thiessen clerked for the Honorable Dennis A. Graham and the Honorable Jerry N. Jones of the Colorado Court of Appeals. He is admitted to practice law in the State of Colorado and is a member of the Trust and Estate section of the Colorado Bar Association.

2 CLE general credits 

Please RSVP by e-mailing . You may also RSVP online at
Be sure to log onto the website before registering. Please RSVP by Noon, Monday, June 5, 2017. No shows and cancellations received after noon on Monday, June 5, 2017, will be invoiced for the cost of the program. 

You may participate in this luncheon by telephone. Please indicate when registering that you would like to participate by phone if you wish to do so. The day before the program, we will e-mail the materials as well as the call-in number to registered call-in participants.



                        The United States Tax Court will hold a regular case calendar session in Denver at 10:00 a.m. on Monday, September 11, 2017.  Tax attorneys are invited to volunteer their assistance for a few hours on this date.  Attorneys interested in helping Pro Se taxpayers with docketed U.S. Tax Court cases can appear at 10:00 a.m. in Room C502 of the Byron G. Rogers U.S. Courthouse, 1929 Stout Street, Denver, CO 80294.  Program guidelines are available on the internet at  Anyone wishing to volunteer should immediately contact Olena Ruth of the Merriam Law Firm, P.C. at or (303) 592-5404 or David Sprecace of David A. Sprecace, P.C. at or (303) 454-8260, for additional information.



                        Are you currently writing an article or outline regarding tax issues? Would you like some assistance with your writing or research? The Law School Outreach Committee of the Tax Section may be able to pair you with a current law student from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law or the University of Colorado School of Law to assist with your research and writing. The committee is focused on exposing current law and graduate tax students to the field of tax law through work with local practitioners. For additional information please contact Michelle McCarthy of Gantenbein Law Firm at


The CBA Tax Section has introduced the first ever tax-focused List Serve for section members. To access and subscribe to the List Serve, please register at the Colorado Bar Association Tax Section website Similar List Serves have been well received and utilized by other CBA sections. The Tax Section hopes that the List Serve will provide a platform for members to solicit informal advice and input from their professional peers. Should you have any questions regarding the list serve, please feel free to contact David Sprecace of David A. Sprecace, P.C. at or 303-454-8260.


What is the Colorado Department of Revenue Discovery Section?

By Klaralee Charlton[1]


                        On January 31, 2017, the CBA Tax Section hosted its annual Stakeholder Meeting with the Colorado Department of Revenue (“Department”). This year, Samwel “Sammy” Khakame, the new Manager of the Department’s Discovery Section (“Section”), presented an overview of the Section’s responsibilities and how practitioners can best interact with the Section.

                        For those unfamiliar with the Section, it is responsible for back-end assessments based on data from third parties such as the IRS, College Invest, the FAA, and the Department of Labor. The Section is divided into teams which focus on topics including under-reporters, non-filers, fraud, and sales and withholding.  For under-reporters and non-filers, the Section primarily compares IRS data to Colorado taxpayers’ accounts. When deficiencies are identified or the Section believes a return should have been filed, letters are mailed to the taxpayer requesting payment of the alleged deficiency or documentation supporting the taxpayer’s original position.  Similar letters are mailed when employers’ withholding records do not match a taxpayer’s income tax return.

                        Sammy reports that most taxpayers’ frustration with the Section comes from the fact that deficiency letters are sent two or three years after the end of the tax year to which the letter relates. This delay is caused primarily by the fact that the third-party data on which the Section relies is not provided to the Section for 12 to 18 months after the end of the tax year. Therefore, it is important for taxpayers to maintain adequate records to support any position taken on a return so that they can adequately respond to these inquiry letters.

                        Taxpayers and practitioners should respond promptly to inquiry letters. Many issues can be easily resolved by submitting documentation substantiating deductions or reporting withholdings. The Section’s dedicated team of telephone operators can resolve issues telephonically when supporting documents are uploaded to the Section’s GenTax system.

                        This tax season, the Section is devoting additional resources to fraud prevention. Taxpayers will experience delays for refunds. Many electronic deposits will be converted to paper refund checks when the Section suspects fraudulent returns. While these efforts may frustrate legitimate filers, the Section believes it must take certain actions to prevent tax dollars from misappropriation.

                        It was evident from Sammy’s presentation that he genuinely cares about the Section’s performance. He encouraged practitioners at the meeting to reach out to him or the Section with suggestions for improvement or, in Sammy’s words, issues they find “egregious.

                        The annual Stakeholder Meetings are a great opportunity to meet the faces behind the various sections of the Department. Attendees report having used connections from prior meetings to resolve tax issues that were too complex for Department employees. All Tax Section members are encouraged to attend these annual meetings. The next Stakeholder Meeting will be held in the Fall.


[1] Mrs. Charlton is a tax, trust and estate, and business attorney with Katz, Look, and Onorato.  Mrs. Charlton has written and lectured on topics including fiduciary income tax reporting and U.S. regulations governing the valuation of small family businesses. 


Current Officers and Committee Members of the Colorado Bar Association Tax Section Executive Council

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