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Summer 2014

In this issue: View PDF Summer 2014

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. Anyone interested in publishing an article in this newsletter can contact contact Justin Mills of Robinson, Diss & Clowdus, P.C. at 303-861-4154 or

CBA Tax Section Topical Luncheon

2014 Annual Legislative Update Luncheon

Norm Wright, N H Wright & Associates LLC Tax Section
Daniel Sweetser, The Sweetser Law Firm PC Real Estate Section
Aaron Evans, Benson & Case LLP Trust and Estate Section
Sarah Steinbeck, Holland & Hart Business Law Section

Wednesday, June 11, 2014
The Warwick Hotel
1776 Grant St, Denver

Cost: $30.00 (Members of the aforementioned host Sections);
$35.00 (Non-Members); $20.00 (Call-Ins)*

Submitted for 2 general CLE credits

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 cost for one person to participate by telephone is $20.00. If more than one person participates through the same registered telephone line, the cost is $5.00 more for each additional person participating through the registered telephone line (e.g. three participants listening together in a conference room voluntarily pay $30.00—$20.00 for the first person and $5.00 for each of the other two).

Please RSVP by e-mailing and specify if you would like a vegetarian lunch. You may also RSVP by sending a sending check (including your name) to the Colorado Bar Association Tax Section, 1900 Grant Street, Suite 900, Denver, CO 80203. If you send a check, please also register via phone or email.

Notice of Pro Bono Opportunity

Volunteer at the U.S. Tax Court Docket Call—Dec. 1, 2014

The U.S. Tax Court will hold the next Denver sessions at 9:30 a.m. on Monday, Dec. 1. Tax attorneys are invited to volunteer their assistance for a few hours on any of these dates. Attorneys interested in helping Pro Se taxpayers with docketed U.S. Tax Court cases should appear at 9:30 a.m. in Room C502 of the Byron G. Rogers U.S. Courthouse, 1929 Stout Street, Denver, CO 80294. Program guidelines are available online. Anyone wishing to volunteer should contact Tyler Murray of Gantenbein Law Firm at (720) 432-5619 or for more information.

Tax Section Executive Council News

Looking for Assistance with a Tax Article?

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 Edward Dale Parrish LLC at

2014 James E. Bye Lifetime Achievement Award Winner Announcement

The James E. Bye Lifetime Achievement Award is presented annually to a Colorado attorney who has adhered to the highest principles and traditions of the legal profession in the practice of tax law and who has distinguished himself or herself in areas such as the practice of tax law in the State of Colorado, the improvement of the quality of tax law, legal education, service to the Tax Bar and community involvement. The award is named after James Edward Bye, former partner of the Denver law firm, Holme, Roberts and Owen (now Bryan Cave).

Past winners of this prestigious award include:

Professor Mark A. Vogel
Robert S. Rich
Hon. Robert A. Wherry, Jr.
John R. Maxfield
Joseph H. Thibodeau

The Executive Council of the Colorado Bar Association Tax Section is pleased to announce that the 2014 James E. Bye Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented to Theodore Z. Gelt. In his 39 years of private practice, Mr. Gelt has established himself as an authority on property, transactional and corporate tax matters, and as one of the leading tax practitioners in the Rocky Mountain region. His commitment and enthusiasm for the field of tax law has had an indelible impact on not only the clients he serves, but tax practitioners throughout the State.

Mr. Gelt graduated from the University of Colorado-Boulder in 1972 and earned his J.D. from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law in 1975. After completing his LL.M. in Taxation at New York University in 1976, Mr. Gelt returned to Denver to commence the private practice that continues today. Mr. Gelt currently practices with the Denver office of Baker and Hostetler, LLP.

Mr. Gelt has dedicated the majority of his adult life to understanding and applying our complex body of tax laws and helping other attorneys understand the intricacies of these laws and how they function. A prolific author, Mr. Gelt has contributed to numerous books, published a plethora of articles and authored various continuing professional education manuals on a broad range of tax topics.

Practitioners perhaps know Mr. Gelt best from his extensive teaching and lecturing career. Mr. Gelt has served as an assistant and adjunct faculty member at the University of Denver Graduate Tax Program since 1976. His colleagues in practice proclaim that “Ted Gelt was born to teach.” In addition to his work through the University of Denver, Mr. Gelt has taught numerous continuing legal and professional education classes throughout the country. His enthusiasm for teaching and his deep and thorough understanding of the tax law have combined to produce a brilliant instructor and wonderful resource for the Colorado tax community.

Mr. Gelt is a long-time member of the prestigious American College of Tax Counsel and the Denver Estate Planning Council. He served on the Partnership Committee of the American Bar Association Tax Section and the Tax Section of the Colorado Bar Association as Secretary, Treasurer, Vice Chairman and later Chairman. The University of Denver Sturm College of Law awarded Mr. Gelt the 2014 Thomas G. Marsh Award. In addition, he has been listed as a Colorado Super Lawyer since 2006 and in Best Lawyers in America since 1989. Mr. Gelt received the Denver Best Lawyers Litigation & Controversy/Tax–Lawyer of the Year award in 2013.

With his extensive practice experience and contributions to the local tax community, Ted Gelt epitomizes a James E. Bye Lifetime Achievement Award winner.

About James E. Bye

James E. Bye relocated to Denver, Colorado in 1954 after graduating from Harvard Law School. In Denver he commenced an illustrious 53 year career as one of the region’s leading tax attorneys and the face of one of the community’s oldest and most respected law firms. Mr. Bye was recognized as a practitioner of the highest order, an individual of uncompromised integrity, a strong advocate for the legal profession and a champion of civic and community involvement. During his career Mr. Bye taught at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law, helped establish Denver’s 2% Club and received numerous awards for his many professional and civic achievements, including the Alexis de Tocqueville Award, the Volunteers of America Distinguished Service to Humanity Award and the Colorado Bar Association William Funk Award for Building Community. The Colorado Bar Association Tax Section founded the James E. Bye Lifetime Achievement Award in 2008 in memory of his many professional and civic achievements and contributions.

2014–15 Tax Section Executive Council Slate Announced

The Tax Section is pleased to announce that the 2014-2015 Executive Council slate has been elected. Beginning July 1, 2014 the Executive Council will be lead by the following:


Peter Rose


Tyler Murray


Doug Becker


Trevor Crow

Members: Leia Ursery, Georgine Kryda, Justin Mills, David Sprecace, Klaralee Charlton, Jennifer Benda, and Greg Berger.

Featured Article: Retail and Excise Tax on Marijuana: Where the Money is Generated and Where it Goes
By Michelle McCarthy1

The recent legalization of marijuana in the state of Colorado has spawned an entirely new set of state-level rules and regulations. These rules include a new system for taxing the production and retail sale of marijuana products. The following describes the fundamental structure of the taxation of marijuana in Colorado and the contemplated use of the revenue generated by these taxes. Read Article

1 Michelle McCarthy practices tax law at Edward Dale Parrish LLC and is the chair of the Law School Outreach Committee of the Tax Law Section of the Colorado Bar Association.

Featured Article: “Currency” as Property: The IRS’ Initial Reaction to Bitcoin and Virtual Currency
By Justin L. Mills1

In March of this year, the Internal Revenue Service offered up its first piece of administrative guidance on the tax treatment of convertible virtual currencies such as Bitcoin (“virtual currencies”). Virtual currencies are digital representations of value that function as a medium of exchange, a unit of account and/or a store of value. It does not, however, have legal tender status in any jurisdiction. In the case of Bitcoin, it enters circulation through “mining.” Once in circulation it is exchanged for goods and services and purchased. Successful mining entails individuals solving complex mathematical equations with advance computer software, in exchange for newly-minted “coins.” Read Article

1 Justin Mills is a partner with the Denver law firm of Robinson, Diss and Clowdus, P.C. He may be reached at

Will the Breeding of California Chrome be a Passive Activity?
By Justin L. Mills1

This last Saturday, Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes winner California Chrome failed in his attempt to become the twelfth winner of horse racing’s Triple Crown. Even without a Belmont Stakes victory, California Chrome has been exceptionally profitable at the track and a pleasant surprise to the wallets of his breeders and owners, Steve Coburn and Perry Martin. The pair purchased the mother of California Chrome for $8,000 after she retired from racing with one win in six lifetime starts. They bred her to Lucky Pulpit who stood at stud for the modest price of $2,500. Thoroughbred breeders with more typical fates must concern themselves with losses from breeding activities and the various Internal Revenue Code limitations on the deductibility of these losses. Read Article.

1 Justin Mills is a partner with the Denver law firm of Robinson, Diss and Clowdus, P.C. He may be reached at

Officers and Committee Members of the CBA Tax Section

Council Officers

Chair: Hank Vanderhage

Vice Chair: Peter Rose

Secretary: Jeremy Wysocki

Treasurer: Tyler Murray

Section Committees and Chairs

Education Committee

CLE: Gary Abrams

Topical Lunches: Andrea Welter/Doug Becker

Pro Bono: Jeremy Wysocki/Tyler Murray

Legislative Committee

Federal: Greg Berger

State: Michael Valdez

LPC Liaison: Andrew Elliot

Publications Committee

Newsletter: Tyler Murray/Justin Mills

Tax Tips: Adam Cohen/ Steven Weiser

Website: Trevor Crow

Agency Positions

CO Dept. of Revenue: Klaralee Charlton

Internal Revenue Service: TBA

Interprofessional Committee

IRS Liaison: Tyler Murray

ABA Report Liaison: TBA

Business Section Liaison: Trevor Crow

Trusts & Estate Section Liaison: Leia Ursery/Georgine Kryda

Real Estate Section Liaison: Andrew Elliot

CBA Staff Liaison: Jill Lafrenz

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This newsletter is for information only and does not provide legal advice.

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