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Nexus School

Statistical Sampling for Sales and Use Tax Audits

Computer Assisted Audit Techniques Using Excel & Basic Random Sampling

Corporate Income Tax





Ben Abalos, Associate Director
Multistate Tax Commission, National Nexus Program

Mr. Abalos is associate director of the MTC’s National Nexus Program, which among other activities, provides no-charge assistance to taxpayers who wish to negotiate tax settlements with multiple states when nexus is the primary issue. He has been with the MTC since November 2011. Mr. Abalos, a licensed attorney and CPA, recently retired from the U.S. Navy, having served in its Judge Advocate General’s Corps. He has worked in public accounting in Philadelphia and New York City and in government tax with the IRS and the DC’s Office of Tax and Revenue. He earned his J.D. and B.B.A from Temple University.

Ken Beier, Training Director
Multistate Tax Commission 

Dr. Beier has been with the MTC since 1999 and prior to that was involved with tax compliance research and technical support and training at the Internal Revenue Service. He earned a Ph.D. (Economics) from the University of Utah in 1988 and a B.S. in Business Administration from the University of Colorado in 1971. He has also completed a course in sample survey methods from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Graduate School.

Michael T. Fatale, Chief, Rulings & Regulations Bureau
Massachusetts Department of Revenue

Michael T. Fatale has been, since 2006, the Chief of the Rulings and Regulations Bureau of the Massachusetts Department of Revenue (DOR), the Bureau that is responsible for all of DOR’s public pronouncements on the state’s various tax laws and also for legislative drafting. Previously, beginning in 1992, he was a tax counsel with DOR, during which time he authored numerous public pronouncements, including several regulations, and also litigated or co-litigated several corporate income tax cases. Mr. Fatale speaks frequently at conferences on state taxation, and is the author of several law review articles and other published writings that have been cited in various state tax cases, including cases decided by the Iowa and West Virginia Supreme Courts and the California and New Mexico Court of Appeals. He has been a guest lecturer on state tax law at Georgetown University Law School and Boston College Law School and is an instructor of state corporate income tax in the training program offered by the Multistate Tax Commission. In 2012, Mr. Fatale was awarded the Paull Mines Award for Outstanding Contribution to State Tax Jurisprudence by the Multistate Tax Commission. In 2005, Mr. Fatale received an award from the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office and was lauded in The Boston Globe for his leadership role in pursuing a multi-state bankruptcy claim that resulted in eighteen states collecting taxes due of almost $500 million dollars. Mr. Fatale worked in private practice before joining DOR and holds an undergraduate degree from Columbia University and a law degree, with honors, from Boston College Law School.

Cathy Felix
Field Audit Supervisor
Multistate Tax Commission Joint Audit Program
Ms. Felix has been a supervising auditor since 1995 and she has been employed by the MTC since 1993. Prior to joining the Commission she spent 3 ½ years at a public accounting firm and 3 years at the IRS. She received her B.S. and M.S.T. degrees from DePaul University. Cathy is a C.P.A. and is a member of the AICPA and the Illinois C.P.A. Society.

Bruce J. Fort, Counsel
Multistate Tax Commission

Bruce J. Fort joined the Multistate Tax Commission as counsel in January of 2007.  Prior to that time, Mr. Fort was a staff attorney with the New Mexico Taxation and Revenue Department for sixteen years.  During that time, Mr. Fort was lead counsel in many of the state's gross receipts tax, corporate income tax and nexus cases, including Kmart Corp. v. Taxation and Revenue Department, 131 P.3d 22 (2005) and Conoco Inc. and Intel Corp. v. Taxation and Revenue Department, 931 P.2d 730 (1996).  Mr. Fort has co-authored several briefs before the U.S. Supreme Court on state tax matters, and has drafted numerous tax statutes and regulations for the State of New Mexico.  Prior to joining New Mexico's tax department, Mr. Fort was engaged in general trial practice with a firm in Santa Fe, New Mexico.  Mr. Fort received a B.A. degree from the University of Oregon in 1979 and a J.D. from the University of Oregon School of Law in 1983.  Mr. Fort is a frequent presenter at state and local tax conferences, including the Hartman SALT forum, the Georgetown University SALT conference, the American Bar Association Tax Section and the Tax Executives Institute training courses.

Robert L. Glidden, Audit Group Manager (retired)
State of Colorado

Mr. Glidden spent 29 years with the Audit Section of the Colorado Department of Revenue. His experience includes 15 years as a Senior Revenue Agent in the Field Audit Section specializing in Corporate Income and Sales & Use taxes. In 1990 Mr. Glidden became the supervisor over Colorado's Out of State Office Audit Program and later was instrumental in initiating the Field Audit Section's computer audit group. He also reorganized Colorado's audit selection and tracking group. Mr. Glidden has a B.S. degree in Accounting and Business from Western State College of Colorado.

Harold A. Jennings, Senior Audit Supervisor/Computer Audit Specialist
Multistate Tax Commission Joint Audit Program

Mr. Jennings has been with the Multistate Tax Commission since 1991. Prior to that, Mr. Jennings was a Revenue Agent with the Colorado Department of Revenue and was an Audit Specialist with the California Franchise Tax Board. Mr. Jennings has received training in sampling from the State of Texas, basic statistical sampling from the State of Illinois, advanced statistical sampling theory from Dr. Donald Roberts of the University of Illinois, and Advanced Statistical Sampling with the IRS.

Les F. Koenig, Director
Multistate Tax Commission Joint Audit Program

Mr. Koenig has been the Director of Audit for the MTC since 1990. Prior state experience includes work for the states of California and Colorado. Mr. Koenig worked in the private sector for Adolph Coors Company from 1979 to 1982, during which time he was active with COST. Mr. Koenig has delivered presentations to the Chicago Tax Club, TEI, Chicago Bar Association, FTA, Illinois AICPA, and COST.

Sheldon H. Laskin, Counsel
Multistate Tax Commission
Mr. Laskin is Counsel to the Multistate Tax Commission. Prior to joining the MTC staff in 1998, Mr. Laskin was an Assistant Attorney General for the Maryland Comptroller of the Treasury and litigated state tax cases in the Maryland court system for 8 ½ years. Before joining the Attorney General's office, Mr. Laskin was in private practice, and argued and won a major employment discrimination case in the United States Supreme Court. Burnett v. Grattan, 468 US 42 (1984). He also served on the staff of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and Florida Rural Legal Services. He received his BA and JD degrees from Rutgers University and his LLM in Taxation from the University of Baltimore, where he currently teaches State and Local Taxation in the Graduate Tax Program. Mr. Laskin is a recipient of the University of Baltimore Graduate Tax Program's Excellence in Teaching award. Also at the University of Baltimore, Mr. Laskin has delivered a nine hour lecture series on state and local tax to officials from the Inner Mongolia Local Taxation Bureau of the People's Republic of China. Mr. Laskin has spoken on state and local tax issues at numerous forums, including annual symposia on state and local tax policy sponsored by the Taxation Section of the Maryland State Bar Association and the University of Baltimore Graduate Tax Program, the COST Sales Tax Conference, the CCH State Tax Advisory Board and the New Jersey Institute for Professionals in Taxation One-Day Tax Seminar. He is the author of a series of "Maryland State Tax Service Practice Insights" for Maryland state tax practitioners, which is available on Lexis/Nexis. His law review article, "Only A Name? Trademark Royalties, Nexus and Taxing That Which Enriches" was published in the 2007 issue of the Akron Tax Journal.

Ben Miller, Consultant,Multistate Tax Affairs
California Franchise Tax Board Legal Department

Mr. Miller joined the Franchise Tax Board Legal Department shortly after receiving his J.D. from Stanford University. He was Director of the Legal Department's Multistate Tax Bureau for approximately 20 years and functioned as the manager of the Department's Protest and Litigation functions until he retired November 2008. Mr. Miller is certified as a Tax Specialist by the California State Board of Legal Specialization. He is an expert on unitary and combined state tax filings, has written and lectured extensively on the subject, and has consulted with a number of other governmental agencies. He has also participated in the five U.S. Supreme Court cases involving the Franchise Tax Board (Container, Alcan Aluminium, Barclays Bank PLC, Hunt-Wesson and Hyatt) and has appeared in an amicus capacity in a number of other cases before the U.S. Supreme Court and courts of other states. He was awarded the Wade Anderson Memorial Medal for Leadership in Interstate Tax Cooperation in 2005.

Robert Schauer, Computer Audit Specialist
Multistate Tax Commission

Before coming to the MTC in 2006, Mr. Schauer was employed for twenty-four years with the Washington State Department of Revenue (WADOR).  During his time with WADOR, he served as an auditor and then later as a computer audit specialist.  He has a keen interest in statistical sampling and was a key individual in the development of the WADOR sampling program--assisting in the development of training, software, and policy as it concerned audit sampling.  Mr. Schauer has a degree in accounting from the University of Portland, and recently coauthored (with Alan H. Kvanli, Ph.D.) several articles on statistical sampling that have been published in the Journal of Government Financial Management.

Thomas K. E. Shimkin, Director
Multistate Tax Commission National Nexus Program

Mr. Shimkin is Director of the MTC's National Nexus Program (NNP), which offers voluntary disclosure and other programs to facilitate compliance by multi-state taxpayers. He previously served as counsel to the NNP. Prior to joining the MTC, Mr. Shimkin practiced multi-state legislative advocacy in a law firm and before that was legislative counsel to a fifty-member state government relations team that represented U.S. manufacturers on taxation and marketing issues. Mr. Shimkin began his career on Capitol Hill, where he served first as legislative assistant to a member of the U.S. House of Representatives and later on the legislative staff of a U.S. senator. He earned his B.A. from Tufts University and his J.D. from the Georgetown University Law Center.

Lawrence B. Shinder, Senior Auditor
Multistate Tax Commission Joint Audit Program
Mr. Shinder has been a senior auditor since 2002 and he has been employed by the MTC since 1997. Prior to joining the Commission he spent four and one-half years at the Associated Press as a tax accountant. He received his M.B.A. in taxation from Baruch College (NYC).  Mr. Shinder is a New York State CPA.  Mr. Shinder has been a guest speaker at the Eastern States Working Group (ESWG) discussing state banking and brokerage regulations. Mr. Shinder has also provided testimony in regard to MTC audit cases.

Jeff Silver, Field Audit Supervisor
Multistate Tax Commission Joint Audit Program
Mr. Silver has been audit supervisor with the MTC and the head of the New York office since 1995. He has been employed by the MTC since 1986 and is one of its most senior employees. Prior to joining the Commission he spent seven years as a corporate income tax auditor for the California Franchise Tax Board in New York City. Mr. Silver has addressed the New York Chapter of TEI and the Maryland Association of CPAs (MACPA) about the MTC Joint Audit program and also gave a presentation at the Paul J. Hartman SALT Forum regarding state audit departments difficulties amid tax deficits. Mr. Silver remains active with several New York area state tax groups. Mr. Silver was part of the faculty of the MTC Corporation Income Tax Training (with combined reporting emphasis) for the States of Oregon, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, Alabama, and South Carolina.

Joseph A. Thomas, Director of Audit (retired)
State of Connecticut

Mr. Thomas worked for the Connecticut Department of Revenue Services for over 38 years. His career began as a sales and use tax auditor and he worked his way through the examiner and supervisory positions until he was appointed manager of a sales tax regional office in 1981.  This assignment included managing an office of 25 examiners and conducting audit informal conferences as requested. After 8 years in this capacity he was promoted to the Hartford central office where he assumed responsibility for all regional offices. In 1993, he was selected to create an auditing program for the, then, recently passed Personal Income Tax. In 2002, he was promoted to Director of Audit and assumed responsibility for the auditing of all state administered taxes in Connecticut.  As Director of Audit, his responsibilities included the oversight of the Audit Division’s Discovery Unit. This unit had been created to address the issue of non-filers and concentrated on the identification of out-of-state non-filers doing business in Connecticut.  Mr. Thomas served as Connecticut’s representative to the Multistate Tax Commission for over 20 years. He was selected by the MTC to act as their chairperson of the National Nexus Committee and served in this capacity for 9 years.  Mr. Thomas retired from the state of Connecticut in 2009 and currently resides in Connecticut.