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SBM Taxation Section Honors Roberts for Exemplary Contributions

October 6, 2015

Veteran tax attorney Wayne Roberts was a recipient of the L. Hart Wright Service Award, presented by the Taxation Section of the State Bar of Michigan at its recent annual meeting.

The award is given in recognition of an attorney's service and contribution to the Taxation Section, the Section Chair, and the legal and tax community in Michigan.

In her annual report, outgoing Taxation Section Chair Marjorie Gell highlighted Roberts' contributions to the section in the past year. She noted in particular Roberts' work on legislative initiatives, including Enrolled House Bill 4003, which created an Offer-in-Compromise program for Michigan taxpayers. 

"Much of the credit for the adoption of this legislation goes to Taxation Section Past Chair Wayne Roberts, who originally brought the need for such legislation to the attention of the Tax Council," Gell stated. "Wayne drafted the original version of House Bill 4003 that was introduced in both 2004 and 2014.

"The Taxation Section is proud to have been involved in the adoption of this legislation which represents sound tax policy and replaces Michigan's prior policy, under which no compromise of a tax liability was ever allowed, regardless of the circumstances."

Gell also noted Roberts' contribution to Senate Bill 100, which brought closure to the "pay-to-play" requirement to file a Michigan tax dispute in the Court of Claims; his participation in the Past Chairs Advisory Group; and his support of the Tax Council on Taxation Section matters.

"We recognize that your past efforts on Council have led to the furtherance of one of the Section's core missions, which is to achieve an 'equitable, efficient, and workable tax system'," Gell said in presenting the award.

Named in honor of one of the Taxation Section's most accomplished and revered former chairs, the L. Hart Wright Service Award was created through an endowed, discretionary program that allows the Taxation Section Chair to recognize exemplary contributions and service. This is the first year the awards have been made. Roberts and attorney Rick Siriani were the first ever recipients of the award.

Roberts' practice includes all aspects of federal and state tax planning and tax litigation. He represents both closely-held and Fortune 100 companies in tax disputes with the IRS, the Michigan Department of Treasury, and revenue departments in Pennsylvania, Indiana, Tennessee, New York, California and numerous other state and local taxing jurisdictions.

With over 1,200 members, the Taxation Section of the SBM is a dynamic, active organization offering a broad range of events and activities. Members include tax practitioners from small, medium, and large law firms, solo practices, accounting firms, corporations, government, and law schools.

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