Sid Kess will introduce this program on how opportunity zone investments can deliver tax-efficient solutions for clients. Discussing these investments and solutions are Michael Kelley of Park View Investments and Michael Gershon of Citrin Cooperman; Blanche Lark Christerson, a wealth planning consultant, will moderate. The newly finalized opportunity zone regulations provide the certainty tax planners need to implement strategies using “qualified opportunity funds” (QOFs). By understanding how QOFs work, CPAs can help their clients get the most out of these previously unavailable tax incentives. The program will also discuss how generational tax plans can benefit from pairing QOFs with irrevocable grantor trusts and how QOFs can be used in conjunction with, or instead of, 1031 exchanges, which were adversely affected by the 2017 Tax Cuts & Jobs Act.
In 2019, Sidney Kess, CPA, J.D., LL.M., was named as an Advisor to CPAacademy.org. Mr. Kess was recently selected “Most Influential Practitioner” by CPA Magazine, and is a nationally renowned tax expert and author/coauthor of hundreds of tax books on financial and estate planning. Having lectured to more than 1,000,000 practitioners on tax, financial, and estate planning, Mr. Kess is one of the nation’s most prominent lecturers on continuing professional education. Mr. Kess is also Consulting Editor of CCH Incorporated’s Financial and Estate Planning Reporter. In addition, Mr. Kess was Chairman of the Advisory Board of Tax Hotline and is a member of the PPC Tax Action Panel. He has edited a column on “Tax Tips” for the New York Law Journal for the past fifty years.
Mr. Kess was editor of the AICPA’s CPA Client Bulletin and CPA Client Tax Letter. He has written hundreds of AICPA tax workshops, audio, and video programs, and is the recipient of the AICPA Distinguished Lecturer Award. Mr. Kess is often quoted in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and other national publications. He was included in Accounting Today’s, “100 Most Influential CPAs in the U.S.” for several years, as well as CPA Magazine’s, “Most Influential CPAs in the U.S.” Mr. Kess was the National Director of Tax at KPMG Main Hurdman and a tax partner at KPMG Peat Marwick. Mr. Kess is the recipient of the AICPA’s “Special Recognition Award” for his many years of contributions to the AICPA’s continuing professional education program and was elected to the Estate Planning Hall of Fame by the National Association of Estate Planners & Councils for his distinguished service to the field of estate planning. He is also the recipient of the AICPA’s Gold Medal Award, which is the highest award in the accounting profession. Most recently, he received the AICPA Personal Financial Planning Distinguished Service Award.
The AICPA established the Sidney Kess Award for Excellence in Continuing Education, to recognize individual CPAs who have made significant and outstanding contributions in tax and financial planning and whose public service exemplifies the CPA profession’s finest values and ethics. Sidney Kess was the first recipient of this Award. Mr. Kess was inducted into the New York State Society of CPA’s Hall of Fame. He received his B.B.A. from Baruch College, his J.D. from Harvard University School of Law, and his LL.M. from New York University Graduate School of Law.
Mr. Kelley has 30 years of experience in business and financial markets. He was early to recognize the potential of Opportunity Zones to change the course of capital flows. Through his writings and presentations Mr. Kelley has become a leading voice on Opportunity Zones and how investors and community leaders can benefit from them. He is active in the entrepreneurial community having served as a mentor, board member and occasional pitch competition judge. Previously he focused on investing in emerging markets for a family office and worked at several investment banks raising capital in the technology, alternative energy and healthcare verticals. Michael has a B.A. in Economics from the University of Massachusetts.
Michael Gershon, CPA, MBA, MS provides his clients, including high net worth individuals, family groups and closely held businesses, with income tax planning and compliance, business advisory services, succession planning, and wealth preservation planning. Michael joined Citrin Cooperman as a partner in September 2011 and works out of the firm’s New York City office.
Blanche Lark Christerson is a wealth planning consultant in New York City, with extensive experience in the private banking and fiduciary services industry. She worked at Deutsche Bank for 22 years, counseling clients and colleagues on estate and wealth planning matters and writing Tax Topics, a regular commentary on current legislation and other tax and related issues. Ms. Christerson is currently on the planning committee for the Advanced Personal Financial Planning Conference of 2020 ENGAGE of the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA), and has been involved with various industry committees through the American Bankers Association and the New York Bankers Association. Ms. Christerson lectures for numerous planning and professional organizations nationwide, including the AICPA, the New York State Society of CPAs and the United Jewish Appeal (UJA). She received her B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College, her J.D. from New York Law School and her LL.M. in taxation from New York University School of Law. Ms. Christerson is a member of the New York Bar Association, the Bar of the City of New York, the Bar of the Supreme Court of the United States and the American Bar Association. She is also the president of the Bagby Foundation for the Musical Arts and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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