IRS Selects New Advisory Council Members

The Internal Revenue Service has announced the appointment of seven new members to the Internal Revenue Service Advisory Council (IRSAC).

The IRSAC, established in 1953, is an organized public forum for IRS officials and representatives of the public to discuss various issues in tax administration. The council provides the IRS Commissioner with relevant feedback, observations and recommendations. It will submit its annual report to the agency at a public meeting in November 2018.

The IRS strives to appoint members to the IRSAC who represent the taxpaying public, the tax professional community, small and large businesses, academia and the payroll community.

The following persons were appointed to serve three-year appointments on the council beginning in 2018:

Ben Deneka is an industry operations liaison with H&R Block in Pittsburgh, Penn. He manages H&R Block’s relationship with the IRS and represents H&R Block in various industry working groups, including Council for Electronic Revenue Communication Advancement. Additionally, he serves as H&R Block’s business owner for the IRS online service’s “Where’s My Refund?” application programming interface pilot. Deneka earned his bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Mississippi and J.D. from the University of Mississippi School of Law.

Diana Erbsen is a tax partner at DLA Piper in New York, N.Y. She represents business entities, individuals and trusts and estates in complex federal, state, local, civil and criminal tax controversies. Federal matters include IRS audits, IRS appeals and tax litigation in the U.S. Tax Court, U.S. District Courts and U.S. Court of Federal Claims. Erbsen earned her bachelor’s degree from Amherst College cum laude, J.D. from Northeastern University School of Law and LLM (Taxation) from NYU School of Law.

Antonio Gonzalez is a certified public accountant and is founder and co-owner of Sydel Corporation in Coral Gables, Fla., which is both an accounting and information technology consulting firm for multiple organizations. He designs and develops multiple, multilingual applications to assist financial institutions in managing operations and compliance functions. Gonzalez earned his bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and his master’s degree in accounting (specialization in accounting information systems) from Florida International University. 

Charles Read is a certified public accountant and the founder and CEO of Custom Payroll Associates Inc. in Lewisville, Texas, where he has been preparing business and individual tax returns since 1991. He leads business development, strategy and operations for a full-service business-to-business payroll and payroll tax processing company that helps small- to medium-sized businesses across the U.S. with direct deposits, debit card loads, printed checks, payroll deposits, reports and tax filings, year-end Forms W-2 and employer-employee website portals. Read earned his BBA and MBA from the University of North Texas.

Martin Rule is a certified public accountant and senior manager with Deloitte Tax LLP in Chicago. He is a subject matter expert in both tax management and payroll processing with a range of knowledge stemming from employment with academic institutions, private tax practitioner businesses and healthcare institutions. He is also a part-time lead tax instructor at DePaul University. Rule earned his bachelor’s degree in accounting from Northeastern Illinois University and his master’s degree in taxation from Northern Illinois University.

Jeffrey Schneider is an enrolled agent and a vice president with SFS Tax & Accounting Services in Port St. Lucie, Fla. His company handles all areas of tax for multiple types of taxpayers including bookkeeping, payroll and other related services. He is a fellow of the National Association of Enrolled Agents’ National Tax Practice Institute and a certified tax resolution specialist. Schneider earned his bachelor’s degree in finance from the College of Staten Island and his master’s degree in tax from Long Island University.

Patricia Thompson is a certified public accountant and tax partner with Piccerelli, Gilstein & Company, LLP in Providence, R.I. She has extensive experience in complex tax transactions, including multi-state tax returns, real estate transactions and like-kind exchanges. She is currently a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants Tax Reform Task Force. Thompson earned her bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of Rhode Island and her master’s degree in taxation from Bryant College. She has received the Personal Financial Specialist designation from AICPA.

The 2018 IRSAC Chairman is Dr. Dennis Ventry, Jr., professor of law at the University of California-Davis, School of Law in Davis, Calif. Dr. Ventry’s areas of specialization include standards of tax practice, tax administration and compliance, tax expenditure analysis, tax policy, legal and professional ethics, whistleblower law, family taxation, and U.S. economic, legal and tax history. Ventry is a member of the American Bar Association, the Association of American Law Schools, the Law and Society Association and the National Tax Association. Ventry holds a J.D. from New York University School of Law, a doctorate in history (U.S. economic and legal) from the University of California -Santa Barbara, a master’s degree in history from the University of California-Santa Barbara, and a bachelor’s degree in history with a specialization in business administration from the University of California-Los Angeles. 


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