Week in Insights: Taking the Subsequent Large Steps After Commencement

Earlier this month, I watched my daughter cross the stage and get her high school diploma. It was a wonderful moment after her years of hard work.

I’ve been similarly delighted to see the photos from friends and families on social media showing off their kids picking up diplomas at every level—from kindergarten to graduate school.

I remember that feeling. It’s both thrilling and terrifying all at the same time.

Amelia Erb

Photographer: Kelly Phillips Erb

When I graduated from high school, I was off to college with a pretty hefty weight on my shoulders: I was going to become the first person in my family to graduate from college. I was jumping from one big moment to the next, and I had no idea how I was going to do it.

That ultimately turned out to be a pretty good thing. Since I didn’t have any clear expectations about my next steps, I was up for almost anything.

It’s why I said yes to the new girl who popped into my room one day and asked if she could be my roommate—she became one of my best friends.

It’s why I said yes to studying abroad for an entire year when I had never been outside of the state of North Carolina for more than a week—I learned to love travel.

It’s why I said yes to law school and switched career choices when I was just hours away from getting my teaching certificate—tax law became my passion.

Commencement speaker Lin Manuel Miranda marches into the University of Pennsylvania’s 260th Commencement at Franklin Field on May 16, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pa.

Photographer: William Thomas Cain via Getty Images

That’s what makes this time of the year so special. It’s not just because graduation means that our new grads have completed something. It’s because they’re getting ready to start something new—a new school, a new job, or a new opportunity.

Of course, graduation isn’t the only time to consider new beginnings. There’s always an opportunity to jump in and try something new—from big, bold steps like a new career to smaller, more measured ones like learning a new skill. At Bloomberg Tax, we aim to help you take your next steps with great commentary and insightful analysis on federal, state, and international tax issues, as well as helpful resources that can keep you moving forward.

Congratulations to the new graduates!

The Exchange… It’s where great ideas intersect.
—Kelly Phillips Erb

Quick Numbers Trivia

In 2020, which three states boasted the highest graduation rate in the country—and what was the rate?
Answer at the bottom.

Our Roundup

Our experts touched on a wide range of topics, from the OECD’s global tax deal to nonprofit law matters. For a look at what’s making news, here’s our roundup.

Global Economies

The promise of certainty in tax matters, a key element of the October 2021 agreement of the OECD-led Inclusive Framework on BEPS, may be the most ambitious part of the plan. Jeff VanderWolk of Squire Patton Boggs discusses the drivers behind the OECD’s proposals for tax certainty and the risks ahead.

As Africa undergoes rapid social and economic change, Larry Eyinla of EY provides an overview of the region’s trade, tax, and sustainability developments—plus the opportunities and challenges for business investors—in the latest article of the “In Focus” series.

There are growing calls for a carbon tax on shipping emissions. Jim Loftis, Ciara Ros, and Tatiana Freeman of Vinson & Elkins LLP look at the recent proposal from Japan for a global carbon tax, assess it in the context of the existing approaches in other jurisdictions and industries, and consider how those involved in the maritime industry need to prepare.

Eduard Sporken and Adriaan Bijleveld of Meijburg & Co discuss several important issues raised in a recent judgment of the Dutch Court of Appeal (Gerechtshof’s-Hertogenbosch) concerning whether a company resident in the Netherlands with a permanent establishment in Libya correctly followed Dutch transfer pricing rules.

Federal Issues

Allowing people to work from anywhere is filled with promises and pitfalls, and success comes down to adopting a policy that will limit unpleasant surprises, say RSM US LLP’s Brian Kirkell and Rachel Simon.

State and Local Tax

California is the first state to update its state income tax safe harbor guidance to include examples of unprotected internet-based activities post-Wayfair, but likely not the last. As such, out-of-state businesses selling tangible personal property should consider their specific facts and circumstances when evaluating their tax position in California and other states, says Sensiba San Filippo LLP’s Kaylyn Kleinhans.

Nonprofit Law & Charitable Organizations

Recent guilty pleas and indictments over conservation easement tax schemes reflect a small portion of the manipulation of the conservation easement deduction. The tax benefit should continue, but the fraud and abuse of conservation easements must stop, says Sen. Steve Daines (R-Mont.).

Donor-advised funds have soared in popularity for cross-border giving in recent years, in part because they’re flexible, cost-efficient, easy to set up, and allow donors to remain anonymous. They’re also tax effective, says Charities Aid Foundation CEO Neil Heslop, because clients can donate cash, stocks, shares, art, antiques, and even property.


Law professor Del Wright says that practicing as a blockchain lawyer is a multi-disciplinary practice, and attorneys need to do three things if they want to have a successful career in the blockchain world.

Technology is not a panacea, but it can help firms navigate times of economic instability. Small tax and accounting firms—as well as small businesses in general—need to leverage technology, says AccounTAXstic’s Sabrina James.

A Closer Look

It may be obvious, but you shouldn’t use funds from a nonprofit tax-exempt organization as a personal piggy bank. In this edition of “A Closer Look,” Berliner, Corcoran & Rowe LLP’s Keith Rosten looks at recent IRS scrutiny of excess-benefit cases for nonprofits, as well as private inurement.

Reader Responses

At The Exchange, we welcome responses from our readers and encourage diversity and civil discussion. We are especially interested in responses that add to the conversation, or introduce a different point of view. If you have a response to one of our published Insights, we’d love to hear from you.

US singer Taylor Swift delivers the commencement address to New York University graduates, in New York on May 18, 2022.

Photographer: Angela Weiss/AFP via Getty Images


Earlier this month, a federal jury found reality television stars Todd and Julie Chrisley guilty of multiple counts of conspiracy, bank fraud, wire fraud, and tax evasion. Making these kinds of cases public causes taxpayers to wonder: what constitutes a tax crime?

Listen In

A cryptocurrency bill unveiled earlier this month addresses many of the biggest open questions from sanctions compliance to stablecoin oversight. The bill would establish that cryptocurrency rewards created through the processes known as “staking” and “mining” would be taxed when the rewards were sold. It also includes a de minimis tax exemption and a narrower definition of brokers for cryptocurrency reporting requirements established in last year’s bipartisan infrastructure law.

In this episode of Talking Tax, Bloomberg Tax reporter Erin Slowey discuss the implications of the Lummis-Gillibrand bill with Seth Wilks, director of government relations at software company TaxBit, and Omri Marian, a tax professor at the University of California, Irvine, School of Law.

Student Writing Competition

Do you have an original take on current events and issues in tax practice and policy—but you’re not yet a tax professional? Our second annual tax writing competition is the perfect opportunity to show off your work. The competition is intended to highlight the very best of student writing. Our deadline has been extended to June 30, 2022.

Get Caught Up

It’s been a busy week in tax news from state capitals to Washington. Here are some stories you might have missed from our Bloomberg Tax news team.
*Note: Your Bloomberg Tax login will be required to access Tax News.

Bono, lead singer and songwriter for the rock group U2 and a social-justice activist, receives an honorary Doctor of Laws degree at the 248th Commencement of the University of Pennsylvania, on May 17, 2004, in Philadelphia.

Photographer: William Thomas Cain via Getty Images


Our Spotlight series highlights the careers and lives of tax professionals across the globe. This week’s focus is on Kristine Butterbaugh, a subject matter expert and strategy leader for the Tax and Regulatory line of business at the tax software company Sovos.

Career Moves

Calvin Lynch has joined Greensfelder, Hemker & Gale, P.C. as an associate in its business services practice group in the St. Louis office.

Simon Mitchell has been appointed as Thomson Snell & Passmore’s new head of Wills, Estate & Tax Planning, and Kyle Barford joins the Trusts & Tax Management division.

Hebert Smith Freehills announced that Toby Eggleston, Nick Heggart, and Ryan Leslie have joined the firm as partners in Melbourne and Perth.

If you are changing jobs or being promoted, let us know. You can email your submission to [email protected] for consideration.


Do you want to start an internship program at your firm but don’t know where to start? Do you have an internship program where you work but want to improve it? Or are you a student who wants to know what to look for in a great tax internship?

Join Bloomberg Tax Insights on June 29 from noon to 1 p.m. for “How to Get the Most Out of an Internship Program,” as part of our monthly virtual Lunch & Learn series.

We’re bringing Stacey Hunt, the associate director of campus recruiting at EY, Daniella Pacitti, a tax consulting associate at Marcum LLP, and Kris Kania, a recent graduate of NYU School of Law now heading to Kirkland & Ellis LLP, to talk about successful tax internships. You can learn more here.

Entrepreneur and philanthropist Sean “Diddy” Combs delivers the commencement speech at Howard University’s 146th commencement exercises on May 10, 2014 in Washington.

Photographer: Allison Shelley via Getty Images for DKC

Quick Numbers Answer

According to U.S. News & World Report, in 2020, three states—Iowa, Kentucky, and Texas—had on average 94% graduation rates.

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What Did You Think?

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