IRS Selects New Advisory Council Members


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IR-2016-8, January 22, 2016

WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service today announced the selection of five new members to the Internal Revenue Service Advisory Council (IRSAC), which provides an organized public forum for IRS officials and representatives of the public to discuss key tax administration issues.

The IRSAC, established in 1953, selects members to represent the taxpaying public, tax professionals, small and large businesses, academia and the payroll community. The council provides the IRS Commissioner and division leadership with important feedback, observations and suggestions.

“IRSAC plays an integral role in helping run the nation’s tax system. We are extremely fortunate to add these new members, who will bring a wealth of insight and experience to this important function,” said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen.

IRSAC meets periodically and will submit a report to the agency in November 2016 at a public meeting. IRSAC members generally serve three-year terms. The new members will join 13 returning members in 2016.

The following persons were appointed to serve on the committee beginning in 2016:

  • Brenda M. Bianculli is the owner of Brenda M. Bianculli, CPA, LLC, in Charlton, Mass. and has worked in the tax field for more than 25 years. Her firm handles complex tax and business issues for a variety of clients and specializes in the real estate and service industries. She is currently on the Board of Advisors for Nichols College, a Corporator for Southbridge Savings Bank and the Treasurer of Woman in Business, Inc. She is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Massachusetts Society of Certified Public Accountants. Bianculli holds a B.S. Degree in Business Administration from Nichols College, Dudley, Mass. and a Master of Science Degree in Taxation (M.S.T.) from Bentley College, Waltham, Mass. 
  • Stuart M. Hurwitz operates his own tax law practice, Stuart M. Hurwitz, APC dba CPA & Law Offices, in San Diego and has over 45 years of experience in business and taxation. He has authored numerous articles and papers which have appeared in national law journals and which he has presented to officials at the IRS, U.S. Treasury, Judges of the U.S. Tax Court and to the staffs of the Senate and House tax writing committees. He is certified by the State Bar of California as a Tax Specialist and is a Chair Emeritus of the 3200+ member Taxation Section of the State Bar of California.  He has been repeatedly honored as a Super Lawyer, one of San Diego’s Best Attorneys (by the Union Tribune) and a 5 Star Wealth Manager. Hurwitz’s education includes a B.S. in Business Administration with a major in accounting from The Ohio State University, a J.D. from the University of Nebraska, School of Law and an LL.M. in Taxation from the University of San Diego, School of Law. 
  • Shawn R. O’Brien is a tax partner with Mayer Brown, LLP, in Houston and has over 18 years’ experience in practicing tax law. His tax practice includes representing clients in all types of tax disputes with taxing authorities on international, federal and state levels. He routinely advises clients on various tax issues during tax examinations, in administrative appeals and as an advocate in trial and appellate litigation before the US Tax Court, US District Courts and US Court of Federal Claims. He served as Chair of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee of the State Bar of Texas Tax Section from 2011 to 2013 and is currently serving the State Bar of Texas Tax Section as chair of the General Tax Committee. He is a member of the Tax Section of American Bar Association, Houston Bar Association Tax Section, International Tax Roundtable and Federal Tax Procedure Group. O’Brien holds a B.B. A. in Accounting from Millsaps College in Jackson, Miss., a J.D. from Loyola University School of Law, New Orleans and an LL.M, Taxation, from New York University School of Law, New York.
  • Dave Thompson, Jr. is a Director/Master of Accounting for Alabama State University in Montgomery, Ala. and has over 38 years’ experience in taxation. He teaches the Masters of Accountancy Program, helping them achieve professional certifications in accounting, such as Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Certified Internal Auditor (CIA) and Certified Management Accountant (CMA); and to pursue terminal or PH.D., Degrees.  He has had the opportunity to work with such CPA firms as KPMG, Ernest and Young and Arthur Anderson to solve many tax issues facing these corporations, which included mergers and consolidated issues, pensions and compensation and deferred tax problems.  In addition, he worked as a private lawyer in the law firm of Thompson & Searight, P.C., where he worked with small business clients on corporate tax issues. Thompson holds a B.S. (major accounting) from Birmingham-Southern College, an MBA/MA concentration: Management/Accounting from Samford University in Birmingham, Ala., a J.D. from Birmingham School of Law and a Ph.D., from Jackson State University in Jackson, Miss. 
  • Dennis J. Ventry is a Professor of Law, at UC Davis School of Law, in Davis Calif. and has worked in the tax field for over 20 years. His areas of specialization include Standards of Tax Practice, Tax Administration and Compliance, Tax Expenditure Analysis, Tax Policy, Legal Ethics, Family Taxation and U.S. Economic, Legal, and Tax History. He has published dozens of articles, contributed chapters to books, authored edited volumes, and was recently added as a co-author to a longstanding casebook on federal income taxation originally authored by Stanley Surrey. He serves as an expert consulting/testifying witness in matters involving the standard of care for tax practitioners and he also teaches CLE/CPE classes on standards of tax practice. He 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 Ph.D. in History (U.S. Economic & Legal) from the University of California, Santa Barbara, an M.A. in History from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and a B.A. in History with a Specialization in Business Administration, from the University of California, Los Angeles. 

The 2016 IRSAC Chairman is Jennifer MacMillan, EA, owner of Jennifer MacMillan EA in Santa Barbara, Calif.  She has over 25 years’ experience in taxation and became an Enrolled Agent in 1994. She specializes in representation services, which includes audit, collections, appeals, compliance issues, as well as individual income tax preparation and planning and is licensed to represent taxpayers before the IRS. She has been an instructor at the National Association of Enrolled Agents (NAEA) National Tax Practice Institute for many years, teaching advanced representation skills to Circular 230 practitioners. In addition, she teaches two-hour ethics courses for many practitioner groups, giving hundreds of Enrolled Agents and tax preparers in-depth interpretations of Circular 230 and real-world applications that relate to the daily challenges that arise in their practices. She has written numerous articles for NAEA’s EA Journal, California Enrolled Agent magazine and is contributing author for a variety of tax-related publications. MacMillan has appeared on NBC’s Today Show, offering last-minute tax tips to viewers and has been a panelist on Tax Talk Today (IRS’ monthly webcast) on two occasions. She is a member of the NAEA Government Relations Committee and a Past President of the California Society of Enrolled Agents.

For more information on IRSAC, please visit the Tax Professionals page on

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