Premier tax talk

A “triple threat” — that’s how UF Law grad Lauren Detzel (JD 77) and UF Law adjunct professor described next year’s inaugural Florida Tax Institute in Tampa. Besides spreading the word about UF Law’s top graduate tax program to practitioners around the country, she said the institute will generate funds to go back into the program and will serve as a teaching tool for students.

The Florida Tax Institute — co-sponsored by the University of Florida Levin College of Law Graduate Tax Program and the Florida Tax Education Foundation, Inc. — is Feb. 19-21 at the Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay.

The two-and-a-half day conference will bring together notable tax experts including speakers from the Internal Revenue Service, the U.S. Department of the Treasury, practitioners and tax professors covering the most pressing issues in tax law.

“Our thought was, Florida has, we think, the best tax program in the country, and why aren’t we touting that?” said Detzel, who is also the chair of the Tax Institute Steering Committee. “Why aren’t we taking advantage of our great professors and all of our graduates and putting together some kind of a program that would really highlight the level of sophistication that we have to the University of Florida Graduate Tax Program?”

Detzel said she joined colleagues Don Tescher (JD 69) and adjunct Graduate Tax Professor David Pratt to pitch the idea to Graduate Tax Director Michael Friel and Professor Dennis Calfee (LLMT 75). Everyone agreed on the institute, and the planning began — a two-year process leading up to February 2014.

“It is very exciting to see such a huge effort culminate into what we foresee as one of the premier annual tax institutes in the nation,” Friel said. “It’s a natural evolution for a leading law school and a leading tax program to participate in developing a leading tax institute.”

Friel said it is rewarding for the huge investments in time and energy over the past two years by the institute’s steering committee — which include a number of UF Law alumni and friends — finally come to fruition.

For complete details, registration information and agenda, visit www.floridataxinstitute.org/. The Florida Tax Institute has been approved for continuing legal education credits in Florida, Georgia and New York, and Accounting, Certified Financial Planner, Certified Trust and Financial Advisor, and Professional Achievement in Professional Education credits in all states.