This past December, Anderson ZurMuehlen’s (AZ) Helena office hosted four Ukrainian delegates via the International Visitor Leadership Program through the US Department of State and WorldMontana®. These delegates, all employed with the State Tax Services of Ukraine, were given the opportunity to visit seven US cities, including Helena, Montana.
WorldMontana® arranged their professional program in our state. The program was focused on the organization and functioning of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and interagency cooperation with the IRS.
AZ’s role in this program was to facilitate conversation and perspectives on best practices, tax preparation, legal avoidance, and future planning for entities in the State of Montana. Two of our talented CPA professionals, Steven Johnson and Krystal Stewart, led the discussion and spoke about the US taxpayers’ experience and the value tax consultants bring to their clients.
The delegates countered with many clarifying questions and were baffled that government tax agencies tend to settle tax-related claims. They learned that a CPA firm gets involved in cases when taxpayers need to have their rights defended from government agencies or to provide auditing conclusions for businesses.
One topic the Ukrainian team found hard to believe is that AZ is not involved in helping clients hide assets in offshore companies, as this is common practice offered by tax planning firms in Ukraine. Steven and Krystal countered that this type of consulting is offered in large metropolitan areas, but that there is no need for this practice in Montana.
Although our delegates and CPAs brought vastly different experiences to the meeting, it is humbling to remember we can always learn something from our international counterparts. AZ looks forward to future participation with WorldMontana®’s international education partnership. To learn more about WorldMontana® visit worldmontana.org.