A very important piece of the DOR360 program, initiated earlier this year, is the seating of a 15-member advisory council made up of individuals who are interested in the administration of Massachusetts tax policy. I am happy to report that we had a great response to our call for applicants. We heard from individuals from a broad spectrum of the community we serve, and that is just what we had hoped would happen. Legal professionals, tax professionals and the business community are very important stakeholders and we require their input to do our job. We heard from them. Additionally, we wanted to hear from a variety of groups that might represent different ideas and perspectives on current or proposed tax policies on behalf of their constituents – and we heard from them as well.
We now have the difficult task of narrowing the large applicant group to just 15 seats. Our first DOR Advisory Council meeting is scheduled for January 30, 2013. We will ask the newly-appointed members to offer topics for discussion for this first meeting, and we will share information on current and future DOR programs that we believe will be relevant to the Council members. We expect to be discussing audit practices, federal tax developments impacting Massachusetts, responses to court decisions or legislation, new and proposed business practices, guidance on recent or upcoming tax matters and, of course, the status of ongoing DOR projects. And, we may find that Council members offer additional topics we may not have considered. We look forward to that.
Obviously we cannot select everyone who submitted an application, but we don’t want to miss out on the input of those who clearly want to be a part of the conversation but are not sitting on the new Council. We are putting together a plan to capture the enthusiasm from this group, and keep the conversation going, by soliciting their ideas and sharing some of our own.
I will be reporting on the discussions of the DOR Advisory Council in future messages. If you have any questions or input on DOR360 or the DOR Advisory Council, we want to hear from you. Please send those ideas to Maryann Merigan, DOR360 Director, at email@example.com.