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White House Plans to Nominate Emin Toro as Tax Court Judge

April 11, 2018, 8:47 PM

President Donald Trump intends to nominate Emin Toro as U.S. Tax Court judge, according to a White House news release.

As a partner in the Washington office of Covington & Burling LLP, Toro represents and counsels multinational companies in tax controversies-such as audits, administrative appeals, and litigation-as well as in advance pricing agreement and competent authority proceedings, the April 10 release said.

Tax practitioners said Toro’s background in advance pricing agreements and competent authority will be useful in deciding transfer pricing cases.

“Emin’s transfer pricing experience should be of some help, if only because he has some high-level experience with what goes into transfer pricing planning and analysis,” John Warner, a shareholder with Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC in Washington, told Bloomberg Tax.

Toro has handled controversies in cross-border trading structures, cost-sharing arrangements, and income and expense reallocations under tax code Section 482.

“Transfer pricing is not your typical tax provision in that it has so much business and economics woven into it, so specific experience in that area would be a plus when a tax court judge is called to decide a transfer pricing case,” Barbara Mantegani, a tax practitioner and the founder of Mantegani Tax PLLC in Virginia, told Bloomberg Tax in an email.

“The Tax Court-which had previously been known for fully stipulated cases and relatively short trials on the facts-has had its workload skewed by and to the relatively few major transfer pricing disputes that have recently come before it,” Warner said. “I trust that Emin has no illusions about the ‘glamor’ of his pending judicial position.”

Toro previously served as a law clerk to Judge Karen LeCraft Henderson of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. He is also a fellow of the American College of Tax Counsel.

Trump in August 2017 nominated Elizabeth Ann Copeland and Patrick J. Urda to serve as judges on the Tax Court, and nominated Courtney Dunbar Jones for a judgeship in January. The Senate Finance Committee hasn’t held confirmation hearings on their nominations yet.