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Tuesday, October 3, 2006

A wonderful soul has left us

Our planet is a little poorer today. My friend Les Shapiro, known to the tax world as the longtime Director of Practice at the IRS, died yesterday.

Les spent his career helping (or forcing, if necessary) tax lawyers and accountants to adhere to some basic ethical norms. After serving 22 years as the IRS's gatekeeper for professionals, he moved over and served as general counsel of the National Society of Accountants and chair of the American Bar Association Section of Taxation Standards of Tax Practice Committee. He was also president of the Padgett Business Services Foundation. He enjoyed a long affiliation with the National Association of Enrolled Agents (NAEA), most recently as the chair of NAEA's Government Relations Committee, and in 2003 he won the NAEA Founders Award.

I had the privilege of working closely with Les in the early 1990s, when I served on the IRS Commissioner's Advisory Group. It was the beginning of a long friendship. You simply will never meet a sweeter, gentler, wiser man. And tough as nails when he had to be -- which in his IRS job, was all the time. We shared a lot of laughs, and we had quite a few serious conversations about what it means to be a lawyer, a tax professional, and a human being. To say that I, like many others in the tax sphere, will miss him is, as they say in our trade, a "gross understatement."

Comments (1)

I had the pleasure of working with Les and to say he will be missed, i agree is an understatement! I feel my life is richer because I knew Les and treasure the time we had to experience Les!

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