John A. Konfala
Powell, Ohio 43065
Vertiv Co. formerly Emerson Network Power Columbus, Ohio
April, 2003 to October, 2017
Director of Tax: Manage the tax function for a $4B, multi-national business segment of Emerson Electric Co. This position reports to the CFO of the division, and requires an understanding of the four major tax disciplines (i.e., federal, state & local, international and employee benefits). In addition this position administers the company relocation and expatriate tax equalization programs.
Accomplishments: Through turnover and training I have upgraded the competency and performance of the tax department staff. We have improved the timeliness and quality of our federal work-papers. I worked with outside consultants to improve the amount of R&E credit that we qualify for.
I restructured our Brazilian operations in an effort to revitalize over US$35M in tax losses that had been previously reserved. I performed Substantial Contribution reviews with our operations in Singapore and China in order to avoid Subpart F inclusion of over US$250M. I have worked with our European operations to restructure our business units into contract manufacturing entities and market units to achieve some tax efficiencies.
I have also been actively involved in maintaining our transfer pricing model for our international distribution network. This effort involves maintaining current comparable prices with the help of an online data base and where needed seeking a 3rd party (e.g., “Big Four” accounting firm) study to confirm our pricing.
I have also provided advice to our business units regarding VAT implications of certain transactions in the European Union, China, Mexico and Canada. The basic result is developing a structure that these sales would fit under so as to not jeopardize any potential VAT recovery.
I implemented various tax planning strategies that resulted in excess of $3M in SALT savings annually. Chief amongst these plans involved a legal restructuring of the business into separate, tax efficient entities organized along business lines. I successfully defended the company in a $100k tax dispute with the Florida Department of Revenue. The main issue centered on one of our Florida-based subsidiaries ability to apportion its income both within and without the state.
I oversaw the preparation of numerous personal property returns as well as coordinate possible real estate tax valuation protests.
I worked with our accounting -department to improve our ASC 740 ( FAS 109) reporting through the use of the Tax Stream (now, One Source Tax Provision) provision tool. I instituted a “tax certification” process for our finance officers in order to comply with auditor’s requests for internal control documentation.
I also started a program of reviewing accounts payable transactions to determine if too much sales/use tax was paid. Given the complexities involved with Ohio’s manufacturing and R&D exemptions we have been able to secure refunds in excess of $1.5M.
I worked with the Human Resources department to administer certain employee benefit programs. In this regard I reviewed the IRS Form 5500 associated with these plans. I also managed the tax aspects of the company’s employee relocation and expatriate programs.
I am also working with Emerson’s corporate law department to handle an Unclaimed Property audit of our State of Delaware incorporated entities.
National City Corp. (now PNC Cleveland, Ohio
May, 2001-April, 2003
Vice President Tax Technical Group: Provided tax counsel to the management of the nation’s 8th largest bank holding company. This position reported to the Senior V.P. of the tax department. Primary focus was on federal and state tax audit defense; employee benefit tax as well as merger and acquisition planning.
Accomplishments: Worked with the Human Resources department to convert the company 401(k) plan to an ESOP. In so doing we could then deduct dividends paid pursuant to IRC § 404(k). This deduction saved the company in excess of $13M annually in federal taxes. We successfully litigated a case in West Virginia tax court that supported our calculation of the receipts factor. We successfully negotiated settlements with the Indiana Department of Revenue regarding four disputed tax audits.
I also provided sales/use tax advice on leasing transactions involving our commercial finance group.
Cleveland-Cliffs, Inc. (now Cliffs Natural Resources Cleveland, Ohio
December, 1999-April, 2001
Senior Tax Counsel: This position was responsible for all of the tax planning and audit appeal work for the country’s largest iron ore mining concern. It reported to the Director of Tax. The company operated mines in Minnesota, Michigan, Canada and Australia. In addition it managed a joint venture facility in Trinidad.
Accomplishments: Utilized a “check-the-box” strategy to restructure the Trinidad joint venture in a way that generated $32M in tax savings. That money was then invested back into the facility to correct technical problems with the iron ore processing taking place there. I successfully negotiated a settlement of a Minnesota Occupation (Mining) Tax audit. Worked with Government Affairs department to draft and pass legislation in Michigan granting an SBT credit for users of low grade hematite (i.e., a form of iron ore). Set up a tax equalization program for two expatriates transferring to the company’s Canadian mine.
Emerson Electric Co St. Louis, Mo.
March, 1997-November, 1999
Manager-State & Local Taxes: Manager in the state and local tax department of a $14B diversified manufacturer. This position reported to the Director of State & Local Taxes. It was primarily responsible for tax planning and audit work. It would also advise the tax compliance group as to law changes effecting return preparation.
Accomplishments: Prepared and filed the initial appeal in Emerson v.Tracy (2000), 90 Ohio St.3d 157, 735 NE2d 445. I later, worked with outside counsel to prepare the appellate brief. That case held that Ohio’s add-back of expenses related to foreign dividends was unconstitutional. This case reduced the company’s Ohio tax liability by approximately $1M for the period covered by the claim. I worked out a compromise with the Kentucky Revenue Cabinet that reduced our add-back of expenses related to nontaxable income. The savings generated by this settlement were in excess of $200k.
I also oversaw the preparation of personal property and sales/use tax returns in numerous jurisdictions.
Eaton Corporation Cleveland, Ohio
October, 1986-March, 1997
May, 1993-March, 1997
Tax Attorney International : This position was responsible for planning international transaction in a manner that minimized U.S. taxation. Eaton Corporation is currently a $12B diversified manufacturer.
Accomplishments: Obtained documentation that supported transfer pricing arrangement between the company and its IRC §936 entity in Puerto Rico. I administered offshore receivables factoring company in Barbados. I handled U.S. tax compliance (1120F) for the branch of a Canadian affiliate. I prepared a U.S. form 1065 on behalf of Brazilian hybrid entity. Set up and instituted the company’s G.S.T. (VAT) compliance program for its Canadian operating subsidiary.
February 1989-May, 1993
Tax Attorney State & Local: Responsible for all aspects of state & local tax for Eaton. This included income/franchise tax return preparation. Provision tax accounting and return to provision reconciliation. The job also entailed audit representation and appeal work as well as transactional tax planning.
Accomplishments: Successfully defended the company’s use of a Delaware Passive Investment Company in a number of jurisdictions. Used another Delaware holding company to own a $460M deferred revenue government contract and by triggering the income there, we minimized state tax liability in virtually all of the states that the company did business in.
October, 1986-February, 1989
Senior Tax Analyst-State & Local Tax: This position was primarily responsible for sales and use tax audit defense work. As a manufacturer Eaton was often involved in issues regarding the applicability of various exemptions on the purchases of both capital and expense items.
Accomplishments: In 1988 while working with both the Ohio Chamber of Commerce and Ohio Manufacturers’ Association tax committees and in concert with the Ohio Department of Taxation, we introduced legislation (H.B. 531) to the General Assembly which modernized Ohio’s manufacturing exemption from sales and use tax.
Ohio Department of Taxation Columbus, Ohio
May, 1985-October, 1986
Attorney-Legal Division: Preside as a Hearing Officer over disputed tax assessments. Provide technical advice to taxpayers and other Department of Tax personnel. Most of the matters handled here involved sales/use tax.
University of Akron (Part-time Akron, Ohio
Spring semesters 1996, 1997 and 2000
Adjunct instructor Graduate Tax Program: Taught a course on the U.S. taxation of international transactions in the University’s graduate tax program.
Case Western Reserve University School of Law Cleveland, Ohio
September, 1992-December, 1994
Capital University Law School Columbus, Ohio
September, 1982-February, 1985
Detroit College of Law (now Michigan State University College of Law) Detroit, Mi.
January, 1982-May, 1982
17 credits towards J.D.
St. Vincent College Latrobe, Pa.
September, 1977-May, 1981
St. Ignatius High School Cleveland, Ohio
September, 1973 – June, 1977
High School Diploma-College Prep
References Upon Request