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Faculty – Master of Science in Taxation

Kristina Allan

EY Partner, International Tax and Transaction Services | Market Leader – Pacific Northwest, EY
Affiliate Instructor
Kristina Allan

Bio: Kristina is an experienced tax advisor and team leader specializing in complex international tax, transaction tax, U.S. federal income tax, tax compliance, tax controversy, and tax accounting matters. Throughout her career, Kristina has found the most gratification from serving as a trusted advisor, partnering with clients to enable them to exceed their goals and make business decisions that move beyond tax and align with the organization’s strategic goals. Kristina has lived and worked overseas and derived tremendous value from experiencing other working styles, interacting with other taxing authorities and companies, and working with a wide variety of individuals. This international experience has provided strategic insights and planning for her clients, allowing them to achieve efficient global tax structures and drive shareholder value.

In addition to serving clients, Kristina finds fulfillment in growing, mentoring, and training diverse, high performing teams of professionals. Kristina is currently serving as a lecturer with the Michael G. Foster School of Business, Masters of Tax program at the University of Washington. She teaches Corporations I and II, which are focused on the life cycle of a corporation as well as taxable and tax-deferred mergers and acquisition structuring. Expanding into this area of academia has allowed Kristina to interact with the next generation of tax professionals and remain on the forefront of innovation as it relates to technology and thought leadership in the tax and finance area.

Rory Backman, CPA

Associate Manager, Global Income Tax Accounting – Starbucks
Part-Time Lecturer
[email protected]
Rory BackmanExpertise: ASC 740 Income Tax Accounting & US Corporate Taxation

Bio: Rory received a BA in Business Administration – Accounting as well as a Master of Professional Accounting – Taxation degree from the University of Washington. He spent about 6 years working at Ernst & Young as a tax professional, preparing tax returns and auditing financial results for a range of corporations. Rory currently works at the Starbucks corporate headquarters on the income tax accounting team, preparing the annual and interim consolidated tax expense work papers as well as leading the SOX requirements related to income taxes.

Crystal Finkelstein

Senior Lecturer / Faculty Director
[email protected]
Crystal FinkelsteinExpertise: Asset Management, Financial Products, Partnership Allocations, Partnership Distributions, Corporate Formations & Liquidations, Corporate Distribution

Bio: Crystal Finkelstein is a Lecturer of Accounting at the University of Washington Foster School of Business and the Co-Director of the Master of Science in Taxation program. Crystal teaches Tax Effects of Business Decisions and Business Taxation at the Undergraduate level, and Tax Issues – Property, Corporations I, Conduits and Speaker Forum in the Master of Science in Taxation program.

Prior to joining the Unviersity of Washington as a Lecturer in Accoutning, Crystal was a Tax Partner at PwC in Seattle where she focused on the Asset Management practice with an emphasis on alternative investment products. As a Partner at PwC, Crystal provided tax compliance and consulting services to her clients which currently included hedge funds, hedge fund of funds, venture capital funds, and private equity funds in Seattle, Southern California, and New York.

Crystal has experience advising clients on the tax treatment and tax reporting requirements for funds and their investors with a variety of strategies, investments, and financial products including long-short equities, bonds, futures, forwards, mortgage backed secirities, asset backed securities, swaps, options, repurchase agreements, rights, warrants, lending activities, Passive Foreign Investment Companies, Controlled Foreign Corporations, and Effectively Connected Income. She has in depth experience with partnership allocations, partnership contributions and distributions of property, entity restructuring, tax basis, voluntary disclosures with both federal and state jurisdictions, withholding tax issues, and IRS audit support.

Crystal holds a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration with a Major in Accounting from the University of Washington and graduated with honors from the University of Washington with a Master of Professional Accounting. Crystal is a Certified Public Accountant licensed in Washington State.

Christina Fitzpatrick

PacNW Talent Acquisition Leader
Affiliate Instructor
Christina Fitzpatrick

Bio: Christina Fitzpatrick serves as the Bay Area & Northwest Talent Identification Leader for PwC, where she has worked for the past 21 years in various HR and recruitment roles. She has a background in Communications, starting her career in public relations before moving into professional services. Christina has been involved in local and national roles, many focused on how we effectively create and communicate strategy to both internal and external stakeholders. She has a passion for working with students and helping them prepare for their careers by ensuring a solid foundation in business communications.

Justin Gruba

Senior Manager, State and Local Tax , KPMG LLP
Affiliate Instructor
Justin Gruba

Bio: As a senior manager in the State and Local Tax practice at KPMG LLP, Justin advises clients on state and local sales and use tax issues such as nexus, classification, sourcing, and taxability of their sales and purchases across all states and localities that impose sales and use tax. He specializes in reverse sales and use tax audits consisting of evaluating client purchases for overpayment of sales and use tax.

 

Tyler Henderson

Senior Manager, State and Local Tax, Amazon
Affiliate Instructor
Tyler Henderson

Bio: Tyler’s first role in tax was at Ernst & Young in Seattle where he focused on general state and local tax services including income/franchise, Washington B&O, sales and use, and credits and incentives. Since moving to Amazon over six years ago, his work has focused primarily on state income taxes, where he interacts with various teams impacted by income taxes and primarily comprises compliance and reporting, audit, provision and policy. Tyler graduated from Weber State University in 2004 with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and went on to law school at Seattle University where he completed their JD/MBA program concurrently with the business school in 2009.

Richard Johnson

Attorney
Part-Time Lecturer
Richard JohnsonExpertise: Civil Tax Controversy (Federal & Washington State)

Bio: Rich Johnson represents businesses and individuals in disputes with the Internal Revenue Service and the Washington State Department of Revenue. Rich joined LeSourd & Patten, P.S. in 2006 after graduating cum laude from Seattle University School of Law in Seattle, Washington. While at Seattle University, he focused on tax law and interned with the IRS Office of Chief Counsel, where he assisted in a variety of civil tax controversy cases. Rich completed his LL.M. degree in taxation at the University of Washington School of Law.

On top of his practice, Rich teaches courses in federal tax procedure and federal estate & gift tax in the Master of Science in Taxation (MST) program at the University of Washington, Michael G. Foster School of Business.

His recent cases include, but are not limited to:

  • protesting IRS audit determinations
  • protesting Washington State Department of Revenue (DOR) audit determinations for in-state and out-of-state taxpayers (including business & occupation tax, sales tax, use tax, cigarette & tobacco taxes); including representing taxpayers accused of using sales suppression (zapper) sofware
  • challenging federal trust fund recovery penalty assessments (unpaid federal employment taxes)
  • appealing Washington DOR trust fund accountability assessments (collected and unpaid sales tax)
  • representing tax return preparers in protesting return preparer penalties
  • general tax collection matters such as penalty abatement, offers in compromise, installment agreements, and resolving lien, levy, and garnishment issues.

Stephen McDonald

Senior Tax Manager, Amazon
Affiliate Instructor
Stephen McDonald

Bio: Stephen currently serves as a senior manager in Amazon’s state and local tax group. During his thirteen-year career in state and local tax, he has worked in public accounting for both KPMG and EY as well as for local law firms. At Amazon, Stephen works in the state indirect tax planning group, where he provides tax guidance for various business lines so they can launch new initiatives in a tax-compliant manner. For eight years he taught various tax classes in Seattle University’s Masters of Accounting program and currently serves on the Seattle University Accounting Advisory Board. Stephen graduated from the College of William and Mary School of Law and earned my LL.M. in taxation from the University of Washington.

Grant Shaver

Senior Manager, State and Local Tax, Clark Nuber PS
Affiliate Instructor
Grant Shaver

Bio: Grant is a senior manager in Clark Nuber’s State and Local Tax Services Group. During his ten-year career in state and local tax, Grant has worked with clients across many industries including the healthcare, life science, technology, and higher education. He now focuses primarily on assisting his clients with indirect tax issues. Grant graduated from Western Washington University in 2008 with a Bachelor of the Arts in Accounting, and went on to the University of Washington, graduating with a Master’s in Public Accountancy: Taxation in 2010. Prior to joining Clark Nuber, Grant was with KPMG in Seattle.

Ken Tracy

Partner – KBF CPAs LLP
[email protected]
Ken TracyExpertise: Taxation

Bio: Ken is a partner at KBF CPAs, LLP, a West Coast regional accounting firm with over 100 professionals founded and led by ex-Big 4 partners with a deep focus on ASC 740 income tax accounting expertise. KBF serves over 150 public companies and several hundred more venture-backed and private-equity owned companies out of offices in Seattle, Portland, Irvine and San Diego. Prior to joining KBF in 2017, Ken was a partner at EY for 33 years, including serving as the Pacific Northwest Tax Managing Partner based in Seattle and the National Director of Tax Services to the Health Sciences Sector. Ken has taught Mergers & Acquisitions Taxation and Accounting for Income Taxes (Corp II and Corp III) in the UW Masters of Tax program as well as selected undergraduate classes in taxation since 2017. He graduated magna cum laude from Brigham Young University with a Masters degree in Taxation and an undergraduate degree in Accounting in 1983. He has served on the National Advisory Board to the BYU School of Accountancy. He and Laurie, his college sweetheart of over 40 years, are the parents of 5 and grandparents of 5 and counting.

Yicheng Wang

Tax Senior Manager, Deloitte Tax LLP
Affiliate Instructor
Yicheng WangExpertise: International Tax, Process and Automation

Bio: Yicheng Wang is a senior manager with Deloitte with over 11 years of experience in helping clients improve and automate processes in the international tax space. Yicheng earned his Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration and Master of Professional Accounting from the University of Washington. Yicheng is grateful for the opportunity to teach in the Master of Science in Taxation for two reasons: (1) to guide and inspire the tax professionals of tomorrow, and (2) to enjoy the facility accommodations that had always been under construction during Yicheng’s college career.