Viva Hammer is a tax policy and practice leader, with over twenty-five years’ experience at the Office of Tax Policy in the Treasury Department, at the Joint Committee on Taxation in the U.S. Congress, and in private practice.
Ms. Hammer was most recently at the Joint Committee on Taxation where she advised on the drafting and design of the 2017 Tax Reform, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), particularly the international provisions. She wrote legislative histories and technical explanations for the Senate and House Bills and final conference agreement.
Ms. Hammer was also a lead advisor on 2016 Blueprint on Tax Reform, proposing replacing the business tax with a hybrid consumption tax, including replacement of capitalization and depreciation with expensing, implementing full border adjustability, focusing on treatment of cross border flows and financial institutions. She also advised on issues such as State Aid investigations, implications of worldwide BEPS implementation, base erosion, patent box, interest and royalty stripping, and cross border capital flows.
Ms. Hammer led JCT’s financial institutions and products team, including designing the Modernization of Derivatives Tax Act, Senator Wyden’s proposal on taxation of financial transactions, supervised drafting of MODA and its technical explanation. She advised on the implications of debt/equity and inversion regulations, including impact on treasury management, cash pooling, intercompany lending, and hedging. In addition, she led a Congress-wide training on capital markets and implications for domestic and cross border tax policy.
Ms. Hammer led JCT’s team advising Senator Cardin on his Progressive Consumption Tax Act and other Members on the X-Tax and other VAT proposals.
As a member of the Office of Tax Policy in the U.S. Department of Treasury, Ms. Hammer was responsible for developing policy for the taxation of financial institutions and products. She supervised the publication of the hedging regulations, notional principal contract (swap) regulations, as well as notices regarding foreign currency and swap transactions. She was also responsible for the credit card Revenue Rulings, guidance for debt-equity hybrids such as contingent convertibles (COCOs), Feline Prides, book-tax conformity for dealers in securities and treatment of nonperforming loans by banks. While at Treasury, Ms. Hammer participated in meetings of the President’s Working Group on Derivatives Oversight and Implementation.
Between her public service at the Treasury Department and the Joint Committee on Taxation, Ms. Hammer was a partner at a large D.C. based law firm and a Big Four accounting firm.
Publications and Speeches
Ms. Hammer has published over a hundred articles in professional, academic and popular leading journals and books, including Tax Notes, Journal of International Tax, Bulletin for International Taxation, Derivatives & Financial Instruments, Practicing Law Institute, columnist for IBFD’s Derivatives & Financial Instruments and NYSSCPA’s journal. A selection is below.
- “Tax Reform: Two Views,” Tax Notes, Jan 2015
- “BEPS: New Acronym, Old Issues,” Tax Notes, Jan 2015
- “Making Camp a Marking Man,” Tax Notes, May 2014
- “Tax Treatment of Derivatives,” U.S. Contribution, Derivatives & Financial Instruments, IBFD, Aug 2012
- “Contingent Convertible Securities,” Tax Management International Forum, Spring 2012 (with Sam Chen)
- “US Taxation of Foreign Currency Derivatives: 30 Years of Uncertainty,” Bulletin for International Taxation, IBFD, Vol. 64, No. 3, March 2010, revised and updated, Practicing Law Institute, 2012-2016
- “Insurance Derivatives: A Tax Angle,” Practicing Law Institute, 2001-2016
- “The Taxation of Dodd-Frank, Part I,” Tax Notes, July 2011, reproduced by Tax Notes, September 2012 as a major contribution to tax law TNT’s 40th anniversary;
- “The Taxation of Dodd-Frank, Part II,” Tax Notes, July 2011
- “U.S. Taxation of Contingent Convertible Bonds,” Derivatives & Financial Instruments, IBFD, May/June 2011
- “Alternative Energy Gets a Second Wind,” Tax Notes, Nov 2010
- “Did Credit Derivatives Cause the Financial Crisis?” Jurist.Diction, Autumn 2010
- “Taxation of High-Yield Debt – Beware the End of the Reprieve,” Tax Notes Sept 2009
- “Financial Products Audits,” (with Ann Singer) Derivatives & Financial Instruments, IBFD Nov 2008
- “The Taxman Commeth,” Alpha Magazine, Institutional Investor, September 2007
- “Accounting and Tax Implications of Credit Derivatives,” Credit Derivatives, ed. Satyajit Das, John Wiley, 1998
- “Taxation of Equity Derivatives,” Equity Derivatives: Applications in Risk Management, Risk Publications, 1997
- “Australian and US Transfer Pricing Rules Track Each Other,” Journal of International Tax, June 1994
Ms. Hammer has spoken individually or as part of a panel in over one hundred and thirty forums, including the American Bar Association, Federal Bar Association, DC Bar, Practicing Law Institute, Tax Executives Institute, Bank Tax Institute, New York University Stern School of Business, New York State Society of CPAs Foundation for Accounting Education, Financial Research Associates, Wall Street Tax Association, Tax Coalition Issues Forum, U.S. Council for International Business. Some examples include:
- University of Florida Graduate Tax Program, Lecturer on the international provisions of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, July 2018
- Georgetown University Law Center, Lecturer in the history of the international provisions of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, May 2018
- “Basis and Cost Recovery in the International Provisions of TCJA, including GILTI and FDII”, American Bar Association, April 2018
- “Base Erosion and Anti-Abuse Tax (BEAT)” at the D.C. Bar and Jones Day’s “Conference with the government and private sector to discuss the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act”, Jan 2018
- Congressional staff representative on the implications to financial institutions and transactions of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, 2018 Taxation of Financial Instruments and transactions conference of the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants, Jan 2018
- University of Florida Graduate Tax Program, Lecturer in the institutional aspects of how tax legislation is passed in Congress, Oct 2017
- “Tax Incentives for Technological Innovation”, American Bar Association, Boston, Sept 2016
- “Modernization of Derivatives Tax Act”, NYSSCPAs Foundation for Accounting Education, May 2016
- “Inbound International Tax Policy”, DC Bar Tax Section, May 2016
- “Wright and the Taxation of Foreign Currency Transactions”, DC Bar Tax Section, March 2016
- “Creation of the U.S. Tax Laws: A Live Example”, International Monetary Fund, Oct 2015
- “BEPS and the American Tax System”, American Bar Association, Houston, Jan 2015
- “Tax Reform: Two Views”, plenary lunch speech at the American Bar Association, Houston, Jan 2015
- “871(m) – Cross Border Derivatives”, Practising Law Institute, Los Angeles, Dec 2014
- “Contingent Convertibles”, Tax Management International Forum, Paris, April 2012
- “Tax Consequences of Dodd-Frank”, The Glass Hammer, New York, July 2011
- “Hedging Transactions for Insurance Companies”, Federal Bar Association, Washington DC, May 2011
- “Corporate Taxes and Dodd-Frank’s Derivatives Rules”, Women Corporate Directors DC, Oct 2010
- “International Taxation – Financial Products Issues”, Tax Executives Institute – Baltimore-Washington Chapter’s Ninth Annual Tax Education Day, Bethesda, Nov 2009
- “Taxes, Audits and How to Be Prepared”, Associated Builders and Contractors Institute, Orlando, Oct 2009
- “Issuing or Amending Your Debt? Beware the Taxman! Tax Pitfalls in Issuing or Amending Debt during the Credit Crisis”, Association of Financial Professionals, Webinar, April 2009
- “New Financial Products Tax Implications”, Bank Tax Institute, Orlando, Dec 1997
- “U.S. Tax and the E.M.U.”, U.S. Council for International Business, Washington, DC, Nov 1997
Memberships and Affiliations
- Chair of Legislative Matters Subcommittee of the Banking and Savings Institutions Committee, American Bar Association, 2010-2013
- Participant in President’s Working Group on Derivatives Oversight and Implementation, 2000-2004
- Chair, U.S. Council for International Business, Committee on Tax Implications of the EMU, 1997
- Editorial Board, Derivatives and Financial Instruments Journal, IBFD, 1999-2015
- Editorial Board, Derivatives Tax, Regulation, Finance, RIA Group, 1997-1999
- Financial Products Committee of New York State CPA Society, 1996-2000
News, Events & Insights
University of Sydney, Law Degree, First Class Honours, 1990
University of Sydney, Bachelor of Economics, Accounting, 1987
- Joint Committee on Taxation, 2013-2018
- Office of Tax Policy, U.S. Department of the Treasury, 2000-2006
Areas of Practice
- District of Columbia
- New York