2011 Arthur J. Dixon Memorial Award

Jay Starkman with TEC Chair Pat Thompson


The AICPA’s Tax Executive Committee bestowed the 2011 Arthur J. Dixon Memorial Award on Jay Starkman. David Lifson, a former chair of the committee and previous Dixon award recipient, presented the award at a luncheon in Washington, DC, on November 9.

Starkman is a widely recognized expert on tax simplification and the history of U.S. taxes. His book, The Sex of a Hippopotamus: A Unique History of Taxes and Accounting, has been described by The Wall Street Journal as the “only readable book about taxes.” Starkman began his career in New York with Price Waterhouse and Touche Ross and as the comptroller of a commercial finance company. He then moved to Atlanta to work with Arthur Young. In 1979, he began his own firm in Atlanta from which he still practices.

Starkman has been a dedicated AICPA volunteer leader for more than 25 years. He has chaired the Tax Simplification Committee, the Member Tax Practice Improvement Committee, and the Tax Court Practice by CPAs Task Force. He also has served on the Tax Executive Committee, Tax Policy Committee, Task Force on IRS Restructuring Issues, Tax Reform Task Force, State and Local Advisory Group, Tax Shelter Regulations Task Force, Corporate Tax Shelter Task Force, and the IRS Practice and Procedures Committee. He also moderated the AICPA–ABA Invitational Conference on Reduction of Income Tax Complexity and was on its steering committee.

He has been an active volunteer with the Georgia Society of CPAs, including as the chairman of its Tax Legislation Subcommittee and as a member of a number of its committees. The Georgia House of Representatives issued a special resolution in appreciation of his assistance in simplifying the state’s income tax laws.

The annual award honors the memory of Arthur J. Dixon, a CPA who had an outstanding record of service to the tax profession and to the AICPA Tax Division. The award was established after his death in 1981 to honor outstanding CPAs in the area of taxes and is the highest award given by the accounting profession in the area of taxation.

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