Indianapolis, Ind. — Members of the Indiana CPA Society (INCPAS) visited Indiana lawmakers in Washington, D.C. to discuss the accounting profession’s advocacy agenda. They were attending the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) Spring Meeting of Council and Annual Members’ Meeting from May 19-21.
“Making these personal visits with our elected officials on Capitol Hill is one of the best ways to educate them about the issues important to the accounting profession and the taxpayers they represent,” said INCPAS President & CEO Jennifer Briggs, CAE.
At the top of the profession’s list of issues are modernizing the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) taxpayer services, changing the trigger that allows the IRS to grant deadline extensions when natural disasters occur, the growing importance of taxation of the digital economy and a Congressional resolution relating to the fiscal state of the nation.
A Practitioner Services Division within the IRS is one of the best ways to improve taxpayers services, the CPAs told lawmakers. It would help tax preparers solve their clients’ tax issues by consolidating existing IRS units in the new division. Currently, the programs are spread throughout the IRS and the operating systems for the programs do not easily communicate or integrate or even have access to the same taxpayer information.
Congress can also help taxpayers by enacting legislation that would give the IRS the authority to postpone deadlines when a national disaster is declared by a state’s governor, which often occurs days before the disaster occurs, rather than waiting for a federal disaster declaration, the CPAs said. INCPAS and the AICPA have long worked for a set of permanent disaster relief tax provisions, but enactment of this new legislation would provide more timely assistance and certainty to tax preparers and taxpayers.
The CPAs also asked their lawmakers to support a Congressional fiscal state of the nation resolution calling for the Government Accountability Office Comptroller General (GAO) to make a presentation to a joint session of the House and Senate Budget Committees on the GAO’s auditor’s report of the U.S. government’s financial statements.
In addition, the CPAs advocated for sound tax policy as they discussed with lawmakers the complex and unique tax challenges presented to governments and tax authorities around the world by the advancement of technology and the digital economy.