2016 Tax Advocacy Comment Letters 


December 21, 2016 - AICPA Comment Letter on the House Republican’s Tax Reform Task Force Blueprint

The AICPA is providing input on the House Republican’s Tax Reform Task Force blueprint (“A Better Way” plan), released on June 24, 2016. Our profession has long-advocated for certainty and fairness to the tax system because we are convinced such actions will reduce taxpayers’ compliance costs, encourage voluntary compliance through an understanding of the rules and greater respect for the system, and improve enforcement actions. Our comments in this letter focus on areas of interest to professional service businesses.


December 16, 2016 - AICPA Comments on Treasury Regulation § 1.1441-9

The AICPA has submitted comments requesting that the IRS permit qualified tax practitioners to perform foreign equivalency determinations for the purpose of section 1441 as is currently permitted for the purpose of section 4945.


December 14, 2016 - 2017 AICPA Compendium of Tax Legislative Proposals

The AICPA is submitting the 2017 Compendium on Tax Legislative Proposals which focuses on changes to provisions in the Internal Revenue Code that need attention, recommendations that are technical in nature and recommendations that perhaps can be readily addressed. We believe these proposals generally promote simplicity and fairness and are generally noncontroversial.


December 1, 2016 - AICPA Oral Testimony on Section 2704 Proposed Regulations

AICPA testified on tax and valuation issues of the section 2704 proposed regulations regarding valuation discounts for estate and gift taxes.


December 1, 2016 - AICPA Oral Testimony on Technical Tax Issues of REG-163113-02 Proposed Regulations

AICPA testified on valuation issues of the section 2704 proposed regulations regarding valuation discounts for estate and gift taxes. 


December 1, 2016 - AICPA Oral Testimony on Valuation Issues of Section 2704 Proposed Regulations

AICPA testified on valuation issues of the section 2704 proposed regulations regarding valuation discounts for estate and gift taxes.


November 22, 2016 - AICPA Outlines Tax Reform Priorities

Tax Executive Committee’s List Includes AMT Repeal, Retirement Savings Plan Harmonization, Simplification of Education-Related Provisions and IRS Service Improvements


November 17, 2016 - AICPA Proposed Legislative Revisions to the Partnership Audit Regime Enacted as part of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015

The AICPA has submitted a set of recommended legislative changes to the new Partnership Audit Regime enacted as part of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015. The changes are designed to clarify the operation of provisions in the legislation related to the “push-out” election, the filing of amended returns by partners in certain circumstances and the interaction of audit changes with certain other code sections.


November 14, 2016 - AICPA Comments on Revenue Procedure 2015-13

The AICPA has submitted comments to the IRS regarding Revenue Procedure 2015-13, Changes in Methods of Accounting. Our comments include recommendations for items which the AICPA has identified in Rev. Proc. 2015-13 and think the IRS should revise to better achieve the goal of encouraging voluntary compliance with proper tax accounting methods, while limiting the administrative burdens of taxpayers when complying with the rules.


November 9, 2016 - AICPA Comments on Revenue Procedure 2016-49 Regarding Guidance on Qualified Terminable Interest Property (QTIP)

AICPA thanks IRS and Treasury for issuing Revenue Procedure 2016-49 regarding guidance on making the qualified terminable interest property (QTIP) election when filing an estate tax return solely to elect portability of the deceased spousal unused exclusion amount. The guidance provides a reasonable approach to interpreting, implementing, and complying with the QTIP and portability rules.


October 31, 2016 - AICPA Request to Testify on Section 2704 Proposed Regulations (REG-163113-02, Docket ID IRS-2016-0022)

On October 31, the AICPA requested to testify at the Treasury and IRS public hearing taking place on December 1, 2016 regarding these proposed regulations. In this request, the AICPA expressed several technical and valuation concerns with the proposed regulations including a concern with the effective date of the final regulations. According to the submitted outline for testimony, the AICPA recommends that IRS withdraw or repropose the regulations, and if that is not done, then consider the AICPA and other comments in the final regulations.


October 18, 2016 - AICPA Comment Letter on RIN 1506-AB26, Financial Crimes Enforcement Network; Amendment to the Bank Secrecy Act Regulations – Reports of Foreign Financial Accounts

The AICPA has submitted recommendations to FinCEN regarding proposed changes to the filing requirements for FinCEN Form 114, Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (commonly called the FBAR). The recommendations concern the treatment of taxpayers with signature authority, but no financial interest in accounts, allowing filers with more than 25 accounts to report the information as an attachment and how to implement the new ability for taxpayers to extend the filing deadline for their FBAR returns.


October 7, 2016 - AICPA Comment Letter Notice 2016-23 BBA Partnership Audit Procedures

The AICPA has submitted a series of specific recommendations to the IRS on the necessary administrative guidance to implement the new partnership audit rules generally effective for tax years 2018 and later which were enacted as part of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015. The recommendations cover issues related to the small partnership opt-out, selection of the Partnership Representative, calculation of the modified imputed underpayment, the election to push-out adjustments to the partners and filing Administrative Adjustment Requests with the IRS. The recommendations are designed to balance the IRS’s desire to simplify the assessment and collection of audit adjustments from complicated multi-tier partnership structures with the tax code’s basic principles of fairness and equity.


September 27, 2016 - AICPA Recommendations on Notice 2016-48, Implementation of PATH Act ITIN Provisions

The AICPA has provided recommendations to the IRS regarding Notice 2016-48, Implementation of the PATH Act ITIN Provisions. Among the recommendations are a request for additional notice and outreach by the IRS to those taxpayers with expiring ITINs, allowing early renewal of ITINs set to automatically expire in later years, and permitting overseas taxpayers to use Certified Acceptance Agents in the ITIN renewal process. In addition, the AICPA expressed concern over IRS plans to allow expired ITINs to be used for Information Reporting purposes. Instead, the AICPA recommends that a simplified filing be created to allow taxpayers who need an ITIN for purposes other than filing an income tax return to maintain their ITIN in active status.


August 31, 2016 - AICPA Request for Legislation Modifying the Deadline for Estate Basis Reporting

The AICPA urges Congress to modify the reporting provisions for estate basis statements to require such reporting by February 15 following the end of a calendar year in which an estate distributes assets to a beneficiary, rather than 30 days after an estate files the Federal estate tax return.


August 19, 2016 - AICPA Comment Letter on Section 199 Online Software

The AICPA Tax Methods and Periods Technical Resource Panel submitted a comment letter to the IRS with recommendations for modifications to the section 199 regulations for determining qualified gross receipts from the disposition of computer software.


August 16, 2016 - AICPA Comments on IRS Implementation of CPEO Process

Professional Employer Organizations serve as outsourced human resources and payroll functions for client companies, typically small and medium-sized businesses. In December 2014, Congress created a new type of entity called a “certified professional employer organization” (CPEO); the enacting statute provides that the IRS establish a certification process. The attached comments request clarification of and changes to the proposed regulations implementing the certification process.


August 15, 2016 - AICPA Comments on Simplification of Tax Filing Obligations for Americans Living Abroad

The AICPA has recommended that the Internal Revenue Service and the Department of the Treasury simplify the tax compliance process for certain Americans residing abroad eliminating certain duplicative reporting requirements. The relief would apply to foreign accounts established in their country of residence provided the United States was already directly receiving information from the financial institutions under the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA).


July 13, 2016 - AICPA Expresses Concern over IRS Authority to Apply Section 385 to Partnership Debt 

The AICPA has submitted a comment letter which express its concerns that the United States Department of the Treasury (“Treasury”) and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) do not have the authority to extend the application of the proposed section 385 regulations to partnership equity or debt instruments issued by partnerships.


July 7, 2016 - AICPA Comments on Section 385 Proposed Regulations

The AICPA submitted comments and recommendations related to the technical aspects of the proposed regulations under section 385 of the Internal Revenue Code related to the treatment of certain interests in corporations as stock or debt. The AICPA has concerns that if the proposed regulations are finalized in substantially the same format, they would have a significant and disruptive impact on normal and critical operations of a large number of U.S. businesses.


June 30, 2016 - AICPA Comments on the Form 990 and the Related Instructions

The AICPA Exempt Organizations Taxation Technical Resource Panel submitted a comments on the Form 990, Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax, and the related instructions. The comments include recommendations for the 2016 forms and instructions, while indicating the importance and urgency of each recommendation.


June 27, 2016 - AICPA Comment Letter on Unrelated Business Income Expense Allocation Methodologies for Dual Use Facilities

The AICPA Exempt Organizations Taxation Technical Resource Panel submitted a comment letter to the IRS Office of Chief Counsel (TE/GE) with guidelines and examples addressing the allocation of expenses for dual use facilities for the purpose of reporting Unrelated Business Income.


June 23, 2016 - AICPA International Tax Comments on Tax Reform Act of 2014

The AICPA wrote to the House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX), about the international tax provisions in the Tax Reform Act of 2014. We identified potential technical issues, administrative-type concerns, provisions needing clarification, and areas we think warrant further consideration as Congress moves forward with international tax reform.


June 10, 2016 - AICPA Comments on Notice 2014-21 Virtual Currency Guidance

The AICPA Individual & Self-Employed Tax TRP submitted a comment letter to the IRS and Treasury regarding IRS Notice 2014-21. The letter requests additional guidance on the treatment of virtual currency while highlighting a few major issues, not addressed in Notice 2014-21, that may arise as virtual currency continues to expand and gain additional popularity in the marketplace.


June 7, 2016 - AICPA Comment Letter on Section 170 Charitable Contribution of Inventory

The AICPA Tax Methods and Periods Technical Resource Panel submitted a comment letter to the IRS with recommendations for guidance under Internal Revenue Code sections 170(e)(1) and 170(e)(3) regarding charitable contributions of inventory.


June 7, 2016 - AICPA Requests Extension of Comment Period on Section 385 Proposed Regulations

The AICPA has requested that the Department of the Treasury extend the comment period on Proposed Regulations REG-108060-15, Treatment of Certain Interests in Corporations as Stock or Indebtedness an additional 90 days to October 5, 2016.  The AICPA believes this extension is necessary because the changes proposed by the regulations are extensive, make changes to existing case law and will require a substantial amount of study and review in order to provide comprehensive and meaningful comments.


June 1, 2016 - AICPA Comments on Estate Tax Basis Reporting Proposed Regulations

AICPA submitted comments to Treasury and IRS on the estate tax basis reporting proposed regulations.  The suggestions included:

  • Removing the "zero basis rule" and allowing the filing of a supplemental Form 706 at any time even if the statute of limitations has expired;
  • Removing the reporting requirement for subsequent transfers by beneficiaries; and 
  • Addressing several other areas in the regulations.

May 23, 2016 - AICPA Comment Letter on Section 501(r)(2) Hospital Definition

The AICPA Exempt Organizations Taxation Technical Resource Panel submitted a comment letter to the IRS and Treasury requesting additional guidance that will allow flexibility regarding the definition of the term “hospital” under Internal Revenue Code section 501(r)(2). Specifically, the AICPA recommends that the Treasury and the IRS issue guidance that will exclude certain organizations, which do not function as or operate what is commonly considered a hospital, from the requirements of section 501(r).


May 19, 2016 - AICPA Proposal to Reduce the User Fees Charged for S Corporation Private Letter Ruling Requests Under Sections 1362(b)(5) and 1362(f)

The AICPA S Corporation TRP submitted a comment letter to the IRS and Treasury proposing to reduce the user fees charged for S corporation private letter ruling requests under Internal Revenue Code sections 1362(b)(5) and 1362(f) to more accurately reflect the time spent on these rulings. Currently, taxpayers obtaining rulings under these sections are unfairly bearing the costs associated with other more complex ruling requests. 


May 19, 2016 - AICPA Comments on Notice 2015-54, Transfers of Property to Partnerships with Related Foreign Partners and Controlled Transactions Involving Partnerships

The AICPA submitted comments to the IRS on Notice 2015-54, Transfers of Property to Partnerships with Related Foreign Partners.  The AICPA made a number of requests, including  that the IRS clarify their authority for certain portions of their proposals and that the regulations include relief for taxpayers exercising due diligence and good faith in complying with detailed reporting requirements.  In addition, the AICPA recommended several additional exceptions to the definition of an Acceleration Event, an increase in the dollar threshold of the tangible property exception, and a delay in the effective date of the regulations.


May 17, 2016 - AICPA Comments to IRS on Section 2801 Estate Tax Expatriation Regulations (REG-112997-10)

This is the 5/17/16 AICPA comments submitted to the IRS and Treasury on section 2801 estate tax expatriation regulations (REG-112997-10).


May 17, 2016 - What Taxpayers Want or Need from the IRS to Comply with the Tax Laws Testimony in Front of the National taxpayer Advocate

Troy K. Lewis, chair of the American Institute of CPA's (AICPA) Tax Executive Committee, testified on May 17th at the public forum on "What Taxpayers Want or Need from the IRS to Comply with the Tax Laws," which was hosted by National Taxpayer Advocate Nina E. Olson.


May 12, 2016 - AICPA Recommendations for 2016-2017 Guidance Priority List

AICPA is pleased to offer our suggestions regarding the 2016-2017 Guidance Priority List, which were prepared by the AICPA Tax Policy & Advocacy Division's committees and technical resource panels, and approved by our Tax Executive Committee.


May 11, 2016 - AICPA Comment Letter on Form 990, Schedule L

The AICPA Exempt Organizations Technical Resource Panel submitted a comment letter to the IRS requesting additional guidance on “reasonable efforts” regarding the satisfaction of the Schedule L requirements related to identifying and obtaining information on reportable transactions from “interested persons,” and a revision of the definition of interested persons for purposes of Schedule L.


April 19, 2016 - AICPA Supports ID Theft Mark-up Amendment Related to the Regulation of Tax Return Preparers

On April 19, 2016, the AICPA commended the Committee on Finance for its continuing bipartisan efforts to combat identity theft and tax fraud.  The AICPA specifically expressed its support for the Wyden amendment relating to the second modification to a Bill to Prevent Identity Theft and Tax Refund Fraud.  It was noted that providing the IRS with a focused and targeted approach with Congressional oversight will help to promote good tax administration and protect the interests of the American taxpayer.


April 13, 2016 - AICPA Written Testimony on Mobile Workforce Legislation for April 13, 2016, hearing of the House Committee on Small Business Subcommittee on Economic Growth, Tax, and Capital Access

This is the AICPA written testimony on mobile workforce legislation for April 13, 2016 hearing of the House Committee on Small Business Subcommittee on Economic Growth, Tax, and Capital Access. AICPA  strongly supports HR 2315, which prohibits states from taxing most nonresident employees unless the employee is present and performing employment duties for more than 30 days during the calendar year. The AICPA believes the bill provides relief, which is long-overdue, from the current web of inconsistent state income tax and withholding rules that impact employers and employees.


March 21, 2016 - AICPA Comments on REG -109822-15 Relating to Country by Country Reporting

The AICPA has submitted comments to the IRS on REG-109822-15 concerning Country-by- Country Reporting by Multinational Enterprises.  The AICPA made a number of recommendations including allowing a voluntary opt-in for calendar year 2016 reporting and a robust National Security Exception for the information require to be reported.  In addition, the AICPA requested clarification on several issues including the determination of the number of full-time equivalent employees, the classification of certain assets and the status of U.S. Possessions and Territories.


March 11, 2016 - AICPA Request for Additional Time to Comment on Notice 2016-23

The AICPA has requested that the IRS extend the deadline for comments on Notice 2016-23 regarding the implementation of the new partnership audit regime from April 15, 2016 to May 31, 2016.  The request points out that the notice was released on March 4, 2016 and the entire shortened comment period falls in the midst of busy season and the current deadline is just 3 days before the due date for partnership, individual, trust and estate tax returns.


March 9, 2016 - AICPA Comment Letter on 2014 Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program and the Streamlined Programs

The AICPA has recommended that the Internal Revenue Service make several minor revisions to the terms of their 2014 Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program and their Streamlined Filing Compliance Procedures relating to taxpayers with unreported foreign financial accounts.  The AICPA believes the recommended changes will increase participation in the programs, allow more taxpayers to become compliant with their tax filing and reporting obligations, and provide greater fairness and equity to those participating in the programs.


March 4, 2016 - AICPA Request for 60 Days Delay in Estate Basis Reporting

AICPA submitted comments to Treasury and IRS, requesting a delay from March 31, 2016 to May 31, 2016 for the new estate basis reporting.


March 4, 2016 - AICPA Comment Letter on Proposed Tax Relief for Various United States and Canadian Equivalent Purpose Deferred Tax Savings Plans

AICPA requested tax relief for certain United States and Canadian Deferred Tax Savings Plans, including those for educational expenses, expenses for disabled individuals and tax-free savings accounts. Relief is being requested to eliminate double taxation, unexpected current income inclusions and onerous statutory filing requirements resulting from unequal treatment by the U.S. and Canada of equivalent purpose accounts established by each countries' tax system.


January 29, 2016 - AICPA Comment Letter on Draft Form 8971 - Estate Basis Reporting

AICPA submitted comments to the IRS on the draft Form 8971, regarding estate basis reporting. We suggested various improvements and clarifications to the draft form and draft instructions.


January 29, 2016 - AICPA Comments on Needed Guidance on Estate Basis Reporting

AICPA submitted comments to the IRS and Treasury on needed guidance regarding estate basis reporting, including:

  • Provide penalty relief if the executor acts in good faith and provide reasonable cause penalty relief;
  • Clarify the time period (if any) that the executor has continuing responsibilities after providing the original statement;
  • Treat trusts as the beneficiary;
  • Provide a de minimis exemption to the information reporting rules for assets or groups of assets that are not publicly-traded and are of de minimis value, such as $3,000;
  • Provide an exemption, or at least a de minimis threshold and use of estimates, for small estates, which are not required to file an estate tax return; and
  • Provide guidance and clarifications on other issues.

January 11, 2016 - AICPA Comment Letter on Estate Tax Closing Letters

AICPA submitted comments on the IRS new policy of issuing IRS estate tax closing letters only upon a separate request four months after filing the estate tax return.
The AICPA suggests the IRS:

  1. Formally announce its policy regarding issuing estate tax closing letters via issuing an official Procedure or Notice.
  2. Revise Form 706, U.S. Estate (and Generation-Skipping Transfer) Tax Return, to add a box to check to request a closing letter. Until the next revision of Form 706, the IRS should allow estates to request a closing letter by adding a hand-written request on the top of the first page of Form 706 or by attaching a page requesting the closing letter to Form 706 when it is filed.
  3. Consider procedures to issue closing letters (not just transcripts with codes) through the transcript delivery service (TDS).

Tax Policy & Advocacy letters, testimony and related documents for 2013, 20142015, and 2017.




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