AICPA's Tax Reform Center 

The complexity and uncertainty surrounding the tax code affects tax practitioners and taxpayers alike. The code has reached nearly 4 million words and, according to one estimate, 4,107 changes to the tax code have been made since 2004, an average of more than one a day.

The AICPA is at the forefront of the efforts to shape a better tax system that benefits taxpayers and the accounting profession and meets our core principles for fairness, transparency and simplicity.  


What's New in Tax Reform

  • Senate Finance Committee workgroups produced a report in July that included AICPA's proposal to re-order certain due dates for business returns
  • AICPA testified in July on small business tax compliance burdens before a Senate panel on targeted tax reform
  • Lower Tax Rates, Tax Reform are Top Goals, House Ways and Means Chair Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) Tells the AICPA

What is the AICPA Doing for Tax Reform?

The AICPA staff and volunteer task forces meet regularly with policy makers and congressional staff to voice the profession's tax administration concerns; some recommendations are now included in key proposals. 

We provided comprehensive recommendations to the Senate Finance Committee Working Groups to improve the tax code as it relates to individual tax, savings and investmentbusiness income and community development and infrastructure. In these proposals, the AICPA advocates for these and many other changes: 

  • A simplified income tax rate structure
  • Enhanced identity theft and tax fraud prevention 
  • Pass-through reform
  • Permanent tax relief for victims of natural disasters
  • Consolidated education tax incentives
  • Uniform rules and deferral plan to simplify retirement plans


 Hot Issues for the Profession

Most tax practitioners agree - it's time for a change. What that change will look like is hard to predict with so many issues in play. But certain challenges rise above the rest; among the AICPA's priorities for change are:

  • Eliminating temporary provisions that cause tremendous uncertainty for taxpayers

  • Retaining the cash method basis of  accounting

  • Making the tax system, including retirement plan administration, friendlier for small businesses

  • Repealing the Alternative Minimum Tax

aicpa's influence on tax form legistlation

Shaping a Better Tax System

The AICPA's thought leadership is widely respected by policy makers and we have laid significant groundwork to help shape future tax reform legislation, including: 

The AICPA also offered a comprehensive critique of a proposal from former Ways and Means Chair Dave Camp that is expected to play a significant role in any upcoming action.  If you need a specific item, please let us know.

tax reform and the individual taxpayer


 Key Proposals & Tax Reform Resources




Civil tax penalties

Spotlight on Tax Penalties 

Civil tax penalties have soared in recent years and the trend toward strict liability makes it difficult for taxpayers to get relief. An automatic $10,000 penalty for failing to report a foreign asset is only one example.

"Many aspects of the civil tax penalty regime concern our members," the AICPA told Congress when it submitted a comprehensive set of recommendations that include:

  • Inconsistent application of reasonable cause relief;
  • Lack of clear standards; and
  • Need to improve IRS training and education of taxpayers.



Copyright © 2006-2016 American Institute of CPAs.