The American Institute of CPAs supports model legislation that state CPA societies can use if their legislatures are considering creating or modifying an independent state tax tribunal. A tax tribunal is an administrative appeals forum designed to resolve state tax appeal controversies prior to litigation, but in a forum outside the dominion and control of the state tax authority.
Thirty-two states have adopted independent state tax tribunals and other states may consider such legislation in 2013. Georgia and Illinois, the most recent states to adopt state tax tribunals, enacted the legislation in their 2012 legislative sessions.
The position on the model legislation was approved by the AICPA Tax Executive Committee and is based on the 2006 American Bar Association (ABA) Model State Administrative Tax Tribunal Act. The AICPA position paper includes an explanation of the potential value of such a tribunal to taxpayers and provides special commentary on how to protect CPA mobility when state tax tribunal legislation is under consideration.
Mat Young, AICPA vice president for state regulatory and legislative affairs, explained that it is important to ensure that CPAs authorized to practice in a state are able to represent taxpayers before the state’s tax tribunal. Therefore, in order to protect CPA mobility, the AICPA developed proposed language to one section of the ABA Model Bill. The revised language would allow a CPA to represent a client before a tax tribunal so long as the CPA meets the state’s requirements to obtain a practice privilege under the state’s accountancy law.
If you have any questions about this issue or want to discuss a unique situation related to tax tribunal laws or case law in your state, please contact Mat Young, email@example.com, or Eileen Sherr, senior technical manager on the AICPA Tax Team, firstname.lastname@example.org.