The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and state CPA societies renewed their push to have Congress pass patent reform legislation that includes language to stop tax strategy patents.
The Senate began debate Sept. 6 on the patent reform bill the House of Representatives passed in June, which is similar to the bill the Senate passed in March. If the Senate passes the House bill without amending it, the bill can go directly to the President for his signature.
In his letter to all U.S. senators on Sept. 6, AICPA President and CEO Barry Melancon said H.R. 1249, the America Invents Act, would “help ensure that our tax code is fair, less complicated, and accessible to all.”
No one should have a monopoly on a particular form of tax compliance, Melancon said. There are already over 150 tax strategy patents that have been issued in a variety of areas, including retirement planning, deferred compensation, real estate transactions, charitable giving, estate and gift taxes, and treatment of stock options. More than 160 patents are pending. The effect is that the scope of tax strategy patents is expanding to affect larger groups of unsuspecting taxpayers.
“No taxpayer should risk litigation from a patent holder or be subject to royalties just for using the best means available to comply with federal tax law,” Melancon said.
Senators received emails urging them to pass H.R. 1249 without amendment from state societies across the country.
For more information about the AICPA’s effort to halt tax strategy patents, read The CPA Advocate’s July story about passage of H.R. 1249 or see the tax strategy patent page on the AICPA’s website. Read about the Vermont Society of CPAs’ special effort when the Senate’s patent reform bill was being debated.