More than 400 CPAs walked the halls of Congress this week to meet with members of the 112th Congress. The CPAs targeted four tax issues to talk about with their elected officials: tax simplification, tax strategy patents, and two newly introduced bills sought by the AICPA. One bill would rationalize tax return due dates related to Schedule K-l and passthrough entities and the other bill would create a uniform national standard for withholding state income taxes for nonresident workers.
Meetings between CPAs and their members of Congress are one of the most important elements of the AICPA’s advocacy program. A CPA who is the constituent for that member of Congress is the best person to explain how proposed legislation would affect CPAs or to suggest new legislative language.
That’s why the AICPA holds its Spring Meeting of Council in Washington, D.C. at the beginning of each new Congress. Happily, this year there are more CPA members of Congress for them to visit.
The AICPA has long advocated for a less complex tax system. The tax laws should be simple enough to enable taxpayers to understand the rules that apply to their situation and comply with them correctly and cost effectively.
The AICPA believes that patents for tax planning methods undermine the integrity, fairness, and administration of the tax system and are contrary to sound public policy.
- The AICPA supports S. 845, the Tax Return Due Date Simplification and Modernization Act of 2011. Taxpayers and preparers have long struggled with problems created when Schedules K-1 arrive late, sometimes within days (before or after) of the extended due date of their personal returns and up to a month after the extended due date of their business returns. Late K-1s make it difficult, if not impossible, to file a timely, accurate return.
The AICPA is advocating for enactment of H.R. 1864, the Mobile Workforce State Income Tax Simplification Act of 2011. The AICPA believes a national uniform standard is necessary to reduce the regulatory burden imposed on taxpayers and tax preparers by different rules in 43 states and the District of Columbia that are related to nonresident income earned in the state.
Voters elected three additional CPAs and one additional accountant to Congress last November, which brings the number of CPAs and accountants serving in Congress to 10. The three new CPA members of the House of Representatives are Texas Republican Bill Flores, Ohio Republican Jim Renacci, and Mississippi Republican Steven Palazzo. The newest accountant is Senator Ron Johnson, a Wisconsin Republican.
The five returning CPA members of Congress are California Republican John Campbell, Texas Republican Mike Conaway, Kansas Republican Lynn Jenkins, Minnesota Democrat Collin Peterson and California Democrat Brad Sherman. Continuing his term in the Senate is Mike Enzi, a Republican from Wyoming who is an accountant.
Pictured at a reception hosted by the AICPA to honor the CPA and accountant members of Congress are Rep. Jenkins, AICPA Chairman of the Board Paul Stahlin on the left and AICPA Vice Chairman Greg Anton on the right.