As part of the American Institute of CPAs’ (AICPA) 2015 Spring Meeting of Council scheduled for May 17 to May 19 in Washington, D.C., CPAs from across the country and from the U.S. territories will meet with their elected officials on Capitol Hill to advocate for issues important to the accounting profession.
The sharp decline in service by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for taxpayers and their tax preparers during the past tax filing season will be a crucial topic for discussion during the Hill meetings. Despite budget cuts, the IRS must find a way to meet its key responsibility to provide assistance to taxpayers and the tax practitioners who serve them.
The CPAs also will call on their lawmakers to enact permanent tax relief for victims of natural disasters because currently Congress must vote for tax relief after each presidentially declared disaster, which leads to sporadic and inconsistent relief for taxpayers.
In addition, the CPAs will emphasize the need to preserve the cash basis method of accounting for tax purposes. The CPAs will explain that the cash basis method of accounting is fundamental to the business model used for decades by companies in the personal service sector of the economy.
Mobile workforce legislation is another likely topic during CPAs’ meetings with members of Congress. Enactment of a law to create a uniform national standard for employees working across state lines would eliminate the complexity and confusion of the present system with which employees and employers must contend.
The AICPA governing Council determines Institute programs and policies. It has approximately 260 members with representatives from every state and U.S. territory. Council meets twice a year. Generally the Spring Council meeting is held every other year in Washington, D.C. so that the Capitol Hill advocacy event featuring the profession’s leaders can take place. Many state CPA societies arrange for other CPA members with close ties to their elected officials to also participate in the meetings with lawmakers.