Years of persistence resulted in a legislative victory for the accounting profession on July 31 when President Obama signed a bill into law that included language changing the filing due dates for certain tax returns. The modifications were proposed originally by members of the American Institute of CPAs, (AICPA) who were frustrated that the existing deadlines resulted in the late arrival of information they needed to file clients’ tax returns on time. Over several years the AICPA and state CPA societies visited with and wrote members of Congress to push for improvements.
“Taxpayers scored a victory today when President Obama signed into law a bill that changes the due dates by which certain tax returns must be filed,” AICPA President and CEO Barry C. Melancon, CPA, CGMA, said in a July 31 statement. “The new structure will provide more accurate information to taxpayers in a more logical flow and reduce the number of extended and amended individual and corporate tax returns that are filed each year. On behalf of the accounting profession, the AICPA extends a heartfelt ‘thank you’ to Kansas Representative Lynn Jenkins and Wyoming Senator Mike Enzi, who have championed due dates legislation for several years. Their leadership was key to this success.”
In his AICPA Insights blog, AICPA Vice President of Taxation Edward S. Karl, CPA, CGMA describes the profession’s journey that ended at the White House on July 31 – from the first requests by AICPA members to discussions with AICPA members nationwide, the state CPA societies, officials at the Department of the Treasury, the Internal Revenue Service and lawmakers on Capitol Hill.
The permanent due date changes are effective in 2016 for the 2017 tax filing season and were passed by Congress on July 30 as part of a temporary Highway Trust Fund funding bill, H.R. 3236, which became P.L. 114-41. A chart delineating the due date changes is available here.
Read about other tax changes made by the law in the July 30 Journal of Accountancy story, including requirements for additional reporting on mortgage interest statements and consistent reporting between estates and beneficiaries.