The American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) suggested to lawmakers on the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Oversight that they add to IRS modernization legislation a Practitioner Services division and a focused and well-defined approach to regulation of tax return preparers.
“We are committed to supporting Congress in its efforts to ensure a service-oriented, modernized tax administration and appreciate the opportunity to provide comments,” Annette Nellen, CPA, CGMA, Esq., chair of the AICPA Tax Executive Committee, wrote in the April 6 letter.
Nellen emphasized that the AICPA supports a Practitioner Services division to tailor the customer-service approach of the IRS for tax practitioners and a focused and well-defined approach to regulation of tax return preparers in order to protect taxpayer rights. “The AICPA firmly thinks that creating a Practitioner Services division and the regulation of tax return preparers will make a substantial difference in taxpayer awareness, confidence and compliance, thereby instilling trust in the tax administration system as a modern functioning IRS of the 21st century,” she wrote.
Nellen commended provisions in the discussion draft, which was later broken into several bills passed by the U.S. House of Representatives on April 17, “that seek a fair and efficient interaction with the IRS.” As examples, she cited the provisions that would codify the IRS Independent Office of Appeals and that would provide clarity of equitable relief from joint liability.
Among the AICPA’s other comments about the proposal’s provisions, Nellen stated that the AICPA:
- Supports a single point of contact at the IRS for taxpayers affected by identity theft and the expansion of the current identity protection personal identification number system to any individual requesting protection;
- Supports the development of online accounts and portals to provide services to taxpayers and their designated return preparers;
- Supports the provision to develop an internet portal that would facilitate taxpayers filing Form 1099 with the IRS; and
- Supports the expanded use of electronic systems.
The AICPA is committed to creating a tax administration system that earns the respect and appreciation of all taxpayers and stakeholders and looks forward to continuing to work with Congress on these efforts.