This is my first note as Chair of the AICPA Tax Executive Committee (TEC). Chris Hesse, the past Chair of the TEC, did such a remarkable job leading the committee during a challenging two years. My term began in May, and I have big shoes to fill.
As a tax partner in a local CPA firm, I know all too well the challenges that our tax practitioners face. We survived two filing seasons that seemed to never end, assisted countless clients with COVID-19 relief programs and digested ever-changing tax legislation more times than we thought we could. We also had our struggles with the IRS — processing delays, staffing shortages, communication problems and the famous “courtesy disconnect.”
These past couple of years were difficult but, time and time again, tax practitioners stepped up to help clients navigate their tax issues — whether it was with compliance efforts or proactive planning and consulting services.
So, take heart. We are all in this together!
I am so grateful that my firm always places a priority on service to the profession and encourages volunteer committee work in our state society and at the AICPA. I am glad to have the support of my partners and staff as I embark on this new opportunity as TEC Chair.
In my firm, like so many others, we rely on the AICPA Tax Section for advocacy, training and resources. During my term as chair, the TEC will continue to act on behalf of the AICPA in tax matters, whether by setting tax policy, advocating for members, monitoring tax administration or reviewing tax legislation. We will always strive to maintain the highest ethical standards.
The TEC is monitoring proposed changes to the Statements on Standards for Tax Services (SSTSs) and will continue to advocate for sound tax policy, simplicity in the tax code and effective tax administration.
We cannot do our job without the countless volunteers who serve on all the AICPA Tax Division committees and technical resource panels. These groups work tirelessly to develop comment letters on pending legislation and regulations, recommend improvements to tax administration efforts and help the AICPA to develop resources that directly support Tax Section members.
So, to these volunteers, I want to say, “thank you.” I look forward to working with you as the TEC chair. And, to our members, I also want to extend a sincere “thank you” for your membership and support. And, if there are any resources or issues we should be focusing on, please drop us a note in our Tax Section Suggestion Form.
As we start to see better days on the other side of the pandemic, we are still left with questions and opportunities. We will continue to help members understand the tax buzz words — PPP, ERC, EIP, and CTC. We will help our members navigate current and recent legislation, such as TCJA, the CARES Act, the FFCRA, ARPA and the SECURE Act — and even proposed legislation, such as the American Families Plan.
Follow the AICPA Tax Section on LinkedIn and Twitter. You can learn about our advocacy efforts and resources to assist tax practitioners. Also, follow me on Twitter @janlewiscpa. I am grateful to connect with peers and hear about how we can better support each other.
On a personal note, after a year full of loss caused by the pandemic, things are looking up in 2021. My alma mater, Mississippi State University, won its first national championship in June by emerging victorious in the NCAA College World Series. After playing team sports for over a hundred years and reaching the College World Series 12 times, they finally won it all!
So, there is always hope. If you work hard and keep trying, victory can be yours — even if that victory is just conquering complex tax laws or finally getting the IRS on the phone!