Tax Section member support and FAQs
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Tax Section member support and FAQs

1 month ago · 8 min read

Thank you for your commitment to the AICPA and Tax Section. We value your continued support and are here to help.

To maximize your AICPA and Tax Section membership, we answer a series of commonly asked questions the AICPA Tax Section team receives on a variety of issues. Topics covered include tax advocacy positions, news and updates, resources and learning, Statements on Standards for Tax Services (SSTSs), Tax Section member benefits, website troubleshooting and issues receiving our communications.

Bookmark and check back often as we continually refresh this page for the latest trending questions we receive via emails, calls and webcasts.

Advocacy

Where can I find a list of advocacy topics the Tax Section is working on?
Visit AICPA Tax Policy & Advocacy for the latest information on our tax advocacy efforts and view our recent comment letters. Comment letters are excellent resources to learn about a technical issue and how the AICPA is working to help the profession and the public interest.

News and updates

Taxpayers receiving IRS notices concerning a math error with the charitable contribution deduction
We are hearing from members whose clients are receiving IRS CP11 or CP12 notices indicating that the IRS is denying the 100% of adjusted gross income (AGI) limitation for the charitable contribution deduction and only allowing 60% of AGI for cash charitable contributions. It appears the IRS’s software systems may not yet be updated for recent tax law changes for 2020 returns. The AICPA Tax Policy & Advocacy team is investigating the situation and has reached out to our IRS contacts. We will update our guidance and FAQs as more information is known.

What is the best way to contact the IRS?
For many, reaching the IRS by phone has been a challenge lately. We’ve updated our IRS Hotlines Quick Reference Chart to help you get directly in touch with the correct IRS number/unit and provided a Contacting the IRS FAQs with answers on how to effectively communicate with the IRS .

What is the latest on postponing tax deadlines for federally declared disasters?
Recently, the IRS announced various tax filing and payment relief for victims in various disaster areas. To keep up with the latest disaster tax relief, we’ve updated our disaster tax relief guidance and resources to provide information on filing deadlines, casualty loss claims and other helpful resources.

What new guidance is available to help with the employee retention credit (ERC)?
The IRS recently released Notice 2021-49 clarifying the application of the ERC for majority owners and their spouses as well as providing information on the credit for the third and fourth quarters of 2021.The notice also provided guidance on most of the pressing ERC concerns.

To stay up to date, follow the AICPA Tax Section’s ERC guidance and resource library for help digesting the latest guidance and maximizing the use of the ERC with your clients. There you’ll find resources and CPE learning opportunities to help you with this complex credit.

Are there any new updates related to the ACA individual mandate?
The U.S. Supreme Court held that plaintiffs didn’t have substantiation to challenge the constitutionality of the individual mandate under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) which requires individuals to have minimum essential health coverage. With this ruling, any related protective claim that was filed with the IRS for refunds will not be considered.

Can I submit my third-party authorizations to the IRS online?
The IRS recently launched the Tax Pro Account — an online system that gives tax practitioners the ability to securely set up a power of attorney (POA) and tax information authorization (TIA). The intent of the new automated system is to reduce the time it takes to get authorizations to represent taxpayers. Tax Section members have access to a primer on IRS third-party authorizations to help practitioners effectively represent their clients before the IRS.

Has the IRS resumed its normal collection process?
The IRS recently announced that its normal collection processes will be resuming later this summer after a hiatus since April 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. To freshen up, access our IRS collection guidance and resources including a payment agreements chart, appeal options chart and a letter to request an installment agreement and appeal.

Can I call the IRS and request reasonable cause penalty abatement?
If you’re helping your clients with IRS penalty relief by submitting a reasonable cause defense, note that often you can e-fax your written statements while on the phone with the IRS instead of mailing supporting documentation. Use the Tax Section’s IRS Penalty Abatement Templates and First-Time Penalty Abatement guidance for additional help.

Is the AICPA hearing about delays with IRS refunds and other tax matters?
We’re unfortunately hearing from members about delays in various IRS tax matters, including refunds. The IRS operations during COVID-19: Mission-critical functions continue page provides some updates. Also, the Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) communicated its limited ability to help with delayed refunds. Our Tax Policy & Advocacy team is continuing to work with the IRS on these matters to best serve our members. We will update these FAQs as new guidance is released.

Resources and learning

How do I subscribe to the Tax Section Odyssey podcast?
The Tax Section Odyssey podcast is your go-to source for staying informed on the latest tax trends and developments. A new episode is released every other week and is available for free to all listeners.

To not miss an episode, you can subscribe to our podcast series. Search for “Tax Section Odyssey” in your podcast channel (Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, TuneIn, etc.) and locate the button to follow/subscribe to the series.

If you like to listen on your web browser, you can bookmark/add the Tax Section Odyssey podcast webpage to your favorites in your browser.

When are the free Tax Section CPE events and how do I register for these events?
Tax Section members receive four complimentary webcasts each year that offer eight hours of CPE credits (two in the field of regulatory ethics and six in the field of taxes). Tax Section members also receive two self-study courses that offer eight hours of CPE credits. Visit our Free Tax Section CPE Webcasts page for registration links to upcoming events. Also, Tax Section members get reminders in the Tax Section News e-newsletter so that they can mark their calendars and register far in advance of each event.

Does the Tax Section offer tax engagement letters?
Tax Section members have access to a collection of client engagement letters, such as templates for individual, partnership, corporation, estate, trust and non-profit tax returns. We also have tax engagement letters to assist with consulting, projections and audits.

See the full list of tax engagement letters in the Tax Section’s Annual Tax Compliance Kit.

When are the annual tax engagement letters, organizers, checklists and practice guides available each year (as part of the Annual Tax Compliance Kit)?
Engagement letters and organizers are generally available in November each year. Checklists are available by mid-December and most practice guides are available late-December.

Tax Section members get an email notification when the resources are posted. Visit the Annual Tax Compliance Kit for updates and the latest resources.

Note, tax legislation timing may affect availability, and updates to resources due to legislative changes will be made as soon as possible.

When are the year-end client tax planning letters available?
Resources contained in our CPA’s Marketing Toolkit (such as year-end tax planning letters) are typically available by mid-November each year.

How do I suggest a new resource or an improvement for the AICPA Tax Section?
Complete a short suggestion form to let the Tax Section team know how we can help you. We thank you for all feedback.

I’m having trouble finding the resource I need. Do you offer a free web tour to help me navigate your website?
The AICPA Tax Section offers web tours to help members (and prospective members) learn how to get the most out of their membership. We guide you through our valuable resources, provide tips on how to access resources easily, show you how you can suggest new resources and discuss volunteer opportunities available in the AICPA Tax Division. Register for a tour (multiple dates and times available).

Statements on Standards for Tax Services (SSTSs)

Does the AICPA Tax Section provide guidance on the SSTSs?
The AICPA’s Statements on Standards for Tax Services (SSTSs) are enforceable tax practice standards for members of the AICPA. The SSTSs and interpretations delineate members' responsibilities to taxpayers, the public, the government and the profession. They are intended to be part of an ongoing process of articulating standards of tax practice for AICPA members.

As part of the Tax Section’s responsibility to its members and the public interest, the Tax Section team assists members with questions pertaining to the SSTSs. Contact the Global Engagement Center at 888.777.7077 or email the Tax Section at taxsection@aicpa.org.

Does the AICPA Tax Section plan to revise the SSTSs?
The AICPA's SSTSs Revision Task Force is reviewing and revising its SSTSs to reflect the new ways tax practitioners work and is looking for insights into where practitioners think the future of tax will lead. If you have a comment or suggestion on how we can best update the SSTSs, please contact Henry Grzes, CPA, at Henry.Grzes@aicpa-cima.com.

Tax Section membership benefits

What are the benefits of the AICPA Tax Section?
Tax Section members receive benefits that include:

  • Tax practice support and development – Checklists, sample letters, practice guides and toolkits focused on key practice areas in planning, compliance, IRS practice and procedure, firm management and ethics.

  • 16 hours of free CPE – Four Tax Practice Quarterly webcasts with up to eight hours of CPE credits geared toward core issues for tax season, the evolving practice, tax technology and tax ethics and two self-study courses with up to eight hours of CPE credits ($720 value).

  • Webcast archive library – Unlimited 24/7 access to our archived webcasts.

  • The Tax Adviser magazine – A valuable resource for the latest tax-planning techniques and tax-saving methods.

  • Exclusive tax communications – Weekly Tax Section News delivered to your inbox on key developments, trending issues, planning strategies, tax advocacy and updates on recently released tools.

  • Member discounts – Discounts, on top of the AICPA member discount, including a $100 savings on select tax conferences, 20% discount on many other products and other special promotions.

  • Advocacy – Representation in Washington on issues specific to CPA tax practitioners.

Learn more about membership and join the Tax Section today.

Does the AICPA Tax Section answer technical tax questions?
The AICPA Tax Section does not answer technical tax questions. However, the Tax Section provides guidance and resources to help its members navigate technical tax issues. Visit the Tax Resource Library for guidance and practice aids designed specifically to help tax professionals elevate their practice, keep up with ever-changing tax laws and professional trends and maintain the highest ethical standards.

Does the AICPA Tax Section provide networking opportunities to help members knowledge share and get help with technical tax issues?
The AICPA Tax Practitioners LinkedIn group keeps members up to date on tax legislation and regulatory developments and fosters peer discussions on technical tax issues and practice management.

Volunteering is an excellent way to build a network of professionals to help you with tax matters. Learn more about our Tax Division Committees and Technical Resource Panels. Visit Volunteer Central or contact the AICPA Tax Section at taxsection@aicpa.org to find out how you can get involved.

Many CPA state societies also offer member forums and networking opportunities to discuss tax matters with local peers. Consider reaching out to your state society to learn about their networking opportunities.

Website and member communications troubleshooting

How do I subscribe to relevant tax communications from the AICPA and Tax Section?
To get tax communications tailored to your interests, check your AICPA communication preferences by signing into your AICPA account and making sure you’re subscribed to the following selections.

  • In General Information, check that you are subscribed to AICPA News Update and CPA Letter Daily.

  • In Tax, check that you are subscribed to Tax Insider.

  • In Section Membership, check that you are subscribed to Tax Section News e-Newsletter and Tax Section e-Alert.

I am having issues accessing the website and viewing certain webpages and resources. How do I get help?
The AICPA Global Engagement Center can help you troubleshoot your issues. Before contacting them, you can also try the following tips:

  • Use Google Chrome. It is the recommended browser for our website.

  • Hit F5 to refresh your browser.

  • Clear your history, close your browser and reopen your browser.

  • Log out of your account and log back in again.

Related resources

Need additional help? Contact our Global Engagement Center at 888.777.7077 or email the Tax Section at taxsection@aicpa.org.

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