Georgia Society of CPAs members discuss advocacy agenda with lawmakers in Washington, DC.
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Members of the Georgia Society of CPAs (GSCPA) visited Georgia lawmakers in Washington, DC to discuss the accounting profession’s advocacy agenda. The CPAs were attending the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) Spring Meeting of Council and Annual Members’ Meeting from May 19-21. The visits to Capitol Hill were a highlight of the AICPA meeting.
“When a natural disaster strikes, the last thing anyone needs to worry about is filing taxes,” said Senator Perdue. “Eight months ago, Hurricane Michael ravaged southwest Georgia, and we’ve seen just how challenging the aftermath can be. The federal government should do all it can to relieve unnecessary burdens for disaster victims so they can focus on helping their neighbors and beginning the road to recovery.”
At the top of the profession’s list of issues are: modernizing the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) taxpayer services, changing the trigger that allows the IRS to grant deadline extensions when natural disasters occur, the growing importance of taxation of the digital economy, and a Congressional resolution relating to the fiscal state of the nation.
A Practitioner Services Division within the IRS is one of the best ways to improve taxpayer services, the CPAs told lawmakers. It would help tax preparers solve their clients’ tax issues by consolidating existing IRS units in the new division. Currently, the programs are spread throughout the IRS, and the operating systems for the programs do not easily communicate or integrate or even have access to the same taxpayer information.
Congress can also help taxpayers by enacting legislation that would give the IRS the authority to postpone deadlines when a national disaster is declared by a state’s governor, which often occurs days before the disaster occurs, rather than waiting for a federal disaster declaration, the CPAs said. GSCPA and the AICPA have long worked for a set of permanent disaster relief tax provisions, but enactment of this new legislation would provide more timely assistance and certainty to tax preparers and taxpayers.
The CPAs also asked their lawmakers to support a Congressional fiscal state of the nation resolution, calling for the Government Accountability Office (GAO) Comptroller General to make a presentation to a joint session of the House and Senate Budget Committees on the GAO’s auditor’s report of the US government’s financial statements.
In addition, the CPAs advocated for sound tax policy as they discussed with lawmakers the complex and unique tax challenges presented to governments and tax authorities around the world by the advancement of technology and the digital economy.