Legislative / Regulatory | Taxation

Forget tax season, CPAs — Congress needs your help

Only Congress could come up with something like this.

Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, chair of the Senate Finance Committee, and ranking committee member Ron Wyden, D-Ore., have launched a bipartisan effort to gather ideas from the public for how to best reform our nation’s ridiculously complex and verbose tax code.

On the surface, that sounds great. Truly. Our lawmakers can’t possibly know all of the intricacies of tax policy. To reform our tax code, they’ll need all help they can get. They admit as much.

“By opening up our bipartisan working groups to public input, we hope to gain a greater understanding of how tax policy affects individuals, businesses, and civic groups across our nation,” Hatch and Wyden said. “In doing so, we will also equip our working groups with valuable input, and we hope these suggestions will help guide the groups through the arduous task of putting forth substantive ideas to reform the tax code in each of their areas.”

And really, who better to offer ideas about tax reform than tax professionals themselves? This strikes me as a golden opportunity for CPAs to make a key difference in drafting tax policy.

Which brings us to the following line from the Senate Finance Committee’s press release:

“Submissions will be accepted through April 15, 2015, and made public at a later date.”

So be sure to draft those ideas and send them in, tax pros. Just use a bit of that ocean of free time you’ve got between now and April 15.

I’d laugh, but like most things that come out of Washington these days, it’s not funny.


Bill Sheridan