The federal agenda for CPAs
"All politics is local." -- Tip O'Neill
The MACPA has joined the AICPA and our colleagues in the state CPA societies in making our voices heard in Congress.
Pictured is MACPA Chair Anoop Mehta, Past-Chair Allen DeLeon, and Secretary Treasurer Marianella Del Pino Rivera on the Hill at last year's AICPA Council meeting.
We will be focused on six major issues:
- Advocating changes needed from the "tax season from hell."
- Advocating for passage of the Mobile Workforce Bill.
- Advocating for passage of the Tax Due Date Reform Bill.
- Advocating for Tax Simplification.
- Financial literacy about the U.S. debt and deficit.
- Advocating for support and passage for the DATA Act.
Changes needed from "tax season from hell"
The MACPA has been actively working with our federal and state tax committees, our MACPA Tax Group (and listserv), and grassroots feedback from almost a thousand participants in our town hall meetings to "crowdsource" suggestions for how to prevent and address the numerous issues that resulted from the last minute fiscal cliff legislation and other systemic problems around the IRS. We are currently finishing up a "google doc" which will be given to our Maryland Congressional representatives and be used in testimony before the House Ways & Means Committee in an IRS hearing. The AICPA is also working in legislation that will begin to address the 1099 Corrections with a de minimis approach along with Tax Identity Theft and Fraud which we will support.
Mobile Workforce Bill
The MACPA is reaching out to Maryland’s members of Congress to request support and to co-sponsor H.R. 1129, the Mobile Workforce State Income Tax Simplification Act of 2013. MACPA and AICPA are part of a large coalition of 495 national businesses and groups (Alcoa, Barclays, Caterpillar, GE, GM, etc.) that are backing this bill. Hearing support from MACPA will help our representatives understand how important this issue is to the profession and to businesses who send employees across states lines.
Tax Due Date Reform Bill
The MACPA joins other state CPA societies in urging lawmakers to cosponsor H.R. 901 (and companion S. 420) Tax Reform Due Date Simplification Act of 2013. The proposal creates a logical set of due dates focused on allowing a more timely flow of information from pass-through entities to their owners. It also would promote the early filing of more business and personal returns and relieve some of the workload compression surrounding the Sept. 15 business return deadline. AICPA, MACPA and other state societies have pushed for this legislation since 2008.
Tax Simplification and Tax Reform
Congress is beginning to talk about tax reform and the AICPA and MACPA and our colleagues across the country will be talking about some critical principles they should consider. Our members agree on one major point, the complexity in the tax system whcih leads to almost unbearable tax compliance costs for CPAs and taxpayers alike needs to be addressed. We will raise this issue and hope that Congress will begin to consult our Profession as they write any tax legislation to consider the compliance costs that come in addition to the taxes themselves. Here is AICPA's Tax Reform.
Financial Literacy about the U.S. debt abd deficit
How would a CPA analyze the US financials? That is exactly what AICPA Chair, Greg Anton did with the AICPA in their "What's at Stake" resource center. This is a non-partisan effort to create a plain english view of the US debt, deficit and overall financial condition. Like any good CPA, they start with the financial statements of the United States and and do a trend line analysis of the income Statement and Balance Sheet in an easy to understand format. Isn't that what CPAs do? Making sense of a changing and complex world. We will take that latest analysis of the 2012 financials to Congress next week. MACPA Chair, Anoop Mehta also commissioned our own Maryland State Budget Task Force and we have done a similar analysis for Maryland which we are now previewing at our town hall / professional issues updates.
Supporting the DATA Act
The DATA Act stands for Digital Accountability and Transparency Act and MACPA has been involved in this from the start. It essentially requires all recipients of federal money to be standardized and tagged in machine readable formats for easy analysis, presentation and transparency. MACPA is a member of the Data Coalition and tagged our financials in XBRL to understand the implications of this. In fact our testimony was used when it passed the House in 2011. We will support it again as it moves through this Congress. Here is teh latest draft legislation which was just released yesterday.
- For CPAs, Legislative Advocacy More Important Than Ever
- Tax Season from Hell
- What Scares You Most? Feedback from MACPA members that prompted our focus on transparency and accountability in government.
- House OKs DATA Act; Senate up next
- DATA Act: The Federal Case for XBRL