SCACPA representatives visited South Carolina lawmakers in Washington, D.C., on Monday and Tuesday to discuss the accounting profession’s advocacy agenda.
Incoming SCACPA Board Chair Zoe Davis, CPA, outgoing Board Chair Dr. Clarence Coleman, CPA, and Past Chair Tim Baker, CPA, were among those attending the AICPA Spring Meeting of Council.
“We think making these personal visits with our elected officials on Capitol Hill is one of the best ways to educate them about the issues important to CPAs and the taxpayers they represent,” said SCACPA CEO Chris Jenkins, who also accompanied the talks.
The SCACPA contingent visited the offices of Senators Tim Scott and Lindsey Graham, as well as the offices of Representatives Joe Cunningham, Joe Wilson, Tom Rice and Ralph Norman.
At the top of the profession’s list of issues are:
- changing the trigger that allows the IRS to grant deadline extensions when natural disasters occur
- modernizing the IRS taxpayer services
- the growing importance of taxation of the digital economy
- a Congressional resolution relating to the fiscal state of the nation
Congress can 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. SCACPA 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.
A Practitioner Services Division within the IRS is one of the best ways to improve taxpayers 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.
The CPAs also asked their lawmakers to support a Congressional fiscal state of the nation resolution calling for the Government Accountability Office 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 U.S. government’s financial statements.
In addition, CPAs advocated for sound tax policy as they discussed with lawmakers the complex and tax challenges presented to governments and tax authorities around the world by the advancement of technology and the digital economy.
Look to the SCACPA blog in the coming days for further stories and developments on SCACPA’s advocacy actions on these initiatives.