To Capitol Hill and Back Again!
As I walked the monument trail on the last evening during my recent trip to DC, the puddles and sudden downpours did not dampen my sprits or thoughts about the great meetings I had participated in and would continue to have. As I passed the Washington, Jefferson, FDR and Lincoln monuments, I marveled at the foresight of these great leaders. Our tax system is voluntary and we do have representation and the ability to help shape it; and that is huge!
I recently traveled to Washington DC and Capitol Hill two (2) weeks in a row. The first week as a member of the National Conference of CPA Practitioners (NCCPAP) and the second as a member of the Intuit Tax Council. Our groups were comprised of other tax professionals and Intuit representatives. Our mission was to speak with elected and appointed representatives regarding the effect of our existing tax system and the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act on our small business clients and the individual tax clients we work with and advise.
Big picture; we as tax professionals and business advisors are concerned with the continued complexity of the tax code (yes the new tax law did simplify some aspects, but it is more complex for small businesses and those individuals who own them). For example, we are seeking clarity:
- regarding the pass through entity portion (code section 199A) of the new tax law
- regarding the treatment of leased employees as employees relate to the pass through entity portion (code section 199A) of the new tax law
- with unintended consequences of the interest expense limitation
- with the complexity of the required minimum distribution rules (RMD’s) as they affect older taxpayers
We tax professionals, our legislators and the IRS continue to be concerned with cybersecurity and identity theft and are looking for ways to protect ourselves and our businesses.
To kick off our NCCPAP quarterly meeting our members were treated to a very informative presentation by Tom Barthold, the Chief of Staff of The Joint Committee on Taxation, a nonpartisan committee of the US Congress. Then on to Capitol Hill where during our meetings we spoke with our elected representatives in the US Congress and Senate and their legislative aids. We also met with Ken Corbin the Commissioner of the Wage and Investment Division of the IRS, IRS Acting Commissioner David Kautter, and a representative of the National Taxpayer Advocate. A group of NCCPAP representatives also met with Paul Teller, Special Assistant to the President for Legislative affairs.
I represented the views of my firm along with those of other small accounting firms and the small business community. It was wonderful to be able to bring the views of the small practitioner and the small business community to our elected officials and other representatives. I found that they were very open to our concerns, took copious notes, asked for clarification and examples and understood why we were there.
This trip helped bring clarity to my tax planning process and as I meet with my clients in the next few months I have a better idea of how to help them make decisions about their business for 2018 and beyond. I am looking forward to the coming months as we further those dialogues started this May.