TSCPA Addresses Issues on Capitol Hill
BRENTWOOD, Tenn. – Last month, CPAs from Tennessee joined their partners at the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) in Washington, D.C., to meet with lawmakers on issues important to the accounting profession during the AICPA Spring Meeting of Council and Annual Members Meeting.
Nine members from Tennessee Society of CPAs (TSCPA) met with Rep. Tim Burchett, Rep. Chuck Fleishmann, Sen. Bill Hagerty, Rep. Diana Harshbarger and Rep. David Kustoff to advocate for support on four key issues, including a Congressional resolution on the fiscal state of the nation, establishing the accounting profession as a STEM career pathway, simplifying the tax filing extension process (SAFE Act) and expanding eligible uses of 529 savings plans to include fees and expenses required to obtain or maintain recognized postsecondary credentials, such as the Uniform CPA Exam.
“TSCPA shared valuable insights from the accounting profession with lawmakers and encouraged support for legislation that would benefit taxpayers and their advisors and improve tax administration,” said incoming Chair Jonathan Bailey, CPA. “Tennessee CPAs highlighted principles of good tax policy as a foundation to create a more efficient tax system.”
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Congress has partnered with the accounting profession to help taxpayers and practitioners navigate IRS service issues, filing postponements and erroneous penalties. The introduction of important bipartisan legislation that supports taxpayers, practitioners and tax administration services is an extension of that partnership.
TSCPA asked members of Congress to support:
- The Simplify Automatic Filing Extensions (SAFE) Act, a bill that would assist the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) with receiving extensions earlier in the year, providing taxpayers, CPAs and the IRS with a streamlined process and reducing the need for many penalty abatement requests;
- The Freedom to Invest in Tomorrow’s Workforce Act, a bill that would expand eligible uses of 529 savings plans to include fees and expenses required to obtain or maintain recognized postsecondary credentials, including professional credentials and certifications, and provide accounting professionals with greater financial flexibility as they enter the workforce and seek to further their education;
- Legislation in both chambers to establish the accounting profession as a STEM career pathway, recognizing the value of accounting professionals, including CPAs, as technological leaders; and
- The Fiscal State of the Nation resolution, which would require the Comptroller General to make a presentation to a joint session of the House and Senate Budget committees on the Government Accountability Office (GAO) auditor’s report of the U.S. government’s financial statements. This resolution would promote greater transparency on the information included in the federal government’s financial report.
“CPAs have weathered some of the most challenging times in the history of tax administration,” said AICPA President and CEO Barry Melancon, CPA, CGMA. “They have guided individuals and businesses through significant changes. We are grateful to have the partnership of many members of Congress on these important issues, and combined with the strong relationships and great advocacy work of TSCPA, we hope to gain the support of many more.”
Representing TSCPA included members Jonathan C. Bailey, CPA; Christian E. Bennett, CPA; Kelly S. Crow, CPA; Anita Hamilton, CPA; Barrett V. Simonis, CPA; Arthur L. Sparks, Jr., CPA, CGMA; and Geoffrey L. Stewart, CPA, CGMA; and TSCPA staff Kara N. Fitzgerald, CPA, CGMA, CAE, TSCPA President/CEO; and Katie Cheek, CAE, TSCPA COO.
Photo: Front Row (L to R) Arthur L. Sparks, Jr., CPA, CGMA; Anita Hamilton, CPA; TSCPA staff Katie Cheek, CAE; Kelly S. Crow, CPA; Christian E. Bennett, CPA; Barrett V. Simonis, CPA. Back Row (L to R) Geoffrey L. Stewart, CPA, CGMA; Jonathan C. Bailey, CPA; and TSCPA staff Kara N. Fitzgerald, CPA, CGMA.