The AICPA represents the CPA profession and its interests before the government and regulatory bodies. The AICPA regularly meets with the White House, Congress and regulators, such as the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Internal Revenue Service.
Humorist Art Buchwald once described tax reform as taking
the taxes off things that have been taxed in the past and putting taxes on
things that haven’t been taxed before. Buchwald’s amusing analysis notwithstanding,
tax reform is an arduous task. There are a lot of moving parts being studied on
Capitol Hill at the moment. And one part in particular is of great concern to
the nation’s CPAs.
As Congress considers the most significant attempt at tax
reform in almost 30 years, the House Ways and Means Committee has produced a
small business tax reform discussion draft that focuses on simplifying the tax
codes for small businesses, including individuals and passthrough entities.
While supportive of the Committee’s efforts to simplify the tax code and
responsiveness to taxpayer concerns that the code is too complex, the AICPA
strongly opposes a proposed limitation on the use of the cash basis method (for
the non-CPAs among us, the cash method recognizes revenue and expenses when
cash is received or disbursed rather than when earned or incurred. It is
simpler in application, has lower compliance costs, and does not require
taxpayers to pay tax before receiving the income being taxed).
Continue reading "Preserving Cash Accounting" »
Across the county, state legislatures considered numerous issues that impact the CPA profession. In part two of this two-part post, we review issues dealing with: CPAs providing services for marijuana-related businesses, state board of accountancy reorganizations, sales tax on professional services and peer review.
Marijuana Businesses and CPAs
An issue with implications for the CPA profession centers on the legalization of marijuana for both recreational and medicinal use. While the sale and use of marijuana is illegal at the federal level, state governments and voters are increasingly showing a willingness, in certain jurisdictions, to decriminalize the drug. In November 2012, voters in Colorado and Washington approved ballot measures legalizing the recreational use of marijuana. A total of 19 states and the District of Columbia have laws permitting the use of marijuana for medical purposes. The AICPA, with input from the Colorado and Washington state CPA societies, has developed an issue brief that gives an overview of U.S. recreational and medicinal marijuana laws, the current legislative/regulatory environment and information for CPAs considering providing services to businesses that operate in these industries (including a list of questions for CPAs to ask themselves before considering this line of work).
Continue reading "Fall Review of State Legislative and Regulatory Issues: Part 2 of 2" »
Across the county, state legislatures considered numerous
issues that impact the CPA profession. In
Part one of this two-part post, we review legislation that affected CPA
mobility, including streamlining military family licensure processes, promoting
film tax credits and creating state tax tribunals. Part two will cover state board
reorganizations, sales tax on professional services, new peer review laws and CPAs
providing services for marijuana-related businesses.
Currently, 49 states and the District of Columbia have
passed individual CPA mobility
laws and the remaining U.S. jurisdictions are working toward this goal. These laws allow CPAs to operate across state
lines without obtaining reciprocal licenses in each state in which they
practice. New state legislation is sometimes
proposed in a way that can have unintended consequences on the profession’s mobility
regime. This year, there were three particularly
noteworthy areas where CPA cross-border practice could have been put in
jeopardy. These included:
- the easing
of occupational licensing requirements for members of the military and their
- the creation of film tax incentives requiring audits by in-state
- the establishment of state tax tribunals wherein CPAs would seek
to represent taxpayers.
Continue reading "Fall Review of State Legislative and Regulatory Issues: Part 1 of 2" »
The AICPA is gearing up
for our Fall Meeting of Council, which begins Oct. 20 in Los
Angeles. Be sure to follow @AICPA_JofA and @AICPANews on Twitter and subscribe to the AICPA’s
Press Center RSS feed to keep up with all the
news and information coming out of the meeting.
In the meantime, I’ve
highlighted a few recent accounting articles in the news that you may missed
over the last week.
Today covered the recent written
testimony that the AICPA submitted for the record
of the House Small Business Committee’s hearing on retirement savings for small
employers. In the testimony Jeffrey A. Porter, AICPA Tax Executive
Committee chairman, suggested several ways to simplify the complexity of the
retirement planning universe.
“When a small business grows and begins to explore options
for establishing a retirement plan, the alternatives, and the various rules,
can become overwhelming,” he wrote in his testimony.
Continue reading "In the News: AICPA to Congress: Consolidate Small Business Retirement Plans" »
The CPA profession
has a long-standing history of serving the public interest, with more than 125 years of providing services in the highest professional manner. As individual clients’ financial worlds become increasingly complex,
many CPAs have responded by expanding their
beyond traditional tax compliance and planning to include investment, estate,
retirement and risk management advice.
landmark Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, passed in the
wake of the economic crisis of 2008, required that the Securities and Exchange Commission
conduct a study on the effectiveness of the existing standards of care for
financial professionals. The study covers CPAs who provide
investment advice and personal financial planning services to their individual
clients (download the free CPA’s Guide to Investment Advisory Business Models to determine if you have a registration requirement).
Currently, broker-dealers and investment advisers operate under different
standards of care.
Continue reading "Placing the Public’s Interest at the Forefront" »