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In a year characterized by political maneuvering and the looming specter of the 2024 elections, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) emerged as a formidable force in influencing and shaping federal tax policies. While federal tax bills flooded both chambers of Congress, the overarching suspense hinged on the fate of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (P.L. 115-97), set to expire in 2025.

In a strategic move, the AICPA strategically directed its efforts toward the regulatory arena, securing significant victories. Among the notable achievements was the influence on priority guidance for provisions within the Inflation Reduction Act (P.L. 117-169), showcasing the organization’s commitment to navigating complex legislative landscapes.

One standout accomplishment was the AICPA’s successful advocacy for the indefinite continuance of electronic signatures by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). This move, vital for practitioners and taxpayers alike, solidified the AICPA’s commitment to modernizing and streamlining tax processes.

However, the highlight of AICPA’s triumphs in 2023 was its proactive stance in identifying and combating potential fraud in the Employee Retention Credit (ERC) program. Bringing attention to unscrupulous ERC mills, the AICPA’s vigilant approach prompted the IRS to recognize and address the issue, underlining the organization’s dedication to protecting the integrity of tax credit programs.

Legislatively, the AICPA threw its weight behind endorsed bills seeking to raise the Form 1099-K threshold, a move that resonated with practitioners grappling with administrative challenges. The IRS’s decision to postpone the lower reporting threshold was a testament to the AICPA’s effectiveness in advocating for sensible and pragmatic tax policies.

Engaging in extensive dialogue with Treasury and IRS officials, the AICPA submitted 66 comment submissions, providing nuanced feedback on proposed tax guidance. The 2023 AICPA Compendium of Tax Legislative Proposals, featuring 61 tax simplification and technical proposals, reflected a collaborative effort across AICPA Tax Division committees and technical resource panels.

Beyond the confines of legislation, the AICPA actively educated and informed its members. The introduction of the bipartisan Simplify Automatic Filing Extensions (SAFE) Act, aimed at easing the burden on practitioners during the filing season, demonstrated the organization’s commitment to practical solutions.

Looking forward to 2024, the AICPA remains undeterred in its commitment to advocacy on critical tax regulatory and legislative matters. From the continued implementation of enacted legislation like the SECURE Act to addressing administrative challenges such as IRS service and modernization, the AICPA stands as a stalwart advocate, ensuring its members are well-informed and well-equipped to navigate the evolving landscape of federal tax policy.

Source ( Journal of Accountancy News).