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AICPA poll casts doubt on tax proposal effectiveness.

A nationwide survey of 1,400 CPA tax practitioners conducted by the American Institute of CPAs'tax division disclosed that many tax proposals now under consideration would do little to stimulate economic growth. In the survey, the tax practitioners were asked to rate a series of tax proposals' effectiveness on a scale of one to four, from very effective to not effective.

In releasing the survey results, Leonard Podolin, chairman of the AICPA tax division executive committee, said, "While the CPAs surveyed are neither economists nor politicians, their solid agreement with some others who have commented on the current tax proposals is based on their wide range of experience and constant contact with their clients, the taxpayers of America' "

Among the proposals rated as least effective, only 17% of the tax practitioners thought a proposal to tax capital gains at rates 5% below top marginal rates would be an effective way to stimulate the economy. However, 56% of the CPAs indicated that a capital gains rate 15% below top marginal rates would be very effective.

Only 20% of the CPAs thought a $300 tax credit for each child would be effective, and only 30% rated a deduction for a loss on the sale of a home as an effective means of stimulating economic growth.

An overwhelming 63% of the tax practitioners polled thought an investment tax credit on equipment purchases would be a very effective stimulant to the economy. The only nontax proposal included in the survey-reducing the federal budget-was rated as very effective by 58% of those polled. Expanding deductible IRAs was called very effective by 51% of the CPA practitioners.

In summing up the results, Podolin said, "While this survey doesn't represent AICPA policy, it can be seen as a strong statement by CPA practitioners who, through everyday contact with their clients, get a very good idea of what those clients are thinking."
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Publication:Journal of Accountancy
Date:May 1, 1992
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