The Tax Section's mission statement recognizes that helping AICPA members to provide the highest quality of professional tax services possible is one of the Section's essential purposes. It fulfills this mission through the efforts of the Tax Division, which comprises volunteers who serve on committees and technical resource panels (TRPs), and organizes the efforts of top CPAs in developing products and outreach services, in addition to participating in other advocacy and self-governance activities. The committees and TRPs receive assistance from the AICPA's professional staff.
Products and Services
The Tax Adviser: One of the Tax Section's most valuable products is The Tax Adviser. Each TRP and committee strives to provide at least one article a year to the magazine. Tax Section members work closely with the editorial staff of the magazine, and many of its editorial advisory board members are current or former Tax Section members. The Tax Adviser is available to Section members at a discounted price of only $30 a year.
Guides and checklists: The annual tax practice guides and checklists are prepared by experts from many of the TRPs and committees, who constantly follow tax law and practice changes in their areas of expertise. These practice aids provide members with up-to-date engagement letters and organizers for preparing and reviewing all types of tax returns. The annual package includes over 100 checklists and is approximately 600 pages. Each year adds new checklists, which help strengthen practices. Over the past few years, the checklists have migrated from hard copy to CD, and are now available at the AICPA's online Tax Center (http:// tax.aicpa.org/).
Committees and TRPs also develop practice guides on a range of topics. For example, currently available guides include The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Tax Section, Disaster Area Practice Guide (available at http:// tax.aicpa.org/Resources/Disaster+Area +Tax+Guide.htm), and the Earnings and Profits Practice Guide. These guides are periodically reviewed by various TRPs and committees, as needed.
Tax Center: This online product is one of the most important resources. It made its debut last year with content that serves all of the Tax Section's strategic goals. The website's Washington representation and ethical standards material is open to all AICPA members, but the practice support content is premium material available only to Section members. The annual tax practice guides and checklists are posted online immediately as they become available each fall. Other practice guides are also available. Legislative and regulatory comments on behalf of members are posted on the website, as are the Statements on Standards for Tax Services. There are also discussion forums where registered users can post questions, follow discussions and generally have a sense of community with the Tax Section and its members.
E-Alerts: The Tax Division's Washington, DC staff prepares and disseminates bi-weekly and real-time e-alerts containing "tax news you can use." They have prepared e-alerts on major legislation, providing practical tips to members even before bills are signed. E-alerts are usually six to eight brief topics that provide links to additional information. E-alerts are archived online; see the Tax Center, "Community" link.
Other Membership Benefits
Discounts are available on programs, such as the AICPA National Conference on Federal Taxes. This conference was first developed by the Tax Division, and is held in conjunction with the Fall Tax Division Meeting. Other conferences are also available to members (e.g., estate planning, employee benefits plans, small business). Members also receive discounts on products offered through CPA2Biz, like the RIA Federal Tax Handbook, the Code and regulations.
The Tax Division's Tax Practice Improvement Committee oversees product development and also provides guidance on technology. For example, it is working on recommendations for handling IRS e-filing thresholds and, in general, for transitioning to a paperless office. The committee continues to provide guidance on outsourcing of busy-season work. It also seeks to encourage students to study taxation and to join the profession. It expects to build a channel on the Tax Center Website to promote its efforts. One of its missions is to expand and promote CPA tax practice, by developing client presentations on current tax developments and studying practice expansion opportunities (such as providing fiduciary services).
The Tax Division also develops opportunities for CPAs to provide probono services. These efforts have included training and quality control assistance to Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) programs and working with the IRS to ensure that low-income taxpayers are fairly represented. In addition, it recently worked with Ernst & Young LLP and with state societies to prepare returns for hundreds of low-income hurricane victims who had casualty losses.
Section members are surveyed periodically for ideas on how to help strengthen practices.
Activities and News
* On March 29, 2006, the TEC offered pre-release comments prepared by the Private Trust Companies Task Force (chaired by Lewis Linn), to the IRS on the generation-skipping transfer tax implications of using private trust companies.
* On March 31, 2006, the TEC provided the IRS with comments prepared by the 2005 Form 990 Task Force (chaired by Mary Rauschenberg), on the implications of the instructions to Line 75c of Form 990, Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax, dealing with private inurement.
* On April 3, 2006, the TEC made suggestions to Sens. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Blanche Lincoln (D-AR) for possible areas of reform in subchapter S (the comments were prepared by the S Corporation TRP, chaired by Greg Porcaro).
* On April 11, 2006, the TEC submitted comments, prepared by the Tax Accounting TRP (chaired by Cristy Turgeon), to the IRS on proposed corporate estimated tax regulations under Sec. 6655.
* On May 2, 2006, the TEC sent comments to the IRS prepared by the TAM 200603027 Task Force (chaired by Barry Tovig), concerning the proper use of inventory price index computation pools as part of a dollar-value LIFO inventory method.
* On May 9, 2006, the TEC issued comments to the IRS prepared by the Tax Practice Responsibilities Committee (chaired by Eve Elgin), on proposed revisions to Treasury Circular 230, Regulations Governing the Practice of Attorneys, Certified Public Accountants, Enrolled Agents, Enrolled Actuaries, and Appraisers Before the Internal Revenue Service.
* On May 31, 2006, the TEC submitted its annual comments on Treasury and the IRS's 2006-2007 Business Plan; see Notice 2006-36. The comments were prepared by all the various Tax Division Committees and TRPs and were approved by the TEC.
* Starting with the November 2006 DC Currents column, Jeff Hoops, a partner at Ernst & Young LLP, will be the new editor. He is the incoming chair of the TEC and has agreed to continue this communication.
Editor's note: Prof. Purcell is Chair of the AICPA Tax Division's Tax Executive Committee. DC Currents heightens awareness of the Tax Division's activities and apprises readers of tax policy, technical issues and other practice support matters.
As a senior technical committee of the AICPA, the TEC is authorized to speak for the AICPA on tax matters, and is also designated by governing Council as a standard-setting body. However, numerous other committees, TRPs and tusk forces initiate and develop proposed solutions to policy issues and technical and tax administration problems, for consideration and approval by the TEC. They also initiate proposals for valuable products and services for members in tax practice, and administer the AICPA's tax ethics program (i.e., Statements on Standards for Tax Services).
Through its various task forces, TRPs and committees, the TEC continues to monitor numerous projects. The Tax Division is committed to providing the best service possible to AICPA members. Leadership and membership appointments for committees and TRPs for the current committee year will start in October 2006. Members who would like to volunteer to assist in Tax Division activities should contact Ed Karl at (202) 434-9228 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Members having suggestions for new services or products should contact Bill Stromsem at (202) 434-9227 or email@example.com.
Editor and Author:
Thomas J. Purcell III, J.D., Ph.D., CPA
Associate Professor of Accounting and Professor of Law
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|Title Annotation:||Tax Executive Committee|
|Author:||Purcell, Thomas J., III|
|Publication:||The Tax Adviser|
|Date:||Aug 1, 2006|
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