2015 Tax Advocacy Comment Letters

December 4, 2015 - AICPA Comment Letter on Tax Return Preparer Competency Act of 2015 (H.R. 4141)

AICPA submitted a letter opposing the Tax Return Preparer Competency Act of 2015 (H.R. 4141). While the goal of ensuring competent and ethical tax preparers is laudable, the bill will allow the IRS to overregulate professional, credentialed tax return preparers and their staff without providing adequate value to taxpayers or additional protection to the public. AICPA offered alternatives which it feels would better accomplish the goals of the act while avoiding the overregulation of tax preparers.

December 2, 2015 - AICPA Letter on Unrelated Business Income Expense Allocation Methodologies for Dual Use Facilities

AICPA submitted a letter with suggestions on how a tax-exempt organization should allocate expenses attributable to facilities and/or personnel which are used for both tax-exempt activities and unrelated trade of business activities. This letter was in direct response to a request from the IRS Office of Chief Counsel.

November 24, 2015 - AICPA Letter of Support for Palazzo Tax Assurance Extension Bill

AICPA submitted a letter supporting Rep. Palazzo's Tax Assurance Extension Bill. The bill will provide clarity, certainty and fairness to taxpayers while reducing administrative burdens in dealing with unexpected disasters. The Tax Extension Assurance Bill allows an automatic 90-day extension of certain federal tax deadlines, or such longer period of up to one year as the Secretary may otherwise specify, in the case of federally declared disasters. 

November 23, 2015 - AICPA Letter in response to IRS Announcement 2015-19 - Revisions to the Employee Plans Determination Letter Program

AICPA submitted comments to the IRS in response to Announcement 2015-19: Revisions to the Employee Plans Determination Letter Program related to proposed changes to the IRS employee plans determination letter program.

October 1, 2015 - AICPA Comment Letter to Congress on Tax Extenders

AICPA submitted a comment letter urging Congress to immediately address the fifty-two tax provisions that expired at the end of 2014 and the tax provision that will expire at the end of 2015.  Although Congress considered tax extenders legislation earlier this year, America’s businesses and individuals are still faced with uncertainty in planning and compliance as no legislation has been passed.

September 30, 2015 - AICPA Comment Letter on Proposed Regulations REG-119305-11 - Section 707 Regarding Disguised Sales & Section 752 Regarding Partnership Liabilities

AICPA submitted comments on proposed regulations under section 707 regarding disguised sales and section 752 regarding the how recourse and nonrecourse liabilities are shared by partners.  The AICPA is generally supportive of the proposed regulations under section 707, believing they provide important clarifications for taxpayers.  The AICPA recommends a number of revisions to the proposed regulations under section 752, believing that the proposed changes are largely unnecessary and administratively burdensome.

September 28, 2015 - AICPA Comment Letters Support House & Senate Permanent Disaster Tax Relief Provisions Introduced in Companion Bills

AICPA submitted letters in support for the “Permanent Disaster Tax Relief Provisions” introduced as Title III of the National Disaster Tax Relief Act of 2015 in the U.S. House of Representatives by Rep, Reed (H.R. 3110) and the Senate by Senator Vitter (S. 1795). These companion bills include AICPA permanent disaster tax relief proposals that our members have urged Congress to implement. We believe our recommendations will provide taxpayers with certainty, fairness, and the ability to promptly receive the relief they need after a natural disaster, while significantly reducing the administrative burdens on the Internal Revenue Service to react to unexpected disasters. 

The AICPA’s letter to Rep. Reed is available here; the letter to Senator Vitter is available here.

September 18, 2015 - Comment Letter on Section 165(g) Guidance for S Corporations

AICPA submitted comments requesting guidance regarding worthless stock deductions under section 165(g) for S Corporations. This specific item is listed in the Department of the Treasury 2015-2016 Priority Guidance Plan as the first priority of the S corporations category. We recommend that the IRS and Treasury conclude that an S corporation is entitled to the benefits of section 165(g)(3) to the same extent as a C corporation.

September 16, 2015 - AICPA Form 990 Matrix Top Three Comments

In direct response to an IRS request, the American Institute of CPAs Exempt Organizations Taxation Technical Resource Panel has prioritized and submitted the top three AICPA comments from our original June 17, 2015 submission on the Form 990, Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax.

September 15, 2015 - AICPA Comment Letter on ID Theft & Tax Refund Fraud

AICPA submitted a letter commending Senate Finance Committee leadership on their efforts to combat identity theft while expressing concerns on a provision which would grant the IRS broad authority to regulate tax return preparers.

July 22, 2015 -  AICPA Jeff Porter Written Testimony-Senate SBC Hearing on Tax Reform

Jeffrey A. Porter, CPA, Chair of the AICPA Tax Reform Task Force, testified today to the Senate Committee on Small Businesses and Entrepreneurship that targeted tax reform solutions are needed in order to help relieve tax compliance burdens for America’s small businesses. Respectfully, we submitted comments on the following issues:

1. Permanence of Tax Legislation
2. IRS Taxpayer Services
3. Mobile Workforce
4. Cash Basis Method of Accounting
5. Tangible Property Regulations
6. Tax Return Due Date Simplification
7. Civil Tax Penalties
8. Other Small Business Tax Compliance Issues

July 22, 2015 - AICPA Troy Lewis Written Testimony-House SBC Hearing on Reducing Compliance Burden

Troy K. Lewis, CPA, CGMA, Chair of the AICPA Tax Executive Committee, testified today to the House Committee on Small Business that compliance with federal tax laws can act as a road block in the growth of small businesses and outlined steps Congress could take to remove those obstacles.  He also stressed, in light of declining levels of taxpayer service by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), that good taxpayer service is critical to small business owners.

July 16, 2015 - AICPA Comment Letter in Support of Vitter Bill

The comment letter is in support of the Small Business Tax Compliance Relief Act of 2015 which Chairman Vitter (of the SF Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship) is introducing.  The bill has many proposals that the AICPA is in support of.

July 14, 2015 -  AICPA Comment Letter H.R. 2821 Large Partnership Audits

The AICPA submitted comments, to Congress, on H.R. 2821, the Partnership Audit Simplification Act of 2015 (“Act” or “Proposal”).  While we believe the Proposal may improve certain aspects of IRS audit administration, we have serious concerns regarding this legislation, as currently drafted. Specifically, our comments regarding the Proposal address the following issues:
1. Overall Increase in U.S. Income Tax Due;
2. Significant and Unprecedented Impact on Small Partnerships;
3. Stifling of Investments in Partnerships;
4. Inequities Resulting from Changes in Partners; and
5. Significant Tax Cost/Penalties on U.S. Taxpayers Investing Abroad


The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) provides comments on the Form 990, Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax, and instructions. Our matrix includes comments and recommendations for the 2015 forms and instructions, while indicating the importance and urgency of each recommendation. This annual Form 990 comments matrix is a project conducted by the AICPA Exempt Organizations Taxation Technical Resource Panel. Our group is comprised of practitioners who serve tax-exempt organizations and are experienced with both the nuances of the form and the challenges that arise for taxpayers in trying to complete it.



The AICPA Exempt Organizations Technical Resource Panel submitted a comment letter to the IRS and Treasury requesting a revision to Treas. Reg. § 53.4944-1(a)(2) in regard to investments that jeopardize the carrying out of the exempt purposes of a private foundation.

June 17, 2015 - Exemption from Excise Tax needed for Certain HRAs

The AICPA urges Congress to exempt certain health care reimbursement arrangements from the group health insurance requirements of the Affordable Care Act.

The letter regarding section 174 provides our recommendation that taxpayers making an accounting method change for mischaracterized section 174 expenditures compute a section 481 (a) adjustment and they receive audit protection.

June 2, 2015 - AICPA Urges House Subcommittee to Approve Mobile Workforce State Income Tax Simplification Act of 2015

The AICPA submitted written testimony for the hearing record in support of H.R. 2315, The “Mobile Workforce State Income Tax Simplification Act of 2015.”  The AICPA said it believes the bill would provide long-overdue relief from the current web of inconsistent state income tax and withholding rules that impact employers and employees.

May 1, 2015 - Comments on the IRS Priority Guidance Plan

The AICPA submitted the 2015-2016 Priority Guidance Plan that identifies and prioritizes guidance projects that the Treasury Department and the IRS should address through regulations, revenue rulings, revenue procedures, notices and other published administrative guidance. 

April 23, 2015 - AICPA Deferred Revenue Comment Letter

Present law allows buyers and sellers discretion in choosing a tax method of accounting for deferred revenue liabilities in the context of a taxable asset acquisition.  We understand that the government is considering issuing guidance that would provide for consistent tax treatment of the deferred revenue liability by buyers and sellers in taxable asset acquisitions.  The AICPA believes that providing an elective tax safe harbor under which the buyer and seller agree to consistently treat the deferred revenue liability would reduce controversy between taxpayers and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and mitigate concerns the government might have related to inconsistent tax treatment by buyers and sellers in such transactions.


April 23, 2015 - AICPA Testimony Statement for the Record for April 15, 2015 House SBC Hearing on Tax Reform

On April 15, 2015, the U.S. House of Representatives, Committee on Small Business, held a hearing on “Tax Reform: Ensuring that Main Street Isn’t Left Behind,”  to examine the need for and potential economic benefits of comprehensive tax reform. In the interest of good tax policy and effective tax administration, specifically focusing on the simplification of small business income tax, we respectfully submitted comments on the following key issues:
1.      Cash Method of Accounting
2.      Tangible Property Regulations – De Minimis Safe Harbor Threshold
3.      Civil Tax Penalties
4.      Permanence of Tax Legislation
5.      Retirement Plans
6.      Alternative Minimum Tax Repeal
7.      Tax Return Due Date Simplification
8.      IRS Taxpayer Assistance

April 21, 2015 - AICPA Recommends Increasing the Safe Harbor De Minimis Threshold

The AICPA recommends increasing the de minimis safe harbor threshold amount for taxpayers without an AFS from $500 to $2,500.  We also recommend adjusting the threshold amount on an annual basis for inflation to maintain the fairness and incentive of the intended benefit, and to expand the AFS definition to allow more taxpayers to benefit from the higher $5,000 threshold.

April 14, 2015 - AICPA Sends Suggestions to Senate Finance Committee Tax Reform Working Group on Community Development and Infrastructure

The AICPA sent a comment letter to the Senate Finance Committee Tax Reform Working Group (Community Development & Infrastructure) specifically focusing on the simplification of community development and infrastructure taxation, we respectfully submit our recommendations for permanent tax provisions related to disaster relief.

Additional Comment Letters to the Senate Finance Committee Tax Reform Working Group:

  • Business Income Tax Reform Working Group Letter - Comment letter to the Senate Finance Committee Tax Reform Working Group (Business Income Tax) on key issues including: Cash Method of Accounting, Tax Return Due Date Simplification, Alternative Minimum Tax Repeal, and Pass-Through Business Income Taxation (March 31, 2015)
  • Savings and Investment Tax Reform Working Group Letter - Comment letter to the SFC Tax Reform Working Group on Savings and Investment with respect to the simplification of employer-sponsored retirement plans and individual retirement accounts (March 26, 2015)  
  • Individual Tax Reform Proposals Letter - Comment letter to the SFC Tax Reform Working Group (Individual Income Tax) advocating for Simplified Income Tax Rate Structure, Education Incentives, and “Kiddie Tax” Rules; Identity Theft and Tax Fraud Measures, and Relief for Missed Elections (9100 Relief) (March 18, 2015)

March 23, 2015 - AICPA Offers to Congress to be a Resource on Tax Reform

The AICPA sent a letter to the SFC Tax Reform Working Group offering the AICPA as a resource to: offer suggestions from an administrative and practical standpoint; identify potential pitfalls of a particular provision; discuss the “small business” perspective; provide informal feedback on legislative language; and support legislative provisions that are officially approved by our Tax Executive Committee. 

March 19, 2015 - AICPA Letter to IRS on Portability Relief

This AICPA letter to the IRS requests relief for surviving spouses electing estate tax portability. The AICPA requested that Treasury and IRS:

  • Permanently allow estates below the filing threshold 15 months after the death to file Form 706 in order to elect portability;
  • Provide a short Form 706-EZ to make the portability election; and
  • Allow the surviving spouse to file Form 706 for portability, if the executor chooses not to file the form because the estate is not otherwise required to do so.

March 17, 2015 - AICPA Compendium of Tax Legislative Proposals 2015

Our focus in this 2015 Compendium of Tax Legislative Proposals is on changes to 34 provisions in the Internal Revenue Code that need attention, recommendations that are technical in nature and recommendations that perhaps can be readily addressed. This Compendium includes items focused on improving tax administration, making the tax code fairer, and effectively promoting important policy objectives.

February 13, 2015 - AICPA Comment Letter Advance Payments Stock Acquisition

This letter addresses two interpretive issues that the AICPA identified in the application of Rev. Proc. 2004-34 and Treas. Reg. § 1.451-5. Specifically, this letter addresses issues related to the treatment of advance payments deferred under Rev. Proc. 2004-34 or Treas. Reg. § 1.451-5 when the stock of the taxpayer is acquired and the application of Rev. Proc. 2004-34 to advance payments received from members of an affiliated group. The AICPA also recommends that additional guidance be issued to clarify these rules.

February 3, 2015 -
AICPA Requests Tax Treaty Ratification

The AICPA urges the Senate to approve the bilateral income tax treaties and protocols currently pending before them. The AICPA believes income tax treaties are vital to United States economic growth as well as U.S. trade and tax policy. Tax treaties are also important tools used to promote a competitive environment to attract foreign investment into the U.S. In order to serve their intended purpose, tax treaties must be kept up to date with developments in the global economy. However, several income tax treaties and protocols have been awaiting approval by the full Senate since 2010.

January 23, 2015 - AICPA Letter on Needed Statutory Authority for IRS to Grant 9100 Relief to Taxpayers

This AICPA letter suggests Congress include in the tax reform legislation important technical changes to permit administrative relief (i.e., providing the Internal Revenue Service permission to grant “section 9100 relief”) for certain late or defective elections upon a showing of good cause by a taxpayer. Section 9100 relief, which is currently available with regard to some elections, is extremely valuable for taxpayers who miss the opportunity to make certain tax elections. Congress needs to provide statutory authority in order for the IRS to have authority to grant administrative relief in appropriate situations for provisions that have statutory deadlines and relief is not already authorized.

January 12, 2015 - AICPA Comments on the Camp discussion draft of the proposed Tax Reform Act of 2014

Attached is the AICPA’s comment letter in response to the House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp's discussion draft of the proposed Tax Reform Act of 2014, a tax reform legislative act. The AICPA provides general comments on an efficient and effective tax system based on principles of good tax policy. The AICPA also provides support for provisions such as tax reform for individuals, the repeal of the alternative minimum tax, business tax reform, participation exemption system for the taxation of foreign income, tax exempt entities and tax administration and compliance.


Tax Policy & Advocacy letters, testimony and related documents for 2013201420162017, 2018, 201920202021, 20222023, and 2024.