In May I was part of the NAEA (National Association of Enrolled Agents) Washington and Oregon contingent that met with the staff of 6 Senate and House Representatives in Washington DC. Our agenda was to present first the NAEA’s agenda for tax and IRS reform, and second to give our real world experiences working with the IRS and the struggles that taxpayers have dealing with the tax rules. Congressional staffers while well educated, don’t normally have experience in the operation of a business and therefore don’t fully understand how their policies impact a business. Nor do they understand the full gambit of taxpayer’s unique situations. The NAEA doesn’t speak to what is the proper amount of taxation or the tax rates among taxpayers. They are concerned with efficient execution of tax policy and laws.
NAEA’s ideas on tax reform was based on these 4 questions:
- Does the proposal save taxpayers time and money on tax record keeping?
- Does it save the person preparing the tax return time, and therefore money?
- Does it encourage excessive tax planning?
- Does it treat similarly situated taxpayers in the same manner?
IRS reform was based on the recommendations presented in a white paper from nine tax and accounting organizations. Those recommendations were themselves rooted in a report from 1997 by a commission created by congress to provide ideas for improving the functioning of the IRS. Interestingly this 20 year old report is relevant to the situation today.
It is important as citizens and taxpayers that we all provide constructive feedback to our representatives so that they know the true impact of their laws.