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President's Message - May 2024

By Alexandra DeNiro posted 29 days ago

  

By Frank Sands CPA, National President, NCCPAP

The big push of tax season has subsided. The tax returns that could be done are done, and extensions have been filed. This tax season proved to be difficult. Returns came in earlier than expected, and the information was often incomplete. We were happy to take a few days off!

Our annual trip to Washington DC was scheduled for May 8-10. This year we stayed close to the Hill at the Yotel Washington DC on New Jersey Ave. It is a very modern minimalistic hotel. The rooms were clean, and the beds were comfortable. Rain was predicted but held off until Thursday evening.

We had committee meetings all day Wednesday. The tax committee meeting was 2.5 hours during which we went over the tax issues and recommendations on our agenda for the Hill visit. I want to thank all who submitted agenda items. The Hill trip would not have happened without your input.  The Tax Committee selected six issues for the agenda after consideration of all the issues submitted. The issues were:

  • Taxpayer Protection and Preparer Proficiency -regulation of preparers who do not have a license or regulated credential.
  • Supplemental withholding tax rate- repeal of the 22% flat withholding rate.
  • Tax refund verification- verification of refund recipient using prenote technology.
  • Deductibility of long-term care premiums- above the line deduction for LTC premiums.
  • Theft loss deductions- repeal the federal declared disaster requirement for theft losses.
  • Math error notices- require notices to contain detailed explanations of proposed changes and related taxpayer rights. 

We had 18 appointments with elected congressional offices. We had nine members in attendance. We split up into four groups, and each group had a full day. We were pleased to have two tax attorneys from the Polsinelli law firm join us. You may have seen them speak at our Accounting and Tax Symposium. 

We met with the Legislative Directors, or Chiefs of Staff. The meetings were typically 20-30 minutes held in the Congressperson's office, in their absence, or at a conference table. In one case, we met in the hall. Those we met with were engaging with our presentations, asking questions to get an understanding of our recommendations, and taking notes. In some cases, we heard comments suggesting an issue had a direct impact relative to a committee the Congressperson served on. They also were impressed with the 21 billion dollars of savings possibility with our recommendations. In several instances, we were asked if there was current legislation involving our issue. Due to the thorough preparation work done, we were able to answer yes, and that the legislation supported our recommendations. We also offered NCCPAP as a resource for them as any need should arise.

In one case we were able to tell the Legislative Director we had approved the use of our name on a bill the Congressperson had co-sponsored. This had a positive impact on the entire meeting.

We had a debrief session at days end. The consensus was that our meetings were a success. Details were shared, and discussions ensued regarding the follow-up to be done.

There is nothing like the feeling you get when you enter the halls of Congress! This is where policy is developed, and laws are passed that affect all of us. NCCPAP’s reputation on the Hill is a key factor in getting appointments with lawmakers. We do have an impact. I wish more of you would have been able to attend and experience this wonderful opportunity to impact tax issues and give back. It is eye opening and a reminder of all that we can do.

Thank you for giving me the honor of being your President.


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