AICPA CEO Barry Melancon Says IRS Must Provide Immediate Tax Filing Relief, Expresses Strong Concern About Treasury Department Decisions

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The American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) president and CEO, Barry Melancon, CPA, made the following statement in response to the Treasurys recent statement on tax payment relief:

On Monday, we learned that the administration is allowing certain taxpayers to delay tax payments for 90 days and is providing interest and penalty relief, and today it released its formal notice. Unfortunately, this important payment relief does not apply to the filing of tax returns. The concern and confusion related to coronavirus is causing cities across the country to shut businesses down, and Treasurys recent decisions do not reflect the real-world difficulties tax practitioners and their clients are experiencing.

Melancon continued, The AICPA understands the need for economic stimulus and, if possible, those who can file and get refunds should do so now. However, it is impossible for every taxpayer and their tax adviser to prepare returns in this environment. Nearly 60% of all taxpayers turn to a tax practitioner to prepare and file their tax returns, and individual and business tax filing deadlines are fast approaching. Even the relatively simple process of filing an extension form requires calculations based on data and information from the taxpayer. Given the current environment, this extension process is impossible for many taxpayers. Treasury must act immediately by extending the April 15th filing deadline and providing more clarity on the details of recent relief actions.

Edward Karl, CPA, AICPA vice president of tax policy and advocacy, added, We understand that these are uncertain and challenging times for the Department of the Treasury. In the past, when relief was provided for a disaster, taxpayers have typically received payment and filing relief together. It is very surprising that we have not yet seen filing relief given the severity of the coronavirus pandemics impact on our nation. We continue to communicate the need for filing relief and clarity to Treasury and hope to see action soon.

The AICPA continues to encourage its members to refer to the following resources that can help them manage clients needs and their business at this time:

  • On March 11, the AICPA called for the Treasury Department and the IRS to provide relief to all taxpayers in light of the uncertainty and challenges caused by the spread of the coronavirus (press release).
  • The IRS has provided more information on what a national emergency may mean for taxpayers and tax practitioners: IRS Resource Guide on Disaster Assistance and Emergency Relief Program.
  • U.S. states are providing tax filing relief for individuals and businesses. The AICPA has compiled the latest developments on state tax filings related to coronavirus (more here)
  • CPAs clients may need assistance with their tax returns and business affairs during this filing seasons uncertainty. Access AICPA guidance and tools.
  • Casualty loss and disaster relief resources are also available (more here).

     

About the American Institute of CPAs

The American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) is the worlds largest member association representing the CPA profession, with more than 429,000 members in the United States and worldwide, and a history of serving the public interest since 1887. AICPA members represent many areas of practice, including business and industry, public practice, government, education and consulting. The AICPA sets ethical standards for its members and U.S. auditing standards for private companies, nonprofit organizations, federal, state and local governments. It develops and grades the Uniform CPA Examination, offers specialized credentials, builds the pipeline of future talent and drives professional competency development to advance the vitality, relevance and quality of the profession.

The AICPA maintains offices in New York, Washington, DC, Durham, NC, and Ewing, NJ.

Media representatives are invited to visit the AICPA Press Center at https://www.aicpa.org/press.

Veronica Vera

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