Jan 23, 2017

Tax Reform in the Next 100 Days: Can It Be That Close?

Michael D. Colgan, PICPA CEO and executive director

As many PICPA members prepare to navigate another busy tax season, President Donald Trump prepares to navigate his way as our 45th chief executive. One of the issues prominent throughout the campaign was the prospect of tax reform. The Republican Party controls both houses of Congress and the White House as a result of the November 2016 election, so it seems the possibility of tax reform has become more likely. Will it happen in the first 100 days? That’s hard to predict, but it is reasonable to believe that meaningful discussion and negotiation will take place.

Federal taxes

To learn more about the prospect of
tax reform, listen to PICPA’s podcast with Bob Duquette, CPA, a member
of PICPA's Federal Tax Committee.

Those discussions will attempt to provide a consensus plan between the president’s proposals, the House plan, and Senate hearings that have been held over the past couple of years. The House plan is the most detailed of the proposals, and it is similar to many of Trump’s ideas. If you would like to learn more about the similarities and differences between the proposals, I encourage you to listen to our recent CPA Conversation podcast Prospects for Tax Reform Under the Trump Administration by PICPA member Bob Duquette.

In addition to an analysis of the proposals, Duquette outlines the primary drivers that will fuel the tax reform debate, including jolting the economy; removing incentives for U.S. businesses to go off shore; and attracting new business investment here by foreign companies. Fifteen years ago the AICPA developed Guiding Principles for Good Tax Policy, which has been used to evaluate tax proposals and advocate for tax simplification, another hopeful outcome of tax reform (the tax code was 25,000 pages under President Ronald Reagan, it is now over 70,000 pages).

The AICPA Tax Executive Committee has outlined key issues it believes should be part of any major overhaul of the tax code. You can go to the website to find that and other tax reform resources.

I also encourage you to engage with the PICPA Federal Taxation Committee if you have thoughts or perspectives on tax reform. In addition to the Duquette podcast, the PICPA has numerous tax information and busy season resources available on our site.

The PICPA has also enhanced our member interaction through new discussion boards. You can join more than 1,000 of your colleagues on our taxation discussion board on PICPA Connect. Recent discussion have addressed Affordable Care Act coding and compliance (also an issue likely to see changes under the new administration), FBAR extensions, charitable donations, and tax filing date updates.

When (not if) tax reform does occur, be sure to turn to the PICPA Foundation for information on the changes through our seminars and online CPE programs. We will be prepared to provide you with excellent resources in whatever format you prefer.

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Statements of fact and opinion are the authors’ responsibility alone and do not imply an opinion on the part of PICPA officers or members. The information contained in herein does not constitute accounting, legal, or professional advice. For professional advice, please engage or consult a qualified professional.