By Peter N. Calcara, PICPA Vice President, Government Relations
Advocacy takes many forms. One, lobbying state lawmakers, is a cornerstone of PICPA’s advocacy efforts in Harrisburg. The PICPA government relations team and our network of volunteer committees tirelessly navigating the halls of our beautiful state capitol, meeting with lawmakers and staff, developing key relationships, and serving as a technical resource in all matters that impact the CPA profession and their clients.
Another, less visible, form of advocacy is in the regulatory/administrative realm. Regulatory advocacy involves influencing the rules that state government uses to implement laws. Regulatory advocacy does not necessarily lean on the same skill set as retail lobbying – it’s usually more technical in nature and less political – but it is still a critical function and service that the PICPA provides its 20,000 members statewide. A great example of our regulatory advocacy efforts involves our interactions with the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue (DOR).
Annually, the PICPA and the DOR meet to discuss issues affecting CPA practitioners and their clients and to bring clarity to complex regulations. In October 2021, the PICPA State Taxation Steering Committee once again hosted the DOR, but because of ongoing concerns about face-to-face meetings, this year’s event was held virtually. Topics covered include personal income and corporate tax, sales and use tax, and administrative issues. The virtual aspect, unfortunately, does not allow for an easy give-and-take with follow-up questions, but the exchange of information remains vital. The DOR, however, has provided written responses to our questions. You can also view past Q&A transcripts.
In my 30 years of government relations work – the past 21 with the PICPA – rarely have I seen such a level of respect and cooperation between a state agency and an outside stakeholder. Though we don’t always agree with the DOR on interpretations of law or the implementation of its strategies, PICPA members should know that their voice is being requested and being heard. The PICPA is proud of the ongoing partnership with the DOR, and we look forward to continuing our strong partnership.
If you want to take part in one of these discussion, or just observe, we are planning another Zoom meeting with the DOR on Dec. 14, 2021. Sign up today!
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