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US Accountants Urge Tax Extender Renewal

by Mike Godfrey,, Washington

07 October 2015

The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants has urged Congress to act immediately on legislation that would temporarily or permanently extend the fifty-plus "tax extender" provisions.

In an October 1 letter to the Chairmen and Ranking Members of the House of Representatives Ways and Means and Senate Finance Committees, AICPA noted that, "although Congress considered tax extenders legislation earlier this year, America's businesses and individuals are still faced with uncertainty in planning and compliance as no legislation has been passed."

Troy Lewis, Chair of the AICPA Tax Executive Committee, added that "taxpayers and tax practitioners need certainty with regards to extenders to perform any long-term tax, cash-flow, or financial planning and reporting."

He expressed concern about the consequences if Congress does not act as soon as possible, in particular: "The impact on a company's financial accounting and reporting; the increase in complexity and administrative burden for taxpayers and the Internal Revenue Service; the adverse impact on small businesses and, ultimately, jobs and growth; and the effect on economic decisions and tax payments."

The AICPA strongly recommended that "the House and Senate immediately address these provisions as soon as possible, albeit perhaps on a temporary basis, to avoid further distortions in financial reporting, prevent unnecessary delays in the tax filing season, and end the resulting needless uncertainty."

Some of the expired provisions are significant for businesses. These include increased expensing under Section 179 (full deduction on cost of qualifying equipment); the 50-percent bonus depreciation; the credit for research and development expenses; and tax breaks promoting renewable energy, such as the production tax credit for wind energy projects.

For individuals, the tax extenders include mortgage tax relief, the deduction for state and local sales taxes, education tax deductions, and tax-free distributions from individual retirement accounts for charitable purposes.

TAGS: individuals | compliance | tax | small business | business | sales tax | tax compliance | energy | law | accounting | retirement | tax credits | education | legislation | United States | tax breaks | financial reporting | research and development | Tax

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