AICPA urges Senate to approve automatic disaster victim tax relief

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November 19, 2014

American Institute of CPAs representative asks U.S. Senators to endorse legislation that would give disaster victims permanent and timely tax relief.

American Institute of Certified Public Accountants Tax Executive Committee chair Troy Lewis testified to the Senate Finance Subcommittee on Taxation and IRS Oversight that the current tax relief system often distributes tax relief differently to disaster victims in similar situations. Lewis contends that Congress should no longer consider tax relief benefits on a case by case basis, but instead automatically grant tax relief the same moment a disaster has been declared.

“By having a trigger mechanism in place, Congress allows the IRS to promptly issue notice of the available relief to the public and enables the IRS to program its systems appropriately,” Lewis said. “Under the current system, individuals and small business owners do not know what tax relief they will receive until Congress enacts legislation, sometimes months or even years after the event. The uncertainty surrounding such delayed relief impedes recovery.”

Lewis listed a total of recommendations that the AICPA believes should be given to taxpayers in FEMA disaster areas. “A set of standard disaster tax relief provisions will minimize the administrative burdens on the victims as well as the IRS,” stated Lewis.

Source: Accounting Today

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