Each spring, we coordinate an opportunity for our Intuit® ProConnect™ Tax Customer Council to meet in Washington, D.C., for their spring meeting. It is a unique opportunity for this group of tax professionals to learn from regulators, legislators and other key partners, as well as elevate the profession’s most important topics.
This year, the theme of the Council meeting was tax reform, and how tax pros and the government can prepare for sweeping changes as a result of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) that passed on Dec. 22, 2017. The full schedule of meetings helped all participants better understand how tax practitioners and the tax ecosystem will prepare for tax reform implementation.
It was well understood in D.C. that tax reform is top of mind for most professionals. The IRS has a huge task in front of them implementing the many provisions of the TCJA, as well as the fact that there are areas of tax reform that are ambiguous. Council learned that professional associations are taking steps to educate Congress about technical corrections that may be needed, and as part of the dialogue with regulators, the Council had the opportunity to offer their own professional expertise to collaborate and provide feedback.
Needs of the Professional
Throughout the week, Council educated leaders on some of the needs of tax professionals. The Council discussed:
- The need for technical corrections to clarify some parts of the TCJA.
- The importance of providing resources to the IRS to ensure a smooth implementation of tax reform; the general consensus was that additional appropriations to implement tax reform would be approved.
- Universal e-signature of tax documents, which was met with support.
The Council discussed the importance of early access to forms and instructions, as well as better IRS E-Services for tax professionals.
Although the theme of the meeting was heavily focused on tax reform, Council had rich discussions about industry progress on security and the pivot by cybercriminals to target tax offices. Combined with the work the security summit, the industry and the profession are doing to help reduce stolen identity tax refund fraud, tax professionals need to remain vigilant in protecting their clients’ data.
In all, it was a great meeting between ProConnect senior leaders, policy makers and regulators, and most importantly, our Customer Council. Our members recognize the profound importance of practitioners engaging and educating decision makers about the impact of tax reform. The Council is a representative voice to inform decision makers about the legislation and resources still needed to effectively implement tax reform, as well as influence the future of the profession. Council member Toby Clary, CPA, said, “I was given the opportunity to be a part of something that was bigger than me or my firm, and it really opened my eyes to the future of our profession.”