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February 2011

TSCPA SEEKS SUPPORT FROM SENATORS ON TAX PATENT PROVISION

The Texas Society of CPAs, yesterday, issued letters to Senators Kay Bailey Hutchison and John Cornyn for their support on a provision in the comprehensive patent reform bill that would stop tax strategy patents. 

The provision will not affect the copyright protection available to tax preparation software companies for their products, nor will it preclude those companies from obtaining patent protection on their products.

The Senate will take up S. 23 the Patent Reform Act of 2011 when members return from the President’s Day recess next week.

Letter to Sen Hutchison on tax strategy patents

Letter to Sen Cornyn on tax strategy patents


TSCPA SEEKS JUDICIARY COMMITTEE’S HELP TO STOP TAX STRATEGY PATENTS

Texas Society of CPAs issued letters to members of the Texas House Judiciary Committee on Friday asking for their support on tax strategy patents legislation.

In past action, Rep. Lamar Smith, chairman of the Judiciary Committee, has led the charge of stopping the issuance of said patents to make it easier for taxpayers and their advisers to reform the nation’s patent laws.

TSCPA believes that tax strategies patents undermine the integrity of the tax code and unnecessarily complicate compliance. Currently there are more than 130 tax strategy patents issued and more than 150 pending.

TSCPA letter to Rep. Lamar Smith


TSCPA ISSUES COMMENTS LETTER REQUESTING GUIDANCE ON SECTION 67(e)

The Texas Society of CPAs’ Federal Tax Policy Committee, last Thursday, issued a letter to Internal Revenue Service Commissioner Doug Shulman and Chief Counsel William Wilkins requesting interim guidance for the deductibility of expenses paid by a trust under IRC section 67(e).

The IRS issued interim guidance in Notice 2008-32, 2008-116 and most recently in Notice 2010-32 that applied to taxable years beginning before January 1, 2010. The IRS and Treasury Department expect to issue regulations under section 1.67-4 consistent with the U.S. Supreme Court’s holding in Knight v. Commissioner.  The TSCPA committee requested that IRS extend the interim guidance until the regulations are issued.

Download TSCPA Comments to IRS Sec 67(e) 2-10-11


CONGRESSMEN CREATE CPA CAUCUS

Brad Sherman (D-CA) and Michael Conaway (R-TX) announced yesterday, the creation of a bipartisan Congressional CPA Caucus. The main goal of this collaboration is provide input on issues in Congress in which CPAs have specific experise, such as budgeting and fiscal matters.

Other CPAs to join the Caucus include: John Campbell (R-CA), Bill Flores (R-TX) Lynn Jenkins (R-KS), Steven Palazzo (R-MS), Collin Peterson (D-MN), and James Renacci (R-OH).

http://www.journalofaccountancy.com/Web/20113848.htm


TSCPA ISSUES LETTER TO SENATOR CORNYN REQUESTING BAN ON TAX STRATEGY PATENTS

Two new Senate bills were recently introduced that would prevent attempts to patent tax strategies. The Patent Reform Act (S. 23) and the Equal Access to Tax Planning Act (S. 139) include provisions to prevent any strategy to reduce, avoid, or defer tax liability under federal, state, local or foreign law.

S. 23 is a comprehensive patent overhaul bill that is moving swiftly; the tax strategy patent language in Section 14 also survived Judiciary Committee mark-ups last week. S. 23 may get bogged down, however, in larger patent politics between various interest groups.

S. 139 deals solely with tax strategy patents, but it does not have a hearing scheduled yet and needs more co-sponsors to improve its chances.

TSCPA and AICPA have been strong advocates for several years on the banning of tax strategy patents. TSCPA recently issued a letter to Senator John Cornyn on the Judiciary Committee, urging that he support language in Section 14 of S. 23. If the patent overhaul bill begins to stall, the profession will redirect attention to move S. 139. Members may contact the Senator to request that he co-sponsor both S. 23 and S. 139. The Senator’s office phone number in Washington is (202) 224.2934 or complete Senator Cornyn's online contact form.

TSCPA letter to Senator Cornyn