The pandemic has posed challenges, but also presented member engagement opportunities in how TXCPA approaches its biennial congressional Hill visits in D.C.
This week and in November, 40 TXCPA members—AICPA Council representatives, federal key persons and other volunteers—are participating in nearly 20 virtual Capitol Hill meetings with our Texas congressional delegation in Washington, D.C. We’ll meet with key committee members, key members of the Texas delegation and both Senate offices. These visits allow TXCPA to foster important existing Hill relationships, forge new relationships and use our collective voices to be heard on issues key to the CPA profession.
During these visits, our members will encourage Texas lawmakers to cosponsor or support several very important issues to the profession:
- H.R. 5155, Taxpayer Protection and Penalty Act, requires the IRS to provide targeted relief from both the underpayment of estimated tax penalty and the late payment penalty for the 2020 tax year. The profession is advocating that the IRS stop sending notices until it can deal with the unopened and unprocessed correspondence.
- H.R. 3574 and S. 2748, Filing Relief for Natural Disasters Act, gives the IRS clear authority to postpone deadlines when a natural disaster is declared by a state rather than waiting for a federal disaster declaration, allowing for more timely assistance. It also expands the mandatory federal filing extension from 60 to 90 days.
- H. Con. Res. 44 and S. Con. Res. 11, Fiscal State of the Nation, which calls for the Government Accountability Office (GAO) Comptroller General to make a presentation to a joint session of the House and Senate Budget Committees on the GAO’s auditor’s report of the U.S. government’s financial statements. Enacting this resolution will ensure Congress is made aware of the information contained in the financials and better understands how current or future policy may affect the nation’s long-term fiscal health. We appreciate that Texas Reps. Colin Allred (D-32), Michael Burgess (R-26), Lizzie Fletcher (D-7) and Roger Williams (R-25) are early cosponsors. The House resolution may come to the floor very soon.
- H.R. 3855, Accounting STEM Pursuit Act, is a step toward expanding accounting into the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) curriculum. The legislation allows federal funds to develop and enhance accounting programs in K-12 grades.
These bills have bipartisan support and are not controversial. We are hopeful that there is some momentum to push these issues across the finish line.
Capitol Hill visits are the lifeblood of our federal advocacy. TXCPA members provide insight on legislation, serve as a resource to Capitol offices and ensure that the accounting profession is heard loud and clear. We appreciate the work of all those who participate in these meetings. If you have not had an opportunity to advocate on Capitol Hill, reach out to TXCPA and we will get you involved in our Key Person program to participate on the federal or state level.
Photo: Charlotte Jungen, CPA-Houston, and Pat Durio, CPA-Houston, meet with the office of Rep. Lizzie Fletcher (D-7).