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The AICPA Is Starting Beef With the IRS on Behalf of Taxpayers

Did ya hear? There’s a global pandemic going on. And although we’ve had more than a year to figure things out, obviously there are still some areas where the “idk, just kick that can down the road and we’ll deal with it later” mentality is about all TPTB can muster.

For example, the IRS announced last week that taxpayers’ April 15 filing deadline would be extended to May 17. You may recall that they gave taxpayers until July 15 last year (if you don’t that’s OK, it’s been a long year).

Well, that’s nice and all but the AICPA wants more. You see, from where you’re standing it may appear as though the AICPA exists solely to extract dues and blow your inbox up with insurance offers but they also exist to start beef with the IRS on behalf of taxpayers (among other things).

From the Journal of Accountancy:

The AICPA welcomed the IRS’s postponement of the April 15 income tax filing and payment deadline to May 17 but said the measure falls far short of needed taxpayer relief.

After IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig, in a congressional hearing Thursday, sought to justify the Service’s limited postponement, AICPA President and CEO Barry Melancon pushed back, arguing the limitation hurts small business owners and calling upon CPAs and others to ask their U.S. senators and representatives to intervene.

Rettig — not one to be bitched out by the likes of a chihuahua-juggling enthusiast like Barry Melancon — hit back, implying that they did everyone a favor by extending tax day last year but let’s not make this a habit. “This cannot be a pattern,” Rettig said. “Last year was an anomaly; we were shut down.”

This year, despite ongoing difficulties stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic, the IRS is in a different situation, Rettig said.

“Operationally, this was not called on by the Internal Revenue Service,” he said of the May 17 postponement. “It was an accommodation for the most vulnerable individuals. … It’s to try to give the individuals who might be struggling to get some of their information a little bit of breathing room if they’re not otherwise comfortable doing the automatic extension till Oct. 15.”

Part of the AICPA’s beef is in the IRS’s “selective” extension. From a March 16, 2021 AICPA press release:

According to an IRS press release, the relief does not include estimated tax payments that are due on April 15th. This IRS extension does not extend to the millions of small business owners and individuals who pay estimated taxes and the following:

  • Trust income tax payments and return filings on Form 1041
  • Corporate income tax payments and return filings on various Forms 1120

“Americans, individuals and small businesses, have been impacted immeasurably. The fact is virtually all aspects of the federal government and state and local governments have also been impacted. A fair assessment might conclude, for a variety of reasons, that the IRS has been affected more than other federal agencies. I believe taxpayers and practitioners understand this,” Melancon continued. “It is commendable that the IRS wants to demonstrate a return to normalcy. However, the IRS, through no fault of their employees, is seeing significant backlogs, inundated phone lines, unopened mail by the millions and systems sending out unwarranted notices. Extending all tax returns due to June 15th exhibits an understanding of the IRS’ impact on the American public.”

Oh and the AICPA would also like you to know that the IRS didn’t accept e-filed returns until Feb. 12 this year, so they were already behind by almost three weeks by the time filing season started.

So next time you ask yourself “what the hell do I pay these people $300 a year for?” there’s your answer. Your fearless leader Barry Melancon is out here fighting for taxpayers, small businesses, and those who file returns for an estate that generates more than $600 a year. Get em, Bar!

Many Taxpayers Will Not Benefit from IRS Tax Deadline Extension [AICPA, March 2021]