The American Institute of CPAs has written a letter to Congress asking lawmakers to address the uncertainty about dozens of expired tax breaks and about-to-expire breaks that could complicate next tax season for practitioners.

The letter, which was sent Monday, urged Congress “to immediately address the fifty-seven tax provisions that expired at the end of 2013 and the six tax provisions that expire at the end of 2014.”
Congress began consideration of extenders legislation earlier this year, the AICPA wrote in its letter, but “America’s businesses and individuals are still faced with uncertainty in planning and compliance as we quickly approach the fourth quarter.” 

House and Senate action on the tax extenders is necessary as soon as possible “to avoid further distortions in financial reporting, prevent unnecessary delays in the tax filing season, and end all of the needless uncertainty,” said the letter from AICPA Tax Executive Committee chair Jeffrey A. Porter to House Ways and Means Committee chairman Dave Camp, R-Mich., Senate Finance Committee chairman Ron Wyden, D-Ore., House Ways and Means Committee ranking member Sander Levin, D-Mich., and Senate Finance Committee ranking member Orrin Hatch, R-Utah.

Wyden and Hatch have also pushed their fellow lawmakers for action on the tax extenders, but the legislation is not expected to be taken up by Congress until after the midterm elections in November (see Senate Finance Leaders Urge Action on Tax Extenders).

However, delaying action until after the midterms, during a lame-duck session, as Hatch suggested, may make it more difficult more the Internal Revenue Service to complete the necessary programming and forms in time for the start of next tax season. It could also complicate tax-planning efforts for CPAs and their clients. The AICPA pointed out that taxpayers and tax practitioners need certainty to perform any long-term tax, cash-flow or financial planning and reporting.

The AICPA said that if Congress does not act soon, it is concerned about a number of consequences, including the impact on a company’s financial accounting and reporting; the increase in complexity and administrative burden for taxpayers and the IRS; the adverse impact on small businesses and, ultimately, jobs and growth; and the effect on economic decisions and tax payments.

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