An Ohio CPA urges the National Taxpayer Advocate to lobby elected officials to do their own taxes.

Dear Ms. Olson,

American taxpayers appreciate the labor you’ve expended on our behalf these last eight years advocating for tax relief and simplicity. You must feel like the proverbial “voice crying in the wilderness” as you call for alternative minimum tax relief, less paperwork and other familiar themes year after weary year.

Now that two high-level executive branch nominees have withdrawn and one has endured public humiliation from tax missteps, the time has come for bold tax reform.

I implore you to go to the Hill and lobby for a “Do It Yourself” tax bill requiring all publicly elected officials at the federal level to prepare their own federal tax returns. If they haven’t understood the need for tax reform in the past, they will be intimately acquainted with its necessity after this exercise (and perhaps better prepared to intelligently discuss specifics).

You can abandon the piecemeal measures. One tax season will convince those who wavered in the past, that wholesale change is in order. Once America’s top officials have some skin in this game, I should think that the Tax Code will collapse under its own weight, our profession’s “best and brightest” will be tasked with its rewrite, the perennial “fairness” argument will be resolved once and for all, and reform measures will be on a fast track through Congress by the next filing season.

I suppose on its face, this measure appears to be all about the national treasury and finances. But it’s more than that. I started by mentioning the train wreck it has made of the Cabinet nomination process.

What if ... health care reform never gets traction because Tom Daschle isn’t around to do the heavy lifting?

What if ... economic recovery plans get slighted because of the distraction of a protracted appointment confirmation cycle?

What if ... talented individuals decline to serve because of the scrutiny they will endure as part of the nomination process?

The fallout is huge and the embarrassment is both personal and national.

I know you just returned from one of your semi-annual scripted trips to the Hill. Invite yourself back. We need to seize this opportunity to reform our Tax Code once and for all and you’re in the best position to start the process.

The nation is watching.

Jacqueline Myers Roth, CPA
Akron, Ohio

Register or login for access to this item and much more

All Accounting Today content is archived after seven days.

Community members receive:
  • All recent and archived articles
  • Conference offers and updates
  • A full menu of enewsletter options
  • Web seminars, white papers, ebooks

Don't have an account? Register for Free Unlimited Access