The American Institute of CPAs has issued a set of questions and answers on the services a practitioner can provide in connection with the American Land Title Association’s Best Practices Framework for real estate settlement.

Questions and Answers (Q&A) section 9540.01–.05 of the AICPA Technical Questions and Answers aim to provide nonauthoritative guidance to practitioners in connection with the framework.
The Q&As address the types of engagements a practitioner can perform, the applicability to an attest engagement, the suitability of criteria, the nature of examination or review procedures, the form and content of the report, along with illustrative reports.

The American Land Title Association aims to guide its membership on best practices to protect consumers, promote quality service, provide for ongoing employee training, and meet legal and market requirements. The ALTA Best Practices Framework assists lenders in satisfying their responsibility to manage third-party vendors.

Separately, the AICPA submitted written testimony last week for the record of a congressional hearing that the House Small Business Committee held on April 15 on tax reform for small business. In the document, the AICPA identified eight issues it believes are essential for Congress to consider for small business tax reform:

•    Cash method of accounting;
•    Tangible property regulations—de minimis safe harbor threshold;
•    Civil tax penalties;
•    Permanence of tax legislation;
•    Retirement plans;
•    Alternative minimum tax repeal;
•    Tax return due date simplification; and
•    IRS taxpayer assistance.

“Compliance burdens for small business taxpayers are too heavy, both in terms of time required and out-of-pocket cost,” the AICPA said in its testimony. “The proliferation of new income tax provisions since the 1986 tax reform effort has led to compliance hurdles for taxpayers, administrative complexity, and enforcement challenges for the IRS. We encourage you to examine all aspects of the tax code to improve the current rules.”