Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-FL) greeting NAEA Board of Directors Secretary Jennifer MacMillan following testimony before the House Ways and Means Oversight Subcommittee on IRS reform from a taxpayer’s perspective.

NAEA Advocacy in Action

2021 was a rough ride at the federal and state levels for tax professionals, especially enrolled agents. The year began with a new Congress being sworn in and two runoff Senate races in Georgia that led to a 50-50 Senate. The historically close margins in Congress, combined with President Biden’s inauguration and aggressive legislative agenda, kicked off a year of numerous legislative battles and policy negotiations. Federal and state governments continued to grapple with the effects of COVID-19, which impacted IRS operations, regulatory agendas, and brought unprecedented levels of complexity to the tax system. The agency struggled to keep pace as it sought to dig out from mounds of paper while implementing COVID-related tax changes and credits. Throughout the year, despite the uncertainty, NAEA advocacy shaped new pathways for significant improvements in tax policy and tax administration including:

  • NAEA recommendations in the IRS Taxpayer First Act Report to Congress,
  • Advocating to extend the 2020 filing season deadline,
  • Taking the lead advocating for regulating unenrolled tax return preparers,
  • Providing input to Congress and advocating for more IRS funding and accountability in both the bipartisan infrastructure legislation and the Build Back Better plan,
  • Ensuring the success of Tax Pro Accounts to deploy real-time processing of POAs and 8821s,
  • Facilitating improvements in IRS customer service, e.g., fixing the phone lines, gaining agreement to increase orders for transcripts from 10 to 30 through PPS, and more,
  • Ultimately making the hard call to the Secretary of the Treasury and Congress that “IRS is Broken” and needs a concerted effort on the part of policymakers, IRS leadership, and oversight groups to steer the agency back on track, and
  • Initiating lobbying efforts and engaging with the Minnesota Legislature throughout 2021 to amend the Minnesota Debt Settlement Services Statute 332B to exempt enrolled agents from the statute’s strict registration and compliance requirements.

Our advocacy successes continue to validate NAEA as a thought leader and demonstrate the long way the association has come from the days when no one on Capitol Hill had ever heard of enrolled agents.

In 2022, we will continue to advocate for many of the policies that we have made progress on over this past year. Our top policy priorities remain the regulation of unenrolled tax return preparers, funding the IRS, fixing the IRS’s broken system, and state regulation of enrolled agents, especially resuming our lobbying efforts with the Minnesota Legislature to exempt enrolled agents from Statute 332B requirements.

 

NAEA is the tax advocate’s advocate.

NAEA’s Government Relations team, by maintaining regular contact with congressional leaders and key tax administration officials, works to ensure the views of enrolled agents are represented in shaping federal policy. The team also provides assistance to NAEA’s affiliates as they build advocacy initiatives and defend the enrolled agent credential.

The Internal Revenue Code is large, thousands of pages long, and buttressed by an array of regulations, forms, instructions, and an Internal Revenue Manual. The temptation for legislators to tinker with the Code is irresistible. Enrolled agents stand between their clients and chaos. We have opinions, based on years of front-line experience, and NAEA Government Relations is focused on giving voice to those opinions.

Our staff works with elected leadership, committee chairs, committee members, and the membership more broadly to focus NAEA’s efforts. NAEA in turn, formulates these desires into strategies and actions, and serves as the profession’s definitive policy expert and liaison to Congress and the IRS.

Contact our office at 202-822-NAEA (6232) / 855-880-6232 or governmentrelations@naea.org.

 

Advocacy Updates from EA Journal

Get a quick view of hot tax advocacy topics as NAEA members and other tax professionals share their experience and insight through articles found in NAEA’s bi-monthly EA Journal.

January/February Issue

2022 Capitol Corner: 2021 Craziness in Action

Thad Inge, JD and Michelle McCaughey

While it certainly would be hard to top 2020, the year 2021 was quite the roller coaster ride at the federal and state levels for tax professionals, especially enrolled agents. The year began with a new Congress being sworn in and two runoff Senate races in Georgia that led to a 50-50 Senate. The historically close margins in Congress, combined with President Biden’s inauguration and aggressive legislative agenda, kicked off a year of numerous legislative battles and policy negotiations. Federal and state governments continued to grapple with the effects of COVID-19 – which impacted agency operations, regulatory agendas, and brought unprecedented levels of complexity to the tax system. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) struggled to keep pace as it sought to dig out from mounds of paper while implementing Covid-related tax changes and credits. Throughout the year, despite the uncertainty, the National Association of Enrolled Agents’ (NAEA) advocacy shaped new pathways for significant improvements in tax policy and tax administration including:

  • IRS Taxpayer First Act Report to Congress includes NAEA recommendations
  • Advocating to extend the 2020 filing season deadline
  • Taking the lead on advocating for regulating unenrolled tax return preparers

Read more.

March/April Issue

2022 Capitol Corner: Advocacy and the NAEA PAC – Making Your Voice Heard Where It Counts

Thad Inge, JD and Michelle McCaughey 

In the last issue of Capitol Corner, we discussed how NAEA advocacy shaped new pathways for significant improvements in tax policy and tax administration amid the roller coaster ride that was the year 2021. This month, we return to NAEA advocacy and discuss the marriage between NAEA’s advocacy priorities and the NAEA PAC, the association’s political action committee.

Advocacy is the heartbeat of NAEA. Executive leaders, the Government Relations Committee, member volunteers, legislative counsel, and staff spend much time meeting and educating members of Congress and their staff on the issues important to enrolled agents.

NAEA engages in advocacy on behalf of the association’s members with the goal of enhancing and protecting the enrolled agent credential. After many decades working closely with Congress and the Executive branch, NAEA has a well-earned reputation as a thought leader in tax policy, tax administration, and a champion for enrolled agents.

Catch 22: My Nightmare with MN Statute 332B

Jonathan B. Call, EA

At the close of 2020, most tax practitioners – and Americans in general – held out hope for better things to come in the new year.  Without a doubt, 2020 was rough, and the best we could hope for was that it was in our rearview mirror.  As a tax practitioner, 2020 was the most difficult year I had experienced professionally since becoming an Enrolled Agent in 2012.  It seemed like every time I turned around, policymakers in Washington were changing the tax laws, while the Department of the Treasury struggled to provide timely guidance; tax deadlines were a moving target at best and as the pandemic peaked, IRS operations ground to a halt for months at a time.

On top of all this, as an Enrolled Agent in Minnesota, I personally experienced the single most expensive, time consuming and ultimately catastrophic period of my tax career. It all began with a letter from the Minnesota Attorney General’s office. This letter set off a chain of events, which ultimately concluded in September 2021.

E@lert Excerpts

Get updates on the recent advocacy initiatives from NAEA and what’s new in tax law and legislation with NAEA’s weekly E@lert Newsletter.