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AICPA Calls On Congress To Meet IRS Budget Request; Recommends Sec. 174 Modifications

The American Institute of CPAs is calling on Congress to fund the Internal Revenue Service at the level requested by the White House in its fiscal year 2023 budget request. Separately, the group offered its suggestions on the IRS Guidance Priority List. “In advance of the Fiscal Year 2023 appropriations cycle, we request that you fund the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) at necessary levels to allow it to handle all the duties required of it by Congress, including properly administering and enforcing our nation’s tax laws as well as providing needed assistance to taxpayers and their advisers in a timely and professional manner,” AICPA said in a May 25, 2022, letter to Democratic and Republican leadership in both the House and Senate Appropriations Committees.

AICPA expressed concern that “service challenges will persist long after the pandemic has ended unless sufficient, targeted funding for technology improvements, human talent and training, and taxpayer services are appropriated.”

The organization also noted that there needs to be more than money thrown at the agency to help its functioning. “It should be clear that funding alone will not solve the IRS’s problems,” AICPA wrote. “Structural reforms and organizational alignment from Congress, the President, the Secretary, and the Commissioner are necessary to delivering the promised goals. We look forward to working with all parties involved to this end and create an IRS that taxpayers deserve.”

Priority Guidance Recommendations

In a separate letter sent to the IRS May 24, 2022, AICPA outlined its suggestions for the guidance that the agency should be prioritizing. The guidance recommendations cut across a range of programs and legislation, such as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the SECURE Act, and the CARES Act and covering a number of areas such as corporation and shareholder taxation, employee benefits taxation, individual taxation, and international taxation.

R&E Recommendations

AICPA is also recommending the Internal Revenue Service issue specific regulations related to the treatment of research and experimental (R&E) expenditures under Sec. 174.

In a May 26, 2022, letter to the IRS, AICPA said that the Department of the Treasury and the IRS should “issue regulations providing that section 174(a) expenditures include direct costs, including employee compensation, contract labor, and materials, and at the taxpayer’s election, allocable indirect and overhead costs.”

AICPA also said that Treasury and the IRS “should issue regulations that illustrate, using detailed examples, which costs are ‘incident to’ the development or improvement of a product as per Reg. §1.174-2.”

If the agency doesn’t issue new regulations, AICPA recommended guidance to cover these requests.

Additionally, AICPA identified issues that have arisen with Rev. Proc. 2000-50, which covers the treatment of costs paid or incurred to develop, purchase, or lease computer software.

“IRS should modify the scope limitation under section 4 of Rev. Proc. 2000-50 to clarify that the limitation on costs that a taxpayer has treated as R&E expenditures under section 174 only applies to costs previously subject to an irrevocable election under section 174, including 174(b) or charging the expenses to capital account.”

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