ICYMI: Another delay rolls down Capitol Hill

1040 formMy latest op-ed, title above, appeared in The Virginian-Pilot Thursday. I don’t often write about the politics of taxation but in this case, I felt like something needed to be written.

I’ve had far too many folks – students, family, friends, former clients – who don’t get the connection between Congressional action on the fiscal cliff and the delays we’ve seen so far in the tax season. Not that such lack of understanding is new: in truth, I’ve heard this stuff for years, going back to the days when I worked for the IRS.

But when you combine the lack of Congressional action with the way that Virginia implements federal tax law, it just makes matters worse. Practitioners have one more thing to worry about during a time when they are already stressed. I learned long ago to review proposed legislation on Virginian’s conformity to federal law as it related to my own clients, and to monitor its progress if any of them would be affected. And the VSCPA has been doing a good job in recent years to keep practitioners informed.

But Congress needs to get its act together and stop passing bills so late that wreak havoc on the system. Yeah, I know that’s not going to happen, with this dysfunctional group. (And no, they aren’t going to implement any other tax policy like the flat tax or fair tax, either.) Just like Virginia is never going to eliminate the Dillon Rule. Some things are just wishful thinking.

People still need to know why such madness occurs. And put the blame where it belongs, not on their preparer or the state or the IRS, but directly on Congress.

My column appears in The Virginian-Pilot on Thursdays. You can see the columns as they are published here, or navigate to them from the PilotOnline.com homepage by clicking on Opinion and then choosing my name at the bottom of the dropdown list. You can also see the columns by liking my Facebook page. Although my column appears weekly, I am not and have never been an employee of The Virginian-Pilot.