AICPA Commends Sponsors of Natural Disaster Assistance Bill

The AICPA has commended the sponsors of H.R. 3679, the National Disaster Tax Relief Act of 2017, for including provisions in the bill that would provide permanent and consistent tax relief to individuals and businesses impacted by natural disasters.

“We believe the provisions included in Title III of H.R. 3679 would provide taxpayers with more certainty, fairness, and the ability to promptly receive the relief they need after a natural disaster, while significantly reducing the administrative burdens on the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to react to unexpected disasters,” Annette Nellen, CPA, CGMA, Esq., chair of the AICPA Tax Executive Committee, wrote in the AICPA’s October 6 letter (attached) to Reps. Thomas W. Reed (R-N.Y.) and William J. Pascrell, Jr. (D-N.J.).

Nellen noted that the federal government generally now addresses tax relief for each natural disaster as an isolated event.  “This process results in taxpayers receiving different treatment for similar losses and not knowing what tax treatment they will receive until Congress enacts some form of relief, which frequently occurs long after the disaster,” she wrote.

Nellen stated, “We urge Congress to enact permanent tax provisions that would take effect immediately when a declaration of a federal disaster occurs, rather than providing delayed and possibly uneven tax relief through separate individual bills following each disaster.”