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CPA Advocate, Fall 2015

by MICPA | Sep 09, 2015   ()

Efforts with Michigan Department of Treasury
The recent appointment of State Treasurer Nick Khouri has proven to be a monumental win for taxpayers in the State of Michigan. The MICPA has been fortunate to meet with the treasurer on multiple occasions since his appointment, highlighted by his presentation at the State and Local Tax Task Force. As a result of the MICPA’s enhanced relationship with the Department of Treasury, three workgroups have been developed to deal with issues facing taxpayers and their preparers/consultants.

MICPA/Treasury Workgroup on Michigan Treasury Online (MTO)
View the most recent statement from Treasury here.
The MICPA and a workgroup comprised of multiple members met with the Department of Treasury on two separate occasions to first discuss the shortfalls of the original launch of MTO and provide some guidance as to the solutions available, and secondly to demo the new and improved MTO site which will be launched by the end of 2015.

MICPA/Treasury Workgroup on Department Communications
An MICPA workgroup was formed to tackle arguably the largest issue at Treasury, communication with taxpayers. Phase one of this workgroup is now complete and some of the results are listed below. View a full listing of the group’s accomplishments here.

Guidance

  • New processes and timelines for all Department-issued guidance were developed and have been immediately implemented, including a six-month timeline for all Revenue Administrative Bulletins (RABs).
    • All processes provide for earlier input from stakeholder groups.
    • To address the current guidance backlog, MICPA members of the workgroup identified four RABs in the development stage which the department will issue within 6 months.
  • The department’s website is undergoing a reorganization relative to the manner in which guidance is presented to make information more accessible to the public.

Correspondence and notices directed to specific taxpayers

  • MICPA and Treasury will work collaboratively to address notices to taxpayers containing insufficient information to improve all future correspondence.
  • In order to provide greater clarity in letters issued by the department’s Discovery Division, the MICPA will have an opportunity to review these letters before they are sent to taxpayers.

MICPA/Treasury Workgroup on Power of Attorney (POA)
A group of MICPA members met with the department several times over a two-month period to address shortfalls with the Power of Attorney processes in Michigan. The workgroup identified the following issues:

  • Those with POA aren’t currently receiving copies of all necessary documentation.
  • POAs aren’t recognized across different Treasury divisions.
  • Relationship between POA and Section 8 representative is unclear.
  • POAs are not being approved/disapproved in a timely manner.

This workgroup, while still finalizing its deliverables, is nearing the completion of a revised one-page POA form. Additionally, the department has worked to incorporate enhanced training to streamline the process of POA recognition across all departments.

As the MICPA continues its work with the department, watch for updates on each of these workgroups.

Credit History Bill Introduced
An effort to prohibit employers from making certain recruiting or hiring decisions based upon an individual’s credit history was introduced to the Michigan House of Representatives on May 26, 2015. House Bill 4652, introduced by Representative Henry Yanez (D-Sterling Heights), was referred to the Committee on Commerce and Trade. The language as introduced included an exemption for CPAs and CPA firms from the proposed rules, a requirement which all CPA firms can be assured the MICPA will follow through the legislative process.

Meet the Players – West Michigan
This October presents a brand-new event for the MICPA and its members to network with legislators, members of the State Bar and the Michigan Women’s Tax Association. The event, Meet the Players, will be hosted from 5:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m. on October 22 at Cascade Country Club, 3725 Cascade Road SE, Grand Rapids, Mich. 49546. The event is sure to be one to remember, with such a great cast of movers and shakers from the Grand Rapids area. The cost of the event is $35 and includes one beverage. To RSVP please contact Shane Barry at sbarry@micpa.org or 248.267.3710.

Source: MICPA
Source: MICPA

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