CPA Advocate

CPA Advocate, Winter 2016

by MICPA | Mar 04, 2016   ()

House Bill 5192 Introduced
The MICPA government relations team continues to work on bringing Michigan into compliance with the AICPA's Uniform Accountancy Act (UAA) through an expanded definition of "attest" in Michigan statute. Just before the holiday break, CPA Representative Chris Afendoulis  (R-Grand Rapids Twp.) introduced House Bill 5192, containing language approved by the MICPA, AICPA and legal counsel.

The legislation was referred to the House Committee on Regulatory Reform and will likely begin moving through the legislative process in the next six weeks. For full text of the bill and to follow its progress, click here.

Efforts with Michigan Department of Treasury
The appointment of State Treasurer Nick Khouri has proven to be a monumental win for Michigan taxpayers. 

The MICPA has been fortunate to meet with the State 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, four workgroups were developed to deal with issues facing taxpayers and their preparers/consultants.

MICPA/Treasury workgroup on Michigan Treasury Online (MTO)

  • The MICPA and a workgroup comprised of multiple members met with the Department of Treasury on three occasions to discuss shortfalls of the original launch of MTO and to provide guidance. They also reviewed a demo of the new and improved MTO site, which was launched in early January. The Treasurer has praised the MICPA and its members for these efforts to benefit all Michigan taxpayers.

MICPA/Treasury workgroup on Department Communications

  • This MICPA workgroup is addressing arguably the largest issue at Treasury: communication with taxpayers. Phase one is now complete with results including:
    • Guidance
      • New processes and timelines for all department-issued guidance were developed and have been immediately implemented, such as a six-month timeline for all Revenue Administrative Bulletins (RABs).
        • All processes enable earlier input from stakeholder groups
        • To address the current guidance backlog, MICPA members of the workgroup identified four RABs in development that the department will issue within six 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
      • The MICPA and Treasury have begun to work collaboratively to address notices to taxpayers that contain insufficient information in the hopes of improving 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 letters before they are sent to taxpayers
      • The MICPA has been working closely with the department to create a more effective format for individual communication
      • Work is ongoing to reduce confusion for taxpayers, which will reduce requests for informal conference

MICPA/Treasury workgroup on Power of Attorney (POA)

  • A group of MICPA members met with the department numerous times over a three-month period to address shortfalls with the Power of Attorney process. The workgroup identified the following issues:
  • This workgroup finalized the new revised one-page POA form
  • The department issued a notice to all taxpayers, stating that until the POA is sent a copy of a notice, the appeal rights window for the taxpayer has not begun
  • Additionally, the department has worked to incorporate enhanced training into its own system to streamline the process of POA recognition across all departments
  • A new video explaining the form is available on the Department of Treasury's website.

MICPA/Treasury workgroup on Audit

  • Due to the success of the MICPA's involvement in three prior workgroups, the Treasurer's office reached out to the MICPA for assistance on another issue: audit quality and timeliness of audits
  • Treasury will perform a pilot audit in February of a cash-based business, and the workgroup will work with the department to provide insight and feedback on the newly developed timeline and process for the audit
  • As the MICPA continues its work with the department, watch for updates on each of these workgroups.

Grassroots and Grasstops
In 2015, the MICPA held 13 breakfasts with elected officials. In total, 142 members of the MICPA attended to network with local elected officials. The benefits of these interactions are far reaching as legislators often review proposed legislation that has state tax implications or complex accounting and auditing issues. The breakfasts serve as a great resource to our elected officials to extend the expertise of the CPA profession in the state to their offices. The MICPA met with the following legislators:

  • Speaker of the House Kevin Cotter
  • Representative Chris Afendoulis, CPA
  • Representative Paul Clemente, CPA
  • Representative Brandt Iden
  • Representative Ray Franz
  • Senator Marty Knollenberg
  • Senator Jim Stamas
  • Representative Laura Cox
  • Representative Andy Schor
  • Senator Curtis Hertel Jr.
  • Representative Jim Runestad
  • Representative Michael Webber
  • Senator Wayne Schmidt
  • Senator David Knezek

To get involved in grassroots efforts in your district, please contact Shane Barry at sbarry@micpa.org or 248.267.3710. 

Source: MICPA
Source: MICPA