We’re only half-way through the year and so far 2020 has been an extraordinary time of social upheaval and political unrest in this country. With unprecedented fiscal and monetary policy maneuvers, many of us are taking a closer look at what our government is doing with our money.
From my perspective as a tax advisor, I did not have the lead singer of a 1980s hair band and the US Secretary of the Treasury having a Twitter fight on my 2020 bingo card. Nor would I have guessed that I myself would take such an active interest in tax policy – the development and enforcement of tax laws – as I have in recent months.
While I appreciate being able to help good people navigate our overly-complicated income tax system, actually influencing this system has not been high on my list of priorities. I’ve always seen this as someone else’s job. Someone who works in tax policy on a daily basis. Someone who knows the tax code inside and out. Someone who is better at crafting persuasive arguments. Someone whose voice carries more weight than mine. Someone who is smarter than I am. Someone with more resources. In short, someone who isn’t me.
Recently, though, I’ve come to the following conclusions:
- While I always have room to learn and grow, I am a tax expert when compared to the majority of people in this country.
- I am alert enough to observe and receptive enough to be educated on how fiscal policy effects our country – currently and historically.
- As an expert, if I don’t say something when I see what I believe is poor tax law or enforcement, I’m perpetuating policies that actively hurt people.
While the crises of this year have found many in their kitchens baking bread or in the streets protesting social injustices for the first time, I’ve discovered an interest in shaping tax laws and their application in ways that make them more understandable and less burdensome.
In the future, expect to see tax policy related content from me occasionally. My first such writing is a response to the Internal Revenue Service’s recent solicitation for public commentary for its upcoming fiscal year focus. In this response, I identify several ways the IRS can modernize, reduce compliance burdens, and protect taxpayers.
Additionally, because I remain focused on providing you with tax knowledge that you can use, here are some actions you can be taking now for your 2020 tax situation, as well as the latest information on forgiveness of Paycheck Protection Program loans.