ADVOCATING IN WAKE OF WAYFAIR DECISION

Advocating in wake of Wayfair decision. The Association of International Certified Public Accountants addressed two separate tax issues at important forums, advocating for small businesses in the wake of the Wayfair decision and discussing the taxation of virtual currency in separate events. Jamie Yesnowitz, J.D. chair of the AICPA State and Local Taxes Technical Resource Panel and a member of the Tax Executive Committee testified before the Committee on Small Business Subcommittee on Economic Growth. The hearing: “South Dakota v. Wayfair, Inc. : Online Sales Taxes and Their impact on Main Street,” focused on the regulatory and financial burden placed on small business as a result of a 2018 Supreme Court decision that radically changed sales tax collection rules. Advocating in wake of Wayfair decision.

Yesnowitz’s testimony called for a reasonable balance between the states rights to tax income and sales within their borders and the needs of individuals and businesses to operate efficiently in the economic climate. On the AICPA’s behalf, Yesnowitz requested a simple and reasonable economic threshold, applicable to income and sales taxes, applied in a consistent manner across the states, and the simplification of sales tax treatment of marketplace facilitators and sellers. On the same day, Amy Wang, CPA, senior manager for the AICPA Tax Policy & Advocacy team, discussed the taxation of virtaul currency at the IRS’s Virtual Currency Summit. This invitation only hosted event hosted four panels—technology updates, issues for digital currency exchanges, tax return preparation, and regulatory guidance and compliance–to address ways the IRS can balance taxpayer service with regulatory enforcement. The summit offered the opportunity for audience members and panelists to ask questions and receive clarification, and make recommendations to IRS officials.

Tax authorities in the United States and abroad are attempting to address virtual currency tax evasion: however, virtual currencies do not fall neatly into existing tax laws. Virtual currency reporting can be very complex, and the IRS regulations and frequently asked questions released in December lacked clarity.