The American Institute of CPAs is encouraging the Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service to simplify the tax code as part of its recommendations for what guidance should be given priority in the coming year.

In a May 9, 2023, letter to the IRS, the organization said that it “again encourages the Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service to continue pursuing tax simplification,” and offered a series of recommendations to help achieve that, including:

  • Using the simplest approach to accomplish a policy goal;
  • Providing safe harbor alternatives;
  • Offering clear and consistent definitions;
  • Using horizontal drafting (a rule placed in one Internal Revenue Code section should in all other Code sections) to the greatest extent possible;
  • Building on existing business and industry-standard record-keeping practices;
  • Providing a balance between simple general rules and more complex detailed rules; and
  • Matching a rule’s complexity to the sophistication of the targeted taxpayers.

In addition to the guidelines for tax code simplification, AICPA offered its guidance recommendations across a range of topics. The letter containing the recommendations, along with other tax policy and advocacy comment letters issued by the organization, can be found here.