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VSCPA advocacy philosophy & guiding tax principles

Advocacy philosophy

VSCPA advocacy activities are generally focused on at least one of the following priorities:

  • Ensure continued rigor of qualifications and experience required for CPA licensure: The laws and regulations governing CPAs and their services should reinforce the value and integrity of the CPA designation. All paths to licensure should adhere to the education, experience and examination requirements as established by the Uniform Accountancy Act (UAA) in evaluating jurisdictions for substantial equivalency. Due to the specialized education, training and expertise of CPAs, services traditionally restricted to CPAs should generally continue to be so. We work to promote certainty in CPAs’ work, and we work to prevent unreasonable or burdensome requirements for CPAs.
  • Support diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) in the CPA profession: The CPA profession should reflect the diverse world around us. We actively seek to enhance opportunities in the profession by creating awareness of the profession among diverse populations and supporting public policies which promote an inclusive culture within the profession. 
  • Advance the CPA designation and profession: CPAs can provide a broad array of services beyond the traditional core CPA services, including data analytics, sustainability and cybersecurity. To ensure a sound future for the CPA profession, we support accounting education, communicate the value of the CPA brand through community outreach, and proactively seek opportunities to promote the designation to educators, business professionals, and the general public.
  • Promote technical and ethical standards: The laws and regulations governing CPAs and their services should not put CPAs at risk of being in violation of the uniform professional or ethical standards developed by independent standard-setters. Laws and regulations should be written to reflect the appropriate standards and should not attempt to legislate standards, thus compromising the integrity of the independent standard-setting process.
  • Support sound fiscal public policy: Laws and regulations, those impacting economic and financial sustainability, should adhere to sound public policy. The expertise of CPAs affords the profession a unique role in society to educate policymakers and the public on the impacts of fiscal policy.

Guiding principles of Virginia tax policy

The VSCPA is active on tax policy issues at all levels. On federal matters, the VSCPA generally follows the lead of the AICPA and its Guiding Principles of Good Tax Policy (PDF). In addition, the VSCPA has developed guiding principles in tax policy to use as a framework when developing positions on tax-related legislative and regulatory matters at the state level. These guidelines recommend that Virginia tax laws and regulations meet the following guiding principles:

  • Conformity: Virginia’s tax laws should conform with federal tax laws whenever and as expeditiously as possible. Consideration should be given to minimize lag time for Virginia to adopt federal tax changes as such a delay creates complexity and uncertainty for Virginia taxpayers.
  • Simplicity: The tax law should be simple so that taxpayers understand the rules and can comply with them correctly and in a cost-efficient manner.
  • Transparency: Taxpayers should know who and what is being taxed and why.
  • Equity: The tax system should include both horizontal and vertical equity. Similarly situated taxpayers should be taxed similarly. The tax system should also account for taxpayers’ capacity to pay.
  • Certainty: The tax rules should clearly specify when a tax is to be paid, where and how it is to be paid, and how the tax is to be determined.
  • Competitiveness: Virginia’s tax structure should enhance the Commonwealth’s competitive position.
  • Information security: Taxpayer information should be protected from unintended and unauthorized disclosure.

Have questions about our advocacy philosophy? Email Vice President, Advocacy, Emily Walker, CAE.