The Internal Revenue Service has announced changes to its Advisory Committee on Tax Exempt and Government Entities (ACT) including a reduction in the number of people on the committee and a revision to its focus.
Structural changes including shifting legal work to the Office of Chief Counsel and a shift in priorities of the Tax Exempt and Government Entities Division (TE/GE) are reasons for the changes to the ACT.
The ACT provides an organized public forum for members of the tax-exempt and government entities communities to discuss important tax issues of the day with IRS officials. ACT members provide observations about current or proposed IRS policies, programs and procedures, and suggest improvements through a yearly final report.
"We’d like to thank current and past ACT members for their tireless work and contributions to tax administration,” said Sunita Lough, Commissioner of TE/GE. “The key communities have benefitted greatly from the efforts of ACT members.”
Going forward, the ACT’s focus will be on tax administration issues in general encountered TE/GE-wide. ACT's prior focus was more compartmentalized with five subcommittees representing each of the five TE/GE functions (Employee Plans, Exempt Organizations, Federal, State and Local Governments, Indian Tribal Governments, and Tax Exempt Bonds).
ACT currently has a total of 21 members. The IRS will not be filling six upcoming vacancies, which will bring the number of committee members down to 15 beginning in June 2016.
ACT's prior charter provided members two-year terms with an option to extend it by one additional year. ACT's current charter, effective as of May 2015, provides for a flat three-year term. All current members came in under the previous charter.
The TE/GE Priorities for Fiscal Year 2016 was released on Oct. 1, 2015. TE/GE’s five key priorities going forward are: continuous improvement, knowledge management, risk management, data-driven decision-making and employee engagement.
“It is a good time to review and revise ACT’s focus and better align it with what’s going on within the changing environment of TE/GE,” Lough said. “We will continue to consider more refinements of the ACT structure in coming months and potentially make more changes in 2017. We also remain committed to getting feedback and input from our stakeholders, both operationally within TE/GE and through the ACT.”