Alan R. Einhorn has received the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants Tax Division 2007-2008 Distinguished Service Award. The award was presented by Jeffrey R. Hoops, chair of the AICPA Tax Executive Committee, at the Spring Meeting of the AICPA Tax Division in New Orleans, Louisiana on June 2.
"Alan was an obvious choice for this year's award," said Tom Ochsenschlager, vice president of taxation for the AICPA. "The number of personal hours he dedicated to the AICPA Tax Division this year was phenomenal."
Ochsenschlager explained that Einhorn immersed himself in the AICPA's efforts to correct the flawed law Congress passed in May 2007 that raised the tax return reporting standards for tax return preparers to a level higher than that required of taxpayers. The unequal thresholds can create conflicts of interest between preparers and their clients, and consequently could adversely affect the nature of taxpayers' representation. A provision that would equalize the tax return reporting standards for tax preparers and taxpayers has passed the U.S. House of Representatives as part of H.R. 6049, which is commonly known as the tax extenders bill. It is pending in the U.S. Senate.
The unequal thresholds also created immense administrative difficulties for the IRS and U.S. Treasury as they moved to implement the current rules. Ochsenschlager explained that for the last year Einhorn has spent numerous hours on a weekly basis leading a task force that acted as a critical resource to the government as they developed the needed regulatory guidance. "The entire profession owes a debt of gratitude to Alan," added Ochsenschlager.
The award is given annually for an outstanding current contribution to the AICPA Tax Division. Through an extraordinary personal effort, the recipient must have made a substantial contribution to the Tax Division's mission – serving the public interest by assisting AICPA members to be the most trusted professional providers of tax services and by advocating sound tax policy and effective tax administration.
Einhorn is vice chair of the AICPA Tax Executive Committee and a partner with Deloitte Tax LLP in Washington, DC.