Moving on to a more serious question, are the actions you, your staff, or your client take subject to the Federal Lobbying Disclosure Act (LDA), effective as of January 1, 2008 and revised as of January 31, 2017? This highly technical Act is a must read by all persons involved in contacting Members of Congress and/or their staff.
I will not attempt to answer any questions on this subject matter since I am not qualified to do so, but I will give you a reference to a website to help you and your client decide whether either of you should register as a lobbyist.
The Office of the Secretary of the Senate and the Office of the Clerk of the House of Representatives have jointly issued a 36-page Lobbying Disclosure Act Guidance memorandum. The original version was created in 2008 and was recently revised in January 2017.
This Guidance Memorandum gives numerous examples of the application of the law and regulations that may help taxpayers decide whether they are covered by that law and therefore must register as a lobbyist in their specific set of circumstances.
My experience suggests that the law and the regulations are strictly enforced and taxpayers should seek legal advice on the matter before they contact a Member of Congress or the Member’s staff either in their Capitol Hill office or their District office.
Contacts With Members In Public Domain?
Are contacts with Members and staff in the public domain? If so, can they be made public? If so, what are the consequences?
It’s a highly technical issue and I am not qualified to answer that question either.
I will only add that when I served under the Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee in the 1960’s, I was advised by the then Chief Counsel of that Committee who had served on the Hill in that capacity for many years, that, “you shouldn’t say anything you don’t want to see on the front page of the Washington Post the next day.”
It was good policy then and I still follow that rule to this day.
TaxConnections members can make a real difference in developing future tax policy now. When you consider the tax connections that members of TaxConnections have in the real world, it is mind-boggling. And then consider the tax connections those tax connections have. Wow! A powerful force for the future! Stay involved! The TaxConnections team is here to help you serve your clients in every way they can and to keep you up to date on current legislative developments.
In summary, please read Contacting Members of Congress Dos and Do Nots and adhere to these basic and simple rules as a show of respect for the Member’s title and honor.
Members of Congress have many sources from which they can obtain critical information on the impact of proposed tax will have on taxpayers generally. But they value most the information they obtain from tax practitioners who deal with tax matters hourly and daily. So take advantage of the opportunity to furnish the Members of Congress the vital and critical information they need but cannot obtain elsewhere.