Legislative / Regulatory | Legislative & Regulatory

Maryland bill would allow firms to work across state lines without a reciprocal license

Firm mobility is officially on the docket in Maryland's General Assembly.

A bill that would make it easier for CPAs and firms to offer their services across state lines has been introduced in the Senate by freshman Sen. Arthur Ellis, himself a CPA.

As written, the bill would "(repeal) a provision of law that requires a certified public accountant firm to hold a permit issued by the Maryland Board of Public Accountancy if the firm performs certain attest services for a client with a home office in this state."

If passed, the bill would allow out-of-state CPA firms to offer attest services such as audits and reviews in Maryland. CPA firms could maintain one license in their home states and temporarily practice in Maryland without having to obtain a reciprocal license.

The MACPA supports the proposal.

Mobility for individual CPAs was signed into law in Maryland 10 years ago. This bill is an attempt to apply similar standards to entire CPA firms.

Twenty-six states have already adopted firm mobility provisions, and momentum for similar legislation is building throughout the rest of the nation as well.

"Passing CPA firm mobility gives consumers more choice, allowing them to find a firm that best fits their business needs without limitation," the MACPA states in a position paper on the issue. "It also responds to the realities of today’s marketplace, in which businesses and consumers operate across state lines."

Sens. Brian Feldman, Katherine Klausmeier, Obie Patterson, Obie Patterson, Douglas J.J. Peters, Andrew Serafini, and Ronald Young have joined Ellis as co-sponsors of the bill, which is listed as Senate Bill 513, "State Board of Public Accountancy — Firm Permits — Attest Services."

Meanwhile, another CPA, Del. William Wivell, has introduced House Bill 327, which would, in certain circumstances, "(allow) an individual to itemize deductions to compute Maryland taxable income whether or not the individual itemizes deductions on the individual's federal income tax return."

You can follow the progress of these and other bills of interest to CPAs in our new legislative resource center.


Bill Sheridan