Top 10 criteria for effective tax legislation

We thought we would offer this advice to our legislators as we enter the 2012 session of the Maryland General Assembly. Three of the top four Issues facing CPAs in the General Assembly relate to taxes (and this is true at the federal level as well). Here are the top 10 Criteria for effective tax legislation: Tax Criteria

  1. 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.
  2. Fairness: Similarly situated taxpayers should be taxed similarly.
  3. Economic growth and efficiency: The tax system should not impede or reduce the productive capacity of the economy.
  4. Neutrality: The effect of the tax law on a taxpayer’s decisions as to how to carry out a particular transaction or whether to engage in a transaction should be kept to a minimum.
  5. Transparency: Taxpayers should know that a tax exists and how and when it is imposed upon them and others.
  6. Minimizing non-compliance: A tax should be structured to minimize noncompliance.
  7. Cost-effective collection: The costs to collect a tax should be kept to a minimum for both the government and taxpayers.
  8. Impact on government revenues: The tax system should enable the government to determine how much tax revenue will likely be collected and when.
  9. Certainty: The tax rules should clearly specify when the tax is to be paid, how it is to be paid, and how the amount to be paid is to be determined.
  10. Payment convenience: A tax should be due at a time or in a manner that is most likely to be convenient for the taxpayer.

Today marks our 112th CPA Day in Annapolis -- yep, we were there (not me, of course) when Gov. John Smith signed the legislation for Maryland's CPA statute on April 10, 1900. Maryland was the third state to create the CPA designation in the U.S.

We have record attendance of almost 200 CPAs who will visit with their legislators to discuss the issues that are important to our profession. We will also be asking for ideas about how we can help Maryland's economy and business environment (See the grand opening of our Idea Store).

Here is our flyer produced by our State Tax Committee that we are distributing to our 188 Maryland legislators at CPA Day.