Legislative / Regulatory | Taxation

Tax issues surface in Annapolis … and beyond

Statehouse That didn't take long.

The Maryland General Assembly's 2009 session is barely out of the gate and two issues that impact CPAs have already surfaced in Annapolis. As usual, Tom Hood is all over it.

First up is Senate Bill 96, which would make it mandatory for tax preparers to file individual taxpayers' returns electronically. Exemptions would be made for preparers who file 200 returns or fewer in Year 1 and 100 returns or fewer in Year 2. "There is also a provision for allowing your clients to opt out of e-filing if you document that," Hood writes, adding that the MACPA's Board of Directors supports the bill.

Next, CPAs are vigorously fighting H&R Block's attempt to water down Maryland's Tax Preparer Act of 2008. House Bill 24 and HB 329 call for changing the law to allow H&R Block's 36-hour tax preparation program to qualify "and exempt all of their people from having to take a test and demonstrate that they actually understand the law and have the necessary competencies to prepare taxes," Hood has written.

Finally, in a recent letter to MACPA members, Hood outlined some of the concerns that have been raised regarding Section 7216 of the Internal Revenue Code, which, according to the IRS, "prohibits preparers of tax returns from knowingly or recklessly disclosing or using tax return information."  The most recent concerns center on how e-filing impacts the Section 7216 requirements.

"The AICPA Tax Section and IRS have advised that the e-filing transmittal forms (consent) satisfy the 7216 requirements and you do not need an additional form from your clients," Hood writes. "The rules are effective for all other tax transmittals and are required each and every time you send out tax information on behalf of clients."

Read Hood's letter to members in its entirety, then check out these related resources:


Bill Sheridan