Legislative / Regulatory

Sine die: CPAs had a successful session!

Dsc07593 Confetti falls on House Speaker Michael Busch at midnight as the 425th General Assembly adjourns sine die. Our mobility bill, HB 1296, "CPAs Out-of-State Practice Privileges," passed the Senate at 10:44 pm with a vote of 47-0.

It truly was a photo finish as our bill stalled in the Senate EHEA Committee until this afternoon. We had to go through three steps to get to final passage: favorable report out of committee, second reader in the Senate (which happened at about 9:28 p.m.), and finally, a third reader at 10:44 p.m.

Our grassroots and key persons worked tirelessly over the past week and all weekend to get this bill to a vote, and the results proved it. Despite opposition by the Maryland Society of Accountants and the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation, we earned unanimous votes in both chambers.

We also heard that Senate Bill 817, "Maryland Tax Preparer Act," passed with all of our amendments intact. These amendments were developed through our town hall meetings as we listened to concerns and ideas from our membership. You can read about these in my prior post about this bill.

Earlier, we heard that the amendments to the corporate reporting bill passed both chambers as well. See our prior post about that for details. This is a major benefit to our CPAs in business and industry as it fixes the overreaching requirements passed during the special session.

But wait: There is more!

We also successfully kept sales taxes on accounting and tax services from coming back up during the "tech tax" debates.

Dsc07563 Comparative fault legislation did not show up this year, which counts as a "win by forfeit."

And we helped behind the scenes with the repeal of the "tech tax" -- a sales taxes on computer services that was added in the final hours of the fall 2007 special session.

I think that makes us six for six for this session.

We owe a lot of thanks to all of our members who took the time to testify, write letters and make calls. We also owe a debt of gratitude to our bill sponsor, Del. Brian Feldman, and our lobbyist, Nick Manis of Manis, Canning and Associates.

Enjoy the moment, because it is only nine months until the 426th session begins!

Weigh in with your thoughts about this session.