Legislative / Regulatory | Taxation

State, federal lawmakers have taxes on their minds

TaxesTax legislation is dominating the headlines in the accounting world this week.

Leading things off, of course, is the compromise tax bill that was hammered out by Maryland's General Assembly near the end of its special session. Maryland CPAs worked hard on behalf of their profession and earned a number of key victories during the special session. The biggest victory of all was the effort that kept CPA services from being subject to sales and use taxes. Our sister blog, Legislative Insider, has all the details.

Next up is President Bush's demand that Congress pass legislation that keeps middle-class Americans from being impacted by the alternative minimum tax. "If Congress and the White House do not reach a compromise by the end of the year," writes the Associated Press, "anywhere from 21 million to 25 million middle-income taxpayers will be subject to (the AMT), costing them as much as $2,000 in extra taxes." Nothing will happen in the near future, of course -- not with Congress on vacation for the Thanksgiving holiday.

Finally, there is this article announcing the AICPA's support for a Congressional proposal that would ban the practice of patenting tax strategies. "The AICPA opposes tax strategy patents," the article states, "because they:

  • "violate the core principle of equity that under girds the entire tax system — namely, that people in similar situations ought to pay a similar amount of taxes;
  • "may cause some taxpayers to pay more tax than Congress intended;
  • "complicate the provision of tax advice by professionals;
  • "make compliance by taxpayers more difficult; and
  • "mislead taxpayers into believing that a patented strategy is valid under the tax law."

We'll keep you posted on developments as they arise. In the meantime, be sure to register to attend CPA Day in Annapolis on Jan. 23. It's your opportunity to play a hands-on role in protecting the profession.


Bill Sheridan