Legislative / Regulatory

March Madness begins!

March madness

Yesterday I received our college basketball brackets from our resident fan on staff, Bill Sheridan, which signals the offical beginning of March Madness at MACPA.

I couldn't help but think about how that relates to our own "March Madness", the final month of the Maryland General Assembly and how CPAs will do for 2011 in Maryland.

So I thought I would post our own "brackets" to give you an update on the last thirty days of the 90-day session, actually only 26, but who's counting?

We started the session with five (5) priorities and here is where we are:

  1. Pass 120/150 CPA Exam requirements - SB 287 (halfway there)?
  2. Stop Sales Tax on Accounting, Tax & Consulting (Done - not introduced)
  3. Exempt CPAs from Debt Counseling registration (Done - language in bills)
  4. Stop the "lawsuit tax" or unnecessary liability from comparative fault (Done - not introduced)
  5. Pass "safe harbor" legislation for Compilations for non-CPAs SB 370 / HB 328  (Done except for cross-file process). See video update here.

So right now the "score" is we are up 3 games with two left (is that the same as the semi-finals?).

Actually # 5 safe harbor has made it once through both chambers (Senate & House) and has to go back through with the cross-filed bills, which is like winning at half-time.

Our success can be directly traced back to all of the CPAs who made our record attendance at CPA Day in Annapolis. Your education of the legislators has made our work much easier and the votes on all of our bills so far have been UNANIMOUS.

Take a look at this "mindmap" and tell me if it does not look like college basketball "brackets"?

MACPA Legislative Update 
Attached is a *.pdf version that you can explore to see how the "brackets" work as our bills make their way through the committees and houses. Click on the + to expand into a "bracket" and click on the "chain link" to get to the actual bill, committee, and our blog posts explaining the issues.

Download MACPA LEGISLATION 2011 or try this link of our mindmap

There is another section with other bills we have been watching and weighing in on - see the Cemetery Bill which died - pun intended.

The one major issue that came up from our tax listserv involved Maryland deductiblility of insurance expenses related to credits under the Federal Patient Protection Act. This did not come up in time for us to introduce legislation but we will be considering this for next year - stay tuned.

We are also winning on the federal front with the latest two big issues:

  • repeal of 1099s through both houses and in conference committee (including rental real estate)
  • exemption from Tax Strategy patents in the new Patent Protection Act of 2011 through the Senate

And our prior successes include PTINs, exemption of CPAs from Dodd-Frank (unnecessary regulations) and the FTC "red flags" rules. All in all looks like CPAs are coming out on top for 2011!

All CPAs who attended CPA Day and helped with legislative contacts are invited to be recognized along with all Newly licensed CPAs at the Maryland CPA Summit and Swearing-in Ceremonyon June 2nd and the Summit is on June 3rd, 2011.

How does the waves of federal and state legislation affect you as a CPA?

See our brief video called the "new math" for a review of why this matters.

Now tell us who you are picking to come out on top in March Madness?