Week Ending Nov. 30, 2018

by PICPA Government Relations | Nov 29, 2018


New PA-100 Coming Soon 

In January 2019, the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue (DOR) is scheduled to debut an updated online Enterprise Registration Form (PA-100), which is used by individuals and organizations for certain taxes and services. The update is part of the department’s ongoing efforts to deliver more user-friendly systems and improve customer service for its taxpayers.

The updated online PA-100 will require an e-Signature login, which will allow taxpayers to use the same login information that they use for e-TIDES, DOR’s online system for business taxpayers to file returns and pay taxes.

The PA-100 online application will include several enhancements, including a new look and prefilled fields containing information users had previously entered with other submissions.

As of January 2019, the paper PA-100 form will no longer be available for download on the DOR’s website. The department strongly encourages all taxpayers and tax practitioners to use the updated online system. Moving to electronic filing will improve processing times and help the department be more efficient.

For more information on which taxes and services require the PA-100, click here.

 

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PICPA Federal Tax Committee Hosts Year-End Meeting and Webinar

Members of the PICPA Federal Taxation Committee met recently in Harrisburg to discuss federal legislative and regulatory initiatives. Topics included the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the election results and what they mean for Pennsylvania’s political landscape, and the AICPA national tax conference. In 2019, the committee plans to release several blogs on hot topics.

Also, members of the committee are gearing up for their End-of-the-Year Update, a one-hour webinar on Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018, from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

The online session will begin with details on 2018 tax law changes. Presenters will break this topic into personal and business tax sections, and will compare similar returns by noting how the new tax law changes this year’s result. The webinar will also include a discussion of significant 2018 tax court rulings and provide suggestions for beginning 2019 with the right tax perspective. 

 

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Department of Revenue Publishes W-2/1099 Handbook

The Pennsylvania Department of Revenue published its 2018 W-2 and 1099 Employer Withholding Reporting Instructions and Specifications Handbook. The document covers filing options, electronic filing options for W-2/1099 information, file specifications for EFW2 format, file specifications for .CSV format, frequently asked questions, and tips to avoid common errors.

The changes outlined in this handbook will take effect Jan. 3, 2019, at which time all W-2/1099 files uploaded must reflect these changes. There will be a blackout period for filing W-2/1099 information from Dec. 17, 2018, through Jan. 2, 2019.

 

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Wolf Calls for Conversation on Transportation Funding

According to a Capitolwire story, Gov. Tom Wolf says transportation funding could again become a major topic of discussion in Pennsylvania state government.

During a Tuesday radio interview on Pittsburgh’s KDKA Radio Morning News, Wolf said continued toll hikes by the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission are driving away business.

The governor's office on Tuesday identified current and future payments being made by the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission for the purposes of helping fund public transportation, due to provisions within Act 44 of 2007, as being "too burdensome."

Wolf added during the radio interview that he believes there is an “appetite” to do something about it, but did not offer details.

When asked about how the billions in planned Act 44 payments to state public transportation systems might be replaced, Wolf spokesman J.J. Abbott told Capitolwire, “Gov. Wolf believes we need a long-term conversation about our transportation funding priorities. He believes Act 44 of 2007 is too burdensome on the Turnpike, and especially for customers. The goal of the act is laudable to ensure we have adequate funding for roads and mass transit agencies across Pennsylvania, but there must be a long-term conversation so that we can continue to make historic investments in our infrastructure without burdening one segment of drivers.”

A 6 percent hike in tolls is planned for 2019, to take effect on Jan. 6.

 

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State Senate Committee Holds Hearing on Climate Change

The state Senate Democratic Policy Committee held a hearing in Pittsburgh this week on local and state efforts to address climate change.

“In the absence of federal leadership on climate change, it is imperative that Pennsylvania continue to participate in cooperative efforts to stave off the catastrophic consequences of global warming,” Sen. Jay Costa (D-Allegheny) said. “We need to maintain efforts to keep Pennsylvania on track to combat climate change.”

Sen. Lisa Boscola (D-Northampton/Lehigh), who chairs the committee, added, “Controlling carbon emissions and building a strong economy are not competing interests. There are numerous ways we can slow the devastating effects of climate change while strengthening and expanding our economy.”

Costa introduced legislation (Senate Bill 15) aimed at keeping Pennsylvania in compliance with the carbon emissions reduction goals of the Paris climate accord.

Several bills and proposals were introduced to supplement existing environmental protection efforts included in the decade-old Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard (AEPS) and Energy Efficiency and Conservation law (Act 129).

 

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Outcome of Final State Senate Race Determined

Nearly a month after the Nov. 6 election, there is finally a winner in the last remaining state Senate race. Incumbent Sen. Tommy Tomlinson (R-Bucks) will retain his seat after he held off a strong challenge from state Rep. Tina Davis (D-Bucks) winning by a mere 74 votes. It’s not all bad news for Davis, as she did win reelection to her state House seat.

“Our campaign is 74 votes behind. Our team has been fighting every day for the last three weeks to narrow this gap, but today we will stop fighting and allow Tommy Tomlinson to be reelected to the State Senate,” said Davis in a statement after a Bucks Court Common Pleas judge rejected her lawsuit to count absentee ballots received after Nov. 2, the legal deadline. “It is time to move on, which is why I am ending my campaign.”

Republicans own a 29-21 majority in the state Senate.

 

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Elections Results Mean New Faces in Harrisburg and D.C.

On Nov. 6, 2018, Pennsylvanians went to the polls to elect a governor and representatives to the U.S. Congress and state General Assembly. The full elections results are available here.

If you have a relationship with any of the newly elected members, PICPA’s government relations team would like to know about it.

New faces are new opportunities to influence public policy. Leveraging our members’ existing relationships is important to our advocacy efforts, so we encourage you to reach out with any potential connections.

Please contact Peter Calcara or Alex Fabian.

 

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About PICPA

The Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants (PICPA) is a premiere statewide association of more than 22,000 members working in public accounting, industry, government, and education. Founded in 1897, the PICPA is the second-oldest and fourth-largest state CPA organization in the United States.

Learn more about how you can become involved in the legislative process, through PICPA's Key Contact Program and CPA-PAC.

Contact the Government Relations Team at governmentrelations@picpa.org or (717) 232-1821.

Address:
500 N. 3rd St., Ste. 600A 
Harrisburg, PA 17101