CPA Now

By Peter Calcara

PICPA Vice President - Government Relations

  • Proposal on Overtime Pay Cause for Concern

    The U.S. Department of Labor has proposed major changes to the white-collar exemptions to federal overtime pay requirements. The proposal, if allowed to go into effect, could have significant ramifications to PICPA members, their firms, and the clients they represent.
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  • Newest State Budget Address Ignites War of Words

    In front of the Pennsylvania General Assembly, Gov. Tom Wolf announced his budget proposal for fiscal year 2016-2017. In strong, and sometimes scolding, terms, Wolf called on lawmakers to both fix Pennsylvania’s structural budget deficit and invest more in schools. It did not sit well with the opposition.
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  • Tax Filing Season Open for Business

    Before we get too far into the depths of filing season, here are some tips and helpful information for taxpayers and practitioners alike that might make it a little more bearable.
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  • Public Charity Bill Would Add Certainty, Clarity

    The Pennsylvania Senate is debating a measure that will help ensure that institutions of purely public charity in the state are provided with a property and sales tax regime that is more certain and predictable.
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  • The Pension Time Bomb

    As Governor-elect Tom Wolf and the new General Assembly prepare to take their respective oaths of office in January, a recent report by the Independent Fiscal Office (IFO) sheds more light on Pennsylvania’s growing fiscal malaise.
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  • PICPA Set to Push Agenda as Legislature Returns

    State lawmakers reconvene in Harrisburg today, Monday, Sept. 15, for the abbreviated fall legislative session. Senators are scheduled to be in session for 10 days, while their colleagues in the House have 11 days on their calendar.
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  • Tax Ambush from Harrisburg

    The Pennsylvania Department of Revenue’s (DOR) decision to unilaterally deny taxpayers’ legitimate unreimbursed business expense (UE) deductions has set off a firestorm of criticism.
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  • PNC Park or Citizens Bank Park?

    The start of new baseball debates also coincides with budget debates in Pennsylvania. Gov. Tom Corbett presented his spending plan for the 2014-2015 fiscal year, which begins on July 1, in early February – about the time pitchers and catchers reported to training camp.
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  • Let the Pennsylvania Budget Games Begin

    It’s officially budget season, so let the legislative and political tussles begin. Gov. Tom Corbett unveiled his proposed fiscal year 2014-2015 spending plan to a joint session of the Pennsylvania General Assembly last Tuesday, Feb. 4.
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  • Advocacy with an Impact

    The legislative process can be unpredictable and frustrating. As PICPA’s vice president of government relations, I live with this on a daily basis. Frustration with the process, not to mention some of the individuals in charge of the process, can at times overshadow the good that can be achieved.
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  • Creative Accountants

    When in doubt, blame it on the creative accountants! That seems to be the mantra among many in politics, the media, and elsewhere, particularly when it comes to tax policy and tax planning strategies. I don’t know why the phrase “creative accountants” bothers me – I live with the “lobbyist” tag, after all – but it does, and I’m not even a card-carrying member of the esteemed CPA profession.
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  • Being Vigilant Can be as Easy as Showing Up

    Harrisburg in June is the homestretch of budget season. The General Assembly gets down to the nitty-gritty of passing a spending plan for the new fiscal year that begins July 1. It’s always an exciting, but unpredictable time.
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  • Professional Services Included in Wave of Tax Expansion Proposals

    More state economies are shifting from manufacturing to services, and budgetary challenges are not letting up. State legislatures across the nation are aggressively looking to close budget gaps with new revenues. One of the first places legislators are looking is at sales taxes on professional services.
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  • Pensions. Prevailing Wage. Taxes and More. Let the Debates in Harrisburg Begin!

    With the Capitol rotunda’s white marble steps as a backdrop, members of the PICPA Fiscal Responsibility Task Force yesterday released a second report. The task force, created by the PICPA Council in 2010, is designed to position PICPA as a key public policy stakeholder in Pennsylvania.
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  • Taxpayers 1 – Tax Collectors 0

    The University of Notre Dame may not have won one for “The Gipper” on Monday night, but the Commonwealth Court came up big for some Pennsylvania taxpayers this week. In Berks County Tax Collection Committee, et al. v. The Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, the court rejected a motion filed by several county tax collection committees to overturn nearly 30 years of precedent, thus maintaining the established interpretation of the so-called Philadelphia “super credit.”
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  • Advocacy: Uphill in the Snow

    There is an old joke people make when referring to their grandparents’ criticisms of what they perceive as a lax culture. In a good-natured mimic of their elders, they say, “When I was young, I walked to and from school! … In the snow … in my bare feet … and it was uphill … both ways!”
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  • Pension Crisis Is Here!

    Reforming PSERS and SERS is a priority for the Corbett administration and many legislative leaders. Actuarial valuations are revealing, and a cause for budgetary concern.
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  • Property Tax Plan a Sham

    As the Pennsylvania General Assembly continues to grapple with the elusive, decades-old issue of property tax reform, one proposal under consideration is more political theatre than substance. To make matters worse, proponents are using threats and scare tactics to generate support.
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  • “Bean Counter” Is So Last Century

    I recently read a quote from Frank Pinto, a candidate for Pennsylvania auditor general, who was discussing his opponent state Rep. John Maher’s qualifications for the office they are both seeking. Pinto, attempting to score some political points against his primary opponent, who happens to be a CPA, was quoted in the Harrisburg Patriot News saying that there are a number of CPAs working for the office of auditor general, so the auditor general himself does not need to be another “bean counter.”
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