CPA Now

Legislative

  • Making State Tax Legislation Isn’t Always Pretty

    The process of making legislation can get messy, and sometimes you might be better off not watching it. But to remove some of the mystery of surrounding lawmaking, this blog describes the process in Pennsylvania through which state tax laws are enacted or, in some cases, repealed.
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  • With Spotlight on Pennsylvania, Know Your Candidates: A Primary Guide

    The Pennsylvania elections -- both state and federal -- are receiving national attention this year, and the May 17 primary will determine which candidates will move forward as their parties' nominees for the November general election. This blog provides an overview of your primary election options, at both the state and federal levels.
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  • Tax Rules on Rentals: A Look at the Pa. DOR’s Equipment Rental SUT Bulletin

    Sales and Use Tax Bulletin 2021-05 covers the taxation of equipment rental and equipment rental with operators. The bulletin restates the presumption that when a vendor provides the use of equipment with an operator, the transaction is a rental of equipment. As such, the charge is subject to Pennsylvania sales and use tax. This is very important to vendors of equipment rentals and services involving the use of equipment who should review their contracts to verify that the sales and use tax treatment is consistent with Pennsylvania regulations.
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  • PICPA Advances Pass-Through Entity Tax Reform Initiative

    With both the political and economic environments seemingly ripe for such a discussion, the Pennsylvania General Assembly appears poised to address a variety of tax law changes. One that could appear on the legislative agenda is PICPA’s effort to address the growing inequity in state and local taxation via an elective pass-through entity tax.
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  • “Spear Phishing” Attacks on Tax Practitioners Rise: IRS Offers Help

    Recent spear phishing emails are masquerading as messages from the IRS tax return preparation software. To help practitioners identify and address spear phishing threats, the IRS Stakeholder Liaison is conducting two briefings the week of March 28 to show tax professionals what some of the most recent scam emails look like.
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  • Keystone Saves Plan Offers Broad-Based Retirement Savings throughout Pa.

    Approximately 44% of Pennsylvanians (about 2.1 million residents) have no access to an employer-sponsored retirement plan. Legislation now in the Pennsylvania House Commerce Committee would establish the Keystone Saves Program. Through the program, the state would embark on an auto-enrollment payroll deduction IRA.
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  • Low Profile, High Impact: Electing Pa. Judges More Vital Than You Think

    This Nov. 2, Pennsylvania voters will go to the polls to elect several judges. It’s no secret that these municipal election years tend to lack the luster of other years, but don’t fall into that sense of complacency. The decisions made during these elections will have resounding public policy impacts for years to come.
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  • Collaboration Key to Pa. and N.J. Cross-State Tax Matters

    The PICPA State Tax Steering Committee and their colleagues at the New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants recently met to tighten the connections between the two organizations and to work collaboratively to uncover and resolve potential cross-state tax issues.
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  • Pa. Budget Passes General Assembly with Relative Ease

    This year, we experienced a political unicorn in Harrisburg. Not only were the 2021-2022 state budget negotiations relatively painless, but also everything was voted on in an expedient fashion and the budget was wrapped well before the start of the new fiscal year on July 1. Adding to the overall ease of the process – and probably another political unicorn – was the state’s revenue surplus and unused funds received from the federal government for COVID relief.
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  • More than Municipal Primaries: The Constitution and Courts on the Ballot

    Much of politics is local, to paraphrase former U.S. Speaker of House Thomas P. O’Neill, and Pennsylvania voters in May 2021 will determine who will vie for positions in the county courthouse, townships, boroughs, and school boards. This year’s primary election, however, has added significance with proposed amendments to the state constitution.
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  • Understanding PICPA Advocacy – Money, Elections, and the CPA-PAC

    Political action committees get a lot of bad press. A quick google search brings up terms like “dark money” and “slush fund,” but this could not be further from the truth. The Certified Public Accountants Political Action Committee, for example, specifically supports the mission of the PICPA by helping to elect bipartisan, respectable candidates who support strong fiscal policy and other positions favorable to CPAs.
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  • PICPA Scores Three-in-One Legislative Victory

    It is rare when the stars align in Harrisburg, but when they do it is an impressive process to watch unfold. The PICPA was a key contributor to just such an occurrence when the state House and Senate lawmakers agreed to expedite legislation championed by the PICPA that addresses three problematic tax issues. A victory for the public, a victory for CPAs, and a victory for PICPA!
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  • New Report Provides Insights on Occupational Licensing

    The deregulation of certain licensing requirements has been a concern for the CPA profession. While the main focus of these efforts has not been on licensees such as CPAs, engineers, doctors, and lawyers, there is always a risk of collateral damage with the legislative process.
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  • CPAs Offer Financial Policy Options to Pennsylvania Lawmakers

    CPAs have extensive experience helping clients meet their fiscal challenges head-on and directing them toward success. Pennsylvania, too, faces fiscal challenge, and the PICPA's Fiscal Responsibility Task Force has developed a report to assist those in governance find a sound financial footing for the state's financial health.
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  • Forgiven PPP Loans Now Exempt from Pa. Personal Income Tax

    The strength of PICPA's 20,000 members was on display recently in Harrisburg as the PICPA scored a major legislative victory in ensuring that forgiven Paycheck Protection Program loans would be exempt from state personal income tax.
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  • CPAs: Start Preparing Now for PPP 2

    Legislation on additional pandemic relief, including a new Paycheck Protection Program, is expected to pass the U.S. Congress before the end of 2020. CPAs are strongly encouraged to identify business clients who may qualify for these benefits, and to begin contacting them about the loan application process. This new effort should also address the long-simmering issue of tax deductibility of expenses related to forgiven Paycheck Protection Program loans.
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  • D Is for Dysfunction in 2020 Election

    Like all things this year, the 2020 general election season has been chaotic. With the coronavirus pandemic, the long delay in counting millions of mail-in ballots, and the poor showing of pollsters once again, some might think the D in democracy is better suited for dysfunction.
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  • Election 2020: Comparing the Candidates’ Tax and Economic Visions

    If you are still weighing which candidate to vote for this November, this blog by Robert Duquette compares President Donald Trump’s tax plan vision for 2021 and what former Vice President Joseph Biden has proposed.
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  • PICPA Virtual Town Halls Bring Members Closer to the Action

    The PICPA recently hosted a series of virtual town hall meetings in all 11 of our chapters. The Legislator Town Hall series gave members an opportunity to hear from our elected officials and raise concerns in an informal setting.
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  • Pennsylvania Primary Prep for CPAs

    As the Pennsylvania primary election approaches and we continue to grapple with the ongoing effects of COVID-19, it’s important to remember that your votes continue to matter. Elections are essential to the democratic process. Not only is 2020 a presidential election year, but there are other critical races, including U.S. Congress, statewide offices, and the state legislature.
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PICPA Staff Contributors
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