Get the latest news on Pennsylvania government, issues affecting CPAs, and the PICPA's advocacy work. This weekly newsletter is for PICPA members only.
Governor-Elect Josh Shapiro recently announced more cabinet appointments, including the nomination of former Sen. Pat Browne, CPA, to serve as his Revenue Secretary.
“I am humbled to have this opportunity to serve the governor and the people of Pennsylvania, and to join an administration that will work every day to move our Commonwealth forward,” Browne said. “As the head of the Appropriations Committee in the Senate, I have been a steward of our Commonwealth’s fiscal health, and as a member of the Shapiro Administration I will work to ensure our department runs programs fairly and efficiently.”
Browne, an Allentown native, served as a Republican member of the state Senate for the Lehigh Valley from 2005 to 2022. He was first elected to the Senate in an April 2005 special election and served for 18 years. Prior to joining the Senate, Browne represented the 131st District for 10 years as a member of the state House. He was chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee from 2014-2022.
Browne is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and Temple University Law School. He also was a tax manager for Coopers and Lybrand from 1990 to 1994 and a tax supervisor for Price Waterhouse from 1986 to 1990.
Shapiro made the following appointments as well:
Check out the complete list to date of Shapiro’s appointments. Shapiro and Lt. Gov.-Elect Austin Davis will be sworn into office on Jan. 17.
The state Senate approved a package of constitutional amendments by a vote of 28-20. Senate Bill 1, sponsored by Sen. Dan Laughlin (R-Erie), proposes three changes to the Pennsylvania Constitution: expanded voter-identification requirements; a limit on the governor’s regulatory authority; and a new chance for victims of child sexual abuse to sue perpetrators. The bill moves to the state House where it faces an uncertain future. If approved by the House before the end of the month, these measures could appear before voters on the May primary ballot.
By a vote of 29-19, the Senate this week approved legislation sponsored by Sen. Wayne Langerholc (R-Cambria) to stop the automatic gas tax increase implemented by Act 89 of 2013. Senate Bill 35 would eliminate the automatic increase for 2023 and moving forward. It would permanently set the average wholesale price in Pennsylvania at $2.99 per gallon. The bill also requires the Department of Revenue to reassess this year’s gas tax structure. The bill now heads to the state House.
Business taxpayers are strongly encouraged to act now and set up an account on the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue’s (DOR) myPATH system. This is DOR’s new online system for registering, filing, and paying Pennsylvania taxes.
The DOR will be retiring e-TIDES, the prior online filing system for business taxpayers, in the final week of February. That means taxpayers will no longer be able to use e-TIDES to file returns and make payments after this date. Instead, they will need to use myPATH to handle these tax obligations. In addition, with many important due dates – including the Jan. 20 deadline for monthly, quarterly, and semiannual sales tax returns – now is the time to create a myPATH account.
When signing up there is an option to migrate your prior account information from e-TIDES into myPATH. For a simple tutorial on how to do this, DOR offers a Migrating e-TIDES Access instructional video.
There are a number of other instructional videos pertaining to getting started with myPATH on DOR’s myPATH Video Tutorials page. For assistance, the department encourages taxpayers to first try several self-service options:
As part of its reach-out efforts, the DOR held a webcast on the myPATH system hosted by the PICPA on Jan. 12. It covered changes that will affect business taxpayers with the closing of e-TIDES and provided an overview of updates to the myPath system. A replay of the webcast is available here.
If you need additional assistance, you may contact the department by email at myPATH@pa.gov or by phone at (717) 425-2495, ext. 72841.
The department hopes to transition all taxpayers to the new system as soon as possible. The move is expected to improve customer service and be a benefit to taxpayers for years to come.
Senate Republicans and Democrats leaders announced their respective chairs and members for each of the chamber’s 22 standing committees for the 2023-2024 legislative session.
Sen. Scott Hutchinson (R-Venango) will continue to serve as chair of the Senate Finance Committee, a key committee of interest to the PICPA. The Finance Committee is responsible for reviewing legislation affecting Pennsylvania’s tax codes, including tax increases and cuts. The committee also oversees the state Department of Revenue, Pennsylvania Department of Treasury, Pennsylvania Auditor General, and the state’s retirement boards.
Freshman Sen. Nick Miller (D-Lehigh/Northampton) will serve as the Democratic chair of the committee.
Check out the committee rosters for both Senate Republicans and Senate Democrats.
If you missed PICPA’s recent Federal Tax Webcast with Ed Jenkins, CPA, you can still catch a replay of the session. Jenkins, a member of the PICPA Federal Taxation Committee and the AICPA Tax Executive Committee, shares his insights on developments at the IRS, changes resulting from the recently enacted Inflation Reduction Act, and other key statutes, regulations, rulings, and trends that may impact your 2023 tax season.
Speaker of the House Mark Rozzi (D-Berks) announced the members of his Workgroup to Move Pennsylvania Forward. The group is tasked with finding a bipartisan agreement to end gridlock in the House.
The group consists of three Republicans and three Democrats. Each member represents varying interests and regions of Pennsylvania and has shown a commitment to “principle over politics.” The workgroup does not include members of party leadership.
After consulting with leadership and rank-and-file members of both parties, the following House members were selected for the Workgroup to Move Pennsylvania Forward:
The workgroup will organize on Jan. 17.
In January, the Independent Fiscal Office (IFO) presented a series of reports to the Performance-Based Budget Board. Act 48 of 2017 requires IFO to develop performance-based budget plans for all agencies under the governor’s jurisdiction once every five years. The latest reports covered the Pennsylvania Insurance Department, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Governor’s Executive Offices, and more.
Among the reports delivered by IFO was one on the Department of Revenue. The report discusses the department’s tax modernization project, Tax Hub (myPATH). The report notes that myPATH integrated all taxes into a single tax system for the first time, enhancing system functionality and increasing efficiency.
IFO also issues agency reviews of the Office of Administration, Office of the Budget, Office of the State Inspector General, Office of General Counsel, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, and the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission.
In addition to the budget reports, IFO is required to review Pennsylvania's tax credit programs. This year IFO reviewed the manufacturing, resource manufacturing, rural jobs and investment, and waterfront development tax credits.
The Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants (PICPA) is a premier statewide association of 20,000 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.
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