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“As soon as several of the inhabitants of the United States have conceived a sentiment or an idea that they want to produce in the world, they seek each other out, and when they have found each other, they unite. From then on, they are no longer isolated men, but a power one sees from afar, whose actions serve as an example; a power that speaks, and to which one listens.” — Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America.

In other words, we need to unite and be seen, virtually, at CPA Day on Jan. 21, from 8 to 10 a.m. via Zoom.

On Jan. 13, the 442nd session of the Maryland General Assembly will convene in Annapolis in a drastically different way due to the risks presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Strengths in numbers - CPA day

Testimony and hearings will be conducted virtually via Zoom with very limited access to legislators. That means instead of having more than 200 of you on the steps of the Maryland State House, we need thousands of you virtually to show our legislators that we are here helping Maryland through this pandemic.

This will be our 121st year in Annapolis representing CPAs in Maryland, and the stakes have never been higher!

This virtual format has a silver lining: We now have access to our top legislators for CPA Day. Senate President Bill Ferguson, House Speaker Adrienne Jones, Senate Budget and Tax Chair Guy Guzzone, and Sen. Brian Feldman, an MACPA member and vice-chair of the Senate Finance Committee, all have confirmed they will be attending our virtual CPA Day this year.

We have been preparing throughout the fall after receiving feedback from thousands of members about the most issues you care about. We added the perspective of Maryland Managing Partners and our Board of Directors earlier this month to finalize our agenda. In addition to watching the more than 3,000 bills that are expected to be filed, we have identified these top five priorities:

  1. Oppose onerous COVID-19 regulations for employers (similar to those enacted recently in Virginia).
  2. Oppose sales taxes on professional services.
  3. Oppose onerous data privacy legislation.
  4. Oppose efforts to eliminate or weaken professional licensing boards.
  5. Monitor tax legislation and support pass-through entity legislation.

There’s an additional issue on our agenda: We will work to pass proactive employer liability protection. We have worked with the Maryland Business Coalition to support a proposed bill to limit employer and business liability through this pandemic. This is critical to Maryland CPAs and businesses because federal limited liability protection was eliminated from the most recent COVID-19 relief bill just signed into law by President Trump. This is the same coalition we worked with to defeat proposed sales taxes on professional services last year. We will work with this coalition again to oppose taxes on professional services should that be reintroduced this year.

We also will be presenting a series of proactive recommendations to accelerate Maryland’s recovery as our Tax Advisory Task Force finishes up a position paper that we will have ready by CPA Day.

Now you see why we need you more than ever to join us on Jan. 21 for CPA Day, from 8 to 10 a.m. The event includes two hours of free CPE!

Complete your member profile to include your home address to match your legislators, and then register for CPA Day online.

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