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An advisory group of Maryland CPAs who specialize in tax issues has crafted a series of tax-related recommendations designed to stimulate the state’s economy and provide relief to individuals and businesses struggling through the COVID-19 crisis.

Consisting of members from the Maryland Association of CPAs’ State Tax Committee, the group has presented a whitepaper with their recommendations to legislators in the state’s General Assembly and members of the Maryland Comptroller’s Office.

Titled “Tax Issues in a COVID-19 World: State Tax Considerations and Recommendations,” the paper presents ideas for how Maryland might offer measures of economic relief that could help ease the financial burden to state citizens and businesses alike.

“Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, the Maryland Association of CPAs has been committed to providing its members, policy-makers, and business leaders with the information they need to make safe, socially responsible decisions. Now, our tax experts are joining the effort,” said MACPA President and CEO Tom Hood, CPA. “Maryland CPAs with expertise in tax matters have curated their considerable knowledge to compile a list of issues that we believe should be considered by state tax officials.”

The recommendations touch on a number of tax-related issues, including:

  • employer nexus and employee tax withholding;
  • sales tax and admissions-and-amusement incentives to get people buying and spending again;
  • amnesty;
  • an offer in compromise COVID-19 relief program;
  • conformity issues in the COVID-19 era; and
  • extensions.

The group also called for the creation of a “Commission on Tax Policy, Reform and Fairness” that would study Maryland’s tax code and recommend ways to make it more practical for the 21st century and beyond. Such a commission would also consider the impacts of the COVID-19 crisis on Maryland’s future tax policy. The commission would ideally include a CPA representative from the MACPA membership.

“A CPA would be able to provide valuable insight and analysis to the commission and could connect to thousands of CPAs who are involved in the preparation and filing of all types of taxes,” the group stated in its whitepaper. “CPAs can offer the practical nuts-and-bolts perspectives from businesses and individuals and relate their experiences in filing taxes from other jurisdictions.”

All of the advisory group’s recommendations are grounded in the MACPA’s 12 Guiding Principles of Good Tax Policy, which center on:

  1. Equity and fairness
  2. Certainty
  3. Convenience of payment
  4. Effective tax administration
  5. Information security
  6. Simplicity
  7. Neutrality
  8. Economic growth and efficiency
  9. Transparency and visibility
  10. A minimum tax gap
  11. Accountability to taxpayers
  12. Appropriate government revenues

Read the advisory group’s recommendations in their entirety at bit.ly/MDTaxAdvice.

The advisory group consists of Maryland CPAs David De Jong, Jeff Lawson, Karen Syrylo and Jim Wilhelm.

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