It’s crunch time, CPAs.
Maryland’s General Assembly will launch its 436th session on Jan. 13, and as Tom Hood likes to say (with apologies to Mark Twain), “No man’s life, liberty or happiness are safe when the legislature is in session.”
That’s the annual legislative call-to-arms for the MACPA, which is planning to play offense AND defense this year in its bid to protect the lives, liberty and happiness of Maryland’s CPAs.
Here’s a closer look at the MACPA’s legislative agenda for 2016.
On the offensiveThe MACPA will push for the passage of two proactive bills that will help protect Maryland CPAs and their clients.
The first is a change to Maryland’s appeal bond law that would add a $5 million cap on such bonds for small businesses. Here’s why the measure is important: Due to the increasing complexity of business today, it is not unusual to see lawsuits with extraordinarily high damages and a high possibility of questionable verdicts in lower courts. This puts Maryland CPAs in an awkward position of having to post a bond that could bankrupt or financially harm a firm or business in order to pursue the matter further in the appellate process. The bill would provide some important liability protection for Maryland’s smaller CPA firms.
The MACPA helped pass a $100 million cap on appeal bonds for large businesses last year, but the small-business cap was stripped from the final version of that bill. The goal this year is to pass the small business cap. Read more here.
The second proactive measure the MACPA will pursue would change Maryland’s state income tax due dates to conform with the recently-changed federal due dates. “We’ve talked to the Comptroller’s Office and they’re OK with it,” Hood said. “We’ll be putting that legislation in.”
On the defensiveThe MACPA and its members will be working to make sure bad legislation doesn’t become law and make life hell for CPAs and their clients. Among the issues we’re watching:
How you can helpCPAs can help advance the MACPA’s legislative efforts in two key ways.
Finally, keep an eye on our blog. We’ll post updates throughout the legislative session about the issues the directly impact you and your clients.
Let the games begin.
I spoke with Tom Hood recently about our 2016 legislation priorities. Here’s what he had to say: