Tom Hood, David DeJong, Karen Syrylo, Del Frank Turner, Jeff Lawson, Jim Wilhelm

 

MACPA’s State Tax Advisory Group provided guidance to Maryland lawmakers about the impact of the Federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 this past Friday before the House Ways & Means Committee. They are pictured before the hearing with the Committee Vice Chairman Frank Turner (D – District 13 Howard County).

We were among only three other groups testifying that day, The Comptroller of Maryland, Moody’s Investors Services, and the Maryland Realtors Association. The Comptroller and Moody’s were there to provide the economic impact and analysis of the Federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA), we were there to provide guidance on tax legislation being considered, and the realtors covered the impact on the loss of SALT deductions on the Maryland housing market.

Worth noting is that Moody’s presented a graph that showed Maryland as the No. 1 most SALT deduction reliant state in the US with almost 50% of our taxpayers claiming SALT deductions.

Our group covered the pros and cons of the various legislative proposals that have been discussed including the following major areas:

  1. The use of a charitable contribution to offset the loss of itemized deductions – we advised against this.
  2. Complete decoupling of Maryland tax from the Federal TCJA – we advised against this.
  3. Itemized deductions – decouple from the Federal and create a separate itemized deduction for Maryland – recommended.
  4. Increase in Maryland personal exemptions (reduced to 0 at the federal level) and increase the Maryland standard deduction.

Other significant items addressed included Depreciation (Sec 179), Qualified Business Income, Estate Taxes, Business Deductions, Accounting Method Changes, 529 Plans, and State Tax deductions for businesses.

Their was a lot of note taking going on as legislators realized just how complex these issues are.They asked for all of the testimony in writing so they can refer to it and asked that the group be available for the future.

The group is made of of some of Maryland’s best tax minds and includes Karen Syrylo (incoming Board member), Jeff Lawson (Past Board member) of Stoy Malone, David DeJong (CPA and Attorney) of Stein Sperling and Jim Wilhelm of SC&H Group.

We expect a lot more meetings and hearings as the Governor and the legislature evaluate ways to mitigate the impact on Maryland taxpayers.

Legislative Update:

Comparative Fault SB 465 Received an UNFAVORABLE Report in Senate JPR

Delay of Maryland Healthy Families Act/Mandatory Sick  SB 304 – Passed the Senate (29-17) and hearing scheduled in House ECM on 2-13-18. However it has an implementation date of February 11, 2018 for all employers with 15 or more employees. See resources below.

HSA/HDHP Issue HB 135/SB 137 – Hearings held in both House and Senate and discussions with the coalition and bill sponsors in progress.

Resources:

THE NEW MD HEALTHY WORKING FAMILIES ACT – Who? What? When? Why? & How? Feb 22, 2018 10:00 am – 11:00 am ONLINE by Laura L. Rubenstein, Esq-Benefit Attorney at Wright Constable & Skeen, LLP sponsored by our benefits partner, Silberstein Insurance Group (SIG).

primer from Maryland Chamber of Commerce on complying with the mandatory sick law (employers of 15 and over required to keep records).

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