“No man’s life and liberty are safe while the legislature is in session!”
Mark Twain is credited with this saying, and in Maryland nothing could be more true than the current meeting of the General Assembly.
One hundred eighty-eight legislators (47 senators and 141 delegates) will hear close to 2,300 bills during the 90-day session that started on Jan. 10, 2007. This is the 423rd session and the 106th session that the Maryland Association of CPAs has been attending on your behalf. We were there to introduce the first CPA statute in 1901 when Gov. John Smith signed the law recognizing the need to create a Certified Public Accountant license.
What would the cost be if one or more “bad” legislative bills were passed that would negatively impact your firm?
Right now, we are monitoring about a dozen major pieces of legislation that will impact your CPA firm, and we need your help. Here are some of the implications that you and your firm (or company) will face if these “bad bills” are passed:
- More lawsuits with more egregious settlements and awards if the trial attorneys are successful passing the Comparative Negligence Act (SB 267 / HB 110).
- Increased costs for your professional liability insurance premiums and significantly higher defense costs when you are sued under this new complex twist to Maryland Tort Law (SB 267 / HB 110)
- Increased costs to your clients on all of your consulting and tax preparation services if a sales / use tax on services bill is passed (HB 448).
- Increased administrative and overhead costs of dealing with the registration and filing of sales taxes on your tax, accounting, and consulting services (HB 448).
- Increased costs, examination and CPE requirements proposed in a new Tax Preparer Act, which proposes to establish a full board with license fees of $200 plus a host of new additional requirements if you do tax preparation for a fee (MD Tax Preparer Act, HB 998 / SB 513)
- The public confusion created by another “licensed professional” providing tax and tax consulting under this proposed Maryland licensing statute (MD Tax Preparer Act, HB 998 / SB 513)
- Increased filing fees of $1,000 for LLCs, LLPs, partnerships and corporations under the Business Organization — Filing Fees Bill (HB 1053).
Your letters are working!
The great news is that you, our members, have responded! More than 300 letters have been generated by MACPA members on these key issues so far. Many legislators have responded to say they are voting against these “bad” bills. Already, we have seen the tax preparer bills get withdrawn. Keep up the great work!
What can you do to help?
- Write letters and or call your legislators to ask them to vote against these bad proposals. See our tips for contacting legislators.
- Encourage more CPAs to join our membership. Numbers count in politics!
- Attend our annual CPA Day in Annapolis. Next year’s event is scheduled for Jan. 23, 2008.
- Contribute to our political action committee, the CPA/CPA (CPA Committee for Political Action).
- Attend one of our town hall meetings and learn about these issue in more detail.
What have we done for you lately? Click here to read about our 2006 successes.