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Community News

California Legislative Staff Takes Financial Wellbeing Class

California legislative staff members recently received briefings on how to improve their money management abilities.Conducted by the California Society of CPAs (CalCPA) and CalCPA Institute, the program covered debt and credit management, retirement planning, home mortgages and saving for college.Assembly members Fiona Ma and Roger Niello, themselves CPAs, sponsored the program, which was held at the Capitol.The program was part of a CalCPA community outreach effort designed to improve Californians' financial literacy.
Community News

Alabama Proposes Exemption Increase

A bill in the Alabama legislature would gradually increase the personal and dependent exemptions and standard deduction if growth in the Education Trust Fund exceeds three percent annually.Under the bill, ALHB 277, increased exemptions and deductions would apply only to taxpayers with $100,000 AGI or less.The bill was referred to the House Committee on Education Appropriations.
Community News

New Jersey Names J.H. Cohn LLP ‘Best Place to Work’

While recruiting and retaining top talent remains a major pain point for accounting firms throughout the nation, J.H. Cohn’s commitment to advancing the careers of its most important resource – its people - has been affirmed through NJBiz’s “Best Places to Work” award. One of the country’s largest accounting and consulting firms headquartered in New Jersey, and a leader throughout the Northeast, J.H.
Community News

Massachusetts Extends Deadline for Expanded Health Coverage

Massachusetts, one of the first states to pass a universal health insurance law, requires all residents, including uninsured adults, to purchase some kind of health insurance policy by July 1, 2007 or face a fine; but businesses and individuals will be given until January 1, 2009 to sign on for what the state considers a “minimum standard of care,” the Associated Press reports. The additional time was needed to allow employers, workers and insurers to make the transition to the new standards, which will include prescription drug coverage.
Tax

Senate ID Theft Hearing Lauds Calif. Privacy Laws

A U.S. Senate subcommittee was told Wednesday that California's innovative privacy laws are successfully protecting Californians by getting consumers, businesses, government agencies and others to change their behaviors in order to better protect personal information and fight identity theft.
Tax

CalCPA Assists Food Bank, Promotes Tax Credit

Low-income individuals and families in the Fresno area are receiving groceries from the Community Food Bank in special bags advising them on how to get money back from Uncle Sam.The bags, donated by the California Society of CPAs and the CalCPA Institute, provide information on how to apply for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), a federal program.
Tax

Connecticut Considers Income Tax Increases

The Connecticut Legislature is considering a measure that would increase the personal income tax rate for high income taxpayers and reduce the sales tax rate.While reducing the sales tax rate from 6 to 4.5 percent, the proposal, CT SB 1385, also would eliminate the property tax credit, establish a refundable credit equal to 20 percent of the earned income tax credit.The proposal also would increase the C corporation tax from $250 to $400 and increase the estate tax rate from 5 to 5.5 percent.
Community News

Florida Bill Proposes Tax Tribunal

The Florida Legislature is considering a bill establishing a tax tribunal. The tribunal would settle all disputes sought under the state’s tax laws while holding the powers of an administrative court. The bill, FL HB 1369, would allow licensed accountants, enrolled agents and attorneys would be allowed to represent taxpayers before the tribunal.
A&A

Wisconsin Proposes Privacy Protection for Tax Preparers

The Wisconsin Legislature is considering a bill designed to prohibit a tax preparer or an entity that employs tax preparers from disclosing information obtained in the preparation of a client's tax return unless the tax preparer or entity discloses the parties to whom the tax preparer or entity intends to disclose the information, and the client consents in writing.The Bill, WI SB 69, has been referred to the committee of jurisdiction.
Practice

Crowe Chizek Selected Fla. Best Workplace

Crowe Chizek and Company LLC, a public accounting and consulting firm, has been named as one of the Best Places to Work in South Florida. Among medium-size companies in South Florida, Crowe ranks in the Top 15 Best Places to Work, according to the South Florida Business Journal. “This is a wonderful honor, and Crowe is proud to be named one of the best places to work in South Florida,” says Crowe CEO Mark Hildebrand.
Community News

Employee Costs, Govt. Regs Top Indiana Concerns

Indiana CPAs are guardedly optimistic with respect to the business climate in the U.S. economy for 2007 and slightly more optimistic about the prospects for Indiana’s economy, according to the recent poll conducted by the Indiana CPA Society. In comparison, in 2006, Indiana CPAs were a bit more neutral concerning Indiana’s economy.On a continuous rating scale from zero to 100 with zero being very pessimistic, 50 being neutral, and 100 being very optimistic, Indiana CPAs were found to be guardedly optimistic about the prospects for the U.S. economy with an average rating of 64.2.
A&A

Maryland Hopes Tax Preparers & Massage Parlors Soothe Deficit

Faced with a $1.5-billion budget deficit, Maryland legislators are focusing on widening the list of taxable services to extend the tax base. And they’ve lumped tax preparers in among escort services and massage parlors as targets of new sales taxes.Under bill MD HB 448, Maryland would charge the state’s sales and use tax for such commercial services as tanning salons, massage parlors, escorts and tax preparation.The bill is scheduled for a hearing on March 14.
Practice Management

New York Consumer Bill Targets Tax Preparers

A bill before the New York Legislature, designed to educate taxpayers about tax preparers’ qualifications, would require the Department of Taxation and Finance to publish a "consumer bill of rights regarding tax preparers."The bill, NY SB 2970, calls for extensive RAL disclosure requirements, but exempts enrolled agents. If passed, the legislation would require that all tax preparers obtain a license from the Department.
Practice Management

Minnesota May Publish Convicted Preparers List

The Minnesota legislature is considering an all-encompassing collection of tax measures with several provisions of interest to enrolled agents.
Practice Management

West Virginia May Make EAs Exempt from Sales, Service Tax

A bill being considered by the West Virginia legislature would exempt enrolled agents from sales and service taxes. The bill, WV SB 371, proposes that a number of professions – including enrolled agents – be exempted from the state's consumers sales and service tax.A nearly identical bill was introduced last year, but was not enacted. SB 371 has been referred to the Senate Finance Committee.

States Seek Improved CPA Interstate Mobility

Several states are seeking to change state law to allow for individual CPAs licensed in other states with substantially equivalent licensing requirements to provide client services in person, by mail or electronically without securing an additional license or temporary registration, reports the Ohio e-CPA Weekly.Following Ohio’s lead, a total of six states have already introduced “no notification/no fee” legislation and six others are planning do to so this year. Virginia, Wisconsin and Missouri have previously adopted mobility laws similar to Ohio’s.
A&A

Online Posting of Delinquents Creates Revenue

Pennsylvania has recently joined the 20 states and the District of Columbia in posting the names of individuals and businesses who owe taxes on their web sites, using names such as Maryland’s “Caught in the Web,” or South Carolina’s “Debtor’s Corner,” to bring pressure on tax scofflaws.In many cases, the threat of disclosure is enough to persuade taxpayers to pay, says Illinois Revenue Director Brian Hamer.
Tax

Kansas Looks to Cut Corporate Income Tax

The Kansas Legislature likely will include a cut in corporate income tax this session, but just how deep such a cut will be made remains uncertain, reports the Wichita Eagle.The House Taxation Committee is expected to receive two bills reducing the corporate income tax rate. Both houses of the Legislature and Gov.
Community News

Mass. Gov. Announces Property Tax Breaks

Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick unveiled a plan Thursday to give lower-income homeowners the same type of property tax breaks available to some senior citizens, in an attempt to fulfill a key campaign pledge, the Associated Press reports.Beginning in January, an estimated 100,000 families and individuals would be eligible for a state tax credit of up to $860 a year under the new program. The current average statewide property tax bill is $3,800 per household.“The bottom line is that people in Massachusetts have been paying more and getting less," said Patrick.
Tax

CalCPA Provides Pro Bono Tax Services For Military

Members of the California Society of CPAs (CalCPA) are offering free tax counseling services to military personnel and their families at National Guard armories throughout the state. CalCPA members, in cooperation with the California National Guard's Operation Ready Families Program, have scheduled tax counseling sessions at seven locations throughout California.“This is the second year that we have worked with CalCPA and their members,” said Monica Malmberg, state benevolence coordinator of the Operation Ready Families Program.

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