Surprisingly, or maybe not, 2011 has so far been a busy year in the legislative and regulatory arenas. Several issues impacting CPAs have surfaced in Columbia, and as the advocate for the CPA profession in the state, SCACPA has been on the case.
First up was the new deadline for quarterly payroll returns proposed by the SC Department of Employment and Workforce (DEW). Business owners and CPAs received notices from the agency late in 2010 that the deadline for these returns would fall on the 15th day following the end of a quarter. Needless to say, this would have posed significant issues for CPA firms preparing tax returns under the same deadline structure. Through letter writing and phone calls, SCACPA convinced the agency to drop the proposal to change the date.
Next in line is federal-state tax conformity legislation, H.3583 which is on the top of SCACPA’s legislative priority list. Introduced and passed early in the session by the House, the bill has stalled for three weeks in the Senate while debate on issues such as immigration, unions and roll-call voting rules divert attention from other worthy bills – like tax conformity. During the week of March 7, I wrote a letter to all senators, which was delivered to all on the Senate floor, imploring them to take up this legislation. On March 8, Sen. McConnell (R-Charleston) took us by surprise by amending the tax conformity bill by attaching S.11, a Taxpayers Fairness bill that relates to how the state Department of Revenue interprets tax law. This amendment caused the Senate to send the bill for further study. Stay tuned as we continue to work on advancing tax conformity legislation.
Lastly, is the concern with the property tax return, also known as PT-100. The state Department of Revenue sent notice late in 2010 that these returns must be filed using the SC Business One-Stop system (SC BOS). The system was not initially developed to accommodate filings by third party preparers, like CPAs, making filing cumbersome and time consuming. Following a meeting and several conversations with DOR staff, SCACPA provided members with tangible examples of how they can proceed with filing PT-100s either through SC BOS or by paper. See our Web site for more information.
All this activity defines so clearly the importance of advocacy for the profession. Won’t you be a part of our cadre of CPAs who show their support of SCACPA’s advocacy efforts?
Here’s what you can do:
- Register for CPA Day at the State House.
- Sign up to become a “Key Contact” for a state or federal legislator.
- Support the SC CPA Political Action Committee
Blogger: Erin Hardwick, CAE, Executive Director, South Carolina Association of CPAs