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MNCPA PERSPECTIVES

Your voice matters — use it

February 24, 2022  |  Geno Fragnito

Your voice matters — use it The Minnesota Legislature is one month into the 2022 session and has about two and a half months left before the constitutional adjournment date in May. When the 2022 session began Jan. 31, legislators faced a much-improved economic outlook from a year ago, with an estimated $7.7 billion budget surplus that is expected to grow when the February budget forecast is released on Feb. 28.
 
This forecast will be the basis for negotiations as legislators and Gov. Tim Walz discuss a tax bill and possible budget adjustments for the remainder of the state’s two-year budget. With so much uncertainty and change in the past year — and all indicators pointing toward continued rapid change — legislators will rely on experts to help them better understand how legislation affects taxpayers. CPAs are well-positioned to help legislators understand how fiscal policy may help or hinder economic recovery.
 
The MNCPA held its annual CPA Day at the Capitol on Feb. 24, which was virtual this year, and CPAs from across Minnesota met with their legislators to talk about issues important to them and the profession. If you were not able to attend, there is still time for you to connect directly with your legislators to let them know how the policies they are debating will affect taxpayers in their districts. Your experience, knowledge and role as trusted advisers to hundreds of thousands of Minnesota taxpayers is invaluable.
 
The MNCPA legislative agenda includes several items and provides an opportunity for you to contact your legislators.
 
The items on the MNCPA list this year include:
 

Federal conformity

 Minnesota is a static conformity state and last conformed to IRS code changes in 2018. Congress has passed many tax bills since then and Minnesota continues to move further out of conformity.  Conformity reduces complexity and cost while also increasing compliance.
 

Minnesota Board of Accountancy (BOA) licensing statutes

Current BOA statutes require the board to automatically revoke a CPA certificate that has not been renewed for two consecutive years. Once a certificate is revoked, the status is updated on the BOA website and in the national licensing database. The change would repeal the automatic revocation status for not renewing while maintaining the BOA’s ability to revoke a certificate for cause.
 

Private letter rulings

 Authoritative guidance from tax administrators is an integral part in ensuring taxpayers and tax preparers comply with tax laws. This guidance is also vital in determining the correct tax liability. MNCPA members and businesses throughout Minnesota often need guidance to properly apply tax law and ensure the proper amount of tax is collected and remitted.
 

Debt settlement regulations

Pending legal cases under the debt settlement statute that could affect offer and compromise work CPAs do on behalf of clients. Legislation has been introduced to clarify work CPAs do negotiating tax debt settlements are exempt from additional regulation and licensure as long as the work is done in the normal course of business for a firm.
 
These four issues will be debated during the 2022 session. The other remaining items on the MNCPA legislative agenda are important, but they are not expected to come up during the 2022 session.
 
Contacting your legislators to share your thoughts on these and other issues will help them better understand the issues. Your thoughts as a constituent are important and legislators need to hear from you.
 
 

Call to action

Contact your legislators
 
Read the full MNCPA legislative agenda

Topics: Legislative & Government Affairs, Government, MNCPA Programs & Activities

Geno Fragnito

Geno Fragnito is the MNCPA government relations director, advocating on behalf of the CPA profession. His days consist of last-minute meeting changes, building relationships with lawmakers, helping CPAs navigate state government, and putting in more than 15,000 steps per day walking the halls of the Capitol. Geno unwinds with a little golf and traveling with his family. If he weren’t a lobbyist, Geno would perfect his cast and be a professional fisherman. Geno can be reached at 952-885-5550 or gfragnito@mncpa.org.

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