MNCPA PERSPECTIVES

Report compliance burdens and unfair penalties to legislators this tax season

March 21, 2019  |  Geno Fragnito

Report compliance burdens and unfair penalties to legislators this tax season March brings its own madness -- especially for CPAs.
 
Maybe you are responsible for preparing or filing your business taxes. Maybe you work at a public accounting firm and help multiple clients navigate the tax law maze. Maybe you are trying to figure out your own tax situation. No matter what your situation is, March means filing deadlines are inching closer, and penalties and interest are looming for anything that is late.
 
I recently saw an update from a software provider that said Minnesota had 457 tax law changes programmed for 2018 returns. With that many changes, there’s bound to be compliance issues and confusion. On the plus side, those 457 tax law changes create an opportunity for you to tell lawmakers how the current tax law is helping (or hurting) your business or clients. 
 
Unintended consequences are never fun to discover. They’re especially frustrating when the tax law is so complex, it feels as if you’re trying to nail Jell-O to a wall. As a CPA, you’re on the frontline and often are the first to hear about unintended consequences or uncertainty. And, you’ll also be the first to see if there are any unfair penalties or fines being assessed because of the lack of clarity in tax law.
 
A few items I continue to hear about include:
  • Section 179 conformity.
  • Different elections for state and federal tax filing purposes.
  • Bonus depreciation and SALT deduction limits.
 
I know you have many more examples to share. It’s what you do with that information that can significantly affect future policy decisions. Your insight and experience can help lawmakers make more informed decisions and better understand the policies they propose.
 
Don’t keep those examples to yourself. Let lawmakers know what you’re seeing this tax season.
 

Topics: Taxation-Individual, Government, SALT, Taxation-Business

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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