Capitol Corner

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We've got our eye on happenings at the Capitol! If state or federal legislation or accounting standards activity will affect you, your company, or your clients, we'll keep you updated here.

Each month, we also email our members a legislative update for Connecticut and the other New England states.

State News

Connecticut officials forecast budget surplus of $70 million this year after earlier predictions of $2B deficit; Wall Street records boost tax revenue
In a stunning turnaround, state budget officials predicted Friday that Connecticut will end the fiscal year with a small surplus of $70 million — despite financial problems related to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
2021 Session Will Be Busy, Virtual
Balancing the state budget is usually the top priority for lawmakers and the governor at the beginning of a new two-year budget cycle, but the COVID-19 pandemic is competing and contributing to a budget deficit. The Office of Fiscal Analysis is predicting a $4.3 billion deficit of the next two years.
Lamont advisors recommend next group of CT residents eligible for COVID vaccine
A Connecticut advisory group has endorsed suggestions by the national Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, which prioritized teachers, correctional staff, postal staff, grocery store employees and other “essential workers” for the next stage of the vaccine rollout, which could begin at the end of this month. Inmates and others in congregate settings such as homeless shelters, group homes and psychiatric facilities should be included in the next wave of those eligible to receive...
CT Legislature opens with less pomp, more circumstance
The Connecticut General Assembly opened its 2021 session in extraordinary fashion Wednesday, taking the oath of office in two socially distanced ceremonies on the grounds of the state Capitol, applauded by friends and heckled by protesters. On a day when the president of the United States was pressuring Congress to reject the votes of the American people, the leaders of the General Assembly were elected by acclamation, with minority Republicans pledging to help the majority Democrats make...
Governor Lamont's 2021 State of the State Address
Last year’s State of the State address seems like a long, long time ago. Mr. President, Mr. Speaker, Senator Kelly, Representative Candelora, my fellow state officials, members of the General Assembly and the Judicial Branch, Lt. Governor Bysiewicz, honored guests, and the people of the great state of Connecticut. Two years ago, as your new governor, you welcomed me into the “room where it happens.” This year, that room has become a “virtual room.”]

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Accounting Standards and Regulations

CPA Evolution Project Continues with Proposed Changes to CPA Exam, Educational Requirements for Initial Licensure
The National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) Eastern Regional Meeting, held virtually this spring, covered several issues – most notably the CPA Evolution Project.  NASBA, in partnership with the AICPA, has spent almost...
GASB Proposes Application Guidance on CARES Act and Coronavirus Diseases Issues
As part of its continuing efforts to assist state and local governments during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) today released a proposed staff Technical Bulletin containing application guidance related to...
FASB votes to delay revenue recognition effective date for private companies
The board originally had proposed amending the revenue recognition standard effective date just for franchisors that are not public business entities. But feedback FASB received on the proposal related to coronavirus pandemic challenges convinced...
Auditing Standards Board to consider one-year deferral of effective dates
The effective dates for seven recently issued generally accepted auditing standards may be deferred by one year when the AICPA Auditing Standards Board (ASB) holds a special open meeting from 2 to 4 p.m. on April 20 to discuss relief due to the...
IRS crypto guidance every tax practitioner should know
The IRS is getting serious about cryptocurrency. This fall, it released three documents that all tax practitioners need to pay attention to ahead of the 2019 filing season: a retroactive revenue ruling, FAQs for reporting cryptocurrency ownership...

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Federal News

Labor Department's independent contractor rule may not stand for long
The U.S. Department of Labor’s new rule for defining an employee vs. an independent contractor is likely to be challenged in the incoming Biden administration as well as court, but it does provide some helpful guidance for companies struggling with how to adapt to the new gig economy.
Eligible Paycheck Protection Program expenses now deductible
Revenue Ruling 2021-02 PDF, reflects changes to law contained in the COVID-related Tax Relief Act of 2020, enacted as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (Act), Public Law 116-260, which was signed into law on December 27, 2020.
Labor Department finalizes rule on employee vs. independent contractor status
The U.S. Department of Labor issued a final rule Wednesday to clarify the standard for determining whether a worker should be considered an employee or an independent contractor. The rule is one of many contentious regulations that the Trump administration has been rushing to finalize in its waning days and is likely to have an impact on labor relations, pay scales and benefits for workers. It also has an impact on the taxes they pay and whether taxes need to be withheld from their...
Economic Impact Payments on their way, visit instead of calling
The IRS and the Treasury Department began issuing a second round of Economic Impact Payments, often referred to as stimulus payments, last week.
2021 standard mileage rates decrease
The optional standard mileage rates for business use of a vehicle will decrease once again in 2021 after increasing significantly in 2019, the IRS announced in Notice 2021-02. For business use of a car, van, pickup truck, or panel truck, the rate for 2021 will be 56 cents per mile after decreasing to 57.5 cents per mile in 2020, down from 58 cents per mile in 2019. Taxpayers can use the optional standard mileage rates to calculate the deductible costs of operating an automobile.

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