Capitol Corner



We had a very successful 2019 legislative session, defeating a sales tax on accounting and tax services proposal, stopping an increase to the CPA license fee, and addressing a number of other troublesome bills. Thank you all for playing an active role in our advocacy efforts. It would not have been possible without the help of all of you who heard our calls to action and emailed legislators, submitted testimony, donated to our digital advertising efforts, and more. Thank you!

Read the 2019 Connecticut Legislative Session Wrap-Up (pdf). 

View the complete text of Public Act 19-186 and Public Act 19-117. 

         

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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.

State News

Republicans Call For Special Session On Meals Tax
Republican legislative leaders aren’t letting the Democratic majority off the hook when it comes to the 1% meals tax scheduled to go into effect on Oct. 1. The new tax, according to guidance from the Department of Revenue Services, may impact some items at grocery stores that currently aren’t taxed. Democratic lawmakers and Gov. Ned Lamont said some of the items DRS put on its list to tax at 7.35% were never intended to be included with the new meals tax.
Lamont: Prepared food tax hike will be narrowed in scope
Gov . Ned Lamont announced Tuesday he expects the new sales tax surcharge on prepared foods will be scaled back — and applied to a narrower range of items — before it takes effect on Oct. 1. The Democratic governor, who made the announcement following the State Bond Commission meeting, echoed concerns raised over the past week by legislators from both parties.
A majority of CFOs believe the US will be in a recession within a year
Why is everyone so pessimistic? A survey of 225 chief financial officers by Duke University shows pessimism on the U.S. economy has been growing steadily this year, despite record low unemployment and a strong consumer. The quarterly Duke University/CFO Global Business Outlook of 225 CFOs found that a majority of U.S. CFOs (53%) believe that the country will be in a recession by the end of the third quarter next year. Sixty-seven percent see a recession by the end of 2020.
Gov. Ned Lamont asks for review of new tax on ice cream, pizza and other items sold at grocery stores
Gov. Ned Lamont has directed his budget office and the state tax department to review a 7.35 percent tax on prepared foods set to begin Oct. 1 after lawmakers complained it is being interpreted in a broader fashion than they intended. The tax would apply not just at restaurants but also to a wide variety of foods sold at grocery stores including single-serve ice cream bars, sealed bags of lettuce, doughnuts, bagels, pizza slices and rotisserie chickens, according to guidance published...
CT’s biggest corporate incentive you’ve never heard of
State government’s corporate-incentive deals have come under scrutiny in recent years, as questions have arisen about whether it’s a proper use of taxpayer money to provide loans, grants or tax breaks to private-sector enterprises. In fact, Gov. Ned Lamont’s administration is pulling back on his predecessor’s strategy of providing upfront loans or grants to companies, instead offering incentives only after businesses reach certain job or investment benchmarks.

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Accounting Standards and Regulations

Treasury, IRS release final and proposed regulations on new 100% depreciation
The Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service today released final regulations (PDF) and additional proposed regulations (PDF) under section 168(k) of the Internal Revenue Code on the new 100% additional first year depreciation...
While Connecticut Waits, Other States Take Action On Marijuana Legislation
While efforts to legalize recreational marijuana have stalled in Connecticut, those same efforts have made progress around the country. A new report from the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) released earlier this week details the cannabis policy...
Regionals Ponder CPA Evolution
The “Guiding Principles” for transforming the CPA profession to meet constantly escalating technological advances were the primary focus of the June 2019 NASBA Regional Meetings. On June 11-12 the Eastern Regional Meeting was held in Washington,...
Facebook Crypto Plan Draws Fresh Fury From House Democrats
Facebook Inc. took a beating for a second straight day over its controversial cryptocurrency plans as Democratic lawmakers argued the proposal posed vast privacy and national security risks. At a Wednesday hearing before the House Financial...
Bitcoin Drops Below $10,000 Again as Congress Scrutinizes Libra
Bitcoin slid below $10,000 just three weeks after surging above it for the first time in more than a year as U.S. legislators expressed deep skepticism about the viability of cryptocurrencies.

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Federal News

Senate Bill Would Boost IRS Funding
The Senate Appropriations Committee advanced a fiscal 2020 spending bill today that would fund the IRS at $11.4 billion, including an additional $200 million for enforcement activities to address the tax gap. The IRS has long pleaded with Congress for additional funding to aid enforcement and collection efforts but has dealt with budget cuts for many years, particularly after a targeting scandal during the Obama administration in which the agency was accused of holding up the tax-exemption...
Nonprofits Still Seeking Repeal of Fringe Benefits Tax
With limited time left in this year’s Congressional calendar, must-solve issues continue to saturate the legislative agenda. One such issue – also the center of ASAE public policy efforts – is repeal of a 21-percent tax on parking and transit benefits provided by tax-exempt employers. ASAE and its UBIT Coalition are urging all stakeholders to keep sounding the alarm in Congress and urge legislators to pass repeal legislation, particularly in advance of what will surely be a tempestuous...
A majority of CFOs believe the US will be in a recession within a year
Why is everyone so pessimistic? A survey of 225 chief financial officers by Duke University shows pessimism on the U.S. economy has been growing steadily this year, despite record low unemployment and a strong consumer. The quarterly Duke University/CFO Global Business Outlook of 225 CFOs found that a majority of U.S. CFOs (53%) believe that the country will be in a recession by the end of the third quarter next year. Sixty-seven percent see a recession by the end of 2020.
Treasury, IRS release final and proposed regulations on new 100% depreciation
The Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service today released final regulations (PDF) and additional proposed regulations (PDF) under section 168(k) of the Internal Revenue Code on the new 100% additional first year depreciation deduction that allows businesses to write off most depreciable business assets in the year they are placed in service by the business. The regulations released today on IRS.gov have been submitted to the Federal Register and may vary slightly from the...
Tax cuts are back on the agenda. They're not a done deal
Central bankers will take center stage when they gather in Jackson Hole later this week. But for now, as investors sit and wait, monetary policy isn't what's generating the most buzz. That's right. Almost two years after US President Donald Trump and Republicans passed a $1.5 trillion tax cut package, fiscal stimulus has reentered the conversation.

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