MSCPA Advocacy Efforts Bring Results During the Pandemic
MSCPA continually works to protect the profession by advocating for favorable legislation and against bills and actions that are detrimental. The pandemic sent our efforts into overdrive as we fought on both the State and Federal levels to protect and ease the burdens on our members and their clients.
In the very early stages of COVID-19, MSCPA pushed for recognition of the accounting profession as an essential service in anticipation of a shelter-in-place order by sending the request to Governor Reeves on March 21. His subsequent Executive Order 1463 signed on March 24, stated “Essential Business or Operations means professional services including accounting services.”
MSCPA sent a letter to the Mississippi Department of Revenue (MDOR) in mid-March requesting an extension of time to file income tax returns that coincides with the federal extension. The MSCPA Taxation Committee met with MDOR representatives multiple times before and after the initial May 15 deadline was announced, while our Legislation Committee and other members continued to reach out to State leadership and Legislators. Fiscal year end, budget restraints, declining tax revenue, along with State disasters and COVID-19 issues, presented obstacles for us and the new Administration. However, on May 6, MDOR revised the filing deadline to July 15. The Taxation Committee also holds an annual liaison meeting with the Department. MSCPA members are encouraged to submit topics and problems for consideration. The liaison group discusses, reviews and suggests possible solutions to these problems.
MS CARES Act Legislation
The Taxation Committee continued to be proactive with the need for Mississippi legislative action due to changes on the Federal level in the CARES Act which could delay tax preparation next year if the issues of taxability of PPP loan forgiveness and deductibility were not addressed now. We were successful in drafting proposed amendments to HB1748 to fix the gross income/deduction issues created in SB2772 which established the small business grant program and improperly addressed these points to get them in line with Federal. The Governor signed the bill on June 30. Changes to the NOL carryback rules in the CARES Act could not be addressed at this time. Mississippi has not followed Federal law with regards to the carryback.
MSCPA worked with the AICPA and the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) on relief and clarification requests to the Secretary of the Treasury and our Congressional delegation throughout the COVID crisis. Special thanks are extended to fellow CPA and MSCPA member, Congressman Steven Palazzo, who reached out to lend assistance. The CPA Society of Executives Association (CPA/SEA) is comprised of the executive directors/chief executive officers of each state society throughout the United States and its territories. Karen Moody reports that the organization has meet virtually each week since March and continues to work together to address issues with Federal legislation, as well as, to address the difficulties and challenges that the pandemic has caused for each state society.
Special thanks to our committees and other members who came together during the last several months to work diligently to face COVID-19 issues and offer solutions and assistance that benefited all. The Taxation Committee was on the forefront and worked proactively with the Legislation Committee and President/CEO Karen Moody. Our lobbyist, Stephen Clay of the Clay Firm, was instrumental in making contacts, keeping us informed, and pushing our legislation through.