Impact Report 12: Advocacy, Economic Recovery, & More
Impact Report 12: Advocacy, Economic Recovery, & More
In this month’s IMPACT Report, new FICPA Chair W.G. Spoor shares why advocacy is important now more than ever, while Governmental Affairs Director Justin Thames shares updates on state tax legislation effective July 1, economic recovery efforts, and more.
Also in this month’s IMPACT Report:
- Restore Economic Strength through Employment and Tourism (RESET) Task Force
- Florida TaxWatch COVID-19 Taxpayer Task Force
- Governor Ron DeSantis Signs Deregulation Bill
- Fiscal Year 2020-2021 Final Budget
- CPA Exam Continuous Testing Begins July 1
- PPP Extended until August
Director of Governmental Affairs
News and Highlights:
FICPA brings CPA voice to economic recovery efforts
In response to the pandemic’s negative impact on Florida’s economy, the FICPA has joined statewide efforts aimed at developing ideas and solutions for lawmakers to consider as they continue to look towards the reopening and rebuilding of our state’s economy. The FICPA State Legislative Policy Committee has worked with many of these groups to provide recommendations and several FICPA members have been selected for leadership roles in the joint taskforces. We are proud of our members for representing the FICPA and the profession in these efforts.
Restore Economic Strength through Employment and Tourism (RESET) Task Force
The RESET Task Force is comprised of more than 50 trade associations and business groups from across the state. Led by former President of the Independent Colleges and Universities of Florida Dr. Ed Moore, the coalition has focused their efforts to provide industry-specific solutions to the challenges facing the business community during the pandemic. In addition to Dr. Moore’s leadership, the taskforce is bolstered by the expertise of former FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate as a senior advisor. Representing the FICPA on the task force are the following members:
|Chris Oatis||W.G. Spoor||Shawn Riordan|
|Co-Chair Tax Working Group||Legal Reform/Liability Working Group||Agriculture Working Group|
Florida TaxWatch COVID-19 Taxpayer Task Force
The Florida TaxWatch is the preeminent taxpayer research and government watchdog organization for the state. Focused on the fiscal management and productivity of the state government on behalf of the taxpayers, TaxWatch was well positioned to pull together many of the state’s talented business leaders to form a task force to address the pandemics impact on the taxpayer. Representing the profession on the task force are the following members:
|Karen Lake, CPA Task Force Chair||Winston Howell,CPA||Santiago Pujals, CPA||Michael Kohner, CPA||Richard Berkowitz, CPA|
Governor Ron DeSantis Signs Deregulation Bill
On June 30, Governor DeSantis signed his long-anticipated deregulation legislation coined “The Occupational Freedom and Opportunity Act” (HB 1193). This act eliminates barriers of entry to certain professions licensed by the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DPBR) by adding endorsement and reciprocity provisions, removing supplemental business licenses and corresponding license fees, reducing licensure education requirements, and eliminating other licensure and registration requirements.
Specifically related to the profession, the legislation deletes the continuing education (CPE) requirements for individuals applying for a license under the “licensure by endorsement process”. Licensure by endorsement generally applies to CPAs that are licensed in other states and who are moving to Florida. The law does NOT delete the CPE requirements for all CPAs. You can read more about the impacts of The Occupational Freedom and Opportunity Act here.
New State Tax Laws Effective July 1
Many of the provisions of the state tax law changes legislation, House Bill 7097 , took effect July 1. The Florida Department of Revenue (DOR) issued several Emergency Rules implementing the newly enacted law, see rules below.
Highlights from HB 7097:
Refund Statute of Limitations – Tolls the time to file a refund claim during an informal audit protests, which will extend the time a taxpayer has to file a refund claim for an overpayment of taxes arising from the audit period under protest.
Fuel Bond Requirement Increase – An increase of the annual bond required for fuel dealers from $100,000 to $300,000
Monthly Dyed Fuel Penalty – A change for the improper invoicing of dyed diesel fuel from a per gallon penalty to a $2,500/month penalty
Nonprofit Hospital Exemption Limitation – A potential limitation of the property tax exemption enjoyed by nonprofit hospitals based on the actual community benefit expense provided by the hospital in each county. Hospitals will be required to annually report to the DOR effective 2022. If the community benefit is less than the property tax exemption in two or more consecutive years, then the property tax exemption will be reduced proportionately.
1099-K Reporting for SUT Audit Leads – Requiring payment settlement entities (banks, credit card companies and payment platforms) that file IRS form 1099-K (providing information about payments by credit cards or third-party merchants) to also electronically file the form with DOR. A penalty for not filing of $1,000 a month, up to $10,000 per year, is created.
To view a detailed analysis of all the provisions included in HB 7097, click here.
Florida Department of Revenue’s Emergency Rules
|Emergency Rule Number: 12BER20-01 Emergency Rule Title: Terminal Suppliers Effective Dates: July 1, 2020 thru December 28, 2020||Emergency Rule Number: 12BER20-03 Emergency Rule Title: Exporters Effective Dates: July 1, 2020 thru December 28, 2020|
|Emergency Rule Number: 12BER20-02 Emergency Rule Title: Wholesalers Effective Dates: July 1, 2020 thru December 28, 2020||Emergency Rule Number: 12BER20-05 Emergency Rule Title: Producers and Importers of Pollutants Effective Dates: July 1, 2020 thru December 28, 2020|
|Emergency Rule Number: 12BER20-07 Emergency Rule Title: Dyeing and Marking; Mixing Effective Dates: July 1, 2020 thru December 28, 2020||Emergency Rule Number: 12ER20-08 Emergency Rule Title: Application for Refund Effective Dates: July 1, 2020 thru December 28, 2020|
Fiscal Year 2020-2021 Final Budget
Governor DeSantis has signed the final budget for this fiscal year, which totals at $92.2 billion. The budget includes two issues the FICPA advocated for, with $200,000 going towards the Clay Ford Scholarship and $100,000 for the Unlicensed Activity Fund. The Unlicensed Activity Fund aids in combating unlicensed activity through licensure enforcement and education, while the Clay Ford Scholarship is intended to encourage students to remain in school for the fifth year required to obtain a CPA license. Student applicants who meet the requirements may be eligible for scholarships from $3,000 to $6,000 per semester, which are awarded for a maximum of two semesters. For an in-depth analysis of the budget, Florida TaxWatch has released its “Taxpayer’s Guide to Florida’s FY2020-21 State Budget” providing information on nearly any budget topic you might be interested in!
CPA Exam Continuous Testing Begins July 1
On July 1, The National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA), American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) and Prometric launched year-round testing of the Uniform CPA Examination. According to NASBA, continuous testing has been a goal for some time, and it comes in direct response to feedback from CPA Exam candidates and their desire to test more frequently throughout the year. The new continuous testing model provides greater candidate flexibility and convenience, with more than 75 additional testing dates available throughout the year. Candidates wishing to learn more about continuous testing, as well as how the score release process will work, should visit the CPA Exam Score Release and Continuous Testing Overview pages. Additional information is also available in this short informational video.
PPP Extended until August
On July 4, The President signed legislation into law that extends the application window for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) until August 8. The program still has roughly $130 billion and there is a growing discussion about whether the program should be extended further. In a recent statement, the architect of the program Florida Senator Marco Rubio stated, “As the scope of the financial damage done to small businesses by the pandemic and resulting lockdowns has grown, it has become clear that longer-term support is necessary.” Just yesterday, Treasury Secretary Mnuchin commented on his conversations with Senator Rubio regarding the possibility of more assistance for businesses through the loan program. He revealed that he thinks any further extension of the program will be “much, much more targeted to the businesses that really need this money and the smaller businesses.”
Looking for a way to get involved and make a positive difference in the political process? Make a financial contribution to the Florida CPA/PAC. Your assistance helps us educate lawmakers on issues that affect CPAs, support pro-CPA candidates, and maintain relationships with those in Tallahassee who can stand up for accounting and business professionals. Learn more and donate at FICPA.org/PAC!