FICPA Legislative Update
Image: Legislative Update
 Legislature Wraps Up Special Session

FICPA Governmental Affairs manager Justin Thames summarizes the latest from lawmakers Image: Deborah Curry, CPA, CGMAAs many Floridians began their summer vacations, the Florida Legislature held a Special Session to address the budgetary issues that weren’t resolved during the regular 2015 Session. Your FICPA Governmental Affairs team was there, monitoring the Legislature’s activities, and this issue of IMPACT Report includes some updates. In the video below, FICPA Governmental Affairs manager Justin Thames summarizes the latest from lawmakers.

We’re currently finalizing our complete legislative update, which will include a comprehensive overview of the legislation we tracked during the regular Session. We’ll include that information in an upcoming issue of IMPACT Report.

As always, thank you for your support of the FICPA’s advocacy efforts.

Sincerely,

Image: Deborah Curry Signature
Deborah Curry, CPA, CGMA
FICPA President/CEO

In Case You Missed It
Image: Gov. Scott Signs Bill Clarifying Firm Licensure Requirements Image: Washington Tax Brief AICPA Offers Free Webcast Series Image: Governor Calls Tax-cut Bill a Big Win for Florida Families
Gov. Scott Signs Bill Clarifying Firm Licensure Requirements
On June, 16, Gov. Rick Scott signed House Bill 373 (HB373) into law. Rep. Dan Raulerson, R-Plant City, sponsored the bill, which clarifies the licensure requirements for CPA firms. Effective July 1, the law change clearly outlines the criteria a firm would have to meet to be required to be licensed by the Board of Accountancy.

The law incorporates the framework for firm licensure provided by the Uniform Accountancy Act constructed by the AICPA and the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy. Under the new law, it is clear that firm licensure is required under 437.3101 if:

  • A firm performs those engagements included under 302(8)(A)
  • A firm uses “CPA” or “CPA Firm” in the firm name, or uses any device that indicates it is a CPA firm

The intent of the legislation is to provide practitioners with certainty about the way they are required to conduct business in Florida.

HB373 and Senate companion bill SB636, sponsored by Sen. Jack Latvala, R-Clearwater, were supported unanimously in legislative committee hearings during the 2015 Session. And all of the other CPA legislators – Rep. Michael Bileca, R-Miami; Rep. David Richardson, D-Miami Beach; and newly elected Rep. Cyndi Stevenson, R- Ponte Vedra – co-sponsored HB 373 as it was considered by the full voting membership of the House.

Washington Tax Brief
AICPA Offers Free Webcast Series

One of the biggest challenges tax practitioners face is keeping up with changes in tax law. The AICPA Tax Advocacy Team, based in Washington, D.C., focuses a significant amount of their time on exactly that. Our tax advocacy efforts support the public interest and our members by advocating for sound tax policy and effective tax administration.

The Washington Tax Brief is an AICPA webcast series highlighting developments in Washington that may affect members, their practices, and/or their clients. AICPA staff will provide updates on major tax-related advocacy initiatives and answer participants’ questions. This is your opportunity to voice your concerns (about potential legislation, impractical regulations or much-needed guidance) to our tax advocacy leaders!

Everyone is welcome to attend this valuable, free event. Note: There is no CPE credit available.

 

This webcast series will update members on:

  • Current AICPA tax-related advocacy initiatives
  • Proposed tax law changes and fundamental tax reform discussions
  • Recent changes to IRS regulations and other guidance
  • Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) initiatives and priorities, such as Circular 230

For more information or to register, click here.

 

Governor Calls Tax-cut Bill a Big Win for Florida Families
On June 16 Gov. Rick Scott signed HB 33A, which includes more than $400 million in tax cuts, including reductions to the state’s cell phone and TV tax. Click here to see a copy of the transmittal letter.

Gov. Scott applauded the Legislature for passing the bill.

“Giving Floridians back more of the money they earn in tax cuts is the best thing we can do to keep Florida’s economy growing,” Gov. Scott said. “Cutting Florida’s cell phone and TV tax is particularly important because it will save money for Florida families who pay a cell phone, satellite or cable TV bill. Florida’s budget had an over $1 billion budget surplus this year because of the hard work of Floridians, and this tax-cut package will send more than $400 million back to the people who earned it.

“I applaud the Florida House and the Florida Senate for their work on this legislation and I look forward to working with them to keep cutting taxes next year and to keep Florida working,” Gov. Scott said.


TaxWatch Presents Prudential Productivity Awards

Image: TaxWatch Presents Prudential Productivity Awards This week, Florida TaxWatch will present Prudential Productivity Awards to stellar state employees throughout Florida. The awards recognize state employees for implementing innovative, cost-saving ideas in state government. In 27 years, Prudential Productivity Award winners have produced more than $9 billion in savings and have increased productivity among state employees.

FICPA President/CEO Deborah Curry, CPA, CGMA was a member of the judging panel that selected the award winners.  

In early May, Gov. Rick Scott and the Florida Cabinet honored the program by declaring June as Prudential Productivity Awards month. At the May Cabinet meeting, Gov. Scott said recipients of the Prudential Productivity Award “have measurably improved public sector productivity and promoted innovations that better serve the people of our great state.”

Mike Jennings, vice president of government affairs for Prudential, agreed.

“The commitment of these incredible public servants to work together to build a better Florida means state government can direct taxpayers’ hard earned money to the vital services that make the Sunshine State a great place to live, raise a family and retire,” he said.

Tallahassee-area winners were recognized at a luncheon March 12 in Tallahassee. Regional awards ceremonies will take place June 23-26 in Orlando, Miami, Tampa and Jacksonville.

Read the press release here.

See this year’s winners and learn more about the program here.


FICPA Awards CPA Members of the Florida House

Image: FICPA Awards CPA Members of the Florida House At the FICPA Mega CPE Conference this month, 2014-2015 Board Chair Jeff Barbacci presented the four CPAs serving in the Florida House of Representatives with the FICPA Chairman’s Special Service Award. Reps. Michael Bileca, R-Miami; Dan Raulerson, R-Plant City; David Richardson, D-Miami Beach; and Cyndi Stevenson, R-Ponte Vedra received the award in recognition of their work on behalf of Floridians during the 2015 Legislative Session.

These CPAs are using their accounting knowledge to promote fiscal transparency, support anti-fraud measures and fight government waste. Additionally, they co-sponsored legislation clarifying the conditions under which businesses must be licensed as CPA firms, which Gov. Scott recently signed into law (see the first article above).

“I applaud the efforts and results achieved by Reps. Bileca, Raulerson, Richardson and Stevenson during the 2015 Legislative Session,” said FICPA President/CEO Deborah Curry, CPA, CGMA.  “All four exemplify the qualities that make CPAs ideal public servants.”

“These CPAs represent our state with integrity,” Chair Barbacci said. “We are proud of their accomplishments on behalf of Floridians and the CPA profession.”

PAC Gears Up for 2016 Elections

Image: PAC Gears Up for 2016 Elections The 2016 elections are right around the corner and the CPA profession has a lot at stake. For the first time in history there are four CPAs, who also are FICPA members, serving in the Florida House of Representatives. Never before has the profession had this level of representation in state government.

Dues renewal is the perfect time to contribute to the Florida CPA/PAC and support the CPA legislators who are working to protect your license. Please support the PAC when you renew your membership or contribute to the PAC here.

Contributions are strictly voluntary and are not deductible for federal tax purposes. The Florida CPA/PAC is an entity completely separate from the FICPA. The Florida CPA/PAC is supported solely by the voluntary contributions of members of the FICPA and others.



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