Welcome to the IMPACT Report, the FICPA's legislative update. The FICPA Governmental Affairs team's mission is to monitor and actively participate in the public-policy making process, and we are proud to be your representative in Tallahassee, as well as around the state.

Stay informed and up-to-date on important issues concerning legislative and regulatory issues, news from the campaign trail, and issues affecting CPAs around the country.

Recent Updates

With the 2020 elections just two weeks away, everyone wants to know: how will it go? FICPA’s Director of Governmental Affairs, Justin Thames, has an update on early trends we're seeing among the millions of ballots already submitted through Florida’s mail-in and early voting cycle.

Also in this month's IMPACT Report:

  • CPA License Renewal Goes Paperless
  • Florida Auditor General Issues CRA Audit Guidance
  • Legislative Town Hall: Senator Joe Gruters
  • FICPA Emerging Leaders – Regional Advocacy Events
  • Florida CPA/PAC Update

News and Highlights:

 

FL DBPR

CPA License Renewal Goes Paperless

The Department of Business and Professional Regulations (DBPR) began emailing a LICENSE RENEWAL NOTIFICATION, directing licensees with Dec. 31, 2020, renewal dates to visit their online accounts at DBPR’s online services and renew their license.

If DBPR doesn’t have a licensee’s email address, they will mail a notice instructing the licensee to visit their online account and renew.

Licensees will be able to find additional information regarding the online renewal process on the Division of Certified Public Accountants’ website.

The renewal information will be highlighted at the bottom of the homepage. Look for the green tab that reads, "Renew Your License."

 

FL-Auditor-General

Florida Auditor General Issues CRA Audit Guidance

Florida Statutes require that each community redevelopment agency (CRA) meeting the specified $100,000 threshold provide for an audit and that the resultant audit report accompany the county or municipality annual financial report filed with the Department of Financial Services (see Sections 163.387(8)(c) and 218.32(3)(b), Florida Statutes). Under the recently adopted rules of the Auditor General, the CRA audit is to be separate from the audit of the county or municipality that created the CRA, which include within their reporting entities the CRA as a component unit, and the separate CRA audit report must include the financial statements required by Section 163.387(8)(b)2., Florida Statutes. Accordingly, under the interpretation, the CRA must prepare stand-alone financial statements. In accordance with Auditor General Rule 10.557(3), the CRA audit report must include basic financial statements, notes to the financial statements, and management’s discussion and analysis and other required supplementary information.

Read the Auditor General CRA “STAND-ALONE FINANCIAL STATEMENTS GUIDANCE” here:

General Pension Reporting OPEB Reporting

 

gruters town hall

Legislative Town Hall: Senator Joe  Gruters

Join the Florida Institute of CPAs for the latest in our series of Legislative Town Halls. During each session, attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions and engage with state lawmakers on the issues of the day.

The session is free with registration. Space will be limited, so don’t miss this opportunity to get an inside look into our state’s legislative process.

Senator Joe Gruters – District 23

Gruters is a CPA and fourth-generation Sarasotan, representing parts of Manatee and Sarasota counties in Senate District 23. In addition to serving in the Florida Senate, he currently serves as the Chairman of the Republican Party of Florida. He also co-chaired the Donald J. Trump campaign for President in Florida.

 

FICPA Emerging Leaders – Regional Advocacy Events

As part of the FICPA’s annual Emerging Leaders Program, this year’s class has been meeting with local and state elected leaders from their local communities across the state. These local events provide an opportunity for the Emerging Leaders to engage with their local officials and better understand the issues impacting Florida at both the local and state level.

regional advocacy 1
Katie Byrd, Carr Riggs and Ingram, with City of Milton Mayor Heather Lindsay
regional advocacy 2
Katie Byrd, Carr Riggs and Ingram, with State Representative Jayer Williamson
regional advocacy 3
Thomas Angelos, Juda Eskew & Associates, Kathryn Horton, Kathryn K. Horton CPA PA; Alex Welsh, A-Lign; Elizabeth Jackson, RSM; State Representative Dan Daley; Sarah Pariseau, Legislative Staff; Nicholas Angarano, Berkowitz Pollack Brant
regional advocacy 4
Kathryn Horton, Kathryn K. Horton CPA PA; Alex Welsh, A-Lign; Joey Epstein, MBAF; Elizabeth Jackson, RSM; City of Ft. Lauderdale Commissioner Ben Sorensen Nicholas Angarano, Berkowitz Pollack Brant ;Thomas Angelos, Juda Eskew & Associates
regional advocacy 5
Margaret Reach, MBAF; City of Hialeah Councilman Jesus Tundidor, Armando Donado, White Wolf Capital; Adam McMahon, MBAF; Hanisha Laungani, MBAF
regional advocacy 6
Mike Hayes, CJN&W; Sterling Searcy, CPS Invest; Jamie Koepsel; Taylor Kelley, EY; State Representative Josie Tomkow; Corey Adams, Reilly Fisher Soloman
regional advocacy 7
Orange County Comptroller Phil Diamond, CPA; Chris Suto, Withum; John Kramer, Withum
regional advocacy 8
John Kramer, Withum; Chris Suto, Withum; State Senator Linda Stewart

 


Florida CPA/PAC Update

Please note: 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.

With summer drawing to a close and the 2020 election cycle entering the final stretch, FICPA's Governmental Affairs team is tracking all of the latest news that CPAs need to know. This month, we have updates on new rules from the Department of Revenue, IRS tax relief, and of course – the election.

Updates in this month's IMPACT Report:

  • Florida Department of Revenue Announces New Proposed Rules
  • Florida Auditor General Draft Rules – Effective 9-30-20
  • FICPA Joins AICPA and Others in Letter Urging Congressional Support for State Tax Filing Relief for Remote Workers
  • IRS Launches BBA Centralized Partnership Audit Website
  • Florida CPA/PAC Update
  • Three CPA Lawmakers and FICPA Members Will Seek Re-Election During the General Elections in November

News and Highlights:

Florida Department of Revenue Announces New Proposed Rules

The Department of Revenue has added to its website for Proposed Rules an announcement for a Rule Development Workshop to be held, if requested in writing and not deemed unnecessary by the agency head, for the following rule sections:

ADMINISTRATIVE RULES

COMMUNICATIONS SERVICES TAX


Florida Auditor General Draft Rules – Effective 9-30-20

Chapter 10.550 – Local Governmental Entity Audits (Contains Florida Single Audit Act Information)

Rule effective 9-30-20

Summary of Changes:

  1. Revised Rules to correct or update references to authoritative literature and effective date of the Rules.
  2. Revised Preface To Rules and Rules 10.551(6), 10.554(1), 10.556(1), 10.557(3), and 10.558(3), to include financial audits of certain community redevelopment agencies.
  3. Revised Rules 10.554(1)(l)1.h., 10.556(10), 10.557(3)(g), and 10.557(4) to remove extraneous notes.
  4. Added Rule 10.556(10)(f) to include within the scope of the financial audit of certain community redevelopment agencies a determination of compliance with Sections 163.387(6) and (7), Florida Statutes.

FICPA State and Local Government Committee Response


FICPA Joins AICPA and Others in Letter Urging Congressional Support for State Tax Filing Relief for Remote Workers

The FICPA has joined more than 120 employers and organizations across the nation in signing a letter to Congressional leaders urging them to support state tax filing and withholding relief for remote workers during the pandemic by enacting Section 403 of S.4318, the American Workers, Families and Employers Assistance Act, and a related measure, S.3995, the Remote and Mobile Worker Relief Act. The profession has consistently supported state tax filing relief for remote workers and advocated for its inclusion in federal legislation.


IRS Launches BBA Centralized Partnership Audit Website

The IRS announces the launch of the Bi-Partisan Budget Act (BBA) Centralized Partnership Audit Regime website.

The Centralized Partnership Audit Regime replaces the Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act (TEFRA) and the electing large partnership rules. The centralized partnership audit regime, or BBA, is generally effective for tax years beginning January 2018. Under the BBA, the IRS generally assesses and collects any understatement of tax (called an imputed underpayment) at the partnership level.

A partnership is subject to BBA unless it is an eligible partnership and makes an annual election out of BBA on a timely filed Form 1065.  An eligible partnership is one with 100 or fewer partners, all of whom are either individuals, C corporations, foreign entities that would be treated as a C corporation if it were domestic, S corporations or estates of deceased partners.

The new webpage is intended to be a one-stop location for anything BBA-related, including regulations and other guidance and instructions related to the Partnership Representative (PR), electing out of the centralized audit regime, Administrative Adjustment Requests (AARs) and what to expect during a BBA administrative proceeding.

Taxpayers are encouraged to visit the website often for information, including electronic submission instructions of forms related to a BBA examination when those instructions are available.


Florida CPA/PAC

The Florida CPA/PAC needs you! Click here to make a donation online.

Florida CPA PAC Success

Three CPA Lawmakers and FICPA Members Will Seek Re-Election During the General Elections in November

FICPA Members running for office in November 2020

 

Please note: 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.

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

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 FICPA task force
Chris Oatis, Co-Chair Tax Working Group
wg spoor ficpa task force
W.G. Spoor, Legal Reform/Liability Working Group
shawn riordan ficpa task force
Shawn Riordan, 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
Karen Lake, CPA Task Force Chair
winston howell
Winston Howell, CPA
santiago pujals
Santiago Pujals, CPA
michael kohner
Michael Kohner, CPA
richard berkowitz
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.”


Florida CPA/PAC Needs You

Florida CPA/PAC

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!

Please note: 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.