Capitol Corner

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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.

Each month, we also email our members a legislative update for Connecticut and the other New England states; you can read the archived issues below.

State News

Governor Lamont Announces Fines for Businesses Violating COVID-19 Rules Increase To $10,000
Governor Ned Lamont today announced that he has signed an Adobe PDF Fileexecutive order increasing the amount that businesses can be fined for violations of the state’s COVID-19 sector rules and capacity limits to $10,000 per violation. The governor said he is taking this action – which goes into effect at 12:01 a.m. on Thursday, November 26 – as the result of feedback he has received from municipal leaders, public health officials, and people from within the business community. The most...
Lamont Asks Residents to 'Step Up'
In his last press briefing before Thanksgiving, Gov. Ned Lamont urged Connecticut residents Monday to limit the size of their celebrations to contain the coronavirus which continues to spread predominantly through close social gatherings. From his home in Greenwich, Lamont announced the state’s COVID-19 numbers for the past three days. Since Friday, 109,045 Connecticut residents were tested for the virus and about 4.8% of them tested positive. Twenty-seven people were hospitalized with...
A 2021 Legislative Session Via Zoom? Legal Cannabis?
Connecticut’s 2021 legislative session won’t look like it has in past years because it’s still unclear if the building will reopen to the public, but legislative leaders say there will be a session. Incoming Speaker of the House Matt Ritter and Senate Republican Leader Kevin Kelly talked Thursday about what it may look like during the Connecticut Retail Merchants Association annual meeting. “If you’re running committee meetings via Zoom or a public hearing and you just want to roll...
Museums Continue To Struggle With Impact of Pandemic
The Mark Twain House is undoubtedly one of Connecticut’s most memorable historical landmarks. But the coronavirus is no history buff, and it has forced the home of “the father of American literature” to close for the rest of November. “No museum director ever wants to take a perfectly good museum and shut the doors, but it just seemed like the right and responsible thing,” Executive Director Pieter Roos said.
COVID map turns red: 80% of CT residents in hot zones
The autumn surge of COVID-19 cases has reached red-alert status in 100 of Connecticut’s 169 cities and towns, with the state’s largest city, Bridgeport, now experiencing the worst outbreak — and with hospitalizations for the disease statewide more than doubling in the past two weeks. A subdued Gov. Ned Lamont outlined the latest metrics Thursday in the second of his twice-a-week televised briefings, joined by a medical adviser, Dr. Scott Gottlieb, who warned that all epidemiological models...

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Accounting Standards and Regulations

CPA Evolution Project Continues with Proposed Changes to CPA Exam, Educational Requirements for Initial Licensure
The National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) Eastern Regional Meeting, held virtually this spring, covered several issues – most notably the CPA Evolution Project.  NASBA, in partnership with the AICPA, has spent almost...
GASB Proposes Application Guidance on CARES Act and Coronavirus Diseases Issues
As part of its continuing efforts to assist state and local governments during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) today released a proposed staff Technical Bulletin containing application guidance related to...
FASB votes to delay revenue recognition effective date for private companies
The board originally had proposed amending the revenue recognition standard effective date just for franchisors that are not public business entities. But feedback FASB received on the proposal related to coronavirus pandemic challenges convinced...
Auditing Standards Board to consider one-year deferral of effective dates
The effective dates for seven recently issued generally accepted auditing standards may be deferred by one year when the AICPA Auditing Standards Board (ASB) holds a special open meeting from 2 to 4 p.m. on April 20 to discuss relief due to the...
IRS crypto guidance every tax practitioner should know
The IRS is getting serious about cryptocurrency. This fall, it released three documents that all tax practitioners need to pay attention to ahead of the 2019 filing season: a retroactive revenue ruling, FAQs for reporting cryptocurrency ownership...

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Federal News

Census ends effort in Connecticut’s hardest-to-count tracts
The U.S. Supreme Court decision Tuesday effectively ending the 2020 Census this week comes in what was expected to be the final push in hardest-to-count neighborhoods of Bridgeport, Hartford, New Haven and Waterbury, Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz said Wednesday. “I’m disappointed but not at all surprised with the Supreme Court ruling, especially now that we’ve lost Justice [Ruth Bader] Ginsburg,” said Bysyiewicz, who has coordinated the state’s response to the Census. “My concern is that we’ll...
Trump’s ‘tax holiday’ has few takers in Connecticut
It’s been two weeks since President Donald Trump offered employers a way to temporarily fatten their worker’s paychecks, but in Connecticut there have been few takers. Using his executive authority, Trump has allowed the nation’s employers to defer the payment of certain payroll taxes from Sept. 1 through the end of the year.
IRS Reminder: Deadline to return distributions to retirement accounts is Aug. 31
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, or CARES Act, waives RMDs during 2020 for IRAs and retirement plans, including for beneficiaries with inherited accounts. This waiver includes RMDs for individuals who turned age 70 ½ in 2019 and took their first RMD in 2020. Roth IRAs don't require withdrawals until after the death of the owner.
More Guidance Needed for the New Payroll Tax Deferral Scheme
Like many other controversial issues in our nation’s capital, the outcome is far from clear, while the benefits are being debated along political lines. Under the executive order, employees would not be required to pay their share of the 6.2 percent Social Security tax that normally applies to an annual wage base ($137,700 for 2020). The grace period would last from September 1 through the end of the year. The deferral is generally available to an employee earning $4,000 every two weeks,...
White House says no plan to end payroll tax permanently
White House officials said the administration has no plans to do away with the payroll tax despite President Donald Trump saying he would seek a permanent repeal if he wins another term. Even if Trump were to follow through, the idea of doing away with the tax is unlikely to get much support in Congress because it could drive up the deficit by trillions of dollars to plug a funding gap, or spell the end of some Social Security payments for millions of Americans.

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