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

Lamont taps Boston Consulting Group to prepare overhaul of state government, eliminating jobs and cutting $500M
It’s been 10 years since the last major state workforce study, the governor noted, and since then Connecticut has gone through a sluggish economic recovery, two major state employee concessions packages, and a pandemic that is far from over. “We need to dig deep into our state agencies and learn more about what to anticipate, and how best to use this challenge as an exciting opportunity to ensure our government is serving our state as effectively as possible,” Lamont said.
Sexual Harassment Training Deadline Extended to Jan. 1
Connecticut employers now have until Jan. 1, 2021 to comply with the state's expanded sexual harassment prevention training mandate that lawmakers approved last year. The state Commission on Human Rights and Opportunity extended the original Oct. 1, 2020 deadline due to the coronavirus pandemic. “This is a blanket extension and does not require a request to be made,” the CHRO said in a notice on its website announcing the change.
Mystic Aquarium Restructures For COVID — And Beyond
A beluga whale glided to the edge of the platform overlooking its 750,000-gallon habitat and looked up, seemingly joining the Mystic Aquarium’s president, Stephen M. Coan, in greeting Gov. Ned Lamont and his economic adviser, David Lehman. The governor and his entourage came Tuesday to celebrate a financial restructuring that will leave the aquarium with minimal debt, stabilizing the finances of Connecticut’s largest tourist attraction as it recovers from COVID-19 revenue...
Governor Lamont Announces Launch of Connecticut’s New Online State Tax Filing System
Governor Ned Lamont today announced the launch of the Connecticut Department of Revenue Services (DRS) multi-year IT modernization initiative that will improve the customer’s experience and deliver additional, user-friendly features such as mobile device-friendly design, secure web messaging, and advanced tax filing reminders. The launch is highlighted by the new, online tax filing and payment portal called DRS myconneCT. Certain taxes filed by businesses are included in the initial...
Study Shows Cannabis Legalization Would Bring In $1B Over 5 Years
Before COVID-19, one of the big pushes at the state Capitol was the legalization and sale of cannabis and a new study by the Connecticut Center for Economic Analysis says by authorizing it, the state could collect nearly $1 billion in tax revenue within five years.

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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

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.
What’s in Senate Republicans’ $1T pandemic relief plan
Senate Republican leaders on Monday unveiled a draft plan to provide $1 trillion in coronavirus relief funding ahead of talks with Democrats. A package of separate bills, it gives Congress the option of passing parts of the agenda — such as extensions of unemployment insurance or schools funding — now and leaving the rest for later.

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