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Top legislative issues around the nation in 2021

December 14, 2021

The mid-year legislative session summary from the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) (PDF) summarizes the top issues facing state legislatures, from occupational licensing to taxes on services and threats to CPA independence. Here are state trends: 

Occupational licensure: “The CPA profession, as with all professions, must defend the legitimacy and efficacy of state licensure against threats to reduce or eliminate occupational licensure,” the AICPA report states. Nationwide, 200 bills were introduced in 46 jurisdictions that threatened licensure, but only 46 were enacted. In Virginia, we lobbied against a bill that would have given the governor power over regulatory licensing decisions; that legislation died in Committee. 

Taxes on professional services: CPAs fought legislation to tax professional services in Louisiana, Nebraska, Oregon, West Virginia and Wyoming, with the West Virginia Society of CPAs putting up a significant fight. All proposals died. 

Contract monitoring: Legislation was introduced in several states that contract with certain service providers to monitor keystrokes, mouse clicks, and take screenshots to collect data on contractors’ use of time on key projects. The Virginia Department of Human Resource issued what the AICPA calls a “scathing report” striking down the need for such services. 

Noncompete agreements: The AICPA is always watching non-competes, which “chip away at independence rules for CPAs.” Non-compete legislation can cause unintended consequences for CPAs and their firms.