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Tax Reform and Tax Conformity

 

Tax conformity is law, thanks to you!

Gov. Ralph Northam signed Virginia tax conformity into law Friday, Feb. 15. Thanks to everyone who helped us by contacting their legislators!

Now it's time to implement the changes, and we have help for you there, too. We hosted a webinar March 7 in which representatives from the Virginia Department of Taxation answered technical questions on the changes. Click here (MP3) to listen to a recording of the webinar (no CPE credit will be given) or read a transcript here.

UPDATE, June 18: The Virginia Department of Taxation will now accept returns qualifying for the "October refund" of $110 for individuals or $220 for married filing joint taxpayers through July 1, one day later than the previous deadline.

Conformity Updates

The VSCPA has released a whitepaper, "Virginia Tax Conformity: 2018 and Beyond" (PDF), detailing its official position on tax conformity in Virginia as it relates to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, including its recommendations for the General Assembly and Gov. Ralph Northam.

The paper was developed over the course of several months in response to the TCJA and the General Assembly’s decision to take up tax conformity in the 2019 session. The VSCPA made the following recommendations for the 2019 session:

  • Pass Virginia tax conformity for 2018 tax returns as early as possible and align Virginia tax law to federal law as closely as possible.
  • Automatically apply abatement for any tax penalties incurred due to uncertainty regarding the adoption of federal changes by Virginia and require no action to be taken by taxpayers or their representatives.
  • Sequester any new revenue gained for calendar year 2018 by conforming to federal law until a decision on policy is made, which is similar to the action Virginia took after sweeping new federal tax law changed in 1986.
  • Delay the effective date to no earlier than Jan. 1, 2019, for any tax policy changes resulting from conformity to the TCJA, including adjustments to the individual and business provisions to provide relief for taxpayers adversely impacted by the federal changes.
  • Delay the effective date to no earlier than Jan. 1, 2019, for comprehensive tax reform, in order to permit an accounting for additional revenues and to permit orderly and efficient implementation of the impact of the TCJA on Virginia and result in full conformity to federal tax law.

Tax Conformity News

Navigating This Year's Confounding Tax Season (PDF)
The Daily Progress, Feb. 24, 2019

What Virginia Tax Changes Mean for Your State Income Tax Return
WTKR, Feb. 21, 2019

What Virginia Tax Changes Mean for Your State Income Tax Return
WTVR, Feb. 19, 2019

Income Tax Return Filing for 2018 Is Presenting 'A Lot of Change and Complexity' (PDF)
Richmond Times-Dispatch, Feb. 17, 2019

Navigating This Year's Tax Changes (PDF)
The News Virginian, Feb. 17, 2019

Tax Department to 'Crank it Up' as Northam Signs Tax Bills (PDF)
The Free Lance-Star, Feb. 17, 2019

Northam Signs Va. Tax Bill; Now the Work Begins (PDF)
Richmond Times-Dispatch, Feb. 16, 2019

Tax Department to 'Crank it Up' as Northam Signs Tax Bills (PDF)
Danville Register & Bee, Feb. 16, 2019

Tax Department to 'Crank it Up' as Northam Signs Tax Bills (PDF)
Roanoke Times, Feb. 15, 2019

Legislative Leaders Reach Bipartisan Deal With Northam to Return $976 Million to Taxpayers
Richmond Times-Dispatch, Feb. 8, 2019

Could You Use $110? Virginia Tax Plan Allows Refunds to Be Processed, and Sets Up an Additional One
NBC 12, Feb. 8, 2019

No Quick Help for Virginia Tax Filers: House Adopts Conformity Without Emergency Clause, Passes Republican Tax Plan
Richmond Times-Dispatch, Feb. 5, 2019

State Won't Be Able to Process Tax Returns it Has Already Received (PDF)
Richmond Times-Dispatch, Feb. 5, 2019

Lawmakers Still Far Apart on Tax Policy as Urgency Increases
Washington Post, Feb. 1, 2019

Lawmakers Still Far Apart on Tax Policy as Urgency Increases
Washington Times, Feb. 1, 2019

Lawmakers Still Far Apart on Tax Policy as Urgency Increases
WHSV-TV, Feb. 1, 2019

Lawmakers Still Far Apart on Tax Policy as Urgency Increases
Roanoke Times, Feb. 1, 2019

Lawmakers Still Far Apart on Tax Policy as Urgency Increases
Bristol Herald-Courier, Feb. 1, 2019

Lawmakers Still Far Apart on Tax Policy as Urgency Increases
Lynchburg News & Advance, Feb. 1, 2019

Lawmakers Still Far Apart on Tax Policy as Urgency Increases
Martinsville Bulletin, Feb. 1, 2019

Lawmakers Still Far Apart on Tax Policy as Urgency Increases
U.S. News & World Report, Feb. 1, 2019

Va. House Republicans Take on Tax Conformity (PDF)
Roanoke Times, Jan. 28, 2019

House Republicans Propose Fund to Return $300M to Taxpayers (PDF)
Danville Register & Bee, Jan. 28, 2019

Squabbling Leaves Taxpayers in Limbo (PDF)
Daily Press, Jan. 27, 2019

Virginians Left in Dark as Tax Season Nears, State Eyes Policy (PDF)
Bristol Herald Courier, Jan. 25, 2019

Op/Ed: Act Quickly and Pass Tax Conformity
Roanoke Times, Jan. 24, 2019

Senate Weighs Options for State to Address Federal Tax Changes (PDF)
Richmond Times-Dispatch, Jan. 24, 2019

Ware Says It's Time to Choose Quick Action on Policy or a Special Session
Richmond Times-Dispatch, Jan. 23, 2019

Is the Price Right? Speaker Challenges Northam Estimates of GOP Tax Bills (PDF)
The Free Lance-Star, Jan. 23, 2019

Is the Price Right? Speaker Challenges Northam Estimates of GOP Tax Bills
Richmond Times-Dispatch, Jan. 22, 2019

Cox Challenges Cost Estimates for Republican Tax Legislation (PDF)
Richmond Times-Dispatch, Jan. 22, 2019

Money Mayhem: State Lawmakers Begin a Short Session With Giant-Sized Issues — and Financial Quandaries Looming
Style Weekly, Jan. 15, 2019

House, Northam Prepare to Fight Over Tax Policy, Revenue (PDF)
Richmond Times-Dispatch, Jan. 15, 2019

Republicans Want to Take Up Tax Conformity and Policy Together, Which Could Make Filing and Refunds Difficult for Virginians
Virginia Mercury, Jan. 7, 2019

GOP Races for Deal to Lower State Taxes
Washington Times, Jan. 7, 2019

House Republicans Focus on 'Middle-Class Relief' (PDF)
The Daily Progress, Jan. 5, 2019

House GOP Unveils Tax Plan on Eve of Assembly's Session (PDF)
Richmond Times-Dispatch, Jan. 5, 2019

Republicans Outline Tax Plan Ahead of Session
U.S. News & World Report, Jan. 4, 2019

Republicans Outline Tax Plan Ahead of Session
Bristol Herald Courier, Jan. 4, 2019

Republicans Outline Tax Plan Ahead of Session
Richmond Times-Dispatch, Jan. 4, 2019

Republicans Outline Tax Plan Ahead of Session
Danville Register & Bee, Jan. 4, 2019

Republicans Outline Tax Plan Ahead of Session
Lynchburg News & Advance, Jan. 4, 2019

Republicans Outline Tax Plan Ahead of Session
Roanoke Times, Jan. 4, 2019

Republicans Outline Tax Plan Ahead of Session
WHSV-TV, Jan. 4, 2019

Republicans Outline Tax Plan Ahead of General Assembly Session
Loudoun Times-Mirror, Jan. 4, 2019

Op/Ed: A Pressing Issue This Year: Tax Conformity
Richmond Times-Dispatch, Jan. 1, 2019

Op/Ed: Legislators Must Act for Tax Conformity
Virginian Pilot, Dec. 15, 2018

Op/Ed: Virginia Should Quickly Adopt Tax Conformity, Resolve Policy Debates Separately
Virginia Mercury, Dec. 12, 2018

Virginia Tax Policy Changes Carry Big Price (PDF)
Culpeper Star-Exponent, Nov. 16, 2018

Virginia Tax Policy Changes Carry Big Price, So Does Potential Loss of Gas Tax Revenue
Richmond Times-Dispatch, Nov. 16, 2018

Virginia Could Be Out $370M if State Tax Code Isn't Changed (PDF)
Culpeper Star-Exponent, Oct. 26, 2018

Va. Could Be Out $370M if it Does Not Fix Tax Code (PDF)
The Daily Progress, Oct. 26, 2018

Updating Tax Code Is Crucial for State (PDF)
Martinsville Bulletin, Oct. 26, 2018

Va. Could Be Out $370M if it Does Not Change State Tax Code to Reflect Federal Changes, Finance Secretary Says
Richmond Times-Dispatch, Oct. 25, 2018

Op/Ed: General Assembly: Adopt Full Conformity
VirginiaBusiness.com, Oct. 19, 2018

Editorial: Northam's Tax Plan Hits Hard Workers
Richmond Times-Dispatch, Sept. 20, 2018

News to Know Blog: Virginia Society of Certified Public Accountants Called on State Lawmakers to Conform the State Tax Code With New Federal Tax Law
Virginia Mercury, Sept. 18, 2018

Virginia Accountants Call for 'Early and Complete Conformity' With New Federal Tax Law, Delay on Policy Changes
The Daily Progress, Sept. 18, 2018

Virginia Accountants Call for 'Early and Complete Conformity' With New Federal Tax Law, Delay on Policy Changes
Richmond Times-Dispatch, Sept. 18, 2018

VA CPAs Say Conform, Hold Tax Funds for Later
Bacon's Rebellion, Sept. 18, 2018

Op/Ed: An Unexpected Opportunity
Daily Press, Sept. 15, 2018

Nonsense Surrounds Virginia's Tax Policy
Washington Post, Sept. 7, 2018

Gordon C. Morse: Tax Windfall Means Different Things to Virginia's Leaders
Virginian Pilot, Aug. 26, 2018

Which Tax Relief Option Will Virginia Officials Choose?
Martinsville Bulletin, Aug. 19, 2018

Northam Says He Wants to Use Money From Federal Tax Cuts to Refund Low-Income Families
Richmond Times-Dispatch, Aug. 10, 2018