Thursday, April 28, 2011

Chamber Business Tax Reforms Advance in House

Three key tax reform proposals adopted in House FY’12 budget

Key provisions from the Chamber’s business tax reform bill are advancing in the Legislature. The FY’12 House Ways and Means Committee budget bill, released on April 13th, included the following proposals from that bill:

  • Audit Cycle Length: Shorten audit cycles by waiving taxpayer penalties for substantial underpayment of taxes (Ch. 62C, Sec. 35A) if DOR fails to complete an audit within 18 months – providing an incentive for the state to speed up the audit process, which can be quite lengthy and costly for businesses.
  • Tax Policy Development: Require the state to post monthly online reports on tax policies before it takes any action on them – giving taxpayers at least 30 days to vet proposed tax policies and provide input before the policies are finalized. This provision will strengthen the tax policy development site that was launched by the Dept. of Revenue last month in response to the Chamber’s proposal.
In addition to the audit cycle and tax policy development reforms (which were the subject of an April 18th Chamber op-ed in the Boston Herald), a third proposal from the Chamber’s business tax reform bill was adopted on April 25th as an amendment to the House budget:
  • Statute of Limitation Parity: Establish the same statute of limitations for assessments and refunds – addressing an unfair rule that currently exists in which businesses have a shorter period in which to amend a return than the state does to assess a return.
The Chamber will continue working with leaders in the Legislature and Patrick Administration to ensure that these and other important business reforms are included in the final FY’12 state budget. Enactment of this package of reforms will improve Massachusetts’ tax climate and strengthen its reputation among states as an attractive place to do business.

1 comment:

  1. Require the state to post monthly online reports on tax policies before it takes any action on them giving taxpayers at least 30 days to vet proposed tax policies and provide input before the policies are finalized.

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