Friday, October 28, 2011

Chamber working on tax issues on behalf of members

The Chamber is engaged in a number of tax policy issues with direct impact on the competitiveness of the state’s business climate.

Tax Expenditure Commission – The FY’12 state budget created a state government-led commission to evaluate and make recommendations on state tax, credits, deductions, and exemptions over the coming months. The commission met for the first time this past week to outline its goals and begin its work. The Chamber will continue to work with the commission to ensure that its work reflects the perspectives of the employer community and the need for a competitive business tax climate.

NOL Carry-Forward Tax Policy – The Chamber offered testimony at an October 27th Revenue Committee hearing in support of its bill to extend to financial institutions and utilities the ability to carry their losses forward for up to 20 years. Allowing these industries to carry their losses forward will improve the competitiveness of two key sectors of our economy, enabling them to pay taxes on their average profitability over time rather than on the boom-bust years.

DOR Guidance on Tax Policy Changes – The Massachusetts Department of Revenue (DOR) released draft guidance this month on tax changes contained in the FY’ 2012 state budget. Among those tax changes covered in this document are three tax administration reforms filed by the Chamber. The reforms are designed to 1) shorten the audit cycle length, 2) establish the same statute of limitations for assessments and abatements, and 3) provide taxpayers with earlier notice about potential tax policy changes being considered by the state before it takes any action on them. DOR regularly issues guidance documents to provide an explanation of statutory changes to tax policy, and an opportunity for public and practitioner comment on the regulatory implementation of such changes. The Chamber has worked with senior DOR officials since the enactment of these tax changes in order to ensure their proper implementation.

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