Monday, July 22, 2013

Tennessee's 'Jock Tax'

For sports-loving CPAs, here's an interesting article from Grantland on Tennessee's "jock tax" and how it affects players who play for or against the NBA's Memphis Grizzlies and the NHL's Nashville Predators.

NFL players are exempt despite the presence of the Tennessee Titans. (To add to the confusion, the "poster boy" for the fight against the tax is former Grizzlies guard Chris Johnson, not to be confused with his Titans counterpart.)

Tennessee's law requires any NBA or NHL player who is on a team's roster during a game in Tennessee to pay a flat tax of $2,500 per game, with a maximum of three games. Johnson could be the point man for repeal efforts because of his relatively low pay — he earned $54,000 for two 10-day contracts and paid $7,500 for the tax.

As Grantland's Zach Lowe points out, the money doesn't go to the state, but rather to the operators of the arenas in Memphis and Nashville. In the Grizzlies' case, that's the owners of the team. Lowe also points out that the NHL has agreed to reimburse players for the money they pay for the Tennessee tax, which amounts to about $2 million per season.

New York State Society of CPAs member Daniel Mazzola, CPA, has written a more in-depth primer on the topic. He refers to the Mobile Workforce State Income Tax Simplification Act, which the VSCPA has supported.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Happy Birthday, Connect!

By Laura Cobb
VSCPA Member Relations Specialist

Connect, the VSCPA’s interactive members-only online community, recently hit its first birthday! Thanks to the more than 3,800 people who have logged in and 1,017 people who have created profiles for your help in making Connect a home for the Virginia CPA community. Your smiling faces (and your insightful posts in our communities) are what keep VSCPA members coming back for more information and discussion.

As part of the anniversary celebration, we’re looking at how we can make Connect an even better experience for our members. Click here to complete a short survey on your Connect experience.

Not a Connect user? Wondering what the fuss is about? Click here to learn how to set up your profile. Be sure to include a picture!

Thanks for all you’ve done to make Connect a success!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

TAX Posts Webinar, Q&A on Sales and Use Tax Changes

The Virginia Department of Taxation (TAX) has posted a recording (MP4) and summary (PDF) of its June 7 webinar on recent changes to the Virginia Sales and Use Tax. The webinar provided a detailed overview of changes included in HB 2313, including statewide and regional rate increases, changes to returns and schedules, sourcing rules for transactions, transitional problems and more.

TAX notes that the webinar recording contains references to the counties of Gloucester and Surry as part of the Hampton Roads Region. Those counties are, in fact, not part of that region and therefore not subject to the additional sales and use tax rate increase of 0.7 percent.

Friday, July 5, 2013

PPACA Employer Mandate Postponed: What You Need to Know

Earlier this week, the Obama administration announced that it was postponing the employer responsibility payment and insurance reporting requirements under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act until January 2015.

At that point, employers with 50 or more full-time employees (or the equivalent in full- and part-time employees) will be required to offer quality affordable health insurance to employees or face a fine of $2,000 for each employee who receives a premium tax credit for purchasing individual coverage from one of the upcoming health insurance exchanges.

We'll be compiling resources on what this means for workers and employers. If you see any good resources, pass them along! Here's what we have now:

Monday, July 1, 2013

Young Professionals Corner: Credential Overload?

Editor's note: This is the latest in a series of guest posts from young VSCPA members dealing with topics of interest to young professionals. If you'd like to write or have a topic you'd like a future blogger to cover, please email VSCPA Academic & Career Development Coordinator Tracey Zink.

By David Peters, CPA Insurance Agency

CLU, CFP, PFS, CTP, CPCU…..  In the financial services world, it seems like there is a credential for just about everything.  However, is earning those extra few letters behind your name really worth it?  Before you break out those study books, here are some pros and cons of earning another credential:
Can Jump Start Your Career – If you are fresh out of school, your resume probably doesn’t look that different from any of your peers.  An extra credential can help set you apart.  More letters behind your name is a great remedy for a plateauing career as well.

New Networking Opportunities – Once you have earned your credential, you will probably have the opportunity to meet with other people who also have that designation.  Professional societies often have luncheons, volunteer opportunities, and other functions, where you can meet other people in your field.

Credential May Not Be Recognized – While there are many credentials out there in the world, very few are actually recognized by the public – especially if they are industry specific.  For example, how many people outside the insurance industry know that ARM means Associate in Risk Management, instead of just being the word for the appendage coming from your shoulder?
Your Credential Can Be Expensive – Once you have your credential, you may have to join the membership society (costs money).  Every year, you may have to renew your credential (MORE money).  You may have to take CPE too (STILL MORE MONEY).   Whoever would have thought that those extra few letters could be so expensive?

In short, you just want to make sure that what you put into those extra letters is worth what you get out of them.  If it is, another credential can put you at the top of your industry.
David Peters is the Head of Legal, Admin, Finance, and MIS at in Glen Allen and a Ph.D. student at The American College in Bryn Mawr, Pa.  His areas of expertise include insurance accounting, tax, and financial planning.  He is a VSCPA member, and, yes, he is a CPCU.