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It’s now official. Last Thursday, Governor Baker signed the long-anticipated COVID-19 relief bill into law. The legislation includes language to conform to the federal tax treatment of Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans forgiven in 2020, Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) advance grants received in 2020 and the Small Business Administration (SBA) debt relief payments made in 2020.    The bill also includes unemployment income forgiveness up to $10,200 for Massachusetts residents whose household incomes are at or below 200% of the federal poverty level. We know many of you have outstanding questions, and we are working with the Department of Revenue (DOR) ...
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Our new membership year kicks off in less than one month, on May 1. Each year starts by welcoming new officers and directors to the Board of Directors, and I am so excited for the incoming class. This insightful team helps shape the direction of our organization, and their strategic guidance supports us as we adapt to ongoing changes in the profession and our world. We have an incredible slate of officers stepping up, and I am thrilled to work more closely with each of them:  Leading us as Chair will be Rob Miller, CPA, CFE, managing partner at Stone & Company, LLC . We hope to leverage Rob’s insights, both as an owner of a small firm and as a long-term ...
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Spring is a time of change and new beginnings, and that’s especially true at the Society. We’ve made a few changes in our Learning and Development department to improve your member experience, and I’m excited to share them with you today. First things first – our 2021 seminars are now live on our website! Head on over to browse our full list and sign up for courses that will help you stay on top of your game. And, because you’re an MSCPA member, you get exclusive discounts on all our courses and conferences! As in the past, we will continue to add programs on hot topics throughout the year, so feel free to share your feedback with us. You will notice that ...
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Many of you are still heads down for busy season, but I wanted to highlight a couple of things that are underway.     We’re happy to share that the state and federal filing date for personal returns has been extended to Monday, May 17. The AICPA is still lobbying for additional relief that would include estimates, trusts, etc., and we will work to ensure Massachusetts follows any additional federal action. We will send you alerts as we get important updates and provide in-depth details in our weekly Legislative Brief .    While you are in your busy season, we are getting ready for our new membership year, starting on May 1, and reflecting on what we accomplished ...
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This week we were welcomed with long-anticipated news: Income on forgiven Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans will not be subject to Massachusetts tax .   Though this may have taken a bit longer than we had hoped, I believe that it was your collective voices that carried this across the finish line. Because of your outreach, 54 additional legislators — for a total of 102 — co-sponsored the piece of legislation making PPP loans nontaxable at the state level. That is remarkable.   I truly believe in the power of personal stories, and this success reaffirms that belief. You know the struggles and triumphs of your clients better than anyone — especially ...
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Women’s History Month

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March is Women’s History Month, a special time to commemorate the vital role of women in our society. At the MSCPA, we take special note of women in accounting and recognize you for all that you give to the profession. We thank you!   We heartily support all efforts for diversity, equity and inclusion, including those that aim to increase the role women play in accounting and at the MSCPA. We have made great strides, yet there is still work to be done. Even though men and women are entering the profession in equal numbers, women still represent only 23% of partners. The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated this challenge, as women are disproportionately bearing ...
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March is Industry Month!

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We have over 1,000 members of the Society who are corporate financial professionals who serve in a range of industries—from financial services to retail to manufacturing and more. You make up 13% of our membership and are vital to our continued vitality as an organization. Since I started here, one of my personal goals is for your membership to be as integral to your professional lives and contribute as much to your professional success as it is for our members in public accounting.   So, we are dedicating this month to you! Our first-ever Industry Month takes place in March. We are using this time to focus on you, your benefits and your education. If there ...
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As many of you are going heads-down into a busy season that is likely to be only slightly less chaotic than the last one, I want to assure you that the MSCPA is here for you.   As you work to keep your firm or company culture intact and help relieve stress, we can help through our annual fitness challenge. There is still time to register by emailing our fitness guru, Hannah Naranjo at hnaranjo@mscpaonline.org . She is here to help!  And remember, if you are hitting a brick wall with our friends at the Department of Revenue (DOR) this season, MSCPA Government Relations Manager Larry Liuzzo can step in to assist you. He has experience working with DOR on members’ ...
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A Few Legislative Updates

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As one tax season ends, another begins. After what seemed like a never-ending 2020 tax season, this year’s busy season officially opens today as the IRS starts to accept and process 2020 individual tax returns. I hope this year goes as smooth as possible and with fewer curveballs than last year. Please know we are here to help should you have any questions or concerns.   There have been a few rumblings about, and requests for, an extension to this year’s April 15 filing deadline. The IRS has maintained that it does not plan to extend, although with the looming possibility of additional federal relief that may change. The feedback from our members remains split, ...
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Black History Month

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As you all know, February is Black History Month. While the Society’s commitment to building a more diverse and inclusive profession is a year-round priority, we plan to take some extra time this month to join our colleagues from across the country in celebrating and honoring all of those who have contributed to the progress we have all made so far.     This year is a particularly special time as 2021 marks the 100th anniversary of the first African American CPA, John W. Cromwell Jr. As the first, John took this responsibility to heart and spent his life continuing to break down barriers and lifting up countless future Black CPAs who followed. His contributions ...
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Next week we will be holding two webinars explaining a very important new member benefit for small firms. As part of tax reform, there was a provision allowing pooled employer plans (PEP), which allows us to aggregate plan assets for purposes of unified filings and lower asset management costs. In other words, this allows you to provide a great staff satisfaction and retention benefit that is easier and cheaper for you. As a member of the MSCPA, your firm will be able to participate in this exclusive retirement plan offering through our partners at Integrated Partners . Register here for webinars on Monday, February 1, at 8:00 a.m. or Thursday, February 4, ...
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For those of you who were able to attend our free stress management webinar the other day, we learned a couple of things. One is that we are all under more stress than ever. And two, that physical exercise is one of the best stress reducers available. With that in mind, the MSCPA is excited to bring back our popular Fitness Challenge to help you stay healthy and active over the next few months. Sponsored by ConnectPay , this friendly competition is a great way for your office to come together as a team to out-step other challengers!     The fifth annual Fitness Challenge will begin at 12:00 a.m. on Thursday, February 4, and end at 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, ...
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It’s hard to believe that we only have one big conference left before busy season — our Nonprofit Virtual Conference January 21-22.     Thanks to a great slate of speakers and topics, our annual State Tax Virtual Conference this week was a hit. I always love to hear from the Department of Revenue — especially ahead of tax season — and I appreciate the opportunity to hear the perspectives of Karl Frieden, with the Council on State Taxation, and Joe Crosby, with MultiState Associates, Inc., on trends in tax policy at the state and national level. I really enjoyed my conversation with State Sen. Adam Hinds, and I am pretty sure I heard him agree with me that ...
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Happy New Year! After an exceptionally challenging 2020, 2021 is presenting its own strains. The acceptance of free and fair elections and the peaceful transition of power are key hallmarks of our representative democracy. The Society joins with what I am sure is the sense of our membership in condemning the violence and lawlessness we witnessed at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, and we share in the hope that the tragic events will spark the same sense of community and resiliency that Americans of all political parties and walks of life have displayed over the past 10 months.   In brighter news for the new year, Kara Kieran is officially the Society’s new chief ...
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I am writing to you as we wrap up notes from our annual board retreat. In addition to talking about priorities and goals for next year, we all took some time to reflect on the craziness that was 2020. Everyone agreed that if there was one bright spot to the year, it was that it helped us gain perspective, to not sweat the small stuff and to focus on the things that really mattered. What matters to us at the Society is you, our members. I hope you all feel like we helped you in some way this year, that we advocated for you, delivered the information and education you need and provided opportunities to grow your networks and your careers. If there are ways you ...
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Last week, our friends at Integrated Partners held a webinar explaining the new pooled employee retirement plan (PEP) exclusively for MSCPA members. We’ve been working on this for a while, since the PEP rules came out of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and not all the rules were clear.   Things have settled down now, and we are able to offer this great benefit to our members. When you join PEP, your retirement assets will be pooled with others for purposes of investment. This means that you will get the lower management costs previously available only to larger firms and that there will be a single filing. This will greatly cut down on red tape that you have to endure ...
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Becoming a Peer Reviewer

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Today I’m going to talk about something completely different. We are running out of peer reviewers and that is putting the entire program in jeopardy at a national level.   So many of our peer reviewers have retired or are approaching retirement, and new folks are not stepping up to take their place, so I am writing today to ask our members to think about becoming a peer reviewer and to assure you that it will be worth it.   Becoming a peer reviewer has many unique advantages to help grow your business and build your reputation as a firm that stands behind its commitment to providing high-quality services. As a peer reviewer, you can leverage your expertise ...
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COVID-19 High School Educators Resources & Information New York Times Free Access for Students: The New York Times is available to high school students and teachers across the United States — FREE! LEARN MORE High School Counselor Connect recently conducted a national survey in response to COVID-19, to better understand how institutions of higher education can serve high school counselors’ needs during this challenging time. Over 2,600 counselors responded with their most pressing concerns, as well as their advice for colleges and universities.  LEARN MORE High School Counselor Week: Weekly stories, facts, trends and other ...
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Giving Tuesday

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It’s hard to believe Thanksgiving is already here, but the holiday season has officially begun. For the past eight years, Giving Tuesday has become a part of the spirit of giving this time of year, growing into a global movement of generosity.   This year’s Giving Tuesday, which takes place this coming Tuesday, December 1, is a great time to consider which nonprofits and charities you’d like to support. I’d like to ask you to think about future CPAs and our profession and consider donating to the MSCPA Educational Foundation’s Scholarship Program on Giving Tuesday.  This year has been a particularly tough one for college students , especially among low-income ...
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Greetings from my home office! This afternoon we wrapped up our successful 2020 New England Practice Management (MAP) Virtual Conference . While I missed hanging out with all of you and wandering through the halls to greet friends old and new, it was wonderful to connect this week from our homes and offices across the state.     More than 100 firm leaders, emerging leaders and firm operations staff joined the event to hear from experts in the accounting industry. Conversations centered around the pandemic, of course, and how you can continue to run your firms successfully and efficiently, while providing the services your clients need and continuing ...
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