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2024 Legislative & Regulatory Agenda

Overview: This legislative and regulatory agenda was developed with input from the NYSSCPA Legislative Task Force and will serve as the action plan for staff and volunteer activities this session.. 



False Claims Act – S.556

BACKGROUND: The federal False Claims Act (FCA) lets the government recover for any false or fraudulent requests or demands for money. This also includes fraud to avoid paying money to the government. The federal FCA contains a “tax bar,” which states that the law does not cover fraud under the tax code. Several states, including New York, have eliminated the tax bar from their state FCAs. New York’s FCA is much more expansive than the federal statute and many other states’ false claims laws.    

Specifically, in New York, liability under the FCA may be imposed on any person who—   

  • knowingly presents, or causes to be presented, a false or fraudulent claim for payment or approval;   

  • knowingly makes, uses, or causes to be made or used, a false record or statement material to a false or fraudulent claim;    

  • has possession, custody, or control of property or money used, or to be used, by the state or a local government and knowingly delivers, or causes to be delivered, less than all of that money or property;    

  • is authorized to make or deliver a document certifying receipt of property used, or to be used, by the state or a local government and, intending to defraud the state or a local government, makes or delivers the receipt without completely knowing that the information on the receipt is true;    

  • knowingly buys, or receives as a pledge of an obligation or debt, public property from an officer or employee of the state or local government, and knowing that the officer or employee violates a provision of law when selling or pledging such property;    

  • knowingly makes, uses, or causes to be made or used, a false record or statement material to an obligation to pay or transmit money or property to the state or a local government; or    

  • conspires to do any of the above.    

New York’s FCA states that these provisions apply to tax claims, records or statements.    

“Knowingly” is at the heart of New York’s FCA. A false claim, record or statement does not violate the FCA unless submitted knowingly. The term requires more than mere negligence; it suggests misstatement of knowledge, deliberate ignorance of the truth or falsity of the information, or reckless disregard of the truth or falsity of the information.    

The statute does place certain restrictions on tax claims that do not apply to false claims, generally. Tax claims may be brought only against persons whose net income or sales in at least one contested year is $1 million or more, and only when the damages equal or exceed $350,000. In addition, the attorney general is instructed to consult with the Commissioner of Taxation and Finance before intervening in state tax-related false claims actions.   

In recent months, however, S.556 (Hoylman) was introduced to further expand New York’s FCA beyond reasonable limits. The legislation would allow the New York FCA to be used as a tool to recover unpaid tax obligations based on false claims made by certain individuals or businesses, without the statutory requirement that such false claims were made knowingly. The bill memo states that the FCA would become a tool by allowing claims “without needing to clear the evidentiary hurdle of proving that such false claims were made knowingly.” The legislation even applies retroactively.

UPDATE: Efforts to expand New York’s FCA, as envisioned in S.556 (Hoylman), are worrisome, considering that the basis for false claims acts is to root out fraud or willful misconduct. In fact, the federal FCA was signed into law over 150 years ago, in 1863, by President Lincoln to combat fraud stemming from Civil War defense contracts. The NYSSCPA fully appreciates the utilization of the federal FCA and corresponding states’ false claims acts in combatting fraud and recovering monies to the benefit of the government. However, there must be limits.

Efforts to penalize taxpayers whose noncompliance is not willful under the FCA cannot stand. If legislation such as S.556 (Hoylman) is ultimately enacted, well-intentioned taxpayers could be dragged by forced to defend themselves in expensive litigation or reach a settlement to avoid negative public exposure. In addition, the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance already has the legal authority to levy penalties on taxpayers whose noncompliance is not willful—substantial underpayment penalty, negligence penalty, and so forth.

Of importance to the NYSSCPA, the legislation would have a chilling effect on the profession in New York. CPAs have a duty to their clients. This duty dictates that all tax laws, regulations and guidance documents are to be adhered to at all times. There are, however, instances when gray areas arise, with regard to tax laws, regulations and guidance documents, and well-intentioned CPAs are required to take good-faith positions. Such private or government overreach would certainly have a detrimental impact on the profession and may result in many CPAs choosing another state to work in. At a time when New York’s economy is struggling, this is not the message we want to send to hardworking, New York-based CPAs.

As referenced above, this legislation was one of the NYSSCPA’s top priorities during our annual Lobby Day. The NYSSCPA Lobby Day participants met with both of the Assembly and Senate sponsors of S.556 (Hoylman) and expressed our concerns. This bill was halted in the Assembly and the Senate, and was not further pursued, largely due to the actions of the NYSSCPA.

In addition to the legislation above, the NYSSCPA recently authored a letter to the governor, urging a veto to S.4730 (Krueger)/A.2543 (Weinstein). The NYSSCPA urged the governor to alternatively recommend chapter amendments to achieve the legislation’s stated goals in a more narrowly tailored manner. The bill’s intention is aimed at filling a loophole in the New York FCA to ensure that individuals and businesses who knowingly fail to file tax returns are liable under the law.

The letter suggests that the governor and legislature reevaluate the term “obligation” in the bill’s text, due to its broad and vague language, and that it provides no explanation as to what it means in the context of the New York Tax Law. The letter also states significant concerns related to the retroactive nature of the legislation. The bill fails to allow sufficient time for due process, as it states an immediate effective date. Joanne S. Barry, former NYSSCPA Executive Director/CEO, states, “Filling this loophole is a noble purpose, but it cannot come at the expense of reasonable limitations and fundamental fairness.”  

Read the letter to the New York State Governor.

This bill was ultimately vetoed by the Governor.  

Non-CPA Ownership Legislation – A.4189 / S.2473 

ISSUE: New York state law prohibits non-CPA ownership of firms. New York and Hawaii are the only two states with this prohibition. As CPA client work becomes more complex, non-CPA professionals are increasingly vital to performing high-quality client work. IT professionals, policy experts, data analysts and others are reaching a professional ceiling due to the fact that firms are unable to offer any long-term incentive and growth opportunity. A non-CPA firm ownership option often results in the loss of these valued employees to neighboring states, where the opportunities they are looking for are available. Expanding opportunities for ownership in New York state will level the playing field, provide increased job opportunities and strengthen the economy.   

BACKGROUND: The NYSSCPA continues to play a supportive role in advocating non-CPA ownership in New York. The legislation passed in the Senate, but continues to stall in the Assembly’s Higher Education Committee.  

UPDATE: Gov. Hochul included Non-CPA Ownership in her 2022 Executive Budget proposal, and the Senate included it in their one-house budget resolution, but it was not included in the final enacted budget. 

Last session S.4221 (Stavisky) passed in the Senate, but A.2919C (Peoples-Stokes) failed to come out of the Assembly’s Higher Education Committee. The NYSSCPA continues to make strides in passing this law.    

This proposal has also been included in the Governor’s Executive Proposal for fiscal year 2023-24.  Budget negotiations are currently ongoing with an expected budget to be in place by April 1st. 

Power of Attorney E-Signature Expansion 

BACKGROUND: Although New York state recently passed its historic e-signature bill, the NYSSCPA is looking for an expansion that would allow documents to be signed electronically by someone holding Power of Attorney. 

UPDATE: A.182 (Magnarelli) / S.758 (Liu) was introduced in the 2023 legislative session. Legislation is currently in committee for the 2023 legislative session.

Financial Literacy in Schools 

BACKGROUND: In hopes of preparing students for adult financial responsibilities, the NYSSCPA is looking to put financial literacy back in the New York state public education system S.4860 (Comrie) / A.2298 (Jacobson) would amend the education law, in relation to requiring senior high schools to provide a required course in financial literacy as a condition of graduation. 

Pass-Through Entity Tax (PTET) 

The Pass-Through Entity Tax (PTET) has been one of our biggest legislative wins over the past five years. It has saved New York taxpayers large amounts of federal tax, at no cost to the state. 

As good as it has been, the Society believes that it still needs adjustment to resolve some of the issues that have arisen on a consistent basis. Most of the problems revolve around the fixed election date of March 15 of the taxable year in which the election would be effective. For example, if a partnership is formed on March 1, 2023, it can elect to pay PTET for the 2023 tax year. If it is formed on March 31, 2023, the first year in which it could elect PTET is 2024. Another example would be if there is a windfall gain in an entity after the March 15 election date, an entity cannot then elect in. 

Since the imposition of the tax is fiscally neutral to the state, there is no reason to have the fixed date within the first 2½ months of a tax year. We are urging the legislature to adopt a post year-end election date, while imposing an estimated tax requirement with penalties for underpayment of estimates for any year, regardless of the election date. 


CPE Reciprocity  

ISSUE: CPE (continuing professional education) reciprocity exempts CPAs who hold multiple state licenses from having to meet the individual CPE requirements of each state, so long as the licensee meets the CPE requirements of his or her home state. Because this exemption encourages uniformity while removing unnecessary burdens that do not play a role in protecting the public interest, the AICPA and NASBA (the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy) are encouraging state boards of accountancy to adopt this provision of the Uniform Accountancy Act (UAA) Model Rules.  

BACKGROUND: The implementation of individual CPA mobility has allowed many CPAs to give up the holding of multiple reciprocal licenses in various jurisdictions. However, in certain circumstances, a CPA may choose to continue to hold more than one license.  


  • A CPA may wish to hold a license in his or her original state of licensure, or because the CPA plans to return to that state at some point in the future.    

  • A CPA may work near a border and find it important to hold a license in his or her home state as well as in the state where the firm maintains a second office.    

  • Certain jurisdictions (outside the respective state boards of accountancy) require CPAs to have an active in-state license if they are performing certain types of attest work within a particular state.    

  • CPAs may opt to hold two or more licenses when they are assigned to a limited but multiyear engagement in another state but know that they will eventually return home (e.g., publicly traded companies require partner rotations every five years). 

For all of these reasons, the UAA Model Rules seek to provide reasonable accommodation in regard to multiple-license holders’ CPE requirements across state lines.   

According to UAA Model Rule 6-4, all CPAs are required to obtain 120 hours of CPE every three years as a condition of licensure renewal. These hours must include four hours of ethics-specific training and not less than 20 hours of CPE in any given year. However, a CPA is exempt from meeting multiple jurisdictional CPE requirements as long as the licensee meets the CPE requirements of his or her principal or home jurisdiction. Such a rule is a logical exemption, ensuring that CPAs are continuing their CPE, while also avoiding complex multistate compliance regimes.   

Unfortunately, not every state board of accountancy has adopted this provision. This can lead to some holders of multiple licenses having to meet multiple state CPE requirements.  


UAA Model Rule 6-5 (c)   

A nonresident licensee seeking renewal of a certificate in this state shall be deemed to have met the CPE requirement [including the requirements of Rule 6-4(a)] of this rule by meeting the CPE requirements for renewal of a certificate in the state in which the licensee’s principal place of business is located.   

(1) Nonresident applicants for renewal shall demonstrate compliance with the CPE renewal requirements of the state in which the licensee’s principal place of business is located by signing a statement to that effect on the renewal application of this state. (2) If a nonresident licensee’s principal place of business state has no CPE requirements for renewal of a certificate, the nonresident licensee must comply with all CPE requirements for renewal of a certificate in this state. 

UPDATE: The NYSSCPA continues to monitor the progress of CPE reciprocity. Due to growing concerns regarding inconsistent regulations across states, the NYSED (New York State Education Department) is not prepared to move forward with this legislation. 

CPA Evolution Model Curriculum  

BACKGROUND: Addressing the concerns of the New York State Board for Public Accountancy (NYSBPA) and its Education Committee’s programs to strategize licensure curriculum revisions. Concerns surround the following:  

  • Distinguishing Between Upper- and Lower-Division Courses for Licensure 

  • Community College’s Impact on the Pipeline 

  • Evolution and Survival of the Accounting Unit 


UPDATE: The Government Relations Team and members of the Future of Accounting Education Committee have been in continued conversations with the NYSBPA to address the above concerns. 



The Martin Act  

BACKGROUND: The NYSSCPA opposes New York state’s possible expansion of the Martin Act, which allows the state attorney general great leverage to fight financial fraud. The Senate and Assembly have proposed bills that would require the attorney general to investigate financial entities if a public pension fund trustee alleges that a practice is fraudulent under the Martin Act and allegedly caused damage to the fund that the trustee serves.   

UPDATE: The NYSSCPA opposes such legislation—existing law already grants greater authority to the attorney general than in any other state, and it would adversely affect the state’s business climate.   

Occupational Licensing  

An antiregulatory movement sweeping the country is calling into question the need for certification/licensing across occupations, directly threatening the value of the CPA license. Already, 39 states are considering some form of occupational licensing reform, adding to bills already passed.   

BACKGROUND: Research shows that from the 1960s to today, the number of jobs requiring a license exploded from 1 in 20 to 1 in 4. Such rules originally applied only to learned professions such as physicians, attorneys, architects and CPAs. (In fact, the first law regulating the accounting profession was introduced here in New York in 1896.) Today, however, these requirements have come to encompass such diverse jobs as hair braiders, auctioneers and home entertainment system installers. Currently, occupations and the learned professions are viewed the same.   

The AICPA and NASBA have formed a coalition with other licensed professionals called the Alliance for Responsible Professional Licensing, which aims to educate policymakers and the public on the importance of high standards, rigorous education and extensive experience within highly complex, technical professions that are relied upon to protect public safety and enhance the public trust. 

UPDATE: The NYSSCPA is monitoring the issue in New York.   

Tax on Professional Services  

A growing number of state legislatures are currently considering expanding sales tax to cover services, including professional services, such as accounting. While there is currently no proposal/legislation in New York, we continue to monitor this issue and stand ready to voice our opposition. If this issue does arise in New York state, the NYSSCPA will consider forming a coalition with the 50+ other professions in the state to push back against this bad public policy proposal. 

Board of Trustees to Administer the Accountants’ Fund – A.8201 (Abinanti) – this bill has not be reintroduced but we will continue to monitor. 

BACKGROUND: Last session the NYSSCPA was approached by former Assemblymember Thomas J. Abinanti for counsel and guidance on legislation that would establish an Accountants’ Fund for Client Protection of the State of New York, for the same purpose as the Lawyers’ Fund for Client Protection of the State of New York established in 1982—to provide reimbursement to accountant clients who lost money or property as a result of an accountant’s dishonest conduct in the practice of accountancy.  

UPDATE: The NYSSCPA will monitor the legislation this session to see if the bill is reintroduced and if so will work with the sponsor on any improvements to the author’s first draft, which include making a distinction between a CPA and an accountant. 


Tax Filing Extensions 

Due to the destruction of records caused by the disaster flooding from the remnants of Hurricane Ida, the IRS granted a time extension to file the federal tax returns, originally due on Oct. 15, 2021, to Jan. 3, 2022. Correspondingly, New York state granted the same time extension for state tax returns for the same reasons.   

Each year, however, the IRS is forced to shut down their e-filing system in November in order to program it for next year’s filings. They were not able to reopen that system until Jan. 24, 2022. Subsequently, they granted a further extension to Feb. 15, 2022, to the tax filing that was originally due Oct. 15, 2021. Only a few days before the deadline, the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance announced that there would not be a similar extension for the state tax filing, citing a 90-day limit for extensions within the state tax law. Without the e-filing system available, New Yorkers were required to use paper filings. In contrast, other similarly affected states, such as New Jersey and Pennsylvania, set a deadline that matched the federal extension or later.   

The requirement to file by paper, last minute announcements, and the early date of the New York state filing deadline created a great amount of confusion for New York taxpayers, who were already dealing with a difficult situation, recovering from the remnants of Ida. The sudden paper requirement, along with remote work due to the pandemic, caused many state returns to be filed late or incomplete, requiring amended returns.   

S.8398 (Senator Liu) / A.9461(Assembly Member Paulin) sought to prevent the above situation by authorizing the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance Commissioner to extend the state tax filing deadlines beyond the 90-day period if the federal tax deadlines have been extended. This bill passed unanimously in both the Senate and in Assembly in the final days of the legislative session. Gov. Hochul signed the bill into law on Thursday, July 21, 2022.   


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