State Legislature Votes to Repeal Professional Privilege Tax for CPAs effective May 31, 2020

May 1, 2019

The Tennessee General Assembly unanimously approved a state budget that will eliminate the professional privilege tax for CPAs after May 31, 2020. The budget will now go to the Governor for his signature, and TSCPA believes that it will be approved by Governor Lee.

For many years, the legislature has reviewed bills that would eliminate the privilege tax or lower it from the current $400 annually for CPAs with an active license. This year, the Senate took the lead in proposing in its budget last week that the privilege tax would be lowered by $100. However, after negotiations between the House and Senate, an agreement was struck which would eliminate the tax on all but five professions. Both the House and Senate have completed their work on the budget, and they have voted to eliminate the professional privilege tax on all but a few professions at a cost of $22 million. The proposed $38.5 billion state budget contains a $225 million deposit to the state’s Rainy Day Fund, bringing the fund’s reserve to $1.1 billion. 

The state legislature has adjourned the 2019 session, but TSCPA will continue to monitor legislative activity throughout the year. Nearly 2,000 new bills were introduced this year, and most of them will carry over to the 2020 legislative session until the 111th General Assembly adjourns next Spring. In addition to the successful repeal of the professional privilege tax for CPAs, TSCPA has successfully defended the CPA profession on several harmful bills that were introduced this session. Please help protect the CPA profession by renewing your TSCPA membership, and please consider including a contribution to the Tennessee CPA Political Action Committee. The CPA/PAC supports good government by contributing to qualified candidates for the state legislature who will listen to the profession’s views on important issues. Thanks!