A “practice privilege” requirement introduced in Illinois -- which would have required out-of-state CPAs to register with a state agency -- appears on the verge of meeting a fate close to a similar proposal in California. That fate being, in this case, compromise. Both the Illinois CPA Society and the American Institute of CPAs had objected to the new registration requirement -- with the society requesting a delay to the law’s Oct. 1 effective date and the institute voicing its concerns over the “onerous” stipulation in a Sept. 28 letter to Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich. Contained in a broader piece of legislation that made changes to the regulation and licensing of CPAs in the state, the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation would have required CPAs from other states to apply for temporary practice privilege or obtain full licensure as a CPA in the state of Illinois, regardless of whether the CPA or client ever entered the state. According to the AICPA, thousands of CPAs from across the country could have been impacted. On Sept. 29, the Illinois regulation department filed an emergency amendment, which read that out-of-state accountants would not have to follow the new requirement, “So long as the individual CPA is temporarily practicing in this state incidental to practice in another state and does not solicit Illinois clients nor have a physical presence in Illinois.” After much debate, a requirement that would have required out-of-state CPAs doing business in California to register with the state’s Board of Accountancy never made it out of committee this past June. Several taxpayer groups said that not requiring the registration could make it easier for accounting firms to market improper tax shelters without proper oversight. Proponents of the bill, including the state Board of Accountancy and the California CPA Society, said that their intention was merely to eliminate unnecessary red tape for neighboring accountants to provide basic services across state lines.
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