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Bill would phase out professional privilege tax

Staff Reports • Updated Mar 20, 2018 at 8:00 AM

NASHVILLE – State Rep. Susan Lynn recently sponsored an initiative to further reduce taxes on Tennessee’s workers. 

The bill, currently before members of the House Finance, Ways and Means Subcommittee, rolls back the professional privilege tax in a five-year period, reducing it by $80 annually until 2022 when the tax is completely phased out.

According to the Tennessee Department of Revenue, the professional privilege tax is applicable to those licensed or registered to practice in 22 different professions. They range from accountants, dentists and physicians to audiologists, speech pathologists and veterinarians.

 Those registered or licensed to practice in one of the professions are required to pay a $400 annual tax. This fee applies to all professionals in the fields, regardless of whether they work as needed, part-time or full-time.

According to the DOR, 225,000 Tennesseans pay about $90 million annually in professional privilege taxes. The tax is due June 1 each year and it is paid for the following 12 months.

Lynn said the bill is another step to further reduce taxes on Tennesseans, and the bill is the latest way she wants to ease tax burdens on men, women and families.

“The professional privilege tax unfairly and unnecessarily penalizes our citizens whose profession occupations fall into one of these categories and require a license,” said Lynn. “No other state in our entire nation has a similar tax, and it is time for Tennessee to take action to end this inequity. I am committed to supporting the ambitions and dreams of our industrious Tennesseans by eliminating this oppressive occupational tax in the weeks ahead.”

Since 2011, the state House has cut more than $800 million in taxes, including a 30-percent cut on groceries. It also phased out the inheritance tax, eliminated the gift tax and raised the exemption level on the Hall tax while scheduling it to be completely phased out in the next two years.

Lynn serves as the chairman of the House Consumer and Human Resources Subcommittee. She is also a member of the House Consumer and Human Resources, House Finance Ways and Means and House Ethics Committee, as well as the Joint Fiscal Review Committee. She lives in Mt. Juliet and represents House District 57 in Wilson County.

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