Craig D. Bell *
The 2010 General Assembly amended Virginia Code section 58.1-301, which mandates conformity of terms to the Internal Revenue Code, to advance Virginia?s fixed date of conformity from December 31, 2008 to January 22, 2010. Virginia continues, however, to disallow the federal bonus depreciation deductions except for any bonus depreciation allowed under I.R.C. § 168(n), which is designed to benefit qualified disaster assistance property and any five-year carryback of federal net operating loss deductions. The new date of conformity enables the state to adopt most of the provisions of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 for taxable year 2009, including the increase in the federal earned income tax credit, the itemized deduction for sales taxes on a new car, the equalization of transit and parking benefits, and the expensing of certain depreciable business assets.
* Partner, McGuireWoods L.L.P., Richmond, Virginia. LL.M. in Taxation, 1986, Marshall-Wythe School of Law, College of William & Mary; J.D., 1983, State University of New York at Buffalo; M.B.A., 1980, Syracuse University; B.S., 1979, Syracuse University. Mr. Bell practices primarily in the areas of state and local taxation, and civil and criminal tax litigation. He is a Fellow of the American College of Tax Counsel, a Fellow of the Virginia Law Foundation, a Barrister of the J. Edgar Murdock Inn of Court (U.S. Tax Court), an adjunct professor of tax law at the College of William & Mary School of Law, and a past chair of both the Tax and Military Law Sections of the Virginia State Bar and the Tax Section of the Virginia Bar Association. Mr. Bell is an Emeritus Director of The Community Tax Law Project, a nonprofit pro bono provider of tax law services for the working poor, and is its recipient of the Lifetime Pro Bono Achievement Award for his pro bono work in representing hundreds of Virginians before the IRS and in U.S. Tax Court and federal district court, as well as developing and training many lawyers in the area of federal tax law to expand pro bono tax representation for low income taxpayers.