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Bench & Bar of Minnesota is the official publication of the Minnesota State Bar Association.

MSBA helps underwrite professional services tax study

The MSBA is contributing financially to an economic study of the impact a sales tax on professional services would have on Minnesota’s economy. The Minnesota Society of Certified Public Accountants is coordinating the study. 

The MSBA adopted its legislative position opposing a sales tax on professional services in 2000. Such a tax was seriously considered by the Minnesota Legislature in 2013, and there are signs that the tax may be reconsidered in the future. 

The MSBA opposes the tax because it would put Minnesota lawyers at a competitive disadvantage in the national and global economy. Such a tax is also regressive, putting a burden on people of lower income who have less ability to pay, especially during times that they experience vulnerability in their lives. Taxing legal services could push citizens to either forego their legal rights or attempt to represent themselves in the complex legal system, often to their disadvantage. Problems stemming from a lack of counsel, in turn, place further strain on overburdened courts.

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