Though it might be considered by some to be an inconvenience, the ability of the law to change is actually an intelligent part of the design of any legal system. The best laws are those that can be easily changed or amended to respond to new circumstances or concerns, benefiting a large number of people in the process. Some laws change more than others, though, with nine laws seeing the most frequent revisions of all.
1. Personal Tax Laws
It seems that almost every new tax year brings hundreds of changes to personal tax law, issued by the government in an effort to boost revenue, help the economy, and benefit taxpayers in some unique way. If there’s one change to count on each year, it is certainly personal tax laws and guidelines.
2. Corporate Tax Laws
Like personal tax laws, corporate tax policy is an area of frequent change at both the state level and in Washington, DC. That’s largely because lawmakers are always looking for the right combination of company incentives and revenue-boosting regulations that benefit state and federal budgets.
3. Immigration Policy
In recent times, immigration policy has moved swiftly into an area of frequent change. Whether it’s the debate over a path to citizenship or the financial and personal obligations that new arrivals must follow, this is an area that has frequently adapted to the country’s needs over the past two centuries.
4. Corporate Finance Regulations
From financial reporting regulations to offshore tax policies and more, the government’s interest in regulating corporate behavior tends to wax and wane over time. That means accountants, legal professionals, and executives, must all be aware of the ongoing changes and new ways of doing business. Otherwise, they risk heavy fines and government penalties.
5. Marriage Law
Marriage equality legislation is changing the way people do their taxes and report their finances on a state-by-state basis, and it’s a process that looks to continue apace without sweeping, federal guidelines anytime soon.
6. Distracted Driving Laws
It began with banning in-car phone calls, but distracted driving laws now cover everything from adjusting the stereo to sending a text message or holding a phone up to the ear. These laws change as new public safety concerns arise, and their frequent modification is certain to continue in a high-tech world.
7. Health Insurance Requirements
Corporate and individual health insurance mandates, as well as other requirements for this key benefit, have changed a lot in recent years. Though the pace of change may slow down after the Affordable Care Act’s full implementation in 2014, occasional modifications to this law are bound to be part of corporate and private life.
8. Consumer Finance Regulations
The newly created Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is modifying everything from credit card terms to the availability of some investment mechanisms. Fast-paced changes are about to become the norm for this industry, which will be both a benefit and a burden for those in the accounting and legal professions.
9. Bankruptcy Laws
The nature of bankruptcy has changed over time, including the addition of “financial restructuring” options and more. As personal and corporate finance continue to evolve, so, too, will bankruptcy and its legal jargon.
To Keep Apace, Pursue Continuing Education on Fiscal and Federal Policy
Continuing education courses offer a great way to stay abreast of new government laws, regulations, and other changes that occur on a state or local level. These courses are both affordable and essential, with many professions requiring their professionals to seek continuing education as a way to reduce the risk of broken laws, stiff penalties, and customer frustrations.