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May 3, 2019

An average of 36 percent of the clients of 500 CPAs in New Jersey paid more in federal taxes in 2018, according to a survey conducted by the New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants (NJCPA). The higher tax bill for New Jersey filers came even though the massive revision of the federal tax code championed by President Donald Trump had been billed as the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.”

Taxes were indeed down for 44 percent of the accountants’ clients, and remained the same for 20 percent, according to the survey, which was conducted by the Roseland-based group after tax season ended in April.

Nearly 60 percent of the professionals said the tax law — which capped the deduction for state and local taxes — either “definitely” or “somewhat” increased the number of clients they would advise to leave the state.

“New Jersey is high-tax state, and our residents did not benefit nearly as much from the tax reform package as many other states,” said Ralph Albert Thomas, the group’s CEO and executive director. “We need to work together on both the federal and state levels to improve the tax inequities so that individuals and companies will stay in New Jersey and thrive.”

The survey also showed that dealing with the changes in the law had been rough on the accountants, too — 34 percent reported that preparation of 2018 returns had been the “worst tax season ever.”

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