In ongoing efforts to repeal the state’s annual $400 professional privilege tax, members of the General Assembly announced that physicians (MDs and DOs) would be the sole profession exempted from the tax beginning next fiscal year. That means the repeal is set to take effect in the 2022-23 fiscal year, starting on July 1, 2022. Physicians will still be responsible for paying the professional privilege tax this fiscal year, due June 1, 2022.
The long-awaited exclusion comes as a much-needed reprieve following a grueling two years of the Covid-19 pandemic and high levels of physician burnout. Mindful of these burdens, lawmakers agreed to eliminate the tax requirement as a show of appreciation toward the medical community for its efforts to protect Tennesseans during unprecedented times.
The elimination of physicians from the $400 annual tax accounts for nearly $10 million in lost revenue for the state, but it signifies the legislature’s commitment to returning excess revenues to taxpayers in times of budget surpluses. TMA is appreciative of this commitment and the ongoing work of lawmakers to deliver further tax relief to Tennessee physicians.
As part of the “No Taxation on My Occupation” coalition, TMA and Memphis Medical Society worked with multiple professional associations and stakeholders for several years to advocate for the total elimination of the tax. TMA is hopeful that legislators will continue to phase out this discriminatory tax for the remaining six professions. Dozens of physicians from Memphis spent hours of their personal time meeting with legislators, attending local and state meetings, and making phone calls to area legislators. Their hard work has paid off.
The elimination of the tax for physicians has been a perennial priority for TMA’s legislative committee and advocacy team. The accomplishment would not have been possible without the support of TMA members across the state. The collective voice of organized medicine was impactful in persuading the legislature to reach this decision. TMA members are encouraged to voice support for this accomplishment by sharing the news and inviting physician colleagues to join our physician-led organization. Prospective members may join TMA at tnmed.org/join.