Bramwell's Lunch Beat: Happy Fed Day!

Fed decision day guide from tapering QE to employment thresholds
Aki Ito of Bloomberg broke down what to expect when the Federal Open Market Committee releases its statement today at 2:00 p.m. ET after a two-day meeting in Washington, DC. Ito noted the panel will also provide new economic forecasts, and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke will hold a news conference at 2:30 p.m.

Tax cuts, tax reform to resurface in 2014 statehouses
In an article published on December 18 by Stateline, the news service of the Pew Charitable Trusts, Stephen Fehr wrote that at least four governors will push to revamp their states’ tax systems in 2014.

“In recent weeks, governors in Kentucky, Nebraska, New York, and Oregon have said they intend to make significant changes to their state tax codes to make them fairer and to provide a more reliable source of long-term revenue to pay for services and programs,” Fehr noted. “The number could grow as other governors prepare their budget proposals for the coming fiscal year.”

For example, Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman will ask lawmakers to approve a tax package that would reduce or abolish the state income tax and raise sales taxes. Earlier this year, he took a similar proposal off the table after state lawmakers said they wanted more time to evaluate the plan, Fehr wrote.

IRS vendor owed $525 million in back taxes
Back in October, a report from the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) found that hundreds of IRS contractor employees owed $5.4 million in tax debts.

In a new report publicly released on December 17, TIGTA found that the IRS has been doing business with nearly 1,200 vendors that owe back taxes, including one unnamed contractor that owed a whopping $525 million, according to an Associated Press article.

Stephen Ohlemacher reported that 1,168 IRS vendors owed back taxes totaling $589 million as of July 2012, and only fifty of those vendors were in a payment plan to pay off their debt.

TIGTA is prohibited by law from revealing the name of any delinquent vendors, including the one that owed $525 million, the article noted. Most of the back taxes, including the largest amount, were delinquent for less than a year.

SEC sanctions total a record $3.4 billion in FY 2013
A record $3.4 billion in monetary sanctions were filed by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in fiscal year (FY) 2013, the Journal of Accountancy reported on December 17.

This year’s total was up 10 percent over FY 2012 and 22 percent higher than in FY 2011, when the SEC filed the most enforcement actions in agency history. The SEC filed 686 enforcement actions in FY 2013, which was less than the 734 enforcement actions in FY 2012 and the 735 in FY 2011. The SEC’s fiscal year ends on September 30.

Ten Cloud computing predictions for 2014
Bernard Golden of CIO.com looked into his crystal ball and offered his ten predictions for the Cloud computing industry over the next twelve months. His list is broken into two sections: five end-user predictions and five vendor/Cloud provider prognostications.

“I do this because too many predictions focus on the vendor side of things,” he wrote. “From my perspective, the effect of Cloud computing on users is just as important and worthy of attention.”

IRS names new members of Electronic Tax Admin Advisory Committee
The IRS on December 17 selected three new members and a chairperson for its Electronic Tax Administration Advisory Committee (ETAAC), according to an article by CPA Practice Advisor.

The ETAAC provides an organized forum for discussion of electronic tax administration issues and supports the goal of increasing electronic transactions between tax professionals and the IRS, the article noted.

The new members are:

  • James Buttonow, CPA, vice president of product development for Beyond415 software products
  • Everard Lee Davenport, principal of Davenport Consulting
  • Troy Thibideau, executive vice president of marketing and client operations for Convey Compliance Systems Inc.

The new chairperson is Cyrus Daftary, partner with Burt, Staples & Maner LLP, who will serve for 2013-2014.

You may like these other stories...

Hertz withdraws full-year forecast, cites accounting review, challengesRental car company Hertz Global Holdings Inc. said on Tuesday it is withdrawing its full-year financial forecast and expects 2014 results to be “...
Treasury prepares options to address tax inversionsDamian Paletta of the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday that US Treasury Department officials are assembling a list of administrative options for Treasury Secretary...
Deloitte CEO Joe Echevarria to retire to pursue public serviceMichael Rapoport of the Wall Street Journal reported that Deloitte LLP CEO Joe Echevarria plans to retire later this month to pursue his interest in public...

Already a member? log in here.

Upcoming CPE Webinars

Aug 21
Meet budgets and client expectations using project management skills geared toward the unique challenges faced by CPAs. Kristen Rampe will share how knowing the keys to structuring and executing a successful project can make the difference between success and repeated failures.
Aug 26
This webcast will include discussions of recently issued, commonly-applicable Accounting Standards Updates for non-public, non-governmental entities.
Aug 28
Excel spreadsheets are often akin to the American Wild West, where users can input anything they want into any worksheet cell. Excel's Data Validation feature allows you to restrict user inputs to selected choices, but there are many nuances to the feature that often trip users up.
Sep 9
In this session we'll discuss the types of technologies and their uses in a small accounting firm office.