Tax Day Doings

How are you spending "Tax Day" today? In a nod to the Boston Tea Party protest of 1773, hundreds of Tax Day Tea Party protests were held today. As reported by Liz Robbins of the New York Times, in her article , Tax Day Is Met With Tea Parties, "773 Tax Day tea parties were scheduled in cities from Boston to Washington, East Hampton, N.Y., to Yakima, Wash., to protest government spending — namely the Obama administration’s $787 billion stimulus and $3 trillion budget. "

Robbins adds, "Although organizers insisted they had created a non-partisan grassroots movement, it was argued by others that these parties were more of the synthetic “Game Day Grass” variety, since the occasion was largely created by the clamor of cable news and fueled with the financial and political support of current and former Republican leaders."

Some of the tax day tea parties were relatively spontaneous (fueled by the advent of social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook), some very orchestrated, with most having a connection to online sites www.taxdayteaparty.com or www.teapartyday.com

The first site attributes the origin of today's tea parties as follows: "The Tea Party protests, in their current form, began in early 2009 when Rick Santelli, the On Air Editor for CNBC, set out on a rant to expose the bankrupt liberal agenda of the White House Administration and Congress. Specifically, the flawed “Stimulus Bill” and pork filled budget. During Rick’s rant... he called for a “Chicago tea Party” where advocates of the free-market system could join in a protest against out of control government spending." The second site highlights a button marked TEA: Taxed Enough Already.

On a more temperate level, FEI's Committee on Taxation files comment letters from time to time to share its views on tax and related economic policy issues by filing such letters with the administration, Congressional leadership, Treasury and the IRS. For further information about FEI's Committee on Taxation, contact Matt Miller, Senior Director, Government Affairs in FEI's Washington, DC office at mmiller@financialexecutives.org.

In other tax-related news, FASB met today to discuss its upcoming proposed guidance on applicability of FIN 48, Accounting for Uncertainty in Income Taxes, to private companies, particularly pass-through entities, and other types of pass-through entities. The board largely agreed with the staff's recommendations in today's board handout (with the exception of some changes to wording regarding consolidations) and expects to release draft guidance in April for a 30 day comment period, leading to expected release of the final guidance in June. Private companies are currently under a deferral of the effective date of FIN 48, however they must begin applying FIN 48 (if they did not voluntarily apply it already) at this year-end (specifically, as set forth under FSP FIN 48-3, in annual financial statements for fiscal years beginning on or after Dec. 15, 2008). Further details will be in FASB's Summary of Board Decisions. Public companies have already had to adopt FIN 48 a couple of years ago, an extension was only offered to private companies, in part to address the pass-through issues.

Here's another idea for something you can do to celebrate Tax Day, if you're in the New York City area, and you happen to be filing your return at the Main Post Office near Penn Station between 10pm and midnight (or if you already filed but would like to see what that scene is like with last minute tax filers), you can enjoy some entertainment by The Singing CPA (known in his day job as Steven Zelin, CPA). We noted last year that Zelin was featured on the front page of The Wall Street Journal, he is quite talented and a treat to listen to, whether you're stopping by to file your return or just to watch him perform.

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FEI Financial Reporting Blog provides highlights from SEC, PCAOB, FASB, IASB, and other regulatory news, including reporting under Sarbanes-Oxley Sect 404. It is written by Edith Orenstein, Director of Technical Policy Analysis at FEI

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