Community News news February 2007

Tax

Florida Rep. Proposes Interest Exclusion

Representative Cliff Stearns (R-FL) introduced H.R. 228, a bill designed to encourage savings among low and middle-income taxpayers and by allowing the exclusion of $400 of interest income from gross income ($800 for joint filers). It also would save tax preparers the trouble of tracking down information on small amounts of interest earned. E@lert estimates that this bill is only marginally more likely to pass than another bill recently authored by Rep. Stearns that would require the Ten Commandments to be displayed at the U.S. Capitol.
Community News

E&Y Promotes Insurance Standardization

Ernst & Young believes the global insurance industry could capitalize on its successful introduction of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) by standardizing presentation and disclosure to improve the value of financial reporting. "Insurance companies have clearly made a big investment to comply with IFRS standards. Yet, due to complexity and scope of the reports, it is still difficult to understand relative performance," said James Dean, IFRS practice leader for Ernst & Young’s Global Insurance Center.
Tax

Kansas Looks to Cut Corporate Income Tax

The Kansas Legislature likely will include a cut in corporate income tax this session, but just how deep such a cut will be made remains uncertain, reports the Wichita Eagle.The House Taxation Committee is expected to receive two bills reducing the corporate income tax rate. Both houses of the Legislature and Gov.
Practice Management

Accounting for Employee Health

When Canadian employees at PricewaterhouseCoopers get sick, they can call up a new internal website that offers help and an unusual personal invitation -- to walk into the CEO's office and talk confidentially about their health challenges, reports The Globe and Mail.PwC is not alone in its desire to be recognized as a leader in building a wellness into its culture. Conference Board of Canada surveys reveal that health information and promotion programs are quickly becoming important components of human resource strategies.
Community News

Mass. Gov. Announces Property Tax Breaks

Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick unveiled a plan Thursday to give lower-income homeowners the same type of property tax breaks available to some senior citizens, in an attempt to fulfill a key campaign pledge, the Associated Press reports.Beginning in January, an estimated 100,000 families and individuals would be eligible for a state tax credit of up to $860 a year under the new program. The current average statewide property tax bill is $3,800 per household.“The bottom line is that people in Massachusetts have been paying more and getting less," said Patrick.
Tax

PwC Ordered To Pay $10 Million For Negligence

Big Four firm PricewaterhouseCoopers has been hit with a judgment for negligent misrepresentation in a case relating to the firm's involvement in the collapse of Boston-based The Mariner Health Group. The firm was fined $10,000,004 but was found not guilty of fraud and racketeering.The case stems from a 1995 sale of nursing facilities to the Mariner Group by two Georgia businessmen and brothers, Samuel B. Kellett and Stiles A. Kellett Jr., who took the bulk of their proceeds in shares of Mariner. PwC was Mariner's accounting firm.
A&A

E-mails As Evidence: Business Owners Face New Procedures

Changes in federal employment law may change the way you and your employees store e-mails and e-messages, but Business & Legal Reports reports that one of the key changes facing small business owners this year is not a change in law at all.The U.S. Supreme Court established a set of new procedures dealing with electronic messages that may be needed as evidence in trials. Why is the procedural change important to you? One look at your computer inbox, electronic communication has exploded in recent years, leaving the postal carrier feeling a bit lonely these days.
Practice Management

KPMG Tax Shelter Woes Continue

Big Four firm KPMG has received more setbacks in the firm's quest to clear its name of wrongdoing in the much-publicized tax shelter fraud scandal. Judge T. John Ward of the Federal District Court for the Eastern District of Texas ruled recently that Blips, the name of one of the tax shelters created, marketed, and sold by KPMG and the subject of ongoing legislation against 16 former KPMG employees, is not a legitimate tax shelter.Blips stands for Bond-Linked Issue Premium Structure.
Community News

Wolters Kluwer Expands To India

Wolters Kluwer Tax, Accounting & Legal announced the opening of an office in India for its CCH tax and accounting and legal business. CCH will operate through Wolters Kluwer's wholly owned subsidiary in India. The office in New Delhi will have editorial, sales, marketing and customer support teams, supported by other resources in Asia Pacific. In addition to developing print and electronic content, CCH in India will run customized training seminars for professionals in the tax, accounting, legal and human resources fields.
Community News

IFAC Seeks 2008 Board & Committee Nominations

The International Federation of Accountants (IFAC), the global organization for the accountancy profession, is seeking nominations for members of its boards and committees for 2008. IFAC member bodies, members of the Forum of Firms and, in some instances, members of the public may nominate candidates by April 15, 2007.
Tax

IRS Shuts Down Preparers Seeking Bogus Phone Refunds

IRS e-News reports that search warrants were carried out in seven cities this week by special agents from the Internal Revenue Service. According to affidavits filed in federal court, the IRS is seeking evidence from tax-preparation businesses suspected of preparing returns on behalf of clients requesting egregious amounts involving this year’s special telephone excise tax refund.IRS criminal investigators served search warrants at tax preparation businesses in Atlanta, Ga.; Dallas, Tyler and Athens, Texas; Riverside, Calif.; Miami, Fla.; and Baton Rouge, La.
Practice Management

J.H. Cohn Elects Four To Leadership Positions

J.H. Cohn LLP, the largest independent accounting and consulting firm in the Northeast, has announced the election of three partners and one principal to its senior leadership team. The Firm named Kimberly Brandley, CPA, Kelly O’Callaghan, CPA, and William D. Pidgeon, CPA, as partners, and Kelly Frank as a principal at the Firm.
Tax

DiCaprio To Star In Enron Movie

Oscar-nominated actor Leonardo DiCaprio will star and produce the story of Enron’s collapse according to Variety.Warner Bros. reportedly is finalizing the rights for “Conspiracy of Fools,” the book written by New York Times report Kurt Eichenwald.DiCaprio has been slotted to play a newcomer to the Houston-based energy company who exposes the greed and fraudulent accounting that plunged Enron into bankruptcy in 2001.
Tax

CalCPA Provides Pro Bono Tax Services For Military

Members of the California Society of CPAs (CalCPA) are offering free tax counseling services to military personnel and their families at National Guard armories throughout the state. CalCPA members, in cooperation with the California National Guard's Operation Ready Families Program, have scheduled tax counseling sessions at seven locations throughout California.“This is the second year that we have worked with CalCPA and their members,” said Monica Malmberg, state benevolence coordinator of the Operation Ready Families Program.
A&A

A Conversation With Allan Boress: It All Boils Down To Marketing

What are the biggest problems or concerns you have with your accounting practice?
Community News

Texas Proposal Requires Electric Tax Payments

A proposal filed in both the Texas House and Senate, would require a taxpayer who paid $10,000 or more during the preceding year in the category of payments described below to transfer payments in that category electronically.
Tax

School Bus Driver Allegedly Prepared Returns On Side

The United States has sued a St. Louis woman in federal court to permanently bar her from preparing federal income tax returns for others, the Justice Department announced today. The civil injunction suit against Yolanda White alleges that she prepared federal income tax returns for customers improperly claiming fabricated or exaggerated income tax deductions.According to the government complaint, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, White works as a school bus driver but also prepares fraudulent income tax returns for others.
Tax

Non-Profits Service Fund Software Launched

Kintera Inc. has unveiled its first software as a service fund accounting system for non-profits.Built on its social constituent relationship management platform, Kintera Sphere Fundware will allow non-profit and government organizations to track the flow of funds from end to end, integrating with business applications such as e-commerce, utility billing and management for grants and donors.“One of the things in the back of people’s minds is where is the money going,” said Harry Chiu, senior vice president of product management for Kintera.
Community News

New Mexico: Bill Requires Wage Report, Information Return E-filing

A bill – NM SB 344 – requiring businesses with more than 50 employees to file all employee information returns electronically was referred to the New Mexico Senate Corporations and Transportation Committee.The bill also would require businesses with more than 50 employees to file quarterly wage reports electronically. Penalties for failure to file electronic wage reports would be $500 for businesses with between 50 and 250 employees, and $1,000 for businesses with more than 250 employees.
AccountingWEB Life

Legacy Assurance Financial Joins BKR Group

BKR Cornwell Jackson Group is pleased to announce the addition of Legacy Assurance Financial Group, L.P. to the BKR Group of companies.Legacy Assurance Financial Group, L.P. focuses on wealth management and business succession solutions designed specifically for entrepreneurs and closely held businesses owners. The managing director of this new division is Robert D. White, a chartered Financial Consultant and 19-year veteran in the financial services profession.

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