New York news

Did Rangel the rulemaker wangle the rules?

The tax woes of New York Congressman, Charles B. Rangel (Democrat, 15th district) differ, depending on who does the telling. The IRS says he failed to report rental income of more than $75,000 over a period of 20 years. Rangel – the Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee* and chief tax-writer in Congress – says he didn't know that the money he received for the use of his luxury condo in the Dominican Republic was taxable income. And his attorney says Rangel is just learning of all these errors. The facts of the case continue to roll out almost daily.

Lehman, AIG: Protections for investors are limited in financial storm

It is hard to imagine large numbers of Americans glued to their computers and televisions all day following events in the financial markets, but as most see the value of their homes and their retirement assets shrinking rapidly, people are focused on the problems of Wall Street -- on Lehman Brothers, AIG, and Merrill Lynch -- which threaten to overwhelm the news cycle even in an election year.

Morningstar ranks the best and worst 529 plans this year

Morningstar, the global investment research firm has published its annual list of the best and worst 529 plans – when it comes to earning long-term returns for college savers – and the overall opinion smacks of optimism. Some of the worst plans from years past have folded up and gone away, while others continually strive to improve. Here are the criteria that separate the best plans from the worst: Flexibility. As Morningstar points out, no savings plan is one-size-fits-all.

Sales tax holidays: Love them or hate them?

More than a dozen states and the District of Columbia have sales tax holidays that last at least a couple of days each year, some last much longer. Usually the holiday coincides with back-to-school time to give parents a break on outfitting their kids with necessities. What consumers can buy during the sales tax holidays varies by state, but generally includes clothing, shoes, classroom supplies, and computers, often with a dollar limit. Another popular item that pops up in sales tax holidays is energy efficient appliances for the home.
Education & Careers

Group interview technique becoming popular at more hiring levels

Job candidates accustomed to preparing for one-on-one interviews with staff and managers may soon find themselves confronted with the "panel interview," especially when the hiring firm is looking for people who work well in a group setting. The group interview is the ultimate stress test and some prospects get no warning before they have to interview with several individuals at the same time, The Wall Street Journal reports, so job seekers should get ready for this type of interview as part of their search preparation.

Online giant Amazon facing growing tax woes

The tax hurdles Amazon is experiencing in New York are spreading to other states. For the past few months, the online giant has been challenging the constitutionality of a new law in New York requiring online retailers, or e-tailers, to collect and pay taxes on sales made to New Yorkers even if they have no concrete, physical presence in the state. Federal law dictates that states cannot collect sales taxes from a company without a brick and mortar presence.But new troubles may be brewing.

Debit cards are new option for Social Security recipients

People who receive Social Security can now get their monthly payments on a prepaid debit card, a new alternative to checks or direct deposit. The U.S. Treasury is offering the Direct Express Debit MasterCard card as a safe, convenient way to receive money, according to wickedlocal.com.

Business travelers starting to demand green lodging

While some hotels are savvy enough to promote their environmental practices, most are not doing enough to satisfy business travelers who are increasingly demanding green accommodations.More than a third "seek out hotels that are environmentally friendly," according to a new survey of 1,155 business travelers commissioned by Big Four firm Deloitte.

Overstock drops Web affiliates in fallout over NY sales tax law

On the heels of Amazon.com suing the State of New York over a new tax law aimed at online retailers, Overstock.com has cut its ties with New York affiliates, saying it will no longer do business with Web site owners in the state who get commissions for referring customers to its site.

Six defendants found guilty in Chicago tax fraud trial

Six defendants were convicted Monday after participating in a nationwide tax scheme that enabled 650 wealthy taxpayers to cheat the government out of $60 million.Michael Vallone of Orland Park, IL, Edward Bartoli of Clearwater, FL, Robert Hopper of Gadsden, AL, Timothy Dunn of Chesterton, IN, William Cover of Naperville, IL, and Michael Dowd of Glenview, IL were convicted of tax-fraud conspiracy and other charges after the 11-week trial in U.S.

AICPA applauds House passage of tax provision essential to CPAs

The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill that includes a provision the accounting profession and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants have supported that would equalize the tax return reporting standards for tax preparers and taxpayers."Today's action by the House is a significant step forward in our fight to solve a critical problem for CPAs nationwide," said Barry C. Melancon, president and chief executive officer of the AICPA.

Amazon cries foul: e-tailer sues New York State over sales tax law

The online giant Amazon.com Inc. has filed a complaint with the Supreme Court of the State of New York saying it is unconstitutional to require e-tailers based outside of New York to collect the state's sales and uses taxes.Amazon, which is based in Seattle, filed the complaint on Friday against the new law, which has been coined the Amazon tax since it was passed last month.

SEC foils Craig's List identity theft scammers

The Securities and Exchange Commission took action last week to stop a sophisticated Internet scheme that stole the identities of unsuspecting individuals and netted more than $66,000 in illicit profits in just seven weeks.In a complaint filed in the U.S.

AICPA applauds House action on tax provisions

The U.S. House of Representatives has passed two provisions that the accounting profession has strongly urged Congress to adopt. One provision would restore the proper relationship between tax preparers and taxpayers by equalizing IRS disclosure standards. The other provision would free businesses from onerous recordkeeping requirements for cell phones. The provisions are included in H.R. 5719, the "Taxpayer Assistance and Simplification Act of 2008," passed by the House on April 15.

Resource Guide - Issue 183

Brought To You By: Accounting Department Templates from PolicySoftTHIS WEEK'S RESOURCES"Greenspan Calls for Simpler Tax CodeAre You or Your Clients Eligible For These Tax Credits?CEO Skill, Excessive Pay: A Breakdown in Corporate Governance?IRS Announces the 2005 Dirty Dozen Tax ScamsCredit Report Offers...Are They Really Free?

Resource Guide - Issue 180

Brought To You By: The Guide to Paperless CPA Firm AdministrationThe Professional Services Firm Marketing CD SystemTHIS WEEK'S RESOURCESNew Report Highlights KPMG's Tax Shelters Tax Law Changes for Individuals"America Counts on CPAs" - New Tagline for the ProfessionCertain Tax Retur

News Wrap-Up - Issue 281

This News Wrap-Up Brought To You By:PricewaterhouseCoopers' ComperioThe Guide to Paperless CPA Firm Administration THIS WEEK'S NEWSBush Budget Plan Calls for Permanent Tax CutsAICPA Committee Adopts Nonattest Services Changes WA State Nixes Estate Tax, Refunds of $152M in the WorksTax Profession

News Wrap-Up - Issue 279

This News Wrap-Up Brought To You By:First Research's Industry ProfilesThe 2005 Tax CalendarTHIS WEEK'S NEWSJudge Rules BDO Arbitration Clauses UnenforceableFinal Regs.

Resource Guide - Issue 176

Brought To You By: Industry Profiles From First ResearchThe AccountingWEB 2005 Tax CalendarTHIS WEEK'S RESOURCESAchieving a Paperless Office In 2005Business Process Mgt.

News Wrap-Up - Issue 277

This News Wrap-Up Brought To You By:PricewaterhouseCoopers' Comperio Trial Offer The AccountingWEB 2005 Tax Tips and Tax CalendarTHIS WEEK'S NEWSSupreme Court to Hear Appeal of Andersen ConvictionReport Highlights Problems, Solutions to the Complex Tax CodeC

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