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Washington D.C. CPA appointed to ed board of The Value Examiner

Duff & Phelps is pleased to announce that Bruce Dubinsky, Managing Director in our Dispute and Legal Management Consulting practice and leader of our Washington, D.C. Metro office, has been appointed to the Editorial Board of The Value Examiner.

Opinion: Caution - Choice can be hazardous to your financial health

Want to feel young again? There’s nothing that will make you feel like a child faster than being treated like one. But it’s not your old Uncle Fred who wants to limit your choice of ice cream cones to shades of vanilla. It’s Uncle Fed, and he wants to narrow your financial options so you don't stumble into fiscal difficulty.
Education & Careers

AICPA announces 2008 Elijah Watt Sells awards

The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants has announced winners of the 2008 Elijah Watt Sells Awards.
Tax

IRS adjusts focus to hedge fund investors

The Internal Revenue’s focus on income from foreign bank and financial accounts could turn to investors in hedge funds with foreign domiciles.
Tax

Tax options in health care reform debate

Funding health care reform, which will probably carry a $1 trillion price tag, will involve both cost saving measures and tax increases.

Bullying in the workplace is an international issue

If you thought you left bullying behind along with jump ropes and gym uniforms, think again. The Workplace Bullying Institute, yes there is such a thing, reported last year that 37 percent of the U.S workforce or 54 million employees are being bullied now or have been bullied at the workplace at some point during their careers.

Rescue bill extends tax breaks, expands energy credits, and more

Tax provisions attached to the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008, and signed into law by President Bush on October 3 will result in over 290 changes to the Internal Revenue Code, according to a CCH Tax Briefing. In addition to extending a long list of tax breaks for individuals and businesses, the bill contains provisions directly related to the financial bailout and extends and expands energy credits.

Churches vs. the IRS: Showdown on Pulpit Freedom Sunday

Last Sunday, parishioners in churches across the country may have been wondering if their hymns would be replaced by the theme song from "The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly," as their pastors pushed for an IRS showdown. They called it Pulpit Freedom Sunday. Backed by the Arizona-based Alliance Defense Fund, 33 pastors in 22 states deliberately violated the IRS regulation that says churches and other not-for-profits cannot substantially participate in politics by endorsing or opposing a candidate.

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.

Under new management: Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae

A lot of people saw it coming... and wondered why the powers that be at Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae didn't. Between the two finance companies, they hold or guarantee about 50 percent of mortgage debt in the United States, worth around $5 trillion. On Sunday, September 7th, the government seized control of both companies in an effort to stabilize them, and more importantly, to protect homeowners whose mortgages are owned by them.

Court rejects challenge to constitutionality of PCAOB

On Friday, the U.S. Appeals Court for the District of Columbia Circuit in a vote of 2-1 upheld the constitutionality of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB). The Board was created five years ago by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), responding to a mandate in the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002. The Court rejected the claim by Beckstead & Watts LLP, a Nevada accounting firm, and the Free Enterprise Fund in Free Enterprise Fund v. Public Company Accounting Oversight Board that the Board violates the separation of powers clause of the U.S. Constitution.

SEC introduces IDEA, XBRL successor to EDGAR database

Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Christopher Cox today unveiled the successor to the agency's 1980s-era EDGAR database, which will give investors far faster and easier access to key financial information about public companies and mutual funds.The new system is called IDEA, short for Interactive Data Electronic Applications. Based on a completely new architecture being built from the ground up, it will at first supplement and then eventually replace the EDGAR system.

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.

Lenders shutting the door to home equity lines of credit

Your home equity line of credit may no longer be the safety net you've grown accustomed to, whether you use it for large-scale home renovations or as an emergency fund when unexpected expenses pop up.Lenders are putting on the brakes - cutting off existing home equity lines of credit and limiting new lines. The Wall Street Journal reports major lenders, including Bank of America, Citibank, Countrywide Financial, Washington Mutual Bank, and USAA, have informed hundreds of thousands of customers that their lines of credit have been frozen this year.

Small business owners dissatisfied with Washington leaders

Small business owners are not pleased with the inaction of the federal government, according to a poll released last week by small business organization American Management Services. The poll was conducted by Suffolk University. Poll results showed that 63 percent of respondents said the federal government is "doing nothing" to help small businesses while 23 percent said it is doing "little." Over three-quarters of those polled, 78 percent, said this summer's economic stimulus checks did nothing to help their business.

DC accounting firm closes office for community service day

SC&H Group, LLC - one of the fastest-growing accounting and consulting firms in the nation - will host their 2nd Annual Day of Service on Friday, June 27, 2008.The SC&H Group offices in Sparks, MD and McLean, VA will be closing on this day so that all firm employees can work on various community improvement projects throughout the Baltimore and Washington, DC areas.

New estimates published on retiree savings needs for health care

The nonpartisan Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) has published a new, more comprehensive set of estimates of the amount of money individuals and couples will need to cover certain health care expenses in retirement.

KPMG teams with First Book to provide books for needy children

First Book, the award-winning nonprofit organization placing new books into the hands of children in need, announces the launch of a collaboration with KPMG LLP, the U.S. audit, tax and advisory firm.

CPA mobility legislation gains national momentum

Twenty-three states have approved laws to make it less burdensome for certified public accountants to represent clients across state lines.The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants is seeking enactment of similar laws in every state so that a national uniform mobility system will become a reality for CPAs, CPA firms, and the state boards of accountancy that regulate them.

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