Tax news April 2006

Tax

Lawmakers Calling for Windfall Profits Tax on Oil Companies

With gas prices at the pumps averaging $3 a gallon around the country, lawmakers in state capitols and Washington, are questioning high profits in the oil industry and are considering imposing windfall profits taxes on oil companies.
Education & Careers

Just for Laughs, Student Poet Wins Laugh Factory Contest

Earlier this month, New York’s Laugh Factory offered a reward for the Funniest IRS Story. Last week, a poem by Michelle Yeterian, a student at Fordham University, was declared the winner.“I wrote a poem and submitted it because I didn’t have the courage to deliver it on stage,” Yeterian told AccountingWEB.
Tax

IRS User Fees Increasing for Employee Plans & Exempt Organizations

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has announced increases in selected user fees – including fees for letter rulings and determination letters for Employee Plans (EP) and Exempt Organizations (EO) for 2006.
A&A

Bookkeepers Saving Employers From Fraud

“Small businesses don’t have the Security Department enjoyed by large corporations, so if the bookkeeper doesn’t spot the fraud, the business takes a hit,” explained Steve Sahlein, co-president of the American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers (AIPB) in a prepared statement. In fact, many small firms are simply swept under by the $50 billion in check fraud and $1 billion in credit card fraud that occur annually.
Tax

Skilling Cross Examination Ends with Challenge, Denial

On Wednesday, the final day of cross examination in the trial of Enron’s former CEO Jeffrey Skilling, for conspiracy and insider trading, Federal prosecutor Sean Berkowitz surprised the Houston court when he suggested Skilling had lied about the reasons he resigned as Enron’s CEO in August 2001, the New York Times reports. Berkowitz asked Skilling whether he had told a friend, Dick Foster, in October 2001, that he was considering a chief executive position at Lucent Technologies.
Tax

Accounting For Earth Day 2006

It has been 36 years since the first observation of Earth Day in 1970. We did not help ourselves environmentally very well before that time. Industrial and municipal wastes were not handled or disposed of properly, according to the Hawaii Reporter. The Cuyahoga River, running through Cleveland, burned in 1969.
Tax

Skimming the Most Common Way to Commit Fraud

Embezzling money from the employer is a temptation too strong for some to resist.The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE), a professional association of 30,000 anti-fraud specialists, puts a high cost on occupational fraud and abuse.
Tax

Current Tax Code Called ‘Incomprehensible’

In a prepared statement concerning statements made by the current Treasury Secretary before a U.S. Senate subcommittee, Dr. Lawrence A.
Tax

It’s Tax Day: Take the Afternoon Off!

That’s what management is telling staff at Rachlin Cohen & Holtz, Florida’s largest accounting firm. Over the firm’s 51 year history, they have created a culture of year –round tax planning that allows the firm to close the office at 3:00 p.m. today, rather than burning the midnight oil.“The concept of April 15 is only important if you haven’t preplanned,” Rachlin Cohen & Holtz’ Managing Partner Larry Blum told AccountingWEB.
Practice Management

Mark Your Calendar: AICPA Small Business Practitioners’ Tax Forum

Developed by practitioners for practitioners, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants’ (AICPA’s) Small Business Practitioner’s Tax Forum offers proven strategies and answers helping firms distinguish themselves in the highly competitive small business marketplace.
Technology

E-Filing Sets Record, IRS Urges Taxpayers to E-File for Extensions

As of Thursday, April 13, a record 17,629,832 returns have been e-filed, according to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). That’s a 15 percent increase over the previous years, with two business days yet to go. “We are seeing the greatest growth for e-file among those filing from a home computer,” said IRS Commissioner Mark W. Everson in a prepared statement. “We have already surpassed last year’s total, and people can e-file, with an extension, until Oct.
Tax

Internal Auditing Gaining in Popularity

With internal auditors taking a more prominent role in U.S. companies, the popularity of the field is surging."Our membership has more than doubled in the last 10 years," said Trish Harris, director of communications for The Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA).
Tax

Refund-Anticipation Loans Under Fire

Widely advertised and promoted by U.S. tax preparation companies, refund-anticipation loans are a $1.6 billion market in this country. Jackson Hewitt has seen their latest quarter, ended January 31, beat their quarter revenue estimates. The Asbury Park Press reports that their Money Now loan program has helped the price of its shares swell by more 8.8 percent in a year.
Tax

Former Ernst & Young Clients Sue Over Tax Shelters

A Florida couple has sued their former accountants for selling them tax shelters that were rejected by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).The suit contends that Ernst & Young defrauded Rocco and Mary Abessinio and other wealthy taxpayers, out of $5.9 million in fees for the bogus tax shelters, Reuters reported.
Tax

Hybrid Vehicles Certified for the New Energy Tax Credit

Last Friday, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced tax credit amounts for certain hybrid vehicles manufactured by Ford, Mercury, Toyota and Lexus.
Tax

Intuit Sues H&R Block for Copying TV Ads; Experts Explore Legal Protection for Online Content

Intuit Inc. sued H&R Block for copyright infringement, on Monday, in San Jose, Calif., charging that the tax preparation company has aired television commercials that copy commercials for Intuit’s TurboTax software.
Tax

Top Ten Most Unusual U.S. Sales Tax Laws for 2006

After reviewing the latest tax laws from across the nation, First Data Corporation and www.taxware.com Taxware’s team of domestic and international tax experts has compiled a list of the ten craziest sales and use tax laws in America for 2006. They are:10. West Virginia, where American Independence is celebrated with a special tax on sparklers and other novelties, in addition to the state’s regular 6 percent sales tax.9. Kentucky’s thoroughbred stud fees are subject to sales tax (that would be thoroughbred horses).
Tax

More Privacy or Less Under Proposed IRS Rules?

A privacy proposal by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has apparently angered consumer advocates, tax professionals and state governments.The IRS, in a hearing Tuesday, took comments on changes to new privacy proposals that would allow tax preparers, with the taxpayers' permission, to sell or disclose information included on their returns.Advertisement
Tax

58 Percent of Americans Caught in Compromising Tax Conversations

Fifty-eight percent of Americans have found themselves in compromising conversations in which family, friends or co-workers describe using, or planning to use, illegal or unethical tax strategies, according to a recent survey from VitalSmarts. One-quarter of those respondents who had been caught in such conversations said they weren’t sure what to say or feared the consequences of voicing their opinion.The top reasons given for avoiding taxing conversations include: None of my business – 38 percent I didn’t rea
Tax

AICPA Urges Pause in Section 7216 Regulatory Effort

The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) testified at an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) hearing on Tuesday, that regulatory process regarding proposed regulations under Internal Revenue section 7216, should be paused to allow for further discussion. The AICPA told the IRS that protection of tax return information should remain a top priority.

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