Tax news October 2006

Tax

International Economic Center, the OECD, Takes Aim at U.S. Tax Policy

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), signalled a growing interest in international tax with the publication of a draft of guidelines on tests that investment managers in the UK need to meet before profits from offshore hedge funds can remain outside of the UK’s taxing authority, hedgeweek.com reports.
Tax

Enrolled Agents Entering the 21st Century

More than 10,500 individuals have registered to take all or part of the new Special Enrollment Examination (SEE) during the session which began on October 5, 2006.
Tax

Social Security: A Perennial Election Issue

With just two weeks until the Nov. 7 congressional elections, President Bush called Social Security reform one of the “big items” he wants to tackle next year, sparking debate among politicians on both sides.Bush said that he believes “that a worker, at his or her option, ought to be allowed to put some of their own money . . . in a private savings account, an account that they call their own,” according to the Washington Post.Democrats jumped on the comment as a chance to remind voters that his reform ideas never made it to the legislative stage because they were so unpopular.
Tax

Spending Caps, Tax Measures on Ballot in Many States

After choosing their candidates on November 7, voters will check yes or no on ballot propositions that, along with more familiar bond issue proposals, would increase the minimum wage, support property rights, prohibit same sex marriage, and limit tax increases. While Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR) proposals that put caps on future spending have received national attention, proposals that will affect property taxes and increases in personal exemptions are much more popular this year.
Tax

Patents on Tax Ideas Trouble the IRS and Tax Attorneys

Since 1998, when a federal appeals court ruled that business methods could be patented, the U.S. Patent Office has issued patents to 49 tax strategies.
Tax

Grant Thornton LLP Fiscal 2006 Revenues Rise to $886 Million

Grant Thornton LLP, the U.S. member firm of Grant Thornton International, one of the six global accounting organizations, today reported that revenues climbed 22 percent, to $886 million in the fiscal year that ended July 31, 2006.
Tax

Dow Breaks 12,000 as Former NYSE Chairman has a Down Day

The Dow Jones Industrial Average broke 12,000, with a gain of 19 points last week. It was only a 0.2 percent gain, with help from Google’s big profit report and AT&T and Coca-Cola. The Dow lost 9.36 in Friday’s market to close at 12,002.37, according to CNBC. Former New York Stock Exchange Chairman Richard Grasso is also experiencing a decline. Reuters reports that New York Supreme Court Judge Charles Ramos wrote a 72-page decision concerning certain payments and interest Grasso received while at the NYSE. Reuters reports that Grasso must return some $100 million paid to him.
Tax

Appeals Arbitration Is Business-As-Usual at the IRS

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has announced that the Appeals Arbitration process, in which the IRS and the taxpayer agree to have a third party make a binding decision regarding factual issues, has become business as usual at the IRS.
Community News

Tax Preparers Going to Jail and Barred from Promoting Tax Fraud Scheme

In separate cases, tax preparers have been found guilty of promoting fraudulent tax schemes and filing fraudulent tax returns in an attempt to defraud the U.S. government of tax revenues legally owed to them. Some of the tax preparers will serve prison terms, while others will be barred from various activities related to the fraud they are accused or convicted of.“Dishonest tax professionals harm the good reputation of honest ones and cheat all honest taxpayers,” Eileen J.
Tax

East European Hackers Invade Online Brokerage Accounts

Using spyware loaded on public computers in internet cafes or hotels or attached to email messages to potential victims, hi-tech crooks, operating from remote locations, have been able to enter online brokerage accounts in the U.S. and either sell off the contents and take the proceeds or manipulate stock prices, according to regulators at the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Reuters reports.
Community News

Erasing Enron: Federal Judge Vacates Lay’s Conviction

On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Simeon T. Lake III, in Houston, vacated the convictions of late Enron Corp. founder Kenneth Lay.
Technology

New Resource for Freight Accounting Professionals

Financial Operations Network, a provider of financial and business resources, has created a new resource to help freight businesses increase efficiency, reduce costs and streamline their accounting processes by launching the Freight Accounting and Information Management Association (FAIMA).
Tax

Zuckerman Named Head of Employee Plans Rulings & Agreements

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has named Andres E. Zuckerman as the new Director of Rulings and Agreements in the Employee Plans division. Zuckerman will be responsible for developing and managing the IRS’s up-front compliance programs for Employee Plans, including the EP voluntary compliance programs, the determination letter program and the development of guidance and rulings.“We welcome Andy back to TE/GE,” Steven T. Miller, Tax Exempt and Government Entities (TE/GE) Commissioner, said in a statement announcing the appointment.
Tax

AICPA Comes Out Against Tax Preparation Cost Estimates

The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) is urging the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) not to include the tax preparer cost estimate in the 2006 Form 1040 instructions.
Tax

Avoid Using “Accounting Gimmicks”

Warren Buffett, the second richest man in America after Bill Gates, told his senior managers at Berkshire Hathaway Inc. in a memo published by FT.com, to resist the temptation to use “accounting gimmicks” to manipulate earnings, Bloomberg.com says. “Every time you hear the phrase ‘Everybody else is doing it’, it should raise a huge red flag,” Buffet wrote.
Tax

SOX Compliance Can Transform Payroll Management

Time tracking in today’s service businesses is central to understanding costs, to the billing process and tracking salary information or paid leave, all issues with important Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) implications, according to Curt Finch , writing for ecommercetimes.com. The Human Resource payroll professionals need to understand how their functions can lead to risk or greater profitability for the company as a whole.
Tax

The Best, and Worst, State Tax Climates for Business

When it comes to gaining or losing jobs, the Department of Labor (DoL) reports the most mass job relocations occur between U.S. states, rather than jobs moving out of the country entirely.
A&A

Mobile Security Market: Preparing for Dynamic Growth

A new study found that an increasing market for mobile security products, including anti-virus, virtual private networks (VPN), data and file encryption and mobile identity management applications, is expected to reach almost $5 billion, installed in 247 million phones by 2011. Juniper Research, specialists in providing quality analytical research reports and consultancy services to the telecom industry, gathered information from some of the fastest growing mobile security providers to gain insight into the current and future market.
Tax

New 2006 Special Enrollment Exam Unveiled

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced last week that the new version of the 2006 IRS Special Enrollment Examination (SEE) is ready. The exam, required for those desiring to become Enrolled Agents (EA), has been substantially revised, as has the testing process.The IRS worked with Thompson Prometric, a company specializing is assessment services, to develop the test and enhance the examination process.
A&A

Accounting Rules Allow “Spring-loading,” “Bullet-dodging” Option Grants

The government will not have any accounting basis for enforcement actions against companies for “spring-loading” or “bullet-dodging” stock option grants, according to Scott Taub, deputy chief accountant for the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC ). Taub spoke at a Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) advisory council meeting in New York on Tuesday, Reuters reports.

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