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JANUARY 4, 2008
This Issue's News Theme: THE YEAR IN REVIEW
New SOX guidelines benefit small businesses: costs uncertain
The new standard for audits of public companies under section 404 of the Sarbanes Oxley Act, Accounting Standard No. 5, released by the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board last month, should ease the burden of compliance for small businesses.

FIN 48 from different perspectives
Financial Accounting Standards Board Interpretation No. 48 (FIN 48), Accounting for Uncertainty in Income Taxes, is intended to substantially reduce uncertainty in accounting for income taxes.

Bonds' homer ball creates tax controversy
Even before San Francisco Giants slugger Barry Bonds hit his record-breaking 756th home run, the analysts were lining up, giving their opinions about how much the ball would be worth and how and when the value of the ball would be taxed.

They're back! IRS resurrects random audits
The Internal Revenue Service has announced plans to return to its practice of selecting random tax returns for audits this fall. Beginning in October, 2007 the Service will target approximately 50,000 income tax returns from 2006.

Supreme Court inaction could change nexus rules
The U.S. Supreme Court announced on Monday, June 25, 2007, it would not hear two cases that could have long-ranging effects on the nexus rules followed by state taxing authorities.

SEC releases taxonomy for GAAP financial reports
The Securities and Exchange Commission's Office of Interactive Disclosure is heralding the release for public comment of computer labels that will help companies make their financial disclosures more useful for investors.

Fair Isaac to close loophole and reduce FICO credit scores
There's a provision in the FICO credit scoring process that allows a person who is added as an authorized user on someone else's credit card to essentially piggyback that person's credit activity, thus possibly improving his or her own credit score. Correction. There was such a provision.

FAS 157: Auditors are ready to assign fair value to financial assets
When credit markets all but dried up as a result of the sub-prime mortgage crisis in the late summer, auditors of investment and commercial banks that elected to adopt Financial Accounting Standard 157, Fair Value Measurements, earlier than the effective date of November 15th were called upon to play a key role in determining the market value of mortgage-backed assets when few were being traded.
Congress closes child tax loophole
A new tax law signed by President bush further tightens the screws on wealthy parents who make gifts to a child in order to take advantage of a lower tax rate on children's investment income.

Bush signs AMT fix - millions saved from tax increase
On Wednesday, December 26, 2007, President Bush signed the House legislation that provides a one-year patch for the Alternative Minimum Tax, keeping an estimated 23 million taxpayers from an unexpected tax increase of approximately $2,000. The total amount the government is estimating it will not receive due to the patch is about $50 billion.
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Editor's Note

Accountants were presented with several pieces of major legislation and rules changes in 2007 - excellent fodder for continuing education classes and some good material for conversations around the office coffee pot as well. The articles chosen for this Year in Review news wire summarize the most notable events of 2007, from edge-of-the-seat last minute tax legislation that is expected to delay tax return processing this spring, to ground-breaking changes in financial reporting, to a bit of controversy over our national pastime. This is your chance to catch up on the year's events and refresh your memory on major changes. We can also take a moment to imagine what big stories will grace this report a year from now. The future is ours to write.

Gail Perry
Editor
editor@accountingweb.com


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