Administrative

Tax

Treasury Provides Guidance On Abusive 'SILO' Arrangements

The Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service on Monday issued guidance that designates "sale-in/lease-out" or "SILO" arrangements as abusive tax avoidance transactions. SILO arrangements are designed to exploit the tax law by shifting tax benefits from a tax‑indifferent party that cannot use them to a taxpayer that can. Taxpayers entering into SILO arrangements cannot claim tax benefits as the purported owners of property subject to the lease because they do not acquire tax ownership of the property.
Community News

'America Counts on CPAs' — New Tagline for the Profession

The AICPA has officially rolled out the new approved tagline that accompanies the CPA logo: "America Counts on CPAs." This tagline will be used exclusively with the CPA logo, making "Never Underestimate the Value" obsolete. Members should note that there will be a transition phase during which existing inventory (i.e., AICPA stationery, brochures, etc.) that includes the old tagline will be used for cost efficiency purposes.
Community News

Tax Law Changes for Individuals

Taxpayers should make sure that they are aware of important changes to the tax law before they complete their 2004 federal income tax forms, advises the IRS. Here are the major changes that affect tax years beginning in 2004:Additional Child Tax CreditTaxpayers with a credit amount more than their tax could get a refund of the difference, up to 15 percent of the amount by which their 2004 taxable earned income exceeds $10,750.
Community News

The Evolution of Accounting – Part 1

By Charles F. Benton, CPA, CEOStephen Hawking, when asked how he could still work with complex mathematical equations while confined to his immobile body, responded that numbers were nothing more than a way to portray reality. Since he no longer had the ability to physically work with numbers and equations, he must rely on his ability to mentally work with them—in other words, to think in reality.We accountants use numbers to portray the reality of an entity in financial terms. The portrayal to some is not understandable.

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Education & Careers

Business Growth Continues to Fuel Demand for Accountants

Chief financial officers (CFOs) surveyed for the Robert Half International Financial Hiring Index expect a net 5 percent increase in the hiring of accounting professionals in the first quarter of 2005, down one point from the previous quarter's forecast but three points above projections made this time last year. Nine percent of executives polled plan to add staff, and 4 percent anticipate reductions in personnel. Eighty-six percent of respondents foresee no change in staff levels. The national poll includes responses from 1,400 CFOs from a stratified random sample of U.S.
Tax

IRS, Treasury Issue Instructions for New Corporate Tax Return

The Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service last week released the final instructions for the Schedule M-3, Net Income (Loss) Reconciliation for Corporations with Total Assets of $10 Million or More. Schedule M-3 is to be used by certain corporate taxpayers filing Form 1120, U.S. Corporation Income Tax Return. Schedule M-3 is effective for any taxable year ending on or after December 31, 2004. In general, Schedule M-3 must be filed by a corporation required to file Form 1120, U.S.
Community News

Local, Regional Firms Report Revenue and Practice Growth

Local and regional firms across the U.S. reported revenue growth, salary increases and expansion of core service offerings in 2004 and feel optimistic heading into 2005, according to this year’s PCPS/Texas Society of CPAs (TSPCA) National Management of Accounting Practice (MAP) Survey. Thirty-two percent of the 2,373 local and regional firms surveyed this year experienced an increase in revenue of at least 10%, while 14% indicated an increase of greater than 20% in their most recent fiscal year.
Community News

American Express Ends 30-Year Relationship with E&Y, Hires PwC

American Express has announced it will end its 30-year relationship with its independent auditor Ernst & Young LLP next year, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Community News

California City in Distress, Files Suit Against Auditor

Wracked with debt and forced to sell off property to pay its employees, California's King City has filed suit against its former auditor, Moss, Levy & Hartzheim of Santa Maria, the Monterey Herald reported.
Tax

Consumers Now Have Access to Free Credit Reports, Enhanced Fraud Alerts

Starting December 1, 2004 consumers will begin to have more tools at their disposal to fight identity theft, protect against credit card fraud, and check-up on the health of their total credit picture under a new federal law. The Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2004 (FACT Act) was signed into law in December 2003 giving residents of the western part of the United States the right to a free copy of their credit report each year.
Tax

Louisiana Men Sued in '100 %Tax Freedom' Scam

The Justice Department announced this week that it has sued two Louisiana men in federal court, seeking to halt an alleged tax scam involving the preparation of fraudulent tax returns for customers. The lawsuit alleges that Richard A. Fuselier, Richard J.
Community News

Giuliani Creates New Firm, Buys Arm of E&Y

When he was a prosecutor in the 1980s, Rudy Giuliani was criticized as a publicity hound when he took on insider trading and securities fraud as key issues during his tenure as Manhattan's U.S. Attorney. Now Giuliani is getting into the investment banking business, the Associated Press reported.

SEC Grants Extension On Internal Controls Reporting

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Tuesday issued an exemptive order to grant certain accelerated filers up to an additional 45-days to include in their annual reports management’s report on internal control over financial reporting and the related auditor’s report on management’s assessment of internal control over financial reporting. Both internal control reports are required under Commission rules implementing Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002.
Community News

Jeopardy Champ Stumped by H&R Block Question; Block Seizes Marketing Opportunity

Jeopardy! champion Ken Jennings' $2.5 million winning streak came to an ironic end last night when he failed to answer his final question regarding . . . a tax preparation firm.

More Executives Saying 'No Thanks' to CFO Job

Some executives who long dreamt of seeing the title 'Chief Financial Officer' on their business cards are starting to wonder why they ever wanted the job in the first place. The CFO job, thanks to regulatory changes and a push for greater accountability in corporate America, has changed dramatically over the last few years. More scrutiny, more pressure, a huge workload and the stress that goes along with it are causing some professionals to leave the fancy title behind, the New York Times reported.E.

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A&A

Financial Counseling Critical Component of Retirement Planning

A new study conducted by Ernst & Young LLP and ExecuNet revealed that personalized financial counseling is critical to help employees effectively manage retirement planning. The survey of human resource and employee benefits professionals found that financial education alone is not enough to influence a change in employee behavior. Employers that added more personalized assistance and counseling programs to their financial education programs, such as telephone and in-person counseling, reported a significant increase in the involvement of participants in their retirement planning.
A&A

IRS Enforcing IRA Required Minimum Withdrawals

If you've hit your 70th birthday-or know someone who has-make sure you're taking the proper amount from your IRAs or risk a potential 50 percent tax on money that should have been withdrawn, the Wall Street Journal reported. The rules in question involve “required minimum distributions” from individual retirement accounts, which are required once the IRA's holder reaches the age of 70_. The amount that has to be withdrawn is based on life expectancy.

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