Government

Postal Service Legislation Attracting Controversy

Being able to compete is important to any business, especially to the Postal Service. Language in both Senate and House versions of a bill designed to overhaul the Postal Service includes changes to the accounting method used to price shipping products, according to GovExec.com. The recommendations in the Treasury report takes the Postal Service out the loop in determining its own rates and the Postal Service is seeking a more equal role.
Tax

Tax Breaks for Families in Canada’s New Budget

Canada’s new minority government presented its first federal budget last week with tax breaks for families that include a universal child care allowance and a reduction in the goods and services tax (GST) from 7 percent to 6 percent.
Community News

TaxWare's Charles Collins Discusses Internet Sales Tax

Charles Collins manages Taxware’s relationships with taxing authorities and legislative bodies and is a frequent speaker on state and local tax issues. He was employed by the North Carolina Department of Revenue for 32 years before coming to his current post, serving as the Director of the Sales and Use Tax Division for his last ten years there. While there, he also served as the Assistant Director of the Audit and Collection Division. Collins served as Co-Chairman of the Streamlined Sales Tax Project (SSTP) for two-and-a-half years.

Lockhart Moving to Mortgage Oversight Agency

Last week, our president named James B. Lockhart III to head up the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight (OFHEO). The Washington Post reports that he is initially coming on as acting director of the office that oversees Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in order to start his new job as soon as possible. MarketWatch reports that Lockhart was a fraternity brother of the president’s while attending Yale University.Reuters reports that Armando Falcon Jr. resigned from the post in May 2005 and Stephen A. Blumenthal has been the agency’s acting director.
Technology

Strange Bedfellows: Newt Gingrich and XBRL Software Community

At about the same time last week that Newt Gingrich, former speaker of the U.S.

Economy Has 1st Quarter Rebound

Recovering from a 1.7 percent increase in the gross domestic product (GDP) in the third quarter of 2003, the economy has registered a 4.8 increase in the GDP. The GDP measures the value of all goods and services produced within the US.

Legislative Panel Addresses Sarbanes-Oxley Issues and Solutions

On Thursday, the Free Enterprise Fund held the first-ever legislative panel to discuss reform of the Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) Act of 2002.
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.
A&A

Small Businesses Saved $6.6 Billion in 2006 Thanks to Advocacy

The Office of Advocacy of the Small Business Administration (SBA), the “small business watchdog” of the government, saved small businesses more than $6.6 billion during fiscal year 2005, according to a statement released last week.

Proposed GASB Document Intends to Improve Derivatives Accounting

The Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) voted unanimously this week to issue a Preliminary Views document that is intended to improve the accounting and financial reporting of derivatives by state and local governments. The New York Times reports that derivatives are increasing in popularity among local governments as a means of reducing their cost of borrowing. The governments enter into derivatives contracts at the same time they issue bonds, in what is known as interest rate swaps.
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

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.

Lawmakers Debate Ways to Ease Pain of Health-Care Costs

Measures aimed at lowering the cost of employee health care for small businesses have been introduced in the U.S. Senate.

Bill Requires Reporting Unfunded Federal Liabilities

With state and local governments scrambling to meet the Government Accounting Standards Board’s (GASB) amended rules for reporting on postretirement benefits, and private and public companies getting ready for compliance with the Financial Accounting Standards Board’s (FASB) proposed statement on recording pension liabilities, a congressman from Indiana has introduced legislation that would require the federal government to meet a similar standard. The Truth in Accounting Act, sponsored by Rep. Chris Chocola (R-Ind) and co-sponsored by Reps.
Community News

Immigrants a Big Part of Economic Engine

Immigration reform is being debated–and protested–across the country as the economy continues to chug along with the aid of millions of illegal immigrant workers.The latest economic figures show that business activity in the services sector was up in March. The Institute for Supply Management's services index rose to 60.5 in March, from 60.1 in February, as new orders improved and prices paid dropped, Reuters reported.
A&A

U.S. Postal Service Is Doing Something Right

The U.S. Postal Service Accounting Help desk in St. Louis, Missouri, has earned highly coveted recognition as a Certified Center of Excellence from the Center for Customer-Driven Quality at Purdue University, which benchmarks the performance of more than 20,000 customer service call centers in 40 different industries throughout North America.
Tax

IRS Proposes to Let Tax Preparers Sell Tax Information

A proposal by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to permit tax preparers to sell tax information to third parties for marketing purposes if the taxpayer has signed a consent, drew little attention when it was first published in December as part of a set of proposed changes to Section 6103 of the tax code. Section 6103 covers disclosure of taxpayer information.
Education & Careers

Pennsylvania Poised to Join 47 CPA Jurisdictions with 150-Hour Rules

The 150-hour rule, hotly debated a few years ago, is gaining new attention in Pennsylvania where a bill winding its way through the Legislature would place that state with the other 47 CPA jurisdictions that require candidates to complete 150 hours of undergraduate study to qualify for the CPA license.Advertisement
Tax

Ratio of Federal Spending to Tax Revenue Favors Low Income States

A study released last week by the nonprofit Tax Foundation found that states with concentrations of higher income taxpayers sent more money to Washington than they got back in federal spending.

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