Government

A&A

Martin Baumann, CFO of Freddie Mac Resigns

Martin F. Baumann, executive vice president of Finance and Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of Freddie Mac, today announced his resignation.“Marty Baumann has been a key contributor to the turnaround currently underway at Freddie Mac,” Richard Syron, Freddie Mac’s chairman and CEO, said in a prepared statement about the resignation.

GASB Identifies Key Differences Between Governmental & Business Financial Reporting

The Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) released a white paper last week describing how the information needs of individuals and organizations interested in the financial performance of state and local governments differ from those following the financial performance of for-profit businesses. According to the GASB, these diverse needs result from basic environmental differences between governments and businesses. The primary purpose of governments is to enhance or maintain the well being of citizens by providing services in accordance with the public policy goals.
Tax

Federal Tax Reform to Be a Dizzying, Long Process

You don’t have to be a tax practitioner to know that the federal tax code is in need of major overhaul.
A&A

EU Threatens US with Trade Sanctions Over FSC Tax Breaks

The European Union (EU) advised the World Trade Organization (WTO), on Monday, that unless the United States ends all provisions of the Foreign Sales Corporation tax program in 60 days, it will reinstate sanctions against a number of US products.
Tax

State Guidelines, Accounting Issues Hold Up Disaster Relief Funds in Louisiana

State officials in Louisiana are delaying access to $7.5 billion in Gulf Opportunity Zone bonds (GO Zone) to public and private companies for nonresidential reconstruction and renovation projects until the state establishes new standards for these projects.
Tax

Three Firms Selected to Take Part in IRS Delinquent Tax Collection Effort

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS), last week awarded contracts to three firms, the CBE Group Inc. of Waterloo, Iowa, Linebarger Goggan Blair & Sampson, LLP of Austin, Texas, and Pioneer Credit Recovery, Inc. of Arcade, New York, from a field of 33 firms, in the first phase of its private debt collection initiative.“The vast majority of states use private firms to help collect delinquent taxes. The new authority Congress gave to the federal government allows us to use private firms as well,” IRS Commissioner Mark W. Everson said in a prepared statement.
A&A

'Worst Yet' Federal Budget for Small Businesses

Nearly half of the 100 federal programs that assist small businesses would end and another 40 would be cut drastically, if President Bush's fiscal 2007 budget request is approved.Advertisement
Technology

Medicare’s New Accounting System Improving Agency Performance

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) have a new financial management system that has generated $9 million in interest for the Medicare trust fund in just seven months. Mark McClellan, CMS administrator told Government Health IT, the new system also allows for more accurate reimbursements and faster reporting.

GASB Seeks Comment on Medicare Part D Technical Bulletin

The Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB), in February, published a proposed staff Technical Bulletin intended to clarify the proper reporting of payments that an employer, or defined benefit other postemployment benefit (OPEB) plan, receives from the federal government under Medicare Part D.
Tax

Many Low Income Workers Don’t Claim Earned Income Tax Credit

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) estimates that four out of five taxpayers who meet eligibility requirements don’t claim the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), the government’s largest program for helping low-income working families, the Washington Post reports. Last year 21.1 million taxpayers claimed a total of nearly $40 billion through the EITC credit, enacted by Congress in 1975 as a way to help low-income workers.
A&A

Study: Northeast Tax Codes Unfriendly to Businesses

A new study pinpoints the Northeastern states as having some of the worst business tax systems in the country.New York has earned the dubious distinction of having the most unfriendly business tax climate in the country.
Practice Management

Internal Review of Fannie Mae Cites “Attitude of Arrogance”

In a 1996 internal memo to Timothy Howard, Chief Financial Officer of Fannie Mae, Leanne Spencer, Vice President of Financial Reporting wrote, “What do I have up my sleeve to solve an earnings shortfall?” She adds in the same document, according to Bloomberg.com, “I recognize (and thought about it yesterday) that we might want to show the board $2.48. I made the decision that I wanted to show you the real answer and the let you decide if you wanted me to make any adjustment.

Health Spending Increases

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) reports that total health care spending will grow from its current 16.2 percent of the economy to 20 percent by 2015. This translates to each person spending $12,320 annually, according to USA Today. Nationally projected, we will spend more than $4 trillion on health care by 2015.

Pentagon Bookkeeping Stops Auditors

The Department of Defense (DOD) has failed its audit to the extent that auditors have stopped wasting money trying to audit their books, according to Black Enterprise. Problems with the Pentagon books has allowed the DOD to pay troops, civilian workers, and contractors the wrong amounts; to lose track of equipment, such as planes and tanks; and to document trillions of dollars in transactions improperly, according to Black Enterprise. Gregory D.

President’s Day or Washington’s Birthday?

Actually, it’s neither. The holiday, created by the Uniform Holiday Act of 1968, and celebrated on the third Monday in February, is officially named Washington’s Birthday. George Washington’s birthday, however, is February 22, and it is impossible for the date of the third Monday to be any later than February 21, meaning Washington’s Birthday will never actually fall on his birthday.
Tax

EU Opposes US Tax Breaks

The World Trade Organization (WTO) appellate court sided with the European Union (EU) in giving Washington 90 days to bring its tax break legislation into line. The WTO’s highest court affirmed previous judgments in denying this appeal by the United States, according to the Chicago Tribune. The Los Angeles Times reported that the high court gave the EU permission to reimpose sanctions on some $4 billion in U.S. exports.Peter Mandelson, European Union (EU) trade commissioner, told the Chicago Tribune, “The U.S.

Lobbyist Spending in 2005

Lobbyists spent a record $30.2 million in 2005 lobbying Wisconsin lawmakers, according to the Associated Press. Odd-numbered years usually see these numbers increase as the two-year state budget is written. The lobbying figure was $26.3 million in 2003, according to the Associated Press. These spending figures take into account salaries, payments, reimbursements, and fringe benefits paid to lobbyists, as well as overhead and public relations costs.Those groups, seeking to influence the state’s public officials, have increased by more than 60.
Community News

Tax Revenue Lost Over Building Permit Delays

Increasing the efficiency of the building permit process could add millions of dollars in tax revenues and significantly bolster the economic development of communities.
Tax

White House Pushes Tax Cuts in Face of Other Advice

The Treasury reports that tax proposals pressed by the White House will cost the government billions in revenue, according to the Washington Post. The White House wants to make permanent the tax breaks for dividends and capital gains that expire at year end, 2008. These tax breaks would cost the government $7.74 billion in 2008 and $37.02 billion in 2009, according to its “Blue Book” description of revenue proposals in the president’s fiscal 2007 budget.

Audit Slams Accounting Practices at VA

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs used misleading accounting methods to wrongly state that it had saved more than $1.3 billion, according to the Government Accountability Office (GAO).Those “savings” were used to justify smaller budget requests, which led to cuts in health care services to eligible veterans, according to GAO, the investigative arm of Congress."It's unconscionable," said Rep. Lane Evans, D-Ill., the ranking Democrat on the House Veterans' Affairs Committee, who requested the audit.

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