Government

Practice Management

Federal Agency Paves Way for Easier Move to the Cloud

The US General Services Administration (GSA) has released long-awaited details on a standardized program that is expected to smooth the way for the federal government's move to the cloud. Security risks are one of the main stumbling blocks for government agencies to make the move to a cloud-based solution.
Practice

Parking and Mass Transit Employee Benefits: NTEU's Kelley Wants Parity

On January 31, 2012, the leader of the National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU) called on Congress to approve the S. 1034 – Commuter Benefits Equity Act of 2011, which would permanently establish parity between the parking and mass transit portions of the employee transportation benefit.
A&A

Governments and Private Companies Exploring Benefits of XBRL

Congress is beginning to mandate the use of XBRL to track spending and improve transparency in government reports. Bills that contain language calling for the implementation of data standards, such as XBRL, have not yet passed into law, but the requirement could become part of the final payroll tax cut bill.
Tax

NTEU President: IRS Budget Cuts Will Hinder Service to CPAs, Clients

While the threat of a government shutdown has been put to rest, NTEU president is still warning Americans that reduced funding embodied in the signed omnibus spending agreement will place an enormous strain on the ability of government agencies to fulfill their critical missions – particularly the IRS.
Tax

Payroll Tax Takes Another Holiday

Our nation's lawmakers finally agreed to a compromise extension of the so-called "payroll tax holiday." The new law signed by the president on December 23 – the Temporary Payroll Tax Cut Continuation Act of 2011 – keeps the payroll tax break alive for another two months.
Election 2012

Gingrich Says He'll Reduce Taxes and Reform Government Regulations

When asked by Diane Sawyer during the December 10 GOP debate about his "distinguishing idea" to create jobs and bring jobs back from overseas, Gingrich stuck close to his "pro-growth Jobs and Prosperity Plan," which advocates lowering taxes and reforming government regulations to grow the American economy.
Tax

NTEU President Says Workforce Reduction Bill Undermines Essential Government Services

The leader of the nation's largest independent federal employees union this week called on members of Congress to reject legislation that proposes what she is calling an "ill-advised reduction of the federal workforce threatening vital government services."
Tax

New report from the GAO flags problems with the IRS whistleblower program

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) says that the revamped Internal Revenue Service (IRS) whistleblower program isn't doing its job. The program rewards people who turn in tax cheats in cases involving fraud of $2 million or more.
Education & Careers

AGA announces annual Government Finance Case Challenge

The best undergraduate accounting, finance, and business students in the country are invited to compete in the fifth annual Government Finance Case Challenge, sponsored by the Association of Government Accountants (AGA).
Tax

Kelley re-elected to fourth term as NTEU President

On August 9, delegates to the fifty-third NTEU National Convention elected Colleen M. Kelley to a fourth term as president by a decisive 86-to-14-percent margin over her lone challenger. As the nation's largest independent federal union, NTEU represents 150,000 employees in thirty-one agencies and departments, including the Department of the Treasury, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the Department of Homeland Security.
A&A

With pension fund dwindling, Central Falls, RI, enters bankruptcy

The smallest city in Rhode Island has landed in bankruptcy court after making retirement benefits promises it was unable to keep, a dilemma facing many municipalities across the country.

Congress raises debt ceiling; extraordinary Special Joint Committee to propose future debt reduction measures

The U.S. Senate has passed and President Obama has signed legislation, which, for the first time, links an increase in the debt limit to budget decisions.
A&A

GASB to propose changes to accounting for state pensions

The Government Accounting Standards Board (GASB) will propose changes later this month to the method used by most U.S. state and local governments when they report unfunded pension liabilities on their balance sheets. The proposed changes could result in an increase in the amount of liabilities governments will report.
A&A

Federal contracts: Cost proposals: Why, how, when

When bidding on or fulfilling a federal contract, chances are you'll be required to submit a cost proposal. What is it, how do you do it, and when is it required? The answers will vary depending upon your contract and situation.
A&A

Federal contracts: Unallowable costs explained

Certain expenses are legitimate costs of doing business, but the federal government won’t reimburse them as part of a federal contact.
Tax

IRS releases 2012 budget proposal summary

The agency says its funding request reflects a continued commitment to balance taxpayer service with fair enforcement of the tax laws. The IRS says it has identified more than $188 million in cost-savings in 2012, coming on top of similar efficiency savings in 2010 and 2011.
Tax

Obama plan would ease state debts through payroll taxes

An Obama administration proposal would ease the debts of states struggling to pay unemployment benefits by increasing the amount of payroll taxes collected from businesses.
A&A

Red Flags compliance: How accountants can help their clients

Accounting and other professional firms are now exempt from the Red Flags rule issued by the FTC in 2007. But all other businesses and nonprofits that extend credit or hold accounts that might be subject to identity theft were required to be in compliance as of December 31, 2010.
Tax

Spirited debate ahead for corporate tax reform

As the tax reform debate on Capitol Hill begins, a gulf exists between U.S. companies and the Obama administration on how to overhaul corporate taxes. The White House is reaching out to businesses to work with the administration on rewriting what all agree is an extremely complex tax code.
Tax

Treasury launches prepaid debit and payroll card program

The U.S. Department of the Treasury has launched a program offering taxpayers a financial account for the electronic delivery of federal tax refunds. It says the account card offers conveniences and consumer protection features.

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