Government

A&A

GASB Issues Deposit And Investment Risk Disclosures Standard

Press ReleaseIn an effort to provide the public with better information about the risks that could potentially impact a government’s ability to provide services and pay its debts, the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) has published Statement No. 40, Deposit and Investment Risk Disclosures, an amendment of GASB Statement No. 3. The Statement amends GASB Statement No.

Senate Approves FY '04 Budget Resolution

Provided by CCHThe Senate on March 26 approved a fiscal year (FY) 2004 budget resolution (SConRes 23) that contains $852 billion for tax cuts, with $350 billion of that amount under reconciliation protection. The measure was approved by a vote of 56 to 44.Republicans had threatened to offer amendments to reinstate all or part of the tax-cut reductions, but were apparently unable to muster the necessary votes and offered no controversial add-ons.
Technology

California E-Tax Filing System Irks Software Makers

Until this tax season, taxpayers in California who wanted to file electronically had to use tax-preparation software for a fee ranging from $5 to $30. But now, Californians can use a state-supported system that allows them to send in their taxes for free and private companies aren’t happy about it. Software companies, such as Intuit and H&R Block, insist that the new system infringes on their territory and that the government is trying to replace private industry.

Social Security: 'Not Sustainable For Long-Term'

The Social Security Board of Trustees has declared that the Social Security program is not sustainable over the long term.

Government Officials Trim Cell Phone Use

Like many other state governors, Gov. Jennifer Granholm of Michigan is facing a state deficit. Ms. Granholm needs to eliminate a $158 million shortfall in the $8.9 billion general budget. Cost-cutting measures include decreasing the state’s motor fleet, eliminating color copying, and turning lights off in state buildings at night. Ms. Granholm is also asking state employees to lower their cell phone use by 15 percent, for a saving of $150,000. Michigan isn’t alone in telling employees it’s time to limit using cell phones.
Tax

More Ingenious Tax Strategies: Kansas Taxes Drug Dealers

The following is a part of a continued AccountingWEB series of articles examining unique and ingenious ways that states are finding to generate tax revenue.When state governments face budget woes, legislators devise creative ways to raise revenue. One of the most unusual is the taxing of illegal drug transactions. A growing number of states now require drug dealers to purchase a drug tax stamp and affix it to the controlled substance.
A&A

US Senators Urge FASB to Reconsider Stock Options Stance

A bi-partisan coalition of United States Senators, led by former accountant Sen. Mike Enzi (R-WY), is urging the Financial Accounting Standards Board to more fully consider the question of expensing stock options, and suggested that the deliberation process currently underway is “basically flawed.”The Federal Accounting Standards Board Invitation to Comment specifically stated that it was not interested in views on whether stock options granted to employees result in compensation expense for the issuing entity.
A&A

New Matchmaker Program Links Small Biz to Federal Procurements

The Small Business Administration and United States Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with HP, continued the nationwide rollout of the landmark Business Matchmakingprogram in Orlando, Florida this week.
A&A

SBA Launches Online Employer ID Number Application

Small businesses could save hundreds of millions of dollars by using a new Internet-based system that will allow them to register their business at the state level and apply for and receive their Federal Employer Identification Number at the same time.

Accounting Group Speaks Out on Canada's Federal Budget

Press ReleaseCanada’s Chartered Accountants expressed disappointment about the depth and breadth of program spending in Canada's federal budget and that so little attention is being paid to the federal debt."We have concerns that the amount of program spending and the rate of increase in spending, forecast over several years, doesn't afford the government enough flexibility should revenue or economic growth slow," said Pierre Brunet, FCA, Chair of the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants (CICA) Board of Directors.

Supplemental Security Income Moved Off of 'High-Risk' List

Like a patient being upgraded from "critical" in the intensive care unit to "stable" condition, the GAO has recognized management improvements and has removed the supplemental security income program from its high-risk list. In doing so, GAO recognized the Social Security Administration’s (SSA’s) efforts to improve the management of the program.

Colorado Aims to Make 'Accounting Fraud' a Felony

Under a stiff new bill passed by Colorado state legislators last week, practitioners could face felony charges, (rather than mere misdemeanor charges), for violating the state's accountancy practice act. This would increase the maximum penalties from 6 months in jail to 12 years in jail.The proposed law, Colorado House bill 1116, was sponsored by Representative Joe Stengel at the urging of Governor Bill Owens. Gov. Owens asked state lawmakers to reclassify accounting fraud from a class 3 misdemeanor to a class 3 felony.
Tax

IRS Announces 'No Rule' Areas

The Internal Revenue Service has issued a packet of revenue procedures designed to clarify areas on which the service will not provide guidance to taxpayers in the form of letter rulings or determination letters.
Tax

IRS Form 2848 Is A Must For Military Personnel Being Deployed

If you have clients or a loved one being sent overseas in the next few months, then make sure they have the IRS FORM 2848. The IRS Form 2848 "Power of Attorney and Declaration of Representative" enables a spouse to sign the couple's tax return, easing the way for trouble-free tax filing. When you complete the form "Power of Attorney and Declaration of Representative", you must show the type of tax, the tax form number, and the year or period(s) for which the power is granted.
A&A

SBA Warns Small Businesses of Potential Disruption

More than 100,000 reservists and National Guard members have already been called to active duty in the war against terrorism. Many businesses are already facing disruption and change as a result of the temporary loss of military workers. The potential for this disruption will increase.The Small Business Administration (SBA) has redesigned key areas of its Web site to provide tools and relevant information to small businesses that are affected by the call-up.
Tax

Bush Addresses Tax Relief And The Economy

President Bush's State of the Union Address included strong references to tax cuts that the President believes will bolster the economy. The speech focused on four goals, the first of which addressed the tax and economy issue. "Our first goal is clear," said President Bush.
A&A

PCAOB Face Pay Cuts, FASB Dips Into Reserves

The federal government agreed to help out the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) with emergency funding until the new fee-based system is in place. But members of the board may have to take pay cuts for awhile. The Financial Accounting Standards Board also faces funding delays and is coping by dipping into reserves.

New York Takes Steps to Extend Sarbanes-Oxley

New York became one of the first states to propose a series of sweeping reforms designed to extend the Sarbanes-Oxley legislation to smaller accounting firms and their clients.
A&A

Resources For Military Reservists And The Businesses That Employ Them

In the seventeen months since September 11, 2001, more than 100,000 Reserve and National Guard members have been called to active duty.

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