Government

Tax

House Bill Would Allow Disclosure of Taxpayer Information

House Bill H.R. 2975, the Patriot Act of 2001, if made into law, will authorize disclosure of taxpayer information to the Justice and Treasury departments, federal law enforcement, as well as federal intelligence agencies that are investigating terrorist organizations and related activities.Some tax practitioners have voiced a concern that such a bill will weaken important restrictions on disclosing tax information.

Senate Moves to Extend Internet Tax Moratorium

Arguing that Congress will not have time this fall to debate the finer issues of the proposed extension of the moratorium on Internet taxes that is set to expire later this month, three U.S.
Community News

PwC Receives Medicare Contract

Big Five firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), along with Electronic Data Systems Corp. (EDS) and Oracle Corp., have been awarded a contract to provide the new Medicare and Medicaid accounting system for the U.S.

SBA Offers Assistance for Terrorism Victims

Businesses of all sizes, homeowners, renters (including apartments, condominiums and cooperatives) and nonprofit organizations in the areas devastated by the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon may be eligible to apply for low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Social Security Claims Get Expedited Treatment

The Social Security Administration has announced emergency procedures for families of victims of the recent terrorist attacks. Survivor claims will be processed expeditiously and such claims may be filed with one of the following pieces of evidence: 

School Loan Payments Put on Hold

In light of the terrorist attacks that occurred last week, the nation's banks and the Education Department have announced plans to postpone or reduce required payments on federal college loans.Banks will postpone or reduce payments on school loans until January 31, and borrowers who need an extension beyond that date may request such extension by writing to the bank that hosts the loan.
Tax

Department of Labor Extends Due Date for 5500s

Due to the tragic events currently facing our nation, the U.S. Department of Labor has announced an extension of the deadline for filing Form 5500 and Form 5500-EZ.

Social Security Administration Pays Millions to Deceased

Auditors in the Social Security Administration's inspector general's office have discovered that the Social Security Administration (SSA) has paid at least $31 million to deceased people who were listed as deceased in the SSA's own records.The auditors determined the $31 million figure by examining a sample of 200 auxiliary beneficiaries - people who can receive Social Security benefits as a result of their relationship to a deceased person - and found that 33 of the people in the sample who were rec
Tax

IRS Loses Checks and Tax Returns; GAO Not Surprised

The IRS has determined that the tax returns and related payments of at least 40,000 taxpayers may be missing. Affected taxpayers are primarily located in the Northeast United States and would have sent their returns to an IRS lockbox address in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. An earlier report indicated that approximately 1,800 taxpayers were affected.The General Accounting Office (GAO), the U.S.

Accenture Reaches Out to Government

In an effort to take advantage of a growing governmental need for online services, Accenture has acquired the privately-owned firm of Epylon. Epylon provides e-procurement services for over 450 state government agencies and schools.
Technology

State and Federal Labor Law Posters Via the Internet

Keeping up-to-date on the labor law posters doesn't have to be expensive or time consuming.

GASB Issues Exposure Draft

The Government Accounting Standards Board has released the Exposure Draft, The Financial Reporting Entity - Affiliated Organizations. This document amends GASB Statement 14, The Financial Reporting Entity. The amendment expands on the guidance offered by the original statement regarding the status of an affiliated organization as a component unit of a financial reporting entity.

Senate Panel Chooses Harvey Pitt to Head SEC

The members of the Senate Banking Committee voted unanimously to choose Harvey Pitt as chairman of the SEC. Mr. Pitt is President Bush's selection for the office.The vote now goes to the Senate floor where it is expected that Mr. Pitt will easily win the votes. The date of the Senate vote has not yet been scheduled, but it is expected that the vote will occur prior to Congress's August recess.If Mr.
A&A

Treasury to Offer Four-Week Bills

The U.S. Department of Treasury has announced it will begin regular weekly offerings of four-week bills. It is expected that the four-week bills will help smooth seasonal fluctuations in the Treasury's cash balances.The first four-week bills will be officially announced on Monday, July 30, and offered for auction on Tuesday, July 31, at 1:00 p.m., and settlement will occur on Thursday, August 2.

GAO Addresses Home Office Concerns

In the United States, there are approximately 16.5 million employees who telecommute from home at least once per month. Approximately 9.3 million employees telecommute at least once per week.With the growing number of American employees working from home offices, at least part time, issues of home office safety will require attention, the General Accounting Office (GAO) said in a recently released report.The GAO report, "Overview of Potential Barriers Facing Employers," was issued as a result of a request by U.S.
Tax

IRS Modernization Projects at Risk

Auditors at the General Accounting Office (GAO) have determined that the IRS plans for modernization, as reported at AccountingWEB last week, are at risk for cost overruns, delays, and performance shortfalls. Examples of potential problem areas include the new telephone system which is expected to answer calls more quickly and accurately. This system is reportedly three months behind schedule.
Technology

Comments Sought on Accounting Software Standards

If you're interested in having a say in how accounting software is chosen and used in the federal government, here is your chance.The federal government is seeking comments on a new document that explains the government's specifications for accounting software.
Tax

Pentagon Agency Tries to Hoodwink IRS

The Pentagon's inspector general's office, the office charged with exposing fraud in the federal government, provided the IRS with fake documents in order to avoid embarrassment in an audit.The audit was part of a routine program where one U.S. inspector general checks the work of another. The inspector general's office apparently spent nearly 1,000 hours creating fake documents to cover up a 1988 audit report that they feared would not pass audit muster.
Education & Careers

Feds Will Pay College Costs in Exchange for Work

If you have a hankering to attend college and a knack for computers, this program may be for you. The U.S.
Tax

New Service Makes US Tax Court Cases Easy to Research

Beginning in June, the U.S. Tax Court's Web site will include docket sheets for almost all cases since May 1986.Information provided on the docket sheets will include names and addresses of petitioners and counsel, index of filings for each case and court actions."This service is something that I believe the bar has long awaited and should prove to be a useful tool to those who appear before us," said Chief Judge Thomas B. Wells.

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