International

Tax

IRS targeting taxpayers with accounts in Liechtenstein

The Internal Revenue Service is initiating enforcement action involving more than 100 U.S. taxpayers to ensure proper income reporting and tax payment in connection with accounts in Liechtenstein.

Man jailed for attempting to launch 'Jihad on accountants'

A 44 year-old man from Sittingbourne, Kent, England, who failed his accounting exams, has been sentenced to two years' imprisonment for urging Moslems to launch terror attacks on accountants. Malcolm Hodges, 44, had failed an exam set by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) ten years ago, and had been arguing about it with the Association ever since.
Tax

Hundreds of rich Germans may be snagged in tax evasion scandal

Homes and offices across Germany were raided Tuesday in a widening tax evasion scandal linked to Liechtenstein that has already claimed the chief executive of Deutsche Post, the German postal service.Klaus Zumwinkel's home was searched last week. Accused of evading $1.47 million in taxes, the powerful executive has since resigned. Officials say more than 100 raids are planned for this week with 1,000 individuals targeted in the investigation.

British cross-dressing accountant may have faked his own death

Simon Carroll, 43, a British accountant from Shoeburyness, Essex, and a known cross-dresser, was thought to have killed himself last year after stealing nearly 600,000 pounds from the accounts of a building supply company in Essex.The accountant confessed to stealing the money and disappeared shortly thereafter. His abandoned Porsche was found soon after the theft, and inside were an empty vodka bottle, an empty pill jar, and a hosepipe.

Tax execs announce most challenging international tax issues for 2008

What are the most challenging international tax issues for corporate tax departments? The consensus was that transfer pricing (both U.S. and non-U.S.) topped the list when a group of Tax Executives Institute (TEI) members joined Thomson Tax & Accounting, a segment of The Thomson Corporation, to discuss international tax issues on which corporate tax departments were spending the most time."Transfer pricing takes a significant amount of time and training in many of the multi-national enterprises in our membership.
Technology

Internet disruptions a 'close shave' for India

Internet speeds slowed for several days after three Internet cables in the Mediterranean Sea were sliced, disrupting service in the Middle East and India, but observers say major outsourcing operations adjusted to the crisis well.India has attracted a huge volume of data processing and back-office work, and the largest western businesses felt few effects, FinanceWeek reported. Infosys, for example, India's second largest business process offshoring provider, said its service was unaffected because of redundancies built into its system.
Tax

UK self assessment tax system recovers from crash, extra day given to filers-

Our sister site, AccountingWEB.co.uk, is reporting that the UK Self Assessment Online portal has been restored to service in the mid-afternoon on Thursday after breaking down on the busiest day of the tax year.An HMRC (Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs) spokesman confirmed that the Self Assessment online filing service experienced "technical difficulties" on Thursday morning, which meant that some taxpayers could not file online.Just after 3:30 p.m.
Tax

Toronto must pay for tax campaign

The City of Toronto, Ontario, hoping to raise taxes by imposing a new one cent tax on municipal services, has so far generated a cost to the city of nearly $50,000.In an effort to bolster enthusiasm for the tax increase last fall, city officials launched a city-wide campaign, complete with posters, bumper stickers, buttons, and a catchy slogan: "One Cent of the G.S.T. NOW." Promotional items showed an image of the Canadian penny. The promotion included a dedicated telephone number (416-ONE-CENT) and Web site (www.OneCentNow.ca).
Community News

Globalization forces companies to reexamine international assignment programs

Globalization is forcing companies to reexamine their international assignment programs, as companies increasingly find these programs are too costly and time consuming to administer, according to the results of KPMG's 2007 Global Assignment Policies and Practices Survey, conducted by the International Executive Services practice of Big Four firm KPMG. Short-term assignments (STAs) also are increasing as companies are taking a more global approach to doing business.
A&A

FASB announces free webcast on global accounting

The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) has announced the launch of a series of periodic webcasts focusing on topics of importance to its constituents. The first FASB webcast, entitled Towards a Global Reporting System: Where Are We and Where Are We Going?, is scheduled for Tuesday, January 8, 2008, from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. (EST), and will feature a panel of experts discussing international convergence of accounting standards.Panelists Robert Herz, Peter Bridgman, Greg Jonas, and Sam Ranzilla will discuss the implications of moving the U.S.

SEC relieves foreign companies of U.S. GAAP filing requirements

Having considered extensive and informative public comment on its June 2007 proposal, the Securities and Exchange Commission has unanimously approved rule amendments under which financial statements from foreign private issuers in the U.S. will be accepted without reconciliation to U.S. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles only if they are prepared using International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) as issued by the International Accounting Standards Board.
A&A

FASB calls for delay in non-GAAP reporting

The Financial Accounting Standards Board and its oversight foundation, the Financial Accounting Foundation, have sent a letter to the Securities and Exchange Commission asking for a delay in the agreement to allow foreign firms using International Financial Reporting Standards to no longer reconcile their accounts to U.S. GAAP rules. In the letter, Robert Denham, chairman of the FAF, and Robert Herz, chairman of the FASB, said that investors would be better served if all U.S.

Transatlantic strain still threatens global accounting standards

Gerrit Zalm, the former Dutch finance minister who took over as head of the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) last month, acknowledged at the outset that he has limited time in which to rescue its pursuit of a common world financial reporting language.
A&A

IT risks rising up audit committee agendas

Research by KPMG's Audit Committee Institute among over 1,300 audit committee members in 25 countries around the world has found that nearly a third (30 percent) are not satisfied that their committee spends sufficient time looking at IT risk issues, with a further 59 percent only "somewhat" satisfied.

Global accountant shortage worries employers

Employers around the world continue to feel the effects of a shortage of accounting and finance professionals, according to the recently released Robert Half International Global Financial Employment Monitor. More than half of the finance and human resources managers surveyed - 56 percent - reported difficulty finding skilled job candidates, and 43 percent expressed concern about losing top performers to other job opportunities.

Credit card fraud soars, despite new safeguards

New fraud-prevention technology has made credit card crime more difficult in the U.K., but it is increasing in other countries that have not adopted "chip-and-pin" safeguards. Chip-and-pin credit cards are cards containing electronic chips that contain the information otherwise found on magnetic strips.According to the Association of Payment Clearing Services (APACS), the U.K. clearing service, credit card crime in the U.K. dropped 4 percent in the first half of this year, compared with the first six months of 2006.

Financial Executives International speaks out on international financial reporting

In recent months, issues surrounding international reporting have received heightened interest among financial executives. In response, Financial Executives International (FEI) released two comment letters regarding regulation efforts around global financial reporting.
Technology

XBRL delivers taxonomy for electronic accounts

The Security and Exchange Commission has taken a step toward automated filing of "interactive" accounts data with the completion of a project to create an extended business reporting language (XBRL) taxonomy for U.S. GAAP. At a press conference in New York last week, XBRL U.S. president Mark Bolgiano symbolically handed SEC Chairman Christopher Cox a memory stick containing the taxonomy, which is made up of thousands of XML tags that define the classifications used in U.S.
Tax

Businesses applaud elimination of cross-border withholding tax

Canada and the United States have signed a new treaty designed to reduce barriers to cross-border activities. The treaty eliminates the withholding tax on cross-border interest payments made by borrowers in one country to lenders in the other, and updates tax rules on pensions for workers who cross the U.S. - Canada border, according to Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson, Jr.The new treaty is seen as providing the most benefit to Canadian companies that borrow from U.S. banks. Many U.S.

IASB issues revision to IAS 1, <i>Presentation of Financial Statements</i>

The International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) has issued a revised version of IAS 1 Presentation of Financial Statements. The revision is aimed at improving users' ability to analyze and compare the information given in financial statements.The changes made are to require information in financial statements to be aggregated on the basis of shared characteristics and to introduce a statement of comprehensive income.

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