Koskinen Calls on Congress to Give IRS Oversight of Tax Return Preparers

During a Senate Finance Committee hearing on Tuesday morning, the head of the IRS urged lawmakers to pass legislation that would authorize the agency to regulate the nation’s estimated 600,000 to 700,000 paid tax return preparers.

Finance Committee OKs Extending Most Expired Tax Breaks

The Senate panel voted today to revive about 50 of the 55 tax breaks that expired at the end of 2013, including benefits for auto-racing tracks, wind energy, and bonus depreciation for businesses. The package of tax "extenders" still needs the support of the full Senate and House.

Senate Takes a Fresh Look at 'Dead' Tax Breaks

Senate Finance Committee proposes new tax extender legislation—do the provisions have a chance?

Opposition Mounts for House XBRL Exemption Legislation

XBRL US and several corporate data providers are against a bill approved last week by the House Financial Services Committee that would require the US Securities and Exchange Commission to exempt public companies with annual revenues under $250 million from filing their financial statements in XBRL format for five years.

Bill Intends to Make Settlements More Transparent

In an effort to shut down backroom deal-making and increase accountability, two senators introduced a bipartisan bill on January 8 that would force federal enforcement agencies to increase transparency around settlements reached with companies that break the law.

'Tis the Season for a Budget Accord

Will members of Congress be toasting each other with eggnog this year? As the holidays draw near, members of the House and Senate are reportedly wrapping up the first successful budget deal in two years.

AICPA Backs Income Tax Simplification Bill for Mobile Workforce

A bipartisan bill that would simplify and standardize state income tax collection for employees who travel across state lines for temporary work assignments has received support from more than 250 organizations, including the AICPA.

AICPA Calls on the Senate to Support Digital Accountability and Transparency Act

In a letter to US senators Tom Carper and Tom Coburn, the AICPA encouraged the Senate's support of legislation that would include a provision calling for the establishment of government-wide financial data standards for federal funds.

Chicago Mayor Proposes Hike in Cigarette Tax

A seventy-five-cent increase in Chicago's cigarette tax that is being proposed by Mayor Rahm Emanuel will likely be included in the city's 2014 budget, which will be presented to the Chicago City Council October 23.

Another Taxing Opportunity: Plastic Bags in PA

There's nothing new about governments trying to use tax as behavior modification. They've been doing it forever. Now the behavior being targeted in some areas of the country is the choice at the grocery store of "paper or plastic."
Education & Careers

House Passes Bill to Lower Federal Student Loan Rates

UDPATE: President Obama has signed the student loan rates bill into law. The bill that will lower interest rates on federal subsidized Stafford student loans was approved by the House of Representatives on July 31.

Bipartisan Bill Would Adjust Tax Liability for Mutual Insurers

Two Iowa lawmakers led a bipartisan group of five senators in introducing a bill on July 23 that would increase the alternative tax liability limitation for small property and casualty insurance companies.

Bill Would Give Tax Benefits to Conservation-Minded Landowners

A bipartisan bill that would provide a permanent tax incentive to family farmers, ranchers, and other landowners who choose not to develop their land but preserve it for conservation is expected to be introduced by two lawmakers in the House.
Education & Careers

Lawmakers Reach Tentative Deal on Student Loan Rates

A little more than two weeks after the interest rates on federal subsidized Stafford student loans jumped from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent, a tri-partisan group of senators reached a compromise that would lower interest rates.

AICPA Against Adding ESOP Appraisers to Fiduciary Definition

The AICPA gave its support to Senate Bill 273 and House Bill 2041 that would block a 2010 proposal by the Department of Labor to change its definition of fiduciary under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act to include appraisers of ESOPs.

Maryland CPAs Praise Court Ruling on Contributory Negligence

The Maryland Court of Appeals on July 9 voted five to two against changing the state's 166-year-old contributory negligence doctrine, which prevents people from collecting damages in a lawsuit if they contributed to their injuries in any way.

House Backs Bill That Prohibits Mandatory Firm Rotation

The US House of Representatives on July 8 approved legislation that would prevent the PCAOB from implementing a system of mandatory rotation for audit firms.

October 1 Deadline Looms for Obamacare Notices

The common perception is that most of the key provisions included in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act take effect in 2014. But employers should be advised that other responsibilities and rights kick in before then.

New Legislation Would Make Enrolled Agents Easier to Find

Ohio Senator Rob Portman and Louisiana Congressman Charles Boustany Jr. introduced legislation on June 11 that would allow enrolled agents to be able to identify themselves with their Treasury Department-granted credential in any state in the country.

California Senate Votes to Strip Boy Scouts of Tax-Exempt Status

By a vote of twenty-seven to nine, the California Senate approved a bill that would revoke the tax-exempt status from nonprofit youth organizations that discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, or religious affiliation.