Legislation

NCCPAP Wants Special Rules for Smaller CPA Firms

In testimony presented on February 11, 2002 at the New York State Senate Public Hearing on Independence in the Post-Enron Era, the National Conference of CPA Practitioners (NCCPAP) called upon state legislators to consider special rules for small and regional CPA firms.
Tax

Bush Promotes Expanded MSAs, FSAs

President Bush, on February 11, outlined his administration's health care agenda, which includes proposals to expand both Medical Savings Accounts (MSAs) and Flexible Savings Accounts (FSAs) and to provide refundable health tax credits to low- and middle-income individuals and families who do not have employer-provided insurance. The president also supports legislation to provide temporary health tax credits for workers who have lost their jobs during the recession.

Baruch Lev Testifies on Accounting's 'Axis of Evil'

In Congressional hearings on the Enron collapse, Professor Baruch Lev of New York University's Stern School of Business gave the House Committee on Energy and Commerce a short but insightful lesson on the “axis of evil” confronting the accounting profession today. When introducing Professor Lev, Committee Chaiman W. J.

Global Companies Tackle Auditor Independence and Oversight

In the U.S., the Enron collapse continues to be the subject of investigations by at least ten congressional committees. But the fallout has grown increasingly global in scope, and global companies are taking action to achieve the needed reforms without waiting for U.S. lawmakers.
Education & Careers

Rx For Overworked Accountants During Busy Season

Tired of putting in 12-hour days, 7 days a week? Think there ought to be a law against mandatory overtime? Well, you’re not alone. The Japanese, known for long work hours, even have a word – karoshi – to describe death from overwork. Now, at last, there are products in the U.S. legislative pipeline that may actually cure this sickness without the expected side effects. The SicknessA study released in January 2002, by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) confirms there are a few U.S.

AICPA Reverses Stance, Won't Oppose Independence Reforms

In a stunning about-face on January 31, 2002, the president of the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) announced his organization’s support for reforms of auditor independence that would bar accounting firms from doing certain kinds of consulting for their audit clients.
Tax

CCH's Annual Review of the Strangest Court Cases

COURTS PLAY HOST TO ANOTHER CAST OF UNUSUAL CHARACTERSIt’s Not Tax Fraud . . . It’s FargoAlthough tax law is not regarded as exciting by most, every so often the creative interpretation of the rules by taxpayers can make even a mundane tax case most interesting, if not downright entertaining, according to CCH INCORPORATED (CCH), a leading provider of tax law information.
Tax

President Bush Signs Victims of Terrorism Bill

On Thursday, President Bush signed the Victims of Terrorism Tax Relief Act of 2001 (H.R.2884), which provides tax relief to families of people killed in the terrorist attacks of September 11, the anthrax mailings that occurred after September 11, and the Oklahoma City bombing.The bill provides relief on several levels:Income and payroll tax for victims is waived for the year of death and the preceding year. If the total waived income tax is not at least $10,000, a minimum benefit of $10,000 for the two years will apply.

Senate Bill Would Restrict Investments in Company Stock

Democratic Senators Barbara Boxer (CA) and Jon Corzine (NJ) have introduced a bill that would protect workers from complete financial devastation in situations like the Enron collapse, where a company goes under without warning.The bill, S.1838, known as the Pension Protection and Diversification Act of 2001, would amend the Employment Retirement In
Community News

Grant Thornton Case: Another Evidence-Destruction Debacle?

In a $2.1 billion action against Grant Thornton, a Baltimore Circuit Court has appointed a Special Master to investigate a possible violation involving the withholding and willful destruction of audit records in a manner likened to the contemporary but better-publicized Enron case.The case against Grant Thornton was brought by Carnegie International, an Internet support and computer telephony holding company with specialization in telecommunications products, services and distributio

US Supreme Court Narrows Definition of 'Disability'

Employers scored a major victory yesterday as the United States Supreme Court limited the definition of "disability" for employees under the American with Disabilities Act.Under the ruling, a person qualifying as "disabled" must be found to have an impairment that affects his or her daily life, not simply the tasks required in a specific job.

New Year, New Laws

With the ringing in of the new year comes the effective date of new laws passed by state legislatures across the country. Laws from election reform to driving restrictions to smoking to gambling went into effect in the early hours of January 1.A quick glance at some of the new laws taking effect this week:In Washington state, a voter-approved initiative will take effect, capping local governments' property tax growth to 1 percent, unless voters allow a larger increase.
Tax

Federal Lawmakers Fail in Push for Stimulus Bill

The clock kept ticking, and members of various congressional committees kept arguing, and in the end, the vast economic stimulus package was left on the cutting room floor.The hope was for agreement on various features that would boost spending and put more money into the economy.

New Social Security Proposals Unveiled

The following article is provided courtesy of CCH, Inc.Following the recent release of Social Security reform proposals by a presidential commission, congressional leaders unveiled proposals of their own that would establish personal retirement accounts within the system.The Social Security Guarantee Plus Plan (HR 3497) was introduced on December 13 by House Ways and Means Social Security Subcommittee Chairman E. Clay Shaw, Jr., R-Fla.
Tax

Bush Backs Off on AMT Repeal

While Congress debates possible scenarios for an economic stimulus package that will accelerate tax cuts and provide additional relief, President Bush is adding some incentives of his own to move the legislation along.On Tuesday, the White House announced it would back off on its pressure to include a repeal of the corporate alternative minimum tax in the economic stimulus package.
Technology

President Signs Bill Banning Internet Taxes

President Bush has signed into law the two-year moratorium on Internet access taxes. The bill effectively slows progress on attempts by states to impose an Internet sales tax.Congress had hoped to tie the issue of whether to allow states to collect sales tax on Internet sales to the bill, but the issue has been tabled for now.President Bush commented, "The Internet is an innovative force that enables such applications as distance learning, video conferencing, and precision farming.
Tax

Congress At Odds Over Relief for Terrorism Victims

The following article is provided courtesy of CCH, Inc.When lawmakers begin their post-Thanksgiving recess conference on the Victims of Terrorism Tax Relief Bill of 2001 (HR 2884), which would provide income, estate, and payroll tax relief to victims of recent terrorist attacks, they will find that the Senate version, which was passed on November 16, contains a great deal more detail than the House's version of the bill, which was approved on Sep
Tax

Senate Pushing for Social Security Holiday

Senate Republicans are hopeful that they can tie a one-month Social Security holiday for all workers and employers to the economic stimulus package that is currently before Congress.

Plan for National Sales Tax Holiday is Shelved

A Congressional push for legislation that would stimulate holiday shopping by providing a national sales tax holiday has met with delays that will likely prevent the holiday from occurring before the end of the year.Although many Senators favor the proposed amendment to a national economic stimulus package, the topic probably won't be discussed in the Senate again until later this week at the earliers.
Tax

Senate Approves Tax Relief Bill

The following article is provided courtesy of CCH, Inc.The Senate on November 16 approved, by voice vote, legislation that would provide tax relief to survivors and victims of the September 11 terrorist attacks. The measure, Victims of Terrorism Relief Bill of 2001 (HR 2884), would grant victims' families an exemption from estate and income taxes.Senate Finance Committee ranking member Charles E.

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