Legislation

Community News

Showdown with the SEC

Representatives from CPA firms, educational institutions, and accounting regulatory agencies will present testimony today before the Securities & Exchange Commission in an attempt to have their say about the proposed guidelines to limit the auditors’ scope of services.

Schedule of Witnesses for Wednesday's SEC Hearings

SEC Announces Schedule of Witnesses for Public Hearing on AuditorIndependenceSchedule of AppearancesPublic Hearing - July 26, 20009:00 am - 5:30 pmAs previously announced, the Commission is holding a public hearing on Wednesday, July 26, in connection with its proposed rule amendments regarding auditor independence. The hearing will take place in the William O. Douglas Room of the Commission's headquarters at 450 Fifth Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20549.
Community News

KPMG Slams 'Irrelevant' SEC Auditor Independence Rules

KPMG has attacked the Securities & Exchange Commission's rulings for auditor independence as "irrelevant and based entirely on misperception" on the eve of a public hearing looking into the proposals.The SEC is due to hear evidence from leading figures from the profession, including representatives of KPMG, Arthur Anderesen and Deloitte & Touche, in a marathon event scheduled for this Wednesday in Washington DC.Neil Lerner, head of European Risk Management at KPMG UK, said that the SEC's actions would be disastrous for the major fir
Tax

Effect of Marriage Tax Cut on $1.8 Trillion Surplus

Last week's vote to send tax cut legislation for married couples to the White House for consideration has fueled yet another battle between Democrats and Republicans in a very important election year.Democrats who voted against ending the marriage tax penalty are concerned that the passing of the tax cut will use up all of the projected 10-year, $1.8 trillion surplus.
Technology

Does Your Boss Read Your Email?

To date, courts have upheld an employer's right to monitor an employee’s email because the employee is using the employer’s computer equipment on the employer’s time. Employers are not required to inform employees of their intent to monitor email, voice mail, and other communications which may include personal content. However, members of Congress are considering legislation that would require employers to advise employees of their intent to monitor such communications.
Tax

Marriage Tax Bill Goes to White House

The Republican-controlled House and Senate have reached agreement on a marriage tax relief bill that would provide a more fair income tax rate for married couples where both spouses work. The bill changes the standard deduction for married couples to be twice the standard deduction for unmarred taxpayers, and this change would be retroactive to January 1, 2000.In addition, the bill provides for a change in the tax brackets so that single or married, the tax on income is the same.
Tax

Congress Votes to Change the Way We Look at Taxes

The week in Washington was anything but dull. Nearly every day we were presented with a new, more glorious bill and a gaggle of vote-hungry representatives and senators eager to vote 'yea.' There isn't a single issue here that won't please most of the American public - so why is it so likely that so few of these measures will actually make it into law?Marriage Tax Penalty. There are bizarre rules in the Internal Revenue Code that make it possible for two people to earn the same income at the same job but pay vastly different income tax on that income due to their marital status.
Tax

Third Time’s a Charm on Tax Legislation

The House voted 401-25, which of course means that Republicans and Democrats alike are in the same camp on this one, to increase the annual contribution limits to the nation’s most popular retirement plans, the IRA and the 401(k).
Tax

Marriage Tax Cut On to Next Step

A joint House/Senate conference committee will proceed with ironing out the differences between the two versions of the marriage tax cut bill that passed in the House and Senate.
Technology

Get that Junk Mail Out of Your e-Mailbox!

The House has passed H.R.3113, “Unsolicited Commercial Electronic Mail Act of 2000,” which may cause junk e-mailers to look for a new way to make a living. The bill nearly passed almost unanimously (427-1), and so should have an easy ride through the Senate. The dissenting vote was cast by former Libertarian turned Republican Representative, Ron Paul, of Texas.The provisions of the bill require that anyone sending an email message will be required to provide a valid return address, so that recipients may request that their name be removed from the mailing list.
Tax

Let’s Give Employees the Whole Truth

The House has paved the way for better employee understanding of just what goes on “behind the scenes” regarding employer contributions to Social Security and Medicare by passing a bill that will require this information to be disclosed on annual W-2 forms.The Right-to-Know Payroll Act, as it is presently called, would require an amendment to the IRS Tax Code calling for new areas on the W-2 form to display employer contributions that are made on behalf of employees. The bill was introduced by Rep.
Tax

IRS Issues new Preparer Rules

In 1998 the IRS issued proposed regulations regarding the retention of preparer-signed tax documents. Those proposed regulations have been withdrawn, effective July 18, 2000, and replaced with final regulations.

SEC Using MicroStrategy as Example of Auditor Independence Violations

This is not the first time that the alleged marriage between Vienna, Virginia based software developer MicroStrategy and the auditors and consultants at PricewaterhouseCoopers has been in the news.
Community News

AICPA Steps up Fight Against Auditor Restrictions

Proposals to restrict the non-audit services an auditor can perform for a client could be against the public interest, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) has warned.AICPA president Barry Melancon told the told the Panel on Audit Effectiveness, which is reviewing Securities and Exchange Commission plans to limit an auditor's relationship with the client, that - with the right safeguards - a firm can offer a variety of services and still carry out a reliable audit.
Tax

Marriage Tax Penalty One Step Closer to its Grave?

With a vote of 269-159, the House gave its blessing to a marriage tax relief bill that is now on its way to the Senate. The Senate hopes to send a final version of the marriage bill, along with a bill for demolishing the estate tax, to President Clinton on the eve of the Republican National Convention, the timing of which is not coincidental.The marriage penalty tax, as it is justifiably called, is a nuance of the tax code that requires married couples to pay tax at a higher rate than they would if they remained single.
Technology

Is Netscape a Peeping Tom?

America Online Inc.’s subsidiary, Netscape, is being accused by New York attorneys of illegally monitoring downloads using SmartDownload software. The result of the claim against Netscape’s illegal spying on users is the filing of suit in federal court. The attorneys have asked that the legal claim be granted class action status.Apparently users who have downloaded information from the internet have identifiable information transmitted back to Netscape. From there, information is compiled and profiles can be created of a customer’s downloads.

Antitrust Laws May Affect Internet B2B Sites

Court sentiment seems to be anti-monopoly these days, a far cry from the Reagan era when antitrust lawyers were looking for something else to do for a living. Giant corporations are striving to become larger and more powerful, while closing the marketplace to their smaller competitors.The newspapers are filled with stories of major corporate mergers and the negative effects these mergers can have on smaller companies, but the undercurrent seems to be dragging along the Internet economy as well.

Social Security Cap Boosts Aged Workers

When President Clinton signed the legislation last week that lifted the cap on social security earnings for Americans, ages 65-69, he not only provided seniors the ability to continue working, but helped feed the employee-needy small business marketplace.In essence, the cap enables this population to work without jeopardizing their social security benefits.Experts do not yet know how many aged Americans will enter the workforce, but potential workers may do so right away if they choose; legislation was made retroactive to Jan.

Update on Gas Tax Repeal

Here's an update to our Gas Tax story we ran earlier this week.The Senate gave its initial nod to suspending the tax on gasoline from mid-April to the end of the year, but according to sources, the issue is not resolved until the Senate takes a final vote, and of course, having the House of Representatives also approve the measure.The hold-up may be Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle, who stands opposed to repealing the tax because he believes it would take money away from the highw
Community News

CPA/Client Confidentiality Preserved in Colorado

A few months ago, AccountingWEB followed with interest the question before the Colorado legislature about CPA-client privelege.

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