Legislation

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.

Gas-Tax Holiday Proposed

With gas prices rising to astronomical amounts across the country, the government has taken a good look at what it could do to appease the burden on Mr. and Mrs. Average America. The answer could be found in a gas-tax holiday that lasts mid-April to Dec.
Tax

St. Patrick's Day Green: IRS is Hiring

Finding the pot o'gold at the end of the rainbow has reached the IRS, who asked Congress on Thursday for approval to hire 2,000 more employees as part of the Service's proposed 9.5 percent budget increase.Several thousand more employees would enable the IRS to step up its audit investigations, and without the increase, Commissioner Rossotti said more taxpayers may be forced to cheat on their taxes.Overall projected budget is $8.8 billion for fiscal 2001 for an increase of $769 million dollars.

AICPA and Bar Offer Tax Simplification

Several of the largest organizations involved in taxation issues has offered sage advice to Congress regarding tax simplification.The American Institute of CPAs, the American Bar Association and the Tax Executives Institute sent comments to Washington in the hopes that their opinions will be heard.Areas mentioned for simplification include the Earned Income Credit, the "half" measure for early withdrawals from retirement accounts, the Alternative Minimum Tax, minimum distributions from

Texans Favor Internet Tax

The great state of Texas has spoken. A new telephone poll of 1,000 residents confirms that 54 percent of respondents favored taxing goods and services at the same rate as those found in traditional venues.The poll, conducted by Scripps Howard, also found that 32 percent opposed the Internet sales tax (14 percent rode the fence).The results have changed since previous polls in which prior surveys found that respondents were fairly split on their opinions regarding the special tax.Texans who did not use the Internet were much more positive about taxing purchases.
Tax

Tax News Covers Charitable Deductions

The latest tax news from MSNBC covers a variety of topics including news that taxpayers who do not itemize may be able to deduct charitable contributions.Approximately 70 percent of taxpayers do not itemize and do not write off any deductions currently. A legislative plan backed by President Clinton would allow deductions, and since this is an election year, it may be interesting to note that George W.
Community News

CPA-Client Privelege Being Challenged in Colorado

Should a state Board of Accountancy have the right to view client records without the clients permission?

Corporate Giant Under Investigation

Tyco International Ltd. announced that the Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating the company’s books. Securities lawyers say actions such as this underscores how serious regulators are about cleaning up companies' accounting practices.Management of earnings and revenues with specific reference to the acquisition arena is under scrutiny by the SEC. Tyco, with more than 100 acquisitions under its belt in the past seven years, has drawn the SEC’s attention.
Practice Management

Is It OK To Spy On Your Employees?

According to a survey by the American Management Association International, two-thirds of businesses eavesdrop on their employees in some fashion -- whether through email tracking, Internet usage, by videotape or over the phone. And in just about every situation, they have a right to do so.Employers have the fiduciary responsibility to protect the business they are working in, and part of that responsibility is to ensure that employees are not abusing the rules and regulations of the business.Technology has allowed the ability to monitor employee activity very easily.
A&A

Regulators to Increase Supervision of U.S. Big Banks

In his speech to the American Bankers Association's annual convention in Phoenix on Monday, Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan said that few regulatory changes are needed for the majority of banks in the U.S. However, regulators are looking into increasing the level of supervision of the country's largest banks because of the negative impact they could bring upon the U.S.

Republican Governors Push for Tax Cuts

In what is considered par for the course at this point in the great tax debate, the Republican party once again has voiced its concerns over President Clinton's expected veto of the Republican-recommended tax cut.On Saturday, the nation's 31 Republican governors jointly spoke in favor of the tax cut, and were in full agreement that the president must take a second look at the tax cut of $792 million before the issue is dead in the water.Spearheading the latest effort is Wyoming Governor Jim Geringer, who, in the Republicans' weekly
Technology

Internet Tax Study Raises More Questions Than Answers

Should products sold over the Internet be tax-free? This question is the focus of an Internet tax study assigned to a 19-member U.S. panel named by Congress. Under a 1998 "cyberlaw," a three-year tax reprieve was set for new state and local Internet taxation to give the panel time to produce the in-depth study.But obtaining funding for the study seems to be as cumbersome as finding an answer to the initial question.

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