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2007 Excellence in Project Accounting Philosophy Essay Scholarship Contest Begins

The 2007 Excellence in Project Accounting Philosophy essay scholarship contest launches on January 1, 2007.

Holiday Spending for 2006

Americans are digging into their pockets, or credit cards, preparing to spend $457.4 billion this holiday shopping season, according to the National Research Federation (NRF), with gift cards being bought in record numbers. This year, according to the American Express 2006 Gift Card Survey, 66 percent of the 1013, 18 years and up, individuals surveyed via telephone, plan to give a card in 2006, compared to last year's 57 percent.
Practice Management

2007 Salary Guide for Accounting and Finance Professionals Released

Compliance demands and expansion of businesses will increase the need for skilled workers in the accounting and finance fields and make recruitment even more difficult in the coming year, according to the 2007 Salary Guide released by Robert Half International.Advertisement
Tax

IRS Issues New Guidelines for Charitable Payroll Deductions

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) on Friday announced new guidelines for taxpayers to follow to substantiate donations to charities made by payroll deductions. Notice 2006-110 explains how a taxpayer who makes charitable contributions by payroll deductions can meet the new recordkeeping requirements. The recently enacted Pension Protection Act of 2006 changed the recordkeeping requirements for taxpayers claiming deductions for cash contributions to charities, including contributions made by payroll deductions.
Tax

Guidance on Reporting and Withholding Under Code Section 409A Issued

The Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued Notice 2006-100, Reporting and Wage Withholding Under Internal Revenue Code Section 409A on Thursday, providing guidance to employers and payers on their reporting and wage withholding requirements for calendar years 2005 and 2006, with respect to deferrals of compensation and amounts includible in gross income under Code Section 409A and relief from reporting deferrals that are not includible in income during those years.Notice 2006-100 supersedes Notice
A&A

Credit Card Companies Marketing New Small Business Cards

Spurred by the growth in small business owners since 2001, up 4 percent to 5.9 million, and the business potential of the 90 percent of small business spending not on credit cards, American Express, Visa and others are marketing new cards designed for the small business owner.

Credit Card 101: Advice Before Shopping

The numbers of bankruptcies is again on the rise after the tough bankruptcy law of 2005, and they are returning in large numbers.Advertisement

Tips for Holiday Travel in the Air, on the Road or by Rail

If you are traveling during the holidays, be prepared to wait. With roads, rails and airlines packed to capacity and sometimes beyond, any hiccup, from weather to gridlock, can cause ripples throughout the system.In The AirChances are travelers will encounter long lines, particularly at airport security checkpoints, as an expected 25 million passengers take to the skies between Friday, November 17 and Tuesday, November 28, 2006. The Wednesday before thanksgiving and the Sunday after are the busiest travel days.
Tax

The Formula Business Is Waiting For: IRS Reveals How to Calculate Excise Tax Refund

“Businesses and tax-exempt organizations generally have more varied phone usage patterns than individuals,” Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Commissioner Mark Everson explained in a statement announcing a formula businesses and tax-exempt organizations can use to estimate their federal telephone excise tax refunds. “The IRS has met with a number of businesses and tax-exempt organizations to understand their concerns.

Bank, ATM Fees Reach Record Highs

The Fall 2006 Checking Account Pricing Study, a survey conducted by Bankrate.com, found that some customer fees and requirements hit record highs."What makes these fees especially irritating is that they're avoidable," according to Greg McBride, senior financial analyst for Bankrate.com.
Tax

Understanding Your 401(k) Fees, Tax Implications

With more pension plans floundering or failing altogether, workers are advised to step up their knowledge of their company's 401(k) plan.Financial advisers say workers should understand the overall structure of these popular retirement savings accounts, as well as the fees they are paying and the tax implications of 401(k)s.Advertisement
Tax

2007 Standard Mileage Rates Released

Beginning January 1, 2007, the optional standard mileage rates used to calculate the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business will increase by 4 cents, to 48.5 cents per mile. The mileage rate for medical and moving purposes increases 2 cents, to 20 cents per mile driven. These standard mileage rates apply to cars, vans, pickups and panel trucks.The standard mileage rates for business, medical and moving purposes are based on an annual study of the fixed and variable costs of operating an automobile.
Tax

More Than $186 Billion in Cross-border Investment Taxes Are Recoverable

GlobeTax, the world's largest filer of withholding tax reclaims, has released the results of an aggregation survey showing $186 billion or more of withholding tax on cross-border investments income that is recoverable in 2006/07. Director of Marketing Ross McGill states, "Previous surveys probably gave a restricted view of the market, in our opinion, because they were derived from limited data sets. And so, while the results were interesting, they were of questionable value.
Education & Careers

College Grads Earn More; Accountants’ Pay Continues to Climb

The cost of a college education pays off for most people, according to data from the Census Bureau’s 2005 Current Population Survey released last week. The average gap in earnings for all working adults with a bachelor’s degree and those with high school diplomas is about $23,000 a year, the Associated Press reports. College grads earned an average of $51,554 a year in 2004, the most recent figures available, compared with $28,645 for high school graduates and $19,169 for high school dropouts.

Home Prices At 35-Year Low

Last month new home prices fell in the largest year-over-year measure since September 2005. Although some buyers still say home prices are out of range, the Associated Press reports that the median price for a new home was $217,100 in September, according to the Commerce Department (DoC). The report, released this past week, announced that this was the sharpest decline in median home prices since December 1970. The Associated Press reports these numbers emphasized the slowdown in the housing market, while home sales increased by 5.3 percent.

Savings in America

The concept or practice of personal savings has been lost among excesive spending for most Americans. According to Forbes, the American personal savings rate as a percentage of disposable income was negative 0.5 percent. Other industrialized nations, like France or Germany, have savings rates of 11.6 percent and 10.6 percent, respectively, while Japan can be proud of a savings rate of 6.7 percent.Sophie Beckmann told Forbes, “The savings situation in this country is dire, as people are not adding to their savings in the way they should be.
Practice Management

AICPA Tries Again with Proposed Valuation Standard for CPAs

The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) on Monday released an Exposure Draft of Proposed Statement on Standards for Valuation Services (SSVS) Valuation of a Business, Business Ownership Interest, Security, or Intangible Asset.
A&A

SBA-Backed Loans Set Records for 6th Consecutive Year

Small businesses turned to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) for commercial financing in record numbers during fiscal year 2006, setting new single-year records for both the number of loans and the dollars loaned, according to SBA Administrator Steven C.
A&A

Accounting Rules Allow “Spring-loading,” “Bullet-dodging” Option Grants

The government will not have any accounting basis for enforcement actions against companies for “spring-loading” or “bullet-dodging” stock option grants, according to Scott Taub, deputy chief accountant for the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC ). Taub spoke at a Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) advisory council meeting in New York on Tuesday, Reuters reports.
Tax

Reminder: October 16 Filing Deadline Approaching for Katrina Victims

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) reminds taxpayers from the areas of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, most severely damaged by Hurricane Katrina, that the deadline for filing tax year 2004 and 2005 individual tax returns is October 16, 2006. No additional postponements or extensions are available for tax year 2004. An additional six-month filing extension to April 15, 2007, is available to affected taxpayers whose 2005 filing date was postponed from April 15, 2006, to October 16, 2006.

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