State and Local

Community News

Texas Proposal Requires Electric Tax Payments

A proposal filed in both the Texas House and Senate, would require a taxpayer who paid $10,000 or more during the preceding year in the category of payments described below to transfer payments in that category electronically.
Tax

School Bus Driver Allegedly Prepared Returns On Side

The United States has sued a St. Louis woman in federal court to permanently bar her from preparing federal income tax returns for others, the Justice Department announced today. The civil injunction suit against Yolanda White alleges that she prepared federal income tax returns for customers improperly claiming fabricated or exaggerated income tax deductions.According to the government complaint, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, White works as a school bus driver but also prepares fraudulent income tax returns for others.
Community News

New Mexico: Bill Requires Wage Report, Information Return E-filing

A bill – NM SB 344 – requiring businesses with more than 50 employees to file all employee information returns electronically was referred to the New Mexico Senate Corporations and Transportation Committee.The bill also would require businesses with more than 50 employees to file quarterly wage reports electronically. Penalties for failure to file electronic wage reports would be $500 for businesses with between 50 and 250 employees, and $1,000 for businesses with more than 250 employees.
AccountingWEB Life

Legacy Assurance Financial Joins BKR Group

BKR Cornwell Jackson Group is pleased to announce the addition of Legacy Assurance Financial Group, L.P. to the BKR Group of companies.Legacy Assurance Financial Group, L.P. focuses on wealth management and business succession solutions designed specifically for entrepreneurs and closely held businesses owners. The managing director of this new division is Robert D. White, a chartered Financial Consultant and 19-year veteran in the financial services profession.

Texas Comptroller Announces Revamped Tax Dispute Process

Texas Comptroller Susan Combs recently announced the implementation of changes in all phases of the tax dispute resolution process, including audits, appeals, hearings, and rulings.
Tax

Why Taxpayers Don’t Claim EITC

Complex steps for claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit and a lack of awareness about the benefit are the most common reasons why taxpayers fail to claim it, according to H&R Block.H&R Block, which prepared one of every four tax returns claiming the EITC in 2006, helped more than 5 million taxpayers claim nearly $10 billion in EITC benefits last year. Still, the IRS estimates that nearly a quarter of those who qualify don't claim the valuable credit, leaving as much as $1 billion unclaimed.The EITC offsets income taxes as a work incentive for low-income Americans.
A&A

Liquidation Sales Ruled Non-Business Income in Illinois, Missouri, Utah

Recent court decisions in Illinois, Missouri, and Utah have ruled that gains from a liquidation sale of a business do not constitute taxable business income.In each case, the respective state revenue department disagreed with the companies' classification of the gains and issued the companies notices of deficiency.
Tax

New Website Offers Business Owners Property Tax Cut Routes

In early January 2007, the Niagara County, New York, Industrial Development Agency (IDA) granted a history-making Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILOT). Henry Sloma, Chairperson of the Niagara County IDA (NCIDA), and Kevin Pierce, Vice President and Director of the AES NY, LLC, signed allegedly legal paperwork that removes the profitable coal fired power plant, locally known as AES Somerset, from the tax rolls. Industrial Development Agencies normally grant tax cuts to companies in the form of Payment in Lieu of Taxes for two reasons: 1.

States Looking at Universal Health Care

State legislative agendas are primed to consider universal heath care options this year that would give access to health care to millions of uninsured Americans. The editors of State Net Capitol Journal predict that at least eight states are poised to introduce universal health care measures. "The push to find a way to provide medical insurance for some of the estimated 45 million Americans currently without such coverage is not new," said editor Rich Ehisen of Capitol Journal.
Tax

Hawaiian Tax Review Commission Submits Final Report

The Hawaiian 2005-2007 Tax Review Commission has finished its review of its tax structure and issued its final report to the Legislature. The Hawaii Reporter reports some 23 recommendations were made, covering individuals, businesses, nonprofits, and tax professionals.
Tax

States Must Confront Huge Retiree Obligations

Soaring health care costs and low investment returns in pension funds are forcing state and local governments to make drastic changes to retiree health care benefits and to lengthen vesting periods for new workers. As of December 15, the Government Accounting Standards Board (GASB), requires government entities to record Other Post-employment Benefits (OPEB) as accrued liabilities under statements 43 and 45.
Community News

Accounting Firms Receive Tax Breaks, Incentive Grants to Relocate

Accounting firms that are considering moving from their existing locations are getting a lot of help from local governments who want to retain or attract professional firms to their communities. Whitinger Properties, a long established accounting firm in Muncie, Indiana, received $120,890 in tax breaks this week from the Muncie City Council on a new $2.3 million office building in Ontario Place, the StarPress.com reports.
Community News

East Coast Firm Moves into Los Angeles

A Maryland-based accounting firm is continuing its westward expansion with the addition of an office in the Los Angeles (LA) area that will focus on commercial real estate clients.Reznick Group, CP, of Bethesda, said it plans to hire 20-25 staff for its new office in Century City. The new office brings the company’s total locations to eight, with two in California. Reznick opened its first West Coast practice in Sacramento in 2003.Reznick Group, established in 1977, says it currently employs about 1,000 people. Inside Public Accounting ranks it No. 17 in the U.S. in size.
Tax

Congress' Last Hours Extend Tax Breaks, Creates Iraq Accounting Oversight Office

Residents of states that do not levy income tax, college students and their families, teachers and many high-tech companies, are among the beneficiaries of the tax and trade bill passed by the House on Friday and the Senate on Saturday morning at 4 a.m. Earlier in the week, the Senate extended the term of the Office of the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction which was set up by Congress to provide oversight of the Iraq Relief and Reconstruction Fund and all obligations, expenditures, and revenues associated with reconstruction and rehabilitation activities in Iraq.
Tax

Congress May Extend Sales Tax Deduction This Week

If the House of Representatives and the Senate do not extend the sales tax deduction during the final days of the lame duck session, residents of the seven states that do not levy personal income tax, who itemize their deductions, will see an increase in federal tax owed for 2006.
A&A

Communities Partner with Salvation Army to Help Needy

Volunteer bell-ringers in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, want to bring in enough donations to help pay for holiday food baskets for 900 needy families in the region this year, says Major Marie Harris, Community Relations and Program Development Officer in Williamsport. Fifty local businesses have joined in the fundraising effort by participating in the Festival of Trees, donating and decorating trees in the Lycoming Mall that will be auctioned in mid-December for the benefit of the Salvation Army.
Community News

BKD Acquires Firms in Kansas City, Houston

A top 10 certified public accounting (CPA) firm has boosted its risk management services in the Texas market by combining its Houston office with an internal audit firm there.BKD, LLP, based in Springfield, Mo., announced the merger of its Houston office with Beacon Alliance, LP. Beacon Alliance, an audit and risk consulting company, will relocate its 13 professionals to BKD’s Houston location.
Community News

Firms Conduct School District Management, Accounting & Audits

Accounting firms are in the business of providing services to firms and organizations, even school districts, apparently. The Flint [Michigan] Journal reports that the firm Plante & Moran has signed a contract to perform the functions of their departed chief financial officer (CFO) until June 30, 2007, or until a new CFO is selected by the district. By the terms of the contract, Plante & Moran receive $14,000 a month, the salary and benefits for its former CFO, according to district officials.
Practice Management

Pennsylvania Firm Sells Audit Group to Regional Ally

One of the manifestations of regulations separating external accounting from internal auditing is that accounting firms some times find themselves shedding a division in order to grow.Such is the case for Beard Miller Company, LLP. The Pennsylvania-based CPA firm, which goes by bmc, announced the sale of its internal auditing and compliance division to McKonly & Asbury, LLP, also of central Pennsylvania.
Tax

Complex Rules Determine Who Will Pay Honolulu’s General Excise Tax Increase

When Hawaii’s state legislature decided to allow county governments on each of the four islands to vote separately on a .5 percent rate hike in the state’s general excise tax (GET), currently at 4 percent, to pay for the proposed mass transit system serving Honolulu, it was trying to avoid making taxpayers on all four islands pay the hike, according to Lowell L. Kalapa, president of the Tax Foundation of Hawaii .

Pages