State and Local

A&A

Option ARMs Bring Pain to Borrowers and Mortgage Industry

Some mortgage industry experts estimate that as much as one-half trillion dollars’ worth of adjustable rate mortgage loans (ARMs) are scheduled to reset this year, the Washington Post reports. Many will be the nontraditional Option ARMs which allow borrowers to choose to make minimum payments, less than the actual interest on the mortgage, for up to 60 months. The portion of the interest not paid in the Option ARM is added to the principal of the mortgage, and the borrower’s total debt just gets bigger each month, a negative amortization.

Virginia Is Top State For Business

Forbes has completed their first ever ranking of Top States for Business. The Commonwealth of Virginia ranked in the top ten in all six categories, while no other state rated in the top ten in more than three categories.
Tax

States Levy Wide Range of Taxes on Gasoline

Gasoline prices in the U.S. continue to average around $3.00 a gallon. Of that $3.00, 50 cents is tax paid by the consumer. This total tax includes a flat federal excise tax of 18.4 cents per gallon, state gas taxes and depending on the state, sales taxes, local sales taxes, and a variety of fees.

Candidates for Missouri State Auditor Trade Charges of Incompetence

Democrat Susan Montee and Republican Sandra Thomas, opposing candidates for Missouri state auditor, accused each other in a series of charges and countercharges this week of failing to exercise their responsibilities as auditors of their home counties.Advertisement
A&A

New Texas Margin Tax -- Business or Income Tax

Candidates for governor in Texas last week reacted to the Financial Accounting Standards Board’s (FASB) conclusion that the new Texas margin tax was an income tax under Financial Accounting Standards (FAS) 109 “because the tax is based on some measure of income.” FASB declined to set up a project to give advice on the matter.Kathy Walt, spokeswoman for Republican Governor Rick Perry, and former state Comptroller Democrat John Sharp, who headed the commission that recommended the tax, said that FASB was providing instructions for accounting purposes only, according to the Houston Chro
Technology

Sales Tax Holiday Weekend a Big Hit with Shoppers

Shoppers in ten states and the District of Columbia flocked to stores and malls last weekend to take advantage of “sales tax holidays” timed to benefit back-to-school-shoppers. Two more states, Connecticut and Maryland, have scheduled sales tax holidays during the third week of August. In most states, the tax holiday applies to moderately priced clothes, school supplies and in some states, to computers.
Community News

From Goose Race to Ribs Contest, Accountants Keep it Honest

Burkett & Beattie, Inc., an accounting firm in Libertyville, Illinois, will be deciding the winner of the Goose Dropping event at the Goose is Loose Festival sponsored by the Sunrise Rotary Club at the Libertyville Sports complex on August 26th, pioneerlocal.com reports.Advertisement
Tax

Prosecutors: Former Media Baron Lying about Finances

Indicted newspaper publisher Conrad Black enjoys a “free flow of millions of dollars," from his wife's private company, say federal prosecutors, who want Barbara Amiel-Black to reveal her finances under oath.Advertisement

Students Getting Sticker Shock from Textbook Prices

Students entering college in 2006 can expect to pay more than $500 for textbooks for their first semester courses, a huge outlay of cash for many who have already taken out student loans to pay for tuition and fees. University of Connecticut freshman Ben March returned to UConn’s Co-op bookstore for an accounting textbook last February, after having already spent $400 on other textbooks. The book cost $101. “I was trying not to buy it, but I ended up needing it," March said, according to boston.com.
Community News

Men Take Leadership Roles in Women's Accounting Group

While Dennis Lusin is neither a woman nor an accountant, that hasn’t stopped him from becoming president of a chapter of the American Society of Women Accountants (ASWA).Lusin, a Billings, Mont., broker, told the Billings Gazette that he got involved in the group three years ago because he was asked to join after making a presentation on college savings plans. "But I didn't expect that so soon they'd ask me to be their president," he said.While Lusin is the only male member of the Billings Chapter, it turns out that he is not the only male chapter president.
A&A

Darnall, Sikes, Gardes & Frederick Expands Wealth Management Services

DS&F Financial Services LLC, an affiliate of Darnall, Sikes, Gardes and Frederick, a CPA firm with headquarters in Lafayette, Louisiana, will merge with Wealth Care Group Asset Management LLC, the Daily Advertiser reports. The new company will be called DSF Wealth Management LLC.Larry Sikes, president and managing director of Darnall, Sikes, Gardes & Frederick, will be CEO of the merged financial services company.
Tax

Auditors Limited In Responding to Criminal Acts

Auditors sometimes find evidence of criminal or questionable acts in the course of their work.
Tax

Indianapolis Accounting Staffer Embezzled $350,000, City Claims

A former employee of the Indianapolis Parks Department is facing charges that she directed $350,000 in public money to her personal bank accounts.The accounting staffer, who was fired after allegedly admitting her crime to investigators, steered fake credit and debt card refunds to her own accounts, according to charging papers. Questionable transactions went back to 2000. The employee, Kenya Miles, faces charges of official misconduct, theft and fraud against a financial institution.
Tax

Mark Your Calendar: Hawaii Schedules Summer Taxation Workshops

The Hawaii Department of Taxation will launch their 2006 Summer Workshop series on the island of Kauai on July 25.
Tax

Attention Shoppers: 13 States Announce Sales Tax Holidays

Sales tax holidays are growing in popularity this year with four more states joining nine other states and the District of Columbia in waiving sales and use taxes for a limited time during July and August. The waivers may not include all items and local sales taxes may still apply in some locations."This is an excellent opportunity for working families, single parents and anyone else who needs a break to buy essentials and back-to-school items.
Tax

Undisclosed Marriage Causes Problems For Couple

Carolyn Branan and Ralph Lovejoy were married, but they didn’t tell their clients. After their separate companies were found guilty of selling abusive tax shelters, along with KPMG, by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), this former power couple is finding life difficult, being named in about a dozen lawsuits initiated by former clients, according to the Charlotte Observer. Although not indicted by the IRS directly, the couple became key players in the tax shelter market in their own respective firms.
Tax

Audits Find Problems with Use of Government Vehicles

Recent audits at state, local and national government departments have revealed weak controls over personal use of government–owned vehicles by employees, government failure to report personal use as a taxable benefit, underutilization of government owned vehicles and inadequate control of employees’ access to government-owned fuel.
Community News

PKF Texas Airs Best Practice Tips on BusinessMakers Radio Show

The Entrepreneur’s Playbook, a new radio series from Pannell Kerr Forster of Texas P.C. (PKF Texas), airs Saturdays during the BusinessMakers Radio Show on FM News Channel 97.5. Gregory Price, Director of Consulting Services, has been invited to be the voice of PKF Texas’ Entrepreneur’s Playbook, which will offer best practice tips, trends and insights on topics such as blogs, human capital, profit enhancement and cash management.The BusinessMakers™ Radio Show is a two hour weekend radio talk show passionately focused on free enterprise and entrepreneurialism.
Community News

NY Crackdown on Bad Accountants Addresses Long-Term Concern

New York State regulators’ new crackdown on the accounting profession addresses an issue that has been roiling in the Empire State ever since the Enron accounting scandal surfaced several years ago.The New York State Board of Regents has revised the definition of "unprofessional conduct" for CPA's licensed by the state to include disciplinary actions taken by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and its Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB), meaning that accountants or accounting firms disciplined by either of those bodies now can be subject to censure, reprimand and t
Community News

Abilene Accountant Jerry Love Elected Chairman of Texas CPA Society

Jerry Love, a certified public accountant (CPA) from Abilene, Texas, was recently elected chairman of the 27,000 member Texas Society of CPAs (TSCPA). Officially elected July 1 at the TSCPA’s annual meeting, Love will serve a one-year term as the society’s top volunteer.Love will chair the TSCPA’s board of directors, which sets policy, manages programs and oversees activities designed to serve CPAs throughout the state. During his tenure, Love is expected to focus on expanding the TSCPA’s financial literacy efforts, including the society’s Money Management U.

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