Watchdog

Tax

Tax breaks attract movie makers - and Johnny Depp? - to Wisconsin

Generous tax breaks that took effect at the start of this year are already attracting attention from movie and television companies looking to film in Wisconsin, officials say.The state enacted incentives of up to 25 percent of production costs incurred while shooting in Wisconsin, prompting the Hollywood Reporter to ask, "Is a filmmaking 'third coast' one step closer to happening?' "The incentives apparently put Wisconsin on competitive footing with California and New York, and Milwaukee-based Marcus Theatres has also agreed to "provide the foundation bookings" for movies filmed
Tax

Roles of CPAs and forensic accountants in corporate investigations

Since Sarbanes-Oxley was enacted, the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) have increased the number of their accounting investigations and related enforcement actions. During this time, public companies have also been initiating their own investigations due to internal audit findings, whistleblower allegations or proactively after news reports of accounting improprieties at other entities.
A&A

Disaster recovery, backup, and restore: Big challenges for small businesses

All too frequently, fires, local flooding, and human error threaten computer systems, communications, and the ability of a business of any size to sustain continuous operations. Small and medium sized businesses, accustomed to protecting inventory or paper records, are expected to invest more in "resilience and backup" in 2008 according to cio-midmarket.com. "Most are on the edge where a couple of bad events could shut down business," says Gary Chen an analyst at YankeeGroup.
Tax

My life in crime: Chronicles of a forensic accountant

By William C. Barrett III, CPA/ABV, CVA, CTP, CCFMThe profession of forensic accounting is like any other industry niche: You evolve to a plateau where track record and honed skills permit you to hold yourself out as a professional. Then, like any other business, you starve a lot before you become an overnight sensation - in demand and truly at the top of your practice in providing value - both on scene and in the courtroom.
Tax

Actor Wesley Snipes spars with tax prosecutors

Actor Wesley Snipes didn't pay federal taxes on $37.9 million in income from 1999 to 2004, according to documents filed ahead of the actor's tax fraud trial scheduled to begin on Monday in U.S. District Court in Ocala, FL, 80 miles northwest of Orlando. Snipes has attempted to delay his tax-evasion trial by having his lawyer, Robert Barnes, file a motion to move the trial from the central Florida city, only to have those attempts denied Tuesday by a federal appeals court in Atlanta. The actor's legal team argued that Snipes cannot get a fair trial in Ocala.
Tax

New research provides resources on fraud prevention and financial reporting

Financial Executives Research Foundation (FERF), the research affiliate of Financial Executives International (FEI), has announced the release of two important new pieces of research designed to aid public company management and corporate boards in the efficient evaluation of their assessment of reporting issues and internal controls.A new FERF Study, entitled "What's New in Financial Reporting: Financial Statement Notes from Annual Reports," examines disclosures from 2006 annual reports for the 100 largest publicly-traded companies which used particularly innovative techniques to clearly a
Tax

O.J., Dionne, Sinbad among top tax scofflaws

California Revenue & Taxation Code Section 19195 directs the Franchise Tax Board to publish an annual list of the top 250 taxpayers with liened state income tax delinquencies greater than $100,000. Each taxpayer is given an opportunity to voluntarily settle their liability with the state before their name appears on the public list.According to the California Franchise Tax Board, O.J.
Tax

I'm an auditor, darn it, not an investigator, right?

Recent professional guidance, such as SAS 99, Consideration of Fraud in a Financial Statement Audit, and Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) Auditing Standard 2, has brought more attention to the auditor's responsibility to uncover the warning signs of fraud, but there is still some ambiguity about where the auditor's responsibility ends and the fraud examiner's begins.
Tax

Is your data safe? Survey reveals scandal of snooping IT staff

Results of a recent study reveal the hidden scandal of IT staff snooping at the confidential information of other employees.
Tax

Bonds' homer ball creates tax controversy

Even before San Francisco Giants slugger Barry Bonds hit his record-breaking 756th home run, the analysts were lining up, giving their opinions about how much the ball would be worth and how and when the value of the ball would be taxed.
Technology

Beware phony IRS e-mail warnings

The Internal Revenue Service warned computer users about phony e-mails designed to scare people into believing they are under tax investigation in order to give scammers access to their computer hard drives. The tax agency said that the e-mail claiming to be from IRS Criminal Investigation falsely states that the person is under a criminal probe for submitting a false tax return to the California Franchise Board. Opening up an attachment to learn more about the complaint allows those behind the scam to gain remote access to the computer.
Community News

KPMG says companies unprepared for cross-border fraud

Rapid advances in global trade and information technology appear to have increased the speed with which cross-border crimes are committed, yet most companies are unprepared to investigate fraud promptly if it occurs in a country other than the home of the parent company, according to research by KPMG International.With 92 percent of respondents in a survey saying that they expected to perform at least the same number of international investigations in the coming year as last year, 56 percent acknowledged that they have not implemented comprehensive investigation procedures.
Community News

Anti-Money Laundering Leader Joins KPMG

Former federal prosecutor and banking executive Teresa Pesce has joined KPMG LLP’s Forensic Practice to lead its Anti-Money Laundering (AML) service line, the U.S. audit, tax and advisory firm has announced. In addition, she will help direct criminal and regulatory investigations for clients. She is based in New York.
Tax

Will Fed's Peek at Personal Finances Remain Secret?

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke has announced plans to analyze key facts about the personal finances of thousands of Americans, and he is promising that the information will be held in strict confidence. The Fed sent out letters last week to approximately 10,000 families living in 79 cities and towns around the country asking them to participate in the central bank's latest "Survey of Consumer Finances." The survey, which has been tallied once every three years since 1983, provides detailed information for the central bank and other economic researchers into household finances.
Tax

Ex-IRS Director Pleads Guilty to Fraud

A former IRS district director pleaded guilty Thursday to defrauding the agency in connection with a tax scam orchestrated by Renaissance, The Tax People Inc. of Topeka. Jesse Ayala Cota, a former Internal Revenue Service district director, admitted in federal court in Kansas City, Kan., that he conspired to prepare, or have others prepare, false federal income tax returns resulting in a tax loss to the government of about $1.3 million. Cota, who worked for the IRS for more than 30 years before joining Renaissance, The Tax People Inc.
Tax

Security Update: Microsoft Issues Critical Vista Patches

Just before Easter, Microsoft broke from its usual security alert program to issue a bulletin and patches for a vulnerability that could allow malformed Windows animated cursor files to give hackers remote control over infected PCs.
Tax

IRS Tax Fraud Prosecutions Decrease

A USA TODAY analysis reveals that the Internal Revenue Service is seeking fewer criminal prosecutions of tax fraud suspect, calling into question the agency's claims of renewed enforcement success. A review of IRS data reveals the agency's referrals of tax fraud and other financial cases to the Justice Department fell for the last two years.The decline appears even greater when measured by prosecution referrals in which the Justice Department designated the IRS as the lead investigative agency.
Tax

Fired Accountant Goes on Shooting Spree

A fired accountant bought a shotgun the day after he lost his job, then returned to the office the following week and opened fire on his bosses, wounding both and killing a receptionist, the Associated Press reported.Troy, Mich. police said Anthony LaCalamita III, 38, targeted two managers and also may have intended to shoot another one."There is a suspicion that there might have been a third upper management official he was seeking," said Troy police Lt. Gerry Scherlinck.
Technology

More Companies Squeezing Employee Internet Use

Businesses are becoming more and more strict when managing employee Internet use at work, a new survey shows. A national poll from Robert Half Technology revealed more than three-quarters (78 percent) of chief information officers (CIOs) polled recently said their company has either installed content-filtering or blocking software, instituted policies that detail acceptable Web browsing, or done a combination of both. The poll includes responses from more than 1,400 CIOs from a stratified random sample of U.S. companies with 100 or more employees.
Tax

Jackson Hewitt Begins Internal Review

Jackson Hewitt Tax Service Inc. reports an internal review has begun in the wake of Internal Revenue Service allegations that five franchisees defrauded it out of more than $70 million. "Jackson Hewitt takes allegations against our franchisees seriously," Chief Executive Officer Michael Lister said. Jackson Hewitt, the second-largest U.S. tax preparer, intends to "identify all of the facts related to these allegations and address them appropriately," Lister said.

Pages