Watchdog

Tax

Demand for forensic CPAs increases

Demand for CPAs providing forensic accounting services has accelerated, according to a survey by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.Two out of three CPAs polled (68 percent) say their forensic practices have grown over the past year."The survey findings tell us that not only are forensic accounting services in demand, but specifically that CPAs with this expertise are in high demand," said Stephen Winters, AICPA director, firm practice management and specialized communities.
Tax

Nicolas Cage challenges IRS and gets a lower tax bite

He fought the IRS and won, sort of. Now he only owes two-thirds of a million dollars, still enough to make most grown men cry. Actor Nicolas Cage is yet another celebrity caught in the glare of the IRS spotlight as the tax agency focuses on high income earners. Forbes.com reported last spring that Cage was notified by the IRS that he and his company, Saturn Productions of Los Angeles, might be in trouble. The issue? Improper deductions and underreported income.
Tax

Football great Bernie Kosar pays tax lien

Bernie Kosar, the former National Football League quarterback, says he has paid the $228,806.21 lien the IRS placed on him for income taxed owed for 2006, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer. The Miami Herald had reported Kosar was behind on property tax for 2007, failing to pay $52,724.95 as of March 31, owing $59,881.49 with penalties, interest, and other charges.As a player for the Browns, Kosar helped guide the team to three AFC Championship games. He also played with the Cowboys, and the Dolphins.
Tax

A tax tale gone wild: Is Joe Francis a victim of the rogue IRS and a disgruntled CPA?

Joe Francis, founder of the "Girls Gone Wild" videos, is no stranger to legal trouble. But according to his attorney Robert Bernhoft, the eleven months Francis just spent in jail awaiting trial on felony tax evasion charges had nothing to do with any misbehavior on his part. Instead, the trouble stems from the government persecuting his client because, says Bernhoft: They don't like his videos; they are jealous of his youth and his enormous success; and the IRS runs a "rat-out-your-neighbor" abusive Whistleblower program.
Tax

Celebrity Watch: Michael Vick adds back-taxes to list of woes

Former NFL quarterback Michael Vick, currently serving a prison term for criminal conspiracy resulting from felonious dog fighting, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection earlier this month and has requested more time for preparing the paperwork in his bankruptcy proceeding.
Tax

IRS employee charged with illegally accessing celebrity tax records

An Internal Revenue Service tax examiner has been charged with snooping into the tax records of nearly 200 actors, celebrities, professional athletes, and even his next-door neighbor.John Snyder, of the Covington, KY IRS processing center, allegedly looked up personal information on actors Kevin Bacon, Alec Baldwin, Sally Field, Vanna White, and the late Eddie Albert.
Tax

Celebrity Watch: Snipes, out on bail, continues his fight

Actor Wesley Snipes is fighting the government again, but this time over a bill of nearly $260,000 to cover the costs of prosecuting him on tax evasion charges.According to the Ocala Star-Banner, federal prosecutors in May asked U.S. Magistrate Judge Gary R. Jones to order Snipes to pay $257,687 for the cost of prosecuting the case. Snipes's lawyers, in a motion filed May 28, argued that the costs should not be allowed.His lawyers noted that Snipes was acquitted of some of the charges, and the bill wrongly included costs associated with them.
Tax

New CFF forensic accounting credential to be launched by AICPA in Fall

The governing Council of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants has authorized the creation of a new CPA specialty credential in forensic accounting.The credential, Certified in Financial Forensics (CFF), will combine specialized forensic accounting expertise with the core knowledge and skills that make CPAs among the most trusted business advisors, according to Robert Harris, chair of the National Accreditation Commission.
A&A

Fraud 101: Small business at risk

FRAUD: 1. Intentional perversion of truth in order to induce another to part with something of value or to surrender a legal right 2. The act of deceiving or misrepresenting. That's how Webster's Dictionary defines the word "fraud"Business fraud and abuse costs have reached $400 BILLION dollars a year. That equates to $9.00 per employee, per day. Pretty incredible isn't it! It appears that the work force today has become Ethically Challenged. Who's the most at risk? The answer, small businesses.Fraud is difficult and often impossible to prevent.
Tax

Wesley Snipes gets prison time for tax crimes

Saying Wesley Snipes showed "contempt," a Florida judge sentenced the actor to three years in prison for failing to file income tax returns."These are serious crimes, albeit misdemeanors, because he has a history of contempt over time," said U.S. District Court Judge William Terrell Hodges during Snipes's sentencing hearing in Ocala, FL Thursday.Hodges sentenced Snipes to the maximum sentence, one year for each misdemeanor count, to be served consecutively, Bloomberg reported.
Tax

Lights! Camera! Accountants take to the big screen

The stereotypical accountants may seem like they lead an orderly, quiet life, with little excitement or notoriety. And when you think of Hollywood glamour, the image of an accountant might not be the first thing that jumps to mind.
Tax

Feds turn to forensic accounting

Discipline is exploding field—and popular not only for uncovering corporate crime, but also tracking terrorist activity.By Darrell D. Dorrell, CPA/ABV, MBA, ASA, CVA, CMA, DABFALast month, the FBI announced it was investigating 14 unnamed investment banks, developers, sub-prime lenders, and other companies involved in the subprime-lending mess that has left Florida with the second-highest home foreclosure rate in the country.
Tax

IRS, Nicolas Cage tangle over personal expenses

Actor Nicolas Cage is the latest celebrity to be caught up in a dispute with the IRS.The IRS contends that Cage, the star of "National Treasure," wrongly wrote off $3.3 million in personal expenses, reports Forbes.com. The expenses included limos, meals, travel, gifts, and his Gulfstream turbojet.Fellow actor Wesley Snipes also tangled with the IRS, which accused him of dodging his tax obligations from 1999 to 2004. Snipes was recently found guilty on three misdemeanor charges for failing to file income tax returns.Forbes, citing U.S.
Tax

Snipes jury acquits on felony tax charges

The jury in the Wesley Trent Snipes tax trial has found the actor guilty on three misdemeanor charges for failing to file income tax returns. Snipes was acquitted on felony charges of conspiracy to defraud the Internal Revenue Service and presenting a fraudulent claim for payment to the IRS. He was also acquitted on three other charges of failing to file income tax returns. Eddie Ray Kahn, of Sorrento, FL, and Douglas P. Rosile, of Venice, FL, were found guilty of conspiracy to defraud the IRS and presenting a fraudulent claim for payment to the IRS.A sentencing date has not been set.
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

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