Watchdog

Tax

Accountants Can Help Identify Alter-Egos

Piercing the corporate veil is a law doctrine recognized throughout the country to prevent the abuse of corporations and protect creditors who might otherwise not be paid. When the veil is pierced, the courts will disregard the separate legal existence of corporations (including LLCs) and its shareholders or members.
Technology

IRS Opens New E-mail Box for Reporting Phony E-mails

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has created a new electronic mailbox, at phishing@irs.gov, where taxpayers should send information regarding suspicious e-mails claiming to be from the IRS.
Practice Management

Former Andersen Partners Testify in Trial of Lay and Skilling

John R.
Tax

IRS Proposes to Let Tax Preparers Sell Tax Information

A proposal by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to permit tax preparers to sell tax information to third parties for marketing purposes if the taxpayer has signed a consent, drew little attention when it was first published in December as part of a set of proposed changes to Section 6103 of the tax code. Section 6103 covers disclosure of taxpayer information.
Tax

Scams Increase As Tax Deadline Approaches

An unsolicited e-mail from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is most likely a scam.Identity thieves are using the IRS name, or logo, in an attempt to gain access to financial information and steal the assets of unknowing taxpayers, the IRS warns.
Tax

Federal Contractors Probed as Tax Gap Widens

A new report released by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) shows that more than 3,800 contractors doing business with the General Services Administration (GSA) have tax debts totaling some $1.4 billion, reports Time.
Tax

State Guidelines, Accounting Issues Hold Up Disaster Relief Funds in Louisiana

State officials in Louisiana are delaying access to $7.5 billion in Gulf Opportunity Zone bonds (GO Zone) to public and private companies for nonresidential reconstruction and renovation projects until the state establishes new standards for these projects.
Tax

Learned Inefficiency: Box-Cutters vs. Bad Numbers

These days, it seems like everyone is in trouble. Just pick up a paper or turn on the news and you can hear about accounting firms getting fined for violating independence rules and federal agents breaching airport security with alarming regularity.
Tax

Debit Card Fraud Jumps

Thieves are finding new ways to steal from us. In stealing account information, they have made an end run around the PIN code system and started producing counterfeit ATM cards to steal money directly from related accounts.
Practice Management

Whistleblowers or Lamplighters?

Snitch! Tattletale! Squealer!
Technology

Mark Your Calendar: SEC Enforcement Chief Leads Internet Fraud Discussion

The focus of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Historical Society’s inaugural “Fireside Chat” for 2006 is online fraud and the use of the Internet to perpetrate insider trading, market manipulations, and other securities violations. The free, one-hour, program will be broadcast live and online between 3:00 and 4:00 p.m.
Tax

Tax Cheats Beware: Compliance Support at All-Time High

The 2005 IRS Oversight Board Taxpayer Attitude Survey, released in late February, revealed that 88 percent, or nearly nine out of ten Americans, feel that it is “not at all” acceptable to cheat on your income taxes. This is the highest level of support since the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Oversight Board began tracking attitudes towards tax cheating in 1999.
Tax

Accountants Play Starring Role at Sunday's Academy Awards

Two people who play a big part in Sunday's Oscars ceremony already know they're going to feel out of place. “We're accountants," said Oscar-vote handler Rick Rosas. "We're the most anonymous people sitting in the Green Room. We're the most nondescript. We're clearly the two who don't fit in. And we're the only two who have a security detail."Rosas and fellow PriceWaterhouseCoopers partner Brad Oltmanns have the enviable job of counting Oscar ballots, ensuring the accuracy of the numbers, and knowing long before anyone else who the big winners are.
Tax

Enron Accountant Admits to Raiding Reserves to Boost Earnings

An Enron accountant testified in court Monday that he plundered reserve funds to inflate earnings and make look Enron look more successful than it was.Advertisement
Tax

AIG Reaches Settlement While Investigation of Execs Continues

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), last week simultaneously announced with the Office of the Attorney General of New York State and The U.S. Department of Justice, (DOJ), the filing and settlement of charges that American International Group, Inc. (AIG) committed securities fraud. The agreement also settles charges against the company by New York and The DOJ of claims related to bid rigging and practices involving workers’ compensation funds.
Tax

Policing Resume Padding

The state of Washington is considering a bill that would impose a $1,000 fine on those claiming, in writing, to have an academic degree they didn’t possess. Also, failing to disclose that a listed degree came from an unaccredited institution will cause a fine. The bill passed the Washington House last week and now goes to the Senate, according to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. These degrees are offered to people based on their general life experiences. The bills aim to close legal loopholes concerning “diploma mills” operating within the state and in foreign countries.
Tax

Be on the Lookout For: IRS Names “Dirty Dozen” for 2006

Two new schemes have joined the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS’) list of most noxious tax scams this filing season. Several usual suspects also remain on the list, which was released earlier this week.
Tax

Think Personal E-Mails are No Big Deal? Think Again

We all do it. Using the company's e-mail system to send jokes, “talk” with friends or even comment on the boss–it's considered just a small part of an ordinary work day.But consider this: How would you like those e-mails to be made public? An anti-spam software maker has done just that, posting 515,000 e-mail messages from Enron employees at EnronEmail.com. The e-mails were released to the public in 2003 by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which collected them during its Enron investigation. The company, InBoxer Inc.
Tax

Computer Virus Turns 20 Amid New IT Security Scares

This month marks the twentieth anniversary of the first personal computer virus attack. What better way to celebrate than with the release of additional studies confirming that businesses’ high technology endeavors operate in a minefield of new viruses, worms and other security threats?The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) found that 87 percent of businesses it surveyed suffered attacks that affected their computer security last year.
Tax

IRS, Prosecutors Crack Down on Tax Evasion, Tax Fraud

Questionable Refund Program. “We will announce plans in the very near future to institute notification procedures as well as significant processing improvements to minimize the number of taxpayers whose refunds are frozen unnecessarily,” Everson said. Senators of both parties had requested the review following congressional testimony by the National Taxpayer Advocate, Nina Olson, New York Times reports.The IRS said that members of Congress and the National Taxpayer Advocate had raised legitimate issues regarding the length of delay and lack of notification for refund claims.

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