AccountingWEB Weekly News Wrap-Up - Issue 118

AccountingWEB Weekly News Wrap-Up - Issue 118

October 26, 2001

This News Wrap-Up Sponsored by:

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NEWS FOR ACCOUNTINGWEB MEMBERS

1. AICPA Council Votes to Support Global Credential
2. IRS Clarifies 401(k) Catch-Up Rules
3. 2002 Social Security Wage Base Announced
4. Depreciation Rules Change Due to Terrorist Attacks
5. New War Bonds Provide Patriotic Investment Option
6. Swap Annual Leave for Charity Donations
7. KPMG: $9M Settlement in Medicare Fraud Case
8. IRS Launches New Program to Nab Professionals
9. Top Executives Vote in Favor of Financial Disclosure
10. House Passes $100B Economic Stimulus Bill

EDITORIAL

I was watching an old episode of The West Wing the other day, NBC’s TV drama of life in the White House. Martin Sheen’s character, President Bartlett was addressing a group explaining how government works. “Decisions are made by those who show up,” he said.

The governing Council of the AICPA this week gave a green light to the Institute to distribute a ballot to the membership on the proposed Global Business Credential. As any dedicated reader of AccountingWEB knows, there has been a lot of clamor generated about this proposal from both sides of the debate. There have been passionate pleas in favor and stinging protests against the proposal. Well, now its time for the rhetoric to end and for the members to “show up” and speak.

Ballots will be distributed to all members of the AICPA shortly, and it is important for everyone with an opinion to make it heard. If you want to learn about the debate, please visit AccountingWEB’s Global Business Credential Resource Center.

Remember, decisions aren’t made by those with an opinion, or by those who shout the loudest or by those who insist that they are right. Decisions are made by those who show up. When a ballot comes your way in the next few days, make it your business to show up and vote.

Mike Platt
President, AccountingWEB, Inc.

NEWS FOR ACCOUNTINGWEB MEMBERS

1. AICPA Council Votes to Support Global Credential

The governing Council of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants overwhelmingly supports the development of the proposed new global credential at its fall meeting this week. Membership ballots are on the way . . .

2. IRS Clarifies 401(k) Catch-Up Rules

New proposed Treasury Regulations expected to be published in the Federal Register will clarify certain areas of confusion regarding the age 50 catch-up rules for 401(k) plans that were introduced as part of last year's tax act.

3. 2002 Social Security Wage Base Announced

The Social Security Administration has announced the new wage base for application of Social Security tax withholding, effective January 1, 2002.

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4. Depreciation Rules Change Due to Terrorist Attacks

The IRS has issued Notice 2001-70 on Disaster Relief From Application Of Mid-Quarter Convention in Tax Code Depreciation Rules. In this notice, the IRS relieves taxpayers from using the mid-quarter convention for computing depreciation expenses.

AccountingWEB congratulates James Castellano, Managing Partner of Rubin, Brown, Gornstein & Co. LLP in St. Louis, on his election to Chairman of the American Institute of CPA’s.

5. New War Bonds Provide Patriotic Investment Option

A revival of the popular World War II war bonds is anticipated next year as Congress votes to reinstate the once-popular patriotic investment and encourage national economic support of the anti-terrorism effort.

6. Swap Annual Leave for Charity Donations

The IRS has announced that programs allowing workers to swap unused leave time for financial contributions from their employer for terrorism relief do not constitute gross wages or income of an employee. Through this program, even cash-strapped employees can help out in relief efforts, allowing employers to contribute to a worthy cause while claiming a charitable contribution and eliminating a long-term liability of unused leave time.

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7. KPMG: $9M Settlement in Medicare Fraud Case

Allegations that Big Five firm KPMG helped the nation's largest for-profit hospital chain cheat Medicare and Medicaid will be resolved by a $9 million settlement by the firm.

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8. IRS Launches New Program to Nab Professionals

The IRS is using state professional licensing agencies to help identify taxpayers who have current licenses and are therefore probably working and earning a living. Matching names with IRS computer records to determine if these professionals are filing tax returns, the IRS hopes to zero in on millions of tax evaders.

9. Top Executives Vote in Favor of Financial Disclosure

The SEC’s year old Regulation Financial Disclosure, promising fair and equal disclosure of a company’s financial information to the general public, has met with overwhelming support by top executives. The bottom line? Despite the dire predictions of the securities industry to the contrary, the overall impact of regulation FD has not been onerous, but the risk of litigation clearly bears watching.

10. House Passes $100B Economic Stimulus Bill

A razor-thin 216-214 victory in the House of Representatives Wednesday clears the first hurdle for President Bush's Economic Stimulus package. Next stop - an even less friendly audience in the US Senate.

ACCOUNTINGWEB WORKSHOP SCHEDULE

Tuesday, October 30, 3:00-4:00 EST
Topic: Moving from Accessibility to Universal Access - Bridging
Today's Techniques and Tomorrow's Web

Presenter: Cory Knobel, Optavia Corporation

Tuesday, October 30, 4:00-5:00 EST
Topic: Recruiting in the 21st Century
Presenter: Mark Koziel, Manager, Dopkins Placement Services

ACCOUNTINGWEB Q&A FORUM

Visit our Q&A Forum to post your questions and share your ideas with the members of AccountingWEB! Simply click on the "Add Comments" option at the bottom of any question to add your response and comments.

Here is a sample of the questions that have been posted this week. Check out all the questions at our Q&A Forum and see if you can lend a hand.

1. What is the best way to divide a "C Corp" between two equal owners who have grown incompatible? There are substantial assets, mostly land, with a near zero basis and a tax loss carry forward that it would be desirable to preserve. A tax-free solution is necessary.

2. Our company is planning to buy several PCs. I would like to know if there is a minimum amount to record as a fix asset? Or can we decide either to record as expenses or assets?

3. I am considering taking the CMA/CFM exam, but I'd like to know if that is actually a worthwhile pursuit. I've been doing accounting for 12 years so I have plenty of experience. I just wonder if this certification would boost my marketability in the long run. Any input?

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Copyright (C) 2001 AccountingWEB, Inc. All rights reserved.
AccountingWEB Inc.
"To inform, to enrich, to enlighten, to entertain."

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