News Wrap-Up - Issue 230

This News Wrap-Up Brought To You By:

Bentley College

*** THIS WEEK'S NEWS ***
  1. SEC Votes for Clearer Mutual Fund Cost Information
  2. IRS, States Move Forward in Fight Against Abusive Tax Avoidance
  3. AICPA Board Approves Third Term for Barry Melancon
  4. Businessmen Specialize in Catching Tax Preparers’ Mistakes
  5. Senate Bill Would End Three Mutual Fund Practices
  6. $2.5 Billion Awaits Those Who Haven't Filed a 2000 Tax Return
  7. Companies Finding SOX Compliance Expensive Speak Out
  8. FASB Confirms Existing Rules on Medicare Accounting
  9. IRS Highlights Info on Combating Retirement Plan Tax Shelter Schemes
  10. Senators Battle Over Internet Taxation, a Consumer Victory for Now

More Headlines Below... Don’t miss this week’s Tax Tips, Microsoft’s Critical Security Alerts and more in this News Wrap-Up.

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*** SPONSOR OFFER ***

Bentley's Master of Science degrees in Accountancy and Accounting Information Systems deliver the skills needed to analyze data and make informed business decisions. Because they utilize technology and immediately add value, Bentley graduates are actively recruited by accounting firms and leading corporations. For more information, attend a Graduate information session Saturday, February 21 or visit us on the web.

*** PLATT’S PERSPECTIVE ***

In their book "Built to Last," authors James Collins and Jerry Porras talk about visionary companies, and the overwhelming value to an organization to have a compelling vision and culture - a "feel" to it that makes a company more than a company. It becomes an icon that transcends the founders and takes on a life of its own.

One of the shining examples of a visionary company described in the book is the Disney Corporation. In the book, they describe the Disney way, the Disney feel, and the Disney culture as something wholly unique to that company. They even pose the ridiculous question as to whether anyone could ever imagine Disney becoming part of another company, a corporate mega-merger with a generic look and feel to it.

"Preposterous!" they said. But that was 1994.

A lot has changed in the past decade, and corporate America "ain't what it used to be." Comcast has announced its intentions of taking over the Disney Corporation, and all of the talk about the independent cultural icon in "Built to Last" may soon be diluted. I wonder what Collins and Porras would have to say about this deal? I wonder what old Walt himself would say? Oh well – next time I'm in Orlando at ComcastWorld walking around the Cable Kingdom on my way to Epcot's High Speed Internet Pavilion, I'll have plenty of time to ponder these thoughts...

Michael Platt
AccountingWEB, Inc.

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THIS WEEK'S NEWS
  1. SEC Votes for Clearer Mutual Fund Cost Information

The Securities and Exchange Commission will require more frequent and more understandable reports on mutual fund costs and fund holdings under new rules approved Wednesday. SEC Chairman, William Donaldson, said the agency will consider whether even more needs to be done to ensure mutual fund reports are useful and understandable.

  1. IRS, States Move Forward in Fight Against Abusive Tax Avoidance

Internal Revenue Service officials announced this week that they will begin sharing leads on more than 20,000 taxpayers engaged in abusive tax avoidance with tax agencies in 45 states, the District of Columbia and New York City. Also announced, was the latest results of another effort to combat abusive tax avoidance, the Offshore Voluntary Compliance Initiative (OVCI).

  1. AICPA Board Approves Third Term for Barry Melancon

The Board of the AICPA voted earlier this week to extend Barry Melancon’s term as President and CEO of the AICPA. Melancon was elected to the position in July of 1995, and will continue to direct the Institute’s operations for an additional five years.

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  1. Businessmen Specialize in Catching Tax Preparers’ Mistakes

Tax clients often worry that their preparers may have missed something, or that they’re not getting the full refund they deserve. Capitalizing on those worries are two businessmen who are building a booming business by specializing in filing amended tax returns.

  1. Senate Bill Would End Three Mutual Fund Practices

Three U.S. senators on Monday unveiled the Mutual Fund Reform Act of 2004 (MFRA), which would ban three questionable, but legal, practices that bill sponsors say hurt investors and create conflicts of interest.

MORE HEADLINES...

  1. $2.5 Billion Awaits Those Who Haven't Filed a 2000 Tax Return
  2. Companies Finding SOX Compliance Expensive Speak Out
  3. FASB Confirms Existing Rules on Medicare Accounting
  4. IRS Highlights Info on Combating Retirement Plan Tax Shelter Schemes
  5. Senators Battle Over Internet Taxation, a Consumer Victory for Now
  6. Microsoft Warns of "Critical" Security Flaws; Get Your Updates Now
  7. Tax Protester’s Defense: "I’m Delusional"

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TAX TIPS
  1. How to Figure Your Advance Child Tax Credit
  2. Roth IRA Contribution Rules

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