News Wrap-Up - Issue 256

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THIS WEEK'S NEWS
  1. Grant Court Rules Tax Protester Can't Sell His Book of Tax Advice
  2. AICPA Ethics Committee Proposes Outsourcing Disclosure Rule
  3. Treasury Answers Schedule M-3 Questions
  4. Credit-Counseling Agencies May Lose Tax-Exempt Status
  5. House Speaker Hints of Eliminating Income Tax, IRS
  6. Exempt Organizations Compensation Practices Under Scrutiny
  7. Exempt Organizations Compensation Practices Under Scrutiny
  8. American Bar Association Opposes New Sentencing Rules
  9. IRS Wins Competition for IT Work, But at a Price
  10. Halliburton Settles SEC Case; Faces Shareholder Suit
  11. IRS Says Motorola Owes $500 Million Additional Tax Liability
  12. Enron's Kenneth Lay Asks to Forgo Jury Trial

Check out the News Page for this week's news and more.

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PLATT'S PERSPECTIVE

On this eve of the Athens Olympics, I want to challenge you to consider a question that is as fundamental to success in business as it is in sports - What does it take to master Olympian-level skills in your area of expertise?

Far too many people in business give lip service to "being the best" in their area of practice. Whether it is auditing construction companies, business valuations of auto dealerships, estate planning for high net worth individuals, or selecting accounting systems for non- profits, there are thousands of others across the United States that can claim a similar expertise. How do you define, demonstrate, and communicate the fact that you are in the top 25%? The top 5%? The "Bronze medalist" in the area? Or "The best in the country" - the Gold Medal winner?

Most athletes don't have the drive or discipline required to become Olympians - it is only the rare few who rise to that level of perfection. Similarly, most business people are very content at being good at what they do - but don't exert the extra effort to truly strive to be "the best." In this Olympic season, stretch your mind to consider what it would take to be "the best" at what you do - and identify two or three things that you can do in the next 90-days to get you closer to that ideal. You may not make Gold, but you'll be a winner nonetheless.

Michael Platt, Founder
editor@accountingweb.com

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THIS WEEK'S NEWS
  1. Court Rules Tax Protester Can't Sell His Book of Tax Advice

A federal appeals court has ruled that a well-known tax rotester cannot sell his book, "The Federal Mafia," because it encourages people to commit fraud.

  1. AICPA Ethics Committee Proposes Outsourcing Disclosure Rule

The Professional Ethics Executive Committee of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) is proposing a rule that would require Institute members to disclose to their clients the outsourcing of professional services.

  1. Treasury Answers Schedule M-3 Questions

Rev. Proc. 2004-45, which streamlines the disclosure by
taxpayers of transactions with a significant book-tax
difference, has caused some confusion, causing some taxpayers and practitioners to raise several questions regarding the alternative disclosure procedures. The Treasury Department and the IRS may issue guidance, having the same effective date as Rev. Proc. 2004-45, to address these questions and clarify aspects of Rev. Proc. 2004-45. In the interim, some questions and answers have been provided.

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  1. Credit-Counseling Agencies May Lose Tax-Exempt Status

Without naming the organizations in question, the IRS's chief counsel has put credit- counseling agencies on notice saying most of them don't meet tax-exempt organization requirements. Currently, the IRS is auditing 50 credit-counselingagencies that account for nearly half the revenue within the $1 billion industry.

  1. Tough House Speaker Hints of Eliminating Income Tax, IRS

House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) reveals in a new book his support for ending the income tax and replacing it with a national sales tax, a flat tax or a value-added tax.

MORE HEADLINES...

  1. Exempt Organizations Compensation Practices Under Scrutiny
  2. FASB Begins Final Draft of Stock Options Expensing Rule
  3. American Bar Association Opposes New Sentencing Rules
    (ISOs)
  4. IRS Wins Competition for IT Work, But at a Price
  5. Halliburton Settles SEC Case; Faces Shareholder Suit
  6. IRS Says Motorola Owes $500 Million Additional Tax Liability
  7. Enron's Kenneth Lay Asks to Forgo Jury Trial

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  1. Energizing Your Practice Group Meetings
  2. Employee Theft: Tips for Loss Prevention Policies
  3. Web Information Rights Mgmt: Does It Have a Place in Your Firm?

HOT TOPICS ON ACCOUNTINGWEB

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  1. Corporate Scandals Attract Students to Accounting
  2. Thousands Fail First Level of the CFA Exam
  3. Companies Struggle with New Chief Compliance Officer Position
  4. Victims of ID Theft Applaud New Way to "Freeze" Credit Reports
  5. Grant Thornton Expected to Reach Settlement with SEC

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