News Wrap-Up - Issue 266

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THIS WEEK'S NEWS
  1. IPA Names Nation's Best-Managed Accounting Firms
  2. Washington State Sues E&Y Over Met Mortgage Woes
  3. KPMG, Auditors Sanctioned by SEC, Agree to $10M Settlement
  4. PCAOB Chairman Warns More Restatements Could be Coming
  5. Rite Aid Scandal Earns Ex-Officer 10 Years in Jail
  6. IRS Announces Pension Plan Limitations for 2005
  7. Cross-Dressing IRS Agent Claims Vindictive Prosecution
  8. Court Halts CO Couple's Tax Scheme, Arrests CA Promoter
  9. Securities and Exchange Commission Probes Thomson Financial
  10. SEC Opens Formal Probe into Fannie Mae
  11. IRS Tightens Position on Abusive Tax Shelter Settlement Terms
  12. Marriott Says E&Y Disclosed Possible Independence Problems

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

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**PLATT'S PERSPECTIVE**

We were at war. There was a massive budget deficit. Congress was struggling to find ways to bridge the budget gap to avoid mortgaging their children's future. No, I'm not talking about 2004; the year was 1914, when Congress passed the Emergency Revenue Act on October 22, ninety years ago this week.

The Act was intended to bridge a $100 million tax gap, and consisted of a mix of taxes on beer and wine, and also levied special taxes on bankers, brokers, theaters and other amusement places, gasoline, tobacco manufacturers and tobacco dealers. A series of stamp taxes was applied to bonds, mortgages and other documents, as well as cosmetic and toilet goods.

The income tax system was less than a year old, and this Act was one of the first to "tweak" the system to ensure that the Government got its fair share. So, on behalf of all the tax accountants who are reading this note today, let me say, "Thank you Congress for your infinite wisdom and for your everlasting desire to constantly change the system so we can all have fruitful careers".

Michael Platt
Founder, AccountingWEB, Inc.
editor@accountingweb.com

THIS WEEK'S NEWS
  1. IPA Names Nation's Best-Managed Accounting Firms

INSIDE Public Accounting named 25 public accounting firms from across the country as the nation's best-managed accounting firms for 2004, based on fiscal and management performance. IPA's best-managed accounting firms are selected from the hundreds of firms that participate in the publication's annual survey of accounting firms.

  1. Washington State Sues E&Y Over Met Mortgage Woes

Washington's insurance commissioner is seeking millions of dollars from accounting firm Ernst & Young for its alleged neglect in overseeing finances at Metropolitan Mortgage & Securities.

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  1. KPMG, Auditors Sanctioned by SEC, Agree to $10M Settlement

The Securities and Exchange Commission this week sanctioned KPMG LLP, two former KPMG partners, a current partner and a senior manager for engaging in improper professional conduct as auditors for Gemstar-TV Guide International, Inc. As part of the settlement, KPMG was censured and agreed to pay $10 million to harmed Gemstar shareholders.

  1. PCAOB Chairman Warns More Restatements Could be Coming

With field work due to end in December on the latest round of auditor inspections, Public Company Accounting Oversight Board Chairman William McDonough cautioned this week that more financial restatements may be coming.

  1. Rite Aid Scandal Earns Ex-Officer 10 Years in Jail

Rejecting arguments that a former Rite Aid Corp. officer should be spared jail time, a federal judge sentenced 76-year-old Franklin Brown to 10 years in prison. Brown was convicted earlier this month of making false statements to the SEC, obstructing justice, witness tampering and other charges.

MORE HEADLINES...

  1. IRS Announces Pension Plan Limitations for 2005
  2. Cross-Dressing IRS Agent Claims Vindictive Prosecution
  3. Court Halts CO Couple's Tax Scheme, Arrests CA Promoter
  4. Securities and Exchange Commission Probes Thomson Financial
  5. SEC Opens Formal Probe into Fannie Mae
  6. IRS Tightens Position on Abusive Tax Shelter Settlement Terms
  7. Marriott Says E&Y Disclosed Possible Independence Problems

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    2. Lessons from Lawyers: How Not to Manage Staff
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    5. Teachers, Educators Save Receipts for Reinstated Deduction

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