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Bramwell's Lunch Beat: BDO Q3 Audit Wins, MyRA, Ways and Means Battle

Nov 4th 2015
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BDO USA leads again in SEC client gains
BDO USA LLP led the way in new US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) engagement wins among the large audit firms in the third quarter of 2015, according to a blog by research firm Audit Analytics and an article by Accounting Today. BDO added 13 new clients against a loss of five, for a net gain of eight. Added to the firm's net win of nine clients from last quarter and 10 from the first quarter of 2015, BDO has a net gain of 27 clients so far in 2015. The other big winner in the quarter was Deloitte & Touche LLP, which added 10 new clients and lost only three, for a net gain of seven – six of which came from other Big Four firms. Stevenson & Co. gained 12 smaller reporting companies over the past quarter, which was enough to make the firm the overall leader in total new engagements.

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Obama's MyRA retirement savings plan goes nationwide
MyRA, the Obama administration's free, guaranteed-return starter retirement account, launched nationwide on Wednesday, wrote Suzanne Woolley of Bloomberg. The government-backed plan is an option for the tens of millions of US workers whose employers don't offer a retirement savings plan. MyRA accounts are open to anyone earning an annual salary of less than $131,000, or $193,000 if they are married and filing taxes jointly. There's no minimum to open an account, as with an IRA, and no fee to open one. Payments can go into the plan automatically, directly from a checking or savings account, or from an employer's payroll system via direct deposit. The account is portable from employer to employer. MyRAs will invest only in a US Treasury security guaranteed never to lose value, and users can access the money for emergencies.

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Ways and Means battle hinges on speaker
The head-to-head contest for the chairmanship of the House Ways and Means Committee will hinge Wednesday on the man who last held the powerful panel's gavel: newly minted Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI), wrote Sarah Ferris of The Hill. Reps. Kevin Brady (R-TX) and Pat Tiberi (R-OH) have been in a tight, two-man battle for the gavel since Ryan's ascension. After repeatedly refusing to reveal his pick, Ryan is expected to cast the deciding votes, marking one of his first major decisions as the top House leader. Both contenders will make their final plea on Wednesday afternoon to the 33 members of the House Republican Steering Committee they have each courted intensely over the last week. Ryan controls five of the 20 votes a candidate would need to become chairman, as well as strong sway over the two votes allotted to House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA).

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Lawmakers to weigh elimination of gas tax in House vote
The House is scheduled to vote Wednesday on a “sense of Congress” amendment that calls for the elimination of the 18.4-cents-per-gallon gas tax that is traditionally used to pay for federal transportation projects, wrote Keith Laing of The Hill. The nonbinding amendment, from Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-FL), seeks to establish that lawmakers think “it is critical for Congress to phase down the federal gas and diesel taxes, and empower the states to tax and regulate their highway and infrastructure projects.” The proposal was cleared for a floor vote during debate on a new $325 billion highway bill by the House Rules Committee on Tuesday night. It would not create a new law requiring the gas tax to be eliminated, but it would put lawmakers on record on the idea of ditching the nation's fuel levy. The anti-gas tax amendment's clearance for a floor vote came after the House Rules panel blocked a vote on a separate proposal to increase the gas tax by 15 cents.

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Quick Links

  • Marco Rubio defends tax reform proposals (CBS News)
  • A tax reform to keep seniors on the job (Wall Street Journal)
  • Why foreigners ignoring this tax could be costing US billions (CNBC)
  • BEPS shifting global tax rules: A Q&A with BDO's Joseph Calianno (FEI Daily)
  • IRS mismanagement at fault for recent data breach (Americans for Tax Reform)
  • Colorado allowed to spend marijuana tax money, as voters reject refunds (Denver Post)
  • Hacking the American Opportunity Tax Credit for college tuition (Forbes)
  • How IKEA billionaire legally avoided taxes from 1973 until 2015 (Forbes)
  • Democratic presidential candidate drops out without releasing tax plan (Forbes)
  • A brief history of the individual and corporate income tax (Forbes)
  • Tax death when selling a subchapter S corporation (Forbes)
  • 3 reasons why Obamacare's Cadillac tax is due for inspection (Forbes)

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