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AccountingWEB

Bramwell’s Lunch Beat: IRS Business Audit Rate Reaches Eight-Year Low

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Mar 3rd 2015
Staff Writer and Editor AccountingWEB
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Sleeter Group acquired by Diversified Communications
The Sleeter Group Inc., which hosts the popular Accounting Solutions Conference in the fall for accounting technology consultants, has been acquired by Diversified Communications, a family-owned international media company, wrote Michael Cohn of Accounting Today. Founder Doug Sleeter will continue to be involved in the business, and The Sleeter Group’s staff will join Diversified Communications and remain working from their office in Pleasanton, California. Diversified Communications, based in Portland, Maine, provides market access, education, and information through global, national, and regional face-to-face events, digital products, publications, and television stations. “This is an enormous validation of our efforts that a company as great as Diversified shares our vision and will bring new resources to the task of building value in the small business accounting solutions marketplace,” Sleeter said.

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IRS business audits drop
IRS audits of US businesses plunged to the lowest level in eight years during 2014 as the nation's tax agency experienced budget and enforcement staffing declines, wrote Kevin McCoy of the USA Today. The IRS said on Monday that a little more than 57,000 companies underwent audits of their federal tax returns during fiscal year 2014. The total represents the lowest number since 2006, new data issued by the agency show. The business audit rate, the percentage of returns examined by IRS examiners, dropped to 0.57 percent, the data show. The examination rate hasn't been that low since FY 2005. Some of the largest declines occurred among large corporations with assets of $10 million or more. IRS data showed audits of those firms dropped to just over 7,800 in 2014, marking a more than 20 percent one-year fall and the lowest total in at least a decade. The FY 2014 audit rate for large corporations was 12.23 percent.

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IRS confirms illegal immigrant tax-refund ruling, sparking GOP outcry
The IRS on Monday confirmed it would allow illegal immigrants benefiting from President Obama’s recent executive action to file for tax refunds for prior years, fueling an outcry from Republicans, wrote John D. McKinnon of the Wall Street Journal. The IRS explanation came in a letter from Commissioner John Koskinen to Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA). The letter confirmed and expanded on previous public comments by agency officials. In response, Grassley vowed to push legislation to overturn the policy. The action allows many to obtain work permits and Social Security numbers. Getting a Social Security number, in turn, will allow those who qualify to apply for a tax break known as the Earned Income Tax Credit, the IRS said. Eligible taxpayers could obtain the credit for as many as three prior years under the IRS interpretation.

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GASB issues final statement on fair value measurement and application
The Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) on Monday issued final guidance on accounting and financial reporting issues related to fair value measurements, which primarily applies to investments made by state and local governments. Under the new guidance, GASB Statement No. 72, Fair Value Measurement and Application, fair value is defined as the price that would be received to sell an asset or paid to transfer a liability in an orderly transaction between market participants at the measurement date. Investments, which generally are measured at fair value, are defined as a security or other asset that governments hold primarily for the purpose of income or profit and the present service capacity of which are based solely on their ability to generate cash or to be sold to generate cash. State and local governments had been previously required to disclose how they arrived at their measures of fair value if not based on quoted market prices. Now, those disclosures have been expanded to categorize fair values according to their relative reliability and to describe positions held in many alternative investments.

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