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Bramwell's Lunch Beat: Dewey Trial, TIGTA Report, AICPA Letter on Tax Extenders

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Oct 8th 2015
Staff Writer and Editor AccountingWEB
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Partial verdict in Dewey criminal case
A New York jury on Wednesday delivered a partial verdict in the trial of three former Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP executives, finding each not guilty on multiple charges of falsifying business records, but remaining deadlocked on more than 100 charges against the trio, wrote Sara Randazzo of the Wall Street Journal. The jury found Dewey's former chairman, Steven Davis, not guilty on 19 counts of falsifying business records, ex-Executive Director Stephen DiCarmine not guilty on 17, and former CFO Joel Sanders not guilty on 13. The jurors haven't come to a unanimous decision on some of the more serious charges, including grand larceny, which carries a mandatory prison sentence. After taking the partial verdict, Judge Robert Stolz issued a so-called Allen charge to the jurors, a legal order urging them to continue efforts to reach a unanimous verdict on the remaining charges.

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IRS still using Social Security numbers too much
The IRS is making only the slowest of strides when it comes to removing Social Security numbers from official documents, according to a new report from the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA), wrote Bernie Becker of The Hill. The watchdog found the IRS had removed Social Security numbers from just 58 of the 2,749 kinds of letters it sends – a rate of just 2 percent. The agency has done much better on notices, removing Social Security numbers on almost half (93 of 195). The IRS agreed with three of the four recommendations from TIGTA, including to put more specific time frames in place for removing Social Security numbers from official documents. But the agency thought a suggestion that the IRS cobble together a list of all the correspondence it sends out went too far. “We believe addressing correspondence known to have the highest volume is a better use of taxpayer money,” said the IRS's Mary Howard.

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AICPA wants Congress to act immediately on tax extenders
The American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) is urging Congress to act now on legislation that would temporarily or permanently extend the more than 50 provisions in the Internal Revenue Code, which are commonly referred to as “tax extenders,” that expired at the end of 2014 or will expire at the end of this year. In an Oct. 1 letter to the chairmen and ranking members of the House Ways and Means and Senate Finance committees, Troy Lewis, chair of the AICPA Tax Executive Committee, wrote, “Although Congress considered tax extenders legislation earlier this year, America's businesses and individuals are still faced with uncertainty in planning and compliance as no legislation has been passed. Therefore, we strongly recommend that the House and Senate immediately address these provisions as soon as possible, albeit perhaps on a temporary basis, to avoid further distortions in financial reporting, prevent unnecessary delays in the tax-filing season, and end the resulting needless uncertainty.”

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Bipartisan duo: Offshore taxes only path for highway bill
Keith Laing of The Hill wrote that supporters of a plan to tax overseas profits to pay for US transportation projects said on Wednesday the proposal is the “only possible path forward” for passing a highway bill in the House this month. The sponsors of legislation in the House containing the offshore taxes-for-roads proposal said the plan, known as repatriation, is the most viable option for paying for a long-term transportation bill. Lawmakers face an Oct. 29 deadline for renewing federal infrastructure spending. â€œOur bipartisan bill, the Infrastructure 2.0 Act, would use international tax reform to add $120 billion to the Highway Trust Fund and establish a new $50 billion infrastructure finance vehicle for use by states and local municipalities,” Reps. Richard Hanna (R-NY) and John Delaney (D-MD) said in a letter to House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA).

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