Nanette's Feed
Jan 31, 2012

U.S. crackdown stops $1.4 billion in bad tax refunds

By Nanette Byrnes

(Reuters) – A U.S. government crackdown on suspected identity thieves filing false tax returns stopped $1.4 billion in bad refunds from being sent out in calendar 2011, the tax-collecting Internal Revenue Service said on Tuesday.

The IRS and the Justice Department together stopped 260,000 bad returns last year, IRS Deputy Commissioner Steve Miller said.

Jan 31, 2012
via Tax Break

The alternative minimum tax and one man’s 74 percent tax rate

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In his Saturday column in the New York Times, Pulitzer-prize winning reporter James B. Stewart tallied up his tax rate and found it to be a shocking 74 percent of taxable income. Is he possibly the most taxed man in America, he wonders?

Tax rates have been much discussed of late, with Mitt Romney’s tax returns disclosing his 13.9 percent tax rate, and the appearance of Debbie Bosanek, Warren Buffett’s secretary, at the State of the Union address last week to boost President Obama’s push for more tax equity.  Bosanek is reported to pay a 35.8 percent tax rate, while her famous boss says his rate is 17.4 percent of his taxable income.

Jan 30, 2012
via Tax Break

Tax and accounting this week

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Some events in the week ahead:

Tuesday, January 31

1. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus to convene a hearing to discuss the 50-plus tax provisions that expire annually or biannually, termed “tax extenders.” The Joint Committee on Taxation has estimated that a one-year extension of all would cost $37 billion over the next decade. Witnesses will be:

    Dr. Rosanne Altshuler, Professor and Chair of the Economics Department, Rutgers University Dr. Jason J. Fichtner, Senior Research Fellow, Mercatus Center, George Mason University Calvin H. Johnson, Andrews & Kurth Centennial Professor of Law, The University of Texas School of Law Caroline L. Harris, Chief Tax Counsel and Director of Tax Policy, U.S Chamber of Commerce

2. The Financial Accounting Standards Board to hold an open meeting with its investors’ technical advisory committee in Norwalk, Connecticut.

Jan 27, 2012
via Tax Break

Mitt Romney’s tax returns explained: David Cay Johnston on CNN

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Reuters Tax Columnist David Cay Johnston appeared on CNN earlier this week to discuss some of the interesting details in Mitt Romney’s tax returns.

For a direct link, click here.

Jan 23, 2012
via Tax Break

Governors call for tax cuts in 2012 despite uncertainty

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New Jersey's Chris Christie wants tax cuts

In December, hopeful children around the world mailed in their requests to Santa Claus. Now it’s January, and governors across the country are standing before citizens and legislatures using State of the State addresses to lay out their wishes for the coming year. Top of the list, with a few notable exceptions, are tax cuts.

State revenues have climbed from 2009 and 2010 lows, largely on increasing individual income tax receipts. Still, that recovery is seen as tenuous due to a generally tepid economy and concerns that pivotal federal funding to the states could be on the cutting block as the country struggles with its growing debt and deficit.

Jan 19, 2012
via Tax Break

Pay into pension, get boost to earnings

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Companies are going to have to contribute some serious money to shore up their lilting pension plans this year, but there’s a silver lining: higher earnings.

In a Dec. 7 analysis, UBS analysts spell out how contributing to the company plan could handsomely help the bottom line.

Dec 30, 2011

More pension plans count down to year-end mark

By Nanette Byrnes

(Reuters) – Tom Adams, chief financial officer of cigarette-maker RAI Inc (RAI.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), will be keenly focused on the stock market on Friday, not with his company’s share price in mind, but rather with the fate of his pension plan’s portfolio.

For the first time, the assets in RAI’s $5-billion worker pension plan will be “marked to market,” or revalued based on Wall Street’s end-of-the-year prices.

Dec 21, 2011

U.S. watchdog finds more Deloitte audit problems

By Sarah N. Lynch and Nanette Byrnes

(Reuters) – The U.S. audit industry watchdog uncovered numerous deficiencies in an inspection of accounting giant Deloitte & Touche, the latest in a series of negative findings against major accounting firms.

According to the 2010 inspection by the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB), released on Tuesday, problems were found in 26 of the 58 audits reviewed by the board.

Dec 5, 2011

U.S. audit watchdog chief hopeful on China dispute

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The chief U.S. audit industry watchdog, sounding cautiously upbeat on a simmering dispute, said on Monday that he hopes talks with Chinese authorities on joint audit inspections will resume early next year.

Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) Chairman James Doty said some resolution to a troublesome standoff over Chinese corporate audits needs to come in 2012.

Dec 5, 2011

U.S. stalls on accounting rules switch

WASHINGTON/LONDON (Reuters) – A top U.S. regulator on Monday added several more months to years of deliberation on whether the United States would switch to global accounting rules used in 120 countries.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) had said it would give more clarity by year-end on whether it will adopt IFRS rules authored by the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB).