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Apr 11, 2013

Accounting class-action lawsuits down in 2012: report

By Nanette Byrnes

(Reuters) – Fewer class-action lawsuits alleging accounting improprieties were filed last year in the United States, but those that were settled in 2012 carried a higher price tag, according to a study from Cornerstone Research.

As two major trends driving accounting class actions faded – the credit crisis and Chinese issuers listing on U.S. exchanges – new filings dropped to 45 in 2012 from 78 in 2011, said Cornerstone, which provides economic and financial consulting and expert testimony to attorneys.

Apr 11, 2013

U.S. accounting class-action lawsuits down in 2012 -report

April 11 (Reuters) – Fewer class-action lawsuits alleging
accounting improprieties were filed last year in the United
States, but those that were settled in 2012 carried a higher
price tag, according to a study from Cornerstone Research.

As two major trends driving accounting class actions faded -
the credit crisis and Chinese issuers listing on U.S. exchanges
- new filings dropped to 45 in 2012 from 78 in 2011, said
Cornerstone, which provides economic and financial consulting
and expert testimony to attorneys.

Apr 11, 2013

Analysis: Insider trading probe impact on KPMG expected to be short-lived

By Nanette Byrnes

(Reuters) – KPMG will suffer some financial and reputational damage from insider trading charges filed against a former senior audit partner, but significant legal liability for the firm was unlikely, said audit industry experts on Thursday.

The global accounting giant fired Scott London, a long-time Los Angeles audit partner, after learning he shared privileged information on audit clients with a golf partner, Bryan Shaw.

Apr 11, 2013

Insider trading probe impact on KPMG expected to be short-lived

April 11 (Reuters) – KPMG will suffer some financial and
reputational damage from insider trading charges filed against a
former senior audit partner, but significant legal liability for
the firm was unlikely, said audit industry experts on Thursday.

The global accounting giant fired Scott London, a long-time
Los Angeles audit partner, after learning he shared privileged
information on audit clients with a golf partner, Bryan Shaw.

Apr 11, 2013
via Tax Break

Essential reading: Middle class tax hikes loom in Obama proposal despite pledge, and more

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Welcome to the top tax and accounting headlines from Reuters and other sources.

 * Middle class tax hikes loom in Obama proposal despite pledge to avoid them. The Washington Post. President Barack Obama proposed a 2014 budget that, if adopted, would break his promise to avoid any tax increases for middle- and low-income people. Link

 * Fund managers warn on taxes in Obama budget. Stephen Foley and Dan McCrum – The Financial Times. President Barack Obama surprised Wall Street by backing a plan that would force investors to pay tax on unrealized derivatives gains, opening up a new front in his attempt to raise revenues through a reform of the tax code. Link

Apr 10, 2013
via Tax Break

Essential reading: Luxembourg backs info exchange in fight against tax evasion, and more

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Welcome to the top tax and accounting headlines from Reuters and other sources.

* Luxembourg agrees to automatic information exchange to help fight tax evasion. The Washington Post. The initiative, which is to start in 2015, follows international pressure on Luxembourg to end its policy of banking secrecy that critics say has helped people hide money from tax authorities. Link

* FBI probes trading as KPMG quits Herbalife, Skechers audits. Martinne Geller and Emily Fitter – Reuters. In a blow to one of the world’s largest accounting firms, KPMG said it resigned as auditor of two U.S. corporations amid an FBI investigation into insider trading allegations involving leaked information and a former senior partner. Link

Apr 9, 2013

Hearing to expose IRS informant program to scrutiny

By Nanette Byrnes

(Reuters) – Seven years after Congress passed a new whistleblower law for the Internal Revenue Service, the tax-collecting agency stands accused of not doing enough, or of not acting swiftly enough, to reward informants who expose tax improprieties.

On Wednesday, under growing pressure from the senator who spearheaded the 2006 legislation, the IRS holds a hearing on proposals it has crafted only now for implementing elements of the law.

Apr 9, 2013
via Tax Break

Essential reading: Senator Baucus takes on tax code, and more

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Welcome to the top tax and accounting headlines from Reuters and other sources.

 * Sen. Max Baucus moves to reshape tax code. Lori Montgomery – The Washington Post. Last month, Senator Max Baucus summoned members of the Senate Finance Committee to a closed-door meeting to discuss the first full-scale rewrite of the 5,600-page U.S. tax code in more than 25 years. After two years of watching President Obama and congressional leaders take on tax policy and other areas of the committee’s vast jurisdiction, the panel’s chairman is reclaiming his turf. Link 

* KPMG fires L.A. partner over alleged insider-trading tips. Michael Rapoport – The Wall Street Journal. KPMG LLP has fired a senior partner in its Los Angeles office, saying the unidentified partner had provided inside information about its clients to someone who had used that information in stock trading. The firm has also resigned as the outside auditor of two of its clients because of the actions of the partner, who it described as the partner in charge of its audit practice in its Los Angeles business unit. Link

Mar 28, 2013
via Tax Break

Calendar

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Some important tax and accounting events in the week ahead:

Tuesday, April 2

Internal Revenue Service hearing on the 3.8 percent investment income tax associated with the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, sometimes called “Obamacare.” 10 a.m. ET. IRS building. Washington.

Wednesday, April 3

Speakers from the IRS and Department of Justice speak to the D.C. Bar session on litigating tax issues in bankruptcy proceedings. 12 noon – 1:30 p.m, D.C. Bar Conference Center. Washington.

Mar 28, 2013

New York high court upholds state’s ‘Amazon tax’

March 28 (Reuters) – Amazon and other out-of-state online
retailers must collect state tax on New York State customers,
the state’s highest court ruled on Thursday, a decision at odds
with other courts that could set the stage for a showdown in the
U.S. Supreme Court.

The case, combining two brought by Amazon.com Inc
and Overstock.com Inc, was decided by the New York
State Court of Appeals by a vote of 4-1.