NEWS HIGHLIGHTS FOR FRIDAY - 9.2.16

By:
Maya Lindsay
Published Date:
Sep 2, 2016

Accounting and Financial News Stories

Time to make a deal on 421-a
Crain’s New York Business
Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s proposed amendments to the 421-a property-tax exemption have received a lot of attention for offering a subsidy to wages for workers on projects with 300 units or more. Other smaller residential projects with fewer units would move forward under the reforms to 421-a passed by the state legislature in 2015.

IRS Urges Taxpayers to Check Withholdings
Accounting Today
Taxpayers should consider a mid-year tax withholding checkup following several new factors that could affect their refunds in 2017, according to the IRS. This year, a new tax law change requires the IRS to hold refunds a few weeks for some early filers in 2017 who claim the EITC and the Additional Child Tax Credit. In addition, the IRS and state tax administrators continue to strengthen identity theft and refund fraud protections, which means that some tax returns could again face additional review time next year.

Wall St. Starts the Month Unchanged
New York Times
Stocks on Wall Street staged a late recovery on Thursday and finished mostly higher, led by technology and metals companies. However, energy companies continued to fall with the oil price. In early trading, the Dow Jones industrial average lost as much as 105 points. But those losses faded around noon, and the index finished more or less back where it started.

FASB releases proposed 2017 GAAP taxonomy
Journal of Accountancy
FASB issued its proposed 2017 GAAP Financial Reporting Taxonomy on Thursday for public comment. Public companies registered with the SEC use the GAAP taxonomy, which is a list of computer-readable tags in extensible business reporting language (XBRL). The taxonomy allows companies to tag the thousands of pieces of financial data that are included in financial statements and footnotes.

Americans' debt problems have evolved
USA Today
Debt may be an old problem, but what's getting us into hot water has certainly changed since the roaring '20s — and it might not bode well for the growing rich-poor gap our country faces. Many Americans owe more than they own, and the situation intensified during the recession and its aftermath. A recent study by the Congressional Budget Office puts this into perspective.

Bank Groups Weigh Legal Challenge to Fed Stress Tests
Wall Street Journal
Bank trade groups and industry advisers are debating the possibility of legally challenging the Federal Reserve in an attempt to force changes to annual “stress tests” of the biggest U.S. lenders, people familiar with the talks said. Even if banks ultimately decide against action, serious contemplation of such a challenge is somewhat extraordinary. It shows growing frustration among big financial firms with the tests, which have become even more of a burden with superlow interest rates weighing on profits.

 Lucky New York: State is near top in tax-revenue growth
Crain’s New York Business
Here’s a data point that puts in perspective Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s ability to raise education spending, spend billions on economic development and agree to tax cuts: State tax revenues have increased more than 16% in real terms (that is, adjusted for inflation) compared with the pre-recession peak. It is the sixth highest increase in the country, according to a new analysis of state tax revenue by the Pew Charitable Trust.

What’s Your Top Financial Worry? Here’s America’s No. 1 Money Issue
The Fiscal Times
Even as Americans are racking up ever-higher levels of credit card debt and student loans, they’re claiming that paying down what they owe is their top financial priority. A new survey from BMO Group finds that 31 percent of Americans cite debt repayment as their top financial priority, followed by saving more (26 percent) and investing efficiently (21 percent).

CPA Business Execs Predict Corporate Expansions
Accounting Today
CPAs who are business executives are forecasting an increase in corporate expansions in the year ahead, according to a new survey by the American Institute of CPAs. The AICPA’s third quarter Economic Outlook Survey indicates the highest level of business expansion predicted since early last year. The survey polls CEOs, CFOs, controllers and other CPAs who have executive and senior management jobs at U.S. companies.

Prospecting the Next Machine Age
Accounting Today
There’s been a lot of anxiety and uncertainty recently about the impact of artificial intelligence on white-collar professions, including accounting. There is no disputing that automation is transforming the way we conduct business. Like many who serve the profession, I spend a lot of time thinking about ways to help CPA firms navigate this change. None of us can predict with perfect certainty the impact technology will have on the role of accountants in the future.

Tax Fraud Blotter: Tamper Proof
Accounting Today
A roundup of our favorite tax fraud cases. Charleston, S.C.: A federal court has permanently barred preparers Latasha Failey and her sister Latoya Windham from preparing federal returns for others. According to a civil complaint, Failey and Windham prepared federal income returns in North Charleston from 2009 to 2012, continually and repeatedly preparing returns that claimed false deductions or credits to understate clients’ tax liabilities.

Please don’t tell anyone, but tax cheating is about to rise in the U.S.
The Washington Post
I shouldn’t tell you this. Publicity will only make the problem worse. But you deserve to know: Tax cheating is about to rise in the United States. Today, Americans are among the most law-abiding taxpayers in the world, by which I mean they lie to the taxman much less than people in other countries do. Today, about 82 cents of every dollar owed in U.S. taxes gets paid voluntarily, which is high.

Jobs Report: The Fed’s Final Hurdle
Wall Street Journal
It all comes down to this. Friday’s jobs report marks the final prominent economic-data point before the Federal Reserve’s policy meeting later this month. As the debate rages over when—or if—the Fed will again raise short-term rates, another strong employment report could make it difficult for it to sit tight.

Shareholders Are Winning a Seat at the Bankruptcy Table
Wall Street Journal
Stock investors are lately demanding—and winning—the chance to fight for a recovery in bankruptcy. In chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganizations, shareholders don’t get paid unless companies pay off all their debts, which typically means they don’t get paid. Rather than accept defeat, however, shareholders in energy, coal and other commodities-focused companies are fighting for a voice, and possibly a recovery, in some of the biggest bankruptcies that have been filed over the past couple of years.

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