NEWS HIGHLIGHTS FOR THURSDAY - 7.14.16

By:
Maya Lindsay
Published Date:
Jul 14, 2016
Accounting and Financial News Stories

Employer Retirement Education Plays Key Role in Long-Term Financial Success
Yahoo Finance
A new study by Ramsey Solutions, a leading company in financial education, finds that employees with access to financial and retirement education have less stress, more savings and more confidence than those without access. Results show 40 percent of workers say their employers do not provide any type of retirement or financial education and seven out of 10 workers with zero retirement savings do not have access to retirement education from their employers.

IMA Proposes Framework for Management Accounting Competency
Accounting Today
The Institute of Management Accountants has released an exposure draft of a proposed Management Accounting Competency Framework in an effort to fill the skills gap for accountants who choose careers in private industry. The framework includes a number of areas under the broad categories of planning and reporting, decision-making, technology, operations and leadership.

Xerocon: How to Lead Change Rather Than Manage it
AccountingWEB
The discussion in the accounting profession, and in business overall, has shifted from just talking about change to managing the change that is occurring. Just as practitioners are no longer asking “why cloud?” and now want to know more about what and how, they are asking how exactly to move forward in the right way in the current business environment. Many also not only want to just survive, but thrive.

IRS Wants Heads-Up on Risk Transfer Provisions
The American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries If your plan sponsor clients are working to get a defined benefit determination letter, the IRS now wants to know if those plans have lump sum risk transfer language. For plans that do, the IRS wants the appropriate plan section identified, as well as an indication as to whether the plan satisfies one of the conditions in Notice 2015-49.

Investors Now Pay Germany to Borrow for 10 Years
Wall Street Journal
Germany sold 10-year debt at a negative yield on Wednesday, becoming the first eurozone nation to do so and setting a further milestone in the relentless fall of government bond yields around the world. In a flurry of other European debt sales, countries from Portugal to the U.K. were able to raise cheap financing on Wednesday, despite concerns about their economies and the global uncertainty spurred by Britain’s vote to leave the European Union.

Fact Sheet: SEC Proposes Rules to Simplify Disclosure Requirements
Crowdfund Insider
The Securities and Exchange Commission proposed rules today to streamline and simplify certain disclosure requirements to “eliminate redundant, overlapping, outdated, or superseded provisions.” SEC Chair Mary Jo White commented on the proposal; “The proposed amendments address outdated and redundant disclosure requirements while continuing to require companies to provide investors with what they need to make informed decisions. We are keenly interested in investors’ views on all aspects of the proposal and look forward to receiving their input as we continue to consider changes and enhancements to our disclosure requirements.”

First Time Abate: The 'Get Out of Tax Penalties Free' Card
Accounting Today
Most tax practitioners occasionally find themselves in the position of having to deal with clients who have received penalties for late filing of tax returns or late payment of income taxes. As both a CPA and attorney, our office always has penalty abatement requests in process. Most penalty provisions of the Internal Revenue Code have reasonable cause language, so the penalty can at least be addressed with a good reasonable cause argument, assuming one exists.

Why Ultralow Interest Rates Are Here to Stay
Wall Street Journal
Ultralow interest rates are here to stay. Central-bank bond buying is the proximate cause for the plunge this month of the 10-year U.S. Treasury yield to its all-time low of 1.366%. But it would be a mistake to single out central bankers. Slumping rates represent the cumulative cost of economic and political choices made over decades, ranging from an overreliance on debt-financed growth to creeping regulation.

Big Four Protest Proposed IRS Regulations on Tax Treatment of Corporate Debt and Equity
Accounting Today
The Big Four firms have sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew asking for withdrawal of proposed regulations on the tax treatment of corporate debt and equity. The proposed rules have generated significant concern ever since the Treasury proposed them in April as a way to curb corporate tax inversions and earnings stripping (see Treasury Takes Further Action to Limit Tax Inversions).

IRS Proposes New Deferred Compensation Rules: What Nonprofits Need to Know
Lexology
The IRS recently issued proposed regulations under Internal Revenue Code Section 457 for the deferred compensation plans of tax-exempt organizations and federal government entities, as well as proposed regulations under Section 409A. In addition to traditional deferred compensation arrangements, certain employment agreement provisions, severance arrangements, and other similar arrangements of nonprofits may be impacted. 

Click here to see more of the latest news from the NYSSCPA.