NEWS HIGHLIGHTS FOR THURSDAY - 9.8.16

By:
Maya Lindsay
Published Date:
Sep 8, 2016

Accounting and Financial News Stories

Elizabeth Warren: What Apple Teaches Us About Taxes
New York Times
Apple got a big surprise last week when the European Commission ordered Ireland to collect more than $14 billion in back taxes from the company. The global giant had been attributing billions of dollars in profits to a phantom head office, allowing it to pay a tax rate of 1 percent or lower. Both Apple and Ireland are appealing the decision, but the commission’s announcement was the latest sign that multinational corporations are running out of places to hide from paying taxes.

Small Comfort for Battered Stock Pickers
Wall Street Journal
It has gone from bad to worse for stock pickers this year. In 2015, when the S&P 500 barely budged, the index’s performance was driven by a narrow sliver of the market, the so-called FANG stocks— Facebook Inc., Amazon.com Inc., Netflix Inc. and Google parent Alphabet Inc. Fund managers who failed to own enough of any of those highfliers had a tough time keeping up. That isn’t the problem this year. Performance has been far more broad-based.

Accounting and Services Giant Deloitte Installs a Bitcoin ATM
CryptoCoins News
Deloitte, one of the ‘Big Four’ accounting firms in the world has purchased and unveiled a bitcoin ATM in its building in Toronto. Deloitte now has a new bitcoin automatic teller machine (BTM) in its Toronto office. A tweet released by non-profit financial services organization The Social Wallet, revealed the first sighting of the Bitcoin ATM and soon started making rounds on social media.

Ranks of the ‘Unbanked’ Decline, FDIC Survey Finds
Wall Street Journal
Fewer Americans are going without bank accounts, according to a new government survey, a trend expected to support consumer spending and housing investment in the coming years. Reflecting economic recovery, the percentage of Americans without access to banking services fell to 7% in 2015 from 7.7% in 2013 and a peak of 8.2% in 2011, according to the survey by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

Why Trump owes it to voters to release his tax returns
CNN Money
Hillary Clinton has done it. Tim Kaine has done it. Mike Pence will do it, possibly this week. And every presidential nominee from both parties has done it for the past four decades. Yet Donald Trump still doesn't feel obligated to release his tax returns. While he isn't legally required to, presidential nominees and their running mates have been making their returns public since 1976.

Buying Gold Or Coins In An IRA Creates Possession Issues
Forbes
Thanks to significant advertising by precious metals and coin dealers, it has become widely known that gold, silver, palladium bullion, as well as certain coins can be purchased with retirement account funds. In fact, Internal Revenue Code (“IRC”) Section 408(m) sets forth a list of approved precious metals and coins that are not considered “collectibles” and may be purchased with retirement funds.

Deloitte Increases Global Revenue in FY2016
Accounting Today
Deloitte reported a revenue increase of 9.5 percent across its international network, for a total of US$36.8 billion in the fiscal year ending May 31, 2016. The results represented Deloitte’s seventh straight year of revenue growth, while the growth rate of 9.5 percent was the highest in a decade. The firm saw growth in all five of its main businesses: audit, consulting, risk advisory, financial advisory, and tax & legal.

CPA Executives Expect Business Growth in the Year Ahead
AccountingWEB
Business executives have decidedly mixed views about the economic conditions their companies face, with an uptick in several key growth indicators in the third quarter, yet a decrease in most compared to last year, according to the third quarter Economic Outlook Survey from the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA). “We’re seeing some stability in optimism about the US economy after a few volatile quarters,” Arleen Thomas, CPA, CGMA, senior vice president of management accounting and global markets for the AICPA, said in a prepared statement.

Marijuana Could Be the New Sin-Tax Gusher
BloombergView
Is marijuana the new sin-tax gusher for the states? It sure looks that way. In November, voters in five states will decide on whether to allow recreational use of the drug, while citizens in four other states have the option of legalizing medical marijuana.   Unlike the fierce battles of the past over decriminalization, resistance by governors, law-enforcement groups and state medical associations is down (though not entirely gone).

Italy Begins Pitching 50-Year Bond Amid Global Search for Yield
Wall Street Journal
The Italian government has started talking to investors about selling a 50-year bond, in another sign of how the global search for yield is helping even poorly performing economies lock in funding for longer periods. Borrowing costs in developed nations are near historic lows as investors bet on continued tepid global growth and inflation and as unprecedented central-bank stimulus pushes down yields.

Treasurys Little Changed After Tuesday’s Rally
Nasdaq
U.S. government bonds held relatively steady Wednesday following Tuesday's soft report on U.S. service-sector activity. In late-afternoon trading, the yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note was 1.539%, compared with 1.544% Tuesday, while the yield on the two-year note moved in the other direction, settling at 0.742% compared with 0.734% the previous day.

IRS Criticized for Repeating Erroneous Holiday Payroll Tax Deposit Penalty Notices
Bloomberg BNA
Representatives from payroll service providers that deposit taxes on behalf of thousands of clients asked Internal Revenue Service officials Sept. 1 about steps to prevent the recurrence of erroneous tax deposit penalty notices that were sent to clients after at least two federal tax holidays. John Myett, director of government affairs at ADP, LLC, told IRS officials in a teleconference Sept. 1 that the erroneous penalty notices related to changed holiday deadlines were a troubling development.

Negative Rates Are Working (a Bit)
Wall Street Journal
the chorus of discontent about the European Central Bank is growing louder. German savers, bond investors, bankers and an increasing number of economists are complaining that negative rates have pushed up savings and done nothing for corporate investment, while eviscerating pension plans. The ECB should ignore them for a while yet. Yes, German savers are losing out. Yes, bank profit margins shrink when rates are negative. Yes, anyone who wants a decent private pension will have to save (a lot) more.

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