NEWS HIGHLIGHTS FOR TUESDAY - 10.4.16

By:
Maya Lindsay
Published Date:
Oct 4, 2016

NYSSCPA Members in the News

Debbie Cutler (Nassau)
Trump On Leaked Tax Return: It's My Job To Game The System!
TheVillagesSuntimes
U.S. presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton has attacked her rival Donald Trump's tax history, business acumen and trustworthiness as she sought to capitalize on news that the Republican candidate may not have paid federal taxes for years. He stated that the tax code is "so complicated very few people understand it" but that "fortunately, I understand it". Dinorah Valentina Hernandez, also made the headlines as she strode the catwalk in a designer dress.

Debbie Cutler (Nassau)
Donald Trump’s Accountant Likely Violated Confidentiality Rules
TIME Money
Donald Trump’s accountant, Jack Mitnick, was the lynchpin to confirming the validity of the presidential candidate’s 1995 tax returns, leaked to the New York Times. But in doing so, he may have violated client confidentiality rules. You shouldn’t expect your accountant to do the same, though. The Times on Sunday published a story, based on state tax returns, showing that Trump claimed a $916 million loss in 1995. which could have permitted him to avoid paying income tax for 18 years.

Debbie Cutler (Nassau)
Did Donald Trump’s accountant talk out of school?
McClatchyDC
It’s one of the first rules of accounting: Don’t talk about your personal clients. Accountants and an attorney who represents accounting firms on Monday questioned the decision of a former accountant for Donald Trump to talk to The New York Times for a story that recounted how Trump had claimed a $916 million loss that could have allowed him to legally avoid paying federal income taxes for up to 18 years.

Other Accounting and Financial News Stories

Nonprofit Groups Attract CFOs From For-Profit Companies
Wall Street Journal
As a former finance chief of four public companies, including mortgage giant Fannie Mae, David Johnson knows about investments. “When I think about investment, I immediately think about hurdle rates, return on investment and return on equity,” he said. At the International Rescue Committee, the refugee-aid charity that Mr. Johnson joined last March, the term investments refers to the aid it dispenses to support refugees. “It’s almost like we’re speaking different languages,” he said.

Accounting Today Announces 2016 ‘MP Elite’
Accounting  Today
Accounting Today announced the members of its 2016 Class of the Managing Partner Elite. The annual list highlights a number of leaders of accounting firms who stand out among their peers for being innovative, forward-thinking and unusually successful. They tend to be highly focused on firm culture, given to creating formal strategies for important aspects of the firm like growth and succession, open to technology – but not obsessed with it, and are often leaders in their communities, not just contributors.

New York City's tax breaks: Do they work?
Crain’s New York Business
How do we know whether city programs to spur our economy actually work? Last year New York City spent $2.8 billion on tax breaks designed promote economic development. These tax expenditures represented more of the people’s money than spending on Departments of Environmental Protection ($1.2 billion) and Sanitation ($1.5 billion) combined. In New York City’s annual budget process, we subject agency spending to rigorous evaluation.

PwC Reports $39.5 bn in Global Revenues
Accounting Today
Big Four accounting network PwC reported total global gross revenues of U.S. $35.9 billion for the fiscal year that ended June 30, an increase of over 7 percent. The firm said that growth was strongest in developing markets, with revenues from Asia increasing 10 percent, tying with Central and Eastern Europe, while those from South and Central America growing 9 percent, those from North American and Caribbean growing 8 percent, and revenues from Western Europe up 6 percent.

U.S. Stocks Fall; Dividend Demand Fades
Wall Street Journal
U.S. stocks slipped at the start of the fourth quarter, following their best three-month stretch of the year. Utilities and other stocks that have been popular in 2016 in part because of their dividends were among Monday’s biggest decliners. Such stocks have rallied as interest rates stay low, but many investors now expect the Federal Reserve to raise rates by year-end. The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 54.30 points, or 0.3%, to 18253.85.

When It Comes to Tax Avoidance, Donald Trump’s Just a Small Fry
New York Times
Not paying taxes “makes me smart,” Donald J. Trump said last week. His surrogates called him “a genius” for his recently revealed tax avoidance strategies. Well, if they are right, the executives running corporate America are absolute virtuosos. An exhaustive study being released on Tuesday by a group of researchers shows in detail how Fortune 500 companies have managed to shelter trillions of dollars in profits offshore from being taxed.

Trump's 1995 Return Shows Good Tax Policy at Work
Bloomberg View
The big news this weekend was the leak of Donald Trump’s 1995 tax returns to the New York Times. The returns showed that in that year, Trump claimed $916 million worth of business losses; those losses, said the Times, “could have allowed him to legally avoid paying any federal income taxes for up to 18 years.” Liberal social media dissolved into an ecstatic puddle; conservative social media, at least the part that is supporting Trump, angrily denounced the Times for publishing this tripe.

A New Worry for Banks and the Economy
Wall Street Journal
Commercial lending growth in the U.S. slowed unexpectedly in the third quarter, a potential new headwind for already struggling banks and the sluggish economy. Weekly data from the Federal Reserve covering all but the last week of September show commercial and industrial loans at all commercial banks were basically flat in the third quarter.

CPA Firm Websites Show Improvement, Survey Finds
Accounting Today
CPA firms have made significant strides in improving their website designs and functionality, according to Skoda Minotti Strategic Marketing’s 2016 Website Audit of 133 firms in the U.S. The audit, the second annual produced by the full-service marketing firm, provided detailed analysis of the firms based on more than 20 metrics it examined. Some results from the audit included an increase in responsive website design, nearly doubling from the 38 percent of websites that implemented it in 2015, to 68 percent this year.

How Accounting Firms Benefit From Moving to Client Portals
CPA Practice Advisor
As more people of all ages rely on mobile apps and devices to manage their daily tasks, online portals are becoming an effective method of sharing and exchanging files and information. They support two-way communications in a simple, secure format between a firm and its clients.

Funds sniff openings in US money market industry upheaval
Financial Times
An important corner of the US financial system has suffered a notable $1tn earthquake this year, rattling funding conditions for companies, banks and even US states. But some asset managers sense opportunities in the shifting landscape. Money market funds have for decades been a vital lubricant of the global financial system, funneling household savings and corporate cash piles into short-term loans to companies and banks around the world.

J.P. Morgan Has a New Twist on Blockchain
Wall Street Journal
J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. is working on a new twist on the technology behind bitcoin that would allow the bank to use a publicly available system for confidential transactions. The move is a break with how some banks have approached the use of a bitcoin-style network, known generally as the blockchain, to try to replace creaking old systems with faster new technology.

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