NEWS HIGHLIGHTS FOR TUESDAY - 6.14.16

By:
Maya Lindsay
Published Date:
Jun 14, 2016

Accounting and Finance News Stories

AICPA Asks IRS for More Tax Guidance on Virtual Currency Transactions
Accounting Today
The American Institute of CPAs has sent a letter to the Internal Revenue Service requesting additional guidance about how existing tax principles apply to virtual currency transactions, such as those in Bitcoin.  “Virtual currency transactions, in which taxpayers increasingly engage, add a new layer of complexity to the analysis of a client’s reporting requirements,” AICPA Tax Executive Committee chair Troy K. Lewis wrote in a letter last Friday.

Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Selects Robert Cook as New CEO
Wall Street Journal
A former senior official at the Securities and Exchange Commission will take control of Wall Street’s self-regulatory authority, which has been playing a more direct role in policing market manipulation and using technology to detect patterns of abusive trading. Robert Cook, who led the SEC’s trading and markets division from 2010 to 2013, will become chief executive of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority in August.

IRS Clarifies Cancellation of Debt Income Rules for Real Estate Developers
Accounting Today
The Internal Revenue Service has issued a revenue ruling clarifying when a real estate developer can exclude cancellation of debt income under the qualified real property business indebtedness exclusion in Section 108(a)(1)(D) of the Tax Code. Revenue Ruling 2016-15 provides examples to clarify that qualified real property business indebtedness, or QRPBI, includes indebtedness relating only to depreciable property used in a taxpayer’s trade or business, and not property held for sale to customers.

Preparers Plan for Shrinking IRS Budgets and Growing Penalties
National Society of Accountants
Budget cuts have decimated the ability of the IRS to perform its job. From exams to collections, the IRS has insufficient resources to work cases and perform basic customer service. Nevertheless, Congress expects the IRS to collect revenue. It’s no wonder that voluntary compliance is down and the tax gap has increased.

PwC Independence Questioned in Dispute With Regulators
Wall Street Journal
PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP is in talks with regulators to resolve a dispute about whether the accounting giant is too close to some of its mutual-fund clients, highlighting an issue that could upend some relationships between auditors and money managers. The disagreement with the Securities and Exchange Commission’s staff centers on a SEC requirement known as the Loan Rule, according to federal filings from fund companies including BlackRock Inc., Goldman Sachs Asset Management and Delaware Investments.

Survey Shows Top Five U.S. Telephone Scams
CPA Practice Advisor
Almost nine out of ten Americans (89%) receive unwanted calls each month according to a recent survey which has also revealed the top 5 types of scam people have fallen victim to. The YouGov survey, commissioned by call blocking specialists CPR Call Blocker, also showed that 11% of US adults have been a victim of a telephone scam.

SEC to Allow Inline XBRL Filing
Accounting Today
The Securities and Exchange Commission said Monday it will allow companies to voluntarily file structured financial statement data in a format known as Inline XBRL.  The initiative represents another step in the SEC’s continuing efforts to modernize and enhance its requirements to facilitate transparency of, and access to, companies’ disclosures.

Bitcoin Price Hits Two-Year High
Wall Street Journal
The price of the digital currency bitcoin hit a two-year high Monday, trading above $700 for the first time since 2014, after it jumped 21% over the weekend. The surge came days before an unusual event called the “halving,” an adjustment to bitcoin’s protocol designed to control the creation of new coins.

IRS to Delay Tax Refunds Involving EITC and ACTC Next Year
Accounting Today
The Internal Revenue Service is warning tax professionals that next year, a new law will require the IRS to hold all Earned Income Tax Credit and Additional Child Tax Credit refunds until Feb. 15 as a safeguard against identity theft and tax fraud. The IRS pointed out the new law is likely to affect some returns submitted early in the tax filing season.

Wall St. Closes Down Ahead of Fed Meeting
New York Times
United States and global stocks fell for a third day on Monday, as concerned investors waited to see what the Federal Reserve would do with interest rates later this week and anxiously awaited Britain’s decision on membership in the European Union. LinkedIn shares jumped after Microsoft announced plans to buy the company. 

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