NEWS HIGHLIGHTS FOR TUESDAY - 8.9.16

By:
Maya Lindsay
Published Date:
Aug 9, 2016

NYSSCPA Members in the News

Phillip F. Gallson (Buffalo)
Phillip F. Gallson, partner in accounting firm
The Buffalo News
Phillip F. Gallson, of Snyder, a partner in the accounting firm of Campagna & Gallson, died unexpectedly Friday in Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital, Amherst. He was 61. Born in Minneapolis, he grew up in a military family and lived in several places in the U.S., including Hawaii, before his family came to Western New York.

Other Accounting and Financial News Stories

Court Can't Use American Dictionary to Interpret French Tax
Bloomberg BNA
The U.S. Tax Court must refer to the language of a U.S.-French agreement instead of a dictionary to determine whether U.S. taxpayers can claim a credit against a French tax ( Eshel v. Commissioner, 2016 BL 253610, D.C. Cir., No. 14-01215, 8/5/16 ). A federal appeals court on Aug. 5 sent a case back to the Tax Court with instructions for it to look at the full text of the totalization agreement between the U.S. and France and their governments' shared expectations to determine whether two French taxes were “social security” taxes for which U.S. taxpayers couldn't claim a credit.

Accounting Today Names 2016 Best Firms to Work For
Accounting Today
Accounting Today has announced its 2016 Best Accounting Firms to Work For. The annual survey and awards program, which is conducted in partnership with Best Companies Group, is designed to identify, recognize and honor the best employers in the accounting profession, benefiting its economy, workforce and businesses.

States Vie to Shield the Wealth of the 1 Percent
New York Times
Steven J. Oshins, a Nevada lawyer who specializes in estate planning, has never met the wealthy software entrepreneur Dan Kloiber, but he is nonetheless intensely interested in Mr. Kloiber’s contentious divorce. “I have had a Google news alert on that for a couple years,” Mr. Oshins said as he discussed the case from his office in a squat pink complex about a 20-minute drive from the Las Vegas Strip.

IRS Extends Work Opportunity Tax Credit Program Deadline
HomeCare
The IRS has extended the date to file for the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) Program to September 28, 2016. WOTC is a program that allows companies to get a tax credit for hiring individuals from certain targeted groups as defined by the Federal Government. In an unprecedented move, due to the delay of Congress reauthorizing the expired program, the IRS is allowing employers to file applications on eligible employees hired between January 1, 2015 and August 31, 2016.

New Money-Fund Rules Test Need for Liquidity Versus Yield
Wall Street Journal
Money-market managers find themselves at the mercy of corporate finance chiefs, who stand to pull hundreds of billions of dollars in cash out of funds within the next 10 weeks, disrupting short-term lending markets. The threat, spurred by regulations set to take effect Oct. 14, is rippling through the bank lending market and unsettling the $2.7 trillion money-market industry, according to fund managers.

Accounting Ranks as Most Profitable Industry Again
Accounting Today
The financial information company Sageworks has once again ranked accounting as the most profitable industry this year. Sageworks found that privately held accounting-related companies (including accounting, tax preparation, bookkeeping and payroll service companies) scored as the most profitable businesses, with net profits totaling 18.3 percent of sales, on average, based on an analysis of financial statements for the 12 months ended June 30, according to Sageworks research specialist Mary Ellen Biery.

IRS Expected to Face Pushback Against New Estate Tax Rules
Bloomberg BNA
The IRS may face an uphill battle as it works to finalize recent proposed regulations meant to curb certain estate and gift tax planning tactics, according to practitioners. The proposed regulations (REG-163113-02), issued Aug. 2, place limitations on the use of valuation discounts that reduce the overall value of assets in family-owned businesses, thus lowering a decedent's estate and gift tax liability at death.

Unmarried Homeowners Get Double Tax Deduction
CPA Practice Advisor
In a case of first impressions decided last year, the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court narrowly ruled the limits for mortgage interest deductions apply on a per-taxpayer basis, effectively allowing an unmarried couple to “double up” on their write-offs. Initially, the IRS intended to contest the decision, but now it has thrown up the white flag by issuing a formal acquiescence.

SASB Sees SEC Moving toward Sustainability Disclosure
Accounting Today
The Sustainability Accounting Standards Board is seeing more desire from investors for improved sustainability reporting, as evidenced by a wave of comment letters to the Securities and Exchange Commission. In April the SEC issued a concept release asking for public comments on modernizing the disclosure requirements under Regulation S-K that public companies need to make in their periodic reports.

Are Negative Rates Backfiring? Here’s Some Early Evidence
Wall Street Journal
Two years ago, the European Central Bank cut interest rates below zero to encourage people such as Heike Hofmann, who sells fruits and vegetables in this small city, to spend more. Policy makers in Europe and Japan have turned to negative rates for the same reason—to stimulate their lackluster economies.

IRS Eliminates One of the Section 83(b) Filing Requirements
JD Supra Business Advisor
If an individual makes a Section 83(b) election to include in income the value of unvested property (such as restricted stock) that is transferred in connection with the performance of services, the individual must file the Section 83(b) election statement with the IRS no later than 30 days after the date the property is transferred. However, under final regulations recently issued by the IRS, the individual no longer has to file a copy of the Section 83(b) election statement with his or her income tax return for the year of transfer.

How not-for-profits can stay strong amid uncertainty
Journal of Accountancy
Not-for-profit executives and finance teams—and the boards that oversee those organizations—are facing challenging times. In addition to the uncertainty of the upcoming U.S. election, they are confronting significant cybersecurity threats and preparing for the issuance of a new FASB standard on not-for-profit financial statements.

New Rules and Fresh Headaches for Short-Term Borrowers
Wall Street Journal
When Quincy, Mass., Mayor Thomas Koch looked into borrowing $38 million this summer as an advance on a planned bond issue, he was distressed to find the costs had jumped nearly 60% since January. Around the same time, a few Japanese banks looking for short-term funds to support their U.S. lending businesses found borrowing costs had almost doubled.

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