NEWS HIGHLIGHTS FOR WEDNESDAY - 6.15.16

By:
Maya Lindsay
Published Date:
Jun 15, 2016

Accounting and Finance News Stories

Virtual Currencies Still Dogged by Tax Issues, CPAs Say
Bloomberg BNA
Bitcoin and other virtual currencies still pose tax problems for those attempting to stay in compliance and more IRS guidance is needed, a group of accounting professionals said. In a June 10 letter to the Internal Revenue Service, an American Institute of CPAstechnical advisory panel said clarifications are needed, in particular on the exchange rates taxpayers should use to determine the fair market value of virtual currency in U.S. dollars.

Male CEOs Tell Us Their Work-Life Rules
Wall Street Journal
Work-life balance isn’t a women’s issue. But it often feels that way. PepsiCo Inc. Chief Executive Indra Nooyi and Facebook Inc. Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg talk openly—and are asked frequently—about how they rose to the top while maintaining active family lives. Yet men, who hold the top jobs at most large companies, rarely open up about juggling jobs, children and family.

AICPA requests additional tax guidance from IRS on virtual currency transactions
EconoTimes
In a letter to the Internal Revenue Service, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) has requested additional guidance about how existing tax principles apply to virtual currency transactions, such as those in Bitcoin, Accounting Today reported. In particular, AICPA Tax Executive Committee chair Troy K. Lewis requested further guidance on: Acceptable valuation and documentation; Expenses of obtaining virtual currency; Challenges with specific identification for computing gains and losses; etc.  Lewis noted that virtual currencies operate in decentralized environments where no entity or person is in charge of controlling or monitoring the asset.

IRS Chief Faces Rare Censure Vote by U.S. House Committee
Bloomberg Politics
A House committee plans to vote Wednesday on whether to censure Internal Revenue Service Commissioner John Koskinen over Republican claims that he obstructed an investigation into whether his agency targeted conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status. The action by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee comes before a planned June 22 hearing by the House Judiciary Committee about a resolution to impeach Koskinen.

Financial Conditions: Why the Fed Should Raise Rates Soon, But Not Yet
Wall Street Journal
Seven years after the financial crisis and just one interest-rate increase later, the U.S. economy still isn’t ready for another one. The Federal Reserve is unlikely to raise short-term rates at this week’s policy meeting. July might be off the table, too, after a disappointing May jobs report and increased uncertainty overseas.

Companies Still Behind on Implementing Revenue Recognition Standard
Accounting Today
The majority of companies admit they are behind on implementing the new revenue recognition standard from the Financial Accounting Standards Board, according to a new survey, despite a delay of the effective date by one year. FASB and the International Accounting Standards Board released a long-awaited converged revenue recognition standard in May 2014, but later decided to extend the date it takes effect by one year to give companies more time to implement it.

Modeling the Estate Tax Proposals of 2016
Tax Foundation
A number of lawmakers and presidential candidates in 2016 have proposed changes to the federal estate tax. The federal estate tax is levied by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) on the transfer of the estate of a deceased person. While the tax is the subject of spirited political debate, it accounts for less than 1 percent of federal revenue and it applies to only a few thousand households annually.

IRS Changes Civil Asset Forfeiture Policies
Accounting Today
The Internal Revenue Service is revising its civil asset forfeiture policies after coming under pressure from Congress for failing to return funds wrongly seized from small businesses. Civil asset forfeitures are being used by many law enforcement agencies around the country but have become increasingly controversial in recent years. A congressional subcommittee held a hearing in March and pressed the IRS, the Treasury Department and the Justice Department to change their civil forfeiture policies.

Five Ways Conversational Bots Will Change The Way We Do Business
Forbes
Already, companies are starting to use chatbots to scale customer service interactions. But from employee training to financial automation, conversational bots have the potential to do so much more. Below, five technology executives from Forbes Technology Council offer their insight into the various ways they see companies using these bots in the next few years (and how it could change these respective industries).

Fourth Day of Losses for Market as the Fed Meets
New York Times
Stocks in the United States and global markets fell for a fourth day on Tuesday as investors awaited the Federal Reserve’s decision on interest rates and continued to worry about Britain’s expected close vote on whether to leave the European Union. Credit card company stocks fell sharply after Synchrony Financial, the country’s leading issuer of store brand credit cards, warned that more of its customers were falling behind on payments.

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