NEWS HIGHLIGHTS FOR WEDNESDAY - 8.17.16

By:
Maya Lindsay
Published Date:
Aug 17, 2016

NYSSCPA Members in the News

Tammy Straus (Nassau)
Hain Celestial shares plunge after financial reporting news
amNewYork
Shares of Lake Success-based Hain Celestial Group Inc. plunged more than 20 percent Monday after the close of regular trading, following the company’s disclosure that it was evaluating its internal control over financial reporting and that it doesn’t expect to reach its previously announced revenue forecast for fiscal 2016. The organic and natural products company, with brands including Celestial Seasonings, Earth’s Best, Terra and Spectrum, also announced in a statement it was delaying the release of its financial results for its fourth quarter and fiscal 2016, ended June 30.

James Grimaldi (Northeast)
6 Strategies for Challenging an IRS Deficiency Notice
Law360
IRS deficiency notices have the potential to carry factual, legal and administrative errors, leaving taxpayers unfairly on the hook for significant back taxes and penalties, experts say. But the decision to challenge the IRS on its proposed tax assessment is fraught with factors such as whether the legal costs outweigh the allegedly owed tax and whether a business wants the tax fight on the public record, according to Sam Kaywood of Alston & Bird LLP.

Other Accounting and Financial News Stories

National Tax Reports Unveils IRS Tax Refund Schedule
Digital Journal
The National Tax Reports website now reveals insightful information from tax expert and author Frank Ellis, who explains how to track one's return and find the IRS tax refund schedule. The agency claims to send refunds within 21 days after returns arrive, according to the author. This can seem like a long time to many taxpayers, especially when they are waiting on potentially thousands of dollars.

‘Plan A’ Works Better When There’s No ‘Plan B’
Wall Street Journal
It turns out, the best-laid plans are those that don’t include a Plan B. New research has found that when people make a backup plan for their goals, their performance on the primary goal can suffer. “Simply contemplating backup plans make you want to achieve the primary goal less, which makes you put less effort into it,” said Jihae Shin, the study’s co-author and assistant professor of management and human resources at the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s business school.

IRS Eases Rules for Filing Section 83(b) Election
AccountingWEB
Taxpayers no longer have to attach a copy of a Section 83(b) election to their income tax return for the year in which the election was applicable, according to final regulations recently issued by the IRS. Section 83 of the tax code outlines the tax consequences of a transfer of property in connection with the performance of services.

Proposed IRS Regulations Likely to Increase Estate and Gift Taxes on Family-Controlled Businesses
The National Law Review
Recently proposed IRS regulations, if adopted as drafted, could materially reduce valuation discounts and thus substantially increase estate, gift and GST taxes (collectively, “transfer tax”) on interests in family-controlled businesses as early as December of this year. The regulations, which were first released by the IRS on August 2, impact the valuation of ownership interests in family-controlled businesses for transfer tax purposes by expanding certain “applicable restrictions” related to those interests which are to be disregarded in valuing those interests.

Free Research Database Available to Audit Practitioners
CPA Practice Advisor
The Auditing Section of the American Accounting Association has launched www.AuditingResearchSummaries.org, a free comprehensive database containing concise summaries of auditing research published in the seven most prestigious journals in the field, organized into a topical framework. This unique database will assist all audit practitioners (and especially more experienced professionals) by ensuring that they have the latest research at their fingertips when preparing for and conducting an audit.

Video Job Interviews: Hiring for the Selfie Age
Wall Street Journal
For job seekers looking to make a good first impression, a working webcam and a tidy room might be the new firm handshake. First-round job interviews are the latest part of the hiring process to undergo digitization as companies use video interviews to cut recruiting costs and times. Cigna Corp., Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and International Business Machines Corp. are among the employers now asking some applicants to log on to a website and submit video responses to interview questions in lieu of talking with a human.

Sales Tax Rates Rise Across U.S.
CPA Practice Advisor
The U.S. average combined sales tax rate rose slightly in the second quarter due to minimal tax changes in most jurisdictions, according to the latest ONESOURCE Indirect Tax Report from Thomson Reuters. The average state-level sales tax rose marginally from 5.535 percent to 5.56 percent in Q2 2016.

IRS gives a big gift to unmarried partners with supersize mortgages
The Washington Post
Does the federal tax code favor unmarried partners when it comes to deducting mortgage interest on jointly owned houses with supersize mortgages? Can certain co-owners save big money on taxes by staying single rather than getting married? Because of a little-publicized move by the IRS this month, the answer appears to be yes for potentially significant numbers of people with jumbo loans.

Treasurys Decline as Investors Interpret Fed Comments
Wall Street Journal
U.S. government bonds pulled back Tuesday after Federal Reserve officials signaled they remain interested in raising interest rates this year. In late afternoon trading, the yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note was 1.576%, compared with 1.554% Monday. Yields rise when bond prices fall. Bond yields climbed in the morning after New York Fed President William Dudley said in an interview with Fox Business Network that the economy should improve in the second half of the year and that an interest-rate increase as early as September is “possible.”

The View from the Corner Office: When Clients Get Tough, the Best Firms Get Smart
CPA Trendlines
While leaders of accounting’s largest and most successful firms face a bevy of concerns that include keeping up with technology and with clients’ changing demands, they tend to agree that attracting and retaining young, talented workers is their most pressing issue, according to a year-long CPA Trendlines study of more than a dozen managing partners across the country.

 CPE standards update accommodates new forms of learning
Journal of Accountancy
CPAs will be able to receive continuing professional education (CPE) credit for instruction received in nano-learning and blended learning platforms under new standards issued Tuesday. The AICPA and the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) changed the standards for CPE providers as well as NASBA’s Fields of Study document. The changes enable new learning methods that are popular with students: Nano-learning is delivery of information in short, 10-minute increments, often covering topics specific to a certain task.

Some Firms Intensify Push for Gender Parity at Board Level
Wall Street Journal
A small but growing number of U.S. companies have intensified their push to increase the ranks of women on their boards as businesses pay greater attention to gender parity at all levels. These initiatives are bearing fruit as companies revamp the way they recruit female directors. Some companies have begun to restrict initial searches to women, while others insist on interviewing at least one woman for director spots. Among those pursuing such strategies are Ecolab Inc., Symantec Corp., Johnson & Johnson, Voya Financial Inc., Pinterest Inc. and Nucor Corp.

 

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