Regulatory Roundup, Nov. 30-Dec. 6

By:
Chris Gaetano
Published Date:
Dec 6, 2016

The following is a compilation of relevant regulatory announcements, including those from the IRS, the  AICPA and the SEC, of the past week:

IRS

IRS Launches New Online Tool to Assist Taxpayers with Basic Account Information
The IRS launches an online application that it says will assist taxpayers with straightforward balance inquiries in a safe, easy and convenient way.

IRS, Security Summit Partners Announce ‘National Tax Security Awareness Week’ beginning Dec. 5 
The IRS and its Security Summit partners announced the start of “National Tax Security Awareness Week.”

Fall 2016 Statistics of Income Bulletin Now Available
The IRS reminded researchers that the fall 2016 issue of the Statistics of Income Bulletin is available on IRS.gov.

Interest Rates Remain the Same for the First Quarter of 2017
The IRS announced that interest rates will remain the same for the calendar quarter beginning Jan. 1, 2017.

IRS, Security Summit Partners, Remind Taxpayers to Protect Themselves Online
The IRS, the states and the tax industry urged taxpayers to take steps to protect themselves online to help in the fight against identity theft.

AICPA

AICPA Offers Recommendations to Enhance Form 5500 Series Reporting for Employee Benefit Plans 
The American Institute of CPAs has submitted comments to the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) regarding a joint DOL, IRS and Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation proposal to revise the reporting Form 5500 Series for employee benefit plans and the DOL’s proposed regulations to implement the revisions.  

AICPA Calls on IRS to Withdraw and Re-Propose Estate Valuation Discount Regulations 
The AICPA has called on the IRS to withdraw and re-propose the estate valuation discount regulations that were the subject of an IRS hearing. The proposed regulationsconcern the valuation of interests in corporations and partnerships for estate, gift and generation-skipping transfer tax purposes. 

IASB

IFRS Foundation Trustees tweak Constitution
The trustees of the IFRS Foundation, responsible for the oversight and governance of the International Accounting Standards Board, have amended the organization’s constitution. The changes include reducing the size of the board and amending the geographical distribution of trustees.

Joanna Perry Reappointed as Chair of the IFRS Advisory Council
The trustees of the IFRS Foundation, responsible for the oversight and governance of the International Accounting Standards Board, have announced that Joanna Perry has been reappointed to chair the IFRS Advisory Council for a second term.

GASB

GASB Proposes Implementation Guidance Designed to Clarify Recent Pronouncements
The Governmental Accounting Standards Board issued a proposed Implementation Guide containing questions and answers intended to clarify, explain, or elaborate on GASB Statements.

FAF Trustees Name Four New Members to the Governmental Accounting Standards Advisory Council

The board of trustees of the Financial Accounting Foundation announced the appointment of four new members to the Governmental Accounting Standards Advisory Council.

PCAOB

PCAOB Announces $750,000 Settlement With Deloitte Mexico for Failing to Effectively Implement Quality Control Policies and Procedures for Audit Documentation
The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board announced that Mexico-based Galaz, Yamazaki, Ruiz Urquiza, S.C. (Deloitte Mexico) was censured and will pay a $750,000 civil penalty for failing to effectively implement quality control policies and procedures for audit documentation

SEC

SEC Charges Asset Management Fund and Manager
The Securities and Exchange Commission announced fraud charges and an asset freeze against Miami Beach-based asset management company Onix Capital LLC and owner Alberto Chang-Rajii, a Chilean national who fled the U.S. earlier this year.

SEC Advisory Committee on Small and Emerging Companies to Hold Conference Call Meeting on December 7
The SEC’s Advisory Committee on Small and Emerging Companies will hold a public meeting by telephone conference on December 7.

PIMCO Settles Charges of Misleading Investors About ETF Performance
Investment management firm Pacific Investment Management Company (PIMCO) has agreed to retain an independent compliance consultant and pay nearly $20 million to settle charges that it misled investors about the performance of one its first actively managed exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and failed to accurately value certain fund securities.

United Settles Charges in Case of Flight Route to Benefit Public Official
The parent company of United Airlines has agreed to pay $2.4 million to settle charges in a case in which shareholders wound up footing the bill so a public official could get more convenient flights.

Chief Economist and Division of Economic and Risk Analysis Director Mark Flannery to Leave SEC
The SEC’s Chief Economist and Division of Economic and Risk Analysis Director Mark J. Flannery will leave the agency by the end of the month. He will return to his position as a finance professor at the University of Florida’s Graduate School of Business Administration.

SEC Awards $3.5 Million to Whistleblower
A whistleblower has been awarded approximately $3.5 million for coming forward with information that led to an SEC enforcement action.

IT Specialist Settles Charges of Insider Trading on Hacked Nonpublic Information
The SEC announced insider trading charges against a San Francisco-based information technology specialist who allegedly hacked senior executives at online travel company Expedia and illegally traded on company secrets.

GAO

Federal Fees, Fines, and Penalties: Observations on Agency Spending Authorities
While the majority of federal revenues come from taxes, agencies also collect billions of dollars in fees, fines, penalties, and settlements. The Government Accountability Office looks at the options available for legislating the use of these funds.

TIGTA

Actions Can Be Taken to Improve Processes of a Newly Developed Program That Enables Victims of Identity Theft to Request Copies of Fraudulent Tax Returns
The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration’s audit reported that IRS employees made processing errors when assisting some victims of identity theft who requested copies of the tax returns that had been filed fraudulently using the victims’ identities.

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