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The Daily

NEWS HIGHLIGHTS FOR FRIDAY - 4.8.16

By:
Maya Lindsay
Published Date:
Apr 8, 2016

NYSSCPA Members in the News

NYSSCPA COAP Program
NYSSCPA's COAP summer program offers $10,000 college scholarships for CPA hopefuls
Accounting Today
This summer, the New York State Society of CPAs (NYSSCPA) will continue their Career Opportunities in the Accounting Profession (COAP) program, to be held at nine university and college campuses across New York State.

NYSSCPA COAP Program
NYSSCPA’s Career Opportunities in the Accounting Profession Program Accepting Applications Now
INSIDE Public Accounting
Every summer, for some 30 years, the New York State Society of CPAs (NYSSCPA) has shown high school juniors the fun of the accounting profession through the Career Opportunities in the Accounting Profession (COAP) program. COAP will be held at nine university and college campuses across New York State. Applications are available now for this free college-readiness/explore accounting summer program. Deadline to apply is May 18.

Other Accounting and Finance News Stories

Fed Sends Signal That April Rate Hike Is Unlikely
Wall Street Journal
Federal Reserve officials signaled an interest-rate increase in April is unlikely, minutes of their March policy meeting showed, confirming markets’ growing conviction that the central bank will move cautiously until the global economy picks up steam. The minutes, released Wednesday after a three-week lag, served as a capstone on several weeks of effort by Fed officials to build the case for moving gradually on rate normalization while the economy faces headwinds from overseas.

EU Nations Split Over Tax Rules on Controlled Foreign Companies
Accounting Today
European Union proposals to crack down on corporate-tax avoidance are getting stuck in a fight over how to curb aggressive tax strategies through foreign ownership, threatening the possibility of a deal by June. The EU in January proposed a slate of new measures to stamp out loopholes and make sure companies pay what they owe. In March, nations agreed on plans to share country-by-country levy data among tax authorities, and next week the European Commission will unveil proposals to make this data public.

New Tax Rules on Inversion Deals Are Met With Protest
Wall Street Journal
A day after the Obama administration limited the ability of U.S. companies to do international deals to lighten their tax burdens, Pfizer Inc. and Allergan PLC terminated their planned $150 billion merger and other companies around the globe raced to assess the impact of the new rules. The new Treasury Department rules—the third such attempt to rein in a spate of so-called tax-inversion deals—drew swift condemnation from Allergan Chief Executive Brent Saunders, who criticized them as “un-American” and “capricious.”

Accounting News Roundup: BDO's PCAOB Inspection Report and EY Partners With Adobe | 04.07.16
GoingConcern
BDO's Inspection Report - One of the big complaints about PCAOB inspection reports is that they aren't timely. Example: BDO's 2014 report just came out yesterday and it's difficult to get too excited about it even though the results are pretty bad. Of 22 audits inspected, 17 had deficiencies with the majority of those (15) related to both the financial statements and internal controls over financial reporting. Drilling down further, you find that some audits were more deficient than others: Issuers A, C, G, H, and I are notable.

New Retirement-Account Rules: What Individual Investors Need to Know
Wall Street Journal
New rules from the Labor Department are expected to have a big impact on the way Americans save for retirement. Scheduled to go into effect in phases, starting in April 2017, they extend to individual retirement accounts a revamped version of the “fiduciary” standard that governs corporate retirement plans like 401(k)s. Advisers generally will have to avoid conflicts of interest and pledge to act in the best interest of their clients when providing investment guidance on IRAs—as well as on possible transfers or “rollovers” from a workplace plan to an IRA.

PCAOB Mulls New Requirements for Auditor’s Use of Other Auditors
Accounting Today
The PCAOB plans to hold an open meeting next Tuesday, April 12, starting at 10:00 AM in its offices in Washington, D.C., to discuss the matter. The new requirements would apply to audits that involve accounting firms or accountants outside the firm issuing the audit report. In many audits, the PCAOB pointed out, important audit work is performed by accounting firms or individual accountants outside the firm issuing the audit report. The proposal would address the lead auditor's responsibilities with respect to those other auditors that participate in the audit.

Experts expect corporate tax inversions to survive new rules
Orlando Sentinel
President Barack Obama scored a victory this week when Pfizer scrapped a $160 billion overseas deal that would have kept a chunk of the drugmaker's profits beyond the U.S. tax man's reach. But recent, aggressive federal actions that discouraged Pfizer Inc.'s combination with another drugmaker, Allergan PLC, won't stop all so-called inversions, or deals that end with a company relocating to another country — at least on paper — and trimming its U.S. tax bill in the process.

CEO Pay Shrank Most Since Financial Crisis
Wall Street Journal
Compensation for the chief executives of the biggest U.S. companies fell more sharply last year than any year since the financial crisis, as weaker corporate performance slowed cash bonuses and accounting rules pared back pension growth. Median pay for the CEOs of nearly 300 large publicly traded companies slipped 3.8% to $10.8 million last year from $11.2 million in 2014, a Wall Street Journal analysis of compensation data from MyLogIQ found. Half of those CEOs saw total pay either decline or rise by less than 1%—also the worst showing for S&P 500 chiefs since the 2008 crisis.

IRS Now Allows Tax Payments at 7-Eleven Stores
AccountingWEB
Thirsty for a Slurpee? Do you owe taxes and want to pay with cash? Now, you can take care of both at your local 7-Eleven. In partnership with ACI Worldwide’s OfficialPayments.com and PayNearMe, individuals can now make a tax payment without the need of a bank account or credit card at more than 7,000 7-Eleven stores nationwide, the IRS announced on April 6. PayNearMe is currently available at participating 7-Elevens in 34 states.

Markets Flash Warning as Bonds Rise, Yen Strengthens
Wall Street Journal
Bond yields tumbled and the yen surged to its strongest level against the dollar in a year and a half Thursday, the latest sign that markets are growing cautious following a nearly two-month-long rally in prices of riskier assets. The 10-year U.S. Treasury yield fell to 1.69%, its lowest level since February’s market turbulence, while the yield on the comparable German bond slumped to 0.09%, putting it within reach of last year’s record low. The Dow industrials fell 174.09 points, or 1%, to 17541.96.

IRS proposes changes to definition of vehicles that fall under excise tax
Commercial Carrier Journal
Some changes have been proposed by the Internal Revenue service relating to the excise taxes on the sale of trucks and more. The IRS issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking last week that would change the definition of vehicles that fall under excise taxes on the sale of highway tractors, trailers, trucks and tires; the use of highway vehicles on the highway; and the definition of highway vehicle related to these taxes.

IRS Pushes Back Estate Basis Reporting Deadline to June 30
AccountingWEB
The IRS has delayed the filing deadline for Form 8971 a third time, to June 30. The delay was announced in Notice 2016-27 after an outpouring of comments, including from the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA), noted that the earlier deadline of March 31 just didn’t give executors enough time to incorporate necessary changes for filing Form 8971, Information Regarding Beneficiaries Acquiring Property From a Decedent, and Schedule A.

Tax filing? April 18. Tax freedom? Six days later
USAToday
Six days after the tax filing deadline of April 18, Americans will be free – free of working to pay their share of the national tax burden for the year. April 24 marks Tax Freedom Day, the day people in the United States are collectively done working toward the nation’s tax burden, according to the Tax Foundation, a tax policy research organization based in Washington. Bottom line: it's the day the U.S. has earned enough income to pay its taxes - at least in theory.

U.S. Softens New Retirement Rule
Wall Street Journal
Wall Street breathed a sigh of relief Wednesday when the industry finally got a look at the Obama administration’s new retirement-advice regulation, discovering some onerous requirements floated earlier had been scaled back. A broad coalition of financial firms, trade groups, and Republican politicians, joined by a handful of Democrats, spent the past year mounting a fierce counterattack to the Labor Department rule promising to shake up the $14 trillion in assets parked in 401(k)s and individual retirement accounts.

A Corporate Tax Dodge Gets Harder
New York Times
Pfizer never tried to hide the fact that its proposed $152 billion merger with Allergan, based in Ireland, would cut its tax bill in the United States. But even as it rushed to complete the biggest tax-avoidance deal in the history of corporate America, it continued to promote the strategic and economic benefits of the merger. Any pretense to a motivation other than dodging taxes has now been wiped away. On Wednesday, just two days after the Obama administration introduced new rules to narrow the loopholes that the drug companies were exploiting, Pfizer announced that the deal with Allergan was off.

The Fed’s Next Rate Steps: Connecting the Dots
Wall Street Journal
Look at Federal Reserve policy makers’ recent projections and it seems that the central bank thinks there is a decent chance it will raise rates three times before the year is out. Look at which policy makers are more hawkish on rates, and the odds diminish. That was reflected in Wednesday’s release of minutes from the Fed’s March meeting, which showed a divided view on how soon the central bank should move again on rates.

How CPAs Can Cultivate Business in a Professional Association
AccountingWEB
We all make assumptions. Wearing your CPA hat, when you hear the words “professional association,” the American Institute of CPAs or another accounting association comes to mind. Attorneys belong to bar associations; doctors join medical societies. Everyone seems to have their own professional affinity group. We also make the assumption professional credentials are a prerequisite for joining. That’s not always true. Many professional associations feature an associate membership category.

Accounting and Tax Firms Top List for Workplace Flexibility
CPA Practice Advisor
It's almost the end of tax season, and most professional at accounting and tax firms are likely hunched over their multi-monitor displays for 16 hours a day, dreaming of vacationing on a private island. But some may be toiling away in the comfort of their own home, or in the local Starbucks, or wherever they have good connectivity. That's because some firms (show this to your boss) allow, even encourage, their staff to be more mobile and take time to do things like, say, watch your kid's school play or soccer game.

Banks’ Favorite New Strategy: Footnote 151
Wall Street Journal
Banks hoping to lower the burden of new capital rules are turning to the fine print. Specifically, they are turning to the 79th page of a 2013 document titled “Regulatory Capital Rules”and looking at footnote 151. That reference effectively lets banks hold less capital against shorter-term derivatives, and banks want to harness it to lessen the blow when they enter into longer-running contracts.