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The Daily


Maya Lindsay
Published Date:
Mar 3, 2016

NYSSCPA Members in the News

Seymour Goldberg (Suffolk)
What CPAs Should Know About Trusts
Accounting Today
Many estate planners recommend that clients create trusts for various reasons, but problems can arise when the trustee is a family member who has no experience regarding the responsibilities of a trustee In many cases the trustee selected by the creator of the trust is not capable of handling the responsibilities that are involved in administering a trust. The trustee should always engage a qualified CPA to assist in administering the trust.

James Grimaldi (Northeast)
12 Times When It Makes Sense to Hire a Tax Preparer
U.S. News and World Report
Tax season is upon us, and if you're staring at a pile of unfamiliar forms that have you scratching your head, then it's probably time to call in reinforcements. Approximately 60 percent of taxpayers turn to a tax professional to help prepare their return, according to the Internal Revenue Service. It's similar to knowing when to stop helping your kids with their homework assignments, says Barbara Taibi, a partner at accounting firm EisnerAmper. "When you don't understand the questions that the teacher is asking, that's when it's time to get a tutor," she explains.

Other Accounting and Financial News Stories 

Is the Worst Over for Stocks? Being Contrarian Doesn’t Always Pay
Wall Street Journal
In this turbulent stock market, the benefit of hindsight suggests it pays to be contrarian. But does it really? For decades, many investors have used the American Association of Individual Investors’ weekly survey as a sentiment indicator to help gauge the market’s next move. Stocks often have had a tendency to do the opposite of how investors say they have felt about the market. This pattern manifested itself again in mid-January, when a survey showed only 18% of respondents said they were bullish, even lower than during the depths of the financial crisis.

ADP Finds Private Sector Added 214,000 Jobs in February
Accounting Today
The private sector added 214,000 jobs in February, according to payroll giant ADP, in another healthy sign for the economy. Small businesses with 49 or fewer employees increased by 76,000 jobs in February, in line with January's downwardly revised figure of 75,000 in ADP's National Employment Report. Employment among midsize companies with between 50 and 499 employees increased by 62,000 jobs, down from January's downwardly revised 74,000.

A CPA’s Wish List to Improve the Tax Landscape
Accountants work with details day in and day out. But as with anything, it’s important to consider the larger perspective – in this case it’s the tax and legislative landscape. I’ve been lucky enough to work with accounting organizations with strong legislative influence for nearly two decades. The perspective I gained, as well as being able to make a difference as part of an important volunteer community, has been beyond valuable. To that end, here’s an accountant’s perspective on four areas where the tax landscape could be improved.

Stopping the Madcap Sprint to Close the Books
Ever wonder where the term the “last mile” of finance originated? This oft-used phrase to describe the month’s worth of work painfully squeezed into a few days to close the books refers to the final steps taken by a prisoner condemned to die. Company accountants can relate to this fate. Compressing the closing activities for financial reporting into scant days results in overwrought accountants more likely to make mistakes, high labor costs to staff up for the peak overload, delayed forecasts by financial planning and analysis, and tardier testing of Sarbanes-Oxley controls by internal audit.

In Deal Boom, More Firms Ask: Is My Banker Conflicted?
Wall Street Journal
Perrigo Co. last summer dropped J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. as an adviser on its battle against an unwanted takeover bid from Mylan NV. The reason, according to people familiar with the episode: Perrigo learned J.P. Morgan was simultaneously advising on another deal that would undermine the drug maker’s defense against Mylan. The episode highlights the pitfalls for merger bankers in the current deal boom, which has been marked by complicated, quickly shifting takeover battles. 

IRS System Meant to Protect ID Theft Victims Seems to Have Been Hacked
The IRS seems to be falling short on shielding taxpayers from tax return fraud.To protect previous victims of falsified returns and data breaches — such as the IRS’s own 2015 hacking, which resulted in 724,000 stolen taxpayer records, according to the agency’s most recent investigation — the IRS assigns them an “Identity Protection PIN.” That’s a six-digit code that acts as a second form of verification and must be included on all tax forms. But at least one of the these IP PINs has itself been compromised, according to security researcher and journalist Brian Krebs.

National Taxpayer Advocate Forum on IRS Future State Highlights Challenges in Building A Tax System
Last week the National Taxpayer Advocate convened the first of a series of public forums on taxpayer service. The impetus for the forums was the IRS’s Future State initiative, an issue that Forbes contributor Ashlea Ebeling wrote about last month in her post discussing deteriorating IRS service. That initiative is based in large part on IRS wanting to ensure that people have “a more complete online experience for their IRS interactions.” The IRS is still in the planning phases for its Future State.

Why Big U.S. Banks Can Ride Out the Oil Bust
Wall Street Journal
The energy meltdown has taken bank stocks hostage. Investors should cut them free. Fear that oil’s crash will spawn losses that blow holes in big-bank balance sheets are somewhat understandable. It is tough to gauge exactly how exposed banks may be if oil-related firms start going belly up, and the information available isn’t initially comforting. Consider that energy-sector exposures at the big four U.S. banks— J.P. Morgan Chase, Bank of America, Wells Fargo and Citigroup—range from roughly 1.5% to 3.5% of their total loan books, according to the banks’ recent annual filings and other disclosures.