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The Daily

NEWS HIGHLIGHTS FOR WEDNESDAY - 3.23.16

By:
Maya Lindsay
Published Date:
Mar 23, 2016

NYSSCPA Members in the News

Sheila Brandenberg and Anil Melwani (Manhattan/Bronx)
Joe Falanga (Staten Island)
Taxes for 2015: What to know to save money
amNewYork
It’s the height of tax season, and many filers are struggling to navigate through this year’s rules regarding fines, exemptions and refunds. To make things a little easier, we spoke with a few local tax experts about some of the changes to this year’s system that might affect you. But before you dive in, Sheila Brandenberg, a New York CPA who runs her own firm out of her home in Teaneck, New Jersey, wants to remind filers that they can submit their New York State income taxes for free at tax.ny.gov

Sidney Kess (Manhattan/Bronx)
Didn't file in 2012? IRS estimates 4400 Idahoans have refunds waiting
Tri-County Sun Times
It will count as a required minimum distribution or part of one, and because the money goes directly to the charity, the distribution will not raise adjusted gross income, avoiding a possible increase in tax liability, said Sidney Kess, a certified public accountant and lawyer in NY. Many people do their taxes themselves using tax software. By comparison, you can get a copy of TurboTax for $60-$100, depending on which version you purchase. 

Other Accounting and Finance News Stories

Central Banks’ Impact: Credit, Not Currencies
Wall Street Journal
Central-bank watchers seeing decreasing sway on markets from attempts to stimulate economies might be looking in the wrong place. They should check out the credit markets. Monetary-policy easing in Europe and Japan hasn’t had much effect on exchange rates this year. That is despite the Bank of Japan and the European Central Bank pushing interest rates into negative territory and the ECB stepping up its bond-buying program.

FASB Sets Up Transition Group for Credit Loss Standard
Accounting Today
The Financial Accounting Standards Board has named the members who will serve on a Transition Resource Group to help with implementation of its upcoming credit losses standard. The Transition Resource Group will function in some ways like the joint TRG that FASB and the International Accounting Standards Board set up for their revenue recognition standard. However, since FASB and the IASB diverged in their approaches to expected credit losses, the group will only be reporting to FASB.

IRS Seeks to Improve Tax Info Presentation Through Crowdsourcing Design Contest
ExecutiveGov.com
The Internal Revenue Service has launched a crowdsourcing competition that seeks to develop novel ways to present tax information to taxpayers in an effort to help them understand the data as well as their tax responsibilities. IRS said Tuesday in a Federal Register notice the Tax Design Challenge also aims to enhance the visual layout of tax information and help taxpayers manage their personal finances through the use of such data.

Democrats Push Bill in New York Senate to End Tax Break
Wall Street Journal
Democrats in the New York state Legislature this year are seeking to close what they call the carried interest loophole, a tax break that benefits private-equity and hedge-fund managers. Sen. Jeff Klein, a Bronx Democrat, plans to introduce a bill Wednesday that would raise taxes on those who now pay the lower rate. Congressional Democrats have long tried to tackle the issue, which has received new attention in the 2016 presidential election.

Double Check Your Work: IRS to Step Up Section 501(r) Hospital Examinations This Year
Lexology
Tax-exempt hospitals will likely be targets of stepped up compliance checks and examinations in the coming months. Referencing the in-depth review of tax-exempt hospitals required by the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Donna Hansberry, IRS Tax Exempt/Governmental Entities (TE/GE) Deputy Commissioner, and Margaret Von Lienen, IRS Director of Exempt Organizations Examinations, dropped the news at the February 26 meeting of the TE/GE Joint Councils in Baltimore.

IRS Highlights Top 10 Identity Theft Prosecutions
Accounting Today
The Internal Revenue Service has released the Top 10 Identity Theft Prosecutions for Fiscal Year 2015 to highlights its efforts to combat tax refund fraud and identity theft. "The IRS continues fighting identity theft on several fronts, including the Security Summit initiative where we have joined with the states and the nation’s tax industry to beef up prevention and detection of fraudulent returns," said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen in a statement.

IRS Can’t Refuse Disclosure of Applicants for Tax-Exempt Status
Bloomberg Politics
Federal appeals court rules IRS can’t refuse to produce names of organizations that applied for tax-exempt status, because the names aren’t protected tax-return information, Bloomberg BNA’s Erin McManus reports. Court says IRS must produce related information regarding organizations whose applications were identified for heightened scrutiny based on their ideological leaning.

Payroll Tax Violators Get Penalties Or Jail, And IRS Is Watching
Forbes
During tax filing season, there are many stories about tax convictions and indictments. They are scary just as it comes time to file your taxes. The IRS can be tough on collecting income taxes, but is even tougher where payroll taxes are concerned. The money is withheld from employee wages, and is supposed to be paid over to the IRS. If the IRS doesn’t get it, the losses can mount quickly.

Retailers Oppose Consumption Tax Proposal in Congress
Accounting Today
The National Retail Federation is urging Congress to reject any form of consumption tax as it considers a variety of tax reform proposals in a hearing Tuesday. The NRF instead wants Congress to focus on changes to the income tax system that would broaden the tax base in return for lower rates.

Obama administration’s ‘continuous resistance’ in IRS targeting case slammed by federal appeals court
The Washington Post
A federal appeals court Tuesday slammed the IRS for what it called three years of “continuous resistance” to turning over documents in connection with a class action suit brought by tea party groups singled out for months of delays, excessive paperwork and scrutiny as they sought tax-exempt status in 2010. A unanimous ruling by a three judge panel of the Cincinnati-based U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit found that the IRS, in its unresponsiveness to the targeting charges, “has only compounded the conduct that gave rise” to them.

Big Banks: Expect the Unexpected
Wall Street Journal
A billion dollars here, a billion dollars there. Pretty soon, it adds up. Even as big U.S. banks try to squeeze every last dime out of their cost bases, unexpected, big-ticket charges keep cropping up. In recent years, these have typically involved regulatory fines and litigation expenses. Though they are often regarded as one-time charges by management and investors, the charges still hurt. Importantly, they take big chunks out of retained earnings that could otherwise be used to meet regulatory requirements for higher capital bases.