Friday, February 17, 2012

Another Full Year of the 5.65% FICA Tax for Employees Seems Assured

Democratic and Republican negotiators appear to have worked out a deal to continue the 2% payroll tax cut for the rest of 2012. The deal drops the maximum jobless benefit span from 99 to 73 weeks and requires federal workers to pay an additional 1.5% of their pay into the federal pension plan. Republicans dropped their position of making the payroll tax cut revenue-neutral while Democrats scrapped plans to include a provision along the lines of the "Buffett" plan in the legislation. The legislation also continues extended unemployment beneifts (albeit for the shorter period mentioned above) and adds a provision postponing certain cuts in Medicare reimubursements to physicians.

The Republicans had allowed themselves to be placed in an awkward position on this legislation and probably felt that they escaped in the compromise with relatively little damage. The Democrats on the other hand get a campaign issue ("we saved the payroll tax cut") and weakened the Republican stand on revenue-neutrality for at least tax expenditures.

The Chartered Global Management Accountant: A Necessary Professional Credential or an Unncessary Irritant Between the AICPA and IMA?

  • The IMA View

  • The AICPA View

  • My View Nine Months Ago

  • The AICPA announced two weeks ago that it was initiating a new credential, the Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA) effective January 31. Members of the AICPA are allowed to "test drive" the designation through July 31; thereafter, experience requirements (generally three years in a management, consulting or finnacial management setting) and annual dues of $150 ($100 if a member of a state CPA society) will be required to maintain the CGMA status. No specific testing of technical skills is presently required; an omission which the IMA vigorously criticized in its review of the designation.

    Perhaps the AICPA is trying to use the CGMA to increase its international presence; perhaps there was significant demand within the AICPA which I was unaware of for a management accounting designation. On the surface, however, it is hard for me to see this as anything but an unnecessary irritant in AICPA--IMA relations. As an academic who took two weeks of thought before publishing this, an AICPA-IMA feud does little good for anyone; especially college accounting faculty who want student post-graduate workplace options to be as inclusive as possible in an iffy economy.

    My blog is worth $7,903.56.
    How much is your blog worth?