Thursday, June 21, 2012

IRS Concludes First of Six Tax Forums Today in Orlando

  • IRS Tax Forums This Summer

  • The Internal Revenue Service today completes the first of six Tax Forums in Orlando, FL with over 2500 people attending.  Topics range from Schedule C compliance issues to tax issues related to the Affordable Health Care Act (aka Obamacare) to retirement plan contributions to taxpayer representation before the IRS.  A variety of IRS professionals, academic faculty and private sector leaders presented.  Future Tax Forums this summer will be held in Atlanta, San Diego, Las Vegas, Chicago and New York.

    Tax professionals living near one of these cities should at least consider attending this conference.  Sounds like some high-powered talent is available to address thorny tax issues.

    Northeastern CPA Firm Develops Special Practice for non-Heterosexuals

  • Marcum CPA Firm Announces Gay/Lesbian Division

  • CPA firm Marcum LLP, primarily located in the Northeast, has established a division to help gay, lesbian and related clients deal with tax law and financial issues.  The practice includes assistance with tax planning, medical reimbursement, investment monitoring and valuation services.  The goal is to help the LBGT community navigate a maze of federal, state and local statutes plus court decisons.

    Regardless of your opinion of LBGT issues--and I am guessing that tax/accounting blog readers range from gay right advocates to strong supporters of "Defense of Marriage" acts, Marcum has acted shrewdly in establishing this niche market.  Public opinion on homosexuality has changed dramatically during my lifetime and legislative bodies are going to have to address tax and related issues from this perspective in the not-distant future.

    Monday, June 04, 2012

    USCoC: US Corporate Income Tax Rate is World's Highest

  • Tax Carnival 103

  • Josten Calls for Corporate Tax Relief

  • [NOTE: Thanks for Kay Bell and "Don't Mess with Taxes" for including last week's "AmBushed by Taxes" post in Tax Carnival 103: June Tax Swoon]

    U.S. Chamber of Commerce Executive Vice-President Bruce Josten announced that the United States has the world's highest corporate income tax rate as of April 1 because of U.S. Government inaction. Josten noted recent changes in Canadian and British tax structures and called for tax simplification, sychronizing individual and corporate rates and more appropriate tax rules for global income in addition to lower individual and corporate rates. Finally, Josten asserted that the present tax structure was harming job creation and international competitiveness.

    Ordinarily, I would be more sympathetic to Mr. Josten's complaint--a high corporate tax rate does not sound very consistent with the free enterprise system which built the American economy. Given the devasting deficits and debt of recent years; however, any new tax break or spending program needs to show specifically how it will help create new jobs--and NOT just government jobs with little structural benefit to the overall U.S. economy.

    The International Organization for Standardization: More than Just ISO 9001

  • ISO Webpage

  • Was doing some research on audit issues last night (part of an college teacher's expected activities during summer "vacation") and spent some time on the web site for the ISO. Many people in business are familiar with ISO's quality standards (the 9000 series--thus "ISO 9001 compliant"); less well known are standards for environmental impact (14000 series) and new standards for energy management (50000 series). Additionally, ISO has developed statements of guidance on social responsibility and risk management.

    As I went through the ISO webpage, a number of questions or issues came forth which seemed germane to both accounting practice and probably accounting education as well--even though I did not see any ISO standards specifically addressing accounting (the closest--financial management). Some examples--should ISO 9001 compliance (or lack thereof for larger companies) be a factor in planning the scope of an internal control audit? could the risk management guidelines be used as guidance for risk management as an internal control issue? and, should the consulting divisions of large CPA firms seek to become ISO accreditors on quality management and risk management? No answers yet--but something to research this summer.

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