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January 12, 2012
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American Institute of CPAsCPA Letter Daily / The News Source CPAs Count On
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  Financial Focus 
 
  • Quiz: How well do you understand the country's fiscal issues?
    While you may read, watch or listen to the latest government financial news, how well do you understand what's really happening in Washington? Test yourself with a 10-minute quiz created by the Comeback America Initiative, an organization focused on producing bipartisan solutions for the country's financial problems. "As Americans, we can only engage in meaningful dialogue if we understand the entire scope of the topics we're discussing," writes Barry Melancon, CPA, president and CEO of the AICPA. AICPA Insights (1/11) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
 
  • Prepaid college plans are becoming riskier investments
    Prepaid college savings plans, also known as 529 plans, are becoming increasingly risky investments as rising tuition and declining returns leave many state plans with funding gaps. About half of the states with the plans have stopped taking new participants. Most states don't guarantee that the money parents have saved will be available when their children are ready for college. Reuters (1/11) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  A&A Report 
  • FAF releases "post-implementation review" of FIN 48
    The Financial Accounting Foundation's first formal "post-implementation review" concluded that FASB Interpretation No. 48, Accounting for Uncertainty in Income Taxes (FIN 48), generally achieves its purpose. The review, the first of its kind, also found concerns among some stakeholders about the standard's effectiveness and cost of implementation. JournalofAccountancy.com (1/12) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • PCAOB budget rises 11%: The Securities and Exchange Commission approved an 11% budget increase for the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board. The additional money will be used to conduct more international inspections, and for oversight of broker-dealer audits. "There is little question that the PCAOB has grown into an important regulatory body with a significant investor protection role," SEC Chairman Mary Schapiro said. The Wall Street Journal/Dow Jones Newswires (1/11) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Tax Spotlight 
  • National taxpayer advocate's report focuses on IRS underfunding and workload
    Nina Olson, the national taxpayer advocate, released her 2011 report to Congress on Wednesday. She identified lack of funding and expanding workload as the two most serious Internal Revenue Service problems affecting taxpayers. She also addressed the IRS's over-reliance on automation and math-error correction authority. She recommended that Congress adequately fund the IRS and codify a taxpayer bill of rights. JournalofAccountancy.com (1/12) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Policy & Regulatory 
  • Analysis: Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac remain problematic
    The government seized control of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac more than three years ago, but the mortgage giants remain a source of concern. Their rescue is expected to cost the government more than $100 billion. However, little has been done to improve the companies and their roles in the housing market. "The problem is that Fannie and Freddie are the cookie jar for Congress," said Anthony Sanders of George Mason University. "What is going to need to happen is that Fannie and Freddie need to be moved out of conservatorship or this won't end." CNNMoney.com (1/11) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Obama to reintroduce taxes, deficit cuts for 2013 budget
    In his fiscal 2013 budget, to be presented to Congress in early February, President Barack Obama reportedly will revive tax increases for wealthy Americans and deficit-reduction strategies that he proposed last year. In addition to the previously rejected ideas, Obama will propose new incentives for companies who bring jobs back to the U.S. Bloomberg Businessweek (1/12) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  AICPA News 
  • Now accepting nominees for AICPA Distinguished Achievement in Accounting Education Award
    The AICPA is now accepting nominations for the 2012 Distinguished Achievement in Accounting Education Award. The award recognizes full-time college accounting educators distinguished for excellence in teaching and for national prominence in the accounting profession. The award serves a dual function: to extend profession-wide recognition to the recipient and promote role models in academia. State CPA societies and individuals may submit nominations for the annual award until March 1. Self-nominations are not accepted. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Register today: Understand issues surrounding residence and home mortgage interest tax
    In this webinar, Residence and Home Mortgage Interest Tax Issues for Individuals, to be held 2 to 3:30 p.m. EST on Jan. 18, experts will focus on tax issues relating to residences, vacation homes and rental properties. The panel will discuss the basics of home-acquisition indebtedness, home-equity loans and the sale of a residence. The webinar will also include coverage of a wide variety of advanced tax issues, such as tax consequences of foreclosures and repossessions, recapture of homebuyer credit upon the sale of homes, the new 3.8% Medicare tax on unearned income (in 2013), and transfers of homes to family members and trusts. Register today. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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Each morning when I open my eyes I say to myself: I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today."
--Groucho Marx,
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The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, founded in 1887, is the world's largest organization representing the accounting profession, with nearly 370,000 members in 128 countries. AICPA members represent many areas of practice, including business and industry, public practice, government, education, and consulting; membership is also available to accounting students and CPA candidates. The AICPA sets ethical standards for the profession and U.S. auditing standards for audits of private companies, non-profit organizations, federal, state and local governments. It develops and grades the Uniform CPA Examination.

 
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