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Accounting News Roundup: Accountant On the Run; Higher Travel Taxes; Don’t Forget About AWeb Live! | 12.06.13

UK Accounting Regulator FRC Drops Investigation into PwC's Work for Barclays [IBTimes]
Britain's accounting regulator, the Financial Reporting Council, has dropped its investigation into PwC's preparation of compliance reports for Barclays Capital Securities. The FRC said in a statement that there was no realistic prospect that an independent tribunal would back the regulator and therefore it has decided to drop the probe. "Consequently, no further action will be taken and the case will be closed," added the FRC.

Is this why Kim Jong-Un ousted his uncle? Accountant to North Korea's leader revealed to have fled to China [DM]
The man who holds the secrets of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un’s finances was reported last night to be in hiding in China after fleeing for his life from Kim’s rule. The aide was responsible for managing the funds of Kim’s recently-ousted uncle Jang Song Thaek, and in turn is believed to have intimate knowledge of the 32-year-old leader’s finances. Two other aides to Jang were reportedly executed in recent months for corruption. It is believed the firing squad deaths prompted the unnamed defector to flee to China and make contact with the South Korean embassy in Beijing.

Congress Holds Hearing on Obamacare Small Business Aggregation Rule [AT]
The House Small Business Committee held a hearing to determine whether businesses are considered single or multiple entities under the health care reform law, and the compliance ramification for multi-owner business ownership. "As we are all aware, the new health care law requires businesses that employ 50 or more employees who work an average of 30 or more hours per week, ‘full-time’ in the law’s definition, to offer health insurance or pay a penalty,” said Rep. Chris Collins, R-N.Y., who chaired Wednesday’s hearing of the House Committee on Small Business. “A critical [issue] with the law is the definition of ‘employee,’ but equally important is the issue of which—and how many—employees are attributed to a business. The answer may be simple for one business with a single owner. However, when an individual shares ownership of multiple entities, or when a business has multiple owners, the answer is less clear.”

Why Politicians Keep Jacking Up Taxes on Travelers [TIME]
Politicians are addicted to taxes that they swear aren’t really taxes—not ones paid by locals anyway. In the near future, one of the many taxes paid by air travelers could double. In the aftermath of 9/11, the government began tacking on a security fee for each flight sold: $2.50 per nonstop flight, and a maximum of $5 on a connecting flight. A proposed increase to the fee, which has been receiving bipartisan support in Congress, could mean that all airline passengers pay $5 per flight, or $10 for a round trip, starting as soon as next year.

Audit: IRS loses billions due to stolen ID numbers [The Hill]
Tax cheats armed with stolen identification numbers are costing the Treasury billions of dollars a year, according to a new audit. Treasury’s inspector general for tax administration says that, in 2011 alone, tax cheats were able to steal or falsely obtain some 285,000 employee identification numbers, which the IRS uses to identify a taxpayer’s business account. In all, the IRS could be issuing around $2.3 billion a year in these sorts of false payments — or around $11.4 billion over a five-year span.

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