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Accounting News Roundup: Financial Reporting Still Moves at Snail’s Pace; What About a War Tax?; One Non-existent Dependent Is Bad Enough | 08.16.11

Company report pace frustrates accounting experts [Reuters]
Author and lawyer Michael Young jokes about the days when it took more time to get some companies’ financial statements than it did for Columbus to discover America. Alas, those days are still here.

Google May Reap $1 Billion Tax Benefit from Motorola Deal [CFOJ]
Robert Willens, an independent tax and accounting expert who is president of Robert Willens LLC in New York, told CFO Journal that the NOLs are “a really significant item.” The former Lehman Brothers tax analyst said Motorola has about $3 billion in NOLs. While the IRS restricts the entire amount of NOLs that can be applied after a change in ownership, Google should still be able to use a portion of them over time. Willens estimates Motorola could reduce Google’s tax bills by about $1 billion over the next six years, on an undiscounted basis.

PwC faces fine over JPMorgan audit [FT]
After a year-long investigation into the audit firm, the Accountancy and Actuarial Discipline Board is taking disciplinary action against PwC for failing to meet the professional standards expected of it, and failing to report “with due skill, care and diligence”.

Memo to Staff: Don’t Panic [WSJ]
From company memos to “town hall” meetings, corporate leaders are looking at how they can jack up morale in the work place. At the same time, many are dealing with employees already skeptical of management—given the rounds of layoffs in recent years—and must choose their strategies carefully.

Interpublic sells half of its Facebook stake [FT]
Interpublic, the advertising group, sold half of its 0.4 per cent stake in Facebook for $133m to an undisclosed buyer. The sale is likely to put the spotlight back on to the secondary market for private company stock. The loosely regulated market attracted scrutiny from regulators earlier this year after shares in internet companies such as Facebook and Groupon began trading at multibillion-dollar valuations without public listings.

A war tax? It’s still not a bad idea [WaPo]
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney last Wednesday caught my eye when he talked about members of Congress, currently vocal about the deficit, who were on Capitol Hill over the past decade and voted for unpaid large tax cuts but “put two wars on the credit card without paying for them.” That last phrase reflected words used in 2007 by several House Democrats who wanted to institute a war surtax to pay for the then-increasing costs of U.S. activities in Iraq and Afghanistan. These days, one of them, Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.), believes such a levy should be on the agenda of the debt-reduction “supercommittee.”

Corporations are people too! [Tax Update Blog]
Mitt Romney had a great time at the Iowa State Fair.

IRS: Woman claims 19 non-existent children [SVMN]
The IRS says Coronel claimed that all the children had been born to her at a Los Angeles hospital on Dec. 11, 2002, then obtained fraudulent Social Security numbers for them and claimed them as dependents. Hospital records show she gave birth to one child, a boy, on that date.

KPMG Foundation Awards $400,000 in Scholarships to 40 Minority Accounting Doctoral Scholars [KPMG]
The students include 10 new recipients and 30 students whose scholarships have been renewed. Each scholarship is valued at $10,000 and renewable annually for up to five years.

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