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Accounting News Roundup: ‘Go-to’ Accountant Accused of Swindling Calif. Dems; The Extended Estate Deadline; Poverty Stats Not Encouraging | 09.14.11

The 2013 Tax Cliff [WSJ]
President Obama unveiled part two of his American Jobs Act on Monday, and it turns out to be another permanent increase in taxes to pay for more spending and another temporary tax cut. No surprise there. What might surprise Americans, however, is how the President is setting up the U.S. economy for one of the biggest tax increases in history in 2013.

A ‘Go To’ Accountant Is Accused of Fraud [NYT]
For almost 15 years, Kinde Durkee has been one of the go-to accountants for Democratic candidates in California. She and her firm kept track of expenditures and contributions and made sure that candidates and party committees’ campaigns complied with California’s tangled election finance laws. But just after Labor Day, Ms. Durkee was arrested by the F.B.I. on charges of siphoning hundreds of thousands of dollars from the campaign of a State Assembly member from Orange County for her personal use. The F.B.I. found that Ms. Durkee had control over nearly 400 campaign accounts and had been shuffling money between them — and out of them — for years.

I.R.S. Extends Estate Taxes Deadline [Bloomberg]
The Internal Revenue Service said on Tuesday that tax returns for estates that are worth more than $5 million for people who died in 2010 will be due on Jan. 17, instead of Nov. 15. The estate tax lapsed during 2010, and the filing process has been complicated because the I.R.S. has not released details and forms that govern how heirs should establish the basis of assets inherited without an estate tax.

Tax Plan for Jobs Bill Has Familiar Ring [NYT]
[T]he White House […] says its plan should be viewed as a rough framework, because its top priority is to get the jobs bill enacted. If Congress approves the president’s jobs plan, it could instead pay for it with other spending cuts or tax increases if that is what the Congressional committee on deficit reduction recommends later this fall.

Income, Poverty and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2010 [U.S. Census Bureau]
There were 46.2 million people in poverty in 2010, up from 43.6 million in 2009 ─ the fourth consecutive annual increase and the largest number in the 52 years for which poverty estimates have been published.

How Payroll Tax Cuts Can Create Jobs [NYT]
The payroll tax is the second most important tax in the United States, normally bringing in almost $900 billion a year through a combination of taxes on employers and employees — about 15 percent of payroll. Although workers may not realize it, most of them pay more payroll tax than they pay in federal income tax. The president proposes cutting the employer portion of the payroll tax by 3.1 percentage points (bringing the combined total down to about 12 percent) for employers with less than $5 million in payroll. Unfortunately, this last condition is business-distorting. Why encourage a $10 million business to split into two $5 million businesses?

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