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Accounting News Roundup: GOP Can Pass the Paul Ryan Budget, Says Paul Ryan; IRS May Share More Info with Police; Taxing Your Sins | 03.21.12

‘We have the votes’ to pass this budget in House, says the GOP's Paul Ryan [The Hill]
House Republican leaders voiced confidence Tuesday that they will pass their budget despite unified Democratic opposition and grumbling from GOP conservatives that its proposed spending cuts are too small. “We have the votes,” the budget architect, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), told reporters on the day he unveiled a plan to overhaul the tax code and cut $5.3 trillion in spending over a decade. Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) predicted the budget resolution would receive “a strong vote of support” when it hits the House floor next week. The plan, released with extensive fanfare on Tuesday, serves as an election-year agenda for a party hoping to hold onto its young House majority and win back the White House in November. Democrats attacked the blueprint en masse, even as they welcomed Ryan’s modified proposal to overhaul Medicare as a politically dangerous plan they hope to exploit in the fall.

Democratic tax-writers blast GOP tax reform plan [The Hill]
Top Democratic tax-writers on Tuesday slammed the tax reform proposals contained in the House Republicans’ fiscal 2013 budget, further underscoring the difficulties lawmakers face in revamping the tax code. Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.), the chairman of the Finance Committee, said he thought Republicans would find it “very hard” to find enough tax credits and deductions to eliminate to pay for their tax proposals. The new House GOP budget, again largely crafted by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), cuts the number of individual tax brackets from six to two, and sets rates at 10 percent and 25 percent. 

If Unemployment Is So High, Why Is Hiring So Hard? [HBR]
Bob Moritz: "As we work our way out of the greatest recession in 80 years and into this burgeoning digital economy, CEOs are looking for a partnership with government. In fact, 57% of U.S. CEOs said creating and fostering a skilled workforce should be a top priority of governments. So while the appetite to invest is there, U.S. CEOs are looking to forge more public-private partnerships, to fully embrace the challenges and opportunities of the digital transformation that in turn will help restore competitiveness."

IRS may share tax info with police to fight fraud [Reuters]
A surge in tax refund fraud and identity theft has prompted the Internal Revenue Service to consider sharing more tax return information with police, a senior official told a congressional hearing on Tuesday. In a move that could spark concerns over personal privacy, the IRS said it is considering a pilot program in Tampa, Florida, where identity theft and refund fraud are rife. "We are limited in what we can supply to local law enforcement," said Steven Miller, deputy IRS commissioner for services and enforcement. Tax return information is normally kept tightly secret by the IRS. Under the program, exceptions could be made, with the permission of victims of identity theft and tax refund fraud, so that bogus tax return documents could be shared with police.

Accounting Change Prompts Flagstar To Restate 4Q Loss [Dow Jones]
Flagstar Bancorp Inc. (FBC) said it will restate its fourth-quarter loss after authorities cleared the bank was to use fair-value analysis to account for a large settlement payment. Flagstar said the revision will widen its fourth-quarter loss by an additional $4.2 million, or a penny a share, leaving its loss at $78.2 million, or 14 cents a share. The move comes after Flagstar last month agreed to pay up to $132.8 million to settle civil-fraud charges that accused the bank of improperly approving loans for government insurance.
Grant Thornton survey reveals Chief Audit Executives most worried about cybersecurity risks [GT]

Chief Audit Executives (CAEs) ranked cybersecurity as their #1 concern in emerging risks, according to a new survey by Grant Thornton LLP. Mobile technology was their second biggest concern, followed by business interruption and social media. While more than half (56%) of CAEs report that their organization had 10 or less cybersecurity incidents in the last 12 months, nearly a third (31%) said that they did not know how many incidents their company had. “Not surprisingly, emerging risks are on the minds of CAEs,” said Warren Stippich, a Chicago-based partner and Grant Thornton’s national Governance, Risk and Compliance solution leader. “With cybersecurity threats becoming ever more common, internal audit needs to make evaluating data security a key part of the audit plan.”
Smokes and Beer [Tax Update]
States tax 'em if you got 'em.


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