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Accounting News Roundup: Grant Thornton Likes These New EU Rotation Rules; PwC Wants It Both Ways; Mark Zuckerberg’s Taxes | 12.20.13

Accountants Grant Thornton says new EU rules spurring competition [Reuters]
Gosh, I was really expecting Eddie Nusbaum to change his mind on this one: "The European reform is starting to have an impact as companies are thinking about different providers, such as by separating tax advice from auditing," The Baumer told Reuters. "Market forces see these changes coming and respond in advance."

Winning! PwC Argues Both Sides Of The Partner Naming Debate [Re:The Auditors]
Of course Papa Whisk(e)y Charlie doesn't like the PCAOB's naming names proposal, however, Francine McKenna doesn't appreciate the firm wanting it both ways in the argument. "I’m more interested here, however, in the blatantly self-serving, two-faced rhetoric PwC employs to argue against transparency regarding engagement partner names. Partners should worry less about pitchfork-wielding plaintiffs than about their own 'partners' sticking a fork in them."

Mark Zuckerberg's staggering tax payments [CNBC]
To call Zuckerberg a whale of a client doesn't do him justice, "According to company filings, the Facebook chief executive officer is selling 41.4 million shares of Facebook worth around $2.3 billion. The company said 'most' of the net proceeds will go to pay taxes, which means that over a two-year period, Zuckerberg may be paying between $2 billion and $3 billion in federal and state taxes." 

Baucus puts nail in tax reform coffin [The Hill]
The headline is slightly overdramatizing this. Sure, Maximilian will be Ambassador to China soon, thereby, putting an end to any momentum tax reform had (which is to say, not much). But Oregon Ron Wyden seems up to the task, "[L]obbyists and lawmakers with an interest in tax reform are taking heart in the fact that Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) – who has long had his own ideas for overhauling the tax code – looks ready to step in and take over the Finance gavel."

IRS delay won't push back H&R Block's season [KCBJ]
Sitting around for two weeks sounds like it'll be fun! "H&R Block Inc. will open all of its offices Jan. 6, even though the IRS has said it won't start processing tax returns until the end of that month. The Internal Revenue Service originally intended to open on Jan. 21, but is starting the tax season on Jan. 31 because it needed more time to program and test its new tax processing systems. The process was delayed when the federal government shut down for 16 days in October."

Amazing details from the drunken Moscow bender that got an Air Force general fired [WaPo]
Major General Michael Carey sounds like a fun guy, "
The 42-page report is a doozy. It describes Carey as drinking heavily, spending an awful lot of time with two foreign women (a possible security risk), skipping meetings, complaining, offending the Russian hosts, at one point trying to perform with a band at a Moscow bar called La Cantina and generally acting a bit like a college kid on a semester abroad. The drinking got so bad that, according to the report, 'one witness was concerned that Maj Gen Carey needed assistance standing.' As a bonus, the report mentions Carey's impolitic comments about 'Eric Snowden.' "

Posted in ANR