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Accounting News Roundup: Hedge Accounting Due Process; IRS Receives Award for…Clarity in Writing?; Tax ’em if They Smoke ’em | 05.03.11

Americans Favor Budget Cuts Over Raising Corporate Tax [NYT]
While most Americans say corporations do not pay their fair share in taxes, they still prefer cuts in government spending to increasing taxes on corporations as a means of cutting the federal budget deficit, according to a recent New York Times/CBS News poll. But when given a choice between raising taxes on corporations and raising taxes on households that make more than $250,000 a year, almost two-thirds of respondents opt for taxing businesses.

Hedge Accounting: Convergence Crunch Time [Accounting Onion]
The CFA Institute wrote a 39-page letter to the IASB criticizing its hedge accounting exposure draft. E&Y wrote a similarly lengthy comment letter; a very different letter.

Trade group: Administration wants to expand corporate tax umbrella [The Hill]
A trade association is concerned that the Obama administration is working on a tax reform plan that would make more businesses pay taxes as corporations. An executive at the National Association of Publicly Traded Partnerships (NAPTP) recently signaled that the group had received information indicating that the administration wanted large so-called pass-through entities — businesses that pay taxes through the individual code — to be subject to corporate taxation.

IRS considers tax deadline extension for storm victims [BBJ]
Victims of severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds and flooding beginning April 15 in parts of Alabama may qualify for tax relief from the Internal Revenue Service. Individuals who reside or have a business in these counties may qualify for tax relief: Autauga, Bibb, Blount, Calhoun, Cherokee, Choctaw, Colbert, Cullman, DeKalb, Elmore, Etowah, Fayette, Franklin, Greene, Hale, Jackson, Jefferson, Lawrence, Limestone, Madison, Marengo, Marion, Marshall, Morgan, St. Clair, Sumter, Tallapoosa, Tuscaloosa, Walker, Washington and Winston.

IRS Recognized for Clear Writing [AT]
The Internal Revenue Service received an award for the written clarity of its official notices, while insurance provider CareFirst Blue Cross Blue Shield of Maryland received an award for the most confusing language. The Center for Plain Language gave the IRS its Grand ClearMark Award for the clearest language with its simplified notices, while CareFirst got the WonderMark Award of confusion for its muddled explanation of health care benefits “The IRS has worked hard to overcome its image with Americans and these two revised notices are a sign that the IRS has changed,” said Annetta Cheek, PhD, chair of the board of directors of the Center for Plain Language.

Global Accounting Rules at Risk [CFOJournal]
When U.S. securities regulators let foreign companies stop reconciling their financial results with U.S. GAAP in 2007, it seemed inevitable that U.S. companies would one day adopt International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) themselves. But over the past few years, the SEC turned its focus to the financial crisis and slowed down efforts to set a formal date for the switch. Now some think support is waning and full adoption of the standards in the United States is no longer possible.

Deloitte Survey: Two Out of Three Employees at Large Companies Looking for the Exit Sign [Deloitte]
Despite the sobering news, dissatisfied employees are transparent about their leading turnover drivers, providing executives and talent managers with a clear picture of the most effective employee retention strategies. When asked to list their top three retention incentives, 53 percent of the respondents ranked promotion/job advancement first, followed by increased compensation at 39 percent, and additional bonuses or other financial incentives at 34 percent. Boosting employee support/recognition from their managers, a non-financial incentive, was also ranked as an effective retention tactic by a strong 30 percent of the surveyed employees.

State Cigarette Excise Tax Rates [Tax Foundation]
From a monetary standpoint, why anyone in the tri-state area smokes, is a mystery.

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