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Accounting News Roundup: Hi, Paul Ryan; Speculating on Romney’s Missing Returns; Hello Again, Paul Ryan | 08.13.12

Ryan Farther-Reaching Than Romney on Taxes Without Detail [BBW]
Representative Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney’s choice for vice president, has offered a more far- reaching reshaping of the U.S. tax system than the man at the top of the ticket, while neither candidate has explained how to pay for his plans. Like Romney, the Wisconsin Republican proposes cutting top tax rates for individuals and corporations in ways that would require eliminating hundreds of billions of dollars a year in tax breaks to avoid increasing the federal budget deficit. Yet Ryan, 42, goes further than Romney, who would cut individual tax rates by 20 percent, drop the corporate tax rate to 25 percent and eliminate the estate tax and alternative minimum tax. In his 2010 “Roadmap for America’s Future,” Ryan proposed eliminating taxes on corporate income, estates, dividends, interest and capital gains. He would simplify the individual income tax system into a two-rate structure topping out at 25 percent and impose what is effectively an 8.5 percent value-added tax. “You could not do that without substantially shifting the tax burden to the middle class and below” and reducing tax burdens on affluent households, said Edward Kleinbard, a tax law professor at the University of Southern California. “Those are just inescapable facts.”

In Superrich, Clues to What Might Be in Romney’s Returns [NYT]
Professor [Edward] Kleinbard doubts that Mr. Romney paid no income tax. “It’s possible theoretically that Romney didn’t pay, but improbable,” he said. Far more likely is that he paid a very low rate that would generate renewed criticism. This may help explain why Mr. Romney is refusing to release more of his own returns, especially those for 2009. On the face of it, his stubbornness is perplexing. The electorate already knows that he’s immensely wealthy and that he pays a very low tax rate compared with many people who make far less. There’s no reason to fault Mr. Romney for taking advantage of loopholes the tax code offers the superrich, however ill advised they may be as a matter of public policy. Mr. Romney didn’t make the law, and he’s called for broadening the tax base, which presumably means eliminating some of the breaks that benefited him. He could easily speak to that issue, since who would know better than he does which loopholes should be closed?

Standard Chartered Said to Agree on New York’s Monitor Demand [Bloomberg]
Standard Chartered Plc has agreed to a New York Department of Financial Services demand that the bank hire an outside monitor to ensure compliance with U.S. anti- money laundering laws, according to a person familiar with the matter. The agreement on the monitor, mandated by the regulator in an Aug. 6 order, stems from negotiations between the bank and state officials ahead of an Aug. 15 hearing at which Standard Chartered will be asked to explain why its license to do business in New York shouldn’t be revoked.

PwC Investigated By U.K. Accounting Board Over RSM Tenon Audits [Bloomberg]
PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP is being investigated by the U.K. Accountancy & Actuarial Discipline Board for possible rule violations during its audits of RSM Tenon Group Plc. (TNO) PwC, along with “certain members of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales,” is being investigated for audits carried out for RSM Tenon, a corporate finance advisory firm, for the years ending in June 2010 and 2011, the London-based accounting regulator said in an e-mailed statement. The investigation will cover “the preparation, approval and review of financial information in connection with the admission of RSM Tenon Group Plc to the main market of the London Stock Exchange and the acquisition of RSM Bentley Jennison,” the AADB said.

Ryan vs. Romney on taxes [DMWT]
Kay Bell compares the mans with plans.
Janna Ryan, Tax Lawyer [TaxProf]
Yep! Behind every man's good hair (and probably his tax plan), there's a good woman.
Former IRS agent pleads guilty to trying to hire hitman to kill four [LAT]
Steven Martinez of Ramona pleaded guilty in San Diego federal court to 12 felony counts involving various schemes to steal from clients, including mail fraud, filing false tax returns, Social Security fraud, identity theft and money laundering. The four people that Martinez wanted killed were former clients, according to prosecutors. Martinez told the would-be hitman that he would pay him $100,000 "if he eliminated the lady in Rancho Santa Fe and the lady in La Jolla," according to court documents.

Clean Up the Balance Sheet: Get Rid of Deferred Taxes [GOA]
Grumpies are wagging their fingers again.

RI police arrest man found naked and covered in Crisco [QCT]
Rock Island police arrested a man found naked and covered in cooking spray early Monday in the downtown area. Officers responded to the call of a naked man at 3:27 a.m. in the 2200 block of 3rd Avenue, where they found him carrying a pair of shorts. Rock Island Deputy Chief of Police Jeff VenHuizen said the man, Chad William Forber, 41, of Blue Grass, told officers he had taken off his shorts because they were too big and would not stay on. “He said he had been dropped off somewhere on 11th Street and that he had walked to the area where he was apprehended,” VenHuizen said. “He had lathered himself up in Crisco. He was covered in grease, and was holding the can under his arm. “He said he was looking for a place to party,” VenHuizen added.


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