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Accounting News Roundup: IFRS Can Overcome; Will the Payroll Tax Come Back from the Dead?; Keep Your Sickness at Home | 10.24.12

Starbucks finance chief denies tax claims [FT]
Starbucks has admitted a quarter of its 600 UK-owned stores are running at a loss, in a rebuttal of accusations of tax avoidance, blaming its low corporate tax payments on overexpansion. In an interview with the Financial Times, Troy Alstead, chief financial officer of the global coffee chain, said: “I look forward to the day when we pay a lot more tax … we have had a long history, unfortunately and in the early days, of aggressive expansion. We did a little bit of a land grab and we made a lot of mistakes.”

IFRS Foundation report says SEC’s concerns can be overcome [JofA]
A slightly more positive narrative than yesterday's reports.
Democrats say they are open to extension of payroll tax holiday [The Hill]

[W]ith the economic recovery puttering along, prominent Democrats like Larry Summers and Rep. Chris Van Hollen (Md.) are suggesting that the party rethink that approach — even as they continue to stress that the tax cut remains nothing more than a temporary measure. “I always thought that talk of payroll being completely sunsetted was a bit premature,” a Senate Democratic aide told The Hill this week. That shift on the Democratic side could add even more uncertainty as Washington tries to deal with the looming spending cuts and tax increases known as the “fiscal cliff” after the election.  Ending the 2-percentage-point cut in the payroll tax had appeared to be a rare part of the cliff that top Democrats and Republicans agreed on. But lobbyists and aides on Capitol Hill say there might be good political reason for Democrats to push for a third year of the holiday, as it could give them another political chip in what could be protracted fiscal-cliff talks.
VW net profit up 58 percent on accounting gain [BBW]
Volkswagen group net profit rose to €11.38 billion ($14.8 billion) from €7.14 billion in the same quarter last year, strongly boosted by gains from the complex deal that made Porsche one of VW's 12 brands. Global sales rose 27 percent to €48.84 billion. Analysts at Sanford C. Bernstein have said the non-cash gain from the complex Porsche deal would be around €7 billion in the quarter, citing guidance from company officials. It involves re-valuing options and how the Porsche stake is accounted for on Volkswagen's books. Operating earnings — excluding financial items such as interest and taxes, as well as the effects of the merger — fell 19 percent to €2.34 billion from €2.89 billion.

Become "Rich" Simply by Saying "I Do" [Tax Foundation]
Worst marriage advice ever.

The Art of Calling In Sick—Or Not [WSJ]
Staying in bed poses a risk of falling behind or being seen as a slacker. But showing up sick, and grossing out or infecting colleagues, can be worse, and a growing number of employers are setting policies to discourage it. "People get really, really ticked off at co-workers spreading germs in the workplace. There's nothing worse than being Typhoid Mary," says Annie Stevens, a managing partner at ClearRock, a Boston leadership-development and career-transition consultant.

Dog Poo Predicts Presidential Win [HP]
Jim Coniglione is the owner of Scoopy Doo, a dog poop collection service in Long Island, N.Y., and he predicts a win for Romney for a very peculiar reason: The majority of dog poop he's picking up looks like the former Massachusetts governor. "I think it's because of the economy. People are giving their dogs cheaper dog food and the dogs are producing more 'product,' and that looks more like Romney," Coniglione told The Huffington Post.


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