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December 8, 2022

Accounting News Roundup: Obama’s Donors and Inversions; Issues Facing Young CPAs; Overhauling FBAR Filing | 08.13.14

Obama Donors Embrace Corporate Inversions He Criticizes [Bloomberg]
Well, this is awkward: "The administration’s connections to more than 20 donors associated with the transactions are causing tensions for the president as he urges Congress to act against the deals and prods the Treasury Department for short-term steps to curb them."

After Kinder Morgan Deal, What’s Next for Master Limited Partnerships? [DealBook]
If you want to become a MLP, you need a private letter ruling from the IRS. And the IRS hasn't been so generous with those PLRs lately: "in April, the I.R.S. stopped issuing such rulings. 'There has been a pause,' John Koskinen, the I.R.S. commissioner, said at a congressional hearing at the time, according to Reuters. The pause 'is to try to make sure the letter rulings are all consistent and to try to see if there is a way to give broader guidance to the industry,' he said. The concern was that the I.R.S. was being too lenient in granting private letter requests, inadvertently allowing companies that should in fact be structured as corporations to enjoy the tax benefits of the partnership structure. As a result, the I.R.S. was unwittingly depriving the government of badly needed revenue."

Ocwen to Restate Results After Accounting Change [WSJ]
$17 million is going from Q1 '14 to 2013 after "its 
auditor found what may be 'a material weakness' in the way it recorded the value of certain debt."

The Top Seven Issues Facing Young Professionals [MACPA]
#1: Not enough time.

FBAR Filing, some acrobatics required [Tax Update]
Joe Kristan has some good suggestions for improving FBAR filing because the process is so god-awful: "Even if FBAR filing is not merely a sadistic plot — and it sure acts like one — it seems more designed as a hook to punish violators — purposeful and accidental —  than a way to gather compliance information.  As usual, Congress goes after a small set of violators by firing into the crowd." 

Companies Deal With Employees Who Refuse to Take Time Off by Requiring Vacations, Paying Them to Go [WSJ]
The twisted minds out there who won't take time off sometimes need extra encouragement: "Some people won't take vacation time because they reap psychological rewards from working nonstop. And some employers' vacation policies motivate them to work even more. The best cure, managers say, is a mandatory-vacation policy. More companies are even offering cash to finance employees' getaways."

I'm With Stupid, and Paul Krugman [Bloomberg]
This is helpful advice for those of you who like to *ahem* debate on this here website: "In the end, I think people overreact to the 'stupid' insult because, as a society, we use arguments the wrong way. We tend to treat arguments like debate competitions — two people argue in front of a crowd, and whoever wins gets the love and adoration of the crowd, and whoever loses goes home defeated and shamed. […]  As the band Sparks once sang, 'Everybody's stupid — that's for sure.' What matters is going in the right direction — becoming less stupid, little by little."

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