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Accounting News Roundup: PCAOB vs. U.S. Chamber; IRS Regrets; FASB Reform? | 03.23.12

Top watchdog, U.S. Chamber clash on auditor rotation [Reuters]
At a forum on whether corporations should be required by regulation to switch auditors every few years, Public Company Accounting Oversight Board Chairman James Doty said the chamber should choose its words more carefully. Referring to an unsigned letter from the chamber that accused the PCAOB of mission creep, Doty asked David Hirschmann, a senior chamber officer: "Do you want to sign this letter now or do you want to withdraw the letter? "Can I go to sleep tonight thinking that the chamber is okay with me holding these meetings? Or am I to take away the notion that whatever we do … we're going to have some letter from the chamber saying we've done too much?"

Ernst & Young suit over Lehman heads to state court [Reuters]
A lawsuit from New York's attorney general accusing accounting firm Ernst & Young LLP ERNY.UL of helping to hide financial problems at Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.(LEM.MX) has been sent from federal court to the New York state court where it was originally filed. U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan said in a ruling Thursday that the lawsuit, which alleges that Ernst & Young conspired with Lehman in a scheme to shuffle tens of billions of dollars from its balance sheets in order to boost the appearance of Lehman's liquidity, does not fall under federal jurisdiction. "This action therefore will be remanded whence it came," Kaplan wrote, referring to the Manhattan state court where the lawsuit was initially filed by New York's then-Attorney General Andrew Cuomo.

IRS Ramps Up Audits of Wealthiest [WSJ]
The Internal Revenue Service expanded its audits of Americans earning more than $500,000 last year, with a stark increase for those making more than $1 million. The agency, in an annual report released Thursday, said it performed audits in the year ended Sept. 30 on 5.4% of the tax returns of Americans who made between $500,000 and $1 million in 2010. That was up from 3.4% of this group who were audited the previous year. The jump was even bigger for those making between $1 million and $5 million, with 12% of this group audited last year, up from 6.7% the previous year. For those making between $5 million and $10 million, 21% were audited in 2011, compared with just 12% last year.
IRS Commissioner Shulman Addresses Tax Delays [AT]
“I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge that in the first few weeks of the tax filing season, we experienced some delays in processing a subset of e-filed returns,” Shulman said in his prepared remarks for a hearing before the House Ways and Means Oversight Subcommitee. “These were temporary issues that affected a subset of taxpayers who filed in late January and early February, and the issues were resolved by mid-February. And, even with the delays, the IRS was generally delivering refunds in our normal 10- to 21-day time frame. I recognize that this group of taxpayers encountered delays this filing season and we regret the inconveniences caused.”
TIGTA: IRS 21%-26% Error Rate Results in $14-$17 Billion/Year in Erroneous EITC Payments [TaxProf]
Could've been worse!
FASB Will Take Another Look at Repo Accounting [GOA]
The Grumpies have a better idea: "Let’s reform FASB instead."
Man fatally shot during Philly rap video shoot [WPVI]
And just to add insult to injury: "In the melee, a car accidentally ran over the victim who had been shot in the head."

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