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Accounting News Roundup: PCAOB’s Open Meeting; Everything You Wanted to Know About the SALT Deduction; Penn State’s MAcc Job Placement | 08.13.13

New Rules Expected for Annual Audit Reports [WSJ]
After seven decades in which the auditor's letter hasn't changed much, U.S. regulators on Tuesday are expected to propose major new rules requiring auditors to tell investors more about what they find in companies' books. The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, the government's audit-industry regulator, is pushing the accounting industry to disclose more about its views on a company, which some say will make the document attached to each public company's annual report more useful, albeit a little longer. While the PCAOB hasn't said specifically what it will propose, having auditors provide their opinions on broader matters appears likely to be the crux of it. Regulators and industry critics say investors need more information from auditors about matters such as whether a company's accounting is aggressive, and what auditors think are the most important features of a company's finances.

PCAOB Open Board Meeting: To Consider a New Auditing Standard to Enhance the Auditor's Reporting Model [PCAOB]
The meeting starts at 9:30 am ET. You can view/listen to it here.

Deloitte UK pays 740 partners average of £772,000 [Guardian]
The 740 partners at Deloitte UK each took home an average £772,000 as the business advisory firm's revenues rose 8% to £2.5bn in the year to end-May. The biggest annual growth was in its consulting division, up 14% on 2012, a leap that Deloitte claimed was a sign that British businesses were starting to gain confidence and invest for growth. David Sproul, the chief executive, and senior partner who took home £2.7m, said: "This is a strong performance for our firm given the continuing challenging economic environment.

SEC Official: ‘Substantial’ Whistleblower Awards to Come [R&CJ (Subscription)]
Michele Wein Layne, regional director of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s Los Angeles office, emphasized the time-intensive nature of sorting through the whistleblower tips the agency receives–roughly 300 in the 2012 fiscal year, from all 50 states and several dozen foreign countries.

The Deduction for State and Local Taxes [Economix/NYT]
The Salt deduction is among the oldest in the tax code. The first income tax law enacted 100 years ago this year provided a deduction for all state, county, school and municipal taxes paid within the last year. It is not known why it was adopted, but lawmakers may have felt that it was fundamentally unfair to tax a tax.

Some tax holiday crowds in Mass. rival Black Friday’s [BG]
For Direct Tire and Auto Service, sales more than quadrupled from a normal weekend, said Barry Steinberg, the chief executive. On a usual Saturday, the company’s locations in Watertown, Norwood, Peabody, and Natick sell a combined 200 tires; this past Saturday, they sold 870. “It was all hands on deck,” Steinberg said. “All four locations had a full staff. They were all making overtime, so they were happy. The state’s going to get some of this money back in income taxes. It was a win-win.” Steinberg said he was surprised by the crowds, considering the savings are relatively small. “If I ran a sale for 6.25 percent off, no one would get this excited,” he said.

IRS extends deadline for 'innocent spouse' tax relief application [Reuters]
Moving to help victims of domestic violence and others, the U.S. Internal Revenue Service on Monday proposed rules to extend the amount of time taxpayers can apply for its "innocent spouse" relief program which stops collection of taxes in certain situations. The program aims to assist taxpayers – including single mothers – who have filed tax returns as married couples but later face a tax bill. The applicants are usually people who did not know their spouse had accumulated a tax liability, which the "innocent" spouses are also responsible for as part of a married tax filing. Under the proposed rules, taxpayers would have up to 10 years to apply for the program and stop a tax collection process. Nearly 50,000 people apply annually for the program, including some involved in domestic disputes or physical abuse.

One-Year Master of Accounting Program announces 100 percent job placement [Penn State]
So that's nice.

Instructor shoots student in gun-safety class [CD]
A firearms instructor accidentally shot a student while teaching a gun-safety class on Saturday in Fairfield County to people seeking permits to carry concealed weapons. Terry J. Dunlap Sr., who runs a shooting range and training center at 6995 Coonpath Rd. near Lancaster, was demonstrating a handgun when he fired a .38-caliber bullet that ricocheted off a desk and into student Michael Piemonte’s right arm. Dunlap, 73, also is a long-time Violet Township trustee who is running for re-election in November.

Posted in ANR