Peregrine accountant barred from working for firms overseen by CFTC [Reuters]
The U.S. futures regulator on Monday barred Jeannie Veraja-Snelling from working as an accountant for firms it oversees after she failed to detect the massive fraud at failed brokerage Peregrine Financial Group. Peregrine's longtime auditor Veraja-Snelling, who ran her tiny accounting firm from a Chicago suburb, lacked the expertise to audit a futures brokerage, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission said in an order. "There is no place … for below-standard audits or auditors who do not have a sufficient understanding of the futures industry," David Meister, the CFTC's top enforcement official, said in a statement.
The Charitable Deduction, Continued [Economix/NYT]
[T]o the extent that contributions are tax-motivated, the higher the tax rate, the more contributions there should be. Conversely, reductions in marginal tax rates should, all other things being equal, reduce charitable giving. With the top federal income tax rate close to half what it was in 1980, we should have seen a sharp drop in giving by the wealthy if tax considerations were paramount. In fact, charitable giving by the wealthy has not fallen. This shows that the growth of income is the dominant factor in charitable giving; when people have more money to give, they give more. The general state of the economy is more important than the tax structure in determining aggregate giving.
Gun-Toting Woman Leads Philippines Tax Evasion Battle [Bloomberg]
Kim Henares began carrying a gun eight months after becoming the Philippines’ chief tax collector. Her shooting instructor was the country’s president. Since she took over the century-old Bureau of Internal Revenue three years ago, Henares has attacked one of the most common forms of corruption in the country: Not paying taxes. She’s filed more than 180 tax-evasion complaints, investigated former world boxing champion Manny Pacquiao and boosted collection by 14.5 percent in 2012 — more than double that year’s economic growth rate. “I didn’t take this job to become popular,” said Henares, 53, who has a master’s degree in law from Georgetown University in Washington and often carries a semi-automatic pistol. “My job is to implement the tax code and collect revenue that must be collected. If people don’t like me, that’s fine.”
IRS brings back retired executive for top job [The Hill]
John Dalrymple, who already has three decades of experience at the IRS, will start as deputy commissioner for services and enforcement on Sept. 16 – a slot where he will have direct oversight of the tax-exempt division currently at the center of the IRS targeting controversy. Dalrymple previously served in the other deputy commissioner slot, operations support, at the IRS, and the agency’s interim chief, Danny Werfel, said that Dalrymple’s experience would come in handy.
Say what you will about Grover Norquist, dude is funny. [@GroverNorquist]
Miley Cyrus is mildly annoying. The politicized corruption of the IRS is obscene.
— Grover Norquist (@GroverNorquist) August 27, 2013
The Die Harder States [WSJ]
States with high estate taxes.
The Center for American Progress Rethinks Retirement Savings [TaxVox]
In a paper with the rather understated title “American Retirement Savings Could Be Much Better,” the authors attempt to stitch together the best of defined contribution plans and defined benefit pensions. Their preferred vehicle is what’s known as a collective defined contribution plan (they call their version the Secure, Accessible, Flexible, and Efficient (SAFE) plan). Today, workers in 401(k) plans bear full investment risk and often struggle with how to allocate their retirement savings and what to do with their assets when they change jobs or retire. With SAFE, those risks would be mitigated. Enrollment would be automatic, savings fully portable, and investment funds pooled and professionally managed. Accounts would be automatically annuitized as in traditional DB plans.
Stock Compensation Accounting: A Drop in the Ocean Against a Tide of Management Greed [Accounting Onion]
Tom Selling digs into Blackberry's stock options.
Your non-GAAP does not impress [@AuditAnalytics]
4.7% of 2013 SEC Comment Letters have addressed companies' use of non-GAAP measures in public disclosures.
— Audit Analytics (@AuditAnalytics) August 27, 2013
Here's Video Footage of Colin Powell Dork-Dancing To Daft Punk [Gawker]
This makes me slightly uncomfortable.