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Accounting News Roundup: Pining for Tax Reform; Facebook Needs a New CAO | 11.21.16

Pining for tax reform

Richard Rubin of the Wall Street Journal reports on the starts and stops of tax reform over the last several years and that now, it might be ready for prime time. People like Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and Ways & Means Chairman Kevin Brady are confident, perhaps too confident:

“Almost everything has to go right and a million things can go wrong,” said John Gimigliano of KPMG LLP.

Republicans must work through fights between industries and among their own members. They will have to defend giving the bulk of the breaks to the top 1% of households. Messrs. Ryan and Brady say they’re focused on economic growth, not the distribution along the income scale, but the benefits at the top may give some populist lawmakers pause.

“They’re going to have to grapple with the fact that Trump and Trumpism is not associated with the actual policies they’re going to try to enact,” said David Kamin, a New York University law professor and former Obama aide.

This should be fun! Or awkward! Or the beginning of the end! Who knows, really.

Facebook's new CAO hunt begins

Jas Athwal, the company's chief accounting officer, gave notice last week after nine years with the company. He's going to see the company through its year-end audit and he's effectively leaving in February. Yes, this means Facebook is on the hunt for a new CAO so if you're feeling confident, dust off that résumé. If you're a little underqualified for that, however, they're hiring in London, too.

Religion, taxes, etc.

A guy in Indiana is using that state's Religious Freedom Restoration Act to argue "that paying his state taxes is a burden on his religion." He's mounted this defense despite not citing a religion. Vice President-elect Mike Pence signed Indiana's version of the RFRA into law in 2015 and now all sorts of people are using it to excuse illegal behavior from a woman who beat her child to the First Church of Cannabis and now, a guy refusing to pay about $1,000 in back taxes. A prosecutor told the IndyStar, "I knew this would happen." FTW, Mike.

Accountants behaving badly

To be a victim of an accountant embezzling from your business has to be a traumatic experience, especially if this accountant is a long-standing an employee. Such was the case of Deborah Yosick who pleaded guilty to helping herself to more than $1 million of her employer, Don Wright Reality. Her boss, however, seems to be taking everything in stride:

Yosick worked for the Centerville-based Donald C. Wright Investments, LLC and Don Wright Realty, LLC for 30 years from 1985 until 2015. The company provides commercial, industrial and residential services in the Dayton area.

“It’s a very disappointing thing to happen, but I guess things like that happen now and then,” Wright said Friday. “Whatever the judge says is what’s going to happen I guess.”

Mr. Wright is…uh…right, these things do happen now and then; I'd argue that they happen even more often than "now and then," which explains why this section of ANR stays populated days and weeks on end.

Previously, on Going Concern…

Bryce Sanders wrote about networking at holiday parties (as opposed to getting blind drunk).

In other news:

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