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September 24, 2023

Accounting News Roundup: PwC’s Man Behind Tech’s Tax Planning Through Ireland; Konnecting with the KPMG Hat; Internet Tax Plot Points | 10.28.13

Man Making Ireland Tax Avoidance Hub Proves Local Hero [Bloomberg]
Google Inc., Facebook Inc. and LinkedIn Corp. wound up in Ireland because they could reduce their tax bills. Their success is leading European and U.S. politicians to label the country a tax haven that must change its ways. The grand architect of much of that success: Feargal O’Rourke, the scion of a political dynasty who heads the tax practice at PricewaterhouseCoopers in Ireland. He advises both multinational companies and the government on tax policy and has emerged as his country’s leading defender. “Under no circumstances is Ireland a tax haven,” O’Rourke said recently at his corner office on the River Liffey in Dublin, a ritual stop for many tech companies in their Irish quest. “I’m a player in this game and we play by the rules.”

Hearings on state’s computer woes set to begin [BG]
John Letchford, the state’s top technology official, knew more than a year ago that he had a big problem on his hands. State agencies were struggling with two troubled technology projects worth $160 million, and the firm that built the systems was about to lock in a third contract with another agency, worth tens of millions more. So Letchford looked outside for help — and hired yet another consultant. The state is paying that firm, McKinsey & Co., $2 million to analyze all large technology contracts, including a “deep dive” on the troubled $46 million unemployment benefits computer system built by Deloitte Consulting, which delivered the project late, over budget, and riddled with glitches. “We recognize we’re having some challenges here,” Letchford said in a wide-ranging interview. Letchford is among the public officials and Deloitte executives scheduled to testify Monday at a legislative hearing examining problems with the unemployment computer system that have, since a July 1 rollout, left hundreds of jobless people per week without benefits.

Silicon Valley: Feel the Froth [WSJ]
[S]hares of Internet companies are soaring again, and signs of pre-2000 exuberance can be seen in Silicon Valley and the nearby area. Home prices in San Francisco and surrounding counties rose more than 15% in the past year. Office rents in San Francisco are 23% above their 2008 peak. […] Technology and finance veterans say this time is different—and it is. Companies going public are more mature, the leadership teams more seasoned, the business models more proven. Social networks such as Twitter and Pinterest are drafting off the success of Facebook Inc., FB -0.50% which sports a market value of $126.5 billion, or about 70 times next year's expected earnings. But the current surge is accelerating, aided by some little-appreciated factors. Big companies are scarcely growing, and interest rates remain near zero, boosting zeal for investment opportunities in companies with high-growth potential. Moreover, a federal law enacted last year will allow startups to raise money from smaller investors, opening a vast new pool of potential funding.

You Have No Prayer of Getting a Cheap Flight for the Holidays [Time]

Marty Sullivan figured out how the world’s biggest companies avoided billions in taxes. Here’s how he wants to stop them. [WaPo]
He's the Chief Economist at Tax Analysts. He knows a thing or two about tax policy.

'The Good Wife' uses Internet tax as television plot point [DMWT]
Spoilers, I guess. I don't have TV.

The CFA Institute Survey on Loan Accounting Needed to Go Deeper [Accounting Onion]
Tom Selling: "I doubt very much that US respondents to the survey actually intend to convey the impression that they would sacrifice lower quality US GAAP in order to attain convergence."  

GOP budget negotiator clarifies tax comments [The Hill]
A key GOP budget negotiator is insisting that he will only consider revenues that aren’t generated by tax increases, clarifying comments that suggested otherwise. Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.), one of four House Republicans on a current budget conference, had said last week that he would favor increasing revenues through intensified energy production and by allowing companies to bring offshore profits home at a lower tax rate.

McDonald's Drops Heinz Ketchup [HP]
“We value the relationship we’ve maintained with Heinz for more than 40 years. As a result of recent management changes at Heinz, we have decided to transition our business to other suppliers over time. We have spoken to Heinz and plan to work together to ensure a smooth and orderly transition of the McDonald’s restaurant business, and are confident that there will be no impact to our business, our customers and our great tasting food at McDonald’s.”

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