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Accounting News Roundup: Romney Ponies Up His Tax Returns; AICPA Offers States Rev-Share on CGMA; Newt’s John Edwards Tax Issue | 01.24.12

Romney's Taxes: $3 Million [WSJ]
GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney paid a 14% effective income tax rate in 2010 after making $3 million in tax-deductible charitable donations and drawing most of his income from investments, according to a summary of Mr. Romney's 2010 tax form provided by his campaign. Mr. Romney reported $21.7 million in income. He paid $3 million in federal taxes, slightly more than the $2.98 million he made in charitable donations. At least $1.5 million of his charitable donations went to the Mormon Church. Of Mr. Romney's 2010 income, he noted a capital gain of $12.6 million, taxable interest of $3.3 million, ordinary dividends of $4.9 million and smaller sums of gains and losses on business income, refunds and other income. His 2010 return also showed that he had a financial account in Switzerland that was closed in 2010 and that he generated income from overseas investments. He also reported financial accounts in Bermuda and the Cayman Islands.

Warren Buffett defends Romney's tax rate [The Hill]
“It is the wrong policy, nothing wrong about him doing that. He will not pay more than the law requires,” Buffett told Bloomberg Television. “I do not fault him for that in the least, but I do fault the law that allows him and me, earning enormous sums, to pay over all federal taxes at a rate that is about half what the average person in my office pays."

New Tax Rules Harass Foreign Bankers for Little in Return [Bloomberg]
The Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, a monster of a provision inserted into a jobs bill and enacted in 2010, will be phased in starting in 2014. Known as FATCA, it aims to build on recent successful crackdowns on Americans hiding their money overseas. The law's goals are laudable, but it is simply too costly, too burdensome and too impractical to be effective.

AICPA Offers CGMA Revenue-Sharing Deal to State Societies [AT]
The American Institute of CPAs has begun offering a revenue-sharing arrangement to state CPA societies if they help market the new Chartered Global Management Accountant designation to their members. The AICPA plans to launch the new CGMA designation at the end of January as part of a new joint venture with the London-based Chartered Institute of Management Accountants. The new credential has attracted some controversy, with a rival group, the Institute of Management Accountants, crying foul over the AICPA’s plan to market the new credential for free to members who have three years’ experience in management accounting during a six-month auto-enrollment period without any educational requirement

What do Newt and John Edwards have in common? [Tax Update
JK: "Besides being model husbands?"

Hoogervorst Anticipates Favorable SEC Decision on IFRS [AT]
Hoogervorst cautioned that he was not privy to any inside information. “I have no privileged insight regarding the SEC’s internal decision making,” he said at an Ernst & Young seminar on IFRS. “However, the SEC’s Chief Accountant said in public recently that the SEC will make a decision on IFRS in the coming months."

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