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Accounting News Roundup: Steinbrenner Sued Over Tax Refund; Marin County Spending More on Deloitte Lawsuit; Overstock on the Ropes? | 12.29.11

Just a friendly reminder that the Daily Grind eNewsletter is taking the week off and we'll only be posting as the mood strikes us to close out the year. Of course, if there's something urgent you think we should know about get in touch

Harold Steinbrenner Sued for $670,494 in Taxes [Bloomberg]
New York Yankees co-owner and managing partner Harold Steinbrenner was sued by the U.S. Justice Department over an “erroneous” $670,494 tax refund he received in 2009. The complaint, filed Dec. 27 in Tampa, Florida federal court, seeks to reclaim the funds issued to Steinbrenner on Dec. 28, 2009. The refund stemmed from disputes between Steinbrenner and the Internal Revenue Service over the 2001 tax year and audits of the Major League Baseball team’s parent company for 2001 and 2002, according to court papers.

Ahead of I.P.O., S.E.C. Pressed Groupon on Accounting [DealBook]
Ahead of Groupon‘s highly anticipated initial public offering in November, the Securities and Exchange Commission repeatedly pressed the daily deals giant to defend its business model and its accounting measures, according to comment letters recently disclosed. The letters, sent by the S.E.C. from June 29 to Oct. 3, provide an interesting window into the back-and-forth discussions between the Internet company and its regulators in the months leading up to its I.P.O. In the letters, the S.E.C. seemed somewhat skeptical of Groupon’s business model and called on the company to balance its bullish statements with additional disclosures. Regulators also asked Groupon to address comments made by executives during the so-called quiet period, which seemed to defy S.E.C. rules.
Marin pumps more money into battle with Deloitte Consulting over computer contract [SVMN]
Marin County s legal war against Deloitte Consulting LLP, which it accuses of orchestrating a $30 million computer debacle, has cost more than $2.6 million, and there s no end in sight to the litigation or the expense. County supervisors this week quietly pumped another $1 million into the battle, and costs easily could double or even triple before a resolution, as officials are convinced they will prevail on behalf of taxpayers. "Our board is not shrinking from this corporate attempt to bury us in legal costs," said Supervisor Steve Kinsey. "The compelling documentation we ve gathered has bolstered our board s confidence to fight this all the way through trial if necessary."
New US tactic for suspected Swiss bank tax cheats [Reuters]

Backed by court judges, federal prosecutors are issuing subpoenas — official papers which compel the recipients to provide potentially damning evidence — to United States taxpayers suspected of holding hidden accounts at Swiss and other offshore banks, according to criminal defence lawyers whose clients have received the papers. The grand jury subpoenas are unusual in that they ask bank clients — not the banks themselves — to turn over to the authorities their bank account details since 2003, including statements with the highest annual balances. Taxpayers who refuse to comply potentially face a stark choice: be found in contempt of court and thus subject to civil or criminal fines and jail time, or disclose potentially incriminating evidence against themselves.
Democrats have won high ground in payroll tax fight, Gallup finds [The Hill]
The poll found voters have more confidence in Democrats and the White House when it comes to future handling of the payroll tax break and unemployment benefits. Specifically, 41 percent of voters surveyed said they are more confident in Obama and Democrats to handle those issues, as opposed to 34 percent who have more confidence in congressional Republicans. The numbers largely break down along partisan lines, with Independents favoring Democrats over Republicans by a 35 percent to 27 percent margin.

Female Forensic Accountant: Does Gender Matter to Your Lawsuit? [Fraud Files]
No Y chromosome needed.

Note to the Rich: Don’t Spend All of Your Payroll Tax Cut Yet [TaxVox]
FYI. Facing Dismal Fourth Quarter Numbers? [WCF]
Sam Antar is back reveling in's (or whatever the name is) most recent misery.

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