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Accounting News Roundup: Talking Corporate Tax Reform; PwC’s Audit Committee Questions; Swipe That Refund | 01.14.11

Groupon Talks IPO [WSJ]
Investment bankers have been making proposals to online deals site Groupon Inc. about a proposed initial public offering for the past week through an informal “bake-off,” people familiar with the matter said. Groupon, which turned down a $6 billion takeover offer from Google Inc. last year and said it would raise $950 million in funding, has been planning its public debut for later this year, these people said. An IPO is likely “sooner rather than later,” and most likely to be this fall, one of the people familiar with the matter said.

E&Y named most gay-friendly accountancy firm [Accountancy Age]
E&Y ranked third on the UK national list of 100; Deloitte came in at 90. PwC and KPMG were MIA.

Talks on Corporate-Tax Revisions Set to Start [WSJ]
The drive to revamp corporate tax rules kicks off in earnest on Friday, when Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner sits down with executives of more than a dozen major U.S. companies. One likely focus of the discussions will be finding ways to use an overhaul to encourage more investment in the U.S. “We have to create stronger incentives for investment in the United States, both by American and by foreign companies,” Mr. Geithner said in a speech this week.

For Same-Sex Couples, a Tax Victory That Doesn’t Feel Like One [NYT]
A decision in May by the Internal Revenue Service that was hailed as a step toward equality for same-sex couples has instead become a headache for tens of thousands of gay and lesbian families in California. Same-sex couples who are registered domestic partners — or who married during the brief legal window — are facing a new, more complicated tax status, one that has raised a litany of expensive concerns. Many of these families will now have to pay for professional help to file by April 15.

PwC provides top 10 questions for audit committees [AW]
PwC US’s Center for Board Governance has announced its annual list of questions and insights to help audit committees oversee their companies’ 2010 year-end financial reporting process. Topics covered include: accounting and disclosure matters, the impacts of the proposed SEC rule for a whistleblower bounty program, antitrust and anticorruption compliance, tax reform, and ongoing standard setting, and regulatory matters, among others.

IRS to Offer Tax Refunds on Visa Debit Cards [TaxProf Blog]
Spend away!

Former ’30 Rock’ accountant charged with embezzling from NBC [NYP]
Matthew Rudolph was awaiting arraignment in criminal court Thursday on 22 counts of grand larceny, falsifying business records and possession of a forged instrument. Queens district attorney Richard Brown says Rudolph forged two checks made out to himself and used his company credit card for personal use, stealing a total of about $14,000.

AT&T Takes $17 Billion Charge for Pension Change [Bloomberg]
The company will deduct $2.7 billion, or 28 cents a share, in non-cash expenses in the fourth quarter, Dallas-based AT&T said in a regulatory filing today. AT&T is changing how it recognizes gains and losses for funds that pay for pension and other post-retirement benefits. “Investors shouldn’t lose sight of the real economics just because of the accounting,” said Craig Moffett, an analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. who rates AT&T shares “neutral” and doesn’t own them. “The real economics are based on the size of the liability regardless of how it’s accounted for, and this is a massive liability.”

Ways and Means schedules first tax reform hearing [On the Money/The Hill]
January 20th. 9 am. Be there.

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