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Accounting News Roundup: Tax Cuts in the House; PwC: Practical Joke Victim?; Are You Tempted to Cheat…on Taxes? | 12.16.10

House Democrats Set Vote on Estate Tax, Tax-Cut Extension Bill for Today [Bloomberg]
The U.S. House is poised to vote today on a compromise between President Barack Obama and Republicans to extend Bush-era tax cuts, with a dispute over the federal estate tax looming as the final hurdle.

The House will vote on a proposal to amend the compromise plan with a higher estate tax sought by Democrats — and which Senate Republicans say they will refuse to accept. If that amendment fails, the House will vote on final approval of the bill passed by the Senate yesterday, 81-19.

A Question for Green Mountain Coffee Roasters [White Collar Fraud]
Specifically, Sam is asking CFO Francis Rathke to clear something up.

Mortgage-Bond Math Means Everyone Is a Winner in Duel Audit [Jonathan Weil/Bloomberg]
This feels more like a practical joke than a conspiracy, “There’s no reason to think MBIA Inc. and Bank of America Corp. are conspiring to make the Big Four accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP look foolish. They couldn’t have done a better job, though, if they tried.

As the outside auditor for both companies, it’s PwC’s job to make sure each presents its financial results fairly. The strange part here is that MBIA and Bank of America have taken dueling accounting positions when it comes to some soured mortgage bonds that MBIA insured during the housing boom. PwC meanwhile is letting both companies’ approaches stand.”

Fixing the Broken Audit Model [The Summa]
Dave Albrecht has some ideas.

Schmalbeck: With Tax Vote, Congress Will Have Blood on its Hands [TaxProf Blog]
Unless Congress acts very quickly, there will be blood as the accidental estate tax “holiday” slouches toward expiration on December 31. Tax “holidays,” during which a tax is temporarily suspended, are questionable tax policy at best. But they are truly disastrous in the case of a tax that is triggered only by death. Estates that might be exposed to the tax can channel the incidence of the taxable event into the window of the tax holiday, but only through homicide or suicide (or the practical equivalents of “pulling the plug” on life support devices).

Altria Shuffles Executives, Names New Financial Chief [Dow Jones]
C-suite musical chairs at the smoke shop.

Have You Been Tempted to Cheat on Your Taxes? [You’re the Boss]
It’s a simple a question.

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