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Accounting News Roundup: Tax Loophole Envy; Donald Rumsfeld’s Letter to the IRS; The Tax Code Is NOT 70k Pages Long | 04.16.14

Looking at Some Corporate Tax Loopholes Ordinary Citizens May Envy [DealBook]
Andrew Ross Sorkin reminds people that, at least for tax purposes, you wish you had been born a corporation. 

Concerned citizen Donald Rumsfeld spent more money on an accounting firm than he wanted to again this year.

Is the Tax Code Really 70,000 Pages Long? [Slate]
The short version is: no. The slightly longer version is: "It’s like 2½ times the length of Stephen King’s It—except you replace 'scary clown' with 'accounting methods.' " The even longer version explains that the tax code is not 70,000 pages long even though lots of people like to say it is. Andrew Grossman explains: "So where did this 70,000 page statistic come from? After a bit of research, I have narrowed it down to one source: Our good friends over at the Tax Foundation, a tax policy research organization, who cite the “pages in the CCH Standard Federal Tax Reporter.” That means nothing to 99 percent of readers, but I assure you that it is patently ridiculous." 

Regulators Fear Big Data Threatens Audit Quality [CFO]
PCAOB member Lewis Ferguson encourages you to do some learnin': "As data analytics becomes a more significant part of the business of big accounting firms, auditors themselves need to acquire new skills that 'are not in the natural skill set of the auditor,' he said. The accounting firms make 'a cogent argument' that to attract analysts with data skills, they must boost the services sides of their businesses, according to the regulator."

Extended tax filing deadlines for certain Colorado, Washington State and Massachusetts taxpayers [DMWT]
Washington? Mudslides. Colorado? Flooding. Massachusetts? "Heavy filing volume on the Bay State tax department's e-filing program has jammed up the system." They have until midnight on April 18th to file.

Ten-Year Anniversary of TaxProf Blog [TaxProf]
On April 15th, no less.

Look Beyond the Firms for the Root Causes of Audit Deficiencies [Accounting Onion]
Tom Selling does not paint a pretty picture: "
Policy makers need to come to realize that the days where an auditor can reliably report on the financial statements taken as a whole are over.  Auditors are good at verifying facts, like what things actually cost, and who owes what to whom.  But, as the basis for financial statements has become taken over by 'critical accounting estimates,'  audit reliability has, understandably, not kept pace."

Cops: Man upset over 22-cent Pepsi tax pulls submachine gun [Sun-Times Media Wire]
He claims to have a neighborhood exemption: "Nahshon Shelton didn't want to pay the 22-cent tax on his $1.79 two-liter of Pepsi on Saturday afternoon, Chicago police said. So he allegedly pulled a blue-steel Intratec .22-caliber submachine gun out of his Gucci satchel inside the convenience store in the 4000 block of West Madison Street where they tried to make him pay it  and he threatened to kill everyone there, a prosecutor said. This 'is my neighborhood, I'm tax exempt!' he would later allegedly tell the cops, the Sun-Times is reporting. 'Man, you know what, I'll keep it real. I had to put them in their place.' "

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