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Accounting News Roundup: Tax Rates: High or Low?; Bernie Sanders Stands Up for the Wealthy; Should We Call it “Badwill”? | 05.31.11

At I.M.F., a Strict Ethics Code Doesn’t Apply to Top Officials [NYT]
Over the last four years, the fund has tightened internal systems for catching ethical misconduct among its 2,400 staff members, establishing a telephone hot line for complaints like harassment; publishing details of complaints in an annual report; and empowering an ethics adviser to pursue allegations, which last year led to at least one dismissal. But the fund’s board members remain largely above these controls. The ethics adviser, for example, is not able to investigate any of them.

Are Taxes in the U.S. High or Low? [Economix/NYT]
In short, by the broadest measure of the tax rate, the current level is unusually low and has been for some time. Revenues were 14.9 percent of G.D.P. in both 2009 and 2010.

Liquidation of Stanford Bank taken over by Grant Thornton [Telegraph]
The accountants were appointed after bank creditors challenged the appointment of Vantis. The listed accountancy firm had itself gone into administration in June last year, at which point the liquidators dealing with the business joined FRP Advisory.

Ryan Says Rich Should Pay More as Sanders Defends Entitlements for Wealthy [Bloomberg]
Bernie Sanders, the U.S. Senate’s only avowed socialist, may be the chamber’s fiercest advocate of taxing the rich to cut the federal deficit. That doesn’t mean he wants to reduce their Social Security and Medicare benefits. Representative Paul Ryan, the Republican chairman of the House Budget Committee, wants to give the wealthy big tax breaks to encourage them to invest and create jobs. He also wants to take away many of their retirement benefits.

“Goodwill Impairment” Accounting Could Become Less Costly – and Earnings Management a Lot Easier [Accounting Onion]
Among the “panoply of misnomers in financial accounting,” Tom Selling finds “goodwill” to be the most overt example. Don’t even get him started on trying measure “impairment.”

Memorial Day Tax Resources for U.S. Armed Forces (& Their Families, Employers) [TaxProf Blog]
We didn’t get yesterday off “just cuz.”

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