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Accounting News Roundup: Taxes on the SCOTUS Docket; Accounting’s Competency Crisis; Tom Hanks’ Tax Planning | 10.02.13

U.S. Government Shut Down With No Quick Resolution Seen [Bloomberg]
Day one of the first shutdown since 1996 wrapped up with no talks scheduled between the White House and Congress, making it more likely the standoff would merge with the fight over raising the U.S. debt limit later this month to make sure the government can pay all its bills. “We’re this far, so you have to let it play out,” said Representative Devin Nunes, a California Republican who has criticized his party’s hard-liners for dictating its strategy.

Taxes on Severance Payments Draw U.S. High Court Review [Bloomberg]
The U.S. Supreme Court agreed to consider whether companies and employees must pay Social Security taxes on severance compensation, accepting a case that may force the Treasury to give billions of dollars in refunds. The justices today said they will hear the appeal from President Barack Obama’s administration in a case involving Quality Stores Inc., once the country’s largest agricultural specialty retailer. The issue has grown in importance with the layoffs that have accompanied the economic slowdown over the past five years. The administration says that more than 2,400 refund claims, seeking more than $1 billion, are already in the pipeline and that those figures will increase. The question for the Supreme Court is whether severance payments qualify as “wages,” making them subject to tax, under the Federal Insurance Contributions Act. That law uses payroll taxes to finance Social Security and part of the Medicare health-care program for the elderly and disabled.

IMA Launches Campaign to Address the Competency Crisis in Accounting [IMA]
"Studies by IMA and others show that the typical college accounting curriculum isn't preparing students for long-term careers in accounting, especially management accounting," said Jeff Thomson, CMA, CAE, president and CEO of IMA. "We hope the Competency Crisis website will serve as a platform where employers, professionals, students and academics can learn more about the problem and discuss their experiences and ideas for the path forward."

Would the Government be Shuttered if Obamacare were Romneycare? [TaxVox]
Alternate dimensions! FUN!

Tax Court closed during government shutdown [JofA]

Mark Cuban charms insider-trading jurors [NYP]
One juror seated at the federal court skirmish called the 55-year-old businessman a “nice guy,” a second said she was “impressed” at how he stood up for his beliefs, while a third said he was “leaning” towards Cuban’s version of events based on what he already knew about the case. And those three got on the jury. The courtroom lovefest may have reached its peak, though, when Cuban shared a genial laugh with a fourth juror, who said she recalled the “Shark Tank” judge from his days as a contestant on “Dancing With the Stars.”

Tom Hanks Leaves “Captain Phillips” Premiere — and NYC– Early Because of the Tax Man [Showbiz411]
Totally reasonable given the circumstances.


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