Accounting News Roundup: TIGTA’s Turn to Take the Heat; R-E-S-P-E-C-T for Enrolled Agents; Investing in the ‘Cannabis Space’ | 06.26.13

IRS Scandal Puts Investigators Under Investigation [HP]
Democrats on Capitol Hill said Tuesday they were agitated and confused that the treasury inspector general for tax administration had omitted evidence that the IRS screening was more ideologically widespread. Rep. Sander Levin (D-Mich), ranking member of the House Ways and Means Committee, and Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.), ranking member of the subcommittee on government operations, sent sharply worded letters this week to Treasury Inspector General J. Russell George, requesting answers. An inspector general's office official said a response would be forthcoming. In all, it was a dramatic reversal from several weeks ago, when the IRS screening scandal seemed likely to bog down the Obama administration's second term. The inspector general unit that had exposed the tax agency's inappropriate activity — praised by Congress for doing so — is now being asked by Congress if it has itself acted inappropriately.

IG: Audit of IRS actions limited to Tea Party groups at GOP request [The Hill]
A spokesman for Russell George, Treasury’s inspector general for tax administration, said they were asked – by House Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) – “to narrowly focus on Tea Party organizations.”

‘Lavish’ IRS confab cost $2.4M [The Hill]
Weak sauce: "an open bar, elaborate hors d’oeuvres and a video of agency employees dressed as Olympic athletes with makeshift torches."

Retiring PwC global assurance partner joins CRH board [Accountancy Age]
Donald McGovern has been with the firm for 39 years. Wowza.

UBS’s French Unit Fined €10 million in Tax-Evasion Inquiry [NYT]
French authorities said Wednesday they fined the local unit of UBS, the largest Swiss bank, 10 million euros — the most possible under French law — for lax internal controls that enabled the bank’s sales representatives to help French clients evade taxes.

Italian Soccer Clubs Raided in Tax Probe [WSJ]
Italian financial police Tuesday raided the offices of dozens of professional soccer clubs, including giants Juventus, A.C. Milan and Internazionale Milano, as part of a broad investigation into tax evasion and other alleged crimes involving player transfers. The raids were ordered by the public prosecutor's office in Naples and come as the government, which is struggling to service €2 trillion ($2.6 trillion) in debt during a brutal recession, desperately seeks revenue to avoid raising already-high tax rates.

Enrolled Agents Deserve More Respect [Forbes]
Show it.

Second $100,000 challenge issued to fund NMSU accounting chair [LCSN]
Enchanting.

How to Invest in Dope [NYT]
Brendan Kennedy and Michael Blue, private-equity financiers, settled into a downtown Seattle conference room in March to meet with a start-up. Both wore charcoal blazers and polished loafers. Kennedy, 41, is the former chief operating officer of SVB Analytics, an offshoot of Silicon Valley Bank. Blue, 35, learned his trade at the investment-banking firm de Visscher & Co. in Greenwich, Conn. Two years ago they quit comfortable posts to form Privateer Holdings, a firm that operates on the Kohlberg Kravis Roberts model: they buy companies using other people’s money and try to increase their value. What sets them apart is the industry in which they invest. Privateer Holdings is the first private-equity firm to openly risk capital in the world of weed. Or as the Privateer partners prefer to call it, “the cannabis space.” 

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