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Accounting News Roundup: What Does Tax Reform Even Mean?; Look Who’s Going To Burma, Now; More CPAs in Congress | 11.09.12

The Obamney tax plan [Economist]
Presidents choose their words carefully. So when Barack Obama talked of  “tax reform” but not “tax rates” in his acceptance speech early Wednesday, he was presumably sending a signal. And it was similarly significant that later that day John Boehner repeatedly stated his opposition to higher tax “rates” rather than tax revenue. Within those two statements lies the nucleus of a deal: raising tax revenue through some means other than higher tax rates. There are myriad ways of doing this; the trick is to find one that both Democrats and Republicans can live with.

Tax Reform 2.0 [Martin Sullivan]
MS: "We need to get to the mind-set where every percentage point reduction in the individual and corporate rate is appreciated for the major accomplishment that it is."

Tax Twist: At Some Firms, Cutting Corporate Rates May Cost Billions [WSJ]
President Barack Obama has said, most recently during last month's presidential debates, that the 35% U.S. corporate tax rate should be cut. That would mean lower tax bills for many companies. But it also could prompt large write-downs by Citigroup, AIG, Ford and other companies that hold piles of "deferred tax assets," or DTAs. After posting big losses, these companies have tax credits and deductions they can use to defray future tax bills, thus providing a boost to earnings. But a tax-rate reduction means some of those credits and deductions, counted as assets on the balance sheet, would be worth less, since lower tax bills would mean fewer opportunities to use them before they expire. That would force the companies to write down their value, resulting in charges against earnings.

US President Barack Obama to visit Burma [BBC, Earlier, Earlier]
Gee, I wonder where he got that idea.
New tax relief for Sandy victims and volunteers [Reuters]

Taking some lessons from the hardship faced by the thousands of people displaced by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the U.S. Internal Revenue Service and the Treasury Department have come up with ways to ease the upcoming tax burden. Some businesses and certain other taxpayers in hard-hit areas have extra time to file returns and pay taxes. Some can deduct certain losses not covered by insurance. Even good Samaritans who donate cash and goods can get some relief. "Anything to get cash to (taxpayers) sooner rather than later is a godsend," said Paul Gevertzman, partner at accounting firm Anchin, Block & Anchin. "This is a difficult time and cash flow will be a problem."

Patanella to lead Grant Thornton LLP’s National Asset Management Sector [GT]
Michael Patanella is movin' on up.

CPA representation grows in Congress with reelections, likely House newcomers [JofA]
If Patrick Murphy holds on against escaped mental patient Allan West, there will be a dozen CPAs in Congress.

Don’t let the door hit you, Commissioner. [Tax Update]
Joe Kristan seems pleased that today is Doug Shulman's last day at the IRS.

Herd Of Drunken Elephants Ransack Indian Village After Drinking Purloined Liquor [HP]
A pack of boozing elephants turned a small Indian village upside down Sunday as they trampled crops and homes in search of a strong local alcoholic beverage called Mahua. About 50 elephants had been drawn out of the jungle by the smell of the drink, according to the Times of India, and their first stop was a shop that sold the beverage. The elephants made quick work of the shop's supply –18 containers of the drink, made from the nectar-rich flowers of the mahua tree. Unwilling to let the party end there, the elephants began an aggressive search for more alcohol, raiding three houses near the shop before villagers were able to push them back into the jungle.

Posted in ANR