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ANR: POTUS Candidate Tax Plans Lack Detail; Ernst & Young Olympian’s Disappointing Finish; More on Taxing Olympic Winnings | 08.06.12

Obama and Romney Tax Plans Are Pie-in-the-Sky [Bloomberg]
U.S. presidential elections often produce half-baked proposals. The campaign websites of President Barack Obama and Republican rival Mitt Romney are loaded with 10-point plans to reform everything from education and Social Security to energy policy. But not their tax plans. Both offer the vaguest of nostrums for the most important issues of our day: What size government do we want? How will we pay for it? And how should the burden be fairly distributed? Rather than engage in serious discussions of such overarching questions, the candidates offer confection.

Knight Gets $400 Million Lifeline [WSJ]
The Jersey City, N.J.-based firm told regulators in a filing Monday that the firm had entered into a "securities purchase agreement" on Aug. 6, selling $400 million worth of 2% convertible preferred stock in itself to a group of investors. Those securities will be convertible into about 267 million shares of common stock in the company. Knight currently has about 89 million shares outstanding. The deal was anticipated to be "consummated" Monday, according to the filing from Knight.

Auditors question PwC reform role [FT]
The involvement of a PwC expert in the political process of reforming European accounting law has prompted fresh concern about links between the biggest auditors and those who are supposed to regulate them. The Cypriot government borrowed a PwC technical expert to assist it with pushing forward accounting reform during its six-month presidency of the European Union, which began last month. The month-long secondment, which occurred shortly before Cyprus took the EU helm, alarmed some rivals to PwC, the world’s biggest auditor and consultant by sales. One senior figure at another auditor said the arrangement risked opening the door for PwC to influence reform or respond quicker to regulatory developments than competitors. Mazars, another rival, called for a “thorough review” of secondments by the four biggest auditors – PwC, Deloitte, Ernst & Young and KPMG – to government departments, regulators and accounting standard-setters. “At the very least, increased transparency is long overdue,” Mazars said.

House tax writer: Keep IRS away from Olympic medalists [OTM/The Hill]
Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.) said in a Friday statement that ensuring the IRS keeps away from the honorariums won by medalists was just one way to show appreciation to U.S. athletes. “Allowing our Olympians to receive and enjoy their medals and awards without having to worry about whether they can pay the taxes on their accomplishment is just one small way we can show that support,” Camp said. The flurry of action on the issue came after Grover Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform noted that the bonuses medalists get from the U.S. Olympic Committee were taxable. 
Taxes on Olympic Winnings Not the Whole Picture [Tax Analysts]
Glenn Tanzer of Marcum LLP, formerly the chair of the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants' Entertainment Arts and Sports Committee, said the potential tax liabilities put forth by ATR do not account for all of the applicable tax laws. "They're just picking this little piece out," Tanzer said. To get a true understanding of the taxes Olympic athletes pay on their winnings it would be necessary to delve into the athletes' individual circumstances, such as how they are paying for their expenses, he said. "Are their parents paying for it? Is it being done through the Olympic Committee?" Tanzer said. "You're opening up a whole can of worms." Athletes would be taxed at the top income tax rate only if they had additional earnings, such as from endorsements, Tanzer said. Taxing Olympics earnings "sounds terrible," he added, "but really they're getting that higher rate because they have a contract with Cheerios for $500,000."
Jorgensen's day ruined by flat tire; she finishes 38th in triathlon [MJS]
A flat tire during the bike leg ended Gwen Jorgensen's chance for a good finish in the women's triathlon at the Olympic Games on Saturday. Jorgensen, 26, of Milwaukee, lost precious time changing the flat and couldn't recover. She finished 38th in 2 hours 6 minutes 34 seconds and was 6:46 behind gold medalist Nicola Spirig of Switzerland.
Erotica shop's tax concerns cited by Ways & Means chair during House floor debate [DMWT]
Dave Camp informed his colleagues that Stan's Two in Rowland Heights, California can't afford a tax increase.
Improving Transparency in Note Disclosures: Can FASB Make the “Hard” Decisions? [GOA]
The accounting geezers have their doubts.
Accountant accused of exposing himself to girls at key Largo campsite [Sun-Sentinel]
A Canadian man was arrested late Thursday for exposing and fondling himself in front of two young girls as they rode a bike and a scooter around a Key Largo campground, according to a news release from the Monroe County Sheriff's Office. The girls told their parents, who notified the Sheriff's Office. Deputies arrived at the campground just before midnight and met with the girls who described the man to them, who they said had his pants down and fondled himself. The girls fled but waited several hours before telling their parents because they said they were afraid of their parent’s reaction to the information, the release stated. The man, Philippe Charron, 23, was found at his campsite and positively identified by the girls.
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