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ANR: Stage 1 of PwC’s Annual Counting Exercise Complete; CEOs Capable of Tax Planning; Fish & Wildlife > Stopping Ponzi Schemes, Lazy Auditors | 01.10.13

2013 Academy Award Nominations Are Announced (Full List) [WSJ]
Get ready for a rash of interviews with PwC ballot counters.

As Tax Hikes Loomed, Some CEOs Sold Stock [WSJ]
As Congress mulled higher tax rates last month, dozens of corporate executives sold big chunks of stock, saving themselves millions of dollars in taxes. A Wall Street Journal review of securities filings found that 58 executives sold stock valued at $10 million or more in December as talks intensified over raising tax rates. On Jan. 1, Congress voted to increase taxes on income, capital gains and dividends for high earners. Capital gains were hit more than other types of income, according to David Kautter, the managing director of the Kogod Tax Center at American University in Washington, D.C. "So if you could move that into 2012, you saved the most of anyone." Most executives contacted by the Journal either said that tax considerations didn't influence their plans to sell stock in 2012 or didn't return calls and emails seeking comment. But a few acknowledged that the prospect of higher tax rates did influence their stock-sale decisions.

IRS Warns Against Submitting Incomplete Tax Returns [AT]
News you can use.
Tax Provisions in the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (ATRA) [TPC]
News tax pros can use.

I.R.S.’s Taxpayer Advocate Calls for a Tax Code Overhaul [NYT]
Lawmakers need to overhaul the tax code completely to reduce the “significant, even unconscionable, burden” placed on taxpayers just to file a tax return, the Internal Revenue Service’s ombudsman told Congress on Wednesday. In her legally required annual report to Congress, the national taxpayer advocate, Nina E. Olson, estimated that individuals and businesses spend about 6.1 billion hours a year complying with tax-filing requirements. That adds up to the equivalent of more than three million full-time workers, or more than the number of jobs on the entire federal government’s payroll.

NAEA Raises Questions on Unfilable Forms [AT]
The National Association of Enrolled Agents said it has heard concerns from its members regarding the IRS list of 30 additional tax forms that 1040 filers won’t be able to begin filing until late February or early March. The forms range from 3800 (General Business Credit) and 4136 (Credit for Federal Tax Paid on Fuels) to 8932 (Credit for Employer Differential Wage Payments) and 8936 (Qualified Plug-in Electric Drive Motor Vehicle Credit). The NAEA noted that it had heard serious concerns regarding Form 4562.
With its post-crisis leaders leaving, can SEC ever be this aggressive again? [Quartz]
FYI: "[T]his is an agency with an annual budget of $1.3 billion, less than the US spends on the Fish and Wildlife Service."
The Science of Why Comment Trolls Suck [MoJo]
Come at me, science nerd bros!
Police manhunt cancelled after missing man admits he was in bed with a girl [Telegraph]

Dale Rowlinson-Bates, 20, left his mother Julie, 44, distraught when she was unable to contact her son after he went out with friends in Birmingham. She was so worried about Dale, who calls her every day, she contacted police, who drafted in 50 officers to hunt for him. But while the mother-of-five feared the worst, her son was in fact enjoying a romance with a girl he met at a club on New Year's Eve. He had been partying with friends at the Q Club, Birmingham until the early hours of January 1 but decided to separate from the group and head to a rave with his new friend. Mr Rowlinson-Bates' last contact with his mother was at 8.30pm on New Year's Eve, when he texted her to tell her where he was. His friends last saw him at 5.30am the next morning, leaving his family and friends "frantic" after he appeared to have disappeared. His mother created a Facebook group calling on locals to help find her son. It was only when he finally contacted his older brother Kieran, 24, at 4pm on Wednesday, after two days, that Mr Rowlinson-Bates realised the trouble he had caused and sheepishly returned home. Mrs Rowlinson-Bates, a teaching assistant from Swadlincote, Derbys.: "He did say 'Sorry Mum'. He's been very quiet since.
"He had been staying in Birmingham with a girl. That's lads for you, they don't understand how much you worry."


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