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Friday Footnotes: No More Loaning Staff?; It’s a Trap; SEC and Social Change | 09.25.20

AICPA and See Strong Initial Response to New .CPA Internet Domain [Business Wire] Thousands of CPA firms, including many of the nation’s largest, have moved quickly to reserve their existing branded domains under the new restricted Internet domain, .cpa, according to Well over half of the 100 biggest U.S. firms – as well as an equally large percentage of the next 400 – have begun advancing their applications as part of the early phase of the .cpa registration process, which launched on Sept. 1.

Long Island Accountant Accused Of Trying To Bribe IRS Agent [Daily Voice] East Meadow resident Mohammad Sayeem met with an IRS agent three times at his home between June 17 last year and Sunday, Feb. 16 as they investigated whether he underreported his 2017 taxable income. It is alleged that at their first meeting last year, Sayeem asked the agent to “help him out” with potential tax liabilities, and inquired about whether he could receive gifts.

Small investors have pushed big companies toward social change. A new SEC rule will limit their influence. [Washington Post] The Securities and Exchange Commission this week raised the limit on the amount of stock investors must hold in order to propose a resolution that receives a shareholder vote during a company’s annual proxy period. The rule, which previously required investors to hold at least $2,000 in stock for one year, now requires $25,000 in stock ownership for one year before proposing a shareholder resolution or $15,000 for two years. Investors who own $2,000 in stock for at least three years will be permitted to file proposals.

PwC says majority of its UK employees will now work from home [Evening Standard] Accountancy firm PwC, which had seen a number of staff return to offices from lockdown, has said most UK employees will now be working from home in the wake of new government guidance. The Big Four firm joins the long line of businesses that have this week had to review back-to-office plans in light of new government guidance telling people to work from home if they can. Many employers had invited staff to come back into offices from last month after a period of remote working during lockdown.

The IRS Sets a Trap for Cryptocurrency Tax Cheats [Wall Street Journal] Cryptocurrency holders, beware: A surprising change to your 2020 tax form is about to strip away excuses for ignoring the tax rules on bitcoin, ether or other digital currencies. The Internal Revenue Service plans to alter the standard 1040 form by putting this question on the front page: At any time during 2020, did you sell, receive, send, exchange or otherwise acquire any financial interest in any virtual currency? The taxpayer must check the box “Yes” or “No.”

Fraud Prevention Firm’s Ex-CEO Charged With Fraud [CFO] The former CEO of fraud prevention startup NS8 has been charged with fraud for fabricating millions of dollars in revenue to raise $123 million from investors. The U.S. Department of Justice said Adam Rogas, 43, altered NS8’s bank statements before providing them on a monthly basis to its finance department to show revenue and bank balances that did not exist, resulting in an over $60 million inflation of assets as recently as June 2020.

AICPA ethics proposal would limit firms’ loaning of staff to attest clients [Journal of Accountancy] The AICPA Professional Ethics Executive Committee (PEEC) is reproposing a new interpretation that would address independence requirements related to “staff augmentation” arrangements in which a CPA firm loans staff to a client.

ICYMI: Continuous Testing Is Here. Here’s Everything You Need to Know You Didn’t Think to Ask [Going Concern] For CPA exam candidates, an FAQ of sorts should questions remain about what continuous testing means for you.