Hanlon’s razor states “never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.” Meaning most of the time when someone does something bad, it’s not because they’re a bad person, rather too stupid to know better. Or something. Socially anxious people with victim complexes — who no doubt make up a large portion of […]
Over at the After School Special: Accounting Subreddit, someone might be trolling (sic'd throughout): So I've just accepted a job at KPMG, and I'm so excited about it! However, I'm so worried becasue my start date is in January, and I'm in audit so that would be right at busy season. I have multiple guinea […]
Note: the following email sent in to our advice box is really long and really tedious. Instead of editing it, I will include a TL;DR at the end so we can all pile on and school this fool without subjecting ourselves to actually reading the entire thing. You're welcome. Oh, and if you are a […]
It's circa 4:30 pm on the extended filing deadline day for trust, partnership, corporation, and S-corp tax returns and that means there some piss-poor excuses being thrown your way by your most forgetful and slovenly clients who STILL aren't ready to file. Back in April, if clients were behind on getting their books up to […]
42-year-old Anita Guzzardi worked at the Philadelphia archdiocese since the ripe old age of 20, rising through the ranks to make $124,000 a year as their CFO until she was canned last year for embezzling $900,000 from the church. Her lawyer says she gave in to gambling and shopping addictions after feeling betrayed by the […]
Apparently what the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales didn't know (i.e. that one of their members was doing six years for hiring a hit man) wasn't going to hurt them: A member who resigned from ICAEW in 2002 saying he was going abroad, and no longer intended to practise, was in fact […]
Last week, we learned that musician Lauryn Hill was a little behind on her taxes. Not unusual for a celebrity, many of whom are artists first and taxpaying citizens of the United States second. However, on her Tumblr, Ms. Hill set the record straight that her noncompliance was not willful and malicious, but rather 100% […]
Doug Shulman wants you to put that notion right out of your mind:
Doug Shulman, the IRS commissioner, said that people who file electronically during a shutdown would likely not face any delays in having their returns – and potential refunds – processed. But taxpayers who file by paper, Shulman added, may see some delays. “We’ve got a 100,000 employees. Not all of them are going to be coming to work. But we’re going to have a complement here,” Shulman said. “The nuances of who is going to be doing what I’m not ready to get into. The most important thing for people to know is: We’re going to be accepting tax returns and people should file.”
So as Adrienne just mentioned, you can either ask the AICPA for help, call your tax advisor or simply curl up into a ball and shudder in the corner until the 18th passes.
Proposed Overhaul of Accounting Standards Contains Mark-to-Market Rule [NYT]
The FASB has rolled out MTM 2.0 and while the usual suspects have already started belly-aching, Bob Herz insisted that “The financial crisis reinforced the need for better accounting in this area.”
The new rule will require loans and loan-related instruments to be valued at their market value immediately, thus accelerating any losses that might occur. Losses will either be booked as a hit to earnings or as a reduction in the value of the asset. The Times quotes Jack T. Ciesielski of Accounting Analyst Observer, who reassures, “It will messier to read, but if you know what you are doing you can figure it out.”
The comment period (which should yield some interesting thoughts) will run through the end of September, after which the FASB will hold roundtables discussing the rule and then make any final changes. Institutions with greater than $1 billion in assets will be required to adopt the rule in 2013 while those with less than $1 billion will have until 2017.
The Property Tax: Unsung Hero [TaxVox]
States have their property tax revenues to thank for their budgets not being in an even bigger mess than they already are, according to TaxVox. “[P]roperty tax revenues have yet to fall both because the levy tends to be backward-looking (it takes a while for assessed values to catch up with reality on both the upside and the downside) and because local governments can raise rates. The strength of the property tax was the main driver of the small positive growth in overall state and local taxes for the fourth quarter of 2009.”
If states are lucky, by the time property tax rates adjust to the reduced home values, sales and income tax revenue may be on their way to recovery. However, it’s unlikely that tax revenues will return to their previous levels which means governments may have to continue (or maybe start?) to – God forbid – cut spending.
“I Didn’t Know What ‘$’ Means” Fails as Tax Defense [TaxProf Blog]
Who let this guy out of the lab? “I am unaware of the meaning of this symbol.”
Yahoo CFO Sees Annual Revenue Growth Of 7%-10% From 2011-2013 [WSJ]
Contrary to what some might believe, Yahoo is still in business and doing quite well, thankyouverymuch. CFO Tim Morse expects things to brighten up with revenue increasing 7-10% from 2011-2013, due mostly to increased advertising business. Yahoo’s partnership with Microsoft and Zynga (they make Farmville) are seen as key to the search engine competing with Google.
Survey finds tax departments more concerned with getting it right than aggressive tax planning [GT Press Release]
Grant Thornton’s latest CFO survey finds that they are more concerned with getting their taxes right than with paying less. Obviously the latter is a goal but considering the regulatory environment (i.e. Democrats are running things), it’s not the priority, despite what those people running for re-election might tell you.
Most investors appreciate seasonality. They get that retail peaks around Christmas and that your big back to school sale will be in August.
Still, some executives like to remind us that their business is busier at certain times of the year than at others. And it’s not uncommon for execs to claim the weather ate their earnings.
All in all, these explanations are pretty lame. Either investors already understand the business cycle or they don’t want to hear the excuse.
Given that, I like the approach of Carol Tome, CFO of Home Depot.
At a retail conference sponsored by Citigroup, “Tome said that while the retailer hates to be one that cites the weather for sales trends variability, Home Depot does experience that, and it has seen ‘great variability’ in weather conditions across the country so far this year.”
So, there you go. Tome agrees that blaming the weather is lame. But, at the same time, you have to agree that the weather this year has been pretty outrageous, right?
Then again, Tome isn’t totally going to hide behind the clouds.
“Nothing has come to our attention that suggests we can’t hit the financial objectives that we’ve set forth,” she said, according to Dow Jones.
In the end, if you’re a Home Depot investor, pray we don’t have a June like last year.
“When the sun is shining, we’re very, very pleased with our performance,” Tome said.
The jig is finally up for 500 UBS customers. The Swiss bank has notified the first group of the 4,000 some-odd clients that UBS said they would turn over to the IRS. This is one of those, “Have you ever had to deliver bad news to someone and if so, how did you handle it?” moments.
The good news for you holdouts is that you can still appeal:
Those taxpayers whose names have been selected have 30 days to appeal to Switzerland’s administrative court. Um, good luck with that. Part of the criteria for determining whether to turn over the names involved instances of “clear fraudulent actions” including the production of false documents. I’m not sure you could argue your way out of that one – even in Switzerland.
Never mind. You people are screwed.
UBS Set To Turn Over First Set of Names [Tax Girl]