Earlier this week we looked at public accounting starting salaries in five of the most […]
Where do you go in life after you've been eliminated from The Bachelorette? To Grant […]
ParenteBeard, the largest accounting firm based in Philadelphia with nearly 1,000 partners and staff in […]
Every state, municipality, township and hamlet is desperate to close their budget gaps. With such desperation comes a flood of bad ideas that include taxes on everything from juggling to hot air balloon rides.
The Philadelphia City Paper ran a story last week about the $300 Business Privilege Tax that the city is imposing on bloggers, freelancers and other contractors since they are engaged in the activity for profit. Seemingly, another stupid idea.
The City Paper speaks to a couple of bloggers – clearly doing it as a hobby – that are technically engaged in a for-profit activity because they have ads on their blogs. They were notified by the city that they owed the $300 for a lifetime business privilege license (you can also opt for a $50 annual license). The Philadelphia Department of Revenue argues that “simply choosing the option to make money from ads — regardless of how much or little money is actually generated — qualifies a blog as a business.”
Supposedly, changes to the city’s law are in the works to be introduced next month that would exempt the first $100k of a business’s profit.
However, there is a far simpler solution to this problem that is mentioned by Christina Warren over at Mashable which is, quit running ads on your blog. Maybe the city’s tax is excessive, annoying, desperate for reform or just plain stupid but if you don’t run ads on your blog – that wasn’t designed to make money – you avoid the business privilege license altogether. It’s as simple as clicking a mouse and the government is out of your life (at least this respect).
Or continue to be stubborn and fight the bureaucracy of the Philly City government. Your choice.
Pay Up [Philadelphia City Paper]
Philadelphia Tax Code Sparks Big Controversy with Small Bloggers [Mashable]
Accounting News Roundup: Financial Reform Fail; KPMG Wins Latest Round of Auditor Musical Chairs; Philly Tax Amnesty Close to Reaching Goals | 06.24.10
A Missed Opportunity on Financial Reform [WSJ]
Former SEC Chairman Arthur Levitt is none too pleased with the financial reform bill that’s likely to get approved by the Senate and he says exactly why in an op-ed in today’s Journal, “One of many bad ideas that made it into the bill: Public companies will now have a wider loophole to avoid doing internal audits investors can trust. This requirement was the most important pro-investor reform of the last decade, and it worked. Of the 522 U.S. financial restatements in 2009, 374 were at small firms not subject to auditor reviews.”
But that’s not all! Mr Levitt outlines pic failure including:
• “Chuck Schumer’s wise idea to let the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) become a self-funded agency will likely be killed by appropriators who are unwilling to give up the power of the purse.”
• “Barney Frank’s (D., Mass.) effort to pass a new law to overcome the legal precedent of the 2008 Supreme Court’s Stoneridge decision, which allows third-party consultants, accountants and other abettors of fraud to avoid liability. Again, another sellout of investor interests.”
• “Congress didn’t deal with the massive problems of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. It’s one thing to fail to see trouble before it happens. Now, there’s no excuse. The central role played by these two organizations in the financial crisis is indisputable. Congress had a chance to fully restrict these agencies from anything but the most basic market-making activities, and it didn’t.”
What does all this (and more!) mean? Oh, nothing really. Levitt says that we’ll just have to wait for the next financial apocalypse to get it right.
InfoLogix Announces the Engagement of KPMG, LLP as the Company’s Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm [PR]
McGladrey resigned on June 10th and the company’s filing stated that were no disagreements yada, yada, yada although McGladrey had identified a material weakness in the company’s internal controls and their most recent audit opinion included a going concern paragraph. It wasn’t enough to spook KPMG, who got the blessing from InfoLogix’s audit committee on Tuesday. Enjoy.
BP Relied on Faulty U.S. Data [WSJ]
“BP PLC and other big oil companies based their plans for responding to a big oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico on U.S. government projections that gave very low odds of oil hitting shore, even in the case of a spill much larger than the current one.
The government models, which oil companies are required to use but have not been updated since 2004, assumed that most of the oil would rapidly evaporate or get broken up by waves or weather. In the weeks since the Deepwater Horizon caught fire and sank, real life has proven these models, prepared by the Interior Department’s Mineral Management Service, wrong.”
Leadership changes at Wichita Grant Thornton office [Wichita Business Journal]
“Lori A. Davis is the new managing partner at the Grant Thornton office in Wichita, the company announced Wednesday.
Davis will take the place of Jarod Allerheiligen, who will become the managing partner of the Grant Thornton operations in Minneapolis. The change in responsibilities is scheduled to take place Aug. 1.”
Ex-Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick indicted by feds on 19 mail fraud, tax counts [Detroit Free Press]
“Despite Kilpatrick’s repeated claims to the contrary, the indictment says he used fund money for campaign and personal expenses, ranging from polling to yoga and golf lessons to college tuition for relatives.
Prosecutors contend he failed to report more than $640,000 in taxable income while mayor that he received in the form of cash, flights on private jets and perks paid for out of the civic fund.”
$2 million payment to Phila. tax-amnesty program [Philadelphia Inquirer]
Philly’s tax amnesty program received a $2 million payment on Tuesday, it’s biggest since the program started on May 3. Collections so far have reached $18 million, according to city officials. They also expect to reach their goal of receiving between $25 and $30 million by the end of the program on Friday.
Feinberg to quit pay czar post to focus on BP fund [Reuters]
This guy is a glutton for punishment.