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Preliminary Analytics | 12.14.09

Thumbnail image for name-change.jpgH.R. 4173, Summary of Accounting and Audit Related Provisions – Lots to digest here but it’s all important, including a possible GASP name change for the PCAOB. [FEI Financial Reporting Blog]
Invitation to a Conversation: If the Auditors Were Missing from the Financial Crisis — Let’s Ask Why – Jim Peterson doesn’t mince words: “The simple if depressing reason is that their core product has long since been judged irrelevant. The standard auditor’s report is an anachronism — having lost any value it may once have had, except for legally-required compliance.” [Re: Balance/Jim Peterson]
Accenture Makes Right Decision, Drops Tiger Sponsorship – The awkward inappropriateness of the whole situation is now hitting T. Dubs in the wallet, as Accenture jumps into the “your services are no longer needed” camp. He won’t starve. [The Big Four Blog]
Open Letter to the Securities and Exchange Commission (Part 5): Issuer Retaliation Complaint Against – Patrick Byrne’s attempt to develop his own Richard Nixon-esque enemies list has been met with fierce resistance. [Sam Antar/White Collar Fraud]
CPA firms face pricing pinch – “After years of gains since the government started keeping track in December 2003, overall prices for CPA firm services plummeted with the onset of recession in December 2007.” [CPA Trendlines]
Citigroup to Repay $20 Billion of Government Bailout – $25 bil to go. Get on it. [Bloomberg]

Wesley Snipes Doesn’t Want to Deprive the Public of His Art

WesleySnipesR.jpgSo he simply can’t do three ‘unreasonable’ years in prison. Nevermind that he was convicted of “willful failure to file his income tax returns,” the cultural community simply cannot be do without the likes of The Art of War II: The Betrayal.

Snipes was sentenced in April 2008 in what was considered a key victory for prosecutors who aggressively pursued the maximum penalty to deter others from trying to obstruct the IRS. They say he made at least $13.8 million for the years in question and owed $2.7 million in back taxes that he refused to pay.
Snipes apologized at the time, calling himself an idealistic artist who was “unschooled in the science of law and finance.”

The man A) apologized and B) had a good excuse: he is AN ARTIST. He can’t possibly be expected to make heads or tails of this tax law rigamarole, so three years? C’mon. Let it slide 11th Circuit. Besides, vampires are all the rage right now so Blade is bound to get hot again. Just you wait.
Wesley Snipes appeals 3 tax convictions in Georgia [AP]
See also: Wesley Wants to Walk [Tax Update Blog]

Tax Evasion Convictions Still Work For Chicago Gangsters

Thumbnail image for al-capone.jpgChicago is maintaining it’s decades-long tradition of putting mobsters in prison not for murder, not for racketeering, but for tax evasion.
Rudy Fratto pleaded guilty to tax evasion yesterdy which could result in a sentence of 12-18 months. He admitted to not paying $140,000 in taxes he owed on $800,000 earned from 2001-2007.
Despite being from a family of alleged mobsters, association with crooked cops, and an alleged threat to a government witness in another mob case, Fratto will simply take 2010 off.
It’s unlikely that this particular story will result in a historically inaccurate movie starring Kevin Costner but at least it demonstrates the consistency of Chicago law enforcement.
Reputed mobster admits tax evasion [Chicago Sun-Times via Roth & Company, P.C.]

The IRS Seriously Isn’t Kidding Around About Your Last Chance to Declare Your Offshore Income

IRS_logo-thumb-150x140.jpgThe IRS has decided to give offshore tax scofflaws almost an extra month to rethink their cheater-cheater pumpkin-eater ways, extending the deadline to October 15th from September 23rd. According to the Service, this will be the absolute, final, drop dead chance for offshore account holders to come forward.
Apparently the IRS means biz-nass as 3,000 account holders have already come forward to declare their offshore income. This is compared to less than the 100 taxpayers that came forward all of last year.
You could safely assume that the public flogging of UBS in front of the entire world helped get the IRS’s point across. So now the extension of the deadline seems to be a friendly reminder that you have ONE LAST CHANCE to play ball.
Plus, the Service must have come to their senses and realized that a tax deadline on the 23rd really doesn’t seem to make a damn bit of sense.
IRS extends tax amnesty deadline to October 15 [Reuters via Tax Prof Blog]

Not Paying Taxes to Prove a Point Doesn’t Seem to Work

IRS_logo-thumb-150x140.jpgThe expression “but in the world nothing can be said to be certain except death and taxes” has once again proved resilient as a man in Mississippi has been convicted of not filing tax returns from 2002-2005. This occurred after he filed a civil lawsuit for $1.1 billion against the IRS claiming Congress did not have the authority to tax.
We really don’t have much experience in taking on the government over the constitutionality of taxes but conventional wisdom would probably suggest that if you’re going to sue the IRS for a billion dollars, not filing your tax returns in order to prove your point is not going to help your case.
Pearl man convicted of tax evasion [Clarion Ledger via TaxProf Blog]

UBS is Naming Names (Finally)

300px-Toblerone-1.jpgIn what probably amounts to UBS caving out of pure exhaustion from the nagging of U.S. Tax authorities, the Swiss Bank reached an agreement in which it will turn over names of wealthy clients. The Wall St. Journal is reporting that it could be between 8,000 and 10,000 names which will likely get UBS on the list at Hop Sing’s with Ned Isakoff.
More, after the jump

The whole sitch has caused many to confess their offshore banking sins and may make for more begrudgingly honest reporting of offshore accounts in the future but we hope that in hindsight, future Swiss negotiators see the wisdom of considering the undying power of the cocoa bean.
UBS Tax Lawsuit Settled by U.S., Swiss Governments [Bloomberg]
UPDATE: Read more at our sister site, Dealbreaker.

Your Token IRS/UBS Update

300px-Toblerone-1.jpgIn, oh for the love of God make it stop, news, Judge Alan Gold has allowed the IRS and UBS more time to hammer out a deal over 52,000-someodd names of American account holders.
There was supposed to be a deal today but then the judge said the 10th would be fine. Now the 12th is the date and if that doesn’t work, then they have until 17th. OH to hell with it. Who needs a drink?
U.S. and UBS Get More Time to Reach a Deal [DealBook]