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1. GASB establishes approaches for measurement   WebExclusive

BY Ken Tysiac
Newly defined approaches for measuring assets and liabilities issued Monday by GASB will guide the board as it sets accounting standards for U.S. state and local governments.Concepts Statement No. 6, Measurement of Elements of Financial Statements, establishes two approaches for measuring assets and liabilities:Initial amounts: These are determined at the time an asset is acquired or a liability is incurred.Remeasured amounts: These are determined as of the date of each year’s financial statements.Previously, GASB has relied on approaches for measurement that were established by other standard setters and analogous examples from practice or previous standards.

2. Foreign housing expense limitations issued for 2014   WebExclusive

BY Alistair M. Nevius, J.D.
According to the IRS, Hong Kong, Moscow, and Geneva are the three most expensive foreign cities to live in, for purposes of the Sec. 911 foreign housing exclusion. On Monday, the IRS provided its annual list of inflation-adjusted limitations on foreign housing expenses for 2014 (Notice 2014-29).Sec. 911(a) allows a qualified individual to elect to exclude his or her foreign earned income and certain housing costs from gross income.

3. How preparers can cut down on disclosures in financial reports   WebExclusive

BY Ken Tysiac
Changes to disclosure requirements are on the horizon as the SEC ponders updating its rules in an effort to make information more useful for investors.The commission is reviewing specific sections of regulations S-K and S-X to see if requirements can be updated, SEC Division of Corporation Finance Director Keith Higgins told the American Bar Association’s Business Law Section during a speech Friday.The goal is to eliminate duplicative disclosures while continuing to provide material information and reducing costs and burdens on companies.

4. Regulators suggest firms take deep dive into audit quality   WebExclusive

BY Ken Tysiac
While acknowledging that auditors are under unprecedented scrutiny, an international association of audit regulators is asking audit firms to analyze causes of problems in audits globally in hopes of finding remedies.Lewis Ferguson, chair of the International Forum of Independent Audit Regulators (IFIAR), said he believes audit quality has improved in recent years as auditors have been scrutinized more heavily than other professionals.“At least in the United States, we do not look at lawyers or doctors or engineers with the level of scrutiny by experts [that auditors receive],” Ferguson, a member of the PCAOB, said during a news

5. FASB changes discontinued operations reporting guidance   WebExclusive

BY Ken Tysiac
New guidance issued Thursday by FASB will reduce the number of disposals of assets that should be presented as discontinued operations in organizations’ financial reporting.Only disposals representing a strategic shift in operations that have a major effect on the organization’s operations and financial results will be required to be presented as discontinued operations.

6. Horse breeder materially participated   WebExclusive

BY Sally P. Schreiber, J.D.
The Tax Court held that a taxpayer materially participated in his horse-breeding activity for 2002 through 2004 and therefore was not barred from deducting his losses as passive activity losses under Sec. 469 (Tolin, T.C. Memo. 2014-65). Although the case involved horse-breeding activities, the IRS did not seek to disallow the losses under Sec.

7. Companies lagging in conflict minerals process   WebExclusive

BY Ken Tysiac
Conflict minerals reporting may be a significant challenge for executives this spring as many companies are just in the early stages of compliance exercises as the May 31 SEC filing deadline approaches, according to a report released Wednesday.The SEC’s new conflict minerals rule grew out of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, P.L.

8. Guidance issued on application of Windsor to retirement plans   WebExclusive

BY Alistair M. Nevius, J.D.
Administrators of qualified retirement plans must recognize the same-sex spouses of legally married participants as of June 26, 2013, under guidance issued by the IRS but will not be required to amend their plans to retroactively recognize participants’ legal same-sex marriages before that date (Notice 2014-19).The Supreme Court, in Windsor, 133 S.

9. Taxpayers can claim charitable contributions for typhoon relief on 2013 returns   WebExclusive

BY Sally P. Schreiber, J.D.
On Friday, the IRS announced the procedures for taxpayers to follow to take advantage of the recently enacted Philippines Charitable Giving Assistance Act, P.L. 113-92, which allows taxpayers to take deductions for cash contributions to qualified charities for the relief of victims of Typhoon Haiyan on their returns for the 2013 tax year (IR-2014-46).

10. EU audit firm rotation clears another hurdle   WebExclusive

BY Ken Tysiac
Mandatory audit firm rotation cleared another hurdle in the European Union on Thursday when the European Parliament endorsed proposed new audit regulations.Under the draft agreement, public-interest entities—which include listed companies, banks, and insurance companies—will be allowed to keep the same auditor for up to 10 years. That period could be extended to 20 years if the audit is put out for bid, or to 24 years in cases of joint audits in which more than one audit firm conducts the audit.The EU Council of Ministers, which represents the member states’ governments, must formally adopt the proposal for
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