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1. Investors’ confidence in U.S. public companies grows   WebExclusive

BY Ken Tysiac
Investors’ confidence in investing in U.S. public companies—and in audited financial information released by those companies—has risen to a seven-year high in 2014. According to the Center for Audit Quality’s (CAQ’s) Main Street Investor Survey, 80% of 1,049 investors surveyed said they have some, quite a bit, or a great deal of confidence in investing in U.S.

2. Trader or investor?  

BY Paul Bonner
In two decisions in 2013, Endicott, T.C. Memo. 2013-199, and Nelson, T.C. Memo. 2013-259, the Tax Court maintained a high hurdle that taxpayers must clear to show they are in the trade or business of trading in marketable securities rather than acting as investors. Aside from dealers in securities (those who regularly buy securities and resell them to customers—see Regs.

3. Self-directed IRAs: A tax compliance black hole   CPEDirect

BY Warren L. Baker, J.D.
The appeal of investing retirement funds outside of the typical securities market has driven a surge in the use of self-directed IRA (SDIRA) investment structures. These structures come in various forms, but they all start when an IRA account holder forms an SDIRA with a custodian (e.g., a bank or trust company) that is amenable to holding “nontraditional” types of investments.

4. The qualified dividend multiplier effect  

BY Seth M. Colwell, CPA, M. Tax.
With the passage of the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, P.L. 112-240, taxpayers can continue to save significant taxes on qualified dividends and long-term capital gains. Excluding the special 25% and 28% rates, Sec. 1(h)(1) now provides for three rates on qualified dividends and long-term capital gains (preferential income): 0%, 15%, and 20%.

5. Choose wisely: New brochures can help CPAs vet investment advisers  

BY Julie Jason, J.D.
Disclosures mandated in 2011 by the SEC help investors become more informed about the financial advisers they work with or wish to retain. CPAs can use them as part of their due-diligence process. CPAs will be viewed as fiduciaries, according to Walter M. Primoff, CPA/PFS, former deputy executive director of the N.Y.

6. Properly assessing the reverse mortgage option   CPEDirect

BY Nicholas C. Lynch, Ph.D. and Charles R. Pryor, Ph.D.
The recent recession left no age group untouched, but baby boomers were hit especially hard. High unemployment and an uncertain stock market have caused older Americans to realize that their retirement funds might not support their desired lifestyle. Many seniors are facing foreclosure, while others are unable to meet their basic needs, such as paying medical, energy, and other daily living expenses.

7. Tax-advantaged investing for an uncertain economy  

BY Seth Hammer, CPA, Ph.D., and Charles J. Russo, CPA, Ph.D.
Investors and their advisers have weathered several years of turmoil, with market conditions often upending conventional investing approaches and related tax strategies. As recently as summer 2010, Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke testified before Congress that the outlook for the U.S. economy remained “unusually uncertain.” Slightly more than a year later, on Aug.

8. SEC Amendments Change Net Worth Calculation for “Accredited Investors”   WebExclusive

The value of a person’s home will not count as an asset when calculating net worth to determine whether that person may invest in certain unregistered securities offerings, according to SEC rules amendments released Wednesday. Final Rule Release No. 33-9287 explains changes made to conform the SEC’s definition of an “accredited investor” in its regulations to Section 413(a) of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010.

9. IRS Proposes New Rules for Deducting Fiduciary Fees   WebExclusive

The IRS issued new proposed regulations Monday (REG-128224-06) intended to reflect the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2008 holding in Michael J. Knight v. Commissioner (552 U.S. 181) on income tax deductibility by estates and nongrantor trusts of investment advisory and other fees. The IRS simultaneously withdrew July 2007 proposed regulations with the same project number.

10. Fund Advisers Face New Registration, Reporting Regs  

BY Jeffrey Gilman, J.D.
The passage of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act in July 2010 marked the onset of major changes for financial advisers. The SEC in June followed through with rulemaking responsibilities under the new law by releasing final rules that include new registration and reporting requirements for advisers to hedge funds and other private funds, and define “family offices” that are excluded from the Investment Advisers Act of 1940.
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