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1. 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.

2. How to protect investors’ assets   WebExclusive

BY Ken Tysiac
The recent financial crisis magnified the importance of investor protection.Regulators can play a vital role in ensuring that securities firms protect client assets. The International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) on Wednesday published eight principles to guide regulators as they supervise securities firms on the protection of client assets.The guidance refers to securities firms—including derivatives firms—that are subject to regulatory supervision as “intermediaries.” The principles are as follows:1.

3. Final and proposed regs. issued on 3.8% net investment income tax   WebExclusive

BY Alistair M. Nevius, J.D.
Late on Tuesday, the IRS issued final and proposed regulations giving guidance on the application and computation of the 3.8% net investment income tax imposed by Sec. 1411 (T.D. 9644 and REG-130843-13). The final regulations adopt, with changes, proposed regulations issued late in 2012.Starting in 2013, Sec. 1411 imposes a tax equal to 3.8% of the lesser of an individual’s net investment income for the tax year or the excess (if any) of the individual’s modified adjusted gross income for the tax year over a threshold amount.

4. New opportunities for CPAs in proposed crowdfunding rules   WebExclusive

BY Ken Tysiac
Rules on crowdfunding proposed by the SEC on Wednesday would create opportunities for startups and small, private businesses to raise cash through internet-aided sales of securities—and would create opportunities for work by CPAs. The SEC commissioners voted 5–0 to propose the rules that are designed to comply with a provision of the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act of 2012, P.L.

5. Federal impasse could crush investor confidence, survey shows   WebExclusive

BY Ken Tysiac
The federal government shutdown and the lack of congressional agreement on raising the debt ceiling have the potential to crush investor confidence, according to a new Center for Audit Quality (CAQ) survey.If the shutdown lasts another week, investor confidence in U.S. capital markets would shrink to 60% from 69%, according to a “pulse” survey of 424 respondents performed for the CAQ Oct.

6. 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.

7. The brave new world of cost basis reporting   CPEDirect

BY Jonathan Horn, CPA, CGMA
Recent tax law changes have made accurately calculating and reporting clients’ capital gains even more critical with higher effective tax rates being imposed on those with higher adjusted gross income (regardless of source) and the new Sec. 1411 net investment income tax taking effect for tax year 2013.

8. 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%.

9. SEC lifts ban on advertising for certain private securities   WebExclusive

BY Ken Tysiac
Issuers of certain private securities, including hedge funds, will be able to advertise to the general public under a rule the SEC adopted Wednesday. But only “accredited investors” will be permitted to invest in these private securities offerings as a result of rules adopted by the SEC on Wednesday.

10. 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.
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