Supports Taxpayer Confidentiality Legislation

The survey about confidentiality legislation for CPAs, "Taxpayers Want Confidentiality" (JofA, July98, page 56), prepared by the National Taxpayers Union, neatly summarizes what all of us instinctively know about the privacy that individuals and companies want and deserve regarding financial affairs and tax planning.

Query: If confidentiality is paramount to 72% of the clients of the CPA firms surveyed, what would these clients say about a state board of accountancy's "fishing expeditions" through unrelated client tax files, looking for negligent tax advice or situations "where a CPA is in collusion with clients to avoid taxes"—as one board argued, in a recent state supreme court case, was its right.

Even the AICPA peer review process that might see documentation of tax advice as part of tax accrual workpapers could conceivably pose the same question.

Frank M. Zaveral, CPA


Year-end tax planning and what’s new for 2016

Practitioners need to consider several tax planning opportunities to review with their clients before the end of the year. This report offers strategies for individuals and businesses, as well as recent federal tax law changes affecting this year’s tax returns.


News quiz: Retirement planning, tax practice, and fraud risk

Recent reports focused on a survey that gauges the worries about retirement among CPA financial planners’ clients, a suit that affects tax practitioners, and a guide that offers advice on fraud risk. See how much you know with this short quiz.


Bolster your data defenses

As you weather the dog days of summer, it’s a good time to make sure your cybersecurity structure can stand up to the heat of external and internal threats. Here are six steps to help shore up your systems.