Securities Basis Reporting Aired

Requiring securities brokers to report basis on their customers’ transactions has received renewed attention in Congress as a way to help bridge the “tax gap.” Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., and ranking minority member Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, presented draft legislation in late May. Bills also have been introduced in both houses (S 601 and HR 878). The Treasury Department has estimated that a Bush administration version of the measure could raise $6.7 billion over 10 years.

In January, the AICPA submitted written comments to Baucus and Grassley on securities basis reporting and other tax measures. The letter signed by Jeffrey Hoops, chairman of the AICPA’s Tax Executive Committee, said the AICPA supports the concept, but it urged holding off implementation until the IRS is able to clear technical hurdles of processing and utilizing the information. Without the ability by the IRS to match the data to income tax returns, reporting could impose a burden on taxpayers outweighing its enforcement benefit, Hoops wrote.


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.