Short takes,

Starr Is Honored
   Samuel P. Starr, CPA, Esq., a tax partner of Coopers & Lybrand, was presented with the Tax Management Distinguished Author Award. Tax Management Inc., a subsidiary of the Bureau of National Affairs, gives the award to "recognize ongoing contributions to Tax Management." Starr was chairman of the American Institute of CPAs S corporation committee and is a recognized authority on S corporations and limited liability companies. Other winners were Alan S. Acker, Esq., and Juergen Killius, JD.

DOL Strikes Blow for Environment
   The Department of Labor issued interim rules, effective since June 1, 1997, allowing employers to use e-mail instead of paper in many instances to deliver health care summary plan descriptions (SPDs) and summaries of material modifications (SMMs) to employees. Restrictions apply, however, and employees may still request paper copies at no charge.

Seeing the Invisible Disability
   Although they often are hard to detect, psychiatric disorders (such as depression, anxiety and manic depression) accounted for about 12.7% of all charges filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission between July 26, 1992, and September 30, 1996. The EEOC has issued policy guidance for this difficult problem, which can be downloaded from its Web site: . Hard copies are available by calling 800-669-3362.

You Can Bet on It
   According to the Census Bureau, state lotteries generate approximately $27 billion a year in revenue.

But Can He Beat Deep Blue?
   Frank H. Eiseman, a CPA in Portland, Oregon, founded "Chess for Success," an afterschool chess program for inner city elementary schools, nearly four years ago. The program has succeeded in teaching self-discipline to problem children, many of whom have improved their scholastic performances. For more information, write to Phillip Margolin, "Chess for Success," 1020 S.W. Taylor Street, Suite 330, Portland, Oregon 97205.

Who Directs the Directors?
   James J. Darazsdi, chairman of the nonprofit National Association of Corporate Directors, announced the appointment of Charles Russel Hansen, Jr., as chief operating officer of the association. He will report to John Nash, president and chief executive officer, and succeed him as president and CEO in October. Hansen is the founder and managing director of the Governance Institute, which focuses on the needs of individuals working with corporate boards of directors.

Parlez-Vous Stock?
   Easdaq, a new European stock market, has opened in Brussels. It is owned by Nasdaq and some major European banks and offers an over-the-counter, electronic market with no exchange floor. Easdaq filing requirements are modeled on those of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission but are not identical. The exchange began operations on September 30, 1996, and is the first pan-European stock market.

IRS Not So Friendly to ISO 9000 Certification
   In two unrelated tax examinations, the Internal Revenue Service offered to permit a company to deduct expenses relating to IS0 9000 certification over three years rather than allow it to take a full deduction for the costs in one year. A 1996 survey conducted by Grant Thornton revealed that 52% of midsize U.S. manufacturing companies with sales of $10 million to $500 million plan to be ISO 9000 certified by 1999. "Certified companies that already fully deducted their costs in the year incurred will want to prepare to defend their deductions if they are examined by the IRS," said Eileen OConnor, a partner of Grant Thorntons office of federal tax services in Washington, D.C.

   In recognition of his career achievements and business contributions, Dominic A. Tarantino, chairman of Price Waterhouse World Firm, was awarded the 1996 Career Achievement Award presented by the Delta Sigma Pi professional business fraternity. Tarantino served as chairman of the American Institute of CPAs board of directors for 1993-94.

This Act Has Teeth
   The Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services and Treasury all issued interim regulations in April in response to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996. Employers who violate the act may be liable for fines up to $100 per day per affected participant.


Get your clients ready for tax season

These year-end tax planning strategies address recent tax law changes enacted to help taxpayers deal with the pandemic, such as tax credits for sick leave and family leave and new rules for retirement plan distributions, as well as techniques for putting your clients in the best possible tax position.


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