News, Notes, and Items of Interest


Short takes, notes and items of interest

Income Tax Not So Bad After All
¤ A Republican National Committee poll revealed that most taxpayers think the Tax Code Termination Act -a proposal to eliminate the current income tax by 2002-is a reckless bill. The results of the poll will make it more difficult to pass such legislation. According to the bill, "No tax shall be imposed by the IRS for any taxable year beginning after December 31, 2001." The bill's supporters believe the legislation will force Congress to create a fairer, simpler alternative to the current code by starting from scratch.

SEC Tells Broker-Dealers to "Be Prepared"
¤ The SEC wants broker-dealers and nonbank transfer agents to file special reports this year and next on their plans to ensure year 2000 compliance. The SEC is proposing that independent auditors attest to the reports, which would disclose current and future Y2K planning and costs. The SEC regulates the information broker-dealers and transfer agents provide investors.

International Turnover
¤ The IASC has a new chairman. Stig Enevoldsen, senior partner of Deloitte & Touche in Copenhagen, will serve a two-and-a-half-year term. The body also appointed two vice-chairmen and 11 board representatives and technical advisers.

How Feds Account for PP&E
¤ The Federal Accounting Standards Advisory Board intends to amend stewardship reporting standards for federal mission property, plant and equipment (PP&E) and heritage assets. The proposed amendments would eliminate the category of federal mission PP&E and create a new category for national defense PP&E.

It Was a Very Good Year
¤ The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation released its 1997 annual report with justifiable pride. For only the second time after more than 20 years of deficits, the PBGC is in the black, with assets of $15.3 billion and liabilities of $11.8 billion. The PBGC paid $824 million in benefits to 205,800 people in 1997. The agency is responsible for the pensions of nearly half a million people. The PBGC emphasizes it is self-supporting and receives no funds from general tax revenues. Its board of directors consists of the secretary of labor, secretary of treasury and secretary of commerce.


FASB asks: "What Do You Need to Know?"
¤ The FASB has started a project to research what type of information, beyond financial statements, companies should provide investors. Working groups may look into issues such as the best practices for disclosure of various types of information-intangible assets, for instance; methods for coordinating GAAP and SEC disclosures; and use of technology for delivering information.

New Leadership for Empire State CPAs
¤ Effective June 1, Louis Grumet becomes executive director of the New York State Society of CPAs, the nation's largest and oldest state accounting society. He replaces Robert L. Gray, CPA, who is leaving after 28 years. Grumet, who holds JD and MPA degrees, was executive director of the New York State School Boards Association.

Companies Owned by Minorities
¤ The Census Bureau released some 1992 statistics (the latest available) useful for CPAs working for or with minority-owned businesses: 44% of businesses owned by African-Americans reported that more than half their customers in 1992 were minorities. However, only 33% of Hispanic and 26% of Asian and native American businesses reported a mostly minority customer base. Washington, D.C., Maryland and Mississippi had the highest concentration of African-American-owned businesses that year.

and by Women
¤ In 1992, women owned 6.4 million U.S. businesses, which represented 33% of all domestic companies and 40% of all retail and service companies. Businesses owned by women generated $1.6 trillion in revenues and employed 13.2 million people.

AICPA and AAA Join Forces
¤ As part of an alliance to foster change in accounting education, the AICPA has pledged to help fund the AAA's faculty development programs. The Institute plans to continue its role as a link between the profession and academia, offering programs to that end. The AAA, to reinforce its focus on faculty development, has hired a full-time director of faculty development and created a faculty development center.


©1998 AICPA


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