Investment planning

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

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

New opportunities for CPAs in proposed crowdfunding rules

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

Federal impasse could crush investor confidence, survey shows

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%,

Self-directed IRAs: A tax compliance black hole

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

The brave new world of cost basis reporting

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. It had

The qualified dividend multiplier effect

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):

SEC strengthens broker-dealer audit requirements

The SEC on Wednesday approved rule amendments that strengthen audit requirements for broker-dealers. The amendments are intended to increase protections for investors whose money and securities are turned over to SEC-registered broker-dealers. The final rules are available on the SEC’s website. Under previous rules, broker-dealers are required to file annual

SEC lifts ban on advertising for certain private securities

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. Accredited

Choose wisely: New brochures can help CPAs vet investment advisers

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

Investor confidence in U.S. markets rises, CAQ survey shows

U.S. investors’ confidence in domestic capital markets has rebounded, but their faith in markets outside the United States has continued to decline, according to new research by the Center for Audit Quality (CAQ). Sixty-five percent of investors reported that they have some, quite a bit, or a great deal of

Many parents failing to educate children about money

Many children aren’t learning much about money from their parents, a new survey shows. Three in 10 parents never talk to their children about money or have had just one big talk with their children on the subject, according to a U.S. telephone survey conducted for the AICPA by Harris

Properly assessing the reverse mortgage option

The recent recession left no age group untouched, but baby boomers were hit especially hard. High unemployment and an uncertain stock market have caused older Americans to realize that their retirement funds might not support their desired lifestyle. Many seniors are facing foreclosure, while others are unable to meet their

Financial matters are top cause of couples’ spats, survey shows

Couples argue more about financial matters than any other topic, according to a Harris Interactive survey conducted for the AICPA. Twenty-seven percent of respondents in a national survey who are married or living with a partner said disagreements over money are most likely to prompt an argument. None of the

Tax-advantaged investing for an uncertain economy

Investors and their advisers have weathered several years of turmoil, with market conditions often upending conventional investing approaches and related tax strategies. As recently as summer 2010, Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke testified before Congress that the outlook for the U.S. economy remained “unusually uncertain.” Slightly more than a

Young Americans fail to frequently check bank balances, survey shows

Although technology has made it easier to track finances, many Americans aren’t taking advantage of the opportunity, according to a new survey. Seventeen percent of 18- to 34-year-olds check their bank accounts daily, according to a national telephone survey conducted for the AICPA by Harris Interactive in recognition of National

A wealth of opportunity

Much has been written in recent years about wealth management services that call for practitioners, including CPAs, to have personal financial planning certification and to come under investment-adviser or other regulations. Much less attention has been paid to PFP services that don’t require specialization or additional licensing. One of these

SEC changes performance fee thresholds, net worth calculation

Investors no longer will include the value of their home in the net worth calculation that can determine whether registered investment advisers can charge them performance fees, the SEC announced Wednesday. SEC rules allow registered investment advisers to charge performance fees if the client’s assets managed by the adviser or

SEC Amendments Change Net Worth Calculation for “Accredited Investors”

The value of a person’s home will not count as an asset when calculating net worth to determine whether that person may invest in certain unregistered securities offerings, according to SEC rules amendments released Wednesday. Final Rule Release No. 33-9287 explains changes made to conform the SEC’s definition of an

Confidence in U.S. Capital Markets Down Significantly Since 2007

Investors’ confidence in U.S. capital markets continued a five-year trend of declines in 2011, according to the AICPA-affiliated Center for Audit Quality’s (CAQ) fifth annual Main Street Investor Survey, and confidence in investing in U.S. public companies declined for the first time since the survey started asking the question in

IRS Proposes New Rules for Deducting Fiduciary Fees

The IRS issued new proposed regulations Monday (REG-128224-06) intended to reflect the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2008 holding in Michael J. Knight v. Commissioner (552 U.S. 181) on income tax deductibility by estates and nongrantor trusts of investment advisory and other fees. The IRS simultaneously withdrew July 2007 proposed regulations with

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