February 2017 Article Archives

IRS Warns W-2 Phishing Scam Is Spreading Wider

Published on February 21, 2017

The Internal Revenue Service is cautioning a variety of organizations that the W-2 phishing email scam is now spreading to more organizations beyond corporate America, with schools, restaurants, hospitals and tribal groups now being targeted by cybercriminals.

Last week, the IRS issued a warning about the scam reappearing this tax season for the second year in a row. Cybercriminals tricked payroll and HR employees into giving employee names, SSNs and income information in response to emails from fraudsters posing as corporate executives. Identity thieves then filed tax returns using the employees’ names seeking their tax refunds. On Thursday, the IRS, along with state tax agencies and the tax industry said the Form W-2 email phishing scam has evolved beyond the corporate world and is now spreading to other sectors, including school districts, tribal organizations and nonprofits.

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Preparing for the New Rev Rec Standards: Choosing the Right Adoption Method

Published on February 21, 2017

As companies prepare for the new revenue accounting standards that take effect for all public companies in 2018, a wide range of accounting and financial executives are tasked with evaluating what adjustments will need to be made and what new procedures will need to be put in place for recording various financial metrics.

Revenue recognition is a critical and often complex accounting area that companies can’t afford to get wrong, so many boards and investors want to know what to expect and what needs to be done to get through the implementation.

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Cost Segregation in a Post-repair Regs World

Published on February 21, 2017

For many years, corporate accounting professionals have been taking advantage of cost segregation studies to provide significant tax benefits for their businesses by accelerating the depreciation on qualified fixed assets.

By depreciating the personal property costs of such assets over five or seven years (and land improvements over 15 years instead of the typical 39-year recovery period for general building property), the additional deductions can be used to offset taxable income. This accelerated depreciation, in turn, provides additional cash flow.

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FASB Drops Step 2 From Goodwill Impairment Test

Published on February 21, 2017

FASB eliminated Step 2 from the goodwill impairment test in an effort to simplify accounting in a new standard issued.

Under the amendments issued, an entity should perform its annual or interim goodwill impairment test by comparing the fair value of a reporting unit with its carrying amount. An entity should recognize an impairment charge for the amount by which the carrying amount exceeds the reporting unit’s fair value, but the loss recognized should not exceed the total amount of goodwill allocated to that reporting unit.

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Revenue Recognition Path Forward

Published on February 21, 2017

This compilation of recent articles from the editors of Bloomberg BNA’s Accounting Policy & Practice Report provides valuable insights into the new FASB and IASB standards on recognizing revenue.

https://assets.sourcemedia.com/b2/2c/0ac536a4402ab313d4856c4b867f/rev-rec-special-report-nov-2016.pdf

(Source: AccountingToday - Tax Practice - January 31, 2017)

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New Form I-9 for all U.S. Employers

Published on February 21, 2017

As of 1/22/2017, employers are required to use the new version of Form I-9 to verify identity and employment eligibility of employees. See the new form (11/14/2016 N version) at https://www.uscis.gov/i-9. Form I-9 found at other sites may not be the correct version. All prior versions are obsolete. 

Form I-9 is required for all new employees (hired after Nov. 6, 1986) or for the reverification of expiring employment authorization of current employees (if applicable). Under § 274A of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. 1324a, and as enforced by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, employers who fail to properly complete and retain Form I-9 may be subject to penalties.

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