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Treasury and IRS Unveil New Form W-4 For 2020

Published on August 20, 2019

The Treasury said it doesn’t expect to make further changes to the redesign beyond some minor updates for inflation adjustments.

 

 

The redesigned Form W-4 employs a building block approach to replace complex worksheets with more straightforward questions that make it simpler for employees to figure a more accurate withholding. While it uses the same underlying information as the old design, the new form uses a more personalized, step-by-step approach to better accommodate individual taxpayer needs.  

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Could the Next Sin Tax Fall on Red Meat?

Published on August 20, 2019

Meat could be a target for higher taxes given criticism of the industry’s role in climate change, deforestation and animal cruelty, according to a report by Fitch Solutions Macro Research.  

The idea is still in its infancy and faces a lot of opposition from farming groups, but it’s emerging as a trend in Western Europe, said the research group. If taxes gain traction, it could encourage more people to switch to poultry or plant-based protein and help drive the popularity of meat substitutes.  

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FASB Proposes Delays in 3 Key Effective Dates

Published on August 20, 2019

Certain financial statement preparers would receive the benefit of effective date delays in FASB’s accounting standards for leases, hedging, and credit losses under a proposal the board issued.  

In response to preparers’ concerns about overload while implementing these three significant standards, FASB proposed amending the effective dates.  

“Private companies, not-for-profit organizations, and some small companies would benefit from additional time to apply major standards,” FASB Chairman Russell Golden said in a news release. “This represents an important shift in the FASB’s philosophy around effective dates, one we believe will support better overall implementation of these standards.”

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FASB Proposes Standard for Distinguishing Liabilities From Equity

Published on August 20, 2019

The Financial Accounting Standards Board released a proposed accounting standards update with the goal of enhancing the guidance for financial instruments with the characteristics of liabilities and equity, including convertible instruments and derivatives.  

The proposed update aims to improve the guidance for both convertible instruments and the derivatives scope exception for contracts in a company’s own equity. It would reduce the number of accounting models for convertible debt instruments and convertible preferred stock. The proposal would also revise the derivatives scope exception guidance to reduce form-over-substance-based accounting conclusions driven by remote contingent events. It also would amend the related disclosure and earnings-per-share guidance.  

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FASB Proposes Changes for Financial Instruments, Equity Method Investments

Published on August 20, 2019

The Financial Accounting Standards Board is aiming to clarify the interaction between two of its accounting standards: the standard on recognition and measurement of financial instruments and the standard on equity method investments. 

FASB issued a proposed accounting standards update  after hearing questions from some of its stakeholders about how the two standards worked together. In 2016, FASB issued Accounting Standards Update No. 2016-01, "Financial Instruments — Overall (Subtopic 825-10): Recognition and Measurement of Financial Assets and Financial Liabilities," which added Topic 321, "Investments — Equity Securities." That addition made some targeted improvements to deal with certain aspects of accounting for financial instruments. 

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5 Things You May Not Know About the Lease Standard

Published on August 20, 2019

As with any accounting standard shift, the new lease standard (ASC 842) brings momentous changes to accounting processes and financial reporting. While the main differences are well-known, I’ve taken a particular interest in the smaller nuances that live within the new standard. (Yes, I’m an accounting nerd and I love learning about and discussing all things related to leases!) 

In this article, I’m sharing five of those intricacies that you may not know about the new lease standard, but that are critical to making the transition. 

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FASB to Propose Delaying Effective Dates for 4 Major Standards

Published on July 19, 2019

FASB plans to propose delaying effective dates for four key standards for certain groups of financial statement preparers after a series of votes taken at a board meeting.

The plan to delay effective dates for certain companies for accounting for leases, credit losses, hedging, and long-duration insurance contracts is FASB’s response to the burden placed on preparers by the board’s ambitious standard-setting activities.

Coupled with the recent implementation of a highly challenging revenue recognition standard, FASB’s numerous new rules have created significant difficulties, especially for private companies whose financial reporting staffs have limited capacity.

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Microsoft Is Making Windows 10 Passwordless

Published on July 19, 2019

Microsoft is planning to make Windows 10 PCs work without passwords. While the company has been working on removing passwords from Windows 10 and its Microsoft Accounts for a number of months now, the next major update to Windows 10 next year will go one step further. You’ll soon be able to enable a passwordless sign-in for Microsoft accounts on a Windows 10 device. This means PCs will use Windows Hello face authentication, fingerprints, or a PIN code. The password option will simply disappear from the login screen, if you decide to opt in to this new “make your device passwordless” feature.

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IRS Finalizes Rules for Truncating Taxpayer SSNs on W-2s

Published on July 19, 2019

The Internal Revenue Service has issued final regulations for allowing employers to truncate taxpayer identification numbers on wage and tax statements to help protect employees from identity theft. The regulations allow employers to voluntarily truncate employees’ Social Security Numbers on copies of the Form W2, Wage and Tax Statement, furnished to employees so the truncated SSNs appear in the form of IRS truncated taxpayer identification numbers. The regulations also clarify the application of the truncation rules to Forms W-2 and add an example illustrating the application of the rules.

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FASB Opens Second Segment Reporting Study

Published on July 19, 2019

The Financial Accounting Standards Board said it’s looking for public companies to take part in a study focusing on potential improvements to the segment disclosure requirements.

This is the second study conducted by FASB on segment reporting. This one will concentrate on the information disclosed by each reportable segment. The original study last year focused on improving the aggregation criteria and process for determining the reportable segments.

For this second study, FASB is looking for public companies that apply the disclosure requirements in FASB Accounting Standards Codification Topic 280, Segment Reporting. Participants will be asked to give information on the operability of various potential improvements to the segment disclosure requirements and to identify any potential unintended consequences.

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