Accounting News Roundup: Obama Opens the Bidding; The Tax Season From Hell; What Exactly Is a "Loophole"? | 11.14.12

Obama Sets Steep Tax Target [WSJ]
President Barack Obama will begin budget negotiations with congressional leaders Friday by calling for $1.6 trillion in additional tax revenue over the next decade, far more than Republicans are likely to accept and double the $800 billion discussed in talks with GOP leaders during the summer of 2011. Mr. Obama, in a meeting Tuesday with union leaders and other liberal activists, also pledged to hang tough in seeking tax increases on wealthy Americans. In one sign of conciliation, he made no specific commitment to leave unscathed domestic programs such as Medicare, leaving the door open to spending cuts many fellow Democrats oppose. Kevin Smith, a spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner (R., Ohio), dismissed the president's opening position for the negotiations. He said Mr. Boehner's proposal to revamp the tax code and entitlement programs is "consistent with the president's call for a 'balanced' approach."

Geithner Says Capping Deductions Won’t Be Enough [Bloomberg]
Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner said the U.S. must raise personal income-tax rates on the highest earners to reduce long-term budget deficits because capping deductions won’t raise enough revenue. President Barack Obama is “not prepared to extend the upper-income tax cuts,” Geithner said yesterday at the Wall Street Journal’s CEO Council meeting in Washington. “There’s obviously universal support for the middle-class tax cuts. Doing that would remove the greatest source of anxiety and much of the greatest risk in the fiscal cliff.”

IRS: No AMT patch would cause chaotic filing season [The Hill]
More than 60 million taxpayers might not be able to file a return or receive a refund until March 2013 or beyond if the AMT isn’t patched, as the IRS would be forced to scramble to reprogram its processing systems. “Tens of millions of these taxpayers would unexpectedly have to pay additional income tax for 2012, leaving them with a balance due return or a much smaller refund than expected,” [IRS Acting Commish Steven] Miller wrote. “For millions of other taxpayers, refunds would be delayed.”

Diamond Foods Inc. cleaning up improper accounting of payments [BG]
Aka restatements.

Tower of London intruder walks off with keys [Reuters]
British police are investigating how an intruder breached the security of the Tower of London and stole a set of keys from the tourist attraction and home of the crown jewels. Locks to the Tower's drawbridges and other rooms have been changed and "a staff disciplinary procedure is underway" after a man was caught trespassing in the early hours of November 6 and escorted from the premises, according to a royal palaces statement. The stolen keys did not provide access to the Tower itself, Historic Royal Palaces said in a statement, but admitted a lapse in security. "Our well-established security systems and procedures are robust. However on this occasion, these procedures were not carried out to the expected standard," it said.

Organizations fighting U.S. debt get support of AICPA board [JofA]
A continuing devotion to fiscal responsibility has led to a resolution by the AICPA board of directors supporting two nonpartisan organizations devoted to combating the U.S. federal debt. In the resolution, the AICPA expresses support for the Campaign to Fix the Debt and the Comeback America Initiative, which express concern over the federal debt’s impact on the long-term fiscal health of the United States. The AICPA, which believes the U.S. government should operate on a sustainable budget and should address its current debt crisis, will encourage state CPA societies to consider getting involved in the efforts and promoting fiscal responsibility, according to the resolution, which the board adopted on Friday.

Congress Can’t Avoid Tax Rate Hikes By Closing “Loopholes” [TaxVox]
The fiscal cliff has forced politicians to be very careful with their language.

Police: Gilbert wife runs over husband with SUV after fighting about Obama's re-election [EVT]
Holly Solomon, 28, was arguing with her 36-year-old husband, about his lack of political participation in a parking lot in the 300 block of Gilbert Road near Vaughn Avenue, police said. According to her husband, Solomon believes that her family will face hardship under another term under President Barack Obama, police said. Witnesses told police they heard yelling and saw Solomon get into a Jeep SUV and chase her husband through the parking lot. He eventually stood behind a light pole while Solomon drove around the pole numerous times while yelling, police said. Eventually, the victim attempted to flee and ran towards Gilbert Road, police said. Solomon eventually hit her husband with the vehicle and he was pinned between the vehicle and the curb.

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