Accounting News Roundup: In Final Tax Bill, Real Estate Wins, Accountants Lose | 12.18.17

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File Your Taxes on a Postcard? A G.O.P. Promise Marked Undeliverable [NYT]
The promise of a simplified code will go unfulfilled: “It leaves nearly every large tax break in place. It creates as many new preferences for special interests as it gets rid of. It will keep corporate accountants busy for years to come. And no taxpayer will ever see the postcard-size tax return that President Trump laid a kiss on in November as Republican leaders launched their tax overhaul effort.”

Bonus complexity: Richard Rubin writes that the bill’s expiration dates and lack of bipartisan support guarantee full employment for accountants (or the robots being reprogrammed to take their place).

Corporate Accountants Can Cancel Christmas: Swift, Complex Changes May Be Required for Tax Bill [WSJ]
As for keeping corporate accountants busy in the short-term: If POTUS signs the tax bill this month, “U.S. accounting rules require companies to reflect the impact of the new law on their books in the quarter it is signed by the president.” So if you planned to coast these last two weeks, you might be in for a rude awakening: “I know the president thinks this will be a big Christmas gift to people, but it won’t feel like a Christmas gift to tax accountants,” a Crowe Horwath partner said.

The Tax Bill Is Finalized: Who’s Happy, And Who’s Not? [Forbes]
Tony Nitti offers the most comprehensive coverage of the final bill, noting that well-paid accountants, lawyers, and doctors — especially in those in high-tax states — are big losers.

Donald Trump And GOP Leaders Could Be Enriched By Last Minute Tax Break Inserted Into Final Bill [IBT]
Besides President Baby Hands, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and Senator Bob Corker (Tenn.) — a key vote throughout the bill’s journey through Congress — stand to benefit from an 11th-hour provision for owners of real estate holdings in LLCs.

South African watchdog to probe Deloitte audit of Steinhoff [FT]
South Africa’s Independent Regulatory Board for Auditors will be looking at the audits performed from 2014 through 2016 after Steinhoff International disclosed massive accounting irregularities last week. Deloitte has audited Steinhoff International for the last 18 years.

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