Although controls can never guarantee with absolute certainty that fraud will not occur, properly designed internal controls that operate effectively can help mitigate the effects of fraud and demonstrate to regulators, shareholders, and stakeholders that management is taking the proactive steps necessary to manage risk in an ever more complex global economy.
The Tax Foundation released a study called the International Tax Competitiveness Index, in which our great nation ranked 32nd out of 34 countries in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development in relation to tax competitiveness. The study compared tax systems using over 40 variables in five categories: corporate taxes, consumption taxes, property taxes, individual taxes and international tax rules. The study claims that the US individual income tax system is poorly structured, confusing and has high rates.
In March 2016 the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) issued Accounting Standards Update No. 2016-07, Investments - Equity Method and Joint Ventures (Topic 323): Simplifying the Transition to the Equity Method of Accounting,
The update affects all entities that have an investment that becomes qualified for the equity method of accounting as a result of an increase in the level of ownership interest or degree of influence.
As filing deadlines draw closer, the IRS and taxpayers continue to be a vulnerable target of several cyber-attacks. The tactics range from phone calls attempting to verify personal information, to fake emails, to network attacks. In a recent attack, hackers used previously obtained social security numbers to generate E-File Personal Identification Numbers (PINs).
The IRS has issued final regulations on the application of the rules that require certain domestic entities to annually report their interest in certain foreign assets effective for tax years beginning after Dec. 31, 2015. Beginning Jan. 1, 2016, the IRS now requires specified domestic entities - partnerships, corporations, or trusts to also attach Form 8938 to their tax return.
The IRS recently issued Notice 2016-22 that provides transitional relief to employers claiming the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC). The WOTC is a tax credit for employers that hire individuals that belong to one of nine different targeted groups including Veterans, Temporary Assistance Recipients, and Empowerment Zone residents. The President signed the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015 (the PATH Act) in mid-December 2015 which retroactively reinstated the WOTC to Jan. 1, 2015 and extended it through Dec. 31, 2019. The Notice issued allows employers additional time to complete the IRS Form 8850 and Department of Labor Form ETA 9061 (or ETA 9062) because of this retroactive application.