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Reflections on My 66 Years in Public Accounting

Reflections on My 66 Years in Public Accounting

Periodically in life, one comes across an individual who is best described as follows:  He or she “gets it.”  Difficult to describe analytically, in the tax world, the term means that (i) in solving technical problems, the person focuses the material, leaving the immaterial to others; (ii) in making decisions, the person can separate the important from the unimportant; and (iii) in advising others on the impact of a new accounting rule or provision of tax law, the person can digest the complex and explain it in a series of simple sentences.  Often, the individual is self-effacing.  Arthur J. Radin was all of the above.  He passed away in April.  In his memory, we are pleased to republish an article written for the CPA Journal describing the way professional accounting changed during his 60-year career and, more importantly, the way the world changed.  Arthur will be missed.

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Attorney-Client Privilege Extends to Accountants Retained by Legal Counsel

Attorney-Client Privilege Extends to Accountants Retained by Legal Counsel

Over time, the attorney-client privilege, which protects information disclosed by a client, has been extended to include certain client communications to accountants retained by legal counsel to provide input regarding the application of accounting rules. However, the privilege does not apply when a client retains the accountant prepare tax returns. In U.S. v. Adams, the I.R.S. challenged the extension of the privilege to an accountant who provided advice to the client’s defense counsel and later prepared U.S. tax returns for the client. The decision likely satisfies neither the I.R.S. nor the taxpayer. Rusudan Shervashidze and Stanley C. Ruchelman explain the I.R.S. challenge and the Solomon-like solution reached by the court.

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Insights Vol. 5 No. 6: Updates & Other Tidbits

Insights Vol. 5 No. 6: Updates & Other Tidbits

This month, Neha Rastogi and Nina Krauthamer look at several interesting updates and tidbits, including (i) an I.R.S. notice that addresses legislative workarounds to limitations on deductions for state and local tax payments effective in 2018, (ii) new rules under Code §83(i), which allow a qualified employee to defer income attributable to stock received in connection with the exercise of an option or the settlement of a restricted stock unit (“R.S.U.”), and (iii) a call for guidance regarding cryptocurrency accounting.

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Insights Vol. 5 No. 4: Updates & Other Tidbits

Insights Vol. 5 No. 4: Updates & Other Tidbits

This month, Tomi Oguntunde and Nina Krauthamer look briefly at several recent developments in international tax: (i) the Financial Accounting Standards Board continues to study the effect of the recent tax reform legislation on quarterly and annual reports, (ii) winners and losers under the recent tax reform legislation, and (iii) South Dakota v. Wayfair, Inc., a case involving the right of a state to impose an obligation on out-of-state internet retailers who maintain a “digital presence” in the state through internet sales.

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Insights Vol. 2 No. 1: Updates & Other Tidbits

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TAX EVASION INDIAN STYLE: CRIMINAL OR CIVIL OFFENSE?

Judicial authorities in India are recommending that the country adopt a similar position as the United States with respect to offshore bank accounts. While investigating the “black money” held in undeclared Swiss bank accounts by 628 wealthy Indians, two of the judges recommended that tax evasion should constitute a criminal offense and not simply a civil one.

The scandal has been at the forefront of both political discussion and legal debate since there is a fine line that is being straddled between disclosing and punishing these tax evaders versus violating the confidentiality clause from the Indian-Swiss tax treaty. According to the treaty, these account names can only be revealed once charges identifying the specific individual have been filed.

In India, “black money” has always been an obstacle to tax collection. Black money constitutes undeclared income that has been “hidden,” profits from the undervaluation of exports, and earnings from fake invoices or unaccounted-for goods. Black money not only affects the national treasury, but has fueled corruption, too. According to the judges, classifying tax evasion as a criminal offense, and dealing with these lawbreakers more strictly should serve as a deterrent.

HAND IT OVER, MICROSOFT?

In conjunction with its audit of Microsoft’s cost-sharing transfer pricing methods for the 2004-2006 tax years, the I.R.S. has filed a petition for enforcement of an issued summons for 50 types of documents, including those relating to marketing, R&D, financial projections, revenue targets, employees, studies, and surveys.