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In this area you will find an archive of the most recent top stories featured on the home page of the FICPA Web site that we felt were informative enough to store for your future reference.

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IRS' Final Version of Form 8971 is Now Available
On Jan. 29, 2015, the Internal Revenue Service released the much-anticipated final version of Form 8971, “Information Regarding Beneficiaries Acquiring Property From a Decedent,” and its instructions, exactly one month ahead of the Feb. 29, 2016...
Funding Method Guidance Among IRS Projects Near Finish Line
Jan. 22 — The Internal Revenue Service is “really close” to issuing guidance specifying new automatic approvals for changes in pension plan funding method, a move made necessary by the Pension Protection Act of 2006, an IRS...
The Florida Cabinet Recognizes FICPA Past President David Dennis
On Jan. 21, FICPA Past President David Dennis, CPA, received a proclamation from the Florida Cabinet recognizing his longstanding record of service to the CPA profession at the state and national levels. Dennis is the current chair of the Florida...
Buchanan's Identity Fraud Measure Signed into Law
WASHINGTON - A new measure designed to safeguard the Social Security numbers of more than 100 million working Americans has been signed into law by President Obama, Congressman Vern Buchanan, FL-16, announced today.
Budget on Schedule This Year, Senate Agrees to Give Gov. $250 Million but Rest Remains in Limbo
The Florida House and Senate are reviving their traditional budget schedule and this week gave "allocations" to their budget subcommittee chairs that set the parameters for their chamber's proposed budget.
Bill aims to rein in seniors’ professional guardians
TALLAHASSEE — Warning that unsuspecting elders are being “bled dry” by unscrupulous guardians, state Sen. Nancy Detert pushed legislation providing more state oversight of them through its final Senate committee Thursday.
Hawaii CPA Mobility Bills Unlikely To Gain Traction Next Year
The legislature next year is likely to take up new bills to authorize out-of-state certified public accountants without a Hawaii license to do business in the state. However, they these bills are unlikely to make much movement as the Hawaii...
IRS Power to Revoke Passports Signed into Law
The passport provision is now official, as President Obama signed the 5-year infrastructure spending Bill. It adds a new section 7345 to the Internal Revenue Code. It is part of H.R. 22 – Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act,...
5 Ways Firms can Better Prepare as Legal Claims Rise Against CPAs
Since 2000, on the heels of several corporate scandals and financial reporting fiascos, judges have been less likely to throw out cases against CPAs than they once were. Judges grant fewer motions for summary judgment and seem to require...
Florida Counties Have Different Plans for Oil Spill Funds
More than five years after the Deepwater Horizon oil drilling rig exploded off the Louisiana coast, killing 11 workers and sending more than 134 million gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, a portion of the billions of dollars in settlement...
IRS Tightening Rules for Online Filing
The Internal Revenue Service will implement new, stronger standards for all online submissions in 2016. “Many of us use the same sign-on and password over and over for our online accounts. That’s why phishing scams, which often seek...
Amp up your career with Advisory Service Credentials
In order to succeed in an increasingly crowded marketplace, many financial professionals are leveraging the rapid growth of advisory services by choosing to offer specialized knowledge to their clients or employers. The AICPA offers four...
What to Know about Changing LLC Auditing Rules
SAN DIEGO—Last month, President Obama signed HR 1314, the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, a comprehensive bill which—among other things—significantly alters the way partnerships and limited liability companies are audited and...
What the Changes to Social Security Will Mean For You
While you were focused on a million things this fall, something huge happened to Social Security. When President Obama signed the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, nestled among all the provisions were major changes to Social Security.
Charles Koch’s network plans to take aim at job-licensing laws
WASHINGTON — The political and policy empire tied to billionaire industrialist Charles Koch has begun what officials say will be a significant push to ease or dismantle state and local licensing rules that govern everything from...
Retailers just lost their best shot at getting Internet sales tax bill
The House used a trade bill Friday to permanently ban state and local governments from taxing Internet access — a victory for consumers and the technology industry.
Proposed changes to divorce laws gain strength – and opposition
TALLAHASSEE - The emotional, contentious issue of changing Florida’s alimony law is heading for another try in the Legislature.
CPA Profession Evolving, Adapting and Adjusting, AICPA Board Chairman Tells SEC Conference
WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Chairman of the American Institute of CPAs’ (AICPA) Board of Directors says CPAs’ skills and services as we know them today must keep evolving to stay relevant in an ever-changing business world. In...
SEC Chair: Audit Quality Improving Since SOX
Investor confidence in audited financial statements and independent auditors is “high,” but there are still too many cases of companies and their auditors failing to fulfill their obligations adequately, according to U.S. Securities...
Florida Tops Again: Where the Jobs Will (and won’t) be in 2016
If you hope to land a job early next year, where in the U.S. will you find the most vibrant employment market? According to the latest Employment Outlook Survey from Milwaukee-based staffing giant ManpowerGroup, the No. 1 spot for the second year...
Section 179 Expensing, Bonus Depreciation Top Priorities For Small Business In 'Tax Extenders' Package
These tax breaks “keep more working capital in our business so we can grow our business and make a larger impact in our community,” Duff said at a House Small Business Committee hearing on Thursday.
Florida banks grow loans at more than twice the national rate in Q3, banks across the nation look at riskier lending opportunities
If you’re looking for a loan, Florida may be the state for you. Florida-based banks grew loans by almost $4 billion in the third quarter, or by 2.58 percent, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. That’s more than twice the...
U.S. private employers step up hiring; productivity revised up
U.S. private employers boosted hiring in November, signaling job growth is likely strong enough to support the first Federal Reserve interest rate hike in nearly a decade when policymakers meet later this month. The ADP National Employment...
Florida projected to gain a congressional seat but…
WASHINGTON — Florida is slated to gain another congressional seat when the next reapportionment happens around 2020. And that’s bad news. Yes, it would elevate the already formidable political clout of the third-largest state. But...
5 Ways accounting firms can retain top performers
Retaining top performers has always been a priority — and a challenge — for public accounting firms. With many employers to choose from, competitive pay and the constant demand for talent, public accountants are never far from a...
The New Economy: Wages Debate Moves To Florida Legislature
The debate over raising the minimum wage has spread to the Florida Legislature
Experts Foresee Big Premium Increases For Medicare Plan
Beneficiaries have until Dec. 7 to see if there’s a lower-cost alternative to Medicare’s popular prescription drug program that will cover their medications in 2016. Consumer advocates and experts say it will pay to shop around this...
State Moves To Improve HMO Fraud Recovery After I.G. Report
Florida’s managed care plans, which are now at the heart of the state’s Medicaid program, are not adept at recovering millions of dollars in fraud and abuse, and the state agency charged with regulating HMOs need more training to...
Florida Cities, Counties Look To Legislative Priorities
With a little more than a month to go before the 2016 Legislature begins, city and county leaders from around the state met last week to finalize their legislative agendas for the annual session.
Florida Added More Than 36,000 Jobs In October
Gov. Rick Scott announced today that Florida businesses created 36,600 private-sector jobs across the state in October, the highest one-month total for jobs added in ten years. Since December 2010, 978,800 private-sector jobs have been created in...
Treasury Steps Up Attack On Corporate Tax Inversions
The Obama administration stepped up its attack on corporate tax inversions Thursday, announcing new rules designed to block U.S. firms from trying to cut their tax bills by reincorporating overseas. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew, whose agency...
Florida, Orlando At Top Of Charts For Job Growth Nationwide
Some cities and states are friendlier for jobs than others, and according to new data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Florida ranks towards the top for the nation's best states for job growth. According to Professor Lee McPheters at...
How Bread­-winning Women Are Driving Alimony Reform
When alimony reform comes to Florida, it may be too late for Tarie MacMillan, a 65-year-old who runs a jewelry business near Tampa. MacMillan was ordered to pay her ex-husband $7,000 a month 15 years ago. Even so, she has joined the crusade to...
Fisher Students Make Impressive Presentation At FICPA Conference
Five Fisher students made an impressive presentation during the UF Florida Institute of CPAs (FICPA) Conference on Nov. 5 at the Hilton UF Conference Center Hotel.
Suit challenges ‘core’ of Florida’s workers comp system
The latest workers compensation case accepted by the Florida Supreme Court may pose the biggest challenge yet to the state's exclusive remedy provision.
Legislation Filed to Regulate Daily Fantasy Sports Websites
State Sen. Joe Negron and Rep. Matt Gaetz filed new draft legislation Tuesday that would put restrictions on daily fantasy sports websites such as DraftKings, FanDuel, and others operating in the state.
Export-Import Bank Renewal is Included in House-Approved Transportation Bill
In adopting a six-year transportation bill to fund highway and transit projects Thursday, the House also approved the revival of the Export-Import Bank, which has been idle since its charter expired in June.
Sales tax on flowers goes to Florida Supreme Court
State Supreme Court justices Thursday questioned attorneys in a battle about whether Florida should collect sales taxes on flowers ordered online and delivered in other states.
Proposal Would Create New Status For Retired CPAs
A new, uniform “Retired-CPA” status would be created under a proposal issued this week by the boards of directors of the AICPA and the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA). - See more at:...
Court Switches Gears, Says AICPA Can Sue IRS Over Tax Preparer Credentials
An Appellate Court has overturned a ruling made last year that stopped the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) from challenging the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) new voluntary program to “credential”...
PTIN user fee will be lowered
The IRS issued temporary regulations on Thursday lowering the user fee for preparer tax identification numbers (PTINs) from $50 for new or renewal PTINs to $33 (T.D. 9742). PTINs must be obtained by everyone who prepares or assists in preparing a...
4th Floor Files talks with Justin Thames about fairness, accounting and new bow ties
The latest edition of 4th Floor Files talks with Justin Thames, director of governmental affairs at the Florida Institute of CPAs. FICPA represents more than 20,000 members in front of the Florida Legislature, regulatory agencies and the Florida...
Florida Supreme Court sets December hearing on medical marijuana
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — The Florida Supreme Court is going to hold a Dec. 8 hearing on a measure to legalize medical marijuana. The court on Wednesday ordered oral arguments on the proposed amendment. The high court must decide whether or...
Five years later deepwater horizon funding trickling into Florida
Five years after the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded in the Gulf of Mexico, just $170 million for environmental restoration and recreation projects have been approved in Florida out of more than $3.25 billion expected to eventually come to the...
Report from Council: Anticipate the Future
Surveys show that more and more clients are complaining that their accountants are not proactive or innovative enough – but they can change that, according to futurist Daniel Burrus.
IRS: 401K Contribution Limit to Stay the Same in 2016
The maximum contribution limit for employees who participate in a 401(k) plan will be $18,000 in 2016, the same as in 2015, the IRS announced on Oct. 21.
The IRS is now recognizing same-sex marriages no matter where they were performed
The IRS is making it official: The tax agency says it will now recognize same-sex marriages regardless of where they were performed.
Payback: Most Bernie Madoff Ponzi Scheme Victims to Get $1M
Almost seven years after the collapse of the largest Ponzi scheme in U.S. history, many victims who lost big in Bernard Madoff’s crooked plot will be getting a handsome paycheck, officials said today.
Florida Legislative Leaders Unveil Their Agendas
With the Legislature meeting in a special session next week followed by the regular session in January, the leaders of the two chambers weighed in on their agendas on Wednesday. Senate President Andy Gardiner, R-Orlando, and House Speaker Steve...
Florida Gov. Rick Scott will ask Legiislature for big tax cuts
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- Familiar battles over tax cuts and health care could return during the 2016 session of the Florida Legislature. Gov. Rick Scott and the state's two legislative leaders discussed some of their major priorities Wednesday...
2.8 Million Floridians Still Uninsured Even as Just 20% Fall in Medicaid Gap
Florida still has nearly 2.8 million residents who lack health insurance, according to a new report, and 80 percent of them are uninsured for reasons that have nothing to do with Medicaid politics. Many qualify for subsidized plans under the...
Venture capital in South Florida” Total funding slips, but deals get bigger
Following a national trend, South Florida venture capital deals are getting larger. Yet, there are just not enough of them to put the state on the venture map. Modernizing Medicine, the fast-growing Boca Raton-based electronic medical records...
Upcoming Changes in Federal Wage Law
The United States Department of Labor (US DOL) is amending the Fair Labor Standards Act in an effort to update it to take wage changes and inflation since the last update in 2004 into account. The Final Rule announcements are expected in early...
State negotiating with Seminole tribe on gambling
TALLAHASSEE — Seminole casinos would get craps and roulette, a Palm Beach County dog track could have slot machines and the state could reap at least $3 billion over seven years, under a gambling deal being negotiated between state leaders...
Trans-Pacific Partnership Could Cut Florida’s Agricultural Tariffs
With the approval of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, the agricultural industry in the U.S. could change. The new trade regulations would slash tariffs on Florida’s exports, like citrus and beef, to countries like Japan, Singapore,...
Talks trying to solve gambling 'Rubik's Cube' in Florida
Seminole casinos would get craps and roulette, a Palm Beach County dog track could have slot machines and the state could reap at least $3 billion over seven years, under a gambling deal being negotiated between state leaders and the tribe. The...
Florida minimum wage debate still going on
Raising the minimum wage is a national and statewide discussion. This month, 18 Florida Democrats tried living on $17 a day for five days in an effort to bring attention to the possibility of increasing the state's minimum wage to $15 an hour, as...
Legislature moves closer to cutting Florida’s ‘corruption tax’ (FLORIDA RANKED #1 FOR OFFICIAL CORRUPTION)
TALLAHASSEE-- The Legislature has moved a step closer to unshackling prosecutors and cutting what a grand jury called Florida's "corruption tax." State Rep. Ritch Workman, R-Melbourne, said he would sponsor a bill supported by Gannett news sites...
BP settlement agreement announced in July to be filed Monday
NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- The public is about to get a look at details of an $18 billion settlement agreement announced in July to resolve years of legal fighting over damage done by the 2010 Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill. A statement from the U.S. Justice...
IRS Sets Priorities for Tax-Exemption Unit
The Internal Revenue Service has released a set of priorities for its Tax Exempt and Government Entities Division as it tries to turn the page on a scandal involving applications for tax-exempt status by conservative political groups.
PCAOB Refocuses Audit Firm Inspections
The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board released a document Thursday describing its main objectives, focus and scope when inspecting audit firms this year. According to the PCAOB staff inspection brief, the inspections staff is taking a...
@FloridaTaxWatch Urges Legislators Not to Spend all of $635 Million Surplus
Florida TaxWatch urged state legislators not to blow through the $635 surplus expected in the 2016-17 fiscal year. “Florida’s economy is returning to its pre-recession days, and the available funds for the state budget reflect that...
27 new Florida laws Going Into Effect
“Johns” who have faced arrest in the past for soliciting prostitution might want to think twice before repeating their actions. A new law that went into effect in Florida on Oct. 1 assigns much stiffer penalties for those who choose...
FASB proposes narrow changes to revenue recognition standard
The US Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) on Wednesday proposed changes that are designed to improve guidance on collectibility, noncash consideration, and completed contracts at transition in the new revenue recognition standard.
More than half of Citizens customers reject transfer offers in 2015
Customers in Florida’s state-run and largest insurer are getting choosier. Fewer than half are accepting offers to switch to private insurers this year, down from 70 percent a year ago at Citizens Property Insurance Corp., records...
Bill Seeks to Cut Commercial Lease Tax
TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/NSF) – Describing the proposal as a “common-sense approach,” a House Republican has filed a bill that would reduce a controversial sales tax on commercial leases. The bill, filed by Rep. Heather...
Florida Congressional Districts now up to Judge
Attorneys for the Florida Legislature and voters’ groups dueled fiercely over a toss-up congressional district in Miami-Dade County, as a three-day hearing into drawing new boundaries ended Monday.
Buchanan files bill to curb tax fraud
A growing form of identity theft could become more difficult under legislation filed by U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan. Buchanan, R-Longboat Key, announced the introduction Monday of H.R. 3568, which would allow employers to keep Social Security...
Beyond New Revenue Standard – Upcoming Tasks for Accounting Profession
What are the reasons, we know so far, make the new revenue recognition standard so difficult to apply that companies are still not ready yet to implement? One reason is that the new standard is principles-based that would require accounting...
IRS Testing New Program to Fight Tax Fraud
The Internal Revenue Service is testing a new Return Review Program to help identify instances of tax return fraud, but the security of the system needs improvement, according to a new government report.
Ocean Reef Staffer accused of stealing close to $1 million from resort
State Attorney’s Office investigators say a Homestead woman stole hundreds of thousands of dollars from the exclusive Ocean Reef Club over the course of five or six years. Jamie Lynne Anderson, 39, admitted to the theft, according to an...
Even with Big Surplus Lawmakers Have Little Room for Longterm Projects
Last week, state economic forecasters unveiled Florida’s three-year financial outlook. The headline coming out of that hearing is next year’s surplus. As state lawmakers get back to the difficult work of spending money, they’ll...
IRS Ruling Makes After-Tax Contributions More Attractive
Making pretax contributions to your 401(k) retirement plan is a no-brainer. But recent changes in federal tax rules may make it more attractive for serious savers to increase after-tax contributions, as well. The benefit of pretax contributions...
Colorado Marijuana Tax Revenues Nearly Double Last Year’s Figures
Legal marijuana tax revenues have been breaking records in Colorado this summer, nearly doubling monthly numbers from last year and on pace to exceed projections of legal sales that bring revenue back.
IRS: Coca-Cola owes $3.3 billion in taxes
The Internal Revenue Service claims The Coca-Cola Co. (NYSE: KO) owes $3.3 billion in taxes plus interest for profits made overseas. The Atlanta-based beverage giant said the IRS sent it a notice Thursday stating a five-year audit found “a...
Small-business lenders look at social media as ‘extra tool’ in approval decision
One lender, quick to point out that decisions still rely on traditional factors like credit and cash flow, says social media "helps us dig in to learn more about the borrower and business that maybe we didn't get into during the interviews."
Which Florida County Has The Most Foreclosures? See Our Map
Foreclosure filings in Palm Beach County fell 26 percent from July 2014 to July 2015, research firm RealtyTrac said in a report released today. The company counted 1,396 foreclosure filings last month. While the year-over-year number was down,...
How To ... Spot An Embezzler At Your Company
Becky Bokrand can’t discuss a recent case she turned over to the Federal Bureau of Investigations, but she’s seen her share of embezzlers.
Federal Tax Implications For Same-sex Spouses
Same-sex marriages are now recognized for federal tax purposes. United States v. Windsor, is an important court case. The Supreme Court changed federal laws interpreting the meaning of "marriage" and "spouse" to a to include same-sex couples.
Fla. Sales Tax Holiday Is Aug. 7-16
School starts Aug.10 in Jackson County, but last-minute shoppers (and retailers) are in luck this year. Florida’s extended back-to-school sales tax holiday will kick off Friday, Aug. 7 and continue through the first week of classes, ending...
Governor Rick Scott Appoints Patrick T. Hogan to Board of Directors of Florida ABLE, Inc.
Today, Governor Rick Scott announced the appointment of Patrick T. Hogan to the Board of Directors of Florida ABLE, Inc. Hogan, 47, of Bradenton, is the managing shareholder of Hogan Legal Services. He is currently a member of the Florida...
CPA Firm Administrators Wear Many Hats
Thirty-five years ago, Celia Cue was the first hire at Miami CPA firm Berkowitz Pollack Brant Advisors and Accountants. During those early years, Celia did a little bit of everything while serving as administrative assistant to firm CEO Richard...
Retirement: What The New Congress Has In Store
Exactly what do they have in store for older Americans and retirees? Are changes to Social Security and Medicare on the table, as some activists wonder? And, are changes in store for the tax advantages of our retirement savings accounts, like...