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.
October 09, 2015Premier Committee Event – Florida State Tax Committee/DOR Liaison Meeting
- *Meeting location** Offices of the Florida Department of Revenue
(same as last year) 2450 Shumard Oak Blvd., Tallahassee, FL 32399 Meeting date & time: Friday, December 11, 2015
8:00 am – 4:00 pm (continental breakfast & lunch is...
October 08, 2015Legislature 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...
October 07, 2015BP 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...
October 02, 2015IRS 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.
October 02, 2015PCAOB 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...
October 02, 2015@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...
October 02, 201527 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...
October 02, 2015FASB 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.
September 30, 2015More 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...
September 29, 2015Bill 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...
September 29, 2015Florida 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.
September 29, 2015Accomplices may have been involved in massive ocean reef theft
- The woman who the State Attorney's Office says stole hundreds of thousands of dollars from the exclusive Ocean Reef Club in North Key Largo may have had accomplices or an accomplice, according to a well-placed source in the community.
September 29, 2015Florida fails to apply for federal grant to fight worker misclassification
- The U.S. Department of Labor divvied up $10 million worth of federal funding among 23 states to fight the problem of worker misclassification, but Florida didn’t get a penny.
That’s because the state didn’t apply for a grant...
September 29, 2015Buchanan 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...
September 23, 2015Beyond 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...
September 23, 2015IRS 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.
September 23, 2015Ocean 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...
September 23, 2015Even 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...
September 23, 2015IRS 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...
September 23, 2015Colorado 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.
September 23, 2015IRS: 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...
September 23, 2015Small-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."
September 15, 2015Ethics commission Oks plan for e-filing of financial disclosures
- Florida's Commission on Ethics jumped into the technological unknown Friday as it approved a legislative mandate to change to an electronic filing system for public officials' financial disclosure statements by 2019.
September 15, 2015Florida ethics commission balks at forcing spouses of elected officials to revel finances
- Citing a scandal that engulfed Tampa politician Jim Norman, a divided state ethics commission on Friday debated and discarded a proposal to force spouses of elected officials to reveal their personal finances as a check against corruption.
September 15, 2015Fact Sheet: Empowering Students to Choose the College that is Right for Them
- Increasing the number of Americans with college degrees is a key part of President Obama’s strategy to grow the economy and ensure that prosperity is shared widely. For students, higher education may be the single most important investment...
September 15, 2015Government says students can apply earlier for college aid
- Aspiring college students will be able to apply for federal financial aid three months earlier than now and submit a previous year’s tax return, changes aimed at helping more people pay for school, the White House said Sunday.
September 15, 2015Sweeping changes in store for mortgage lenders when new federal rules start on Oct. 3
- The ride may be bumpy if you plan to buy or sell a house in the months after Oct. 3, when new federal rules take effect that are meant to protect consumers and prevent another sub-prime mortgage meltdown like the one that spurred the Great...
September 15, 2015Florida in middle of airport and seaport construction. Is it enough for 100 million visitors?
- The last time Erik Paul took a Caribbean cruise out of PortMiami, getting off the ship took well over an hour. The lines clearing immigration in the port were backed up, and there was such general chaos that Paul's mother got into a heated...
September 15, 2015Congress May Give IRS Authority to Regulate Tax Preparers
- Last year, Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Commissioner John Koskinen announced the Annual Filing Season Program, a voluntary and temporary program intended to fill the holes left after the IRS lost the right to regulate tax preparers following...
September 14, 2015Legislature asks court to dismiss Amendment 1 lawsuit
- The Florida Legislature has filed a motion asking a trial judge to dismiss a lawsuit filed by environmental groups that alleged the House and Senate misappropriated $237 million in Amendment 1 spending in the new state budget.
September 14, 2015Colorado will suspend tax on marijuana for one day
- On Sept. 16, marijuana enthusiasts in Colorado will walk away from their favorite dispensaries with a slightly heavier wallet than they’re accustomed to. That’s because Colorado’s tax law is forcing a state wide suspension of...
September 14, 2015GAO Questions #IRS Case Selection Process for Collections
- The Internal Revenue Service’s Automated Collection System lacks key controls for selecting which delinquent tax cases to pursue, according to a new report by the Government Accountability Office.
The IRS's ACS is one of the main means for...
September 14, 2015Accountants: Beyond inputting numbers
- Accountants are no longer just the stereotypical number guys, math nerds, tax preparers, or boring introverts many believe them to be. They’re also the guys and gals who are advising chief executive officers on the future of their business....
September 09, 2015Florida Legislature Anticipating $635 Million Budget Surplus In 2016
- The Florida Legislature is anticipating a $635 million budget surplus in 2016, money that some state lawmakers are already hinting will go towards more tax cuts and education funding, among other things.
The budget projection comes just a week...
September 09, 2015Former Bradenton Housing Authority Official Sentenced To Probation
- Former Bradenton Housing Authority official Stephany West on Wednesday was sentenced to 5 years of probation, for getting paid for working when she was off cavorting with her boss and lover Wenston DeSue.
U.S. District Judge Susan Bucklew also...
September 09, 2015CPA Firm Fees and Income Continue to Grow
- Net fees at CPA firms and per-partner income grew this past year, according to the newly released Rosenberg Survey.
The Rosenberg Survey, now in its 17th year, reports on the results of 395 accounting firms ranging from $2 million to $20 million...
September 09, 2015July Foreclosure Inventory Highest In New Jersey, New York, Florida
- In the month of July, 38,000 U.S. home foreclosures were completed, down 6.2% month over month and down 24.4% from a total of 650,000 in July 2014, according to CoreLogic. The research firm also notes that the current foreclosure inventory totals...
September 09, 2015Tampa Bay Couple In 'Awful Situation,' Forced To Sell As Condo Converted To Rental
- If someone forces you to sell your property, shouldn't they be required to give you at least as much as you paid for it? • That's what Nadia and Tyson Le Monte thought when they learned they would have to sell their St. Petersburg condo —...
September 09, 2015Canada's Emera To Buy Teco Energy For $6.44 Bln To Expand In U.S.
- Canadian energy company Emera will acquire U.S. electric and gas utility holding company Teco Energy for $6.44 billion to expand in the United States.
Shares of Teco, which operates in Florida and New Mexico, rose to $26.70 in extended trading...
September 08, 2015CPA Depositions: 10 Things to Avoid
- Lawsuits are never fun, particularly for CPA defendants who stand to lose money, reputation and time.
And it’s no fun sitting through a deposition and answering questions calculated to elicit information that makes someone look bad,...
September 08, 2015White House Takes Aim at Medicare and Medicaid Billing Errors
- White House budget director Shaun Donovan called for a "more aggressive strategy" to thwart improper government payments to doctors, hospitals and insurance companies in a previously undisclosed letter to Health and Human Services Secretary...
September 08, 2015Local Student chosen for White House Initiative
- An invitation to be part of a White House initiative is a coveted honor and one Bethune-Cookman University student is among 82 other undergraduate and graduate students from HBCUs to achieve that accolade.
Landon Wright of Orlando, a senior...
September 02, 2015Lease Accounting Project Update: Great News for U.S. Banks
- Bank lessors are the major players in the leasing industry both in the U.S. and in IFRS countries. They are both lessors and lessees. The news from the lease project is very good for U.S. bank lessors but not great for IFRS bank lessors. The FASB...
September 02, 2015PCAOB Outlines Scope of Inspections of Broker-Dealer Auditors
- The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board has published a staff inspection brief detailing the objectives, focus, and scope of its ongoing inspections in 2015 of auditors of brokers and dealers.
September 02, 2015FASB Proposes GAAP Taxonomy Changes for 2016
- The Financial Accounting Standards Board released the proposed 2016 GAAP Financial Reporting Taxonomy for public review and comment Tuesday.
The proposed 2016 taxonomy contains updates for accounting standards and other recommended improvements...
September 02, 2015Internal Revenue Service Sued By Taxpayers Over Data Breach
- The Internal Revenue Service must answer in court for a data breach in which hackers gained access to personal identifying data belonging to at least 330,000 people.
Two Texas women sued the agency Thursday in Washington, complaining that...
September 01, 2015Changes proposed for CPA exam would enhance higher-order skills testing
September 01, 2015Florida Health Care Premiums to increase 9.5% in 2016
September 01, 2015Are Nano-Learning CPE Programs the Future of CPAs?
September 01, 2015The path to CFO Doesn’t Run Through CAO
September 01, 2015Beware Accounting Loopholes for Pre-IPO Companies
September 01, 2015Tech Tips: Windows 10 Privacy Settings Worth Checking
August 26, 2015BP Settlement Money Flows To Far-flung Places
- Clusters of landlocked municipalities more than 100 miles from the Gulf Coast have secured millions of dollars in BP money through settlements designed to compensate local governments for lost tourism dollars and other economic damage from the...
August 26, 2015Which 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,...
August 26, 2015How 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.
August 24, 2015Tax Court Rules Support Payments Weren’t Taxable Alimony
- The Tax Court has held that the “unallocated alimony/child support payments” by a doctor to his ex-wife were non-taxable because the divorce agreement didn‘t specify that the liability to make the payments survived the death of...
August 24, 2015SEC Proposes Rule on “Clawback” Policies
- The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently issued a proposed rule¹ aimed at ensuring that executives do not receive “excess compensation” if the financial results on which previous awards of compensation were based are...
August 19, 2015Nonprofit Overseeing 75% of FLA BP Recovery Funds
- Triumph Gulf Coast, Inc. has yet to receive a dime of the $1.5 billion, but a standing room only crowd of about 100 filled the Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort Bayside Ballroom on Monday morning for its inaugural meeting.
August 19, 2015IRS Says Criminals Actually Stole Data On 330,000 -- Three-times More Than Previously Believed
- In May, the government agency said criminals used a tool on the IRS website to steal the tax forms of 104,000 people. It has revised that number up to 330,000.
August 19, 2015What Employers Need To Know About Protections For LGBT Employees
- The legal rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) citizens is a topic that has dominated the headlines in recent weeks.
August 11, 2015Governor Scott Declares State Of Emergency For Tampa Bay
- Florida Gov. Rick Scott declared a state of emergency for Dixie, Hillsborough, Pasco, Pinellas, and Taylor counties in response to heavy rains that have inundated the Tampa Bay region.
August 11, 2015Attorney General Bondi Activates Price Gouging Hotline In Five Florida Counties
- Attorney General Pam Bondi today activated Florida’s price gouging hotline for consumers in five Florida counties affected by severe weather and flooding. The opening of the hotline comes as Governor Rick Scott declares a state of emergency...
August 11, 2015Florida CFO Atwater Says State 'Poised For Growth'
- Republican state Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater on Thursday said "at this point" he's not considering a run for another political office in 2016.
"Might there be something down the road? There might be. But we're not focused on it," said...
August 11, 2015NOAA Downgrades The Chance Of Hurricanes This Season
- The summer's relatively quiet hurricane season is highly likely to linger, said Gerry Bell, lead hurricane forecaster for NOAA's Climate Prediction Center in College Park, Maryland.
With no hurricanes and little to investigate in the way of...
August 06, 2015Two Years After Scandal, IRS Still Struggling
- The Senate Finance Committee on Wednesday released a bipartisan report on the 2013 scandal involving the Internal Revenue Service targeting conservative groups.
Much was made about what led to the controversy, but more than two years later the...
August 06, 2015IRS And Treasury Say No More Lump-sum Offers
- The Internal Revenue Service and the Treasury have done a wonderful thing. They announced last month that they intend to amend regulations in order to prohibit companies from “de-risking” their defined benefit plans by offering a...
August 05, 2015Retailers Pitch Extended Back-to-school Tax Break For Next Year
- A longer than usual back-to-school tax holiday gets underway Friday, and a lobbying arm for retailers is already making plans to sell lawmakers on keeping the extended discount period next year.
The Florida Retail Federation also is eyeing a...
August 04, 2015Ask the CPAs: How to Survive a Sales and Use Tax Audit
- The dreaded Form DR-840 Notice of Intent to Audit Books and Records for Sales and Use Tax from the Florida Department of Revenue– we’ve been seeing more and more of these lately. What can you do to prevent one? And what should you do...
August 04, 2015How To Know When To Classify A Worker As An Employee Or An Independent Contractor
- At first glance, it may seem like an easy decision for an employer to make.
August 04, 2015Florida Leads The Nation In Job Creation
- Governor Rick Scott says the state is continuing to see tremendous economic growth with more than 266,000 new jobs created in the last 12 months.
Orlando International Airport -- and others in the state -- are factors in economic growth,...
July 30, 2015Companies Have Found Something To Give Their Workers Instead Of Raises
- Once a staple of the American workplace, the annual raise is turning into a relic of the pre-crisis economy as companies turn to creative — and cheaper — ways to compensate their employees.
More businesses are upping their spending...
July 30, 2015How New Independent Contractor Standards Affect Your Business
- The Department of Labor (DOL) recently released a 15-page memo describing its standards for determining whether a worker is an employee or an independent contractor.
Worker classification affects whether businesses must provide overtime and...
July 29, 2015According To Data, South Florida Is Tops In Fraud
- Since the first settlers hacked their way into the mangrove tangles and drained much of the swampland, sunny South Florida has been virtually synonymous with shady deals and scams.
July 29, 2015Florida Business Climate: Sigh
- The business climate in Florida for entrepreneurs is a tad better than mediocre, according to new report.
Expensive vacations, cheap travel
Old name gets refreshed
Scam puts online auctions in limbo
July 29, 2015BP Payouts To Local Governments To Start Soon
- A federal judge says BP will begin paying up to $1 billion in settlements to compensate local governments across the Gulf Coast for lost tax revenue and other economic damages they blame on the company's 2010 oil spill....
July 29, 2015Resumption Of U.S.-Cuba Relations Isn't Expected To Set Off A Business Stampede
- With embassies now open in each country, it might seem that Cuba and the United States are ready to do business with each other.
But there are still many barriers. Not only is a trade embargo still in effect, but businesses also are proceeding...
July 24, 2015Federal 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.
July 24, 2015Fla. 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...
July 23, 2015IASB Follows FASB in 1-Year Delay on Revenue Recognition Standard
- The International Accounting Standards Board confirmed Wednesday a one-year deferral of the effective date of the revenue recognition standard to stay in alignment with the Financial Standards Accounting Board, which also recently decided to...
July 23, 2015Why Paperwork Is Worth Millions To Florida College Students
- It’s a midweek school night at Miami Beach Senior High School.
Students, their parents and siblings — roughly 80 people in all — are waiting in the school’s library to get on a computer and answer a lot of...
July 23, 2015Use The Backdoor Roth IRA While You Still Can
- Few investors appreciate just how revolutionary the Roth IRA was when it first became available almost two decades ago. Traditionally, retirement accounts have been a method of deferring taxable income, with contributions to traditional IRAs and...
July 23, 2015Dozens Of Expired Tax Breaks Would Get Renewed Under Bill
- Businesses big and small would get to keep claiming dozens of tax breaks that expired at the start of the year under a bill that overwhelmingly passed the Senate Finance Committee Tuesday.
Struggling homeowners and people who live in states...
July 23, 2015Florida Among Top States With Fastest Job Growth
- The Sunshine State is ripe with opportunity when it comes to the job market, according to Kiplinger magazine.
Florida was ranked one of the top 10 states expected to see the fastest employment gains in 2015.
The state’s job market this...
July 23, 2015Affordable Care Act Becoming Less Affordable as Florida Insurers Prepare Big Rate Hikes
- The U.S. Supreme Court may have upheld the Affordable Care Act for the second time, but the ruling hasn’t made President Barack Obama’s signature healthcare law any less controversial.
July 23, 2015Two-thirds Of Calls To IRS Went Unanswered During Tax Season
- Nearly two-thirds of calls routed to customer service representatives with the IRS during tax season went unanswered, and those who did get through were on hold for on average 23 minutes, a new report issued to Congress this week said.
July 15, 2015Unknowns Loom As Governments Settle With BP
- Several local governments approved large cash settlements with oil giant BP for economic development losses linked to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
But how much money many of them will get hasn’t been released — and BP could...
July 15, 2015What The Delay Of FASB's Revenue Recognition Standard Means
- On July 9, the Financial Accounting Standards Board voted to defer the effective date of its revenue recognition standard by a year, while still allowing companies to adopt the standard as initially planned.
July 15, 2015Watch Out! Five Ways ObamaCare Will Impact Your Business In The Next Two Years
- Just last week three small business owners told a Senate hearing that the Affordable Care Act (ACA or ObamaCare as we know it) is "riddled with problems that are leading to more expensive insurance policies, which is making it harder for...
July 15, 2015Misty Martin Servia Files To Run For Dave Miner's Manatee County School Board Seat
- The first candidate to announce for the Manatee County School Board District 3 seat has filed the necessary paperwork with the elections office.
Misty Martin Servia, a 51-year-old planning department manager at King Engineering Associates and a...
June 30, 2015Sherrill Norman To Be Sworn In As State Auditor General
- Ms. Sherrill Norman will be sworn in as Florida’s new Auditor General on Wednesday, July 1, 2015. The ceremony will begin at 2:00 p.m. in the atrium of the Claude Pepper Building (111 West Madison Street, Tallahassee). A reception will...
June 18, 2015Governor 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...
May 27, 2015House Releases Special Session Calendar
- Monday, June 1
1:00 p.m. Special Session convenes
3:00 p.m. Workshop on the substance of CS/SB 7044 (2015)
All members will be invited to this workshop hosted by the House Health and Human Services Committee
Tuesday, June 2
9:00 a.m. Finance...
May 27, 2015Health Law's Disputed Phrase May Have Been An Oversight
- They are only four words in a 900-page law: "established by the state."
At USF visit, Obama official talks up health care law
6 Months Ago
Report: Many Florida children still have no health insurance
6 Months Ago
February 11, 2015CPA 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...
January 13, 2015Retirement: 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...