Attestation Update – A&A for CPAs

Technical stuff for CPAs providing attestation services

Archive for the ‘Other stuff’ Category

Reduced staffing and funding for the Exempt Organization division of the IRS

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Staffing and funding for the IRS division that oversees tax exempt organizations has fallen dramatically in the last six years or so.

According to a behind-the-paywall article at the Washington Post, the budget for the Exempt Organization division has dropped from $102M to $82M between 2011 and FY 2017. That is a $20M decline, or 19.6%.

For the same years, staffing has declined from 889 to 642, according to the article. That is a decline of 247 positions, or 27.8%.

(Cross-posted from my other blog, Nonprofit Update, because this issue is of interest to most CPAs.)

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Written by Jim Ulvog

December 20, 2017, 8:25 am at 8:25 am

Posted in Other stuff

Time to renew your PTIN for 2018. Good news: no fee this year.

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Image courtesy of DollarPhotoClub.com

Image courtesy of DollarPhotoClub.com

Recall you must renew your PTIN for next year in order to file tax returns as a paid preparer.

There is no fee for your 2018 renewal. Recall that back in June, a federal court tossed the fee. If I recall correctly from another article, the Treasury appealed the ruling which postponed the refund of all fees paid which the court ordered. I guess that means eventually we will either get our money back or have to start paying the fee again.

You can start the renewal process here.

It took me 8 minutes to renew.  Last year it took 12 minutes plus fifty bucks.

Written by Jim Ulvog

December 18, 2017, 21:18 pm at 9:18 pm

Posted in Other stuff

Who picked up the bill for our freedom?

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Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

For our freedom, I offer up a humble thank you to all who have gone before standing endless watch, slogging through the jungle mud, freezing in a foxhole, shooting Nazis with a machine gun at 30,000 feet, doing yet another round of dreary maintenance, brought home a life-long injury, or paying the ultimate price fighting to defeat the Confederacy.

Because of millions who did what had to be done, I can say what I wish without fear of being thrown in jail.

It seems so insufficient, but I’ll say it anyway – – Thanks.

 

“It is the soldier, not the reporter,

who has given us freedom of the press.

 

It is the soldier, not the poet,

who has given us freedom of speech.

 

It is the soldier, not the campus organizer,

who has given us the freedom to demonstrate.

 

It is the soldier, who salutes the flag, who serves beneath the flag and whose coffin is draped by the flag,

who allows the protester to burn the flag.”

Jeremiah A. Denton Jr.

 

Written by Jim Ulvog

November 11, 2017, 11:53 am at 11:53 am

Posted in Other stuff

Tips on how to apologize

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Sorry by HypnoArt is in the public domain (CC0 1.0)

Let’s face it, we all goof up sometimes whether by insulting a client, dropping the ball on a project, or the good ol’ engage mouth before engaging brain routine.

To repair the damage, especially in the work environment, an apology is needed.

The Journal of Accountancy on 9/25/17 offered some great suggestions on How to make a professional apology.

Here are a few of the multiple tips suggested.

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Written by Jim Ulvog

October 2, 2017, 7:58 am at 7:58 am

Posted in Other stuff, Pondering

The story on Silk Road, an on-line drug bazaar, shows the power of rationalization and self-deception

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Cover of “American Kingpin” from Amazon. Used under fair use.

The sad tale of Ross Ulbricht and his on-line drug bazaar called Silk Road is a good study of the outer limits of how far rationalization can carry a person.

It is also a frightening illustration of Jeremiah 17:9. From the New International Version, ponder:

The heart is deceitful above all thing and beyond cure. Who can understand it?

Considering the tale of Silk Road is useful for accountants wanting to learn about the outer fringe of the internet and he investigative power of the federal government, believers who would like an illustration of the frightening level of deceit that lives in the human heart, and anyone else wanting to learn more about the dark worlds that normal people will never see.

My posts are gathered into two collections on my other blog, Outrun Change:

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Written by Jim Ulvog

September 26, 2017, 16:22 pm at 4:22 pm

Posted in Other stuff, Pondering

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Wells Fargo staying in the headlines.

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Photo at Wells Fargo San Diego museum in October 2016 by James Ulvog.

When I look at the news about Wells Fargo over the last few months, it is amazing to see the number of individual messes the bank has and the amount of time it is taking to get past the issues. Also odd is that new issues are surfacing every month or two. Here are a few articles that I notices in the last month:

8/15/17 – Emily Glazer at Wall Street Journal – Wells Fargo Elevates Former Fed Governor Elizabeth Duke to Chairman Role – As was previously expected (and reported by Ms. Glazer), the bank will replace its current board chair with the former Federal Reserve governor.  This is not as big a deal as it would otherwise seem. The current board chair would have hit the bank’s mandatory retirement age four months later anyway.

8/18 – Reuters – Wells Fargo troubles shift from phony bank accounts to real ones – The bank disclosed yet another problem in regulatory filings, explaining the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is looking at the bank improperly closing real accounts.

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Written by Jim Ulvog

September 11, 2017, 8:09 am at 8:09 am

Posted in Other stuff

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Not only will Wells Fargo fake account fiasco not go away, but new fiascos keep appearing – 2

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Photo at Wells Fargo San Diego museum in October 2016 by James Ulvog.

I have accumulated a long list of articles on the mess Wells Fargo has create for itself. Here is the rest of the articles I’ve gathered in the last few months, including two new fiascos. Previous list of articles I’m catching up on are found here.

7/23/17 – Wall Street  Journal – Wells Fargo Discloses Accidental Client-Data Release – Oops.

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Written by Jim Ulvog

August 16, 2017, 6:58 am at 6:58 am

Posted in Other stuff

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