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E-News - January 15, 2019 - Reminder: Independence Interpretation on Hosting Services Takes Effect July 1, Introducing New State Treasurer Rachael Eubanks, and more

by MICPA | Jan 15, 2019   ()

Reminder: Independence Interpretation on Hosting Services Takes Effect July 1
Under an ethics interpretation adopted about a year ago, a CPA's independence will be impaired when taking responsibility for hosting an attest client's data or records. The new hosting-services interpretation was initially scheduled to become effective on Sept. 1, 2018. But, that date was later extended to July 1, 2019 allowing CPAs who are currently providing hosting services but wish to maintain their independence ample time to modify or exit those engagements. CPAs who have not addressed the need to make changes as a result of the interpretation may wish to focus on this issue now. CPAs that provide software solutions, including cloud-based tools, to store, move and manipulate data may need to evaluate whether that is now deemed a management function. Discover more in outlined scenarios by this Journal of Accountancy article.
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Introducing New State Treasurer Rachael Eubanks
Rachael Eubanks was appointed as Michigan's 47th State Treasurer by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. Most recently, Eubanks served under Gov. Rick Snyder on the Michigan Public Service Commission as a utility regulatory commissioner. Prior to that role, Eubanks structured more than $25 billion in bond financings for public entities–primarily the State of Michigan, State Building Authority, Michigan Finance Authority and the Michigan Strategic Fund. Eubanks also served as point of contact for credit rating agencies on state credit matters for 10 years.
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Former Treasury Economist, Tax Policy Expert Selected as Chief Deputy of Treasury
Dr. Jeff Guilfoyle has been named Chief Deputy Treasurer, effective Jan. 22. Guilfoyle will provide expertise on state and local tax policy in Michigan. Guilfoyle previously worked at Treasury from 1998 through 2009, serving in several positions, including director, within the Economic and Revenue Forecasting Division and the Office of Revenue and Tax Analysis.
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Administration, Fiscal Agencies Reach Consensus on Revenue Estimates
State Treasurer Rachael Eubanks, State Budget Director Chris Kolb, Senate Fiscal Agency Director Chris Harkins and House Fiscal Agency Director Mary Ann Cleary today reached consensus on economic and revenue figures for the remainder of Fiscal Year 2019 and for the upcoming 2020 and 2021 fiscal years. The projections include increases in income, use and business tax revenues.
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ESA Filing Date and Late Payment Penalty Changes
Two bills signed into law in late December by Gov. Rick Snyder make changes related to filing and payment dates for the Essential Services Assessment (ESA) in 2019 and later assessment years. Although the August 15 deadline to certify and pay ESA and the September 15 deadline to amend a previously certified ESA statement remain, the new laws change the date by which ESA liability and late payment penalty must be paid in full to April 15th of the year following the assessment year. An updated version of Form 5278 and instructions for 2019 is available online.
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June 30: CPAs’ Deadline for Michigan Specific Ethics Credit 
All licensed CPAs in Michigan are required to earn two hours of Ethics annually, totaling four hours every two years. One of these four hours must be Michigan Specific. Review current in-person, webinar and self-study options for Michigan Specific Ethics 2018-19 Edition from the MICPA, the only course that qualifies for this new requirement.
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Business Taxpayers Should Be on Alert for W-2 Phishing Scam
Business taxpayers should be extra alert for cybercriminals attempting to steal W-2 forms and other sensitive information through a phishing scam, according to the Michigan Department of Treasury. In a typical scenario, cybercriminals impersonate persons of authority within a company and send an email to payroll personnel asking for copies of all employee W-2 forms. The scammers do their homework about an entity’s organizational chart and all communications appear legitimate.
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5 Retirement Planning Tips for Tax Clients
Tax issues are a big part of nearly every major life moment, and retirement is no different. Help your retiring clients gain long-term financial security with some incredibly helpful tips.
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Updated Phone Number for Tax Tribunal
The Michigan Tax Tribunal’s new telephone number, (517) 335-9760, will be live commencing on Jan. 15. The old number will forward calls for a limited time thereafter. The Tribunal also announced the appointment of Michelle Lange of East Lansing as a General Member. She was previously the deputy director of Legislative Affairs for Gov. Rick Snyder.
Tax Tribunal Website

MICPA+ Highlight: Partner in Protecting Clients’ Profit and Equity
Carrico Maldegen works alongside CPA firms to offer your clients a complementary service that assists in protecting their balance sheets. We evaluate assets, cash flow and liability exposures for adequate protection so their profit and owner’s equity is not negatively impacted. Add Carrico Maldegen to your team of advisors.
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Source: MICPA
Source: MICPA

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