Michigan Treasury Outsourcing Collection of Past-Due Taxes, and more - November 19, 2019 News

by MICPA | Nov 19, 2019   ()

Michigan Treasury Outsourcing Collection of Past-Due Taxes
The Michigan Department of Treasury announced that taxpayers may receive phone calls from two third-party collection agencies regarding past-due taxes. Under this new system, taxpayers will no longer be receiving calls from the Michigan Accounts Receivable Collections System. Instead, beginning Nov. 15, Michiganders with outstanding tax debt will be contacted directly by either GC Services or Harris and Harris to discuss payment options.
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Treasury Releases Updated Sales and Use Taxation Bulletin for the Construction Industry
Michigan taxpayers can now access a new Revenue Administrative Bulletin (RAB) regarding the application of sales and use tax to the construction industry. The updated RAB addresses taxable sales to contractors and use tax for conversion, exempt sales to contractors, contractors engaged in retails sales, and retailers.
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IRS Issues Guidance for Taxpayers with Certain Deductible Expenses
To assist taxpayers with navigating the changes wrought by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the IRS released updated rules for using the standard mileage rates in computing the deductible costs of operating a vehicle for business, charity, medical or relocation expense purposes.
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IRS Urges Taxpayers to Take Advantage of Tax-Free Dollars for Medical Expenses
Open enrollment for the 2020 medical plan year is now underway at many workplaces and, with it, the IRS has posted a reminder to taxpayers to consider utilizing a health flexible spending arrangement if it is offered by their employer. Employees can contribute up to $2,750 pre-tax dollars during 2020.
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GAO Reports on Information Security Issues at the VA
While we honored our veterans last week, a new Government Accountability Office (GAO) study raises continued concerns about the security of IT systems and electronic information the Department of Veteran’s Affairs uses to perform essential activities for veterans. In a study published on Nov. 14, the GAO reported on significant information security issues at 18 federal agencies, including the VA, as they work to modernize their systems. Back in 2016, the GAO recommended 74 actions the VA should take to address deficiencies. However, as of October 2019, the VA had not addressed 42 of the recommendations. With the latest review, the GAO tacked on four additional recommendations to improve the department's cybersecurity risk management program.
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FASB Issues Proposal to Clarify Aspects of the Derivatives and Hedging Standard
The Financial Accounting Standards Board proposed an Accounting Standards Update (ASU) designed to clarify sections of the 2017 hedge accounting standard. Specifically, it focuses on the 2017 changes to hedged risk in a cash flow hedge. The proposed ASU aims to clarify whether change can happen prospectively and retrospectively and, if so, how guidance is applied in those scenarios.
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FASB Delays Certain Effective Dates for Credit Losses, Leases, Hedging and Long-Duration Insurance Standards
Last week, the Financial Accounting Standards Board issued two Accounting Standards Updates that finalize various effective date delays for standards on current expected credit losses, leases, hedging and long-duration insurance contracts.
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FASB Offers Temporary Guidance to Address Reference Rate Transition
The Financial Accounting Standards Board approved temporary optional guidance to assist with reference rate reform on financial reporting until a final Accounting Standards Update is released in early 2020. As global capital markets move away from the London Interbank Offer Rate (LIBOR), toward more observable, transaction-based rates, potential accounting challenges are expected to arise. The Board is seeking to get ahead of the curve by addressing the operational challenges, migration processes and related costs associated with the shift.
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What Will Legal Recreational Marijuana Mean for Employers' Drug-Free Policies?
The legalization of marijuana has created a lot of questions for Michigan employers. Keeping open lines of communication with employees is critical, says James Baiers, chief legal officer at Trion Solutions in Troy, in this episode of Stateside on Michigan Radio. You can also hear from Baiers first-hand at the MICPA’s half-day Cannabis Summit on Dec. 5.

Call for Nominations – Women to Watch Awards
The Michigan Association of CPAs, in partnership with the AICPA, seeks nominations for the Women to Watch Awards. The awards celebrate accomplished women in the accounting profession who’ve successfully integrated their personal and professional lives, while promoting a workplace environment of opportunity and the advancement of women to positions of leadership. Deadline for submission is Dec. 12.

Career Advice for Young CPAs From the Big Four
CPAs at the beginning of their careers should keep learning and focus on adding value for clients, according to leaders at Deloitte, EY, KPMG and PwC. CPA Insider shares practitioner advice on crucial elements for career development.
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Source: MICPA
Source: MICPA

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