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BREAKING NEWS: House Passes SECURE Act, and more - December 17, 2019 News

by MICPA | Dec 17, 2019   ()

BREAKING NEWS: House Passes SECURE Act
This afternoon, the House voted 297-120 to approve the year-end spending bill, which includes the Setting Every Up Community for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act. The bill is expected to clear the Senate on Wednesday and be signed into law before the end of the year. The Secure Act, HR 1994, would go into effect Jan. 1, 2020, and bring about the biggest changes in retirement policy in a decade.

SECURE will have significant impacts, both on the personal and professional level. Rely on the MICPA for the latest news, resources and education for you and your clients looking for guidance in the new year.

Michigan Treasury Releases RAB for Collection of Assessments
A Revenue Administrative Bulletin (RAB) regarding the Revenue Act Provisions which govern the collection of assessments is now available from the Michigan Department of Treasury. The RAB explains the conditions governing when Treasury can begin to collect following the final assessment of tax liability, how long collection efforts can continue, and the specific collection actions the department can take. The RAB also explains the procedures Treasury will follow to determine if a taxpayer has a deficiency before a final assessment of tax liability can be issued.
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Marijuana Regulatory Agency Executive Director Will Speak at MICPA Cannabis Summit
Andrew Brisbo, executive director of Michigan’s Marijuana Regulatory Agency, is set to speak at the MICPA Cannabis Summit in Grand Rapids on Jan. 16, 2020. Dubbed the referee of Michigan’s marijuana industry, Andrew’s decisions regarding the implementation of recreational marijuana laws will have long-term impacts for CPAs.
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This Could Be How Future CPAs Get Their Licenses 
After reviewing input from thousands of the professions’ stakeholders, the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy and the AICPA are proposing a new approach for CPA licensure. The proposed licensure model requires all candidates to complete a strong core in accounting, auditing, tax and technology. Then, each candidate would choose a specific discipline for developing and demonstrating deeper skills and knowledge. 
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Critical Audit Matters Posted by PCAOB
The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCOAB) released a Critical Audit Matters (CAMs) spotlight that shares the results of an audit performed on select first adopters. In an attempt to support the new requirement for auditors to report CAMs, the Board conducted audits on 12 large accelerated filers with fiscal years ending on or after June 30, 2019. The spotlight report aims to help auditors, companies, audit committees and other stakeholders better understand how best to implement these new requirements.
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Employers: 2020 Form W4 Now Available
The 2020 Form W4 - Employee’s Withholding Certificate is now available on IRS.gov. The new W-4 form better incorporates the changes ushered in by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act allowing employees to more accurately estimate the amount of tax they ask their employers to withhold from their paychecks beginning in 2020. The agency has also posted new FAQs.
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New Procedures Will Improve Whistleblower Claims Award Process
New procedures will enable a partnership between the IRS and the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) to provide a consistent approach for claims for a whistleblower award administered under Internal Revenue laws. “This is another important step in our efforts to make the Whistleblower Program as effective as possible,” said Lee Martin, director of the IRS Whistleblower Office. Since 2007, the IRS Whistleblower Office made awards of more than $811 million based on the collection of over $5 billion in back taxes, interest and penalties.
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IRS Urges Preparers to Update Data Security Plans Ahead of Tax Season
In a tax tip released by the IRS, tax preparers are advised to create a data security plan to protect their clients’ personal information from identity thieves in 2020. A list of data security plan requirements and other resources were recommended for review.
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IRS: Recent Legislation Requires Tax Exempt Organizations to E-File Forms
The IRS announced that the Taxpayer First Act, enacted July 1, requires tax exempt organizations to electronically file information returns and related forms. The new law affects tax exempt organizations in tax years beginning after July 1, 2019.
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Video: Discussing the Evolution of Diversity in the Workplace
Barry Melancon, president and CEO of the AICPA, and Michele Meyer-Shipp, principal-chief diversity and inclusion officer, KPMG, discuss the state of diversity and inclusion in the workplace. The 20-minute video focuses on the evolution of diversity and inclusion and its impact on organizations.
Watch

AICPA Requests Feedback on Insurance Entities Working Drafts
The AICPA has furnished several working drafts of accounting issues regarding Insurance Entities, specifically those related to the Accounting Standards Update (ASU) No. 2018-12, Targeted Improvements to the Accounting for Long-Duration Contract, and ASU No. 2016-13, Financial Instruments-Credit Losses. Preparers of financial statements, practitioners and other interested parties are asked to submit feedback on these drafts by Feb. 10, 2020.
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Apply Now for Legacy Scholarships, Over $650k Available
The AICPA Legacy Scholarships is a program intended to strengthen the future of accounting by investing in the next generation of CPAs. The program offers scholarships from $3000 up to $10,000 per student, with more than $650,000 available. Joanne Fiore, AICPA’s vice president of professional media, academic and student engagement, said of the program, “The Legacy Scholarship program helps provide a solid pipeline of new talent entering the profession. We strongly encourage all qualified candidates to apply.”
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Fostering Effective Finance and IT Collaboration Starts at the Top
Finance and IT, two functions that had little occasion to collaborate closely in the past, now find they are frequently working side by side to deliver high-value, strategic projects for the business. As companies implement new technologies and launch digital initiatives meant to modernize or wholly transform their operations, effective finance and IT collaboration can help to assure that the organization realizes positive outcomes from those investments.
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MICPA Seeks Nominations for Public Service Award
The Public Service Award honors CPAs who have attained a high level of public service through superior leadership, community impact, involvement with the organization and innovative contributions to the profession. Nominees should be submitted by February 28, 2020 for consideration.
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Source: MICPA
Source: MICPA

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