Committee on Benefits Finance
- Health Care Reform - Jan 2011
The long, windy and often bumpy road to reform the nation’s health care system finally ended when the House of Representatives voted 220-to-207 in late March to approve a reconciliation package that included reforms to health care and higher education. The reconciliation bill made changes to the health care bill that was crafted by the Senate and signed by President Obama on Tuesday, March 23.
FEI drafted and sent a letter to Congress that demonstrates the financial hardship that companies are already feeling from a provision in the new law that eliminated the tax deductibility of a subsidy that is offered to employers who continued to provide prescription drug coverage to their retirees.
FEI will continue to remain engaged as the Administration begins the rule-making process that will establish the regulations that correspond with the new law and will keep FEI members informed of new costs and impacts to businesses. FEI is also monitoring the efforts to repeal certain parts of the legislation.
- Pension Funding - Sep 2010
On June 25, 2010 President Obama signed the “Preservation of Access to Care for Medicare Beneficiaries and Pension Relief Act of 2010” (the “Act”). Within the bill was a provision that provided defined benefit pension funding relief that would allow plan sponsors to amortize funding gaps over a longer period of time than is currently allowed. In addition, this legislation enables funding relief for up to two years.
Specifically, the bill would allow plan sponsors a choice between electing relief under the 2 and 7 rule (interest only payments would be made for the first two years) or the 15-year rule for any two plan years during the 2008-2011 period. However, there are strings attached that would require plan sponsors to make additional contributions to their pension plans in the amount equal to the sum of the aggregate excess employee compensation (i.e. taxable compensation over $1 million) and the aggregate amount of dividends and stock redemptions over a specified threshold.
This funding relief comes after a year of work by FEI and others in the business community who have supported pension funding relief for those pension plans hit hard by the recession and global economic turmoil. In October of 2009, the Committee on Benefits Finance helped to organize written testimony submitted by FEI President and CEO, Marie Hollein, to the House of Representatives’ Ways and Means Committee.
The testimony, along with FEI's pension discussion points, demonstrated to Congress that at a time when companies desperately need cash to keep their businesses afloat, funding rules will require huge, countercyclical and unexpected contributions to pension plans.
On September 16, 2010, Senate Finance Committee Chairman, Max Baucus (D-Mont.), introduced the Job Creation and Tax Cut Act of 2010. This bill would provide technical corrections to the pension funding relief bill signed by President Obama in June. A summary of what plan sponsors are seeking in terms of technical corrections can be found here.
FEI will continue to follow the process as corresponding rules and regulations are released.
- Chart Outlining Changes to COBRA laws - Mar 2009
New COBRA health coverage rules were signed into law by President Obama as part of the economic stimulus bill in February 2009. This chart identifies some of the many issues raised by the new law. Effective March 1, 2009, the new rules generally provide that certain individuals electing COBRA by reason of an involuntary termination of employment may purchase COBRA at a 65% discount for up to 9 months, with the government making up the difference in the form of a subsidy to be delivered to employer plan sponsors through reduced payroll tax obligations.
- Whitepaper on Plan Governance by PwC - Mar 2009
Plan governance in the United States has recently become an increasingly important topic for plan administrators, plan sponsors, and plan fiduciaries. This whitepaper provides an introduction to plan governance.
- Discussion Paper - The Credit Crisis and FEI Member’s Defined Benefit Plans - Mar 2009
Committee on Government Business
- 3% Withholding Tax on Government Contractors - Jan 2011
In 2005, the Tax Increase Prevention and Reconciliation Act was a vehicle for a revenue raising provision to mandate that federal, state, and local governments withhold 3% from payments for goods and services provided by all government contracts. This unprecedented withholding mandate would include Medicare payments, Farm payments, and some grants. The legislation was signed into law by President Bush on May 17, 2006 was initially set to become effective on January 1, 2011. However, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, more commonly known as the “Stimulus,” delayed the implementation for one year making the new effective date January 1, 2012.
The Department of Defense estimates the 3% withholding requirement would cost $17 billion over the first five years to comply with the mandate which is far higher than the revenue that would be generated by the new tax. FEI supports and pushes for the full repeal of the mandate.
However, with the effective date less than a year away, FEI would support a two year delay of the 3% withholding requirement. In the fall and winter of 2010, FEI was party to two comment letters asking for the effective date of the provision to be delayed for two years. FEI plans to continue to push for the delay of the withholding requirement as Congress begins the 112th Congress.
These talking points provide further information on the 3% withholding issue.
- DoD Efficiency Initiative - Sep 2010
On September 14, 2010, Under Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter, released a directive to government contractors that announces new guidelines to govern how the Pentagon purchases everything from weapons to support services.
The memo, titled “Better Buying Power: Guidance for Obtaining Greater Efficiency and Productivity in Defense Spending,” is part of a larger DoD initiative to find greater “efficiencies” at the Pentagon with the ultimate goal of “increasing warfighting capabilities by 2 to 3 percent without commensurate budget increases.”
- Pension Harmonization - Aug 2009
Section 106 of the Pension Protection Act of 2006 (“PPA”) directs the Cost Accounting Standards Board (“Board”) to harmonize Cost Accounting Standards 412 and 413 (together, “CAS 412 and 413”) with the minimum required contribution provisions of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (“ERISA”) and the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (the “Code”), as amended by the PPA (collectively, the “minimum funding rules”). FEI’s Committee on Benefits Finance and Committee on Government Business strongly believe that the Board must revise CAS 412 and 413 in light of the changes enacted in the PPA.
The PPA reflects Congress ratification of the growing international consensus that pension obligations and assets should be measured to the extent possible on a mark-to-market basis. CAS 412 and 413 now must be updated to reflect that reality. At the same time, and fully consistent with the PPA changes, it is important that revisions to CAS 412 and 413 be promulgated in a manner that ensures that government contractors are equitably reimbursed for their pension costs; are treated uniformly relative to each other; and are allowed to recover charges attributable to a contract as they are incurred. Those underlying principles should dictate the Board’s consideration of changes to CAS.
To learn more about Pension Harmonization, please visit the Office of Management and Budget’s Advanced Notice for Proposed Rule Making, and FEI’s corresponding comment letter.
- President Obama’s Government Contracting Memo: - Aug 2009
On March 4, 2009, President Obama issued a memo asking his government to review how government contracts are awarded and sited the need for more competition. The President claims his changes would save the government $40 billion a year.
President Obama’s March 4 memo requires OMB to issue new government-wide guidance addressing:
- The appropriate use of sole-source and other types of noncompetitive contracts and how to maximize the use of full and open and other competitive procurement processes;
- When, and under what circumstances, cost-reimbursement contracts are appropriate;
- How to assist agencies in determining the capacity and capabilities of their acquisition workforce; and
- When governmental outsourcing is and is not appropriate, consistent with Section 321 of the FY09 National Defense Authorization Act.
- Pension Reform - Aug 2009
The Cost Accounting Standards Board (CASB) recently published a Staff Discussion Paper on how best to harmonize the newly-enacted pension funding requirements under the Pension Protection Act of 2006 with Cost Accounting Standards 412 and 413, which govern the assignability of such costs to government contracts. FEI's Committee on Government Business (CGB) and Committee on Benefits Finance (CBF) submitted a joint letter to the CASB addressing several issues of concern with the Staff Discussion Paper. The comment letter stressed the importance of insuring that revisions to CAS 412 and 413 be promulgated in a manner that ensures that government contractors are equitably reimbursed for tehri pension costs; are treated uniformly relative to each other; and are allowed to recover charges attributable to a contract as they are incurred.
- Department of Justice IG Reports - Aug 2009
Senator Grassley (R-ID) has introduced legislation (S. 226) that would direct the Inspector General of the Department of Justice to submit semi-annual reports to Congress regarding settlements related to false claims and fraud against the Federal Government. The legislation provides an extremely broad definition of “settlement”, and will likely result in heightened government scrutiny for such settlements. The end result could very well be that the DOJ is less interested in settling such cases, which will likely result in increased litigation costs for both the government and contractors.
- Contractors and Federal Spending Accountability Act - Aug 2009
Representative Maloney (D-NY) has introduced legislation (H.R. 3033) that would direct the General Services Administration to create a database which will track the “integrity and performance” of federal government contractors. This information will be made available to the general public. The legislation would also broaden the circumstances under which federal government contractors could be debarred or suspended from performing federal contracts.
Committee on Private Companies
- AICPA/FAF/NASBA Blue Ribbon Panel Seeking Constituents' Comments - Sep 2010
AICPA, FAF, NASBA ‘Blue-Ribbon’ Panel Seeking Written Submissions from Constituents
On Aug. 5, 2010, the AICPA/FAF/NASBA "Blue-Ribbon" Panel on Standard Setting for Private Companies announced it is seeking written input from constituents in the form of responses to seven questions.
Responses will assist the panel in discussing how accounting standards can best meet the needs of United States users of private company financial statements and making recommendations thereon to the Financial Accounting Foundation Board of Trustees.
Members of FEI’s Committee on Private Companies – Standards (CPC-S) serve on the Blue Ribbon Panel and encourage participation. Click here to respond. Responses are due on Sept. 15, 2010.
In the meantime, CPC-S continues to serves FEI’s private company members by filing comment letters and papers. Examples include:
· On July 22, 2010, FEI commented to FASB on effective dates of standards for private companies. Because the panel decisions may render some of FASB's upcoming pronouncements inapplicable to private companies, the letter recommended that FASB defer for a minimum of three years the effective dates of all new accounting standards issued through 2012 (or beyond 2012, if the final convergence standards under the Memorandum of Understanding are issued beyond 2012).
· On July 19, 2010, CPC-S filed a comment letter on the FASB Exposure Draft on the Conceptual Framework for Financial Reporting, The Reporting Entity.
· On May 4, 2010, CPS-S released a working draft of a whitepaper entitled, "A Model Conceptual Framework for Private Company Accounting Standards."
· On April 30, 2010, FEI's CPC-S filed a comment letter with FAF and FASB voicing concern about the pace of accounting standard-setting under the remaining time FASB-International Accounting Standards Board Memorandum of Understanding, which calls for close to a dozen new standards to be issued by 2011.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about CPC-S.
Committee on Taxation
- Uncertain Tax Positions and IRS' Policy of Restraint - Apr 2010
FEI is evaluating the IRS proposal (Announcement 2010-9) regarding proposed new disclosures relating to uncertain tax positions and the IRS’ policy of restraint. The proposal will have a broad effect on corporate tax payers. Accordingly, several of FEI’s committees that work on tax and accounting issues are working together to respond to the Service’s request for comments on the Announcement. The due date for submissions is June 1, 2010.
On April 19, 2010, the IRS released the draft schedule to report uncertain tax positions (UTP), Announcement 2010-30, which includes supporting documentation regarding Announcement 2010-9, as part of the IRS initiative to require certain business taxpayers to report uncertain tax positions on their returns. Taxpayers with uncertain tax positions and assets of $10 million or more will be required to file Schedule UTP beginning with the 2010 tax year if they filed audited financial statements.
- FEI’s COT & CCR filed an amicus curiae “friend of the court” brief (US v. Textron) - Apr 2010
Financial Executives International (FEI) filed an amicus curiae "friend of the court" brief with the Supreme Court of the United States in support of a petition for review of the U.S. vs. Textron case. FEI urged the Supreme Court to hear arguments in this significant case which concerns whether a public company can withhold from disclosure to the IRS tax accrual work papers that reflect the company's candid self-assessment of litigation hazards, and has been vocal on this issue during the course of this case. The outcome of this case has broad implications beyond the tax field and affects every public company.
The petition filed on January 27, 2010, was submitted jointly by FEI's Committee on Taxation (COT) and Committee on Corporate Reporting (CCR.) The Committees maintain that a 2007 lower court decision in favor of Textron appropriately balances the competing interests of the IRS, the investing public, and the fairness considerations that protect attorney work product. This appropriate balancing should permit companies to share candid assessments of potential litigation claims with their outside auditors, for example, without fear that such information would be accessible by competitors or adversaries. Unfortunately, the lower court decision was reversed by the en banc court of appeals and, accordingly, the Supreme Court is now being asked to weigh in on the issue.
The Supreme Court is expected to act upon the Textron petition early this spring
A timeline of the case, along with FEI's actions are as follows:
April 4, 2008 – FEI's Tax Committee and Committee on Corporate Reporting filed an amicus curiae brief in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit in support of the District Court's decision.
January 21, 2009 – A panel of the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the First Circuit issued its ruling, which affirmed the District Court's holding that Textron's internal tax accrual work papers are privileged material.
March 25, 2009 – The First Circuit granted a motion for rehearing en banc and vacated the court's earlier opinion affirming the lower court.
August 13, 2009 – The full First Circuit, by a 3-2 vote, held that Textron's tax accrual work papers are not protected work product.
December 24, 2009 – Textron filed a petition for certiorari seeking Supreme Court review of the First Circuit's decision.
January 27, 2010 – FEI's Tax Committee and Committee on Corporate Reporting file amicus curiae brief with the Supreme Court of the United States in support of a petition for review of the case.
April 13, 2010 – Federal government filed a brief in the Textron case in opposition to the taxpayer's request for review by the U.S. Supreme Court.
* The Supreme Court will announce if it will hear the case in late spring 2010.
- Committee on Taxation Issues - Apr 2010
- Maintain Current U.S. Tax Rules Relating to Foreign Business Income Until Fundamental Tax Reform
- Any proposal that would significantly change the current mitigating elements of our international tax rules (including deferral, active finance, check the box regulations and the foreign tax credit) should be carefully reviewed because these policies help American businesses compete with companies from other countries.
- Current international tax rules have been enacted over time in an attempt to keep worldwide American companies on a nearly level playing field where both U.S. and foreign-owned companies pay the same local foreign country tax rate.
- Changing the current tax code on a piecemeal basis would put U.S. companies at a greater disadvantage relative to foreign competitors in foreign markets that operate under more flexible tax rules (e.g., territorial tax system.) U.S. companies would owe current U.S. tax in addition to the local foreign country tax, even after a U.S foreign tax credit, because U.S. corporate tax rates are the second highest in the industrialized world.
- A significant reduction in the corporate income tax rate is needed for the U.S. to remain competitive in the global marketplace and to promote continued U.S. economic growth and job creation.
- The U.S. corporate income tax rate is higher than the rates in all other OECD countries (save Japan, which is considering rate reductions.)
- The high U.S. tax rate creates a long-term competitive disadvantage for U.S. based businesses. High corporate tax rates make domestic investment less attractive and create a disincentive for companies to perform high- profit activities in the U.S.
- Preserve Last-In, First Out (LIFO) Accounting
- The repeal of LIFO as a method of inventory accounting would have a detrimental effect on businesses in many different industries.
- LIFO repeal would cause businesses to restate the carrying value of their inventories, thus recording illusory profits on their books, when no economic activity has occurred that would justify recording any profits.
- Multi-year Extension of the Strengthened R&D Tax Credit
- Technological developments are an important component of economic growth, productivity and high paying jobs.
- Tax reform provides a historic opportunity to make permanent the research and development (R&D) tax credit. It spurs innovation and economic growth and creates high-wage American jobs.
- A permanent extension of the strengthened credit would enhance its incentive value by providing certainty that would permit companies to factor it into their long-range project planning. Specifically, it is imperative that Congress acts to strengthen the simplified credit by extending and increasing the new alternative simplified credit rate from 14% to 20%.
- Repeal the Three Percent Tax Withholding Law That Applies to Government Contractors
- In 2005, the Tax Increase Prevention and Reconciliation Act was a vehicle for a revenue raising provision to mandate that federal, state, and local governments withhold 3% from payments for goods and services provided by all government contracts. This unprecedented withholding mandate would include Medicare payments, Farm payments, and some grants. The legislation that was signed into law by President Bush on May 17, 2006, was initially set to become effective on January 1, 2011. However, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, more commonly knows as the “Stimulus,” delayed the implementation for one year making the new effective date January 1, 2012.
- The withholding requirement will be very expensive to implement. The Department of Defense (DoD) estimated the cost to implement this for the DoD alone at $17 billion (not counting the cost to contractors that would be passed through as part of overheard), as compared to a revenue score of $10B over 10 years for repeal.
- This requirement represents a disproportionate response to the small portion of the “tax gap” attributable to government contractors, and policymakers should support repeal.
- FEI Tax Committee Joins Letter Supporting Tax Extender Legislation - Jan 2010
May 7, 2008 -- FEI's Committee on Taxation (COT) joined the R&D Credit Coalition and 100+ Organizations in a letter to U.S. lawmakers urging action now to renew the expired R&D Tax Credit and to extend other critical tax provision that are set to expire. Among the total of 114 organizations that signed the letter are organizations representing business, labor and education.
View the organization letter that was sent to Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Bacus (D-MT) and and Ranking Member Charles Grassley (R-IA). View the R&D Tax Coalition Press Release below.
A similar letter was sent on May 7, 2008 to the full Senate, House and Senate leadership and the Chairman and Ranking Member of the House Ways & Means Committee.
The R&D Credit Coalition issued a press release on May 7 about its letter.
FEI's Committee on Taxation is a member organization of the R&D Credit Coalition.
- COT Joins Letter in Support of Tax Extender Legislation - Jan 2010
FEI’s Committee on Taxation joined the R&D Credit Coalition and 100+ Organizations in a letter to lawmakers urging action now to renew the expired R&D Tax Credit and to extend other critical tax provisions that are set to expire. A total of 114 organizations signed the letter, representing business, labor and educational organizations and was sent to Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) and Ranking Member Charles Grassley (R-IA)
A similar letter was sent on May 7th, 2008 to the full Senate, House & Senate leadership, and the Chairman and Ranking Member of the House Ways & Means Committee. The R&D Credit Coalition issued a May 7th press release about the organizations letter. . The Committee on Taxation is a member organization of the R&D Credit Coalition
- Tax Study Released by U.S. Treasury Department - Jan 2010
Tax Competitiveness Study Released by U.S. Treasury Department
January 2, 2008
On Dec. 20, 2007, the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Tax Policy released its study on: “Approaches to Improve the Competitiveness of the U.S. Business Tax System for the 21st Century.”
As noted in remarks by Assistant Secretary for Tax Policy Eric Solomon, the comprehensive study “is a follow-up to [Treasury’s] July conference with business leaders, economists and policy makers about this important issue.” He added, "To maintain the competitiveness of U.S. businesses and U.S. workers in a global economy, an examination of our business tax system in the context of the global marketplace is overdue.” Now that the study has been published, he said, Treasury will continue to have “discussions with Congress, the business community and other policy makers,” as they further consider this issue.
The study “outlines several broad approaches to business tax reform… [and] specific business tax areas that can be addressed,” said Solomon. However, he added, “There are no policy recommendations in this study. “ Rather than recommending a preferred approach at this time, he said, “We believe it will provide significant substance for discussion, and will further the effort to inform the public policy debate.”
Treasury issued a summary of the 121-page study. Here are the three major approaches for tax reform aimed at improving the competitiveness of U.S. businesses and U.S. workers in the study:
1. Replace the Business Income Tax System with a Business Activity Tax (BAT)
The BAT tax base would be gross receipts from sales of goods and services minus purchases of goods and services (including purchases of capital items) from other businesses. Wages and other forms of employee compensation would not be deductible; interest would not be deductible or taxed as income. See the summary for more details.
2. Broaden the Business Tax Base and Lower the Statutory Tax Rate/Provide Expensing
The top federal business tax rate could be lowered to 28 percent if all special provisions were eliminated (31 percent if accelerated depreciation is retained), Treasury’s study concluded, as noted in its summary. One option explored is to provide partial immediate writeoffs of depreciable assets. See the summary for more details.
3. Specific Areas of the U.S. Current Business Tax System That Could Be Addressed, include:
a. Multiple taxation of corporate profits;
b. Tax bias favoring debt finance;
c. Taxation of international income;
d. Treatment of losses;
e. Book-tax conformity; and
f. Other areas to improve tax administration
Consistent with Solomon’s remarks, Treasury’s summary also states: “NOTE: The approaches presented in this study are not intended to be all inclusive and do not favor one approach over another.”
The discussion of the pros and cons of potentially conforming book and tax reporting – i.e. if the I.R.S. were to tax based on U.S. GAAP income under FASB standards. “A significant benefit of using book income as the tax base is that corporations would no longer have to keep a second set of books for tax purposes. Eliminating this requirement could save corporations substantial recordkeeping costs and decrease the role of tax legislation and the costs of enforcement,” says the study.
However, the study also notes some potential pitfalls of book-tax conformity. “It is unclear,” says the study, “whether the SEC is in a position to protect the tax base from eroding as effectively as it protects shareholders and creditors from overstated earnings.” The study adds, “Many corporations might respond to a book income tax base by seeking to decrease book income. Managers might find ways other than official income measures to communicate profitability to investors. If so, new costs might arise related to communicating free cash flow and other pro-forma earnings to analysts, market participants, and creditors. So while tax and book income might be formally conformed, in practice there could be two reporting regimes, one of which will effectively have no formal rules. Thus, it is possible that taxing book income could impair the competitiveness of the flagship financial reporting system that makes the U.S. capital market the strongest in the world,” says the study, “without leading to an increase in tax collections. Indeed, certain evidence from European countries suggests that conformity between book and tax income measures has reduced the reliability of book reporting in these countries.”
The study also notes challenges posed by a book-tax conformed system could arise from the increasing move to fair value accounting for financial reporting purposes. “Fair value accounting seeks relevance even at the risk of some reliability and certainty,” says the study. “As such, fair value accounting is in stark contrast to tax accounting, which emphasizes certainty and so is based on historical values and the realization principle.” Additionally, ”Valuation is a judgment call, and the SEC generally does not challenge a firm’s valuation if there is a reasonable basis for the value.” Therefore, the study says, “Using unchallenged financial accounting valuations may place government tax revenues at risk.” Additionally, the study notes, “Financial accounting also requires more evidence and certainty for recognizing gain contingencies than for recognizing loss contingencies. This rule would tend to reduce tax collections. The accounting principles that require accruing losses sooner than gains also would permit corporate taxpayers to use management discretion to decrease the tax base.”
In conclusion, any move to conforming book and tax reporting would entail “significant difficulties and uncertainties,” says the study. For example, “A regulatory and enforcement system for nonpublic firms would need to be developed. Even more importantly, the relationship between FASB/SEC, the Congress, the Treasury Department/IRS, and the federal courts would have to be determined. “
The study also challenges others’ assertions that a book-tax conformed system would play a big role in resolving the tax gap. Although book income did exceed tax income in the late 1990s, that gap varies over time, and has been narrowing more recently, as shown in Chart 4.1 in the study.
Prepared Jan. 2, 2008 by Edith Orenstein, Director, Technical Policy Analysis, Financial Executives International. This summary does not represent FEI opinion unless specifically stated above
- Economic Substance Doctrine - Jan 2010
Courts generally deny claimed tax benefits for transactions lacking in economic substance. If the courts conclude that a transaction was entered into solely to derive tax benefits and did not result in a material change in the taxpayer's economic position independent of the tax benefits, those benefits will be denied. Congress continues to consider codifying the economic substance doctrine by requiring taxpayers to demonstrate that (a) the transaction changes in a meaningful way (apart from federal income tax consequences) the taxpayer's economic position; (b) the taxpayer has a substantial non-tax purpose for entering into the transaction; and (c) the transaction is a reasonable means of accomplishing such purpose.
The COT has weighed in with several objections to the current Congressional proposal. To begin, the COT has urged Congress to eliminate the 40 percent, strict liability underpayment penalty. It is simply too harsh given the ambiguous defnition Congress has crafted. The COT has also urged Congress to eliminate the "reasonable means" test, arguing that it is far too subjective. There are simply no guidelines on how to apply this requirement. Finally, the COT has argued that the authority to assert the penalty should occur at the same level as the authority to settle the penalty. The current proposal would permit IRS field agents to assert the penalty, but would only permit the IRS Commissioner to waive/settle the penalty.
- State Withholding Tax - Jan 2010
States and localities have widely inconsistent standards regarding the requirements for employees to file non-resident personal income tax returns and for employers to withhold income tax on employees who work outside their state of residence. Employees who travel outside their state of residence for business purposes, even for a few days, are subject to onerous administrative burdens because in addition to filing federal and home state tax returns, they may also be legally required to file an income tax return in every state to which they have traveled. Companies are required to incur extraordinary expenses in an attempt to comply with the non-resident withholding requirements.
Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA) and Rep. Chris Cannon (R-UT) introduced legislation on August 3 (H.R. 3359) to address this issue by limiting the authority of states to impose income taxes on nonresident employees.
- Tax Reform - Jan 2010
On July 26, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson hosted a conference which focused on the need to lower U.S. corporate income tax rates and to change way in which foreign source income is taxed. The conference speakers agreed that Congress should lower the corporate rate and should offset any potential revenue loss by broadening the tax base through elimination of various “tax preferences” (R&D credit; domestic production activity deduction. Subsequent to this conference, President Bush stated that he will submit a proposal to Congress to lower corporate rates and to eliminate several tax preferences. The COT has publicly supported corporate income tax reform, and has urged Congress to re-examine the way which foreign-source income is taxed. The COT will continue to engage policymakers on this issue once the President submits his proposal to Congress.
Committee on Corporate Finance
- Credit Rating Agency Reform - Apr 2007
On February 9, 2007, the SEC published a proposed rulemaking (File No: S7-04-07) implementing various provisions of the Credit Rating Agency Reform Act of 2006 (P. Law No. 109-291). The CCF submitted formal comments that focused primarily on two issues: conflicts of interest and abusive/coercive practices. The CCF commended the SEC for allowing credit rating agencies to continue offering common services to their rated clients provided that such services are disclosed. This will enable companies to continue purchasing pre-rating assessments prior to undertaking major business initiatives. The CCF further commended both Congress and the SEC for taking broad steps to crack down on abusive or coercive actions by the credit rating agencies. Finally, the committee expressed its wish that the Commission would consider undertaking periodic performance audits of registered credit rating agencies to ensure that they continue to satisfy the operating criteria outlined in their original applications.
- Executive Compensation Disclosure - Jun 2006
In January, the SEC published a proposed rulemaking that would greatly enhance the disclosure requirements for compensation paid to executives of publicly-traded companies. The rulemaking would include disclosures for current-year compensation, as well as deferred compensation (including both post-retirement benefits as well as any benefits that may be activated under change in control provisions). CCF submitted a comment letter to the SEC encouraging the use of streamlined disclosures (e.g., the information provided on the W-2 or its foreign equivalent), and discouraging the SEC from requiring any non-executive officers from being included in the disclosure requirements. The CCF will continue to engage the SEC on this topic as the rulemaking process proceeds.
Committee on Finance and Technology
- XBRL - Dec 2008
"How XBRL Transformed Fujitsu's IT Platform," presented by Hanaoka Kazuhiko, Corporate VP, at the 18th XBRL International Conference in Washington, D.C., October 15, 2008:
XBRL International Update by Tony Fragnito, CEO, presented at March 2008 CFIT Meeting:
XBRL US Update by Mark Bolgiano, CEO, presented at March 2008 CFIT Meeting::
XBRL Reference Guide: Guidance for the Application and Conversion Capabilities of XBRL:
Power Point Presentation on “XBRL and Assurance Services”
D. Keith Wilson, Associate Chief Auditor
Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB)
December 2005 CFIT meeting:
Power Point Presentation on “XBRL Data: Real Life Solutions”
Greg Adams, CFO and COO, EDGAR Online, Inc.
December 2005 CFIT meeting:
Power Point Presentation on “XBRL As Interactive Financial Data”
Taylor Hawes, Microsoft Corporation, and Greg Adams, EDGAR Online, Inc.
December 2005 CCR meeting:
Power Point Presentation on “SEC’s Voluntary Filing Program”
Taylor Hawes, Controller – Global Platforms & Operations
Current Financial Reporting Issues Conference, November 2005: