J.H. COHN ADDS CONNECTICUT FIRM

ROSELAND, N.J. - Northeast super-regional CPA and business advisory firm J.H. Cohn has merged with Glastonbury, Conn.-based Haggett Longobardi, effective June 1.

Terms were not disclosed. Going forward, the Glastonbury office will now do business as Haggett Longobardi, a Division of J.H. Cohn LLP. The move will add 85 staffers to J.H. Cohn, including 66 professionals and 12 partners. Haggett Longobardi has specialties in the manufacturing and distribution, real estate, and health care sectors, as well as international client experience. Frank Longobardi, one of the firm's founding partners, will continue to run the Glastonbury office.

The union with Haggett is the second merger within a month for J.H. Cohn. In May the firm added New York City-based Berenson LLP, which has an established apparel industry niche. Ranked No. 16 on Accounting Today's 2007 Top 100 Firms, J.H. Cohn generated revenues of $175 million last year.

LEVIN: OPTIONS GAP COSTS BILLIONS

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The multi-billion-dollar gap between what publicly traded companies book as expenses for executive stock options and what they report cost the U.S. Treasury roughly $43 billion between 2004 and 2005, charged Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich.

Levin, who chairs the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, said at a hearing in early June that companies are reporting higher deductions for stock options to the Internal Revenue Service than they are reporting to their shareholders. He said that when company directors who approve executive compensation learn that the options, while an expense, also produce a huge tax break, it "becomes a tempting proposition for them to pay their executives with stock options instead of cash."

Levin proposed that the massive gap be closed via legislation that requires a uniform reporting standard for options.

IRS TO KICK OFF COMPLIANCE STUDY

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Internal Revenue Service revealed plans to launch a new National Research Program reporting compliance study for individual taxpayers that would provide updated and more accurate audit selection tools and support efforts to reduce the nation's $300 billion-plus tax gap.

The latest NRP study will be the first of an ongoing series of annual studies using an innovative multi-year rolling methodology. The study is scheduled to start in October 2007 and examine about 13,000 randomly selected 2006 individual returns. Similar sample sizes will be used in subsequent years.

The IRS said that the advantage of combining results over rolling three-year periods is that it would be able to make annual updates to compliance estimates and develop more efficient workload plans on an annual basis. Previous studies started from scratch, drew tax returns from a single tax year and involved examinations of more than 45,000 taxpayers.

The initial group of taxpayers whose returns are selected for audit under the new study will start receiving official letters in October informing them that they are part of the study.

CATURANO NAMED CEO OF BAKER TILLY USA

Richard Caturano, chief executive at Boston-based regional CPA and business advisory firm Vitale Caturano & Co., has been elected CEO of accounting and consulting network Baker Tilly USA, effective immediately.

Caturano will continue in his role as CEO of VC&C.

Formed in 2006, Baker Tilly USA is a network of 23 independent accounting and consulting firms. It is the U.S. affiliate of Baker Tilly International, which represents 126 member firms in 93 countries.

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