WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The Internal Revenue Service said that it is extending the filing deadlines for victims of the wildfires in Southern California. Taxpayers in the presidentially declared disaster area, including Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties, have until Jan. 31, 2008, to file their returns, pay taxes and perform other time-sensitive functions.

The deadline applies to items that were due on or after Oct. 21, 2007, the date the fires started, and on or before Jan. 31, 2008. That includes the federal withholding tax return, Form 941, which is normally due Oct. 31, and the estimated tax payment for the fourth quarter, normally due Jan. 15.

IRS computer systems will automatically identify taxpayers located within the covered disaster area and apply the filing and payment relief. Affected taxpayers who work or reside outside the disaster area should call the IRS disaster hotline at (866) 562-5227 to identify themselves as eligible.


TOKYO -- SEC Commissioner Paul Atkins told U.S. business leaders in Japan that a recently issued auditing standard should have the effect of cutting audit fees. "If auditing fees do not come down as a result of these changes, then something is terribly wrong with the interpretation of Audit Standard 5 and perhaps with the competitive landscape in the auditing profession itself," said Atkins, in a speech before the American Chamber of Commerce in Japan.

Atkins expects AS5 to force changes on auditors as they try to comply with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act's Section 404 requirements on auditing companies' internal controls.

"Auditors need to change their approach in response to the new standard," he said. "The PCAOB needs to inspect with an eye toward ensuring that auditors are applying the new standard properly. The SEC, in turn, should keep a close eye on the PCAOB and whether the Section 404 reforms are working."


ORLANDO, FLA. -- CPA and business advisory firm Carr, Riggs & Ingram has acquired Cuthill & Eddy, a CPA practice based in Winter Park, Fla., in the Orlando area.

Cuthill partners Carson L. Eddy, Victor J. Incinelli, Todd Hitchins and Jennifer Christensen will become partners in CRI. With the acquisition, the former Cuthill office becomes CRI's newest in Florida, and allows the firm to expand into the Orlando area. Eddy will become partner-in-charge of the office.

CRI, based in Enterprise, Ala., had $53.4 million in revenue last year, and ranked No. 36 on Accounting Today's Top 100 Firms list. It also has offices in Georgia and Mississippi.

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