IRS STEPS UP ENFORCEMENTWashington, D.C. — The Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigation Division increased its enforcement activities last fiscal year after they fell behind in fiscal 2006, according to a new report. The Treasury Department’s inspector general said that the number of investigations initiated by the division increased 7.8 percent in 2007, compared to a decrease of 8.5 percent in the previous year. In addition, the number of investigations recommended for prosecution increased 4.3 percent in 2007, compared to a decrease of 4.9 percent the previous year. The numbers of subjects convicted and sentenced in 2007 increased by 6.7 percent and 5.1 percent, respectively, compared to decreases of 6.1 percent and 3.6 percent in fiscal 2006. Nearly 65 percent of the division’s time was spent on tax-related cases, an eight-year high.

INT’L STANDARD-SETTERS BRACE FOR CHANGES

London — The trustees of the International Accounting Standards Committee have proposed changes in the International Accounting Standards Board that would grow it from 14 to 16 members, and create new guidelines for the geographical diversity of members of the IASB. A third proposal would establish a formal link between the IASB and a monitoring group made up of representatives of public authorities and international organizations accountable to the public authorities.

The initial membership of the monitoring group would include a member of the European Commission, the managing director of the International Monetary Fund, the chair of the IOSCO Emerging Markets Committee, the chair of the IOSCO Technical Committee, the commissioner of the Japan Financial Services Agency, the chairman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the president of the World Bank. The monitoring group would be able to approve the selection of any IASC trustees. The trustees, in turn, would regularly report back to the monitoring group on the board’s activities.

SQUAR MILNER MERGES IN CALIF. FIRM

Los Angeles — Two Southern California firms have joined forces, with Newport Beach-based Squar, Milner, Peterson, Miranda & Williamson merging with Los Angeles-based Thomashow, Brown & Paialii. The two firms will operate under the Squar Milner name. The combination did not involve any financial payment, according to Squar Milner managing partner Steve Milner. The merger will provide Squar Milner with a larger presence in Los Angeles. Fifteen employees, including two partners, will be joining Squar Milner as a result, giving the combined firm over 200 professionals, including 29 partners. Squar Milner has been steadily expanding in recent years. In 2006, it merged with Peterson & Co. in San Diego. It ranked No. 80 on Accounting Today’s 2008 Top 100 Firms list, with revenues of $37 million.

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