UNIVERSITIES NOT PLANNING FOR IFRS EDUCATIONNew York - Comparatively few universities will be educating students in international accounting standards this academic year, despite plans by the Securities and Exchange Commission to impose the new standards on U.S. companies.

Only 22 percent of 535 accounting professors surveyed by the American Accounting Association and KPMG said that they would incorporate International Financial Reporting Standards into their curricula in any significant way in the 2008-2009 academic year. Sixty-two percent admitted that they have not taken any significant steps toward doing so.

In August, the commission announced a proposed roadmap for requiring U.S. companies to file financial statements in accordance with IFRS beginning in 2014, with some large companies moving away from U.S. GAAP in 2010. The survey found that the first class of graduating seniors likely to have a substantial amount of IFRS education would be the class of 2011, followed by the class of 2012.

Forty-two percent of the professors felt that textbooks would not be ready until the 2010-2011 academic year. Only 23 percent of the professors surveyed indicated that the administrators responsible for allocating resources understand the change very well. Seventy-nine percent of the respondents said that the key challenge for them is developing curriculum materials, and another 72 percent said that it would be making room for IFRS in the curriculum.


Washington, D.C. - Approximately $7.6 billion of potentially collectible taxes is lost annually due to withholding noncompliance, according to a report from the Treasury Department's inspector general.

The report credits the Internal Revenue Service's withholding compliance program with improving compliance by taxpayers and employers, but said that more effort is needed to ensure that employers comply with the withholding requirements and to penalize taxpayers who make false statements on their W-4 withholding forms and tax returns.

The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration found that enforcement actions often were not taken against employers who did not comply with "lock-in letters" sent to them after they did not withhold enough taxes in tax year 2003.

TIGTA estimated that 4,100 taxpayers were still not withholding enough taxes, and noncompliant employers were liable for $34.5 million in underwithheld taxes.

Taxpayers are generally not penalized when they make false statements on the Form W-4, costing the IRS million of dollars. "If the IRS consistently assessed penalties on all underwithheld taxpayers for whom lock-in letters were issued, penalties potentially totaling approximately $127 million could have been assessed against these taxpayers," said the report.

TIGTA recommended that the IRS develop a process to identify employers who do not adequately withhold taxes after receiving a lock-in letter, work to develop criteria for referring employers who don't comply, develop better training for IRS employees, and form a team to develop criteria to expand the use of the W-4 civil penalty. IRS officials agreed and plan to take corrective action.

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