THOMSON REUTERS STARTS TAXWATCH UNIVERSITY

New York - The Tax & Accounting business of Thomson Reuters has started TaxWatch University, a tax staff-training program that combines the company's AuditWatch University multi-level curriculum design with the in-depth taxation knowledge of the experts in the company's PPC division.

TaxWatch University includes five levels of training, ranging from basic to advanced. Outside the TaxWatch series, Thomson Reuters has also introduced a related course, Tax Training for Auditors, which provides individuals who have audit-related responsibilities with the information needed to assist with basic tax services and preparation. Course topics include major differences between book and tax accounting, as well as various technical tax topics.

TaxWatch University seminars are available to accounting and tax firms in major U.S. cities as public seminars, in-house at a firm's location, or through customized delivery options. All the TaxWatch University seminars qualify for continuing professional education credit upon successful completion of the program.

For more information, visit http://trainingcpe.thomson.com/auditwatch or call (800) 775-9866.

FEES INCREASE AT BLOCK, BUT NUMBER OF RETURNS FALLS

Kansas City, Mo. - Tax-prep concern H&R Block reported that the total number of tax returns prepared as of April 15 fell by 667,000, or 3.1 percent, compared to last year, excluding economic stimulus filers, but Block still earned a record amount on fees.

Aggregate tax prep fees at Block's retail operations increased 0.5 percent to $2.82 billion, an all-time high, the company reported. Meanwhile, total retail returns fell 5.7 percent compared to the prior-year period, while the net average fee per retail return prepared increased 6.7 percent.

H&R Block Online returns grew 45.5 percent, while total digital returns prepared by H&R Block (including software such as TaxCut and H&R Block Online, but excluding Free File Alliance returns) jumped 21.5 percent.

Total digital returns, including those through the Free File Alliance, grew 4.4 percent. The company plans to report its fourth quarter and fiscal 2009 results on June 23, 2009.

IRS NAMES TWO COMMISSIONERS

Washington, D.C. - Internal Revenue Service Commissioner Douglas Shulman has selected Sarah Hall Ingram as commissioner of the Tax-Exempt and Government Entities Division and Steven T. Miller as commissioner of the Large and Midsize Business Division.

Ingram, who has served as chief of appeals for the past three years, previously served as TE/GE deputy commissioner from 2004-2006. Prior to that, she served as division counsel/associate chief counsel for TE/GE.

Miller, who became TE/GE commissioner in 2004 after overseeing the exempt-organizations function since 1999, will succeed Frank Ng, who is retiring in June. As LMSB commissioner, Miller will be in charge of services and enforcement for over 80,000 corporations and partnerships. He will also be involved in efforts to increase international tax compliance by wealthy individuals and multinational corporations.

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