IRS TO FOCUS ON FILLING VACANCIES

Washington, D.C. - The IRS faces challenges in recruitment, training and retention of employees to replace the increasing number who are eligible to retire, according to a new report by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration.

Currently, the IRS has approximately 106,000 employees, including 9,100 managers, but more than half of the employees and managers have reached age 50, and 39 percent of IRS executives are already eligible for retirement, said the report. To fill the projected shortage in leadership, the IRS has stated that it must recruit one manager a day for the next 10 years.

While the IRS has recently given increased attention to human capital issues, TIGTA believes it needs to move toward an agency-wide approach to human capital.

OBAMA AIMS TO BOOST RETIREMENT SAVINGS

Washington, D.C. - President Obama outlined a series of initiatives to help people boost their retirement savings.

One would make it easier for small businesses to automatically enroll workers in a 401(k) or individual retirement account, as large businesses currently can, by issuing pre-approved automatic enrollment language.

The Treasury and the IRS are releasing a ruling explaining how 401(k) plans can use an automatic-increase feature to boost savings gradually, along with guidance to help employers automatically enroll employees in SIMPLE-IRA plans.

Another change would allow taxpayers to check a box on their tax return to have their tax refunds sent to them as savings bonds, while another would make it possible for employees to put payments for unused vacation and sick days into their retirement plan if they wish.

IASB COULD BE RENAMED

London - The International Accounting Standards Board's oversight body has proposed a series of changes aimed at providing better governance of the standard-setter, including renaming the organization the IFRS Board.

The trustees of the International Accounting Standards Committee Foundation have proposed enhancing consultation on standard-setting with the trustees and the Standards Advisory Council, and expanding the IASB's liaison with other organizations. The trustees have also proposed setting up a procedure that would allow for an accelerated period of public consultation on standards.

The IASC Foundation trustees also plan to achieve more of a geographical balance by adding trustees from South America and Africa, as the IASB already has done on its board.

ABA WANTS G-20 TO REIN IN STANDARD-SETTERS

Washington, D.C. - The American Bankers Association wrote to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke asking them to raise accounting issues at the G-20 meeting in Pittsburgh in late September in order to curb efforts by standard-setters to expand mark-to-market accounting.

In the letter, ABA president and CEO Edward Yingling claimed that the accounting changes proposed by the Financial Accounting Standards Board and the International Accounting Standards Board are at odds with the changes recommended by the G-20 in a statement released prior to the meeting.

Yingling argued that expanding mark-to-market would lead to reduced lending, changes in the product types available to customers, an increased cost of capital, and higher cost of credit to borrowers.

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