August 2012 archive

Tax Court expert witness discovery catches up

Federal Rule of Civil Procedure (FRCP) 26(b)(4) was amended in 2010 to shield from discovery (i) drafts of expert witness reports and (ii) certain pretrial communications with expert witnesses. This article provides the details of this earlier change.  Effective July 2012, the U.S. Tax Court “Rules of Practice and Procedure” were amended for the same …

Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: http://betweenthenumbers.net/2012/08/tax-court-expert-witness-discovery-catches-up/

DOJ appoints first ever Whistleblower Ombudsperson

Recently-appointed Department of Justice (DOJ) Inspector General Michael Horowitz appointed a new Whistleblower Ombudsperson within the Office of the Inspector General (OIG). Robert Storch, an experienced federal prosecutor, will fill the newly-created position. The announcement indicated that this is the first such position in the federal government. The OIG announcement of the new position indicates …

Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: http://betweenthenumbers.net/2012/08/doj-appoints-first-ever-whistleblower-ombudsperson/

Whistleblower Recovery Is Ordinary Taxable Income

The Ninth Circuit decided a taxation case of first impression involving whether a qui tam or whistleblower recovery provides a taxable capital gain from a sale of property, or ordinary taxable income. The District Court in Los Angeles, and the Ninth Circuit both agreed with the IRS that the higher rate of taxation from ordinary …

Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: http://betweenthenumbers.net/2012/08/whistleblower-recovery-is-ordinary-taxable-income/

Crowdsourcing: How the Public Can Help Improve Your Product

Many companies in the past have looked to the public for help when they need a new idea and want to find it at a low internal cost. Often they disguise this request for help as “a contest to find the best…” and offer a prize.  This process is commonly described as “crowd sourcing” and …

Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: http://betweenthenumbers.net/2012/08/crowdsourcing-how-the-public-can-help-improve-your-product/

New FINRA Rules Expand Liability to Customers

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) proposed and the SEC approved FINRA Rule 2090 (Know Your Customer) and FINRA Rule 2111 (Suitability) as part of the process of developing the consolidated FINRA rulebook. These new rules became effective this month. As with their predecessor rules, failure to comply with these expanded requirements will serve as …

Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: http://betweenthenumbers.net/2012/08/new-finra-rules-expand-liability-to-customers/

US Olympic Medal Winners aren’t Punished for Winning Gold

The cash prizes that Olympic athletes receive became the subject in increased attention after the story broke that US athletes may have to pay up to $8,936 for winning a gold medal (covered in a previous blog post here). Republicans, Democrats, and journalists are publicly outraged that US medal winners are “punished” for their athletic …

Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: http://betweenthenumbers.net/2012/08/us-olympic-medal-winners-arent-punished-for-winning-gold/

Reading the tea leaves on tax legislation

Recently, both the Republican-controlled House and the Democrat-controlled Senate voted on tax legislation. Although practically everyone agrees that nothing will actually be passed by both Congressional houses until after the November 2012 election, the differing legislation gives some small indication of what the tax proposals are. Specifically: Everyone agrees that the so-called Bush tax cuts …

Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: http://betweenthenumbers.net/2012/08/reading-the-tea-leaves-on-tax-legislation/

Forbes Gets it Wrong.

That’s a headline I did not expect to get a chance to write.  And to be honest, the mistake is on a post on the Forbes blog and not their namesake publication, which I presume gets more scrutiny.  But the flaw is in fact quite obvious. The post relates to the Internet Sales Tax bill …

Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: http://betweenthenumbers.net/2012/08/forbes-gets-it-wrong/

Proposed Changes to Litigation Accounting & Disclosures Are Dropped

In July 2012, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) voted to drop a controversial project that would have required companies to disclose more about contingent losses, including most notably those arising from litigation. The now-withdrawn proposal would have required significant additional disclosure of litigation. The vast majority of those commenting on the proposal opposed it, …

Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: http://betweenthenumbers.net/2012/08/proposed-changes-to-litigation-accounting-disclosures-are-dropped/

Lessons from Mat Honan’s ‘Epic Hacking’

In Wired magazine, technology reporter Mat Honan has given a heart-wrenching blow-by-blow of how his life was ruined in a matter of minutes by a hacker.  Frankly from the degree of exposure the hackers had obtained from him, the level of damage was far less than it might have been if the hackers were truly …

Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: http://betweenthenumbers.net/2012/08/lessons-from-mat-honon-epic-hacking/