Every publicly held corporation maintains its executive compensation records differently. Likewise, every publicly held corporation maintains different methods for compensating its executives. As the examining agent, you must first learn the identity of the individual(s) within the corporation who are most familiar with how the executive compensation records are maintained. You will need to have a general discussion with that person regarding the record maintenance and retention practices of the corporation with regard to executive compensation. This discussion will help you narrow the focus of your IDRs and will also familiarize you with in-house terminology that is utilized by the corporation when discussing and researching records concerning executive compensation. Read more
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General Audit Steps
I. Examining Constructive Receipt and Economic Benefit Issues
Issues involving constructive receipt and economic benefit generally will present themselves in the administration of the plan, in actual plan documents, employment agreements, deferral election forms, or other communications (written or oral and formal or informal) between the employer and the employee. The issues may also be present in related insurance policies and annuity arrangements. Ask the following questions and request documentary substantiation where appropriate:
- Does the employer maintain any qualified retirement plans?
- Does the employer have any plans, agreements, or arrangements for employees that supplement or replace lost or restricted qualified retirement benefits?
Early Christmas Gift Announcement: US Overseas Taxpayers Subject to Three New IRS Scrutiny Campaigns & Audits Next Year
Since the enactment of FATCA, US persons (citizens and green card holders) overseas have, via lobbying efforts, requested relief from the additional tax compliance burdens placed upon them that appear to be increasing their costs of living overseas (which is generally more expensive than living in the USA anyway).
Their arguments fall into the following three: (1) generally, they file foreign tax returns and pay local tax preparation services but must also pay an additional $2,000- $3,000 for a US tax preparation service specialized in foreign residence; (2) generally the foreign income exclusion and foreign tax credit wash out the U.S. tax burden but for anomalies in definitions between retirement plans that cause undue burden on foreign residents US persons; and (3) US persons must pay more for financial services because they have become the pariah of the financial world.
Summer is swiftly coming to an end.
It’s time to think about getting the kids back to school. And what a relief, there’s been little to no thought about taxes. Sure, we think about the sales tax breaks we get buying back to school items and clothing this time of year, but that’s actually enjoyable. Read more
The IRS has published the 2016 version of its annual IRS Data Book, which contains statistical information about the IRS and taxpayer activities during the previous year. The IRS Data Book helps illustrate the breadth and complexity of the U.S. tax system. According to the Data Book, during fiscal year 2016 (Oct. 1, 2015 to Sept. 30, 2016), the IRS collected overall more than US$ 3.3 trillion from taxpayers, processed more than 244 million tax returns and other forms, and issued more than $426 billion in tax refunds.
If you’ve never been audited, you may not know that when the IRS audits you, it could take up to a year or more to complete the audit.
If you have been audited you know that audits are time consuming and fraught with endless worries.
A federal audit is, not surprisingly, an unwelcome event for most taxpayers. An audit is stressful and may result in a taxpayer owing additional money to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). One question that many taxpayers have concerning federal audits is how long the IRS can take before auditing a tax return after that return has been filed. While the common perception that the statute of limitations on IRS tax audits is three years, the fact is that there are plenty of instances where the IRS can take much longer than that to audit one’s return. Below is a brief overview of the statute of limitations on tax audits in certain situations.
Last month, the IRS updated its Transfer Pricing Audit Roadmap in recognition of the strategic importance of transfer pricing.
The IRS transfer pricing specialists in Transfer Pricing Operations (TPO) developed the Roadmap to provide the transfer pricing practitioner, whether employed in TPO or International Business Compliance (IBC), with audit techniques and tools to assist with the planning, execution and resolution of transfer pricing examinations.
Have you suddenly become the unhappy target of an audit for allegedly under-reporting income to the IRS? Maybe you did under-report. Maybe you didn’t. Whether you did or not, your tax returns have waved some red flags at the IRS and you are now in their line of sight.
Last week in Denver, Colorado, the IRS quietly paraded out some of their race horses to share what is happening under the new administration. With Steven Mnuchin‘s most recent confirmation as Treasury Secretary and Commissioner Koskinen’s days numbered, a sense of being rudderless was anticipated.
Your chances of being audited are probably lower than you think. A look at the latest IRS statistics for 2016 reveals two interesting and reassuring facts about the risk of an IRS audit.
One of these facts is that audits are becoming less common. The number of individual tax returns the IRS audited fell to a 12-year low last year, to just above 1 million. Audits have been declining steeply over the last five years, which the IRS commissioner said was due in part to declining budgets and a smaller workforce. Read more