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E-News March 13, 2018: First Round of Underfunded Retirement Benefits Reporting, Treasury Protects Taxpayers from Tax-Related Identity Theft and more

by MICPA | Mar 13, 2018   ()

First Round of Underfunded Retirement Benefits Reporting Completed Under New Law

A new law signed in late 2017 requiring local units of government to report underfunded retirement benefits is now being implemented by the Michigan Department of Treasury. For the first round of reporting, the state Treasury Department has found more than 110 out of 490 local units of government have been preliminarily identified as having an underfunded pension plan or retirement health care plan, or both.
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Treasury Protects Taxpayers from Tax-Related Identity Theft
In an effort to protect Michigan taxpayers, the Michigan Department of Treasury continues to implement security measures to stop tax-related identity theft. As a result, some individual income tax returns may be selected for identity confirmation as part of security measures implemented by the state Treasury to stop tax-related identity theft. Selected taxpayers will receive a letter from Treasury asking them to confirm their identity by completing a short online quiz or submitting paperwork. A phone option is available as an alternative to the online quiz. After a taxpayer confirms his or her identity, their tax refund will be issued in about a month.
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$5.4 Million in Grants Awarded to Distressed Municipalities
A total of $5.4 million is being awarded to 11 municipalities through the Financially Distressed Cities, Villages and Townships (FDCVT) Grant Program. The grants fund specific projects, services or strategies—including infrastructure and public safety enhancements—that move a city, village or township toward financial stability.
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New RAB Describes Use Tax Exemption for Family Vehicles

Revenue Administrative Bulletin 2018-5 describes the use tax exemption for vehicles and certain other property transferred between family members and reflects amendments to the Use Tax Act made in 2014. This bulletin also discusses the application of use and equalization tax to transfers involving jointly owned vehicles, as well as when names are added to or removed from titles or registrations.
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FASB Proposes Improvements to Accounting for Costs Related to Cloud Computing Arrangements

The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) issued a proposed Accounting Standards Update that would clarify the accounting for implementation costs related to a cloud computing arrangement that is a service contract. The proposed ASU also would enhance disclosures around implementation costs for internal-use software and cloud computing arrangements. Comments are due by April 30.
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AICPA Announces New Professional Certificates in Forensic Accounting

The AICPA this month launched two intermediate-level certificate programs to help satisfy a growing need for financial professionals with forensic accounting expertise. The new AICPA programs explore core and specialized forensic techniques.
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Short Member Survey: Health Care Coverage Needs

Studies show that one way to attract and retain talent is by offering employees access to quality health care.  Healthy employees are more productive, which allows your business to grow and thrive. The MICPA has teamed up with Blue Cross Blue Shield to help provide comprehensive health care coverage tailored to our members' business needs, particularly for those businesses that do not currently offer coverage. To help us better understand your health care needs, please complete this short seven-question survey. 
Take Survey

Zero-Based Budgeting Is Surging
CFO.com reports that more companies are biting the bullet and going through the painful process of realigning their culture to support a transformation to ZBB.
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Quiz: Business Analytics and Decision-Making
Do you know the best tactics for using data and statistical techniques to enable good strategic decisions? Take this quiz from Financial Management to find out.
Quiz

Source: MICPA
Source: MICPA

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