TEI - Detroit Chapter

April Monthly Meeting

  • 18 Apr 2012
  • 8:30 AM - 10:30 AM
  • The Henry (formerly Ritz-Carlton), Dearborn

Registration


Registration is closed

Ethics

Before the technical meeting begins, we will offer a full breakfast beginning at 8:00 am.


Title:    The Ethics of (Guessing at) Tax Uncertainties
Speaker:  Albert D. Spalding, JD, CPA/CFF

Assoc. Professor, Department of Accounting
School of Business Administration
Wayne State University

Description:  Accounting disclosure is prescribed by several domains, including securities law, tax law, financial accounting requirements and professional ethics. The boundaries and limits of these domains do not always coincide perfectly. Sometimes, as in the of valuation allowances for deferred tax assets, ethical considerations may call for a more conservative approach than strict legal requirements. In other situations, such as accounting for tax uncertainties (FIN 48), financial accounting pronouncements (and by extension, securities regulation) and tax regulations may seem to interfere with professional ethical duties to employers and corporate shareholders. In the midst of all these pressures and conflicting rules and requirements, tax executives and other accounting professionals are called upon to somehow convert qualitative tax uncertainties into quantitative probabilities. An interesting challenge, to say the least.


Prof. Spalding's workshop will explore the extent to which efforts to assign probabilities to tax uncertainties is as much an exercise in ethics, as it is the application of financial and accounting rules. Specific topics to be covered will include accounting for tax uncertainties ("FIN 48" in pre-codification jargon) and valuation allowances for deferred tax assets. In regard to the latter topic, two recent cases (Fannie Mae and Garcia v. Carrion) will be considered.

Part One: Pressures to being Too Conservative?
- Sorting through the probability maze of tax uncertainties

- The ethics of accounting for tax uncertainties
- The ethics of "reasonable cause" for tax penalty avoidance

Part Two: Parameters for Not being Conservative Enough?

- The timing of deferred taxes valuation allowances

- Recent cases:  In re Fannie Mae and Garcia v. Carrion
- Law versus ethics in the case of valuation allowances
Conclusion




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