What trends might be changing accounting as we know it? Read on for the latest news, curated by analyst Bandita Awasthi.

HSBC to pay $192 million for helping customers evade taxes, U.S. lost more tax revenue than any OECD country in 2018, and more accounting and finance news

U.S. to not reduce tax-free import limit—a win for small businesses

The U.S. government has agreed to remove a footnote from the U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade pact, which would have allowed it to reduce the $800 tax-free import limit. Small businesses celebrated the decision because lower tax-free limits could raise their costs and put them at a competitive disadvantage. E-commerce site eBay, too, welcomed the news saying the decision will support U.S. small businesses and provide the “much-needed certainty for businesses and consumers.” [Read more]

CPA.com pairs with crypto startup to launch crypto tax preparation tool

Accounting advisor CPA.com announced that it has partnered with Lukka, a crypto accountancy automation startup, to launch a crypto asset tax preparation tool. CPA.com said the tool will help firms understand the crypto asset category and the multiple Internal Revenue Services (IRS) compliances around crypto. The firm has also announced plans to provide digital asset valuation and assurance services around blockchain technology.  [Read more]

U.S. lost more tax revenue than any OECD country in 2018

A recent report by the Organization of Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) suggests the U.S. tax-to-GDP ratio fell 2.5% between FY 2017 and 2018. The fall in tax revenue, a result of the Trump administration’s $1.5 trillion tax cuts, was more than any other OECD country. The tax cuts also limited local and state tax deductions by reducing corporate taxes permanently (from 35% to 21%) and individual taxes temporarily. [Read more]

Week of Dec. 3, 2019

Bank of England levies highest-ever fine on Citigroup for inaccurate financial reporting, HSBC to move assets worth $20 billion to blockchain platform, and more accounting news

Estates won’t lose tax benefits on large gifts after 2025

On Nov. 22, the Treasury Department and the IRS clarified that individuals currently enjoying the benefits of increased gift and estate tax exclusions won’t have to worry about losing tax benefits after 2025 when the exclusion amounts return to pre-2018 levels. The regulations will provide a special rule that will allow estates to calculate tax credits using the higher of the two amounts: the basic exclusion amount (BEA) applicable to gifts made during life or the BEA applicable on the date of death. [Read more]

Bank of England fines Citigroup $56.9 million for inaccurate financial reporting

The Prudential Regulatory Authority (PRA) of the Bank of England has hit Citigroup with its largest fine to date for submitting inaccurate regulatory information between 2014 and 2018. According to the bank, Citigroup did not meet the “standards of governance and oversight of regulatory reporting” and did not accurately represent the financial position of its U.K. operations. Citigroup would have been fined a much bigger amount had it not qualified for a 30% discount by cooperating with the PRA. [Read more]

HSBC to move assets worth $20 billion to blockchain platform

HSBC plans to shift assets worth $20 billion to Digital Vault, a blockchain-based platform. The platform will help investors get real-time access to records of securities bought on private markets. The transition (expected to complete by March 2020) aims to capitalize on the growing demand for private placements, which HSBC expects to touch a $7.7-trillion-valuation by 2022. [Read more]

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