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In the News: Debt-Ceiling, College Tuition, EDGE

Crashing through the debt ceiling spending taxes

This week’s post comes from Palm Beach, Florida, where I’ve been attending  the AICPA & CPA/SEA Interchange 2011 conference the past few days. It’s been a great experience learning about the issues impacting the profession, including informative forward-looking presentations from Barry Melancon, CPA, president and CEO of the AICPA and Paul Stahlin, CPA, AICPA chairman. It was wonderful to have the opportunity to meet so many of my colleagues from the state CPA societies around the country and learn about the projects they’ve been working on.

Now, on to the news.

The debt-ceiling debate in Washington has been getting a bit of media coverage for the past couple of weeks – perhaps you’ve read something about it. A recent CNNMoney article interviewed financial planners to find out what advice they have been giving their clients to ensure their assets are safe amidst the possibility that the United States’ AAA credit rating may be downgraded. Michael Goodman, CPA/PFS, says "there's always going to be a crisis du jour that people want to invest around, and even if they are right about how to do it, typically the timing is wrong. It's so much better to stick to your investment plan."

Melissa Labant of the AICPA’s Tax Team answered an interesting question for a Smart Money article about the options available to high income couples to deduct a child’s college tuition from their tax bill. While she says most education tax credits and deductions are phased out for single filers who make more than $80,000 and for married couples filing jointly who make more than $160,000, there is one option available which may surprise you.  

Deanna White of AccountingWEB wrote an article about AICPA’s upcoming E.D.G.E. Conference, the first AICPA conference aimed at providing the next generation of CPA leaders with the opportunity to hone both their professional and personal skills. Allison Harrell, CPA, conference chair and senior audit manager, Thomas Howell Ferguson, P.A., summed up the conference by saying, "The E.D.G.E. Conference is designed to give participants forward thinking sessions on technical issues as well as the soft skills they need to advance their careers." The conference will be held in New Orleans on August 10-12.

If you come across a recent article of note about the profession, please let me know in the comments section or send me an email.

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