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Bills fall victim to adjournment.

Many bills of importance to the accounting profession died in the waning hours of the 102nd Congress. While bills opposed by the American Institute of CPAs were defeated, legislation supported by the Institute became trapped in the traditional end-of-session morass confronting Congress at adjournment. The following is a wrap-up of what happened.

Taxation. Twice this year the AICPA succeeded in having tax provisions to correct the workload compression problem and to amend the 1991 estimated tax rules included in major tax bills passed by Congress. President Bush vetoed the first bill in April and vetoed the second measure in November.

The bills also included provisions supported by the Institute dealing with simplification, amortization of intangibles and taxpayers' rights.

Liability. Securities reform legislation introduced in August in the House and Senate, while pertaining only to federal securities suits, would set a precedent by requiring judgments against codefendants to be based on their proportionate contributions to claimed losses rather than on their ability to pay most or all of the entire judgments.

Because the bills were introduced so late in the Congress, it was known they would not be considered this year. However, their introduction lays the groundwork for reintroduction and consideration in the next Congress. Enacting the bills is at the top of the profession's legislative agenda.

Auditor responsibilities. The House passed legislation introduced by Congressman Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) that would expand the auditor's role in auditing public companies. The bill was combined with a measure to regulate financial planners. The AICPA opposed the Wyden bill, arguing it would allow auditing standards to be set by the federal government and that the legal liability coverage in the legislation was inadequate.

The legislation died when the Senate declined to consider it before adjournment. Wyden, however, is expected to reintroduce his bill next year.

Regulating financial planners. The House and Senate each passed legislation to regulate financial planners; the bill died when the House and Senate failed to reconcile their different versions.

Two provisions in early versions of the House bill had been unacceptable to the AICPA: the private right of action and the grant of authority to the Securities and Exchange Commission to make rules interpreting provisions of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940.

With assistance from its members in the personal financial planning division and key person program, the Institute succeeded in having these provisions removed and the final version of the House bill was supported by the AICPA.

RICO. A bill to reform the civil provisions of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) was approved by the House Judiciary Committee, with the support of the AICPA, in July 1991. No civil RICO legislation was introduced in the Senate during the 102nd Congress. Reform efforts will continue when the 103rd Congress convenes next month.
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Title Annotation:102nd Congress
Publication:Journal of Accountancy
Date:Dec 1, 1992
Words:465
Previous Article:Special assessments and obligations of tax increment financing entities; revenue recognition for freight carriers and nonutility generators.
Next Article:1992 Economic Census under way.
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