Solar Bill Suffers Stunning Defeat in S.C. House Turnaround

A bill to expand South Carolina’s solar power industry that enjoyed a victorious 64-33 House vote a week earlier was killed in a revote on April 11. Utility boosters forced the revote on the technicality that since a provision of the bill affects property taxes it requires a two-thirds majority vote to pass; Tuesday’s new 61-44 vote fell short of that mark. The solar bill, sponsored by Democrat State Rep. James Smith, would have removed the state’s 2% cap on the use of solar power. Solar proponents say having the cap in place derails the progress of 2014’s solar bill; solar panels will become more expensive and up to 3,000 industry jobs could evaporate at a time when South Carolina is looking for energy answer in the wake of the V.C. Summer nuclear power plant construction shutdown.

Treasury Audit: IRS’s 4506-T ‘Tax Transcript’ Program Has Security Flaws

The Treasury Department’s Inspector General for Tax Administration said that the IRS continues to have “ineffective” controls for its program used by millions of mortgage applicants each year. IRS Form 4506-T grants permission for third-party vendors to access tax records to verify applicant income for banks and mortgage companies. The key security flaw is that third-party requesters of transcripts might not be properly vetted by the IRS. The IRS refused the audit’s recommendation that the massive transcript service be suspended until better controls are in place, and one senior product manager at a transcript provider said any shutdown of the transcript program would “grind the (mortgage) industry to a halt.”

International Code Offers ‘Groundbreaking’ Ethics Clarity

The International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants released a new Code of Ethics that is designed to be easier to navigate and enforce. “The code is now a significantly strengthened platform, reengineered for greater usability while maintaining global applicability,” said IESBA Chairman Stavros Thomadakis. Professional accountants gain new approaches to identify, evaluate, and address threats to compliance with fundamental principles and independence.

Union Woman Pleads Guilty to $200,000 in Tax Fraud

Ashley E. Browning of Union awaits sentencing after pleading guilty in an Anderson Federal court on April 10 to preparing and presenting false tax returns, it was announced by the office of U.S. Attorney Beth Drake. Because Browning repeatedly submitted false information about her clients’ income, federal withholding and educational expenses, the government refunded around $200,000 more than it would have if honest information had been submitted.

Myrtle Beach Bar Owner Arrested on Tax Evasion Charges
Patricia Nuth, the owner of Patty’s Dew Drop Inn in Myrtle Beach, was arrested by the S.C. Department of Revenue and charged with four counts of tax evasion on April 5. She filed fraudulent sales tax returns that reported $204,598 in gross proceeds of sales for a period from 2013-2016, but an investigation found actual gross proceeds to be $462,283, which evaded paying $18,038 in sales tax, according to the SC DOR.