Accounting & Information Assurance

The Economist Ranks Smith Faculty No. 1 in World

Professors at the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business placed No. 1 in the world for "faculty quality" in The Economist's 2016 full-time MBA rankings, marking the third consecutive year atop the category. Prior to the current run, the school finished No. 2 for faculty quality in 2013. Overall, the Smith School finished No. 47 globally and No. 32 in the United States in the latest rankings, released Oct. 13.

Tricky Wordplay Sets Trap for Tax Filers

A client of Smith School accounting professor Samuel Handwerger recently asked him how to take advantage of something a financial website describes as a “$42 billion consumer rebate program” that Congress passed in December 2015. Under the program, the website boasts, “119 million taxpaying Americans can now get a rebate on virtually every single 2016 purchase.” He and a student looked into the claim and found it to be both a rumor and a potential pyramid scheme. Read more...

Tharindra Ranasinghe

Dr. Tharindra Ranasinghe, Assistant Professor of Accounting and Information Assurance, joined the Robert H. Smith School of Business in 2016. Prior to joining the Smith School, Tharindra was a faculty member at the Singapore Management University. His teaching interests include both financial and managerial accounting. Tharindra conducts empirical research on hedging and derivative instruments, executive compensation, and voluntary disclosure. His research has been published in the Accounting Review and Journal of Accounting and Public Policy.

IRS Puts ‘Jaundiced Eye’ on MBAs

A recent tax court overruling of the Internal Revenue Service marks "a big win for all MBA students" — according to a Wall Street Journal source. But Smith School accounting professor Samuel Handwerger says not so fast. "MBA students should not automatically expect the IRS to back off on its scrutiny over tuition deductions," he says. "The case represents the latest in a history of cases where the IRS looks at the MBA with a jaundiced eye." Read more...

TerpTax Students Serve Community, Build Expertise

For a second year in a row, TerpTax “made a big impact” on the campus and local community, say its organizers. The program’s 70-plus student volunteers from the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business prepared tax returns yielding about $200,000 in federal refunds collectively for more than 300 UMD students, staff members and off-campus community members.

'Panama Papers' Reveal Global Network of Secret Accounts

This week the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists began publishing articles drawing on more than 11 million documents from a Panamanian law firm that show the extent to which the global elite has set up secret bank accounts and shell companies, to stash their assets. A Smith School expert, David P. Weber, helped the journalists make sense of the records. Read more ...

Is Twitter Playing Accounting Games?

"Twitter has a brain-drain problem, which it's fighting it by issuing stock and stock options to employees it wants to retain. Such payments come on top of the stock those employees already own, which has underperformed expectations. The expense represented by that compensation may or not be worth it, but we can all agree it's an expense, right? Actually, no. For accounting purposes, Twitter, like most tech companies, does not consider stock compensation to be an expense. Read more...

You Say 'Employee,' They Say 'Contractor'

In some places, they're called 1099'ers, after the tax form on which their income is reported: People who do work for a corporation but are classified as independent contractors. Companies don't have to pay the employer share of Social Security taxes to contractors, who are also denied the right to unionize. Recently, the National Labor Relations Board and the IRS have been cracking down on companies that wrongly categorize employees as contractors. Read more ...


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