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On Friday, March 13th, 2015, CMS issued Transmittal number 7 to the Provider Cost Reporting Forms and Instructions, Chapter 40, Form CMS-2552-10. Transmittal 7 is effective for cost reporting periods ending on or after October 1, 2014.

The transmittal is available at the CMS website >>

The major changes reflect Federal Fiscal Year 2015 IPPS Final Rule changes including: 

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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is pleased to announce that the submission deadlines for the PQRS reporting methods below have been extended. All other submission timeframes for other PQRS reporting methods remain the same.
The revised submission deadline is March 20, 2015 at 8 pm ET for the following reporting methods:  

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Eligible professionals now have until 11:59 pm ET on March 20, 2015, to attest to meaningful use for the Medicare Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Program 2014 reporting year.

CMS extended the deadline to allow providers extra time to submit their meaningful use data. CMS continues to urge providers to begin attesting for 2014 as soon as they can. 

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Health spending continued to grow at a slow rate last year the Office of the Actuary (OACT) at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) reported today. In 2013, health spending grew at 3.6 percent and total national health expenditures in the United States reached $2.9 trillion, or $9,255 per person. The annual OACT report showed health spending continued a pattern of low growth—between 3.6 percent and 4.1-- percent for five consecutive years. The report is being published today in Health Affairs.

The recent low rates of national health spending growth coincide with modest growth in Gross Domestic Product (GDP), which averaged 3.9 percent per year since the end of the severe economic recession in 2010. As a result, the share of the economy devoted to health remained unchanged over this period at 17.4 percent.  

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The IRS has issued final regulations relating to the time and manner of electing to use the Alternative Simplified Method to compute the Research and Development Credit (ASC). The final regulations mirror the previously issued temporary regulations.

The election to use the ASC is made by completing the portion of IRS Form 6765, Credit for Increasing Research Activities (R&D), relating to the election and attaching the completed form to the timely filed (including extensions) original return.  

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What happens when a company makes an honest mistake and seeks IRS assistance in rectifying the problem? See below for an explanation of how the solution did not fairly address the consideration of the affected former employees. The former employees sued and won.

In tax practice, as in life, mistakes do happen. The right thing to do is to fix the mistakes. That means that all affected parties are to be treated fairly and in accordance contracts, etc. The latest illustration below, by a way of court case (Davidson v. Henkel Corp.), makes a clear point that it is important to make sure that all affected parties are treated fairly and equitably. 

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By Chris Ayers, Senior Manager - Assurance Services

Marcum's Financial Institution Services Group would like to remind all Institutions that are not advanced approaches institutions that the Accumulated Other Comprehensive Income("AOCI") opt-in/opt-out election must be completed on Part 1.B of Schedule RC-R of the March, 2015 Call Report.Under the changes brought about from Basel III, each institution must make a one-time election to opt-in or opt-out of including certain adjustments from their AOCI in their regulatory capital.  For most institutions, the driving factor for AOCI is the change in unrealized gains/(losses) from their investments available for sale, however, AOCI can also be impacted by cumulative foreign currency translation adjustments and pension liability adjustments. 

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The Internal Revenue Service is warning taxpayers for the 2015 filing season about phony charitable organizations. There has been an increase in illegal scams of organizations pretending to be legitimate organizations that ask for contributions from unsuspecting taxpayers. The IRS advises that taxpayers take a few minutes to research the charitable organization to make sure their hard-earned money goes to a legitimate eligible charity.

Another recent type of abuse or fraud involves scams that occur after a significant natural disaster. Following major disasters, it is common for scam artists to impersonate charities to get money or private information from well-intentioned taxpayers. Scam artists can use a variety of tactics. Some scammers operate fake charities and contact people by telephone or email to solicit money or financial information. They may even directly contact disaster victims and claim to be working for the IRS to help the victims file casualty loss claims and get tax returns. Other scammers may try to get personal financial information or Social Security numbers that can be used to steal the victims' identities or financial resources. Also, phony websites may solicit funds for disaster victims. 

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Starting with the calendar year 2012, Florida introduced the Research and Development Expense Credit as an incentive for corporations in certain targeted industry businesses, such as manufacturing, biotech, telecommunications and certain finance services. Taxpayers engaged in these targeted industries can apply to take advantage of the Research and Development credit starting March 20, 2015, for research and development expenses incurred in 2014.

The State has allocated $9 million for this specific credit and the allocation must be claimed by businesses on a first come, first serve application process. In the last two years, the application process was so competitive that all the allocations were gone the very first day!  In 2014, the last application approved was accepted just nine minutes after the application process was opened. 

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On February 19, 2015, the National Credit Union Administration Board (NCUA) approved a proposed rule and policy statement to update the definition of a small entity to include federally insured credit unions with assets up to $100 million.  This would result in reduced regulatory compliance for many credit unions, with the intention to assist them in focusing resources more on serving their members.   NCUA is currently accepting comments on the proposed rule.  To read more, click the link below.
http://www.ncua.gov/about/Pages/Board%20Actions/BAB20150219.aspx  

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