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Tax News

IRS tax season begins January 24.

The IRS has announced that it will begin accepting and processing 2021 tax returns on January 24, 2022, and that it has updated its programming to accommodate recipients of advance child tax credit (CTC) payments and those still eligible to receive amounts from economic impact payments in the form of a “recovery rebate credit.” IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig encouraged taxpayers to file their individual tax returns electronically with the direct deposit option instead of submitting a paper return, which are subject to longer processing times, especially in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. “The pandemic continues to create challenges,” Rettig said, “but the IRS reminds people there are important steps they can take to help ensure their tax return and refund don’t face processing delays.”


IASB group to mull whether crypto rules needed for SMEs.

An IASB implementation group that monitors private company reporting rules will discuss on January 21, 2022, whether cryptocurrencies should be included in the IFRS for SMEs standard, according to meeting papers. The SME Implementation Group (SMEIG) will provide feedback on the prevalence of cryptocurrencies among companies that use IFRS for SMEs and weigh in on whether this round of updates for the standard should include cryptoassets. The SMEIG is a global panel established under the IFRS Foundation to support adoption and monitor implementation of IFRS for SMEs. The topic was raised in the IASB’s Request-for-Information (RFI), Comprehensive Review of the IFRS for SMEs Standard, which was issued in January 2020 to solicit broad public comment. The discussion comes at a time when the IASB is getting ready to set its five-year technical agenda. The board has signaled it will include cryptocurrencies as part of the mix of priority standard-setting topics.


Update to LIBOR cessation rules coming for cities, states.

A GASB update to accounting rules that address the dissolution of the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) will be published in the spring for state and local governments. The updates, proposed last year as part of an omnibus package of accounting changes, is currently scheduled to be considered for approval at the April 2022 board meeting, a GASB spokesperson said on January 13. The proposed update stems from decisions last year by LIBOR’s administrator, the ICE Benchmark Administration (IBA), to extend the publication of the most widely used United States Dollar (USD) LIBOR tenors by 18 months, to June 30, 2023. The proposal would tie accounting workarounds that facilitate the effects of rate reform to LIBOR as opposed to a sunset date. This would enable governments to continue to use hedge accounting for derivatives that reference LIBOR if the rate continues to be measured and reported as of the original deadline. “Instead of keying it to that date as we did in Statement 93 and possibly setting us up to have to come back and do it again, we worded the amended deadline to be keyed to LIBOR as long as it continues to be propagated using the methodology that was in place as of the original deadline,” said Dean Mead, GASB assistant director of research and technical activities.

Plans to tackle interim financial reporting nixed.

GASB considered, but decided against, adding a project on interim financial reporting to its technical agenda this year, according to a January 6 board alert. Interim financial reporting by general purpose governments based on GAAP is relatively infrequent; however certain business-type activities such as public hospitals often prepare quarterly financial statements. “Based on the pre-agenda research, while the GASB believes that establishing standards for GAAP interim reporting could encourage more governments to prepare such reports, especially as technology makes information more readily available, the GASB understands that preparation of GAAP based interim financial reports is not prevalent in practice today,” a GASB spokesperson said on January 10. A project on interim financial reporting would be a major project because of its significant relationships to all other major guidance and the GASB generally does not believe that the prevalence indicated by the pre-agenda research supports the addition of a major project to the current technical agenda, the spokesperson said.


Erica Williams sworn in as PCAOB chair.

Erica Williams was sworn in as chair of the PCAOB on January 10, 2022. The board now has a full complement of five members. “In our dynamic and evolving capital markets, the PCAOB’s mission to protect investors and further the public interest is extremely important,” Williams said in a statement. “I am honored to take up this mission and to lead this organization’s dedicated, talented staff. Together, we have an extraordinary opportunity to build trust through robust oversight and engagement.” The SEC appointed Williams, along with three other members, in November 2021. The SEC oversees the PCAOB. Williams comes from Kirkland & Ellis LLP, where she was a litigation partner. The PCAOB said that she served as a special assistant and associate counsel to President Barack Obama. Before working at the White House, Williams served as deputy chief of staff for three SEC chairs. Williams’s initial term ends on October 24, 2024.