How audit committees can address emerging technologies By Ken Tysiac December 12, 2018 Emerging technologies present big opportunities for efficiencies and strategic advantages for companies, but they also pose substantial challenges for audit committees.Artificial intelligence and robotic process automation can change the way companies do business and increase efficiency and the quality of financial reporting. But the technologies also pose risks to financial reporting that audit committees must address in an oversight role. A new Center for Audit Quality (CAQ) tool, Emerging Technologies, is designed to help audit committees perform their oversight of financial reporting that is affected by emerging technologies."Today's technological innovation has revolutionary potential for both public company auditing and financial reporting," CAQ Executive Director Cindy Fornelli said in a news release. "While emerging technologies present exciting opportunities to enhance audit quality and the financial reporting process, these opportunities are not risk-free." The CAQ tool applies the internal control framework of the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission (COSO) to this oversight of emerging technologies in financial reporting. (The AICPA is affiliated with the CAQ and is a member of COSO.) Audit committees are advised by the tool to: Understand the company's emerging technology strategy and any specific technologies contemplated. Understand management's risk identification and risk assessment process. Understand the control activities in place that respond to the identified risks. Establish information and communication protocols for obtaining the information they need to carry out their responsibilities. Monitor emerging technology activities. Duterte issues partial veto on tax amnesty bill By Virgil Lopez February 15, 2019 President Rodrigo Duterte has issued a partial veto on the bill seeking general tax amnesty for all unpaid tax obligations, including estate taxes, general taxes, and delinquent accounts due for taxable year 2017 and prior years.Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea confirmed the development on Friday. Medialdea, however, did not say which provisions of the bill were vetoed by the President.Under the Constitution, the President has line-item veto power for any budget, tax and tariff bill passed by Congress.The bill aims to raise up to P41 billion, which will be used to finance crucial infrastructure projects and augment appropriations needed for the social mitigating measures under the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion or TRAIN law. About P500 million will be used exclusively to establish a tax database.The bill gives the taxpayers the option to submit either a Statement of Total Assets or a Statement of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth, along with a general tax amnesty return, when availing of the amnesty.For general tax amnesty, Congress had agreed that taxpayers would be given the option to choose the rate between 2 percent of total assets or 5 percent of net worth or a minimum tax. Taxpayers can also avail of a reprieve from all estate taxes, and instead pay 6 percent based on the decedent’s total net estate.The bill also covers an amnesty on delinquencies. Taxpayers will be given a year from the issuance of the implementing rules and regulations to avail of the amnesty, except for estate tax amnesty where taxpayers will be given two years to avail. Discounts will be granted for early availers. Any information and data provided shall be confidential and shall not be admissible as evidence in any proceeding. Also, the books of accounts and other records of the taxpayer for the years covered by the tax amnesty availed of shall not be examined by the BIR. Business groups apprehensive about tax reform, part 2 By Jon Viktor D. Cabuenas May 30, 2018 At least two business groups on Wednesday expressed concerns about the Duterte administration’s second package of Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN).During a hearing at the House of Representatives, the American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (AmCham) expressed apprehensions about the planned reforms under TRAIN 2, particularly the “slow” reduction of corporate income tax. “Our position is that we find it too slow, too little, too uncertain,” Jules Riego, chairperson of the AmCham Committee on Financial Services and Taxes and Tariffs, told lawmakers.The proposed second package of tax reforms submitted by the Department of Finance (DOF) to Congress in January seeks to lower corporate income tax rates from 30 percent.But the pace of reduction would happen by 1 percentage point a year until it reaches 25 percent. “Out of the 11 members of the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations), we’re actually the highest,” said Riego.“Even if we drastically reduce to ... 25 percent, we’re still higher than the average,” he said, noting that the ASEAN has an average of 22.5 percent.Meanwhile, the Makati Business Club (MBC) is concerned about the possible amendments to fiscal incentives.“Give present investors more time before you just take it away,” Coco Alcuaz, executive director at MBC, said during the hearing. The DOF proposes to amend or repeal at least 123 special laws on investment incentives, and consolidate what would remain into a single omnibus incentive code.At the same hearing, the IT and Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP) called on government to give the industry a 10-year transition period.“That’s the neighborhood of what we’re thinking about,” Alcuaz said.