Resources/ Updates - January 2014

The SDDco Client Update

The SDDco Client Update is an action oriented email prepared in-house, tailored to client needs, and sent as an adjunct to our online newsletter.  Verified newsletter subscribers receive our Client Update once each month.

The SDDco Client Update is intended to provide general information only. It is not intended as, and should not be taken as, financial, tax, accounting, legal, consulting or any other type of advice specific to you or your firm. Users of the SDDco Client Update should not act or refrain from acting on the basis of information provided on the sddco.com website. Always check with your accountant and/or attorney.

Jan28

Municipal Advisor Registration Timeline

 July 21, 2010 For the first time, municipal advisors are required to register with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).  Big change is federally mandated for municipal securities market oversight after the market crash.  Section 975 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank) amends the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (Exchange Act)

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Jan28

IRA Rollover Help for Investors

Last month, FINRA reminded broker-dealers of their obligations to investors when recommending asset rollovers from employer pension plans to individual retirement accounts (IRA).  This month, FINRA helps  investors figure out whether to hold with the old, roll with the new or go the IRA route. Moving retirement dough is a big decision.  Ask the right questions

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Jan24

Sick Time Sticks for NYC ~ Meet ESTA

Effective April 1, 2014, many private sector, New York City workers will be entitled to paid or unpaid sick time under amended legislation dubbed the Earned Sick Time Act or ESTA. Eligibility Those Eligible for ESTA: Fulltime and part time workers within NYC who exceed 80 hours in one calendar year are eligible for up to five days

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Jan21

Municipal Advisor Standard of Conduct

The Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (“MSRB”) proposed a long awaited standard of conduct (“Draft Conduct Rules”) for non-solicitor municipal advisors imposing fiduciary and other requirements when advising State and local governments on securities transactions and other products. Draft Conduct Rules target dishonest conduct and give guidance on the application of the federal fiduciary duty, created

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Jan16

FCM Filings under New CFTC Rules

These reporting guidelines apply to The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) final rules (effective, January 13, 2014)  on protections for customers and customer funds held by futures commission merchants (FCMs) and derivatives clearing organizations (DCOs). Notice Filings As of January 13, 2014, FCMs must use the WinJammer™ E-system to send the CFTC and its DSRO all notices

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Jan13

Wage Notices for Non-Exempt Employees

Wage Notices to NY Employees ~ Due annually Jan. 1st - Feb. 1st.  Private sector employers with New York State employees are required to provide notice to non-exempt employees listing employee specific wage information. The Wage Theft Prevention Act (the “Act”), effective April 9, 2011, covers all private sector employees, granting them greater protections and ensuring them

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Jan13

Rollover Reminders for Securities Brokers

For many Americans, a retirement account is confounding to manage.   Since broker-dealers (“BDs”) are often queried about retirement account options, FINRA has issued Regulatory Notice 13-45 on rollovers to IRAs to remind member firms of their responsibilities to investors. FINRA guides members to present these four options to an investor when recommending asset rollover from

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Jan13

PE Adviser Registration Exemption Advances to the Senate

The Small Business Capital Access and Job Preservation Act, H.R. 1105 (the “1105 Bill”), as defined by the Library of Congress, aims to amend the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 “to exempt private equity fund investment advisers from its registration and reporting requirements, provided that each private equity fund has not borrowed and does not

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Jan12

Date Change and Q&A on Municipal Advisor Registration

Important Date Change:  The final rule effective date—January 13, 2014—in the post text below was delayed by U.S. regulators to allow market participants to better understand and implement the requirements.  The phased-in periods for municipal advisor permanent registration begins July 1, 2014 and ends October 31, 2014. *** The SEC’s Office of Municipal Securities issued detailed, interpretive guidance on

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Jan11

Form Custody Filing Schedule 2014 for Broker-Dealers

All broker-dealers must now file Form Custody with their Designated Enforcement Agency, at the same time as their quarterly FOCUS Reports. The 1st Form Custody filing is due January 27, 2014 File using FINRA’s eFOCUS system available on 

Jan11

SDDCO 2013 Tax Filing Tables

Use these lean 2013 Tax Rate Schedule Tables when filing this upcoming tax season.  (From Revenue. Procedures. 2013-15) The IRS has again updated opening day of the 2014 filing season to Friday, Jan. 31, 2014. They advise using e-file or Free File to hasten refunds. Clients contact the SDDCO tax department for assistance at 212-751-4422; info@sddco.com; Tax Partner,

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Jan11

OBS Filing 2014 Due Dates for Carrying and Clearing Firms

FINRA Rule 4524 requires carrying or clearing firms to file, quarterly, a supplemental schedule for derivatives and other off-balance sheet items (OBS).  This form provides info on their off-balance sheet assets, liabilities and other commitments. (For more on Rule 4524 and Regulatory Notice 13-10, see SDDCO Post: New Supplemental FOCUS Info Requirement.) File the OBS within 22 business-days from each

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Jan10

Schedule of SSOI 2014 Filings for Broker-Dealers

FINRA issued the cutoff dates of Schedule for Supplemental Statement of Income (SSOI) filings for 2014. Regulatory Notice 12-11 requires broker-dealers to file, quarterly, additional financial or operational schedules or reports pursuant to Rule 4524. SSOI filings are due within 20 business days of the end of each quarter. For more information including the forms, tutorials and frequently asked questions,

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Jan10

FOCUS Report 2014 Deadlines for Broker-Dealers

FINRA detailed the 2014 deadlines for broker-dealer firms to file their FOCUS reports. To comply with SEC Rule 17a-5, FINRA member firms must send monthly, quarterly, and annual reports by the listed due dates. FOCUS filings are due within 17 business days of the end of each quarter Filing is done via the eFOCUS system, accessible though the FINRA Firm

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Jan10

Audit Report Due Dates for Broker-Dealers

FINRA reminded firms of their filing due dates for the Annual Audit Report. Securities Exchange Act (SEA) Rule 17a-5(d) requires every broker or dealer registered pursuant to Section 15 of the SEA to file an annual audit report. A completed SEC Form X-17A-5 Part III must accompany a firm’s annual audit report. An extension may be

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Jan08

FINRA CARDS ~ Concept in the Cards?

On December 23, FINRA, the industry-funded watch dog, released a request for comment on a concept proposal to develop a program allowing FINRA to systematically collect data to identify harmful trends and protect investors. The Comprehensive Automated Risk Data System (CARDS) would give FINRA automated access to broker-dealer (BD) records, products and trading patterns.  FINRA

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Jan07

FINRA’s Exam Priorities 2014 Part II: Fraud ~ Financial ~ Market Regulation

FRAUD PRIORITIES Microcap Fraud This ongoing hotspot includes speculative microcap and low-priced over-the-counter (OTC) securities. Keep related policies and activities in line with FINRA rules and federal securities laws. Examples: Perform heightened supervision of 1) employees (EEs) doing direct or indirect outside business activities with microcap and OTC companies, 2) traders in microcap and low-priced

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Jan06

FINRA’s Exam Priorities 2014 Part 1: Business Conduct

To support investor protection and market integrity, FINRA published its annual regulatory and examination priorities letter.  Significant concerns going forward include risky business operations, some old and a few new. Focus on Suitability In 2014, FINRA examiners will focus on longer duration instruments—especially where  investors have liquidity needs or conservative profiles, and also speculative equities

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Jan02

The 411 on 1099s

Now that the “most wonderful time of the year” is over, the least wonderful time for many businesses—tax season—is just around the bend.  To lessen the stress, here’s a basic guide on Form 1099 tax reporting. What is a 1099? To encourage proper income reporting, the IRS generally requires that any trade or business complete a

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