Resources/ Updates - August 2015

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.

Aug27

The SEC: They Make Rules

If you work in finance, you must play by the rules of the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC” or the “Commission”).  As the federal agency that regulates finance, one of the SEC’s primary tasks is rulemaking.  The SEC recently released an investor bulletin to help explain how it all works. The Rulemaking Process (from the

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Aug26

Investment Advisers…Are You Captured by FinCEN’s Proposed AML Rules?

FinCEN, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, proposed a rule on August 25, 2015, requiring SEC registered investment advisers and those required to register (“IAs”) to (1) maintain an anti-money laundering (“AML”) program,(2) report suspicious activity to FinCEN, and (3) comply with certain Bank Secrecy Act (“BSA”)  rules imposing additional filing and bookkeeping requirements on IAs.

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Aug24

Is the Municipal Advisor Conduct Rule Fine as Refined?

The SEC seeks fast feedback on changes made to the inaugural municipal advisor (“MA”) code of conduct proposed in April. The changes contained in Amendment No. 1, filed last week by the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (“MSRB”), generally consist of edits and clarifications to fiduciary and suitability obligations, disclosure requirements, and billing limitations.  Send comments

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Aug23

Everything You Always Wanted to Know About SEC…but were afraid to ask

Every investor knows what the SEC is, right?   Maybe.  If they do, it’s likely the bare bones.  To raise your regulator IQ, the SEC Office of Investor Education and Advocacy has laid out its mission and structure in a new investor bulletin. (From the investor bulletin) Mission The SEC stands for the Securities and

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Aug17

MSRB Giveth, and MSRB Taketh Away

After an extensive appraisal of its fee structure, the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (“MSRB” or “Board”) is adjusting fees—cutting  some and raising others—to align revenues with operational and capital expenses. To fund its congressionally mandated operations, which include educational initiatives, rulemaking, and market transparency, the MSRB levies a number of fees.  These fees apply to

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Aug14

5 IRS Tax Tips for Starting a Business

These five IRS tax tips can assist emerging businesses: 1. Business Structure.  Decide your business structure early on. The most common business entities are sole proprietor, partnership and corporation. The structure you choose determines the tax forms you will file. Check out the Small Business Administration’s Choose Your Business Structure Web page. 2. Business Taxes.  The four general

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Aug10

Personal Trading Activity of Associated Persons ~ Proposed FINRA Rule Filed

FINRA member broker-dealers must monitor the personal trading accounts opened outside the firm by their associated persons (“APs”). To improve such trading activity oversight, FINRA filed with the SEC, on July 31, 2015, Rule 3210 (the “Rule”) (Accounts At Other Broker-Dealers and Financial Institutions) to adopt in the Consolidated FINRA Rulebook. Key Points of Proposed

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Aug08

Marriage Equality and Employer Obligations

Just weeks ago, the U.S. Supreme Court handed a major victory to marriage equality in the landmark decision Obergefell v. Hodges.  As of June 26, 2015, all states must grant same-sex marriage and honor the marriage licenses of couples married there and elsewhere. Though for federal tax purposes, since 2013, the federal government has been

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Aug07

Investment Advisers: Pay to Play Third-Party Solicitor Ban is On

As of July 31, 2015, any investment adviser providing advisory services for compensation to a government client is subject to the third-party solicitor ban and may only pay a regulated person to act as the solicitation agent. To support adviser compliance with this recent effective date, SEC staff of the Division of Investment Management (“Staff”)

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Aug06

Swaps Registration Process ~ SEC Adopts New Rules

Yesterday, the SEC adopted new rules that establish a process for the SEC registration of security-based swap dealers and major security-based swap participants (“SBS entities”).  This step implements the basic Dodd Frank mandate that SBS entities register with the SEC, subjecting them to SEC regulations and enabling SEC inspection and oversight. “Today’s rules provide the

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Aug06

FINRA Goes Remote with Broker-Dealer Continuing Ed

FINRA is phasing in a web-based Continuing Education (CE) program for its member broker-dealers (“BDs”). FINRA’s new CE Online Program will provide participants with the flexibility to satisfy their ongoing regulatory education requirements remotely. The amendments for web delivery become effective on October 1, 2015. (See amended rule text under Appendix A of the Notice.)

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Aug05

Preventing Muni Short Positions & Tax Gaffes ~ New FINRA Guidance

FINRA cautions broker-dealer firms involved in municipal securities trading that unintended short positions or fails-to-delivers can create conditions where customers are paid substitute interest which is not tax-exempt under IRS Code.  To address such errors, Regulatory Notice 15-27 advises firms to revise the supervisory controls and internal procedures within their written supervisory procedures (“WSPs”): Identify

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Aug04

Know More About Regulation A and Startup Investments

Recent amendments make Regulation A (“Reg A”) an appealing fund raising option for small and startup companies. The SEC amended Reg A,as directed by the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (“JOBS”) Act, to create a new exemption from SEC registration under the Securities Act for issuers of securities. The SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy has

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Aug03

SEC Gets the Importance of Emerging Business

Small and emerging companies are the lifeblood of the United States economy.  The bulk of job creation comes from companies that are less than five years old. But as essential as they are to the country’s economy, emerging businesses are especially vulnerable in their infant years.  Their very survival depends on a constant need to

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Aug03

Taxpayer Bill of Rights ~ IRS Releases Final Fact Sheets

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has released all ten fact sheets on the Taxpayer Bill of Rights, which was adopted last summer.  From the IRS: Taxpayer Bill of Rights: #1, The Right to Be Informed Taxpayers have the right to know what they need to do to comply with the tax laws. They are entitled

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