Weekly News Round Up: Private Sector Hiring Strong in December; IRS IP Pin Letter Issue; and Strong M&A for 2016

Welcome to the Weekly News Round Up from the SC&H Group blog. Each week, we showcase audit, tax, and consulting news to keep you informed about the current stories and events impacting the accounting and business landscape – and ultimately your financial obligations.

This week, we highlight how private sector job growth ended on a high note in 2015. In addition, a new study shows that growth for service firms slowed in December, and 2016 is looking like another strong year for M&A.

Private-Sector Hiring Ends 2015 on Strong Note

In the latest indication of a strengthening U.S. labor market, private-sector employers added 257,000 jobs in December, the biggest gain of the year, according to a new study.

Growth Rate for Service Firms Slows in December

Service-oriented companies grew in December for the 71st consecutive month, but at the slowest rate since April 2014, according to the Institute for Supply Management.

IRS Dumps Proposal to Ask Charities for SSNs of Donors

The Internal Revenue Service has dropped a proposed regulation giving tax-exempt organizations the option of providing the Social Security Numbers of their donors.

Taxpayer Advocate Concerned about IRS Plans for ‘Pay to Play’ Taxpayer Service

A national taxpayer advocate recently voiced her concern that the IRS may be on the verge of dramatically scaling back telephone and face-to-face service it has provided for decades.

IRS Admits Problem with IP PIN Letters for Identity Theft Victims

The Internal Revenue Service said that taxpayers are receiving letters with the wrong date listed for their Identity Protection Personal Identification Numbers, which are generally issued to victims of tax-related identity theft.

FASB Scraps Controversial Bank Debt Rule

The Financial Accounting Standards Board has scrapped a rule on the valuation of bank debt that critics said distorted the financial performance of banks.

2015 Was Best-Ever Year for M&A; This Year Looks Good Too

Buyers spent $3.8 trillion on mergers and acquisitions in 2015, the highest amount ever, surpassing the previous record set in 2007, before the financial crisis, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.