- After several years of deliberation among various NAIC committees and working groups, working capital finance investments (WCFIs) were approved as admitted assets for insurance companies effective January 1, 2014.
- On February 19, 2014 the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) announced it would abandon its rewrite of existing US GAAP through the Insurance Contracts Exposure Draft and instead focus on targeted improvements to the existing standards for long-duration contracts and targeted disclosure enhancements for short-duration contracts. On April 16, 2014 the FASB began its discussions on those improvements and disclosures that should be included in the scope of this project.
- Over the last few years the NAIC has established its expectations for insurance companies to maintain a risk management framework and conduct an Own Risk and Solvency Assessment (ORSA), including the filing of an ORSA Summary Report with state regulators. In 2012, the NAIC issued a Guidance Manual to provide insurers guidance with respect to reporting on ORSA, and later the NAIC adopted an ORSA Model Act. In 2012 and 2013 the NAIC conducted two separate feedback pilot projects and provided feedback and observations in a memo to the industry.
- Goodwill in a professional partnership poses unique challenges for valuators and courts, especially in a divorce setting. In a recent Texas case dense with valuation issues, it came down to corporate goodwill. “Logic tells me there is some,” the trial court said, “but it’s probably impossible to quantify.” The finding triggered an appeal.
- The big news, says Prof. Jack Bogdanski (Lewis & Clark Law School) in his seventh annual symposium on developments in federal tax valuation, is that there were hardly any business entity valuation cases. Unlike last year, when cases involving family limited partnerships (FLPs) were aplenty, this year the Internal Revenue Service seems to have poured its resources into challenging taxpayer claims for charitable contribution deductions related to conservation and facade easements. The latter, in particular, have become a mass-marketing tax shelter tool in areas such as New York City and have triggered a vigorous response from the IRS. Litigation typically focuses on whether the appraisal is qualified, whether the expert testimony was admissible under Daubert, and finally—assuming the case is still alive—what the value of the restriction is.
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