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With the dawn of 2019 on the near horizon, here’s a quick list of tax and financial to-dos you should address before 2018 ends: Check your FSA balance. If you have a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) for health care expenses, you need to incur qualifying expenses by December 31 to use up these funds or […]

The cash method of accounting offers greater tax-planning flexibility, allowing some businesses to defer taxable income. Under the TCJA, if your business’s average gross receipts for the previous three tax years are $25 million or less, you generally will now be eligible for the cash method for federal tax purposes, regardless of how your business […]

As the holidays approach and the year draws to a close, many taxpayers make charitable gifts — both in the spirit of the season and as a year-end tax planning strategy. But with the tax law changes that go into effect in 2018 and the many rules that apply to the charitable deduction, it’s a […]

Here are some of the key tax-related deadlines affecting businesses and other employers during the first quarter of 2019. Keep in mind that this list isn’t all-inclusive, so there may be additional deadlines that apply to you. Contact us to ensure you’re meeting all applicable deadlines and to learn more about the filing requirements. January […]

Abusive tax shelters are transactions that have no legitimate business purpose and are used solely to reduce or eliminate tax liability. Unfortunately, business owners can be tricked into using one of these shelters and end up facing back taxes, interest and penalties. To protect yourself, be wary of unsolicited offers that promise to make you […]

An IRA is a popular vehicle to save for retirement, and it can also be a powerful estate planning tool. Some people designate a trust as beneficiary of their IRAs, but is that a good idea? The answer: possibly. IRA benefits The benefit of an IRA is that your contributions can grow and compound on […]

Prepaying property taxes has been a popular year-end tax-planning strategy. But does it still make sense? For many, particularly those in high-tax states, it doesn’t. The TCJA made two changes that affect this strategy: 1) nearly doubling the standard deduction, so fewer taxpayers will itemize, and 2) putting a $10,000 cap on state and local […]

The holiday season is a great time for businesses to show their appreciation for employees and customers by giving them gifts or hosting holiday parties. Before you begin shopping or sending out invitations, though, it’s a good idea to find out whether the expense is tax deductible and whether it’s taxable to the recipient. Here’s […]

It’s critical for nonprofit organizations to be on the lookout for fraud throughout the year, but even more so during the busy holiday and year-end season. You can help prevent fraud by enforcing internal controls regardless of how busy staffers are processing donations or completing other end-of-year tasks. Possibly the most important control is segregation […]

If your estate includes forms of intellectual property (IP), such as patents and copyrights, it’s important to know what these intangible assets are worth and how they should be transferred to heirs. For the former, obtain an appraisal from a professional with experience valuing IP. For the latter, take into consideration not only the gift […]

The TCJA didn’t change the research credit, but it has an impact on the credit. Previously, corporations subject to alternative minimum tax (AMT) couldn’t offset the research credit against AMT liability, which erased the credit’s current benefits. By eliminating corporate AMT, the TCJA removed this obstacle. Pass-through businesses can still claim the credit against AMT […]

Overhead ratios can help potential donors weed out spendthrift not-for-profits. Yet a narrow focus on this one metric tends to unfairly penalize organizations making reasonable current expenditures and strategic investments. To communicate with donors that “impact” (the indirect effects of measurable outcomes) is the best measure of nonprofit effectiveness, add supplemental financial statements and break […]

If most of your money is tied up in your business, retirement can be a challenge. So if you haven’t already set up a tax-advantaged retirement plan, consider doing so this year. There’s still time to set one up and make contributions that will be deductible on your 2018 tax return! More benefits Not only […]

Did you know that you may be able to enjoy two tax benefits if you donate long-term appreciated stock instead of cash? First, if you itemize, you can claim a charitable deduction equal to the stock’s fair market value. Second, you can avoid the capital gains tax you’d pay if you sold the stock. But […]

Without strong controls over the use of cash registers, your business risks serious financial losses. Issuing fictitious refunds and falsely voiding sales are common ways employees steal money. Both involve disbursing cash without returning inventory and, thus, usually result in high inventory shrinkage. Other red flags include disparities between gross and net sales and missing […]

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) has enhanced two depreciation-related breaks that are popular year-end tax planning tools for businesses. To take advantage of these breaks, you must purchase qualifying assets and place them in service by the end of the tax year. That means there’s still time to reduce your 2018 tax liability […]

Many people choose to pass assets to the next generation during life, whether to reduce the size of their taxable estate, to help out family members or simply to see their loved ones enjoy the gifts. If you’re considering lifetime gifts, be aware that which assets you give can affect the tax consequences. For example, […]

If your not-for-profit prepares internal financial statements for your board on a monthly, quarterly or other basis, you may notice that they deviate in significant ways from year end statements. What’s going on? Most likely, differences are due to cash basis vs. accrual basis accounting. Your auditors likely convert your cash basis financials to accrual […]

Some of your medical expenses may be tax deductible, but only if you itemize deductions and have enough expenses to exceed the applicable floor for deductibility. With proper planning, you may be able to time controllable medical expenses to your tax advantage. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) could make bunching such expenses into […]

If you’re about to receive an inheritance and your net worth is already high, you might save gift and estate taxes by using a qualified disclaimer to refuse the bequest. The assets will then bypass your estate and go to the next beneficiary. Despite today’s large estate tax exemption, wealthier people still may have estate […]

Not-for-profits often struggle with valuing noncash and in-kind donations. Although the amount that a donor can deduct generally is based on the donation’s fair market value (FMV), there’s no single formula for calculating it. FMV is the price that property would sell for on the open market. There are three particularly relevant FMV factors: 1) […]

Section 529 plans are a popular education-funding tool because of tax and other benefits. Two types are available: 1) prepaid tuition plans, and 2) savings plans. A prepaid tuition plan guarantees tuition regardless of its cost when the child attends the school. A savings plan can fund expenses beyond college tuition on a tax-free basis. […]

Businesses that acquire, construct or substantially improve a building — or did so in previous years — should consider a cost segregation study. It may allow you to accelerate depreciation deductions, thus reducing taxes and boosting cash flow. And the potential benefits are now even greater due to enhancements to certain depreciation-related breaks under the […]

Your company has landed a lucrative new account, and the customer has already placed several small orders, paying in full, on time. Now the customer wants to place a larger order, but has requested that you first expand its credit account. Warning! There’s a chance that you could become a victim of bankruptcy fraud. Your […]

If you dream of spending your golden years in a tropical paradise, a culture-rich European city or another foreign locale, it’s important to understand the potential tax and estate planning implications. If you don’t, you could be hit with some unpleasant surprises. Avoiding the pitfalls If you’re a citizen of the United States, U.S. taxes […]