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Is It Time to Get Accountable with Your Employees’ Expenses?

February 11, 2016 Many companies start out, and get pretty far down the road, using the “per diem” approach when reimbursing employees for lodging, meals and incidental expenses. Doing so involves the use of either IRS tables or a simplified high-low method to reimburse workers up to specified limits.

NCUA Supervisory Priorities for 2016

February 08, 2016 NCUA has recently issued Letter No.:16-CU-01 outlining its Supervisory Priorities for 2016. This article discusses the top areas of focus for 2016.

A Helping Hand: Addressing Your Parents in Your Estate Plan

February 05, 2016 The “sandwich generation” is a large segment of the population. As a result, estate planning — which traditionally focuses on providing for one’s children — has expanded in many cases to include one’s aging parents as well.

How Could This Fraud Have Been Prevented?

February 04, 2016 Joe Doe, a beloved associate program director, worked at a nonprofit social service agency for 15 years. When the executive director retired and he was passed over, Joe stayed on with the organization. During the transition between executive directors (EDs), he took on interim ED duties. His responsibilities included signing privileges for the agency’s accounts. When a [...]

The Tragic Tale of a Troubled Business Succession

February 03, 2016 The owner of the company believes he’s finally ready to trigger his succession plan and retire. So he names his daughter as his successor, enjoys his retirement party and departs for his vacation home.

Is Your Stock Option Plan a 409a Time Bomb?

February 01, 2016 As 2016 gets kicked off and many individuals and companies are readying their year-end financial statements and tax returns, it is important to remember that since 2014, the IRS has begun expanding its 409a audit program.

Do You Have a Buy-Sell Agreement for Your Business?

January 29, 2016 If you own an interest in a closely held business, it’s critical to have a well-designed, properly funded buy-sell agreement.

Fortify Your Benefits Plan with Fiduciary Liability Insurance

January 28, 2016 Among the most contested areas of employee benefits litigation is an employer’s fiduciary duty to its plan participants and beneficiaries.

Construction National Outlook: January 2016

January 27, 2016 As the seventh year of economic expansion begins in the U.S., expectations for gross domestic product (GDP) in 2016 are in line with a mature economic cycle. In a growth environment of just under three percent, however, economists forecast continued strength in hiring and for construction spending to increase at a rate that is three times the rate of GDP growth in 2016.

What’s It Cost? – January 2016

January 27, 2016 The Producer Price Index (PPI) for November revealed what most consumers and businesses were feeling at the cash register. Muted global demand and plunging oil prices are helping to keep the costs of building products and materials well in check while pressures from tighter labor supply continue to push wages higher.

Connecticut State Tax Updates

January 22, 2016 Connecticut Adopts Single Sales Factor Apportionment, Allows a 16-Day Personal Income Tax Nonresident Exclusion, and Makes Changes to Unitary Combined Reporting Rules

Follow IRS Rules to Avoid Losing Some of Your 2015 Charitable Donation Deductions

January 22, 2016 Sharing your estate with charity by making donations during your life not only benefits your favorite organizations and reduces your taxable estate, but also can reduce your income tax bill.

Competitive Intelligence is a Strategic Imperative

January 21, 2016 All too often, the competitive efforts of many companies are internally focused. Many businesses seek to develop better products and services without knowing enough about their competition.

Supreme Court of California Decides Gillette Case, Rules Multistate Tax Compact is Not Binding

January 20, 2016 On December 31, 2015, the Supreme Court of California ruled in Gillette Company v. Franchise Tax Board that the Multistate Tax Compact (“MTC”) is not a binding reciprocal agreement.

New Company Will Pay for Your Wedding and Profit from Your Divorce

January 19, 2016 SwanLuv, a new Seattle based start-up, will pay soon to be wed couples up to $10,000 to help them fund their wedding, free of charge. The catch: if you get divorced you must pay them back – with interest.

Direct Tuition Payments: An Attractive Option

January 15, 2016 If you’d like to help fund your grandchild’s higher education, a simple but effective technique is to make tuition payments on behalf of him or her.

4 Ways to Telecommuting Success

January 14, 2016 If your company is getting aboard the telecommuting trend, consider the following four keys to success.

Exempt Organizations’ IRS Priorities

January 12, 2016 In this article, we'll discuss how tax-exempt organizations can focus their compliance efforts accordingly to avoid penalties up to and including loss of tax-exempt status.

Corporate Sponsorship Money: Is It Taxable?

January 11, 2016 If a nonprofit isn’t careful, a corporate sponsorship can be deemed paid advertising and the organization could end up liable for unrelated business income tax (UBIT).

Help Preserve Retirement Benefits Using Portability

January 07, 2016 Portability allows a surviving spouse to take advantage of a deceased spouse’s unused federal gift and estate tax exemption.

You’ll Get More From Your Business Data if You Benchmark

January 07, 2016 You probably track a variety of data to determine where your business stands. But a great way to take your business data one step further is to see how your KPIs stack up against previous periods or those of other companies in your industry.

Affordable Care Act (ACA) Reporting – IRS Extends Due Dates

January 05, 2016 On December 28, 2015, the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) extends the deadlines for the 2015 Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) information reporting requirements for those required to file.

Should Your Company Elect FASB’s Private Company Alternative for Business Combinations?

January 04, 2016 With year-end behind us and audit season underway, many companies are facing the decision of whether to adopt this alternative for their 12/31/15 financial statements.

The New Year is a Perfect Time for an Estate Planning Checkup

December 31, 2015 An annual estate plan checkup is critical to the health of your estate plan. Because various exclusion, exemption and deduction amounts are adjusted for inflation, they can change from year to year, impacting your plan.

Achieving Your Succession and Estate Planning Goals via Recapitalization

December 30, 2015 Like many business owners, you probably have much of your wealth tied up in your company. And this fact may be creating a conflict between the desire to transfer ownership to the next generation and the desire to stay in control.

Illinois Circuit Court Holds That Significant Economic Presence is Proper Test for Corporate Income Tax Nexus

December 28, 2015 On May 11, 2015, the Illinois Circuit Court of Sangamon County granted the Illinois Department of Revenue’s cross motion for summary judgment in Capital One Financial Corporation v. Brian Hamer, Director of the Illinois Department of Revenue, Docket No. 2012-TX-0001/02, and held that Capital One had sufficient nexus with the state for corporate income tax purposes.

How Much Time is Left to Make Donations You Can Deduct on Your 2015 Return?

December 24, 2015 To take a 2015 charitable donation deduction, the gift must be made by December 31, 2015.

They’re Back! Depreciation Breaks Extended

December 24, 2015 On December 18, clarity finally arrived with the passage of the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015 (the PATH Act). Here’s a look at the impact on two “classic” depreciation breaks.

Tax Alert: The Construction Contractors PATH

December 23, 2015 But the path just became a tad bit straighter with the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015 ("PATH") which was signed into law by President Obama on December 18th. The Act permanently extends several income tax benefits the construction contractor effectively utilizes in year-end income tax planning.

The Impact of the Federal Rules of Evidence

December 21, 2015 In this article, Paul Fullerman, CPA, CVA, discusses techniques which can assist the accredited valuation professionals performing a business valuation.

Year-End Tax Legislation with Surprising Permanent Implications

December 21, 2015 On December 18th, Congress passed and President Obama signed into law the “Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act of 2015”.

Be Wary When Considering a Prepaid Funeral Plan

December 18, 2015 To relieve their families of the burden of planning a funeral, many people plan their own and pay for them in advance. Unfortunately, prepaid funeral plans can be fraught with potential traps.

You Still Have Time to Set Up Your 2015 Retirement Plan

December 17, 2015 As a business owner, you shoulder many responsibilities — but have some perks as well.

Tis the Season for Year-End Gifting and Giving

December 17, 2015 In the midst of year-end and the holiday season of giving, it’s important to obtain a clear understanding of whether actions taken in regard to gifting and charitable giving during the remaining few days of the year constitute as activity for 2015 or 2016.

In the Shark Tank It’s All About Valuation

December 14, 2015 Unless you do what I do for a living, "valuation" probably isn't a word you hear every day... but it is a word you hear a lot on Shark Tank. And it's usually a point of controversy.

IRS Effort to Prevent Identity Theft

December 14, 2015 It is estimated that the IRS paid $5.2 billion in refunds related to fraudulent identity theft tax returns for the 2013 filing season. The IRS is attempting to mitigate this exposure.

Second-To-Die Life Insurance is a Vehicle to Pay Estate Taxes

December 10, 2015 For married couples with large estates, second-to-die life insurance (sometimes called “survivorship insurance” or “dual-life insurance”) can be a useful tool for providing liquidity to pay estate taxes.

Are You Overwhelmed by the Concept of Risk Management?

December 09, 2015 When you start envisioning all of the potential threats to your company, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. A good way to get a handle on risk management is to break down the overall task into focus areas.

Year-End Bonuses and Fiduciary Responsibility

December 07, 2015 While your company’s attention may be focused on wrapping up the fiscal year, and not on next year’s employee benefit plan audit, your plan administrator should review your Plan’s treatment of employee bonuses to avoid potential penalties and fees.

2015 Year-End Tax Planning for Businesses

December 07, 2015 This Tax Alert includes a discussion of a number of tax incentives that have been enacted or extended by legislation over the last several years.

2015 Year-End Tax Planning for Individuals

December 07, 2015 2015 Versus 2016 Marginal Tax Rates Whether you should defer or accelerate income and deductions between 2015 and 2016 depends to a great extent on your projected marginal (highest) tax rate for each year. The highest marginal tax rate for 2015 and 2016 is nominally 39.6%, but certain provisions that reduce deductions as income increases may [...]

Protecting Your Retirement Savings from Creditors

December 03, 2015 Estate planning and asset protection go hand-in-hand. After all, no matter how well your estate plan is designed, it won’t do much good if you have no wealth to share with your family. If you have significant assets in employer-sponsored retirement plans or IRAs, it’s important to understand the extent to which those assets are [...]

Win Over Millennials with the Right Management Approach

December 02, 2015 Skilled workers are invaluable and often difficult to find. Increasingly, well-qualified job candidates in today’s workforce are “Millennials” — that is, between the ages of 18 and 35.

“Made in the USA”, Is Your Company Properly Using this Label?

December 01, 2015 Many manufacturers, product distributors and stores produce and market products as “Made in the USA,” but what does this really mean? You may be surprised to learn the required guidelines of labeling products “Made in the USA.”

Unmarried Couples Must Take Extra Steps to Reduce Estate Tax Liability

November 26, 2015 Unlike married couples, who can take advantage of the marital deduction, unmarried partners can’t transfer unlimited amounts to each other tax-free. To reduce their estate tax bills, they must take some additional steps. One option is to make lifetime gifts using the $14,000 per year per recipient annual gift tax exclusion. If you start making [...]

3 Places to Look When Searching for Next Year’s Budget

November 25, 2015 When it comes to next year’s budget, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. But you should do more than simply recycle this year’s version. Your financial statements can help. They offer three places to start looking for the right numbers: 1. Your income statement. Here you’ll see information on sales, margins, operating expenses, and [...]

The IRS Raises Expensing Threshold to $2,500 For Small Businesses

November 24, 2015 The Internal Revenue Service simplified the paperwork and recordkeeping requirements for small businesses by raising from $500 to $2,500 the safe harbor threshold for deducting certain capital items.

New Safe Harbor for Retail & Restaurant Industry Could Ease the Compliance Burden Provided by the Tangible Property Regulations

November 23, 2015 On November 20, 2015, the IRS released Revenue Procedure 2015-56, providing a safe harbor accounting method for costs incurred for remodeling and refreshing restaurant and retail space.

Considerations for Selecting an Employee Benefit Plan Auditor

November 23, 2015 Oftentimes, the selection of an auditor for an employee benefit plan audit is an after-thought. However, in reality, one of the most important duties of the plan administrator is to hire an independent qualified public accountant to perform the annual audit.

Depreciation Tax Breaks Aren’t What They Used To Be – Yet

November 19, 2015 Year-end tax planning for businesses often focuses on acquiring equipment, machinery, vehicles or other qualifying assets to take advantage of enhanced depreciation tax breaks. Unfortunately, two “classic” depreciation breaks expired on December 31, 2014.

Seek An Appraisal Before Donating Artwork

November 19, 2015 Valuable works of art may be ideal candidates for lifetime charitable donations. Generally, it’s advantageous to donate appreciated property because, in addition to reducing your taxable estate and garnering an income tax deduction, you avoid capital gains taxes on the appreciation. Because the top capital gains rate for art and other “collectibles” is 28%, donating [...]

Financial Perspective – November 2015

November 18, 2015 As contractors build backlog and concerns grow about a tight labor supply, there is increasing conversation about the impact on construction costs in the next few years. However, costs have been rising for several years now, in spite of intense competition, because of regulations and advances in technology that raise first cost.

What’s It Cost? – November 2015

November 18, 2015 Influences on the cost of construction are beginning to put upward pressure on pricing. A bounce back in oil prices since the end of winter and accelerating wages are creating month-over-month increases.

Construction National Outlook – November 2015

November 17, 2015 Through three quarters of 2015, construction at the national level has grown robustly. Data from all sectors of the construction industry shows higher activity, dramatically higher in some sectors. Even those construction categories that reflect consumer confidence continue to show strong growth over 2014.

Have You Factored GST Tax Into Your Gifting Strategy?

November 12, 2015 If your adult children face the prospect of high taxes on their estates, consider skipping a generation with some of your bequests and gifts.

Getting Everyone to Buy Into Your Succession Plan

November 11, 2015 It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking about a succession plan as being about only two people: you and your successor. But a truly graceful passing of the baton to the next leader hinges on total staff buy-in — or, at least, acceptance.

Travel Expense Reimbursements – Business Deduction or Employee Compensation?

November 05, 2015 Employers often send employees on work assignments outside of the state or county, particularly in the service industry. The tax treatment of an employer’s reimbursement of travel expenses depends on many factors including a company’s type of reimbursement plan.

Perspectives Recap

November 05, 2015 Thank you to all who attended the 9th annual Perspectives event on Tuesday, November 3rd. If you were unable to attend, the following is a quick recap of areas discussed.

Extra Planning for Married Couples Relocating Into or Out of a Community Property State

November 05, 2015 For married couples living in a community property state, money earned and property acquired by either spouse during marriage generally is “community property” — meaning each spouse has an undivided one-half interest (regardless of how property is titled).

Success is Always Curvy

November 05, 2015 My Dad doesn’t like random sticks laying in his yard. “Go get that stick and put it in the trash.” He doesn’t like footprints in the grass of the front lawn. “Why do you need to walk on the front lawn anyway? There is plenty of room to play in the back yard.” The combination [...]

Why Should We Bother With 401(k) Plan Auto-Enrollment?

November 04, 2015 Many employers with long-established 401(k) plans hesitate to add automatic enrollment.

How a Trust Can Help Alleviate Estate Planning Uncertainty for the Young and Affluent

October 29, 2015 For young, affluent people, designing an estate plan is a challenge because it’s difficult to predict what the estate and income tax laws will look like — and what their own net worth will be — decades from now.

Craft Your Mission Statement for Maximum Impact

October 28, 2015 The right mission statement can be a strong motivational force for employees — and a powerful marketing and branding tool. But, whether you’re writing one for the first time or creating a new statement as part of a rebranding effort, you’ve got to craft it carefully for maximum impact. Here are a few guidelines to [...]

North Carolina State Tax Updates

October 27, 2015 North Carolina enacts related party interest addback, phases in single sales factor apportionment, and imposes sales tax on repair, maintenance, and installation services.

Planning for the AMT: A Proactive Approach Can Limit Your Tax Liability

October 26, 2015 If you’re hoping to minimize your 2015 tax bill, it’s critical to start planning now. This is especially true if you’ve ever come close to triggering the alternative minimum tax (AMT) and you think you might do so this year. What is it? The AMT — a separate tax system that doesn’t allow certain deductions [...]

3 Reasons an Estate Valuation Can Be Beneficial

October 22, 2015 With the gift and estate tax exemption currently at $5.43 million, you might think that estate valuations are less important. But even if you believe that your estate’s value is under the exemption amount, here are three reasons to determine the value of your assets: 1. You may be surprised just how much your estate is [...]

5 Questions to Ask Before Buying New Technology

October 21, 2015 It’s often hard to tell whether your company really needs the latest tech tool or you’re just trying to keep up with the Joneses. Before you invest in anything, ask five questions.

Owning Life Insurance Can Make Estate Planning Complicated

October 16, 2015 If you own an insurance policy on your life and want to keep the policy’s proceeds out of your taxable estate, one option is selling the policy to an irrevocable grantor trust.

A Shorter Cash Flow Cycle Means a Stronger Business

October 15, 2015 Every business owner knows that maintaining a healthy cash flow is essential to a company’s success. But there are a variety of ways to accomplish this objective.

Fines and Penalties: Deductible or Not?

October 08, 2015 A settlement is proposed for BP's 2010 drilling rig explosion and the majority of the settlement is looking to be tax deductible.

Gearing Up For the ACA’s Information Reporting Requirements

October 08, 2015 Starting in 2016, applicable large employers (ALEs) under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will have to file Forms 1094-C and 1095-C to provide information to the IRS and plan participants regarding their health care benefits for the previous year.

A Difficult Decision: Declaring Your Elderly Parent Incapacitated

October 08, 2015 When an elderly parent gradually loses control of his or her faculties, it can be difficult for children to determine whether having their parent declared incapacitated is the right thing to do.

Holding Joint Title to Property with Loved Ones Has Pitfalls

October 01, 2015 Owning assets jointly with one or more of your children or other heirs is a common estate planning “shortcut.” But joint ownership can also create a number of problems.

Do Your Business Ownership Interests Belong in an FLP?

September 30, 2015 If you’re planning to pass ownership in your business to the next generation, it’s critical to find the best way to do so. One option is a family limited partnership (FLP).

Card Fees on Tax Payments Deductible

September 28, 2015 Credit or debit card convenience fees charged for paying federal individual income taxes electronically are deductible for some taxpayers who itemize, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has announced.

Louisiana Limits Use of Net Operating Losses and Reduces Tax Deductions and Credits

September 10, 2015 Louisiana enacts several laws that limit the use of net operating losses and reduce tax deductions, subtractions and credits.

Eye on the Economy – August 2015

September 08, 2015 At mid-year 2015, the underlying economic support for the commercial property sector is as strong as it has been since the peak of the last economic cycle in 2007-2008.

Construction National Outlook – August 2015

September 08, 2015 Much like what happened in 2014, the unusually cold and snowy winter of 2015 put a damper on consumption and mobility that slowed gross domestic product (GDP) and output.

What’s It Cost? – August 2015

September 08, 2015 Influences on the cost of construction are beginning to put upward pressure on pricing. A bounce back in oil prices since the end of winter and accelerating wages are creating month-over-month increases.

Overview of the TILA-RESPA Rule

September 03, 2015 The TILA-RESPA rule consolidates four existing disclosures required under TILA and RESPA for closed-end credit transactions secured by real property into two forms.

Why Nonprofits Need to Measure & Monitor Program Impact and Outcomes

August 11, 2015 More nonprofits are waking up. From stringent regulations and government scrutiny around tax-exempt status and grant compliance, to increasingly intense competition for funds, organizations of all shapes and sizes are realizing the need to implement strong measurement and monitoring programs.

Risk of Resurgence: Can Manufacturing Growth Continue Without Key Talent?

August 06, 2015 The 2015 Manufacturing RiskFactor Report examines the risk factors in the most recent 10-K filings of the largest 100 publicly traded U.S. manufacturers across five sectors including fabricated metal, food processing, machinery, plastics and rubber and transportation equipment. The factors were analyzed and ranked by order of frequency cited. Every year, manufacturing contributes more than [...]

The Annual Audit Does Not Identify Operational and Financial Risks

August 03, 2015 According to the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners’ (ACFE) 2014 Report to the Nations on Occupational Fraud and Abuse, an estimated 5% of revenues each year are lost to fraud.

The South Carolina Department of Revenue Issued a Final Revenue Procedure and Ruling for the Use of Alternative Apportionment

July 27, 2015 On June 30, 2015, Connecticut Governor Dan Malloy (D) signed into law House Bill 7061 and Senate Bill 1502, which together enact significant changes to the corporate income tax law.

Connecticut State Tax Updates

July 27, 2015 Connecticut enacts mandatory unitary combined reporting, imposes new limitations on net operating losses and tax credits, and makes sales and use and personal income tax changes.

Nevada Imposes a New Commerce Tax on Businesses

July 23, 2015 Nevada imposes a new commerce tax on businesses with Nevada gross revenue exceeding $4 million and creates nexus rebuttable presumptions for sales and use tax purposes.

New Ohio Legislation Aims to Help Employers Protect the Value of Awarded Tax Credits

July 20, 2015 Ohio Substitute House Bill 64 ("HB 64"), the Executive Budget for Fiscal Years 2016-2017, continues the effort of the prior biennium budget to significantly cut personal income tax, while also affecting the computation of the Job Creation Tax Credit ("JCTC") and Job Retention Tax Credit ("JRTC").

What’s It Cost? – June 2015

July 10, 2015 Influences on the cost of construction are beginning to put upward pressure on pricing.

Construction National Outlook – July 2015

July 10, 2015 As the U.S. economy struggled to recover from the financial crisis at the beginning of the decade, there were three consecutive years that appeared to be carbon copies of each other.

“Last Call” for Family Limited Partnerships?

July 06, 2015 “Last call”, in common parlance, is a phrase signifying that closing time is near and that patrons have one last chance to place an order. Catherine Hughes, the Estate and Gift Tax Attorney-Advisor in the Office of Tax Policy for the US Treasury Department, may have just stepped into the role of “bartender” after comments [...]

A Primer for Nonprofit Organizations on the FASB’s New Revenue Recognition Accounting Standard

June 09, 2015 Many nonprofit financial executives are struggling with the changes posed by the Financial Accounting Standards Board’s.

What’s It Cost? – May 2015

May 19, 2015 Construction costs remained relatively stable through the first quarter of 2014, with prices for construction put in place rising at the same rate as consumer inflation and increasing significantly faster than the overall producer price index (PPI).

When Is My Inventory Worthless or Worth Less?

May 05, 2015 There are few aspects in the tax world more confusing or complex than those associated with inventories. When can I deduct my worthless inventory or write down the reduction in its value?

Proposed Changes to the Nonprofit Financial Statement Model – What You Need

May 04, 2015 On April 24, 2015, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) issued the proposed Accounting Standards Update, Not-for-Profit Entities (Topic 958) and Health Care Entities (Topic 954)—Presentation of Financial Statements of Not-for-Profit Entities (proposed Update), for public comment. The proposed Accounting Standards Update is available for review here. As I recently explained in Accounting Today, the [...]

Construction National Outlook – May 2015

May 04, 2015 Data from the first months of 2015 paints a picture of an economy that continues to be healthy, albeit without the pace of expansion of the latter half of 2014. While the global economic slowdown may finally be impacting the U. S., there is also evidence that the slower pace of gross domestic product growth and hiring may have been due to a harsher-than-average winter.

With Charitable Giving Tactics Old and New, Nimble Nonprofits Win

April 07, 2015 Charitable giving grew by 2.1 percent in 2014, according to the newly-released 2014 Charitable Giving Report from Blackbaud, and this modest growth will no doubt prompt nonprofit fundraisers and executives to take a step back and evaluate their own fundraising results from the past year.

NCUA Supervisory Priorities for 2015

March 25, 2015 Cybersecurity, Interest-Rate Risk and Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) Compliance head the National Credit Union Administration’s supervisory priorities for 2015. This is according to a letter (15-CU-01) sent to federally insured credit unions.

Fraud and Non-Profits

March 24, 2015 If you weren’t able to attend our Fraud and Non-Profits webinar last week, the following are some highlights from the presentation: Approximately 1/3 of all fraud cases in the United States involves collusion This can be collusion among vendors (comparing prices during competitive bids), among employees, or between vendors and employees Approximately 1/5 of asset [...]

What’s It Cost? – March 2015

March 23, 2015 Growing demand from non-residential construction, combined with continued improvement in home construction, drove the prices of most essential building products in 2014.  Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics on February 18 showed a continuation and steepening of the divergent trend between overall Producer Price Index (PPI) inflation and that of the PPI for inputs [...]

Construction National Outlook – March 2015

March 23, 2015 By most measures, the U.S. economy has maintained the surprising progress of the second half of 2014 during the first couple of months of 2015. Even the unusually high snowfall levels in major cities and unusually cold weather does not seem to have sapped the economy in the manner that the polar vortex of 2014 [...]

NCUA Risk-Focused Fair Lending Examinations are here. Are you ready?

March 18, 2015 I learned today for the first time of a credit union that will be undergoing a Risk-focused Fair Lending Examination by the NCUA. Specifically, the examination will be conducted by “The Office of Consumer Protection, Division of Consumer Compliance Policy and Outreach.” These examinations are to be conducted using the “Interagency Fair Lending Examination Procedures”, and [...]

Valuation Considerations in Strategic Mergers

March 16, 2015 Strategic mergers can be an effective strategy to enhance shareholder value in an increasingly competitive operating environment.

Do Your Board Members Know Their Responsibilities?

March 10, 2015 If you are like most non-profits, new board members are on-boarded each year. If you don’t already, you should consider providing training during this on-boarding process, so the individual can learn about the organization, their responsibilities, and the expectations in place for them.

Value of Non-Competes: What Business Owners and Advisers Need to Know

March 02, 2015 This article will summarize the most common approach to valuing non-competition agreements for Fair Value financial reporting purposes.

Are You Maximizing Your Intellectual Property Assets?

March 02, 2015 The value of intellectual property and intangible assets (or “IP”) is estimated to represent 75% to 85% of the collective value of companies in the United States. Without an accurate understanding of the IP you own – and their values – it can be difficult to make prudent business decisions about developing, protecting and monetizing your IP.

Divorce Planning: Tax Issues to Think About

March 02, 2015 One of the most contentious periods in a divorce typically occurs during negotiations over division of property and establishing support obligations. A shrewd divorce attorney is going to be someone who is well versed in not only the facets of family law, but who is aware of the tax implications in property settlements.

Tax Incentives Extended for Charitable Contributions

February 09, 2015 On February 4, 2015 the House Ways and Means Committee approved five charitable bills, four of which could make various expired tax incentives permanent.

The Research Tax Credit Is Back, at Least for Now

February 06, 2015 Good news: After keeping taxpayers on tenterhooks for virtually all of 2014, Congress enacted the Tax Increase Prevention Act (TIPA) late in December.

Construction National Outlook – January 2015

February 03, 2015 With low interest rates persisting, homes values climbing back to pre-recession levels and a surprising 40 percent decline in the price of oil and gasoline in the third quarter, business and consumer confidence is very high going into 2015.

What’s It Cost – January 2015

February 02, 2015 Even as demand for construction heated up throughout 2014, an unexpectedly steep decline in oil prices impacted the cost of nearly all construction inputs and inflation in general. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported on November’s inflation on December 12 and the effect of the lower price of oil was reflected throughout the data.

What Goes In Must Come Out

January 27, 2015 Does your financial reporting support your strategic plan?

A Diamond In The Rough

January 20, 2015 Major retrofits and adaptive reuse of older buildings has become a prominent trend in the US as the concept of urbanism and millennials drive change in America’s core cities. The JobsOhio Revitalization Program is focused on helping rejuvenate sites.

CAP Perspectives Recap

January 13, 2015 Thanks to everyone who was able to participate in our 8th annual Perspectives event this past Friday.  We had good attendance and a wide variety of speakers and topics. New Approaches to Serving Our Communities –  Social Enterprise and Impact Investing: Allen Proctor (Center for Social Enterprise Development and CINCO) and Patrick Westerlund (Tony R. Wells [...]

Congress Passes Tax Extenders Bill

December 17, 2014 by Jennifer Zimmerman, CPA Late last night, the Senate approved H.R. 5771, also known as the Tax Increase Prevention Act, with a vote of 76-16. The bill expires on December 31, 2014, which means that the new Congress will need to address provisions related to 2015 in 2015. President Obama is expected to sign the [...]

Board Governance: Your Role & Fiduciary Responsibility

December 03, 2014 ‘Tis the season for giving! Many people think that by giving money this holiday season, they are doing all that they can do. Perhaps some of us need reminded that we can also give our time to great causes in central Ohio, and not just our pocket books. The variety of ways to volunteer our [...]

What’s It Cost – November 2014

November 20, 2014 Several metrics for construction costs showed increased upward pressure on prices through September but an unexpected decline in the price of oil has the potential to offset most of the price increases for building materials and products.

Construction National Outlook: November 2014

November 15, 2014 Trends in construction at the national level are following the arising arc of the national economy.

Work to Narrow Manufacturing Skills Gap

November 13, 2014 The numbers don't lie.

Tax Credits: WOTC

November 10, 2014 Are you leaving thousands on the table?

#Nonprofits #Socialmedia and #Taxes: Is Your Organization Protected?

November 04, 2014 Following major online giving success stories such as #GivingTuesday and The ALS Association’s Ice Bucket Challenge more nonprofits are actively participating on social media channels to get in front of potential donors: U.S. nonprofits saw 37 percent growth in followers on Facebook in 2013, and 46 percent annual growth in Twitter followers, according to the [...]

Louisiana Tax Amnesty Program

October 13, 2014 The Louisiana Department of Revenue will be conducting a one-month amnesty program from October 15 to November 14, 2014.

Why the CFPB Matters Even If It Isn’t Your Regulatory Agency

October 13, 2014 Today, you can’t throw a stick anywhere in the compliance news landscape without hitting at least a few items either from or about the agency that likes to refer to itself as “The Bureau.”

New Revenue Recognition Requirements for Non-Profit Organizations

October 06, 2014 The accounting world is abuzz lately with the finalization of the revenue recognition rules that will change the way many companies and organizations account for contracts under GAAP. As a non-profit organization, you may be wondering how and when these new rules will impact you.

Valuing Early-Stage Companies and Equity-Based Compensation Units

September 17, 2014 Early-stage companies often grant equity (or synthetic equity) awards to employees, consultants, and board members both for incentive purposes and as additional compensation when the company has limited resources. In addition, these companies are often limited to raising capital by using non-traditional securities such as convertible notes and preferred stock.As a result, early-stage companies tend to have complex capital structures that require specialized valuation approaches.

What is your Fiduciary Responsibility for Monitoring Your Outsourced Employee Benefit Plan?

September 16, 2014 Many of the actions needed to operating an employee benefit plan (EBP) involve fiduciary decisions. This is true whether or not you hire someone to manage the plan for you or do some of all of the plan management yourself.

Cyber Security Risks Can Be Mitigated With a Simple Common Sense Approach

September 09, 2014 It is almost impossible to get through a week without hearing about a new cyber security breach.

Vendor Money Program Payments are Gross Income to Auto Dealers

September 02, 2014 The IRS National Tax Office has recently issued an advice memorandum outlining their position on the taxability of amounts received by dealers from automobile manufacturers to pay for store improvements.

Procurement Standards and the New Compliance Requirements

August 26, 2014 If your non-profit receives new federal funding after December 26, 2014, there are new standards and requirements that you should be aware of related to your procurement standards and being in compliance with the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Supercircular.

Top 10 Lessons We Can Learn from Casey Kasem

August 19, 2014 The circumstances surrounding Casey Kasem's passing raise important issues to consider involving mental health planning and children of blended marriages.

Revenue Recognition: Call to Action

August 18, 2014 The convergence of one of the most significant areas of financial reporting is progressing; however, the fun is just getting started.

California Franchise Tax Board Issues Legal Ruling Regarding Taxation of Limited Liability Companies

August 12, 2014 The California Franchise Tax Board issued a legal ruling that discusses when a corporate member of a limited liability company classified as a partnership is required to report and pay taxes and fees.

Schedule A: The Key to Maintaining Public Charity Status

July 28, 2014 Many public charities have to pass an annual public support test in order to maintain public charity status and avoid being classified as a private foundation. Certain types of organizations are exempted from this test.

Construction National Outlook – July 2014

July 14, 2014 After dropping off significantly in January and February, construction activity in March and April showed strong rebounds in both residential and nonresidential construction categories.

What’s It Cost? – July 2014

July 14, 2014 Steadily improving construction markets, better global economic conditions and rising energy costs resulting from a colder winter contributed to steeper increases in construction prices during the winter and spring of 2014.

Got Compensation Program Risk?

July 10, 2014 All the Form 990 boxes say compensation is IRS compliant...has anyone checked?

California Manufacturing Exemption

July 02, 2014 Manufacturing exemption goes into effect for reduced sales and use tax in California beginning July 1, 2014.

Rhode Island State Tax Updates

July 02, 2014 On June 19, 2014, Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee signed into law H.B. 7133, the budget bill for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2015, which implements combined reporting, single sales factor apportionment, and market-based sourcing of receipts from the sales of services.

Alternative Fundraising

June 30, 2014 Alternative funding sources may be able to play a role in adding to the bottom-line at your organization.

NCUA Region 2 Allowance for Loan Loss – Follow Up

June 26, 2014

Pennsylvania Enacts Legislation Which Limits the Authority of Localities

June 05, 2014 On May 6, 2014, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett signed into law H.B. 1513, Regular Session 2013-2014 (“H.B. 1513”), which limits the authority of Pennsylvania localities to impose privilege taxes and reduces the potential for double taxation of receipts.

Fraud Report Roils Not-For-Profit Sector

June 03, 2014 It's not surprising that fraud and embezzlement are a major concern for employers around the country. After all, you likely read news articles about it on a periodic basis. But a recent investigative report by the Washington Post about fraud inside not-for-profit organizations has raised some eyebrows.

OSHA Proposes Public Disclosure of Workplace Injuries

May 29, 2014 As a means for improving safety and reducing workplace injuries, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently proposed a change that would require manufacturing firms, among others, to make public information about injuries and illnesses.

Section 179 Deductions: Tread Carefully in 2014

May 25, 2014 Normally, a manufacturing firm can buy business equipment safe in the knowledge that it will qualify for an immediate write-off on most, if not all, of the cost under Section 179 of the tax code. But this year is different from others. The maximum Section 179 deduction for 2014 is set at $25,000.

Appealing to the Millennials

May 21, 2014 Finding new donors and volunteers is a challenge facing almost all non-profit organizations on an annual basis.

Do You Use a Suggestion Box?

May 02, 2014 It is an excellent idea to solicit feedback and suggestions from your employees across all levels of the organization.

NCUA Region 2 Allowance for Loan Loss Approach

April 30, 2014 During a recent conversation with a NCUA examiner, I was informed that the examination approach required by Region 2 for its examiners will be different than the approach used by the same examiners when they were performing examinations in Region 3.

New York State Tax Updates

April 22, 2014 Just before midnight on March 31, 2014, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law S6359-D, which implements components of the state’s fiscal plan for the 2014-2015 fiscal year, including Article 9-A reforms.

IRS Yields on Taxable UBIT Items

April 15, 2014 In a March 24, 2014 internal memorandum, the IRS Director of Exempt Organizations changed the IRS position on the taxability of certain items related to UBIT (unrelated business income tax) for state chartered credit unions. This change in position resulted from the IRS loss in two district court decisions involving credit unions.

Conflicts of Interest in Nonprofit Organizations

April 08, 2014 Managers and governors of organizations are held to a fiduciary standard that requires them to always act in the best interests of their own organization, even when such action may not be in their best personal interests or best interest of some other person or organization with which they are connected.

Construction National Outlook – March 2014

March 28, 2014 Harsh winters put a dent in construction of course, but the bigger concerns about the weather are in the effect on consumers.

What’s It Cost? – March 2014

March 28, 2014 The short-term steep decline in construction starts has significantly dampened demand for products, making it especially difficult for manufacturers to hold price increases.

Significant Diversion of Assets

March 24, 2014 Recent reports regarding the significant diversion of assets by nonprofit organizations has caused federal and state officials to launch investigations as to what this actually means.

Tax Alert – Transfer Pricing News

March 20, 2014 Internal revenue service releases guidance regarding the stages of the transfer pricing examination process and provides recommended audit procedures, as well as sources of reference material.

What’s New in Non-Profit Accounting?

March 11, 2014 Non-profit organizations and their reporting have been discussed by the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) throughout the years and they continue to be an area of focus.

Fraud Prevention: Stopping the Next Charles Ponzi or Bernie Madoff

March 03, 2014 Charles Ponzi and Bernie Madoff are among the most infamous fraudsters in United States history. Based on the most recent study by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners the typical organization loses 5-6% of its revenues to fraud each year.

The Rules of Qualified Sponsorships

February 24, 2014 A great way to raise funding for program services is through corporate sponsorship. If done correctly the entire payment will not be considered unrelated business income by the Internal Revenue Service.

Cash Flow is King, But…

February 17, 2014 “Cash Flow is King.” This is a popular saying among those in the valuation community and similar fields such as private equity and M&A advisory, based on a fundamental finance principle that the value of an investment is driven by its ability to provide a future return to that investor.

Ohio Small Business Investor Income Deduction: A Tax Cut for the Taking!

February 17, 2014 During June of 2013, Ohio Governor Kasich signed into law House Bill 59, which introduced multiple legislative provisions that cut taxes for Ohio individual taxpayers. Among the cuts was the new Ohio Small Business Investor Income Deduction, which provides a substantial tax benefit to owners of pass-through entities doing business in the state of Ohio.

Texas District Court Rejects a Taxpayer’s Election to Use Multistate Tax Compact Evenly

February 14, 2014 The issue raised in the case was whether Graphic Packaging Corp. was entitled to elect to use the Multistate Tax Compact as the basis for an evenly-weighted three-factor apportionment formula to apportion its Revised Franchise Tax base in lieu of the standard single-receipts factor.

What is the Value of Your AEC Firm? Make Sure to Nail Down These Points

February 12, 2014 Many architectural, engineering and construction (“AEC”) firms will have the need to transition ownership in the next decade. The following are industry-specific factors that we pay special attention to when valuing AEC firms.

Section 199 Deductions: IRS Updates Directive for Contracts

February 12, 2014 The Section 199 deduction, commonly referred to as the "domestic manufacturing deduction," is often critical to a manufacturing firm's tax fortunes.

Non-Profit Revitalization of 2013

February 11, 2014 Ohio law currently required charitable organizations and groups that solicit contributions from Ohioans to file an annual report with the Attorney General’s Office. Because of increased monitoring of non-profit organizations, coinciding with the re-vamped Federal Form 990, it is becoming more imperative that charitable organizations stay in compliance with the ever-changing regulations.

What’s It Cost? – February 2014

February 04, 2014 Data released in mid-December bore out the impact of reduced global demand and compression of margins on manufactured product prices in 2013, despite rising demand from a rebounding U. S. housing recovery. Only the deep recession in 2009 led to lower inflation in any year going as far back as 1956.

Construction National Outlook – February 2014

February 04, 2014 The current construction activity reflects the continued recovery from the recession and the under-building that followed.

ESOPs Can Help Secure You and Your Employees a Financially Secure Future

February 04, 2014 As business owners contemplate the task of converting their wealth that is locked up in their company, the option of an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) should emerge as a viable option.

Caution Urged on New Goodwill Impairment Testing Guidelines

January 28, 2014 In an expected move, the goodwill impairment testing alternative for private entities created by the Private Company Council (“PCC”) was released by the Financial Accounting Standards Board (“FASB”). The update to Accounting Standards Codification Topic 350 – Intangibles – Goodwill and Other (“ASC 350”) applies only to non-public entities, as public entities will still be required to comply with GAAP.

Income/Franchise Tax: Elective Combination is an option under Michigan’s Corporate Income Tax (“CIT”) Regime

January 20, 2014 Michigan law expands the CIT definition of “unitary business group” to include an affiliated group.

The Times Are Changing For Credit Unions

January 16, 2014 There have been so many significant changes in the operating environment for credit unions over the past 20 years.

Preventing Fraud at Your Non-Profit

January 13, 2014 Frauds are committed within non-profit organizations every year, ranging from employee embezzlement and asset misappropriation to misstatements of financial reporting.

How and Why Buyers View Valuations Differently Than Sellers

January 10, 2014 Although merger and acquisition activity continues at a robust pace, there are many potential transactions involving the sale and purchase of a business that are never consummated because the buyer and the seller cannot come to an agreement on transaction price.  To understand why it is so difficult to reach a mutually agreed-upon purchase price, [...]

States Increase Unclaimed Property Audit Activity

January 07, 2014 As states continue to search for new ways to increase revenue, there has been a spike in unclaimed property compliance audits throughout the country.

City of Chicago Proposed Tax Disclosure Requirements for Vendors

December 19, 2013 On November 20, 2013, City of Chicago Alderman William Burns introduced proposed ordinance #02013-9148. Section 2-154-016 would require certain businesses doing business, seeking to do business, or seeking city action with the City of Chicago to disclose a variety of state and local tax information, which would eventually be made public.

IRS Releases Proposed Regulations Regarding Permissible Political Activities of Tax-Exempt Social Welfare Organizations

December 16, 2013 On November 26, 2013, The Treasury Department and IRS released proposed regulations under Section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code. The proposed regulations provide that the promotion of social welfare does not include direct or indirect “candidate-related political activity”.

NCUA Examination Focus

December 11, 2013 NCUA will be focusing on interest rate risk, operational risk/off balance sheet risk, CUSO/third-party vendor exposure and compliance during examinations in 2014.

Construction: What’s It Cost?

December 05, 2013 Prices for mixed bag of products and materials that are used by the construction industry saw reverses in medium-term trends in September and October but overall the cost of construction maintained the same relationship to consumer prices as has held for the past couple of years. With few exceptions, any significant movement in prices has [...]

Construction National Outlook – December 2013

December 05, 2013 One byproduct of the federal government shutdown was that the avalanche of economic data that is released weekly was also shut down. Even without weekly jobs claims, unemployment estimates, labor and manufacturing numbers, businesses can be fairly certain that the state of the U. S. economy hasn’t changed much. In fact, what little data was [...]

Discounted Cash Flawed (Part 2): Can An Expert Rely on Management’s Projections?

November 20, 2013 A previous GBQ newsletter analyzed a bankruptcy case involving the use of a discounted cash flow (“DCF”) analysis. Like the bankruptcy case, this decision involves a discounted cash flow analysis and, in particular, the use of management’s projections by an expert.

Online Interactive Form 1023

November 18, 2013 In order to expedite applying for the Recognition of Exception under section 501(c)(3) the IRS has developed an online interactive Form 1023.

Purchase Price Allocation Impacts on Taxes and Financial Statements

November 06, 2013 A time of transition can be a stressful one for many business owners, especially when involving the ownership transfer of a company's assets or stock.

City of Los Angeles Announces Limited Tax Amnesty

October 22, 2013 The City of Los Angeles has announced a tax amnesty program that began on September 1, 2013 and will continue through December 2, 2013. This amnesty includes the following City of Los Angeles taxes: Business, Utility Users Taxes, Commercial Tenant’s Occupancy Taxes, Transient Occupancy Taxes, and Parking Occupancy Taxes.

Draft 2013 Form 990 Changes

October 22, 2013 On September 27, 2013, the IRS posted draft instructions for the 2013 Form 990, Return of Organizations Exempt from Income Tax.

Multistate Sales/Use Tax Update

October 18, 2013 The following discussion will summarize some of the more significant sales and use tax changes in California, Florida and West Virginia.

Government Shutdown Affecting Non-Profit Organizations

October 07, 2013 The government shut down that began last week may have been predicted, but wasn’t expected by many – thinking our political leaders would come to agreement to prevent the shutdown from occurring. While many people think about the federal employees facing potential layoffs and furloughs, the effects of the shutdown reach much further and may already be affecting your non-profit organization.

It’s OK to Question the Valuation Report!

September 05, 2013 Business valuation opinions are sought for a variety of reasons. Commonly, they are used to support significant corporate or shareholder transactions in which many stakeholders have a financial (and often personal) interest. Given the importance of these transactions, and by connection, the valuation opinions used to support them, it is imperative that the affected parties [...]

Navigators Under the Affordable Care Act

August 28, 2013 With the state exchange beginning open enrollment in October of this year, funding has been granted to organizations who are trained to act as Navigators, playing an important role to educate Ohioans on the different health coverage plans available on the state exhanges.

Understanding the Proposed Changes to Determining the Allowance for Loan Losses

July 02, 2013 Last December the FASB issued an exposure draft on credit losses that would have a significant impact on the way that financial institutions compute and record their allowance for loan losses, if it is ultimately adopted.

What is the Expiration Date on the Apartment Boom?

July 02, 2013 With all the information that is available and availed in the development of real estate, there still seems to be no way to avoid overbuilding a hot property type.

Top Concerns for Non-Profit Governance: Gift Acceptance Policy

July 01, 2013 Have you implemented a formal gift acceptance policy?

Construction National Outlook – June 2013

July 01, 2013 The national economy passed some significant tests of strength as spring yielded to summer.

The Courtroom of the Future – Trial by Robot?

June 24, 2013 Over the course of my career providing litigation related consulting services to attorneys, I have witnessed some of the ways that technology has impacted litigation. What might the courtroom look like in ten or 20 years?

Proposed Revisions to OMB Circular A-133

June 10, 2013 We provided an update last year on proposed revisions to OMB Circular A-133 and how this would affect your audits. Since then, new proposed revisions have been released that are different than the ones previously issued.

The Talent Bottleneck

June 07, 2013 U.S. manufacturers face a unique problem: despite high unemployment, the industry still suffers from a skilled-labor shortage. Today, after an impressive recovery from the recession, this problem is even more pronounced

Is Your Oraganization’s Tax Exempt Status in Jeopardy?

June 03, 2013 An organization can be organized under state law as a not-for-profit organization, but must still meet specific requirements in order to be considered tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3)by the IRS.

Location and Incentive Consulting

June 03, 2013 GBQ's Location and Incentive Consulting Practice provides a full range of services to assist companies with establishing, relocating or expanding operations.

Construction Financial Perspective – May 2013

May 17, 2013 The cost trends of recent months continued to extend at the end of the first quarter, as consumer prices (CPI) remained relatively flat, while producer prices for construction materials mirrored the trends in demand for the major construction categories.

Update on Tangible Property “Repair” Regulations

April 29, 2013 The regulations contain tax guidance for determining whether and when a business must capitalize costs incurred in acquiring, maintaining, or improving any tangible property.