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Audit & Tax Talk

The Life of an Intern at GBQ

August 16th, 2016 by Sara Robertson

Hi, I’m Shane Haney, and I spent the summer in the tax department at GBQ. This fall, I’ll be heading back to Miami University to finish my undergraduate degree in Accountancy and minor in Business Analytics. I’ll then start working on my Masters of Accountancy in the combined program in order to reach my 150 […]

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IRS Provides Employers Three Additional Months to Claim Work Opportunity Tax Credit

June 21st, 2016 by ldaugherty

On June 17, 2016, the IRS issued Notice 2016-40 which provides additional transition relief to eligible employers who want to claim the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC). Employers now have until September 28, 2016 to file the necessary forms to claim the credit for eligible employees hired from January 1, 2015 through August 31, 2016. […]

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Nexus Questionnaires Resulting in Big Dollars from Taxpayers

June 1st, 2016 by Judd Ballard

Well Big may be an exaggeration, but it happens more than states are willing to publicize. Here’s why – the two worst things you can do with a nexus questionnaire: Throw it in the trash and assume you just accomplished something; or Fill it out and send it back in without first letting a CPA […]

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Entrepreneurs: What can you deduct and when?

March 29th, 2016 by Associate

Starting a new business is an exciting time. But before you even open the doors, you generally have to spend a lot of money. You may have to train workers and pay for rent, utilities, marketing and more. Entrepreneurs are often unaware that many expenses incurred by start-ups can’t be deducted right away. How expenses […]

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Well Ted, Here’s to Unemployment

March 15th, 2016 by Judd Ballard

It’s primary day in Ohio and while I haven’t voted this morning, I’ve enjoyed reflecting on some of the more comical GOP campaign promises to date. The only one appearing to affect my very immediate future is Ted Cruz and his wish to do away with the IRS. I haven’t quite wrapped my hands around […]

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Make a 2015 contribution to an IRA before time runs out

March 10th, 2016 by Associate

Tax-advantaged retirement plans allow your money to grow tax-deferred — or, in the case of Roth accounts, tax-free. But annual contributions are limited by tax law, and any unused limit can’t be carried forward to make larger contributions in future years. So it’s a good idea to use up as much of your annual limits […]

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Is Innovation the most overused word in today’s business world?

February 26th, 2016 by Judd Ballard

Occasionally I get on these rants, I can’t help it, mostly related to pet peeves I’ve discovered over time as I try and immerse myself in what’s going on in Corporate America. This one might take the cake because I can’t go a couple days in a row anymore without it sneaking up on me. […]

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What’s your charitable donation deduction?

February 23rd, 2016 by Associate

When it comes to deducting charitable gifts, all donations are not created equal. As you file your 2015 return and plan your charitable giving for 2016, it’s important to keep in mind the available deduction: Cash. This includes not just actual cash but gifts made by check, credit card or payroll deduction. You may deduct […]

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Deduct Home Office Expenses – If You’re Eligible

February 10th, 2016 by Associate

Today it’s becoming more common to work from home. But just because you have a home office space doesn’t mean you can deduct expenses associated with it. Eligibility requirements If you’re an employee, your use of your home office must be for your employer’s convenience, not just your own. If you’re self-employed, generally your home […]

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Extension means businesses can take bonus depreciation on their 2015 returns – but should they?

February 4th, 2016 by Associate

Bonus depreciation allows businesses to recover the costs of depreciable property more quickly by claiming additional first-year depreciation for qualified assets. The Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015 (the PATH Act) extended 50% bonus depreciation through 2017. The break had expired December 31, 2014, for most assets. So the PATH Act may give […]

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File early to avoid tax identity theft

January 26th, 2016 by Associate

If you’re like many Americans, you may not start thinking about filing your tax return until the April 15 deadline (this year, April 18) is just a few weeks — or perhaps even just a few days — away. But there’s another date you should keep in mind: January 19. That’s the date the IRS […]

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Baseball & Busy Season

January 21st, 2016 by Judd Ballard

I came across a blog last week titled It’s Just Hitting and Catching, posted by AICPA Insights. The title caught my eye regardless of the forum, and one might imagine how quickly my competitive brain began making an argument for why hitting a baseball is the hardest thing you’ll ever do in sports. I clicked […]

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Why investing in small-business stock may make more tax sense than ever

January 20th, 2016 by Associate

By purchasing stock in certain small businesses, you can not only diversify your portfolio but also enjoy preferential tax treatment. And under a provision of the tax extenders act signed into law this past December (the PATH Act), such stock is now even more attractive from a tax perspective. 100% exclusion from gain The PATH […]

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Could you save more by deducting state and local sales taxes?

January 13th, 2016 by Associate

For the last several years, taxpayers have been allowed to take an itemized deduction for state and local sales taxes in lieu of state and local income taxes. This break can be valuable to those residing in states with no or low income taxes or who purchase major items, such as a car or boat. […]

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2 extended credits can save businesses taxes on their 2015 returns

January 8th, 2016 by Associate

The Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015 (PATH Act) extended a wide variety of tax breaks, in some cases making them permanent. Extended breaks include many tax credits — which are particularly valuable because they reduce taxes dollar-for-dollar (compared to deductions, for example, which reduce only the amount of income that’s taxed). Here […]

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No changes to retirement plan contributions for 2016

January 4th, 2016 by Associate

Retirement plan contribution limits are indexed for inflation, but with inflation remaining low, the limits remain unchanged for 2016: Type of limit                                                                                               2016 limit Elective deferrals to 401(k), 403(b), 457(b)(2) and 457(c)(1) plans               $18,000 Contributions to defined contribution plans                                                    $53,000 Contributions to SIMPLEs                                                                              $12,500 Contributions to IRAs                                                                                    $5,500 Catch-up contributions to 401(k), 403(b), 457(b)(2) and 457(c)(1) plans       $6,000 […]

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Congress passes “extenders” legislation reviving expired tax breaks for 2015

December 23rd, 2015 by Associate

Many valuable tax breaks expired December 31, 2014. For them to be available for 2015, Congress had to pass legislation extending them — which it now has done, with the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015 (PATH Act), signed into law by the President on December 18. The PATH Act not only revives […]

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7 last-minute tax-saving tips

December 17th, 2015 by Associate

The year is quickly drawing to a close, but there’s still time to take steps to reduce your 2015 tax liability — you must act by December 31: Pay your 2015 property tax bill that’s due in early 2016. Make your January 1 mortgage payment. Incur deductible medical expenses (if your deductible medical expenses for the […]

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Tax extenders bill…we are waiting again…

December 16th, 2015 by Associate

The holiday season is a time of year for traditions, such as trimming a tree, caroling, visiting Zoo Lights, and of course, waiting for the Tax Extenders Bill to be passed! 2015 is no different, and with a slew of tax provisions that have expired with the 2014 tax year, we are once again at […]

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Avoid a 50% penalty: Take retirement plan RMDs by December 31

December 8th, 2015 by Associate

After you reach age 70½, you must take annual required minimum distributions (RMDs) from your IRAs (except Roth IRAs) and, generally, from your defined contribution plans (such as 401(k) plans). You also could be required to take RMDs if you inherited a retirement plan (including Roth IRAs). If you don’t comply — which usually requires […]

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Don’t miss your opportunity to make 2015 annual exclusion gifts

December 1st, 2015 by Associate

Recently, the IRS released the 2016 annually adjusted amount for the unified gift and estate tax exemption and the generation-skipping transfer (GST) tax exemption: $5.45 million (up from $5.43 million in 2015). But even with the rising exemptions, annual exclusion gifts offer a valuable tax-saving opportunity. The 2015 gift tax annual exclusion allows you to give […]

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Protect your deduction: Verify that a charity is eligible to receive tax-deductible contributions before you donate

November 19th, 2015 by Associate

Donations to qualified charities are generally fully deductible, and they may be the easiest deductible expense to time to your tax advantage. After all, you control exactly when and how much you give. But before you donate, it’s critical to make sure the charity you’re considering is indeed a qualified charity — that it’s eligible […]

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The 529 Savings Plan: A Tax-Smart Way to Fund College Expenses

November 4th, 2015 by Associate

If you’re saving for college, consider a Section 529 plan. Although contributions aren’t deductible for federal purposes, plan assets can grow tax-deferred. (Some states do offer tax incentives for contributing.) Distributions used to pay qualified expenses (such as tuition, mandatory fees, books, equipment, supplies and, generally, room and board) are income-tax-free for federal purposes and […]

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Save tax – or at least defer it – by carefully timing business income and expenses

October 27th, 2015 by Associate

The first step to smart timing is to project your business’s income and expenses for 2015 and 2016. With this information in hand, you can determine the best year-end timing strategy for your business. If you expect to be in the same or lower tax bracket in 2016, consider: Deferring income to 2016. If your […]

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Your exec comp could be subject to the 0.9% additional Medicare tax or the 3.8% NIIT

October 15th, 2015 by Associate

The additional Medicare tax and net investment income tax (NIIT) apply when certain income exceeds the applicable threshold: $250,000 for married filing jointly, $125,000 for married filing separately, and $200,000 for other taxpayers. The following types of executive compensation could be subject to the 0.9% additional Medicare tax if your earned income exceeds the applicable […]

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Should you “bunch” medical expenses into 2015?

October 8th, 2015 by Associate

Medical expenses that aren’t reimbursable by insurance or paid through a tax-advantaged account (such as a Health Savings Account or Flexible Spending Account) may be deductible — but generally only to the extent that they exceed 10% of your adjusted gross income. Taxpayers age 65 and older can enjoy a 7.5% floor through 2016. The […]

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Why you should contribute more to your 401(k) in 2015

September 24th, 2015 by Associate

Contributing to a traditional employer-sponsored defined contribution plan, such as a 401(k), 403(b) or 457 plan, offers many benefits: Contributions are pretax, reducing your modified adjusted gross income (MAGI), which can also help you reduce or avoid exposure to the 3.8% net investment income tax. Plan assets can grow tax-deferred — meaning you pay no […]

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When will Congress pass “extenders” legislation to revive expired tax breaks for 2015?

September 11th, 2015 by Associate

With Congress returning from its August recess, this is the question on tax-savvy Americans’ minds. Many valuable tax breaks aren’t permanent, so Congress has to pass legislation extending them to keep them in effect. Unfortunately, Congress often waits until the last minute to do so. For example, Congress didn’t pass 2014 extenders until December 2014, […]

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Exporters and others: Save taxes with an IC-DISC

August 27th, 2015 by Associate

If your business exports American-made goods or performs architectural or engineering services for foreign construction projects, an interest-charge domestic international sales corporation (IC-DISC) can help slash your tax bill. An IC-DISC is a “paper” corporation you set up to receive commissions on export sales, up to the greater of 50% of net income or 4% […]

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Tax Return Due Dates Change

August 7th, 2015 by Jennifer Zimmerman

Tax preparers and business owners are familiar with a few key deadlines when it comes to taxes. Currently, returns are due March 15th for C and S corporations and April 15th for individuals and partnerships before extensions.  President Obama signed H.R. 3236 into law on Friday, July 31st, which has some important implications for partnership returns, […]

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So Maybe There Is a Pay Gap Between Us?

August 7th, 2015 by Ed Bannen

It’s well documented that CEO’s raises have outpaced the average employee. There are varying views on whether this is justified. A CEO leading a company in the right direction creates more jobs, higher wages, and boost the company’s value. To sum that up; more jobs = economy win, higher wages = employee win, and boost […]

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Act soon if you want to help your child buy a home

August 5th, 2015 by Associate

Mortgage interest rates are still at historically low levels, but they’re expected to go up by year end. So if you’ve been thinking about helping your child — or grandchild — buy a home, consider acting soon. There also are some favorable tax factors that will help: 0% capital gains rate. If the child is […]

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Tread carefully when determining compensation for S corp. shareholder-employees

July 29th, 2015 by Associate

By distributing profits in the form of dividends rather than salary, an S corporation and its owners can avoid payroll taxes on these amounts. Because of the additional 0.9% Medicare tax on wages in excess of $200,000 ($250,000 for joint filers and $125,000 for married filing separately), the potential tax savings may be even greater […]

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Tax treatment of NQSOs differs from that of their better-known counterpart

July 23rd, 2015 by Associate

With nonqualified stock options (NQSOs), if the stock appreciates beyond your exercise price, you can buy shares at a price below what they’re trading for. This is the same as for the perhaps better-known incentive stock options (ISOs). The tax treatment of NQSOs, however, differs from that of ISOs: NQSOs create compensation income — taxed […]

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How to begin collecting your 2015 tax refund now

July 15th, 2015 by Associate

If you usually receive a large federal income tax refund, you’re essentially making an interest-free loan to the IRS. Rather than wait until you file your 2015 tax return in 2016, why not begin enjoying your “refund” now by reducing your withholdings or estimated tax payments for the remainder of 2015? It’s particularly important to […]

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Budget Season is Over, Time to Hit the Beach

July 7th, 2015 by Judd Ballard

The Ohio tax landscape has been plenty busy this summer, keeping pace with constant changes in our weather.  Below are some of the highlights that have finalized in the last few months, allowing the Ohio Legislature to pack up the family station wagon and head anywhere but here. Ohio Budget Bill Substitute House Bill 64 […]

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Fast 50 Awards

July 6th, 2015 by Ed Bannen

This year is the 20th anniversary of the Columbus Business First Fast 50 Awards and GBQ is a proud sponsor and supporter of the event. If you feel like your company is the best in business and headquartered in central Ohio, then don’t forget to get your nomination in! Click here for the nomination form […]

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SCOTUS Same-Sex Ruling: Tax Implications

July 1st, 2015 by Associate

At this point you’ve heard about the Supreme Court’s ruling on same-sex marriage equality, that or you’ve been living under a rock the past few days.  There have been numerous articles, blogs, and posts on the subject, especially by those individuals who now think they are experts on the subject (i.e. thank you continual Facebook […]

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Opening the “Back Door” to a Roth IRA

June 25th, 2015 by Associate

A potential downside of tax-deferred saving through a traditional retirement plan is that you’ll have to pay taxes when you make withdrawals at retirement. Roth plans, on the other hand, allow tax-free distributions; the tradeoff is that contributions to these plans don’t reduce your current-year taxable income. Unfortunately, modified adjusted gross income (MAGI)-based phaseouts may […]

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CPA Exam to Emphasize Testing of High-Level Skills

June 10th, 2015 by Associate

CPA candidates ought to start sharpening their critical-thinking skills if they know what’s good for them. The Journal of Accountancy reports that the Uniform CPA Examination is expected to undergo revisions emphasizing “higher-order” skills in the near future, with the changes likely taking effect in 2017.  Public feedback on the future of the CPA exam […]

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Before donating a vehicle, find out the charity’s intent

May 27th, 2015 by Associate

If you donate your vehicle, the value of your deduction can vary greatly depending on what the charity does with it. You can deduct the vehicle’s fair market value (FMV) if the charity: Uses the vehicle for a significant charitable purpose (such as delivering meals-on-wheels to the elderly), Sells the vehicle for substantially less than […]

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U.S. Supreme Court Rules on 401(k) Plans

May 21st, 2015 by Mike Kozlowski

The U.S. Supreme Court has recently ruled employers are required to protect their associates 401(k) plans against excessive fees and investments that underperform their peers. Click here to read the article from MSN Money and share your comments in the box below.

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You’re a real estate investor, but are you a “professional”?

May 14th, 2015 by Associate

Income and losses from investment real estate or rental property are passive by definition — unless you’re a real estate professional. Why is this important? Passive income may be subject to the 3.8% net investment income tax (NIIT), and passive losses are deductible only against passive income, with the excess being carried forward. To qualify […]

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100% deduction for certain M&E expenses!

May 6th, 2015 by Associate

Generally, businesses are limited to deducting 50% of allowable meal and entertainment (M&E) expenses. But certain expenses are 100% deductible, including expenses: For food and beverages furnished at the workplace primarily for employees, Treated as employee compensation, That are excludable from employees’ income as de minimis fringe benefits, For recreational or social activities for employees, […]

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Got ISOs? You need to understand their tax treatment

April 29th, 2015 by Associate

Incentive stock options allow you to buy company stock in the future at a fixed price equal to or greater than the stock’s fair market value on the grant date. If the stock appreciates, you can buy shares at a price below  what they’re then trading for. ISOs must comply with many rules but receive […]

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Different Interests: Audit Committee vs. Chief Audit Executive’s

April 23rd, 2015 by Associate

Every year, Grant Thornton does a survey aimed at chief audit executive (CAEs) called the Governance, Risk and Compliance Survey. In 2015, Grant Thornton expanded their survey to include audit committee and CAEs members rather than just CAEs as they have done so in prior years; approximately 545 individuals were surveyed. By including committee members, […]

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Now’s the time to begin your 2015 tax planning

April 22nd, 2015 by Associate

Whether you filed your 2014 income tax return by the April 15 deadline or filed for an extension, you may think that it’s a good time to take a break from thinking about taxes. But doing so could be costly. Now is actually the time you should begin your 2015 tax planning — if you […]

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Facing an unexpected bill for the additional 0.9% Medicare tax?

April 15th, 2015 by Associate

The additional 0.9% Medicare tax applies to FICA wages and self-employment income exceeding $200,000 per year ($250,000 for married filing jointly and $125,000 for married filing separately). Unfortunately, the withholding rules have been tripping up some taxpayers, causing them to face an unexpected tax bill — plus interest and penalties — when they file their […]

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Accountants Would Rather Be Problem-Solving (Whatever that Means)

April 3rd, 2015 by Associate

Accountants are generally known for their affinity for working with numbers, but a new survey conducted by Robert Half Finance & Accounting suggests that accounting and finance professionals earn more satisfaction from solving problems. The online survey asked over 2,600 professionals a fairly simple question: “What part of working in the accounting and finance profession […]

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Northern Californians None Too Pleased about State’s April Fool’s Joke

April 2nd, 2015 by Judd Ballard

It’s high times in the Golden State, everything’s looking up, particularly in the Bay Area… San Francisco Giants are reigning World Series Champs, the Golden State Warriors have been the NBA team to beat, recent positive investment news out of FaceBook and Twitter, and the now the highest sales tax in the country? Ouch. Isn’t […]

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FASB Agrees to Issue Proposal to Delay Revenue Standard’s Adoption by One Year

April 2nd, 2015 by Ed Bannen

On April 1, 2015, the FASB agreed that a delay for the revenue recognition standard was necessary. The proposal would push back the effective dates 1 year. If you are in the accounting world, you may have heard there are big changes on the horizon for revenue recognition. However with large changes, comes confusion and […]

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Still filing a paper return? Be sure you understand the “timely mailed=timely filed” rule

April 1st, 2015 by Associate

The IRS considers a paper return that’s due April 15 to be timely filed if it’s postmarked by midnight on April 15. But dropping your return in a mailbox on the 15th may not be sufficient. For example, let’s say you mail your return with a payment on April 15, but the envelope gets lost. […]

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FASB to Consolidate Net Assets for Not-For-Profits

April 1st, 2015 by Associate

Financial statements of not-for-profit organizations are about to get a lot more useful, at least according to the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB). Early this month, a 5-2 vote by FASB determined that a proposed Accounting Standards Update (ASU) would be issued in an attempt to enhance the usefulness of not-for-profit financial statements. The proposed […]

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Millennial Reminders

March 31st, 2015 by Associate

With the start of spring, many of us begin to become more and more active throughout our communities, taking vacations, going out to eat and attending concerts/events. The joys of life in the short-term should always be enjoyed to fullest; but it’s important for all of us, especially younger professionals, to be prepared for our […]

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Yes, there’s still time to make a 2014 IRA contribution!

March 26th, 2015 by Associate

The deadline for 2014 IRA contributions is April 15, 2015. The limit for total contributions to all IRAs generally is $5,500 ($6,500 if you were age 50 or older on Dec. 31, 2014). If you haven’t already maxed out your 2014 limit, consider making one of these types of contributions by April 15: Deductible traditional. […]

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Do you need to file a 2014 gift tax return by April 15?

March 18th, 2015 by Associate

Generally, you’ll need to file a gift tax return for 2014 if, during the tax year, you made gifts: That exceeded the $14,000-per-recipient gift tax annual exclusion (other than to your U.S. citizen spouse), That you wish to split with your spouse to take advantage of your combined $28,000 annual exclusions, or Of future interests […]

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Do Your Personal Finances Pass the Stress Test?

March 16th, 2015 by Ed Bannen

This week the Fed approved capital plans for banks such as Morgan Stanley, Wells Fargo, and Goldman Sachs Group, to boost their dividends and/or buy back more stock etc. This move comes after the Federal Reserve completed its “stress test” on them. These tests are examples of the government trying to improve transparency in the […]

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GBQ Has Successful Review By Peers

March 5th, 2015 by Sara Robertson

I said it (ok, wrote it) back in October when GBQ received their PCAOB Inspection Report and I’ll say it again: one of the great things about my job is that I get to brag about GBQ (a lot! #sorrynotsorry). Today, I am bragging about our recent Peer Review with a “pass” rating (that’s the […]

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You might benefit from deducting investment interest expense on your 2014 tax return

March 5th, 2015 by Associate

Investment interest — interest on debt used to buy assets held for investment, such as margin debt used to buy securities — generally is deductible for both regular tax and alternative minimum tax purposes. But special rules apply that can make the deduction less beneficial than you might think. Your investment interest deduction is limited […]

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Finance Executives Wrestle with Anticipated Financial Reporting Requirements

March 4th, 2015 by Associate

A recent survey conducted by KPMG finds that 64% of corporate finance executives remain unsure of how they will adopt the converged revenue recognition standard that was issued back in May of 2014. Consequently, it seems appropriate that the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) and the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB), who are responsible for […]

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Bad Test Takers May Not See Their Ohio Income Tax Refund for a While

February 20th, 2015 by Judd Ballard

Don’t let those three letters behind my name fool you. I am awful at taking tests. I could give you the contact information of a dozen high school teachers that would vouch for that. No one disliked the threat of a pop quiz more than myself. So under normal circumstances, I’d be sweating the chances […]

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Should you forgo a personal exemption so your child can take the American Opportunity credit?

February 20th, 2015 by Associate

If you have a child in college, you may not qualify for the American Opportunity credit on your 2014 income tax return because your income is too high (modified adjusted gross income phaseout range of $80,000–$90,000; $160,000–$180,000 for joint filers), but your child might. The maximum credit, per student, is $2,500 per year for the […]

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The “manufacturers’ deduction”: It’s not just for manufacturers

February 13th, 2015 by Associate

The manufacturers’ deduction, also called the “Section 199” or “domestic production activities” deduction, is 9% of the lesser of qualified production activities income or taxable income. The deduction is also limited to 50% of W-2 wages paid by the taxpayer that are allocable to domestic production gross receipts. Yes, the deduction is available to traditional […]

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Be sure to deduct all of the mileage you’re entitled to

February 6th, 2015 by Associate

You probably know that miles driven for business purposes can be deductible. But did you know that you might also be able to deduct miles driven for other purposes? The rates vary depending on the purpose and the year: Business: 56 cents (2014), 57.5 cents (2015) Medical: 23.5 cents (2014), 23 cents (2015) Moving: 23.5 […]

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Turbo Tax Super Bowl Ad: Run That By Me One More Time, Free?

February 3rd, 2015 by Judd Ballard

What just happened? You’re not charging me for filing my taxes? It depends (remember, tax safe harbor answer) On a night of lackluster musical performances, less than enthusiastic backup dancers, morbidly serious commercials, and one bad play call, Turbo Tax took a walk down US History 101. Finally, good use of my DVR’s rewind feature. […]

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Why you shouldn’t procrastinate on filing your 2014 income tax return

January 28th, 2015 by Associate

If you’re like many Americans, you may not start thinking about filing your tax return until the April 15 deadline is just a few weeks — or perhaps even just a few days — away. But there’s another date you should keep in mind: Jan. 20. That’s the date the IRS began accepting 2014 returns, […]

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State of the Union Touts Economic Successes, Hints at Tax Changes

January 24th, 2015 by Judd Ballard

On Tuesday, the Pres took to the podium for his 6th annual self-touting prophecy, and like most SOTU’s, it contained a laundry list of policy initiatives for 2015, some pipe dreams and some fabrications.  The usual suspects were mentioned – raising the minimum wage, slowing “climate change”, combating the national and global terrorism threat, etc. […]

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Have you had your annual estate plan checkup?

January 22nd, 2015 by Associate

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: Lifetime gift and estate tax exemption 2014: $5.34 million 2015: $5.43 million Generation-skipping transfer tax exemption 2014: $5.34 million 2015: […]

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Tax extenders: 3 credits for businesses on their 2014 returns

January 14th, 2015 by Associate

The Tax Increase Prevention Act of 2014 (TIPA) extended through Dec. 31, 2014, a wide variety of tax breaks, including many tax credits — which are particularly valuable because they reduce taxes dollar-for-dollar. Here are three credits that businesses may benefit from when they file their 2014 returns: The research credit. This credit (also commonly […]

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Tax extenders: 3 breaks for individuals on their 2014 returns

January 7th, 2015 by Associate

On Dec. 19, the president signed into law the Tax Increase Prevention Act of 2014 (TIPA), which extended through Dec. 31, 2014, many valuable tax breaks that had expired at the end of 2013. Here are three that individuals may be able to take advantage of when filing their 2014 returns: State and local sales […]

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FASB Seeks to Simplify Business Combinations for Private Companies

January 2nd, 2015 by Associate

Earlier this month, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) offered a formal, practical response to an ongoing complaint that accounting for business combinations is unnecessarily costly for private companies. Having received input from stakeholders of private companies arguing that the complexities associated with accounting for certain aspects of business combinations were too great, FASB now […]

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Year-End Bonus for You and Uncle Sam

December 31st, 2014 by Associate

As the holidays come and go and with the New Year quickly approaching, individuals will hopefully be celebrating with a year-end annual bonus. Uncle Sam and the rest of the government will be celebrating your supplemental income right along with you. When bonuses are issued, they’re considered supplemental income by the Internal Revenue Service. Supplemental […]

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Why you should make annual exclusion gifts before year end

December 17th, 2014 by Associate

The 2014 gift tax annual exclusion allows you to give up to $14,000 per recipient tax-free without using up any of your lifetime gift tax exemption. If you and your spouse “split” the gift, you can give $28,000 per recipient. The gifted assets are removed from your taxable estate, which can be especially advantageous if […]

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How much time is left to make donations you can deduct on your 2014 return?

December 9th, 2014 by Associate

To take a 2014 charitable donation deduction, the gift must be made by Dec. 31, 2014. According to the IRS, a donation generally is “made” at the time of its “unconditional delivery.” But what does this mean? Is it the date you, for example, write a check or make an online gift via your credit […]

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Review gains and losses now to see if action by Dec. 31 can save 2014 taxes

December 3rd, 2014 by Associate

Appreciating investments that don’t generate current income aren’t taxed until sold, deferring tax and perhaps allowing you to time the sale to your tax advantage. Review your year-to-date gains and losses now to see if selling any additional investments by Dec. 31 can reduce your 2014 tax liability. For example, if you’ve cashed in some […]

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Accelerating deductions to save taxes

November 20th, 2014 by Associate

Smart timing of deductible expenses can reduce your tax liability, and poor timing can unnecessarily increase it. When you don’t expect to be subject to the alternative minimum tax (AMT) in the current year, accelerating deductible expenses into the current year typically is a good idea. Why? Because it will defer tax, which usually is […]

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Cash Value Life Insurance

November 17th, 2014 by Associate

Cash-value life insurance policy is a term that has become increasingly popular as individuals become aware of the significant benefits that this policy provides. In researching this topic, the majority of the articles I have come across are very pro-policy. Most authors and experts were promoting the immense benefits of a cash-value life insurance policy […]

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No IRA is Safe Anymore

November 8th, 2014 by Associate

In June of 2013, the Supreme Court ruled in Clark v. Rameker that an inherited IRA is no longer a retirement account once the beneficiary withdraws any amount from their inherited IRA. Beneficiaries are no longer protected from creditors under federal bankruptcy law.  The foundation of the case stems from Heidi Heffron-Clark who received an […]

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Timing business income and expenses to your tax advantage

October 29th, 2014 by Associate

Typically, it’s better to defer tax. Here are two timing strategies that can help businesses do this: Defer income to next year. If your business uses the cash method of accounting, you can defer billing for your products or services. Or, if you use the accrual method, you can delay shipping products or delivering services. […]

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Accountants’ Children Likely to be Unimpressed with the New Sage One Mobile App

October 29th, 2014 by Associate

This month, Sage Software, which provides business accounting software solutions under monikers such as Sage One and Sage 50, announced the release of a mobile app designed to accompany its existing Sage One desktop applications. The mobile app will allow Sage One users to issue invoices to clients, review the status of existing invoices and […]

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Maximizing depreciation deductions in an uncertain tax environment

October 2nd, 2014 by Associate

For assets with a useful life of more than one year, businesses generally must depreciate the cost over a period of years. Special breaks are available in some circumstances, but uncertainty currently surrounds them: Section 179 expensing – This allows you to deduct, rather than depreciate, the cost of purchasing eligible assets. Currently the expensing […]

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How I Sort of Helped a Local Business Owner Improve His Business with Social Media

September 24th, 2014 by Associate

While visiting with a friend a while back, I had the chance to hear about a local business owner—the friend’s boss—whose aversion to integrating social media into his company’s marketing strategy was so fierce as to arouse suspicion that perhaps his taste for the web had been forever soured many years prior by an exceptionally […]

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How to protect yourself from underpayment penalties

September 12th, 2014 by Associate

You can be subject to penalties if you don’t pay enough tax during the year through estimated tax payments and withholding. Here are some strategies to protect yourself: Know the minimum payment rules. Your estimated payments and withholding must equal at least 90% of your tax liability for 2014 or 100% of your 2013 tax […]

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Working Remotely: Freedom or Career Suicide?

September 12th, 2014 by Ed Bannen

I read this article the other day about the ever changing working place and how business is moving toward remote working for work-life balance. As an auditor, I probably see my office desk for only 8 to 10 weeks total for the year. Working remotely is essential for my career. A lot of people think […]

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Vacation home owners: Adjusting rental vs. personal use might save taxes

August 28th, 2014 by Associate

With summer drawing to a close, if you own a vacation home that you both rent out and use personally, it’s a good time to review the potential tax consequences: If you rent it out for less than 15 days, you don’t have to report the income. But expenses associated with the rental won’t be […]

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The 21st Century of Accounting: Technology Update

August 27th, 2014 by Associate

While the public accounting industry transitions from a paper-oriented environment to the digital world, this is not exactly a new concern for business; technological enhancements continue to make the lives of those employed in the industry and related clients much easier, which ultimately improve audit and tax engagement efficiencies. One particular task that all practices […]

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Grandchild in college this fall? Paying tuition could save gift and estate taxes

August 20th, 2014 by Associate

Now’s the time of year when many young adults are about to head back to college — or to enter their first year of higher education. If you have a grandchild who’ll be in college this fall and you’re concerned about gift and estate taxes, you may want to consider paying some of his or […]

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Installment sales offer both pluses and minuses

August 7th, 2014 by Associate

A taxable sale of a business might be structured as an installment sale if the buyer lacks sufficient cash or pays a contingent amount based on the business’s performance. An installment sale also may make sense if the seller wishes to spread the gain over a number of years — which could be especially beneficial […]

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Give and receive with a charitable remainder trust

July 24th, 2014 by Associate

Would you like to benefit charity while reducing the size of your taxable estate yet maintain an income stream for yourself? Would you also like to divest yourself of highly appreciated assets and diversify your portfolio with minimal tax consequences? Then consider a CRT. Here’s how it works: When you fund the CRT, you receive […]

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Have you misclassified employees as independent contractors?

July 9th, 2014 by Associate

An employer enjoys several advantages when it classifies a worker as an independent contractor rather than as an employee. For example, it isn’t required to pay payroll taxes, withhold taxes, pay benefits or comply with most wage and hour laws. However, there’s a potential downside: If the IRS determines that you’ve improperly classified employees as […]

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If you’ve put your home on the market, you need to know the tax consequences of a sale.

June 26th, 2014 by Associate

Summer is a common time to put a home on the market. If you’re among those who are following this trend, it’s important to be aware of the tax consequences. If you’re selling your principal residence, you can exclude up to $250,000 ($500,000 for joint filers) of gain — as long as you meet certain […]

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Who’s subject to the 50% limit on meal and entertainment deductions?

June 12th, 2014 by Associate

In general, when meal and entertainment expenses are incurred in the context of an employer-employee or customer–independent contractor relationship, one party will be subject to a 50% limitation on the deduction. But which party? Last year, the IRS finalized regulations that address this question. In the employer-employee setting: If the employer reimburses the employee for […]

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Bossy Ethics

June 10th, 2014 by Associate

Have you ever received an unusual request from a superior in the workplace; one that had you scratching your head and pondering over whether or not this fits your job description, made you uncomfortable, or was just plain inappropriate? While of course some of the requests according to a recent article published by Accounting Today, […]

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Revenue Recognition is Getting a Face Lift

June 9th, 2014 by Ed Bannen

FASB and the IASB have finally decided to agree on a major topic as part of the convergence project and it’s a BIG ONE, revenue recognition rules. Who is affected? EVERYONE, but on varying degrees. FASB Chairman Russell Golden, believes software, telecommunications and real estate companies will see the largest change on their income statements. […]

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Your 2013 return may be your last chance for 2 depreciation-related breaks

March 19th, 2014 by Associate

If you purchased qualifying assets by Dec. 31, 2013, you may be able to take advantage of these depreciation-related breaks on your 2013 tax return: Bonus depreciation. This additional first-year depreciation allowance is, generally, 50%. Among the assets that qualify are new tangible property with a recovery period of 20 years or less and off-the-shelf […]

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The Data Breach Downfall

March 3rd, 2014 by Associate

While we are still unsure who is responsible for the execution of one of the largest credit-card thefts that took place this past November against Target Corp., light was finally shed on the financial impact of the data breach on Wednesday, February 25th. The earnings report for the quarter ended February 1st, 2014 revealed a […]

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The IRS’ “Dirty Dozen”

February 24th, 2014 by Associate

It’s “Dirty Dozen” time, which ultimately sounds more interesting than “the IRS’ way of listing their top twelve scams for each tax year”.  This listing is a way to inform taxpayers of the fraudulent schemes that are present around tax time and to emphasize the more likely scenarios.  Preparing your own taxes can be frustrating, […]

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February 4th, 2014 by Associate

This time of year, accountants can tend to get tunnel vision focusing on those filing/reporting deadlines, but I believe it’s important to remember that interesting things are still happening out there in the non-financial world.  I’ve always had an interest in science, but at times that interest can be daunting.  As scientific progress continues to […]

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Are you meeting the ACA’s additional Medicare tax withholding requirements?

January 23rd, 2014 by Associate

Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), beginning in 2013, taxpayers with FICA wages over $200,000 per year ($250,000 for joint filers and $125,000 for married filing separately) had to pay an additional 0.9% Medicare tax on the excess earnings. Unlike regular Medicare taxes, the additional Medicare tax doesn’t include a corresponding employer portion. But employers […]

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Time for an estate plan checkup

January 15th, 2014 by Associate

Now that we’re in the new year, it’s time for an estate plan checkup. Why? First, various exclusion, exemption and deduction amounts are adjusted for inflation and can change from year to year, so it’s a good idea to see if they warrant any updates to your estate plan: 2013 2014 Lifetime gift and estate […]

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Will Congress revive expired tax breaks?

January 9th, 2014 by Associate

Many valuable tax breaks expired at the end of 2013. But Congress probably will revive at least some of them, likely retroactively to Jan. 1, 2014. The question is exactly which breaks they’ll extend and when they’ll pass the necessary legislation to do so. Here are several that may benefit you or your business if […]

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JPMorgan pays $2.6 billion in Madoff settlements

January 8th, 2014 by Ed Bannen

I read this article today and as an auditor, I am disappointed in the actions of JPMorgan but not surprised. As with audit client relationships, banking client relationships are complex by nature. Banks are required to regulate and monitor the very people who are paying them, similar to the auditor’s relationship with our clients. There […]

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Everyone is on the sales team whether they know it or not

December 30th, 2013 by Ed Bannen

I’m an auditor, not a salesman…right?!  The other day I read an article in Forbes, “Job #1 Is Sales — For ANY Employee” by Tom Mendoza, and was reminded how true this is of any business. So many times I hear people say “I hate sales” or “I never want to be involved in selling”, […]

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Why the self-employed should consider setting up a retirement plan before year end

December 19th, 2013 by Associate

For 2013, the maximum IRA contribution is $5,500 — $6,500 if you’re age 50 or older on Dec. 31. (The maximum IRA contribution or deduction may be reduced or eliminated depending on various factors.) But if you’re self-employed, you may be eligible for a retirement plan that allows you to make much larger contributions. As […]

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Will your donations be more powerful this year?

December 11th, 2013 by Associate

Maybe. Deductions are more valuable when tax rates are higher, and higher-income taxpayers face higher rates in 2013. But the return of the itemized deduction reduction could make your donation deduction less valuable. Also keep in mind that the amount of your deduction depends on various factors, including what you give. For example: Long-term capital […]

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Smart timing of business income and expenses can save tax — or at least defer it

December 4th, 2013 by Associate

By projecting your business’s income and expenses for 2013 and 2014, you can determine how to time them to save — or at least defer — tax. If you’ll be in the same or lower tax bracket in 2014, consider: Deferring income to 2014. If your business uses the cash method of accounting, you can […]

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A Football Black Friday?

November 26th, 2013 by Associate

One of the common misconceptions about Black Friday was that it was a term created in the 1980’s by accountants in the retail industry as a “day to finally get into the black and start turning a profit for the year”.  While this may be true in some cases, the phrase was actually coined back […]

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Beware of the AMT when doing year-end tax planning

November 21st, 2013 by Associate

As year end approaches, you may be trying to accelerate deductible expenses into 2013 to reduce, or at least defer, tax. But you must beware of the alternative minimum tax (AMT) — a separate tax system that limits some deductions and doesn’t permit others, such as: State and local income tax deductions, Property tax deductions, […]

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Tis the season for giving, or is it?

November 20th, 2013 by Associate

This time every year we count our blessings and give a little to those in need.  The question is, how much?  For some, it’s a means of year-end tax planning, estimating annual tax owed based on tax laws finalized timely for such decisions (key word: timely).  Anyway, back to the topic at hand…It goes without […]

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Data Gathering: Trash or Treasure?

November 19th, 2013 by Ed Bannen

As technology continues to rapidly change the way we make decisions, it becomes increasingly more important to have accurate and timely data. Do you have system reports that only give you half the important data that you need? How long do you spend combining reports or editing data to make it into a usable report? […]

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Survive and Advance – The Amazon Tax Battle Plays out One State at a Time

November 11th, 2013 by Judd Ballard

The recent Illinois Supreme Court decision means a victory for bargain shoppers gathering up heavily discounted watches (myself), books (also myself) and early Christmas presents online.  With little to no means of use tax enforcement from the states, loyal Amazon shoppers will enjoy at least one more holiday shopping season in Illinois and many other […]

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The Houston Astros: When being the worst is better

November 7th, 2013 by Associate

The Houston Astros finished the 2013 baseball season with the worst record in the major leagues since the 2004 season. The Astros won 51 of their 162 games played, giving them a win percentage of 31.5%.  Many fans, sports anchors and analysts wonder if the Astros can do anything right.  Believe it or not, out […]

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Early Birds May Not Get the Worm…For a While

October 25th, 2013 by Associate

Many people have been affected by the recent government shutdown. One group to experience negative effects of the shutdown will be early filers. Due to programmers having to finish updating the IRS computers, early filers will have to wait for their refunds for an extra week or two. It is necessary to program and test […]

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Did Something Happen in Washington DC today?

October 1st, 2013 by Judd Ballard

The government is shutdown.  The government is shutdown. The government is shutdown. The government is shutdown.  The government is shutdown.  The government is shutdown. The government is shutdown. The government is shutdown. The government is shutdown.  The government is shutdown. The government is shutdown. The government is shutdown. The government is shutdown.  The government is […]

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Connecticut the Latest to Offer Tax Amnesty

September 19th, 2013 by Judd Ballard

Different state, same tune.  Starting this past Monday, September 16th, taxpayers have the next 60 days to figure it out in Connecticut without facing the music.  The Connecticut Tax Amnesty Program ends November 15, 2013.  Similar to many other states offering amnesty, incentives for participating in the program include lower interest rates and no penalties.  […]

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Good News for Restaurant Goers

September 12th, 2013 by Associate

Recent changes involving the reporting of automatic tips to the IRS has some restaurant owners changing the way they do business.  Good news for those of us who like to eat out, the number of automatic gratuity statements at the bottom of menus will likely decrease. Read more in today’s Columbus Dispatch interview with our very own Kaz Unalan.

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DOMA Creates Tax Benefit Possibilities

September 11th, 2013 by Associate

There’s a lot of discussion around the Supreme Court’s recent ruling in the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and the tax impact it will create.  Many questions remained unanswered until Revenue Ruling 2013-17 was issued on Thursday, August 29, 2013.  The main concern was the issue of being married in a state that recognizes same-sex […]

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Internal Controls…Par for the Course

July 30th, 2013 by Associate

“It took me 17 years to get 3,000 hits in baseball. It took one afternoon on the golf course.” – Hank Aaron Golf has long been used in the business world as a networking opportunity, which is provided by spending five hours nudging knees with the person next to you in a ten horsepower cart. […]

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Employee Benefit Plans: Timely Remittance Decoded

June 24th, 2013 by Associate

As our summer busy season gears up with employee benefit plans, it is a great time to provide plan administrators with a helpful hint to a very common issue we’ve encountered during our audits: timely remittance of employee contributions.  During our audits, we’ve come across numerous instances where plan administrators are not in compliance with Department […]

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Down to the Wire Again: Ohio Biennial Budget Bill HB 59 Changing as June 30 Deadline Nears

June 21st, 2013 by Judd Ballard

The abundance of federal government related news stories taking up most headlines in print and online outlets has shielded what’s going on with Ohio’s budget process.  There are obvious reasons why NSA leaks and IRS scandals steal headlines, but here locally many folks are awaiting Governor Kasich’s signature on House Bill 59. With plenty of […]

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Big Brother is Watching You

June 17th, 2013 by Associate

Back in 2000, I remember reading George Orwell’s 1984 for my contemporary literature class and thinking that there was no way the world envisioned by Mr. Orwell could exist during my lifetime.  However, the recent leak of the government’s PRISM program has revealed that data such as your phone calls, visited websites and sent emails […]

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Behind the Numbers… The Memorial Tournament

May 31st, 2013 by Associate

The end of May marks many reasons to celebrate.  For most of us, Memorial Day weekend marks the beginning of summer activities, such as swimming, boating, biking and other general outdoor activities with family and friends.  Others look forward to taking vacations to the beach or weekend trips to theme parks.  Most important in our world, CPAs are […]

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An Exercise in Power

May 22nd, 2013 by Associate

Although accounting professionals are comfortable working with the IRS since they do it on a daily basis, any sort of correspondence between the collection agency and the common taxpayer can be a stressful and sometimes painful process.  The recent revelation that the IRS targeted conservative organizations applying for tax-exempt status only reinforces the general public’s […]

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Credit Union Hot Topic – Are Your Members Safe?

April 30th, 2013 by Associate

It seems as though financial institutions are constantly keeping up with the Jones’ when it comes to features they offer for home banking.  Just recently, Chase Bank announced Person-to-Person Quick Pay.  This feature offers their customers the ability to send money to virtually anyone so long as the individual has an email or phone number.  […]

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Tax Refund: Now You Have It, Now You Don’t!

March 30th, 2013 by Associate

That highly anticipated tax deadline is fast approaching. Hopefully you’re lucky enough to be among the 76% of Americans who expect to receive a refund during 2013. If so, have you thought about how you will spend your return this year? Perhaps a dream vacation? That big screen TV you’ve been eyeing? Or maybe you’re […]

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From Melting Pot to Sand Box – Can’t We All Just Get Along?

March 15th, 2013 by Judd Ballard

The Government Sequester: How did we get here?  And was this really supposed to happen? Pre-game Super Bowl flyovers… probably a thing of the past.  Depending on your level of patriotism, this may or may not hit home.  Still seen as a prideful, show-of-force ritual at some of the country’s most anticipated sporting events, government […]

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Japanese Business Services: Ohio Taxation for Beginners

March 11th, 2013 by Judd Ballard

GBQ’s Japanese Business Services niche leader, Akio Seino, will be presenting a seminar titled Ohio Taxation 101 next week in conjunction with GBQ’s State and Local Tax practice. The seminar will be held Tuesday, March 19th and will focus on various Ohio corporate and individual taxes with examples often observed by Japanese-owned companies. In addition […]

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Thank you Academy Awards for Your Generous “Gift.”

February 25th, 2013 by Associate

Oscar buzz has been hitting the media for the past few weeks with the annual predictions of who would win which category and who would wear what.  I’m not sure if anyone predicted Helen Hunt would wear a gown from the well-known clothing store, H&M, nor that she’d top it off with $700,000 in jewels; […]

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The Glamorous Life of Auditors!

February 21st, 2013 by Associate

Did you know that behind every major award ceremony, there is a Certified Public Accountant?  We even get to attend the event!  And you thought all we did was crunch numbers!  Last year, we discussed the process behind the Academy Awards in our blog, Watching the Oscars, Did you Know? But there is also an award ceremony a […]

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State Income Tax is So 2012

January 17th, 2013 by Associate

While the federal government has recently raised the individual income tax rates on high-income individuals, the prospect of some states eliminating the individual and corporate income tax is quickly gaining steam. Louisiana Governor, Bobby Jindal proposed to eliminate the individual and corporate income tax and offset the lost revenue by increasing the sales tax rate […]

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We Have Hockey!!! The Economic Impact of NHL’s Tentative CBA

January 9th, 2013 by Judd Ballard

The National Hockey League lockout is over, let the fun begin.  Few specifics have been revealed at this point, including the start date to a shortened season, which will likely be a 48- 50 game season where every game carries a playoff atmosphere. But that didn’t keep affected local bars, restaurants and team apparel shops […]

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Fantasy Factory

January 4th, 2013 by Mary Stucke

As another year closes, clients are beginning to wrap up year-end inventory counts.  At the same time, fantasy football is wrapping up and fantasy basketball is in full swing.  After performing numerous inventory observations in the last week, it has come to my attention that college may no longer be necessary.  Future warehouse supervisors can learn […]

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New Roth Conversion Flexibility

January 3rd, 2013 by Mary Stucke

The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (ATRA) has generated a lot of buzz so far in 2013 but there was one change no one saw coming: ATRA will now allow individuals to convert their existing 401(k) plan into a Roth 401(k) plan. A Roth 401(k) works in reverse of a traditional 401(k) in that […]

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Farmers Aren’t “Digging” Kasich’s Severance Tax Plan

December 10th, 2012 by Judd Ballard

Last week, the Ohio Farm Bureau came out in public opposition to Governor Kasich’s plan to increase the state’s severance tax to cover a reduction in the personal income tax. While the Governor continues to position his plan as a higher tax on “BIG OIL” to benefit Ohio as a whole, the farmers are not […]

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Powerball: Government Gets Their Piece of the Pie

November 27th, 2012 by Associate

It’s that time of year when a lot of people start dreaming of a white Christmas, but I’m betting most of them are dreaming of $425 million instead.  If you’re living under a rock, that number is the current estimated jackpot in the Powerball lottery, which will be drawn on Wednesday, November 28, 2012.  And […]

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Taxidermy: A New Meaning

August 6th, 2012 by Associate

Have you ever tried to sell an item, but realize it has no legal value in today’s market place?  I’m sure this happens quite frequently when someone inherits an old item with no use, like your grandmother’s gravy boat.  Can you imagine if that worthless item causes you to receive a $29 million tax bill […]

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States Seeking a ‘Millionaires’ Tax’

August 1st, 2012 by Ed Bannen

It seems like all over the US and throughout Europe the talk of Millionaires’ tax rates are on all the politicians’ lips whether for or against an increase.  Currently, there are two theories of thought about economic effects of an increase in the tax rate for millionaires.  First, increasing taxes on the rich will lower […]

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Real Federal Deficits Increase Faster Than the Official Amount

June 8th, 2012 by Associate

The Congressional Budget Office currently projects a budget deficit of $1.3 trillion in 2012.  To put it into perspective, that’s an average of around $4,200 for every man, woman and child in the U.S.  If we just include the working age population (individuals between the ages of 18-64) the borrowing increases to $6,700 per person […]

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May 31st, 2012 by Mary Stucke

In April 2012, Obama signed the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act.  This act is aimed at helping small emerging private companies raise capital faster, stay private longer and, once ready, go public easier and thrive.   How are they doing this?  Regulatory changes, particular in 4 key areas: The “crowdfunding” exemption: raising capital from small-dollar […]

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Freedom Doesn’t Sound So Great

May 31st, 2012 by Associate

By now I’m sure you’ve heard the term “Taxmageddon” or the “fiscal cliff,” as Ben Bernanke has dubbed it; but if not, you’ll want to keep reading.  The discussions have been ongoing regarding the expiration of the Bush-era tax cuts, which is where the term “Taxmageddon” stems.  Essentially, if you think you’re paying a ton […]

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March Madness. April Showers. May Amnesty.

May 1st, 2012 by Judd Ballard

It’s finally here…Ohio’s General Tax Amnesty.  If you’ll recall, GBQ published a special edition SALT Watch last month as a reminder of the amnesty program that kicks off today.  Not to be confused with the Ohio consumer’s use tax amnesty that lasts until May 2013, the General Tax Amnesty is a more traditional state tax […]

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Technology Vices: tips for how you spend

April 30th, 2012 by Mary Stucke

With Tax Deadline Day officially behind us for another year, we accountants are rejoicing the end of (and surviving!) another busy season.  The non-accountants of the world are rejoicing for another reason: The average American will receive a tax refund of $3,000 in 2012. Before you go out and buy the latest and greatest electronic […]

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Why Accountants Are NOT Becoming Irrelevant

April 17th, 2012 by Mary Stucke

There was a recent  discussion on LinkedIn in which Ron Baker, founder of VeraSage Institute, stated that he believes that the accounting profession is becoming irrelevant. As an accountant, this statement and his theory intrigued me. It appears that most of Mr. Baker’s opinion revolves around the fact that accountants only deal with historical data […]

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Confessions of a Recovering Tax Accountant

March 13th, 2012 by Associate

With the March 15th deadline looming upon us, it causes me to reminisce fondly of days past.

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Have you filed your 2008 Income Tax Return?

February 27th, 2012 by Associate

Taxpayers are given three years to file their income tax returns and claim any refunds they are due based on the overpayment of tax liabilities.  That means the date to file your 2008 tax returns is quickly approaching, and if you do not get it filed prior to April 17, 2012 you will be out […]

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Watching the Oscars, did you know?

February 26th, 2012 by Mary Stucke

The most glamorous job of the Academy Awards was performed by a Certified Public Accountant!

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Where’s My Refund? Or, will I ever get my refund?

February 23rd, 2012 by Associate

According to the IRS, a glitch in the popular Where’s My Refund? on the IRS website has been fixed.  This is welcome relief to numerous individuals who had been receiving a message that the IRS had no information regarding their return, even though it acknowledged that the electronically filed return had been accepted. The IRS is […]

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Utica Shale Gravy Train

February 15th, 2012 by Judd Ballard

What does the Utica Shale really mean?  It depends on who you ask.  The corporate big wigs hopping the plane from Houston right now may have a different answer from the southeast Ohio farmers, or even the northeast Ohio laborers.  But what does it mean to the state of Ohio as a whole?  If you […]

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2012: Anxious Optimism in State Taxes

January 26th, 2012 by Judd Ballard

Looking forward to 2012?  Let’s hope so.  Everyone is capable of finding a reason or two to ring in the New Year.  It would be stating the obvious to assume Ohio State football, the Columbus Blue Jackets, and Senate Bill 5 supporters are all leaving behind less than memorable 2011’s (leave Penn State alone…it’s still […]

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Orientation and Training of New Board Members

January 5th, 2012 by Associate

Last month I wrote an article titled Orientation and Training of New Board Members for GBQ’s Community Action Practice (CAP) newsletter.   In the article I discuss the importance of developing an effective Board for nonprofits and some helpful tips regarding how to do so.  While my article was geared toward nonprofit organizations, it can be […]

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CPE: Invaluable Lessons Learned

November 7th, 2011 by Judd Ballard

Courtesy. Prospecting. Essentially. Let me explain.

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Two Debuts in the world of GBQ: Yuengling and APT

October 31st, 2011 by Mary Stucke

October was a busy month for many at GBQ as the introduction of Audit Planning Tool (APT) caused a stir in the office.  I am sure many cups of coffee were consumed as we held a three day training session to introduce this new BDO audit tool.  However, causing an even bigger and arguably a […]

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A Better Understanding of Form 8889

October 27th, 2011 by Tim Schlotterer

The Health Savings Account (HSA) is an individual tax-advantaged savings account designed to allow you to save for and pay your medical bills.  In addition to completing Form 1040, you may also have to complete Form 8889 and submit it with your tax return.  The purpose of Form 8889 is to report contributions made to […]

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LLC’s vs. S-Corporations: Which Entity is Right for Me?

October 19th, 2011 by Tim Schlotterer

There are many important factors to weigh when considering incorporating a business.  One of the most vital components to consider is which entity type provides the best tax incentives for a particular business. While LLC’s have gained popularity in recent years because of their flexibility, S Corporations remain a popular entity choice as well.  The […]

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Individual Tax Savings Tips

October 18th, 2011 by Tim Schlotterer

Tired of all the uncertainty in federal taxes? Here are some individual tax savings tips that you can bet on!

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Married Filing Separately: The Forgotten Filing Status

September 20th, 2011 by Tim Schlotterer

So you and your spouse have decided to check the “Married Filing Jointly” box on your 1040 again? Good! Chances are you probably should, as your alternative is generally not the most favorable. By filing a Married Filing Separately return, you and your spouse will immediately be precluded from taking common credits, prohibited from enjoying […]

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Is IC-DISC for you?

August 18th, 2011 by Tim Schlotterer

Are a U.S. taxpayer that exports goods and certain services to locations outside the United States? If so, you should consider setting up an Interest Charge Domestic International Sales Corporation (IC-DISC). What is the Benefit? A permanent tax savings (up to a 20%) for qualifying U.S. exports. Increased liquidity for the shareholders or business. Ability […]

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Gift Tax Returns Targeted by IRS

August 8th, 2011 by Darci Congrove

The IRS has begun to focus on transfers of real estate between related parties without adequate consideration.  At least twelve states have provided the IRS with data on related-party transfers.  As of this time, Ohio is not one of those states, but Ohio residents should still take note of the trend.  The rate of noncompliance […]

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Let the Cost Cutting Begin: Ohio Department of Taxation Not Mailing Out Personal Income Tax Packets

August 8th, 2011 by Judd Ballard

In an effort to continue cutting unnecessary expenses from the state budget, the Ohio Department of Taxation is furthering its cut on who receives a tax booklet for State of Ohio personal income tax filings.  In 2011, only those taxpayers who filed their 2010 return by paper received a tax booklet in the mail.  The […]

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Casino Deal – Commercial Activity Tax

July 5th, 2011 by Judd Ballard

Governor Kasich strategically included a provision in a version of the state budget which clarified that the Commercial Activity Tax (“CAT”) would apply to all revenue generated by casinos before winnings were paid out.  In other words, if a gambler wagered $20, the $20 would be considered a gross receipt for CAT purposes. Ohio casino […]

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Gas prices cause IRS to increase 2011 mileage reimbursement rate

June 24th, 2011 by Tim Schlotterer

In response to the increase in gas prices, the IRS announced an increase in the optional standard mileage rates for the last six months of 2011. The following are the rate changes which are contained in Announcement 2011-40: Purpose of Miles Rates 1/1-6/30/11 Rates 7/1-12/31/11 Business 51 cents 55.5 cents Medical 19 cents 23.5 cents […]

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FASB Is At It Again: Changes to OCI Presentation

June 24th, 2011 by Mary Stucke

Do you love the technical side of accounting so much that sometimes you find yourself on the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) website hitting refresh on your browser over and over again hoping there will be a new pronouncement out that you can read up on?  If so, you are in luck.  The FASB just […]

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Blast from tax past

April 18th, 2011 by Judd Ballard

A client recently dug up an income tax return from 1924 while cleaning out family records (click the image to the right for a larger view). The client was nice enough to show us a copy and after looking at the tax return, it is interesting to reflect on how some things have changed and […]

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Deficit reduction – with or without a tax increase?

April 18th, 2011 by Darci Congrove

On today’s tax deadline, when many are lamenting the checks that they have just written to the IRS, there is a political firestorm brewing in Washington about increasing taxes.  Both parties agree that some action must be taken to reduce the federal debt, but the strategies on either side of the aisle are very different.  […]

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IASB Chairman Weighs in on “The Future of Financial Reporting”

April 14th, 2011 by Mary Stucke

Sir David Tweedie, Chairman of the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB), gave a speech on March 10, 2011 in Washington, D.C. to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce titled “The Future of Financial Reporting: Convergence or Not?”  It was a pretty long speech, but the main takeaway is that he believes 2011 will be the year […]

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Government Shutdown’s Impact on Tax Deadline

April 7th, 2011 by Tim Schlotterer

We are just days away from a possible government shutdown. What does that mean for the April 18 tax deadline? The IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman addressed the National Press Club on April 6, 2011 and addressed questions related to the federal government shut down.  Shulman stated that the IRS, “has been doing some contingency planning […]

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Governor Kasich Issues Proposed Ohio Budget

March 25th, 2011 by Judd Ballard

Governor Kasich released his proposed two year budget for Ohio Fiscal Year 2012 and 2013 on March 15, 2011. Ohio is facing a projected deficit of $8 billion over the span of the budget. Kasich is proposing privatizing state liquor sales and five state prisons in order to raise revenue. In addition to the privatization […]

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What you need to know about Employee Benefit Plan Issues

March 23rd, 2011 by Mary Stucke

We hosted our first GBQuarterly of the year on March 22, 2011. The topic was Employee Benefit Plan Issues and was presented by Mike Kozlowski, Director, Assurance & Business Advisory Services at GBQ Partners LLC and Brian Hanna, Senior Relationship Manager at Everhart Financial group, Inc. The key issues discussed were: Common Errors in Plan […]

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$1,000 HIRE Credit: Does your company qualify?

March 21st, 2011 by Tim Schlotterer

On March 18, 2010 President Obama signed into law the Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment Act (HIRE). This is also known as the Jobs Bill.  This new law provided some payroll tax incentives for qualifying new employees in 2010 and a $1,000 tax credit could be available in 2011: The employee must have been hired […]

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What are your chances of being audited?

March 21st, 2011 by Tim Schlotterer

The IRS recently issued their annual data book providing statistical data on activity within the IRS. Here are some interesting statistics to share with you…

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FASB Takes a Step Back on Proposed Lease Accounting Standard Changes

March 1st, 2011 by Mary Stucke

If you have been “enjoying” following proposed changes to accounting for leases (who doesn’t?), you may have been thinking to yourself: This is going to hurt my Company’s debt to equity ratio This is going to make it harder to obtain financing This is going to cost my Company time and money This is going […]

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