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Summertime Tax Tips

2019 – 07/15 The IRS offers some “summertime tax tips” for a sunnier tax season. For example, newlyweds should report any name changes to the Social Security Administration before filing tax returns next year. Report address changes to the U.S. Postal Service, employers and the IRS to ensure receipt of tax-related items. Taxpayers who send…

M & A transactions: Avoid surprises from the IRS

If you’re considering buying or selling a business — or you’re in the process of a merger or acquisition — it’s important that both parties report the transaction to the IRS in the same way. Otherwise, you may increase your chances of being audited. If a sale involves business assets (as opposed to stock or…

Is your accounting software living up to the hype?

Accounting software typically sells itself as much more than simple spreadsheet or ledger. The products tend to pride themselves on being comprehensive accounting information systems — depending on the price point, of course. So, is your accounting software living up to the hype? If not, there are a couple of relatively simple steps you can…

Odd word, cool concept: Gamification for businesses

“Gamification.” It’s perhaps an odd word, but it’s a cool concept that’s become popular among many types of businesses. In its most general sense, the term refers to integrating characteristics of game-playing into business-related tasks to excite and engage the people involved. Might it have a place in your company? Internal focus Sometimes gamification refers…

Can Teachers Deduct School Supplies?

2019 – 07/01 In no time at all, educators will be preparing for a new school year. They may qualify for a tax deduction that puts money back in their pockets. Educators can deduct up to $250 of unreimbursed trade or business expenses, but they must keep receipts to support their claims. Taxpayers can’t deduct…

Is Horse Breeding and Racing a Hobby or Business?

2019 – 06/27 The U.S. Tax Court has ruled a horse breeding and racing activity is a hobby, not a business. A married couple formed a partnership to breed and race world-class thoroughbred horses. In nearly 30 years of operation, the partnership never yielded a profit. The couple deducted large losses from the activity on…

Reporting Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts

2019 – 09/25 If a taxpayer has certain foreign financial accounts, he or she must report them on their tax returns. They may also have to file a “Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts” (FBAR). In one case, a U.S. citizen resided in Mexico and had operated businesses there for decades. He failed to…

Grading the performance of your company’s retirement plan

Imagine giving your company’s retirement plan a report card. Would it earn straight A’s in preparing your participants for their golden years? Or is it more of a C student who could really use some extra help after school? Benchmarking can tell you. Mind the basics More than likely, you already use certain criteria to…

IRS Efforts to Protect Taxpayers

2019 – 06/24 Here’s a reminder that the IRS will soon end two services in an effort to protect taxpayers from identity theft. The tax agency announced it will stop its tax transcript faxing service on June 28, 2019, and will end third-party mailing of tax returns and transcripts on July 1, 2019. Tax transcripts…

Taxpayer Service from the IRS is “woefully inadequate”

2019 – 06/21 Taxpayer service from the IRS is “woefully inadequate,” according to the National Taxpayer Advocate, Nina Olson. In her annual report to Congress, Olson reviewed the 2019 filing season and addressed key challenges. This report creates a dialogue within the IRS and top levels of government to address the problems taxpayers face. For…

Fighting Tax-Related Identity Theft

2019 – 06/20 The U.S. Electronic Tax Administration Advisory Committee has released its annual report to Congress about fighting tax-related identity theft and cybercrime. Committee members work with the Security Summit, which consists of the IRS, state tax agencies and the nation’s tax industry, including tax preparation firms, payroll processors and software developers. The report’s…

Put a number on your midyear performance with the right KPIs

We’ve reached the middle of the calendar year. So how are things going for your business? Conversationally you might say, “Pretty good.” But, analytically, can you put a number on how well you’re doing — or several numbers for that matter? You can if you choose and calculate the right key performance indicators (KPIs). 4…

Higher Education Exception

2019 – 06/14 The tax code imposes a 10% penalty on the taxable amount of an early distribution from a qualified retirement plan. An early distribution is one made to an employee who hasn’t attained age 59-1/2. There are exceptions to avoid the 10% penalty, including if a distribution is used to pay qualified higher…

©2019 Bland Garvey CPA