It Pays to Hire Vets

As Veterans Day 2018 concludes, I am reminded that it has been fifteen long years since the US led coalition crossed over the Kuwaiti border, marched, rode and flew into Iraq to begin extended military operations in the Middle East. This campaign has produced nearly a generation of war-time Veterans, distinguished with their own distinct strengths and struggles, opportunities and obstacles.

Every year thousands of these brave men and women make the transition back to civilian life, in search of their earned share of The American Dream. The State and Federal governments recognize the need to help our Veterans find pathways to purposeful careers and have established lucrative tax credits for employers to train, hire and retain prior active duty servicemen and women.

Mike Turturro: Don’t Kid Around about Kiddie Tax Changes

As a taxpayer, if you have a child or young adult living in your home for more than half a year who does not provide for more than half of their own support, does not file a tax return jointly, and one or both parents are alive, taxpayers are accustomed to having a child tax credit available.  However, it is important to be aware that as the same Kidde Tax rules apply as before, the Kiddie Tax rate structure has changed.  The new tax structure change can make a significant difference in the amount of tax that may be owed and one should prepare ahead to understand how to help reduce the Kiddie Tax impact.  It is no laughing matter as the new rates can be unfavorable, costing more.

Doing Business In Other States Just got more Complicated…

On June 21, 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its decision in South Dakota v. Wayfair, Inc., et al, the highly anticipated challenge to the sales tax physical presence standard adopted through Quill v. North Dakota in 1992. Accordingly, the Court has overruled the Quill physical presence standard allowing states to impose economic sales tax nexus standards on remote sellers.

Writing for the majority, Justice Kennedy, who also sat on the Quill court in 1992, noted that the Quill physical presence rule was no longer appropriate for, nor could it have anticipated, the modern e-commerce economy. Finally, it was noted that most of the states had requested the Court overturn Quill, stating that it was “essential to public confidence in the tax system” that the Court avoid creating an unfair burden shift in tax collection to in-state retailers.

New Accounting Rules Effect the Entire Company

Last year, Uber reported revenue numbers that dropped to half of their usual profits. Retailers like Amazon, Starbucks, and Wal-Mart expect a rise in revenue numbers by hundreds of millions of dollars. While many different factors affect revenue numbers, the single reason for these swings are new accounting rules. If you’re in charge of sales operations, commissions, product offerings, IT, legal and of course finance or accounting, you are experiencing the biggest change in accounting in the last 15 years.

The new accounting rules ASC 606 in the U.S., and its international counterpart IFRS 15, standardize and simplify revenue recognition across all industries. Revenue recognition is an accounting principle that determines what a company claims as revenue from the cash received in bookings, which of course, signifies a company’s profitability to shareholders, investors, and customers.

Is An Employee Stock Ownership Plan Right For My Company?

An Employee Stock Ownership Plan, or ESOP, is a qualified defined contribution employee benefit plan authorized under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA).

An ESOP is similar to a profit-sharing plan, but a key difference is that the ESOP invests primarily in the stock of the sponsoring employer. It can be a beneficial transition strategy to help exiting owners achieve their retirement goals and give back to loyal team members.

A Common Sense Approach to Cyber Security

Cyber attacks on big companies dominate the news, but small businesses are big targets, too. One in five small businesses fall victim to a cyber attack and of those, 60 percent go out of business in six months. In nearly every cyber attack, the goal is to steal and exploit sensitive data, which includes credit card information, bank account data, or personal identity information.

For a small business owner, this data can be found in checkout forms, employment applications, or customer databases. Any vulnerability in the security of this data can result in devastating consequences for both your customers and your business. Additionally, companies that are breached must alert potential fraud victims. The process to notify an entire customer base can be expensive, and even more importantly, will likely cause irreparable reputational harm to your business.

Fulfillment by Amazon Could Be a Game Changer for Your Business

“It’s a game changer” is an expression thrown around the consumer products and retail industries when discussing an unexpected yet crucial strategy that can mark a turning point for growing businesses.

The Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) solution is one of these game changers. Amazon FBA is fast becoming a growing customer for both branded and private label businesses. Amazon FBA could be a great opportunity to market and sell your products to millions of consumers, without the uncertainty of chargebacks and discounts encountered when selling to traditional bricks-and-mortar and online retailers.

Options in a tightening Labor Market

Several economic factors are significantly impacting the hiring and retention practices for key finance and accounting personnel in every industry. However, many successful companies are counteracting these challenges by leveraging outsourcing strategies to gain efficiency, overcome staffing difficulties and better manage costs.

A significant shift is currently occurring with some economic indicators, Salaries are rising due to an increase in hiring with unemployment subsequently falling. With these challenges in mind, competition for talent is rising, so organizations will face numerous risks when looking to attract and retain skilled finance and accounting personnel.

Year-End Tax-Planning Moves for Businesses

The Holidays are here, it’s the time to plan time with family and loved ones… it is also the time to consider tax-saving opportunities for your business before its tax year-end. Some of these opportunities may apply regardless of whether your business is conducted as a sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company, S corporation, or regular corporation 

Section 179 Deductions

Essentially, Section 179 of the IRS tax code allows businesses to deduct the full purchase price of qualifying equipment and/or software purchased or financed during the tax year (new or used equipment). That means that if you buy (or lease) a piece of qualifying equipment and place that equipment in service, you can deduct up to $510,000.00 in 2017, provided your company did not purchase more than $2,030,000.00 in qualifying equipment.  If your company did exceed that threshold, then the 179 deduction for your company begins to be reduced on a dollar for dollar basis until it there is no Section 179 deduction.

The New Rules for business meals, entertainment and transportation expenses in 2018

The new tax law signed by the President has changed the way business must consider meals, entertainment and transportation expenses. Generally meal and entertainment expenses were 50% deductible. The changes made with the recent legislation (H.R. 1) entertainment expenses are now 100% NOT deductible for amounts paid or incurred after December 31, 2017.

If you currently track your expenditures for both meals and entertainment in a combined general ledger account you will want to consider setting up a new account in your system to track meals separately from entertainment expenses, as meals are generally still 50% deductible and entertainment expenses are not deductible at all. This could save you time and effort compiling the amount of business expenses incurred in 2018 for 50% deductible meal expenses and 100% nondeductible entertainment expenses.

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