Professional Accounting Blog

    Accounting For Your Prosperity

    What's the Deal with ESOPs?

    Posted by Michelle Buckley on Dec 9, 2019 5:10:45 PM

    Topics: Benefit Plan Advising & Auditing

    ESOPs – employee stock ownership plans – grant employees with ownership interests in their companies. These benefit plans were first introduced to C corporations in the 1950s, and their tax advantages were formally written into law when the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) passed Congress in 1974. In the 1990s, they became available to S corporations, as well. They are not universally good options for all businesses, but many organizations can benefit from them.

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    IRS Updates Rules For Mileage-Related Deductions

    Posted by Jonathan Ciccotelli on Dec 5, 2019 11:24:16 AM

    Topics: Tax Planning & Strategies

    The IRS has issued new guidance updating the rules for using optional standard mileage rates when calculating “above-the-line” deductions for the costs of operating an automobile for certain purposes. IRS Revenue Procedure 2019-46 also lays out rules for establishing the amount of an employee’s transportation expenses that are reimbursed using the optional standard mileage rates. 

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    4 Factors for Hiring Quality Employee Benefit Plan Auditors

    Posted by Carlo Berlingieri on Dec 3, 2019 11:30:00 AM

    Topics: Accounting & Auditing, Benefit Plan Advising & Auditing

    The AICPA Employee Benefit Plan Audit Quality Center (EBPAQC) has published a plan advisory called “The Importance of Hiring a Quality Auditor to Perform Your Employee Benefit Plan Audit.” This advisory was created for plan administrators to have a guide to follow the important process of hiring an auditor with the correct experience to audit employee benefit plans.

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    Using Donor-Advised Funds to Recapture the Tax Savings of Charitable Giving

    Posted by Natalie Takacs on Nov 26, 2019 1:27:04 PM

    Topics: Tax Planning & Strategies

    As a result of the changes made by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, when they filed their 2018 tax returns, many taxpayers discovered that they are no longer itemizing their deductions.  This means that the tax savings that previously resulted from their charitable contributions has disappeared.  One way to recapture the tax benefits of charitable giving is to use a donor-advised fund to “bunch” charitable contributions.  Using the donor-advised fund strategy also makes it more efficient to capture the tax benefits of donating long-term appreciated stock and simplifies the recordkeeping requirements for charitable contributions.

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    Factor 2020 Cost-of-living adjustments into your year-end tax planning

    Posted by Jonathan Ciccotelli on Nov 21, 2019 1:40:22 PM

    Topics: Tax Planning & Strategies

    The IRS recently issued its 2020 cost-of-living adjustments. With inflation remaining largely in check, many amounts increased slightly, and some stayed at 2019 levels. As you implement 2019 year-end tax planning strategies, be sure to take these 2020 adjustments into account in your planning.

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    3 Best Practices for Your Annual Retirement Plan Review

    Posted by Carlo Berlingieri on Nov 19, 2019 11:02:00 AM

    Topics: Benefit Plan Advising & Auditing

    Retirement plan fiduciaries should meet on an annual basis (if not more frequently) to discuss the plan with outside service providers, including the investment advisor, custodian/trustee, and third-party administrator. In this blog, we’ll discuss the three best practices for your annual retirement plan review and what the focus of these meetings should include.

    1. Investment Performance of the Funds in the Plan

    The fiduciaries should determine if the funds in the plan are meeting the criteria outlined in the investment policy statement (IPS). Funds that are not meeting your stated criteria should be put on a watch list as outlined in the IPS or possibly removed from the plan, again depending on the IPS. In addition to reviewing fund performance, you’ll want to ensure that the group of funds that are offered in your plan are still meeting the requirements of the IPS. Read More

    IRS Announces 2020 Contribution and Benefit Limits

    Posted by Michelle Buckley on Nov 12, 2019 12:17:13 PM

    Topics: Benefit Plan Advising & Auditing

    The IRS announced on November 6, that several contribution limits in qualified retirement plans will increase next year.

    These limits cover cost of living adjustments to a variety of retirement plan limitations.  The chart below provides a summary of the amounts for your convenience.

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    Business Year-End Tax Planning in a TCJA World

    Posted by Jonathan Ciccotelli on Nov 6, 2019 4:32:56 PM

    Topics: Tax Planning & Strategies

    The first tax-filing season under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) was a time of uncertainty for many businesses as they struggled with the implications of the law’s sweeping changes for their bottom lines. With the next filing season on the horizon, you can incorporate the lessons learned into your year-end tax planning. Several areas in particular are ripe with opportunities to reduce your 2019 federal tax liability. 

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    Warning: Expert Admissibility Standards May Vary

    Posted by Meaden & Moore on Nov 4, 2019 9:00:00 AM

    Topics: Investigative and Forensic Accounting

    In federal court, the admissibility of expert testimony is governed by the strict Daubert standard. The U.S. Supreme Court decided this landmark case in 1993.

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    It's Not too Late to Trim Your 2019 Tax Bill

    Posted by Karen McCarthy on Nov 1, 2019 2:10:33 PM

    Topics: Tax Planning & Strategies

    Autumn has arrived and that means it’s time to turn your attention to year-end tax planning. While several clear strategies and tactics emerged during the first tax filing season under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), 2019 and subsequent years bring potential twists that must be considered, too. Let’s take a closer look at year-end tax planning strategies that can reduce your 2019 income tax liability.   

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