Professional Accounting Blog

    Accounting For Your Prosperity

    Jonathan Ciccotelli

    Jonathan Ciccotelli is a Vice President in Meaden & Moore’s Tax Services Group. He enjoys running, cycling, and cheering on his kids at sporting events.

    Recent Posts

    Spending Bill Extends Tax Breaks, Adds Retirement Account Provisions

    Posted by Jonathan Ciccotelli on Dec 30, 2019 4:00:08 PM

    Topics: Tax Planning & Strategies, Benefit Plan Advising & Auditing

    With its winter recess looming before it, Congress has engaged in a flurry of activity. Most notably, it reached agreement on a massive governmentwide spending package titled the Further Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2020. The legislation extends certain income tax provisions that had expired, as well as some that were due to expire at the end of 2019.  

    Congress traditionally passes so-called “extenders” annually, but it neglected to do so for 2018. As a result, several popular breaks for both individuals and businesses expired at the end of 2017. 

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    IRS Updates Rules for Using per Diem Rates

    Posted by Jonathan Ciccotelli on Dec 20, 2019 10:09:43 AM

    Topics: Tax Planning & Strategies

    The IRS recently issued guidance on how businesses, self-employed individuals and qualified employees can use the per diem rules to substantiate their business travel expenses for tax purposes. The guidance in Revenue Procedure 2019-48 modifies 2011 guidance to reflect changes made by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA).

    In a nutshell, the per diem rules themselves haven’t significantly changed. Primarily, RP 2019-48 deletes guidance for taxpayers who, before the TCJA, were allowed to deduct certain unreimbursed business travel expenses. Here’s a refresher on what changed under the TCJA and the rules for using per diem rates.

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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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    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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    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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    The U.S. Department of Labor Finalizes the New Overtime Rule

    Posted by Jonathan Ciccotelli on Oct 15, 2019 4:49:42 PM

    Topics: Tax Planning & Strategies

    The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has released the finalized rule on overtime exemptions for white-collar workers under the Fair Labor Standards Act. The rule updates the standard salary levels for the first time since 2004. While it is expected to expand the pool of nonexempt workers by more than 1 million, it’s also more favorable to employers than a rule proposed by the Obama administration in 2016. That rule would have expanded the pool by more than 4 million but was blocked by a federal district court judge.  

    The new rule is scheduled to take effect on January 1, 2020. Affected employers need to take prompt action to reduce the impact to their bottom lines.

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    IRS Releases Final QBI Real Estate Safe Harbor Rules

    Posted by Jonathan Ciccotelli on Oct 10, 2019 4:59:42 PM

    Topics: Tax Planning & Strategies

    Earlier this year, the IRS published a proposed safe harbor giving owners of certain rental real estate interests the opportunity to take advantage of the qualified business income (QBI) deduction. The QBI write-off was created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) for pass-through entities. The IRS has now released final guidance (Revenue Procedure 2019-38) on the safe harbor that clearly lays out the requirements that taxpayers must satisfy to benefit.

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    DeWine Signs House Bills Changing Ohio Income Tax Law

    Posted by Jonathan Ciccotelli on Sep 5, 2019 9:33:59 AM

    Topics: Tax Planning & Strategies

    House Bills 62 and 166 were signed by Ohio Governor Mike DeWine on August 23, 2019.  These bills will enact several important changes to the Ohio income tax law for the 2019 tax year.  These changes will apply to income tax returns due on April 15, 2020.  

    The upcoming tax changes are explained below:

    Tax rates

    • Ohio is combining the bottom three tax brackets.  The tax rate for the new configuration is 0%.  This means taxpayers with Ohio Taxable Nonbusiness income of $21,750 or less will pay $0 in Ohio income tax.

    • All Ohio income tax rates have been reduced by 4%. The top tax rate is now 4.797%.

    • There will be no adjustment for Ohio’s personal and dependent exemption amounts for 2019.  The 2019 adjustments will be the same as tax year 2018.

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    IRS Announces Automatic Waiver for Estimated Tax Penalty

    Posted by Jonathan Ciccotelli on Aug 27, 2019 9:04:19 AM

    Topics: Tax Planning & Strategies

    On August 14, 2019, the IRS announced it would waive estimated tax penalties for eligible 2018 taxpayers.  This will effect around 400,000 tax filers who have already filed their 2018 federal tax return according to the IRS.

    If you have already filed your 2018 federal tax return and are eligible for the waiver, there is no need to contact the IRS or apply for the waiver.  The waiver will automatically be applied to your tax account by the IRS. 

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    Attention, Virtual Currency Owners: Pay Your Back Taxes - the IRS is Coming for You

    Posted by Jonathan Ciccotelli on Aug 22, 2019 4:15:10 PM

    Topics: Tax Planning & Strategies

    Taxpayers who own cryptocurrency should pay close attention to the IRS’s recent announcement. In July, the department announced they will soon crack down on taxpayers who fail to report their virtual currency transactions. Past activity will not be ignored. In this announcement, IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig encourages taxpayers to meet their past tax obligations by amending prior returns and paying back taxes. 

    IRS Efforts

    Last month, the IRS sent over 10,000 educational letters that explain what transactions are taxable, when taxpayers should report their transactions, and how taxpayers can remedy past reporting oversights. The IRS has a history of helping taxpayers understand the ins and outs of the tax law, so these educational letters come as no surprise. In 2014, the department released a taxpayer notice explaining how virtual currency should be reported and how it will be taxed. Last year, they unveiled a Virtual Currency Compliance campaign that deployed training resources to the public and collected taxpayer feedback. And most recently, they announced that official guidance on the taxability of cryptocurrency transactions is forthcoming. Although the IRS’s chief concern is enforcement, taxpayer education is high on their priority list.

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