Professional Accounting Blog

    Accounting For Your Prosperity

    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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    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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    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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    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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    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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    IRS Gives Additional Guidance on Bonus Depreciation Under the TCJA

    Posted by Meaden & Moore on Oct 4, 2019 11:17:18 AM

    Topics: Tax Planning & Strategies

    The IRS has released final regulations and another round of proposed regs for the first-year 100% bonus depreciation deduction. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) expanded the deduction to 100% if the qualified property is placed in service through 2022, with the amount dropping each subsequent year by 20%, until it sunsets in 2027. (The phaseout reductions are delayed a year for certain property with longer production periods.) Of course, Congress could act before that to extend or revise the deduction. 

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