Joseph Heneghan No Comments

Understanding IRS Audit Guidance

IRS examiners usually do their homework before meeting with taxpayers and their professional representatives. This includes reviewing any relevant Audit Techniques Guides (ATGs) that typically focus on a specific industry or audit-prone business transaction.

Though designed to help IRS examiners prepare for audits, ATGs are available to the public. So, small business taxpayers can review them, too — and gain valuable insights into issues that might surface during audits. Read more

Joseph Heneghan No Comments

Taxation Issues in the Gig Economy

Mobile apps and online platforms have revolutionized the way many businesses offer services to consumers. Examples of the so-called “Gig” economy are widespread – from ride sharing and vacation rentals to on-demand housekeeping and legal advice. If you decide to jump on the sharing economy bandwagon, it’s important to understand the tax rules for recognizing income, making estimated payments and deducting legitimate business expenses.

Do you provide car rides through a mobile app, rent out your spare room using an online platform or repair computers for local businesses on demand? If so, you may be considered part of the “gig economy” or the “sharing economy.”

Participation in this emerging method of distributing services can be a good way to earn money in your down time, pursue a more flexible lifestyle and provide cash to offset the expenses associated with owning a vehicle or a home. The IRS recently offered some guidance for this rising trend. Here’s a summary of the key points. Read more

Christine Hradsky No Comments

Revenue Recognition: Private Companies Prepare for New Rules

Revenue Recognition

Private companies that follow U.S. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) are running out of time to implement the new revenue recognition rules. Are your accounting systems and personnel ready for this fundamental shift in financial reporting? The effects will likely be more far-reaching than expected, based on feedback from public companies that implemented the changes in 2018. Read more

Christine Hradsky No Comments

Overview of Real Estate Depreciation Changes

Real Estate

The new tax law is giving real estate investors reason to celebrate this tax season.

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) included several favorable changes to the federal income tax depreciation rules for real estate. However, one intended change didn’t make it into the statutory language, and there are some potential pitfalls to avoid. Here’s what real estate investors need to know. Read more

Christine Hradsky No Comments

DOL Pitches Auto-Portability Program to Preserve Retirement Savings

Auto-PortabilityThe U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) is advancing a proposal that would enable 401(k) plan sponsors to automatically transfer account balances up to $5,000 of former participants who have left the company. The amounts would be transferred to the 401(k) plan of an employee’s new employer. Assets transferred using this “auto portability” approach would make an intermediate pit stop in an IRA before landing in the former employee’s new employer’s plan. Here’s what you need to know. Read more

Christine Hradsky No Comments

Estate Tax Planning Tips for Single People

Estate Tax

Single taxpayers with an estate plan may need to give extra attention to maximize how much they can transfer to loved ones tax-free during their lifetimes and beyond.

Estate planning is an important part of your overall wealth management strategy, especially if you’re unmarried. Single parents may worry about who will care for their minor children and whether their surviving kids’ financial needs will be met until adulthood. Likewise, wealthy single people have less flexibility when it comes to shielding transfers from gift and estate taxes.

Fortunately, under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), estate tax issues are less of a concern. The exemption amounts have been temporarily raised, so you’re less likely to be hit with the federal estate tax. But you may need to update your existing estate plan to take advantage of the favorable changes.  Read more

Christine Hradsky No Comments

Fa La La Falling Afoul of Foreign Gift Rules…

Foreign Gift

If you plan to do any international gifting or donating this year, make sure you are aware of possible tax consequences that may be associated.

By Bethany Bouw, CPA

Tis the season when those far and wide give gifts to their loved ones and charities. While you may be giving purely for the benefit of others, this does not remove the need to be aware of IRS requirements and regulations. Though the recipients will appreciate your altruistic intent, the IRS still has expectations no matter the spirit of the season. So, lest you fall afoul of the reporting rules, here are three commonly asked questions to consider as you gift and donate internationally this holiday season. Read more

Christine Hradsky No Comments

Tax Court Sets Boundaries on Commuting Deductions

Commuting Deductions

Commuting between your residence and place of business are generally non-deductable, but there are a few exceptions.

Although you usually can’t deduct typical “commuting” expenses from home, you may qualify for a special exception if you’re away working on temporary assignments. But the IRS and the U.S. Tax Court won’t allow borderline deductions, as evidenced by one case involving a construction worker.

We’ll explain what happened in the case, but first, here is some background information. Read more

Christine Hradsky No Comments

Tax Cheer for Holiday Gifts to Employees

Employee Gifts

Before you decide on year-end gifts for your employees, know the potential tax consequences that may be associeted.

With the holidays fast approaching, you might want to reward your employees for all their hard work in 2018. Gift-giving ideas include gift cards, holiday turkeys and achievement awards.

Although your intent may be essentially the same in all these situations, the tax outcome for recipients of your goodwill may be quite different. Typically, it depends on the value and type of gift or award.  Read more