Tu Nguyen No Comments

What is this ITIN you ask about?

By Bethany Bouw, CPA

Tax season is upon us all which means it is time for those with filing requirements to file their tax returns. Filers with Social Security numbers can file their returns with no concerns about the return being processed to the correct account. The social security number means that the tax information filings and tax returns are tracked to that number. “The process is not as straightforward for those who are ineligible to receive a social security number. There is a specific process for getting an identifying number.

Ineligible for a Social Security Number (SSN)

There is an answer for those that have need of an identifying number for US tax purposes and are ineligible for a SSN. The US government allows for filing a request for an IRS Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN). The ITIN can be used in place of a SSN to file the US tax return. The applicant can be either a resident alien or a non-resident alien. Both resident and non-resident could need to file to be compliant with US tax law. This number is to be used only for federal tax purposes. The ITIN does not equate to work permission, eligibility for social security, or work for earned income tax credit purposes. Those who are eligible for a SSN are ineligible for an ITIN.

Read more

Tu Nguyen No Comments

TCJA Depreciation and Other Deduction Changes

By Jason Dudas, CPA

Under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, contractors are now able to take a deduction for the full cost of machinery and equipment purchase made each year. This new provision is referred to as 100% bonus depreciation and there is no limitation on the amount of purchases. The provision is available for assets acquired and placed-in-service after September 27, 2017.

Read more

Christine Hradsky No Comments

Gender-Based Pay Discrimination Allegations: Is Your Business Vulnerable?

Pay Discrimination

Many employers are unsure about what constitutes pay discrimination in the eyes of courts and the EEOC.

Laws and regulations governing gender-based pay equality have been on the books for decades. But equal pay for men and women has become a hot button in the business world, thanks to the #MeToo movement and some recent surveys documenting widespread pay disparity.

Recent Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) gender-based discrimination allegations suggest that many employers are unclear about what constitutes pay discrimination in the eyes of courts and regulators. While it can be a gray area, it’s important to know the basics to help you assess your risk of an EEOC equal pay claim- and take preventive measures to protect your company and it’s employees.  Read more

Christine Hradsky No Comments

Tread Carefully When Renting Space

Medical fraud

Office spaces being rented between physicians and medical suppliers are getting more attention for potentially fraudulent activity and kickbacks.

As you know, medical practitioners are subject to a federal law that makes it a felony to influence the referral of federal health care business, including Medicare and Medicaid.

For example, if a physician refers a patient to a specialist and receives part of the specialist’s Medicare payment in exchange, the doctor has committed a felony under the Anti-Kickback Statute and could be subject to criminal and civil charges. The physician could also be excluded from Medicare and other federally funded health care programs. Read more

Christine Hradsky No Comments

Foreign Tax Technical Update- Section 956

PROPOSED REGULATIONS REDUCING THE AMOUNT DETERMINED UNDER SECTION 956 WITH RESPECT TO CERTAIN DOMESTIC CORPORATIONS ISSUED

Summary

On October 31, the Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service (collectively, Treasury) issued proposed regulations under Section 956, Investment of earnings in United States property, (the Proposed Regulations). The Proposed Regulations reduce the amount determined under Section 956 with respect to certain domestic corporations that own (or are treated as owning) stock in foreign corporations. 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

Own a CFC? Get Ready to be GILTI…

There have been many changes in the last 12 months for US taxation of foreign entities. US shareholders of controlled foreign corporations (CFCs) have already felt the pinch of transition tax for 2017. Unfortunately, the pinch of foreign taxation changes is going to continue in 2018 and onwards thanks in part to GILTI. As the acronyms connotation implies, it is a less than popular tax change. Let us look together at some significant points related to the ominous GILTI: 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

IRS Ups the Ante on Retirement Contributions

Retirement Contributions

The IRS recently published annual cost-of-living adjustments for 401(k), IRA, and other qualified retirement accounts.

Every year, the IRS releases cost-of-living adjustments to qualified retirement plan amounts. For the tax year 2019, many of the limits applicable to pensions and other retirement plans will increase. But some will remain unchanged from 2018. Read more