2018 – 05/04 – Profits: How low can you go?
Are your profits falling compared to revenue and assets? To find the cause, study the three major components of your income statement: 1) revenue, 2) cost of sales, and 3) selling and administrative expenses. Our auditors can help you monitor trends by computing your gross margin, profit margin, return on assets and other financial ratios. We can also identify potential industrywide and company-specific reasons for the decline, as well as possible solutions to get your performance back on track.
2018 – 05/01 – Get started on 2018 tax planning now!
With the April 17 individual income tax filing deadline behind you (or with your 2017 tax return on the back burner if you filed for an extension), you may be hoping to not think about taxes for the next several months. But for maximum tax savings, now is the time to start tax planning for 2018. It’s especially critical to get an early start this year because the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act has substantially changed the tax environment. We can help you determine how the new law affects you and what strategies you should implement to minimize your tax liability.
2018 – 04/24 – Tax record retention guidelines for individuals
What 2017 tax records can you toss once you’ve filed your individual return? None. But it’s the perfect time to go through old tax records and see what you can discard. A common rule of thumb is to keep tax records for at least six years from filing, after which the IRS generally no longer can audit your return or assess additional taxes, even if your income was understated. But hang on to certain records longer. Examples include tax returns themselves, W-2 forms, and records related to real estate, investments or retirement accounts. Contact us with questions.
2018 – 04/30 – A review of significant TCJA provisions affecting small businesses
Now that small businesses and their owners have filed their 2017 income tax returns (or extensions), it’s a good time to review the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) provisions that may significantly impact their taxes for 2018 and beyond. Depending on your entity type, either the new 21% corporate tax rate or the new 20% qualified business income deduction may substantially cut your taxes. And all businesses need to be aware of the breaks the TCJA enhances and the ones it limits or eliminates. The key to maximizing your tax savings is to begin 2018 tax planning now.
2018 – 04/23 – Tax document retention guidelines for small businesses
You may have breathed a sigh of relief after filing your 2017 income tax return (or requesting an extension). But if you have years’ worth of receipts, canceled checks and other tax-related records for your small business, you probably want to get rid of what you can. A good rule of thumb is to hold on to tax-related documents for at least six years. But you should keep some records longer. For example, keep property-related records at least seven years after you dispose of the property. And keep copies of returns themselves permanently. Contact us for details.
2018 – 04/20 – Get ready for the new lease standard
Are you ready for the new lease accounting rules? They go live in 2019 for public companies and 2020 for private ones. In a nutshell, they require companies to recognize on their balance sheets the assets and liabilities associated with rentals. The effects will be pervasive. In fact, public companies are expected to add more than $1.25 trillion of lease obligations to their balance sheets next year. We can help you learn how the new rules will affect your business and how various alternative reporting options may help simplify reporting for existing leases.
2018 – 04/09 – A net operating loss on your 2017 tax return isn’t all bad news
If a company’s deductible expenses exceed its income, generally a net operating loss (NOL) occurs. The upside is tax benefits: If the tax year generating the NOL ended on or before 12/31/17, the NOL can be carried back up to 2 years to generate an immediate tax refund and boost cash flow. Any remaining NOL can be carried forward up to 20 years. Or the entire NOL can be carried forward. But the TCJA makes significant, generally unfavorable, changes to the tax treatment of NOLs. The rules are complicated, especially for pass-through entities. Contact us for details.
2018 – 04/16 – TCJA changes to employee benefits tax breaks: 4 negatives and a positive
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act includes many changes affecting tax breaks for employee benefits that will impact not only employees but also the businesses providing the benefits. Beginning with the 2018 tax year, the new law reduces or eliminates tax breaks in these 4 areas: transportation benefits, on-premises meals, moving reimbursements and employee achievement awards. (Some changes are only temporary.) On the plus side, for 2018 and 2019, the new law creates a tax credit for wages paid to qualifying employees on family or medical leave. Contact us for the details.
2018 – 04/17 – Individual tax calendar: Important deadlines for the remainder of 2018
Here are a few key tax-related deadlines for individuals through the rest of 2018. JUNE 15: Pay second installment of 2018 estimated taxes, if applicable. SEPT. 17: Pay third installment of 2018 estimated taxes, if applicable. OCT. 15: File a 2017 income tax return and pay any tax, interest and penalties due, if an automatic six-month extension was filed. DEC. 31: Incur various expenses that potentially can be deducted on your 2018 tax return. Contact us for more information about the filing requirements and to ensure you’re meeting all applicable deadlines.
2018 – 04/06 – Internal control testing: What role does sampling play?
During internal controls testing, auditors analyze a representative sample of transactions to make assertions about the entire population. If an unexpected number of exceptions (including errors and omissions) appear in a sample, more work may be needed. Sampling helps minimize audit costs and disruptions during testing. But it can backfire if the sample is too small or otherwise unrepresentative of the entire population of transactions. Contact us for more information on how sampling works and how you can facilitate the internal controls testing process.