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2018 – 07/10 – What you can deduct when volunteering

While donations to charity of cash or property generally are tax deductible (if you itemize), donations of time or services aren’t. But you potentially can deduct out-of-pocket costs associated with volunteer work, such as supplies, uniforms, transportation and even travel. To be deductible, the costs can’t be reimbursed or be “personal, living or family” expenses. And they must be directly connected to the services you’re providing and be incurred only because of your volunteering. Additional rules apply; contact us with questions.

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2018 – 07/02 – Does your business have to begin collecting sales tax on all out-of-state online sales?

The recent U.S. Supreme Court decision in South Dakota v. Wayfair allows states to impose sales tax on more out-of-state online sales. But does it mean your business must immediately begin collecting sales tax on online sales to all out-of-state customers? No. You must collect such taxes only if the particular state requires it. South Dakota’s law, for example, requires out-of-state retailers that made at least 200 sales or sales totaling at least $100,000 in the state to collect sales tax. But laws vary dramatically from state to state. Contact us with questions.

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State Budget Becomes Law, Includes State Tax Return Extension Provision

As June 12th, both chambers have voted to override Governor Cooper’s veto of the new state budget, allowing it to become law. Included in the budget was a state extension proposal NCACPA worked diligently on over the past several months. The provision requires any taxpayer granted an extension of time for filing a federal income tax return be granted an automatic extension of time to file the corresponding state income tax return and franchise tax return. This becomes effective for taxable years beginning on or after January 2019.

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2018 – 06/26 – Do you know the ABCs of HSAs, FSAs and HRAs?

Do you know the ABCs of HSAs, FSAs and HRAs? The accounts in this “alphabet soup” offer tax-advantaged health care funding. If you have a qualified high-deductible health plan (HDHP), you can contribute to an HSA. It can grow tax-deferred similar to an IRA. An HDHP isn’t required for you to contribute to an FSA. What you don’t use by year end, you lose, but there are exceptions. An HRA also doesn’t require an HDHP, but only your employer can contribute. Any unused portion typically is carried forward. Questions about taxes and health care expenses? Contact us.

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2018 – 06/29 – Using analytical procedures in an audit provides many benefits

Ratio analysis, regression and other analytical procedures can help make your audit more efficient and effective. Analytics can be used to identify misstatements with less effort and paperwork than traditional, manual testing. But it’s critical to tell your auditor about any recent changes to your operations, accounting methods or market conditions. This helps auditors develop more reliable expectations and identify plausible explanations for material discrepancies. Contact us about ways to incorporate more analytics into next year’s audit.

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2018 – 06/11 – 2 tax law changes that may affect your business’s 401(k) plan

When you think about recent tax law changes and your business, retirement benefits probably aren’t what first come to mind. But if your business sponsors a 401(k) plan, be aware of two changes: 1) Beginning in 2018, former employees with outstanding plan loan balances have until their tax return filing due date (plus extensions) to repay the loan or contribute the outstanding balance to an IRA or other qualified plan and avoid taxes and penalties. 2) Beginning in 2019, limits on employee 401(k) hardship withdrawals will increase. Contact us to learn more.

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2018 – 06/25 – Choosing the best business entity structure post-TCJA

On the surface, the TCJA’s new, flat 21% income tax rate for C corporations may make choosing C corp structure for your business seem like a no-brainer. After all, 21% is much lower than the 37% top rate that applies to pass-through entities (such as partnerships and S corps). But C corps can still be subject to double taxation. And pass-through entity owners may be eligible for the TCJA’s new 20% qualified business income deduction. The best entity type for your business depends on its unique situation and your situation as an owner. Contact us to learn more.

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2018 – 06/05 – Factor in state and local taxes when deciding where to live in retirement

Thinking about retiring to another state? Consider state and local taxes. A state that has no personal income tax may appear to be the best option. But if you don’t also factor in property, sales and estate taxes, you could be hit with unpleasant tax surprises. Also look at what types of income a state taxes. Some don’t tax wages but do tax interest and dividends. Others offer tax breaks for retirement plan and Social Security income. And keep in mind the TCJA’s new $10,000 limit on the federal deduction for state and local taxes. Contact us to learn more.

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2018 – 06/15 – Which intangibles should private firms report following a merger?

Accounting for M&As under U.S. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles can require a lot of red tape. Fortunately, there’s a private company reporting alternative that exempts noncompetes and certain customer-related intangibles from being identified and reported separately on the balance sheet after a business combination. But it doesn’t apply to public companies or other types of acquired intangibles, such as trade names or patents. Contact us for help deciding whether this alternative could simplify your postacquisition financial reporting.

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