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2019 – 03/18 – Could your business benefit from the tax credit for family and medical leave?

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act created a federal tax credit for employers that provide qualified paid family and medical leave to employees. However, it’s subject to numerous rules and is only available for the 2018 and 2019 tax years. An eligible employer can claim a credit equal to 12.5% of wages paid to qualifying employees who are on family and medical leave, if the leave payments are at least 50% of the normal wages paid to them. For each 1% increase over 50%, the credit rate increases by 0.25%, up to a maximum credit rate of 25%. Contact us for more information.

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2019 – 03/12 – The 2018 gift tax return deadline is almost here

Did you make large gifts to your heirs in 2018? If so, it’s important to determine whether you’re required to file a gift tax return by April 15 (Oct. 15 if you file for an extension). Generally, you’ll need to file one if you made 2018 gifts that exceeded the $15,000-per-recipient gift tax annual exclusion (unless to your U.S. citizen spouse) and in certain other situations. But sometimes it’s desirable to file a gift tax return even if you aren’t required to. If you’re not sure whether you must (or should) file a 2018 gift tax return, contact us.

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2019 – 03/12 – The 2018 gift tax return deadline is almost here

Did you make large gifts to your heirs in 2018? If so, it’s important to determine whether you’re required to file a gift tax return by April 15 (Oct. 15 if you file for an extension). Generally, you’ll need to file one if you made 2018 gifts that exceeded the $15,000-per-recipient gift tax annual exclusion (unless to your U.S. citizen spouse) and in certain other situations. But sometimes it’s desirable to file a gift tax return even if you aren’t required to. If you’re not sure whether you must (or should) file a 2018 gift tax return, contact us.

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2019 – 03/11 – There’s still time for small business owners to set up a SEP retirement plan for last year

If you own a business and don’t have a tax-advantaged retirement plan, it’s not too late to establish one and reduce your 2018 tax bill. A Simplified Employee Pension (SEP) can be set up for 2018 as long as you do it before your 2018 income tax return filing deadline. You have until the same deadline to make 2018 contributions and claim a potentially substantial deduction on your 2018 return. Contributions are discretionary and may be as large as $55,000 for 2018. Contact us with questions and to discuss whether it makes sense for you to set up a SEP for 2018.

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2019 – 03/04 – Will leasing equipment or buying it be more tax efficient for your business

Recent changes to tax law and accounting rules may affect whether you decide to lease or buy equipment or other fixed assets. Many businesses that have typically leased assets are now buying them instead. Lease payments generally are deductible, but buying allows you to take advantage of expanded Section 179 and bonus depreciation deductions to potentially write off the full cost of equipment in the year it’s purchased. Also, the accounting advantages of leases generally are disappearing. We can help you determine whether leasing or buying is better for you.

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2019 – 03/05 – Vehicle-expense deduction ins and outs for individual taxpayers

It’s not just businesses that can deduct vehicle-related expenses. Individuals also can deduct them in certain circumstances. But the TCJA might reduce your deduction compared to your 2017 return. For 2017, miles driven for business, moving, medical and charitable purposes were potentially deductible. For 2018 through 2025, business and moving miles are deductible only in much more limited circumstances. The near-doubling of the standard deduction may also affect the tax benefit. Questions? Contact us. We can help you with your 2018 return and 2019 tax planning.

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2019 – 03/01 – Audits home in on cybersecurity

In 2018, the average organizational cost of a data breach in the United States was $7.91 million. With so much at stake, it’s no surprise that auditors consider data security when conducting their audit risk assessments. During audit fieldwork, expect to answer questions about cybersecurity and the effectiveness of your company’s internal controls against these threats. Your answers, in turn, can help you formulate more effective governance strategies.

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2019 – 02/25 – Beware the Ides of March — if you own a pass-through entity

Pass-through entity owners: Beware the Ides of March. Shakespeare’s words don’t apply just to Julius Caesar; they also apply to calendar-year partnerships, S corporations and limited liability companies treated as partnerships or S corporations for tax purposes. Why? The Ides of March, better known as March 15, is the federal income tax filing deadline for these entities. If you haven’t filed your return and are worried about having sufficient time to complete it, you can avoid the tragedy of a late return by filing for an extension. Contact us with questions.

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2019 – 02/26 – Careful tax planning required for incentive stock options

Incentive stock options (ISOs) allow you to buy your employer’s stock in the future at a fixed price equal to or greater than the stock’s fair market value on the ISO grant date. If the stock appreciates, you can buy shares at a price below what they’re then trading for. But complex tax rules apply. If you were granted ISOs in 2018, there likely isn’t any impact on your 2018 income tax return. But if in 2018 you exercised ISOs or sold stock you acquired via exercising ISOs, then it could affect your 2018 tax liability. Need help tax planning for ISOs? Contact us.

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2019 – 02/22 – How to report stock compensation paid to nonemployees

Existing accounting rules call for different treatment of stock-based compensation paid to employees vs. nonemployees. The dual standards were recently aligned, however. Under the updated guidance, share-based payments made to employees, contractors and consultants all will be recognized in the same period and in the same manner as if the company had paid cash for goods or services instead of stock. The changes go into effect in 2019 for calendar-year public companies; private companies get an extra year to comply. Contact us for more details.

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