Virtual currency has gone mainstream. AT&T recently announced that its customers can use Bitcoin to pay their phone bills. Other big companies that accept Bitcoin include Microsoft, Expedia and Overstock. Competitors likely will follow suit. However, using virtual currency has tax implications … Read More »
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“A Run for Its Money,” article by Anthony DeMarco, with a contribution by Robert Hoberman, was published in Rapaport Magazine.
How can the diamond and jewelry trade pull out of whay many say are dire financial straits?
Please see this article and Robert Hoberman’s … Read More »
The complimentary use of a company car is one of the best perks an employee may receive as part of a compensation package. But the benefit to the employee isn’t completely “free” under current tax law. Essentially, personal use of a … Read More »
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Many businesses will pay less federal income taxes in 2018 and beyond, thanks to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA). Some will spend their tax savings on merging with or acquiring another business. Before you jump on the M&A bandwagon, … Read More »
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For many small business owners, their ownership interest is one of their biggest personal assets. What will happen to your ownership interest if you get divorced? In many cases, your marital estate will include all (or part) of your business interest.
Sometimes, … Read More »
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Are you considering buying a new plug-in electric vehicle or a plug-in electric-gas hybrid vehicle? There is good and bad news about the tax credits and other cost-saving benefits available on these vehicles.
The good news is that the Tax Cuts and Jobs … Read More »
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States may force online retailers to collect potentially billions of dollars in sales taxes, the U.S. Supreme Court said in a major ruling on Thursday, that undercut an advantage many e-commerce companies have enjoyed over brick-and-mortar rivals.
The justices overturned a … Read More »
Regardless of the season, travel brings photo opportunities that are prime for posting on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media platforms. But fraud-savvy people think twice before engaging in what’s known as “instabragging.” Here are examples of what could … Read More »
The IRS is always skeptical when individual taxpayers claim deductions for bad debt losses. Why? Losses from purported loan transactions often fail to meet the tax-law requirements for bad debt loss deductions.
For example, a taxpayer might try to write off … Read More »
Definitions of the millennial generation vary, but basically these are people who, today, range from 20 to 36 years old. Their distinctive characteristics are attributed to two primary factors:
Most were raised by highly attentive baby boomer parents, and
Instant communication via electronic … Read More »
Robert Hoberman authored the article, “Making the Most of Memos,” which was published in the February 2018 issue of Rapaport Magazine. You can download or read the article here.
Consignment can be a lucrative arrangement for jewelers, as long as both … Read More »
Most employers believe their employees expect to work past age 65. A recent survey by the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies states that one reason for staying on the job longer is that so many older workers experience a shortfall of … Read More »
Are you age 50 or older? If so, you can currently make extra “catch-up” contributions to certain types of tax-favored retirement accounts. Over time, these contributions can make a significant difference in your retirement-age wealth.
What about tax reform? After … Read More »
President Trump and Republican members of Congress say the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) will bring $3.2 trillion in tax cuts. Now that the bill has passed, everyone wants to know how much they’ll save.
Unfortunately, the tax bill won’t … Read More »
The new tax reform law — commonly referred to as the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act” (TCJA) — is the most significant tax legislation in decades. Now businesses and individuals are trying to digest the details and evaluate how the … Read More »
Taxpayers have an obligation to file information reporting forms to report certain payments to nonresident individuals, foreign corporations, foreign partnerships, and certain foreign fiduciaries, estates, and trusts. In general, every U.S. person that makes a payment from U.S. sources must … Read More »
Although nowhere in the United States is safe from Mother Nature, there is a silver tax lining: If your personal-use property is struck by a natural disaster, damaged by another calamity or stolen, you may be able to obtain some … Read More »
There’s a fine line between businesses and hobbies under the federal tax code. If you engage in an unincorporated sideline — such as a marketing director by day and an artist on the nights and weekends — you may think … Read More »
Are you thinking about divesting a real estate investment and then replacing it with another property? If you sell appreciated property outright, you’ll incur a taxable gain, which lowers the amount available to spend on the replacement property. But you … Read More »
Hurricane Irma has left many victims in parts of Florida, the U.S. Virgin Islands and other areas unable to fulfill their tax responsibilities and perform some key tax-related responsibilities. In response, the IRS is offering Hurricane Irma victims extra time … Read More »
Equifax, one of the nation’s three major credit reporting agencies, recently reported a massive data breach. Are you among the 143 million U.S. consumers whose personal information was hacked? Here’s how to find out — and how to help protect … Read More »
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 “sharing economy” (also known as … Read More »
People approaching retirement age often have questions about benefits they may be eligible to receive from the Social Security Administration (SSA). Here are common concerns regarding the Social Security system.
Collecting Retirement Benefits
According to the 2017 report by the Social Security … Read More »
Whether someone who performs work for you qualifies as an employee or an independent contractor matters a great deal in terms of your financial and legal obligations to that individual. This includes such issues as whether your business must pay … Read More »
Marriage changes life in many ways. Here’s how it may affect your tax situation.
Your marital status at year end determines your tax filing options for the entire year. If you’re married on December 31, you’ll have two federal income … Read More »
Feeling the urge to purge? Before you clear your filing cabinets of old financial records, it’s important to make sure you won’t be caught empty-handed if an IRS auditor contacts you.
In general, you must keep records that support items … Read More »
Robert Hoberman was quoted in the article, “Sales vs. Use Tax,” which was published in the July 2017 issue of Rapaport Magazine. You can download or read the article here.
If you own a home with a mortgage, you should have received an IRS form from your lender each year with information that is used to claim an itemized deduction for qualified residence interest. For 2016, that form included additional … Read More »
Graduation can be one of the most exciting — and intimidating — times in your life. You’re officially an adult, and with that new-found independence comes financial responsibilities. No pressure, but the decisions you make today about spending and saving … Read More »
Have you been contemplating moving to another state with lower taxes? Your move could lower your state tax bill, but you want to make sure to establish that the new state is your place of legal residency (also known as … Read More »
The following table provides some important federal tax information for 2017 as compared with 2016. Many of the dollar amounts are unchanged or have changed only slightly due to low inflation. Other amounts are changing due to legislation.
Social Security/ Medicare
2017 … Read More »
Beginning with Tax Year 2016, the taxpayer’s driver license or state identification information is now required for New York State (and certain other states) personal income tax returns that are prepared using software. The requirement, which is considered an additional … Read More »
The New Jersey Division of Taxation reminds taxpayers regarding previously enacted legislation that reduces the sales and use tax rate from 7% to 6.875% on and after January 1, 2017, and further reduces the rate to 6.625% … Read More »
Few people enjoy giving money to the IRS, but some types of taxes are viewed more unfavorably than others. Here are three worthy candidates vying for the title of most-hated tax.
Penalty Tax on Individuals without Health Insurance
As you probably know, … Read More »
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With Donald Trump as the president elect and Republicans holding a majority in the U.S. House and Senate, GOP tax reform appears likely in 2017. While campaigning, Mr. Trump promised big tax changes. Here’s a digest of his proposals, according … Read More »
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Does your employer offer a 401(k), 403(b) or governmental 457 plan? If so, you may be able to set up a designated Roth account through your company’s plan. Then your Roth account will be allowed to receive designated Roth contributions … Read More »
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Sometimes employers try to make logical assumptions about the way government regulations work. Unfortunately, doing that without checking the fine print can be a prescription for trouble. To follow are several real-life scenarios that probably made sense to the employers … Read More »
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The internal revenue code allows some worthwhile tax breaks for transportation-related employee fringe benefits. They are intended to persuade you to give up your gas-guzzling vehicle when commuting to work and instead “go green.” If your employer offers these tax-favored … Read More »
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Unless you’ve extended the due date for filing last year’s individual federal income tax return to October 17, the filing deadline passed you by in April. What if you didn’t extend and you haven’t yet filed your Form 1040? And … Read More »
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The start of the school year can bring opportunities for savvy business owners. This article provides some insights into this market segment and creative, real-world marketing solutions to inspire you to “think outside the pencil box” this school year.
Back-to-School Business … Read More »
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In a new alert, the IRS warned taxpayers to be aware of bogus e-mails telling recipients that they owe money for taxes related to the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The IRS has received numerous reports from around the country about … Read More »
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Favorable depreciation rules for business use of “heavy” SUVs, pickups and vans were locked-in by the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act of 2015. By taking advantage of these rules, you may be able to write-off the entire business-use … Read More »
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More than half of Americans either own or work for a small business, and these entities create about two out of every three jobs in the United States each year, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration.
Most of today’s small … Read More »
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For 20 years, the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) has been publishing studies every two years to raise awareness of occupational fraud, and the role strong internal controls can play in limiting these schemes. The 2016 Report to the … Read More »
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When you add them all up, employee benefits can easily equate to 30% or even 40% of total compensation. Chances are, your workers do not know that, but they should.
The International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans recently asked its members … Read More »
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If you or a loved one plans to to get married this year, it’s important to establish budget guidelines upfront. By setting limits and sticking to them, you’re setting the tone for a financially responsible future.
Before and After the Wedding
In … Read More »
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Numerous tax breaks have been retroactively expanded for 2015 and beyond — or, in some cases, been made permanent — under the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act of 2015. Now that the dust from the new law has … Read More »
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In 2015, IRS audits of partnerships were up 18.6% over the previous tax year, according to the agency’s Fiscal Year 2015 Enforcement and Service Results. That is the highest audit rate partnerships have experienced since 2006. By comparison, in 2015, … Read More »
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In recent months, there have been several significant tax developments that affect partnerships. They also apply to multi-member limited liability companies (LLCs) that are treated as partnerships. (For simplicity, we’ll use the terms “partnership” and “partner” to refer to all … Read More »
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From mobile apps to the Internet, technology has transformed our lives. It facilitates financial transactions and the transmission of information, however, it also brings risks. There are weekly news stories about sensitive personal data being hacked online and sold on … Read More »
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The IRS kicked off tax filing season by publishing a series of press releases that highlight the “dirty dozen” tax scams for this year. Although there are no major surprises, it’s important to note that these scams have become increasingly … Read More »
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Unfortunately, the demand for summer jobs consistently outpaces the supply of open positions—and it’s been getting worse over time. Only 34% of U.S. teens had jobs last summer, according to JPMorgan Chase’s recent study entitled “Expanding Economic Opportunity for Youth … Read More »
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A fundamental requirement of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) is that employers must not “interfere with, restrain or coerce employees in the exercise of their rights” to organize into labor unions, collectively bargain and engage in similar “concerted activities”.
In … Read More »
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Many companies choose to lease certain assets, rather than buy them outright. Leasing arrangements are especially common among construction contractors, manufacturers, retailers, health care providers, airlines and trucking companies that rely on expensive equipment or real estate in their day-to-day … Read More »
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A change in the rules governing overtime has been coming for two years, with a sneak preview of proposed modifications last year. But on May 18, the Department of Labor (DOL) came out with its new final rules, which take … Read More »
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To some extent, extreme, or inclement weather is in the eye of the beholder. To a 20-year-old who recently purchased a four-wheel drive SUV, a foot of snow or six inches of rain will probably be viewed as an opportunity … Read More »
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The following table provides some important federal tax information for 2016, as compared with 2015. Many of the dollar amounts are unchanged or have changed only slightly due to low inflation. Other amounts are changing due to legislation.
Social Security/ Medicare
2016 … Read More »
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Attending college or graduate school is one of the biggest investments you’ll ever make—and finances are a key deciding factor for most students. For the 2015-2016 school year, the College Board estimates that the average annual cost (including tuition, fees, … Read More »
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In 2016, the federal gift and estate tax exemption increases to $5.45 million (up from $5.43 million for 2015). In recent months, there have also been several significant developments on the estate tax front. Here are some tips to help … Read More »
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2016 ushers in a few changes to the tax laws that govern benefits, as the IRS recently laid out in its annual “Tax Guide to Fringe Benefits.” The document features the fine points of tests that tax-exempt benefits must satisfy … Read More »
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The Baby Boomer generation reached its peak in 1957 at an annual birth rate of about 4.3 million people. These Baby Boomers will turn 59 years old in 2016, and they’ll soon be eligible to withdraw funds from their qualified … Read More »
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The research credit is back—this time for good—and it’s better than ever for some small companies. Under the PATH Act, the research credit is restored retroactive to January 1, 2015, and has finally been made permanent. The new law also … Read More »
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Here are four changes in the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015 (PATH Act) that are of interest to employers.
There’s now parity between employer-provided mass transit and parking benefits. The new law permanently extends the maximum monthly exclusion … Read More »
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Succession planning is important in any business, but it’s sometimes overlooked in family-owned operations. This is a big mistake. There are numerous former family-run companies that no longer exist due to poor or no succession plan.
The plan needs to be … Read More »
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This past holiday season, taxpayers received a “gift” from Washington, D.C. —the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015 or, simply, the PATH Act. This bipartisan deal made about one-third of these tax provisions permanent. Many others have been … Read More »
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A recently passed law closes loopholes in the Social Security rules that have allowed married couples to receive more benefits over their lifetimes by following certain strategies. The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, signed by President Obama on November 2, … Read More »
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It’s been about five months since the Department of Labor’s (DOL’s) Wage and Hour Division issued its proposed update on overtime rules. Specifically, the agency has suggested revisions to the definition of which employees are exempt from overtime pay requirements … Read More »
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The Affordable Care Act (ACA) seems to be making Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) more popular than ever. A recent report issued by Devenir, an HSA industry participant, highlights two key findings:
As of June 30, 2015, the number of HSAs had … Read More »
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The research credit is back—this time for good—and it’s better than ever for some small companies. The Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act of 2015, signed into law by the president on December 18, does much more than extend … Read More »
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For tax year 2016, the IRS recently announced many annual inflation adjustments. IRS Revenue Procedure 2015-53 provides details about these amounts.
Because inflation is low, many of the amounts for 2016 will not change from 2015. For example, the elective deferrals … Read More »
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The Social Security Administration (SSA) recently announced some important news. Rumors about a benefits freeze had surfaced in the summer. Finally, on October 15, the SSA formally announced that the consumer price index it uses to gauge inflation wasn’t high … Read More »
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Changes brought by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) continue to roll in. For affected employers, these changes could mean higher expenses and will add filing responsibilities with the IRS.
Background: The ACA has a language of its own, with many new … Read More »
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Business owners who engage in proactive planning can take some of the “bite” out of their taxes. Here are some simple strategies for you to consider during the fourth quarter of 2015. These maneuvers require action before year end, so … Read More »
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Taxpayers who review their situations before year end have many more tax-reduction strategies at their disposal than those who wait until after the start of the tax filing season. Here’s an overview of several ways to lower taxes that require … Read More »
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Our world is more interconnected than ever before. The Internet has become an integral part of everyone’s business and personal lives. But along with Web-based opportunities come risks of breaches and associated losses.
The second-quarter 2015 Duke University / CFO … Read More »