Automotive Outlook

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Industry: Automotive

Industry Topic Content
1|2|5|6| 2|6| 10.10.2010 - Putting The Right Price On A Business
A well-constructed buy-sell agreement among owners of a particular business entity can prove to be invaluable to that particular business and can often help to avoid shareholder disputes and litigation.
1| 11| 05.02.2011 - Tax Tip: Plug-In Electric Vehicles
Congress created tax incentives for the purchase of plug-in electric vehicles in the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 and revised them in the 2009 Recovery Act. The amount of the credit is equal to the sum of $2,500 plus $417 for each kilowatt hour of traction battery capacity in excess of four kilowatt hours.
1| 1| 01.05.2011 - It's Here! Time to Get Going!
Yes, another year is here. Whether you are ready or not, time will keep going. It is time to figure out how you are going to use it to maximize your financial strengths and minimize your financial weaknesses.
1| 11| 05.02.2011 - Tax Tip: Whether Severance Payments are Subject to FICA Tax
An employer who made severance payments to terminated employees or terminated employees who received severance payments — should consider filing a timely claim — for refund if FICA taxes were withheld and paid by the employer.
1| 01.11.2011 - Keeping Track of Your Competitor's Parts & Service Prices
Ask your new or used car manager, and they can probably tell you what your competitors' pricing is on the various models that you offer. However, do you have confidence that your service and parts managers can do the same?
1| 1| 02.01.2011 - Impact of IFRS on Automobile Dealerships
During 2009, the IASB released IFRS for Small and Medium-sized Entities (SMEs). IFRS for SMEs is intended to ease some of the burdens of compliance and reduce the number of required disclosures. Most privately held automobile dealerships will qualify for reporting under this simplified method.
1|2|6|8| 7|9|12| 01.01.2011 - White Paper: Dashboards & Scorecards - What Exactly Are They?
As companies continue to invest in business intelligence, analytical tools are becoming more commonplace. Performance reports are no longer enough. For effective performance management, the numbers need to be accompanied by how and why so that managers know what to do next. Dashboards and scorecards are analytical tools that allow you to focus on the measurements that are important to your business. Before you implement either of these tools, you need to understand the differences between them to determine which one is most appropriate for your needs.
1|9|7|6|5|4|3|2| 11| 04.15.2011 - Health Care Reform Requires Employers to Disclose the Cost of Health Care on Form W-2
Beginning in tax year January 1, 2012, The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) requires that employers disclose the aggregate value of employer-sponsored health coverage to each employee on form W-2, Box 12D. Employers do not need to specify the cost of the different types of health coverage, but only report the total cost of coverage.
1|2|6|8| 7|9|12| 01.01.2011 - White Paper: Escaping the Spreadsheet Quagmire
Now more than ever, effective use of scarce financial resources is essential to driving higher levels of business performance. Unfortunately finance teams spend too much time on the physical machinations of consolidation, internal reporting and external reporting. As a result, finance can’t spend enough time with business leaders analyzing performance and identifying new opportunities. Companies can escape this “Spreadsheet Quagmire” by implementing a Performance Management (PM) solution.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|8| 1|7| 01.01.2011 - White Paper: The Strategic Role of Finance
Finance organizations can be a catalyst for improved business performance by providing actionable information to a company’s most valuable assets – its leaders. Leaders possess a keen knowledge of the marketplace and critical competencies. They combine their market knowledge with internal company information to make operational, tactical and strategic business decisions. The sum of these decisions dictates how well a company performs. For finance to rise to its growing role, it must transform to overcome its current orientation of skills, processes and tools towards transaction processing and historical analysis.
4|3|2|1|5|6|7|8|9| 1|8|12| 05.03.2011 - New Massachusetts Data Security Law Can Mean Harsh Penalties
A law passed in Massachusetts placed stringent new regulations on companies and organizations that are in possession of customers’ personal financial information. These data security measures also included harsh penalties for companies found not to be in full compliance by March 1, 2010, subjecting businesses who fail to adequately protect credit card, debit card, bank account or other financial information to potential fines of more than $100,000.
1|2|5|6| 10| 02.01.2011 - Hiring Trends for 2011 – Growing or Going?
As an Accounting and Finance staffing firm, every day we are asked about hiring and employment trends. While we have found most companies either laid off or did very little hiring in 2009 and 2010, we anticipate 2011 will look completely different.
1|2|5|6| 11| 02.02.2011 - Which Business Entity Is Best for You?
As you are probably well aware, there are several different types of business entities. Which type best suits your current needs?
1|2|5|6| 11| 02.03.2011 - Age-related Milestones
In an era filled with uncertainty, you can count on one thing for sure: Time marches on! This article covers some important age-related tax and financial planning milestones that you should keep in mind for yourself and loved ones.
1|2|5|6|9| 11| 01.31.2011 - New Year Brings With It Significant Tax Law Changes
With the new year now here and the focus soon turning to the upcoming tax season, there are a number of significant changes to state and federal tax laws of which people should be aware. Knowledge of these important changes could prove beneficial as state residents soon prepare to begin their 2010 tax returns.
1|3|4|6|7|8| 8|12| 02.04.2011 - A Cloud Full of ESI
Cloud computing is alive and flourishing. It has become the popular technology tool for many who want to shift from local PC/Network computer storage and processing to external computers in "the cloud" (on the Internet) handling these types of services.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7| 11| 01.26.2011 - How Do I Implement the 2011 Payroll Tax Cut for Employees?
In 2011, millions of employees will receive a significant boost in their take-home pay as a result of the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization and Job Creation Act of 2010 (2010 Tax Relief Act) enacted December 17.
1|2|5|6| 11| 01.13.2011 - Businesses Get Boost With 100-percent Bonus Depreciation and Code Sec. 179 Expensing
Businesses will benefit from a number of extended and enhanced tax breaks under the recently enacted Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization and Job Creation Act of 2010 (2010 Tax Relief Act).
1|2|3|5|6|7|9| 1| 01.13.2011 - Changes Ahead for Organizations with Operating Leases
In August 2010, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) and the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) issued exposure drafts that, if finalized in their current form, would have a significant impact on how companies account for leases.
1|2|5|6| 1| 01.06.2011 - International Financial Reporting Standards - The Future for Private Companies?
Currently, private companies in the U.S. are not required to use a particular basis of accounting when preparing financial statements. Instead, the company can choose to prepare their statements in accordance with GAAP or another comprehensive basis of accounting such as cash or income tax basis, or even IFRS for SMEs based on the needs of the users. The choice is usually driven by contractual obligations with third-party users, including banks, bonding companies, state agencies, etc.
1|2|5|6| 11| 12.08.2010 - Connecticut Sales and Use Taxes on Services, Taxable Services
Connecticut's sales and use tax laws include a proliferation of tax on "enumerated services." In contrast, most states tax somewhere between no services and a few select ones. The roots of this Connecticut anomaly date from when a Connecticut income tax was a "sacred cow," and the legislature tried everything in its power to maintain its revenue base without one.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|8| 9|12| 12.03.2010 - Master Data Management Series - Part 2
In the last article we introduced the concept of Master Data Management (MDM) and why it is relevant to a broad range of organizations. We ended the article with some of the indicators you might look for to determine whether you have an operational or analytical MDM challenge within your organization.
1|2|3|5|6|7| 6| 12.02.2010 - Forensic Accounting in the Underground Economy
More recently, U.S. Senator Carl Levin (D-Michigan) estimated that the U.S. Treasury loses $100 billion each year in unpaid taxes alone. This is commonly called the underground economy. In this article, I shall discuss the sources that fund the underground economy, how those funds are hidden and, more importantly, how they may be detected by forensic accountants.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|8| 12| 11.03.2010 - Master Data Management – Part I
Regardless of the size of your organization, if you've integrated multiple lines of business systems (such as ERP, CRM, etc.) into your environment, you likely have a Master Data Management (MDM) problem. The likelihood of this is further amplified if you've acquired or merged with other businesses. This article is the first in a series that will serve to educate organizations on the importance of MDM, as well as some of the best practices and pitfalls associated with implementing an MDM solution.
1|2|5|6| 11| 11.08.2010 - Foreign Tax Provisions in the 2010 Education and Jobs Act
To help offset the cost of a temporary increase in funding for Medicaid and state education, the recently enacted 2010 Education and Jobs Act (Act) tightens the rules on the use of foreign tax credits that multinationals use to lower their U.S. tax bill.
3|2|1|9|7|6|5|4| 11| 04.15.2011 - IRS Issues 2011 Vehicle Depreciation Dollar Limits
The IRS has issued the limitations on depreciation deductions for owners of passenger automobiles, trucks and vans first "placed in service" (i.e. used) during the 2011 calendar year. The IRS also provided revised tables of depreciation limits for vehicles first placed in service (or first leased by a taxpayer) during 2010 and to which bonus depreciation applies.
1|6| 11| 02.14.2011 - Tax Tip: Small Business Jobs Act and R&D Tax Credit
The Small Business Jobs Act of 2010 should greatly enhance the ability of many businesses to fully enjoy the benefits of their business credits generated in a tax year beginning in 2010. Under the new law, business credits ("eligible small business credits") generated in tax year 2010 by an eligible small business can be used to offset regular tax and AMT.
1|2| 11| 02.10.2011 - Passive Activity Loss Rules
The IRS has repeatedly attacked the use of tool plans as a means of avoiding taxes. The IRS recently blessed a taxpayer's reimbursement plan, but the ruling provides little practical guidance for taxpayers.
1| 11.01.2010 - Go Green - Create Some Green: 7 Ways to Help the Environment and Your Bottom Line
Adopting sustainable business practices isn't only the right thing to do - it also makes financial sense. You can reduce your dealership's operating costs with simple facility upgrades and everyday changes.
1|2|6| 11| 10.20.2010 - Tax Tip: Small Business Healthcare Tax Credit
The new health reform law gives a tax credit to certain small employers that provide healthcare coverage to their employees, effective with tax years beginning in 2010. The new law, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, was passed by Congress and was signed by President Obama on March 23, 2010.
1| 1| 10.14.2010 - Getting Cash to Flow
With sales still lackluster at many stores, having enough cash on hand to meet obligations remains a management challenge. The first step in strong cash-flow management is maintaining an organized system for cash accounts. It's also important to maintain a tight collection policy and to properly account for inventory.
1| 10.01.2010 - Do You Pari Passu?
"Pari passu" is Latin for "equal rate" and, while it is the type of loan arrangement with which many banks and lenders might not be overly familiar, it could open the door to opportunity to those willing to pursue it when seeking a favorable mortgage.
1|2|5|6| 11| 01.06.2010 - House Passes Extenders Bill
On December 9, 2009 the House of Representatives passed the "Tax Extenders Act of 2009" ("the Act"). The Act extends a host of expiring tax provisions and adopts several new provisions that are aimed at raising revenue. The next step in the process is to have the Senate and President approve the Act in order to make it law.
1|2|6| 11| 01.06.2010 - The Roth IRA Conversion Opportunity – Is it Right for You?
Effective January 1, 2010, for the first time, a new federal law allows individuals who have modified adjusted gross incomes in excess of $100,000 a year to have access to the tax and estate planning benefits of Roth IRAs.
1|2|5|6| 11.02.2009 - A Valuable Lending Resource for Connecticut Businesses
The Connecticut Development Authority (CDA) is a quasi-public agency whose mission is to work with businesses and their lenders to help ensure that the State maintains jobs in the near term and plays a role in stabilizing businesses for potential job creation in the future.
1| 4| 12.01.2009 - Employee Fraud: Many Scams Start In the Finance Department
Employee fraud, sadly, can strike any kind of business, including auto dealerships, and it costs consumers and business owners millions of dollars each year.
1| 8| 10.01.2009 - Internal Control Concerns
Trillions of dollars of Electronic Fund Transfers (EFT) and Automated Clearinghouse (ACH) transactions are consummated daily throughout the world and becoming more and more voluminous in dealerships. Improper implementation of internal controls, as well as a lack of supervision and review of actual EFT and ACH transactions, could potentially result in financial disaster for your dealership from fraudulent activity.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|8| 4| 09.16.2009 - Ten Signals of Occupational Fraud - It Could Happen to You
We all think "it can't happen to us." Our business is safe and our controls are sound. Don't be fooled. Fraud is rampant and is increasing rapidly as recessionary pressures take hold of our economy.
1|2|5|6|8| 10.15.2009 - Technical Economic Recovery is Underway, But Job Recovery is Uncertain
Many economic doomsayers continue spreading the word that the economy is in terrible shape and will get worse, but the facts just don't back that up. While government finances are still in turmoil, consumers remain skittish, and job growth is lagging, the worst is definitely behind us and, according to numerous economic indicators, a technical recovery is underway.
1|2|5|6| 4|6| 09.30.2010 - Shell Games Affect Creditors: Various Methods Used to Conceal Assets
What happens when debtors fail to disclose assets on their bankruptcy petitions? Creditors are left holding the bag. The bankruptcy system in the United States is designed to provide a "fresh start" to debtors in financial distress who are unable to meet their financial obligations.
1|2|6| 1| 12.01.2009 - When Intangible Assets Show Up on Balance Sheets
Intellectual property and - more broadly - all intangible assets have become a growing part of many companies' balance sheets. The valuation and financial treatment of these assets has become of increasing interest to boards and executives of companies across industries.
1|2|6| 11| 09.18.2009 - Connecticut Enacts Tax Legislation
After many months of deliberation, the Connecticut legislature enacted a budget bill that provides broad tax legislative changes.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|8| 4|8|12| 01.15.2010 - Making it Easier to Wave the Red Flag if You Detect Identity Theft
As part of the Fair and Accurate Transactions (FACT) act of 2003, the "Red Flags Rule" requires financial institutions and creditors to develop and implement a written Identity Theft Prevention Program (ITPP) to identify possible identity theft that mitigates the potential damage caused by this crime.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7| 4|6| 02.05.2010 - Managing the Business Risk of Fraudulent Activity
In the 2009 business world, the unfortunate reality is occupational fraud is everywhere, and it is costing businesses enormous amounts of money when it goes unchecked and undetected.
1|2|6| 11| 02.08.2010 - IRS Makes Case for Greater Disclosure from Businesses
In a move geared to increase transparency, the IRS has announced that corporate and other business taxpayers now subject to FIN 48 and similar financial reporting rules will be soon required to report uncertain tax positions on their annual Form 1120, U.S. Corporate Income Tax Return or other applicable tax return.
1|2|6| 7|11|12| 02.12.2010 - Strategic Leadership for 2010 & Beyond - Improving the Bottom Line
The recession has hit many companies hard, forcing them to cut costs and focus on their bottom line. A recent study published in The Boston Business Journal indicated that 9 out of 10 companies have put cost-cutting strategies in place, and 50% of companies have made permanent workforce reductions as is evidenced by the double-digit unemployment rate.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7| 4|6|15| 03.05.2010 - Corporate Account Take Over – The Latest Cyber Crime
The alarm has been sounded; online crime was up by 600% in 2009. A large portion of that increase was in the area of electronic funds transfers placed through the Automated Clearing House ("ACH"). Late last year the Electronic Payment Association (NACHA) and the Internet Crime Complaint Center (iC3) issued warnings about what has come to be known as Corporate Account Takeover. In a Corporate Account Takeover, a business finds that, virtually overnight, funds have been stripped.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7| 11| 03.12.2010 - Healthcare Reform 101: New Responsibilities and Taxes for Employers and Individuals
Healthcare reform is now law, and many employers are asking how it affects my business and employees. The first thing to keep in mind is that reform is gradual. The healthcare reforms and tax provisions in the new healthcare reform package play out over time, with some taking effect this year or next year, but others not until 2014 and beyond.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|8| 9|12| 04.01.2010 - Cloud Based Services Are Here. Are You Ready?
Email, like the telephone, has become a standard form of communication that most people, especially in the business world, take for granted. In order to provide users with this "always on" capability, many large organizations have invested in a variety of technologies (clustering, SANs, etc.) that have cost tens of thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands of dollars, and continue to invest to keep software and hardware up-to-date.
1|2|6| 11| 05.03.2010 - IRS Issues Forms, Instructions for HIRE Act Employer Tax Incentives
Wasting little time in helping important business hiring, the IRS has released forms and instructions for the employer tax breaks in the Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment (HIRE) Act. The IRS unveiled new Form W-11, Employee Affidavit, which employees can use to certify that they meet the criteria of the HIRE Act.
1|2|5|6| 11| 05.13.2010 - IRS Holds to Timetable on Reporting of Uncertain Tax Position
The IRS has issued drafts of new Schedule UTP (Uncertain Tax Positions), which business taxpayers will use to report their uncertain tax positions with their annual tax return, beginning for the 2010 tax year. The draft schedule reflects the IRS' decision to move forward quickly with its controversial proposal to require certain taxpayers to report uncertain tax positions with their annual tax returns.
1|2|5|6| 11| 09.08.2010 - CBO Revenue Scoring — The Mystery Behind Tax Legislation
How often do we now hear the famous quote by Otto von Bismark from the 19th century, "There are two things you don't want to see being made - sausage and legislation?" Barely a day goes by without media coverage of deficit projections, with the news focused on how to close the budget deficit. Depending on one's policy viewpoint, there will inevitably be a discussion on the merits of tax increases and spending reductions.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|8| 9|12| 09.15.2010 - Lead, Follow or Get Out of the Way -- 5 Technology Trends to Consider
We can always avail ourselves of new technology solutions to tackle problems in new ways. Some are evolutionary, some are revolutionary and some are subversive. There are five technology trends that your organization can take the lead on, wait for a few first movers and then follow, or simply get out of the way and let the trend pass.
1|2|5|6| 11| 10.01.2010 - Gifting Opportunities for 2010
There is good news in 2010 for high net worth individuals considering wealth transfer opportunities. Since Congress has failed to address any transfer tax reform this year, there is a growing belief there will be no new legislation in the near future. This result can be beneficial for those who are considering gift-planning opportunities before year end.
1|2|5|6| 11| 10.01.2010 - Deducting Receivables as Bad Business Debts
While the economy continues to slowly recover, many businesses continue to face customers struggling to pay outstanding bills for services or goods. The Tax Code provides relief to businesses faced with the inability to collect on accounts receivable. Businesses that are unable to get customers to pay the bill can claim a deduction for the "bad debt."
1|2|3|4|5|6|7| 11| 10.05.2010 - How Do I Prepare For the New W-2 Reporting for Healthcare Coverage?
Over the next few years, employers will face a number of new compliance and reporting obligations, among others, as a result of the new healthcare reform package (the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act). On the horizon for employers is the requirement to report the value of health insurance coverage they provide to each employee on the employee's annual Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement.
1|2|5|6|9| 11| 03.24.2017 - Uncertain Tax Positions
In July 2006, the Financial Accounting Standard Board ("FASB") issued Interpretation No. 48 ("FIN 48") – Accounting for Uncertain Tax Positions – to try and put all companies on the same playing field.
1|2|5|6| 11.01.2010 - CBIA/BlumShapiro 2010 Survey of Connecticut Businesses
For the ninth consecutive year, BlumShapiro and the Connecticut Business & Industry Association (CBIA) have partnered to produce the Survey of Connecticut Businesses. This annual report examines the economic, financial and regulatory climate in which Connecticut companies operate, gauging their business outlook and highlighting relevant policy issues.
1|2|5|6| 11| 11.02.2010 - Congress Passes Individual and Business Tax Incentives in the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010
Congress has passed a small business jobs bill, the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010 (H.R. 5297), with valuable individual and business tax incentives totaling approximately $12 billion. Many of these tax incentives are temporary so you have only a short window of time in which to take advantage of them.
1|2|3|5|6|7| 11| 11.02.2010 - IRS Defers Reporting of Employer-Provided Health Insurance Costs on Form W-2
Employers are eligible for a one-year deferral of mandatory reporting of the costs of employer-provided health insurance on an employee's Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement. According to the IRS, many employers need more time to make the necessary changes to their payroll systems to ensure accurate reporting.
1|2|6| 1| 01.14.2011 - International Financial Reporting Standards - The Future for Private Companies?
During 2008, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) set 2014 as the target date whereby large public companies would be required to submit all reports using International Financing Reporting Standards (IFRS).
1|2|5|6|9| 2| 03.01.2011 - Exit Planning and Valuation
There are many unsystematic – or company specific – risks that a business owner may have more control in trying to minimize. Two common risk areas are lack of management depth (key man risk) and customer or supplier concentration.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|9| 4| 03.01.2011 - Protecting Your Organization From Fraud
The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners estimates that organizations lose 5% of annual revenue to fraud. Frauds include Ponzi schemes, asset misappropriation, computer hacking and identify theft, just to name a few. Small- and mid-size businesses tend to be the most vulnerable because they generally have fewer controls in place to detect and deter fraud.
1|2|3|6|9| 03.01.2011 - Jobs, Jobs, Jobs - An Economic Update
While Connecticut's economy has been gradually improving since June 2009, the "official" end of the recession, job growth here has been excruciatingly slow.
1| 11| 03.08.2011 - § 263A Uniform Capitalization
In November 2010 the Internal Revenue Service released Revenue Procedure 2010-44 regarding the treatment of § 263A Uniform Capitalization (UNICAP) costs for motor vehicle dealerships.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|9| 11| 05.16.2011 - Highlights of Tax Changes in the 2011-2013 CT Budget Bill
Governor Malloy signed the much-discussed Connecticut (CT) biennial budget bill, now known as Public Act 11-6, on May 4, 2011. The Act contains numerous tax changes. We are highlighting the changes that affect the broadest cross section of our clients, though there are additional changes not covered herein. In addition, there are other tax proposals in various phases of consideration. The success or failure of obtaining a cost-cutting agreement with state employees could affect the need for additional revenue to balance the budget. The legislature is in session until June 8, 2011 so more tax changes could still be enacted.
1|2|5|6|9| 05.17.2011 - Tax Angles to Capital Gains and Losses - New Law Extends Favorable Capital Gain Rules
The tax rules for offsetting capital gains and losses can be confusing, even for experienced investors. However, the new 2010 Tax Relief Act extends favorable tax treatment for long-term capital gains. This latest extension lasts through 2012. For simplicity, the following discussion is limited to capital gains and losses arising from sales of securities. (Additional special rules may apply to other capital assets such as sales of collectibles and property subject to depreciation recapture.)
1| 06.03.2011 - Five Ways to Stay Clear of a Factory Audit
Dealerships across the country are striving to make 2011 a far more profitable year than 2010. Hard-working dealers are keeping their eyes on the market, on sales goals and on all of their business practices that impact the bottom line.
1| 06.03.2011 - Tool Plans on the IRS Hit List
The IRS has repeatedly attacked the use of tool plans as a means of avoiding taxes. The IRS recently blessed a taxpayer's reimbursement plan, but the ruling provides little practical guidance for taxpayers. The plan at issue addressed the IRS's previous concerns and followed the existing requirements exactly.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|9| 3|11| 06.16.2011 - New Form 8955-SSA: Ensuring Compliance
Pension plans have used Schedule SSA of Form 5500 to report participants who separate from service with deferred vested benefits. However, with the start of the mandated 5500 electronic filing requirement for annual reports with the 2009 plan year, that information could not be filed through the Department of Labor’s EFAST2 electronic filing system. As a result, Schedule SSA has been eliminated.
1| 1| 08.29.2011 - Proposed Lease Accounting Changes
The Financial Accounting Standards Board has proposed making significant changes to the way in which companies account for leasing transactions under Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP). The proposed standard applies to all leases of more than one year; i.e. everything from your copier lease to the lease of your facilities. The proposed standard will have a significant impact on the financial statements of automobile dealers.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|9| 06.17.2011 - Economic Recovery Remains Slow and Problematic in the State
The economic recovery is in its 24th month, but growth has been disappointing due to frequent obstacles, including surges in oil and commodity prices that have prevented steady improvement or noticeable acceleration. While some areas of the economy are strong, including exports and commodities, others, especially housing and general construction, seem stuck.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|9| 3| 07.12.2011 - Inflation-adjusted amounts released for 2012 Health Savings Accounts
The IRS has provided the inflation-adjusted amounts that will govern health savings accounts (HSAs) for 2012. Amounts are increased for changes in the cost-of-living adjustment. The amounts generally have increased from 2011.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|8|9| 07.12.2011 - PCI Compliance – It's All In The Numbers
Whether it is 14 or 16 numerical digits in length, securing and protecting credit card numbers and all associated information is extremely important. In an age where electronic information can be shared from anywhere in the world at a moment’s notice, people need to know more than ever that their credit card information is being protected. The consequences of this information falling into the wrong hands are simply too severe – identity theft.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|9| 11| 07.13.2011 - Details of Connecticut Sales and Use Tax Legislative Changes Emerging
The Connecticut Department of Revenue Services (“DRS”), was forced into fast action by the Connecticut legislature’s passage of significant sales and use tax changes which took effect on July 1, 2011. We very briefly outlined those changes in our newsletter of May 16, 2011. Since that time, DRS has provided some much needed guidance with respect to many of the changes. This newsletter will highlight some of those changes in more detail per the DRS guidelines. We are not trying to be all-inclusive.
1|2|6|9| 11| 02.02.2012 - Key Changes in Federal Tax Law Will Have Impact on Your Taxes
Like every other year, there are changes taking effect this year regarding federal income tax filings for individuals. With 2011 W-2 forms now out and people focused on getting their taxes done in the next 2 ½ months, they should be mindful of many of these changes.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|9| 11| 08.05.2011 - White House and Congressional Leaders Agree to Raise Debt Ceiling - Tax Provisions Under Consideration
White House and Congressional Leaders have agreed to raise debt ceiling - creating a joint committee on deficit reduction.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|9| 08.05.2011 - Tax Breaks for Energy Saving Can Provide Stimulus for Homeowners and Businesses
Federal tax laws provide some potential good news across the board in terms of lowering energy costs, as a number of key energy savings incentives exist for homeowners and businesses alike. What follows is a brief overview of the key tax rules in this area and the potential savings that may occur.
1| 1| 08.29.2011 - Service Contract Profit: Are You in the Best Plan?
Dealers are looking for more profits in every area of their dealerships while cutting costs to weather the current economic slowdown. With gross margins getting cut to the bone, back-end profit is more important than ever. You may already be making good profit on the sale of your service contracts. But are you in a plan that maximizes the total return to the dealer?
2|1|9|6|5| 1|3| 10.23.2014 - 401(k) Trends: Target Date Funds
Has your plan recently implemented Target Date Funds? Although they have been around for a number of years, Target Date Funds have grown in popularity exponentially in recent years. As plan sponsor fiduciary responsibility is emphasized more and more each year, these investment options have become more popular in 401(k) plans.
1| 09.01.2011 - The Power of Money
While businesses may operate without cash or use other people’s money for brief periods of time, the old phrase “Cash is King” still applies in current times and in many ways is even more important to the success of a business now. Not only must a business be properly capitalized but the makeup of its capital and the liquidity of its capital must be appropriate to its current and planned future operations. Too little cash restricts business opportunities and too much cash creates discontent among investors and shareholders. The right amount of cash positions a business to have the resources to take advantage of market opportunities, to take advantage of financial opportunities, and to have the best opportunity to manage and/or survive the unexpected.
1| 09.01.2011 - Prevent Employee Fraud with Internal Controls
With the economic recession and the struggles in the auto industry, the motivation and the opportunity for theft and fraud have increased. The cash-heavy nature of their operations makes dealerships susceptible to fraud and theft, and sometimes the most trusted managers can be the perpetrators.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|9| 09.13.2011 - It’s Still Jobs, Jobs, Jobs! But most economists raise chances of a double dip.
The most critical factor determining Connecticut's prospects for real and sustained economic recovery is, simply, jobs! More jobs will cure many of our state's ills, from tepid consumer spending to a stalled housing market and the state's long-term fiscal health.
1|2|3|5|6|7|9| 11| 09.13.2011 - Year-end Planning: Take Advantage of Business Provisions That May Sunset for Good on December 31, 2011
Although it's only September, taxpayers are well-advised to consider how to make the most of tax breaks that are available this year but may not be around next year, or may survive only in diluted form. Given the wrenching political battle that played out in July over deficits and the debt ceiling, many tax provisions expiring at the end of this year may not be given another lease on life. Those provisions that aid a particular industry or group of taxpayers could be the most at risk. This article reviews the tax breaks for businesses that are available right now but may sunset on Dec. 31, 2011.
1|2|3|5|6|7|9| 11| 09.13.2011 - Highlights of Bonus Depreciation for Vehicles
The Small Business Jobs Act of 2010 (the 2010 Jobs Act) and the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization and Job Creation Act of 2010 (the 2010 Tax Relief Act) were very favorable to taxpayers placing assets, including vehicles, in service in 2010 through 2012.
1|2|3|5|6|7|9| 11| 09.13.2011 - Debt Forgiven? You Are Not Home-Free - Tax May Apply to Cancellation-of-Debt Income
Let’s say an individual owes money to a third party, relating to a loan for business or personal reasons. Due to extenuating circumstances, the lender agrees to a settlement of an amount less than what the borrower owes in principal and interest. So the full amount of debt is effectively wiped off the books. Case closed, right?
1| 11.10.2011 - The Power of Money
While businesses may operate without cash or use other people’s money for brief periods of time, the old phrase “Cash is King” still applies in current times and in many ways is even more important to the success of a business now. Not only must a business be properly capitalized but the makeup of its capital and the liquidity of its capital must be appropriate to its current and planned future operations. Too little cash restricts business opportunities and too much cash creates discontent among investors and shareholders. The right amount of cash positions a business to have the resources to take advantage of market opportunities, to take advantage of financial opportunities, and to have the best opportunity to manage and/or survive the unexpected.
9|6|2|1| 11| 10.23.2014 - IRS Finalizes Guidance on the Treatment of Tangible Property Under MACRs
On August 14, 2014, the IRS released final regulations on the treatment of dispositions of tangible property under the Modified Accelerated Cost Recovery System (MACRS) and Code Sec. 168. The final regulations clarify how taxpayers should identify which assets are subject to the rules, how to compute gain and loss from dispositions of assets (particularly in the context of general asset accounts), and how to approach partial dispositions of tangible property. The final regulations apply to tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2014. However, taxpayers have several implementation options in regard to tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2012 and before January 1, 2014.
1|2|3|5|6|7|9| 10.06.2011 - Health Care Tax Credit Could Mean Savings For Small Businesses
One area where we have been advising some of our small business clients to explore this year for potential savings is a new Small Business Health Care Tax Credit, made possible by the new federal Affordable Care Act (ACA).
1|2|3|6|7|9| 11| 10.06.2011 - Personal Use of Employer-Provided Cell Phones Generally Non-taxable Under New Guidance
Close to one year after cell phones were removed from the "listed property" category of Code Sec. 280F , IRS has explained the practical consequences of the change. In sum, where an employer provides employees with cell phones primarily for noncompensatory business reasons, neither the business nor personal use of the phone results in income to the employee, and no recordkeeping of usage is required. And, in most instances, an employer's reimbursement to employees for their providing a cell phone for bona fide business use won't be taxable. The guidance applies for all tax years after Dec. 31, 2009.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|9| 4| 10.25.2011 - Re-Shaping Businesses To Eliminate Fraud Triangle
White collar criminals (or fraudsters) are not easily picked out from a crowd. They blend in seamlessly with society and do not look like criminals. They are likely educated, with no criminal record, and probably do not abuse drugs or alcohol.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|9| 10.25.2011 - Ask the Expert: Minimizing Tax Burden in an Unusually High Income Year
I just sold my company. What can I do to minimize the tax bill that results from the event?
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|9| 11| 10.25.2011 - Determination of Employer's Liability for Certain Employment Taxes — Voluntary Worker Classification Settlement Program
IRS detailed new program for employers to receive relief from payroll taxes otherwise owed for agreeing to prospectively treat workers as employees. To be eligible, employer must have filed Form 1099s for each worker for past 3 years, and not be currently under audit. In exchange for agreement to treat workers as employees, employer will be liable for 10% of liability due for most recent tax years, as determined under reduced rates of Code Sec. 3509; , but won't be liable for penalties and interest and won't be subject to audit for employment tax issues. Employer participating in program will agree to extend period of limitations on assessment of employment taxes for three years for first, second and third calendar years beginning after date on which employer has agreed under program to begin treating workers as employees. Those who are accepted into program will execute closing agreement with IRS and pay full amount due at same time.
1|9|6|2| 11| 12.22.2014 - 2014 Tax Increase Prevention Act - Key Individual and Business Tax Breaks
Congress has passed the 2014 Tax Increase Prevention Act (2014 TIPA), and the president is expected to sign the act into law shortly. The 2014 TIPA extends a variety of individual and business tax provisions that had previously expired in 2014.
9|1|2|3|4|5|6|7| 11| 11.09.2011 - The Three Most Important Connecticut Economic Initiatives - Jobs, Jobs, Jobs
Following a special fall session of the Connecticut General Assembly, Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy recently signed into law tax legislation as part of a broad economic stimulus package. Among the most significant tax legislation enacted was the creation of a new jobs tax credit and revisions to the recently enacted Manufacturing Reinvestment Account program.
1| 11| 11.10.2011 - Tax Tip: Independent Contractor vs. Employee
The IRS is aggressively attempting to reduce the "tax gap", which is the annual shortfall between taxes owed and taxes paid. Employment tax non-compliance is estimated by the IRS to account for approximately $54 billion of the tax gap. Under-reporting of FICA makes up $14 billion, under-reporting of self-employment tax accounts for $39 billion and under-reporting of unemployment tax accounts for $1 billion in lost revenue.
1| 11.10.2011 - How to Impress (or Retain) Your Banker
Bankers cannot (and in current economic conditions do not have the resources) provide funds to every (or even the top five) applicant that request or want to renew a loan. Therefore, you must develop an edge to obtain or retain that loan. That edge can be provided by a well-designed presentation. Follow these guidelines and you will find that this presentation is a lot easier to prepare than you think.
1|2|6|9| 6| 11.12.2012 - Has Your Business Operation Been Impacted by Storm Sandy?
Hurricane Sandy has brought unimaginable devastation to the east cost of the United States. Businesses throughout the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states have been forced to shut down due to property damage and power outages. Some will be out of business for days, some for months and some of the hardest hit may never recover.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|9| 11| 12.01.2011 - New Law Repeals 3% Government Withholding, Provides Hiring Credits for Veterans, and More
On November 21, President Obama signed into law the 3% Withholding Repeal and Job Creation Act. The new law does much more than merely repeal withholding on government contractors. The new law enhances the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) for veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces, expands the IRS' continuous levy authority, and more.
1|2|4|5|6|9| 1| 01.06.2012 - Revised Standard Simplifies Goodwill Testing for Impairment, Testing Goodwill for Impairment
On September 15, 2011, Financial Accounting Standard Board (FASB) issued Accounting Standards Update (ASU) No. 2011-08, Testing Goodwill for Impairment. This update is intended to reduce the cost and complexity of the annual goodwill impairment test by simplifying how an entity tests goodwill for impairment.
1|2|4|5|6|9| 1| 01.06.2012 - Cash Flow Planning: A Good Reminder During These Uncertain Times
Many people solely consider profit when measuring the success of their business. The trouble is that profits do not necessarily coincide with their associated cash flows. The fact is, most failed businesses fail as a result of lack of cash flow. During these uncertain economic times, cash flow planning is an important exercise when running your business, regardless of the size of your operation. Trying to manage your business without a cash flow plan in today’s environment is like traveling to a new location without a map or a GPS device.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|9| 01.06.2012 - Payroll Tax Cut Extension
At the eleventh hour, Congress approved a two-month extension of the employee-side payroll tax cut in the Temporary Payroll Tax Cut Continuation Act of 2011. The two-month extension, for January and February 2012, is intended to give lawmakers additional time to negotiate a full-year extension of the payroll tax cut through the end of 2012.
2|1|3|4|5|6|7|9| 11| 02.02.2012 - Connecticut Job Expansion Tax Credit (JET) Presentation Now Available
Connecticut businesses can be eligible for Connecticut tax credits of $500 per month for each new full‐time Connecticut job created. If the new employee is receiving vocational rehabilitative services from the Bureau of Rehabilitative Services, receiving unemployment benefits, or is a veteran then the tax credit is increased to $900 per month. These credits will be available for each new Connecticut employee hired between January 1, 2012 and prior to January 1, 2014 for a period of three years. Download our presentation to learn more about which taxes the credit may be applied against and how to apply.
1|2|3|5|6|7|9| 11| 01.06.2012 - New Hire Retention Credit
The Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment Act of 2010 (HIRE Act) contained several provisions to give employers incentive to hire employees. One of the provisions authorized a credit of up to $1,000 for “retained workers”. This credit is called the New Hire Retention Credit.
4|2|1|9|5|6|7| 11| 02.22.2012 - Congress Passes Payroll Tax Cut Extension Through 2012
On February 17, Congress passed H.R. 3630, the “Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012” (the Act) and sent it to the President for his signature. The Act extends the 2-percentage-point payroll tax cut through the end of 2012, and also repeals a number of estimated tax shifts for large corporations. Here are highlights of the tax changes in this new law.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|9| 11| 02.02.2012 - The 2012 Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program
On January 9, 2012, the IRS reopened the offshore voluntary disclosure program (the “2012 OVDP”) to give taxpayers with unreported foreign accounts a chance to become current on their taxes and reporting obligations while mitigating the risk of criminal prosecution.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|9| 02.24.2012 - Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012
President Obama on February 22, 2012, signed into law a much-anticipated extension of the employee-side payroll tax cut through the end of 2012. After weeks of uncertainty over whether an agreement could be reached, the House passed the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 (H.R. 3630) by a vote of 293 to 132 on February 17, 2012.
1|2|3|5|6|7|9| 03.12.2012 - Connecticut’s Economy Shows Improvement, Although Caution Signs Ahead
Connecticut’s economy showed steady signs of improvement in the last quarter, but there is still reason to be cautious.
1|2|5|6|9| 11| 03.12.2012 - Expiring Tax Provisions Add to Uncertainty in the Business World in 2012
A number of key tax provisions have either expired or will soon expire. With a struggling economy and recent inaction by Congress resulting in failure to reach an agreement on reducing the budget deficit, this could only add to the uncertainty many businesses are facing in 2012.
1|2|5|6|9| 03.12.2012 - Recordkeeping Rules for Charitable Deductions
Year in and year out, charitable donations often provide big deductions for high-income individuals at tax return time. Deductions for charitable gifts may be claimed only by taxpayers who itemize their returns, but even itemizers are at risk if they do not have the requisite proof to back up their claims.
1|2|3|5|6|7|9| 11| 03.12.2012 - Payroll Tax Holiday Extended for All of 2012
On February 22, President Obama signed the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012. The new law extends the employee-side payroll tax holiday, giving wage earners and self-employed individuals 12 months of reduced payroll taxes in 2012.
1|2|3|5|6|7|9| 11| 03.12.2012 - Administration Unveils Framework for Business Tax Reform
A reduced corporate tax rate, elimination of many business tax preferences, a new minimum tax on overseas profits, and much more are all part of President Obama's recently released Framework for Business Tax Reform (the "Framework"). The much-anticipated blueprint of the administration's plans for corporate tax reform was unveiled on February 22, 2012, in Washington, D.C.
9|7|6|5|4|3|2|1| 3| 12.10.2014 - Retirement Plan Fund Revenue Equalization
Since the issuance of the fee disclosure regulations related to employee retirement plans, more transparency of fees and revenue-sharing agreements has resulted. This transparency has prompted a number of questions regarding the fees being paid, who they are being paid to and how revenue-sharing agreements play a role in the administration of the plan.
1|2|6|9| 11| 03.30.2012 - Alternative Minimum Tax: Now It’s Personal
This stealth tax, originally aimed at only the highest echelon of taxpayers, is expected to apply to four million taxpayers on 2011 returns, according to the Tax Policy Center. Even worse, the number is projected to explode to more than 31 million in 2012, absent any new legislation.
1|2|3|5|6|7|9| 11| 03.30.2012 - Avoiding Taxes on Real Estate Transactions Through Like-Kind Exchanges
With most of the country experiencing a depressed real estate market, you may find it difficult to sell a business building or apartment building. To make matters worse, a sale could result in significant tax consequences for real estate property that has appreciated in value since it was acquired.
1|2|6|9| 11| 04.27.2012 - Solar Power: Forward Thinking Businesses See a Growing Benefit
There are signs that the national economy may be slowly digging its way out of its long-term slump, and now could be a good time to review fixed business expenses with an eye toward stability and predictability.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|8|9| 04.27.2012 - Business Software Technology Alignment
In our last newsletter we introduced the concept of reviewing and assessing the alignment of your business software technology with your business strategy, processes and people. You might wonder how your business software could get out of alignment in the first place and what impact it could have on your business. It is important to understand how to recognize the symptoms and be able to make critical business decisions for your business when the time comes.
1|2|6|9| 05.09.2012 - A Difficult Tax Year Behind Us, But 2012 Could Be Even Harder
Another grueling tax season has passed, this one more difficult than the previous one. Thanks to new increased disclosure filing requirements for Schedule D, brokerage statements that came later than usual, and the mere fact that there was an extra day due to Leap Year, made this year’s season seem longer and much more of a challenge. It’s great to have it behind us, but now is the time – believe it or not – to start looking towards next year.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|8|9| 8|9|12| 05.09.2012 - The Death of SAS70 - The Birth of SSAE16 Standards
In 1980 the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) implemented the Statement on Auditing Standards No. 70, commonly known as SAS No. 70, to review and evaluate the internal controls of a service organization. SAS No. 70 quickly became a standard for the user organizations to obtain assurance that their data was being protected and managed in a secure manner. At the same time, service organizations were using SAS No.70 as a way to show existing and potential customers that they were utilizing industry best practices.
1|2|6|9| 11| 05.18.2012 - FAQ: What is a Family Partnership?
The family partnership is a common device for reducing the overall tax burden of family members. Family members who contribute property or services to a partnership in exchange for partnership interests are subject to the same general tax rules that apply to unrelated partners. If the related persons deal with each other at arm's length, their partnership is recognized for tax purposes and the terms of the partnership agreement governing their shares of partnership income and loss are respected.
1| 05.23.2012 - White Paper: A Strategic Vision of Dealerships in 2025
This white paper, is a study into the evolution of the retail automotive industry, and is presented by the member firms of Auto Team America.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|9|10| 11|9| 05.07.2018 - The Sales and Use Taxation of Software – Software Accessed from the Cloud
Since software was first invented, state tax authorities and taxpayers have spent a considerable amount of time and resources to determine its sales and use taxation. With the introduction of the “Software as a Service” distribution model, the taxation of software has become increasingly complex. This article will provide an evolutionary background on software taxation, as well as sales and use taxation in relation to cloud computing.
1| 11| 08.22.2012 - Qualified Plug-in Electric Drive Motor Vehicle Tax Credit
Federal law provides plug in electric vehicle retail purchasers (not lessees) with the opportunity to claim the “Qualified Plug-in Electric Drive Motor Vehicle Tax Credit” for qualified vehicles. The credit is $2,500 for vehicles powered by a five-kilowatt hour battery, with an additional $417 for each kilowatt hour of battery power beyond five. The credit cannot exceed $7,500. The credit begins to phase out for a manufacturer’s vehicle when at least 200,000 qualifying vehicles have been sold for use in the United States.
2|1|9|6|5| 11| 08.20.2012 - Now is the Time to Start Next Year’s Tax Planning
The most recent tax deadline has long-since passed and the furthest thing from most people’s minds is the next one. However, 2013 is expected to be a year of uncertainty due to potential major changes regarding tax laws and rates, and the time to start planning for it is right now.
1|2|6|7|9| 1|3| 06.21.2012 - New Disclosure Requirements for Benefit Plans
In an effort to increase fee transparency in benefit plans, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has issued two new regulations that require certain disclosures be provided to plan sponsors and plan participants. These disclosures are intended to provide both plan sponsors and plan participants with information regarding the fees charged in their retirement plans.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|9| 11| 06.08.2012 - The Tangible Property "Repair" Regulations: Unit of Property
In order to understand whether or not there has been an improvement to tangible property required to be capitalized under the temporary regulations, it is essential to understand the unit of property for that purpose. For example, if you replace the roof on your building, if the unit of property is the roof, then replacing it would clearly be a material improvement. If the unit of property is the building, then it might not be as clear to say that the building was improved by replacing the roof. Therefore, the temporary regulations define the unit of property rules for the purposes of section 263(a).
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|9| 11| 06.08.2012 - The Tangible Property "Repair" Regulations: Asset Accounting and Dispositions
The temporary regulations allow taxpayers to account for MACRS property by either treating each asset as an account (a “single asset account” or “item account”) or combining two or more assets in a single account (as a “multiple asset account” or “pool”). A taxpayer must account for a MACRS asset using a single asset account when the asset is used both in a trade or business and in a personal activity, the asset is placed in service and disposed of during the same tax year, when the general asset account treatment terminates, if accounted for in a multiple asset account and is disposed of, or if a component of a larger assets and is disposed.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|9| 11| 06.08.2012 - Change in Accounting Method to Comply with the Tangible Property Regulations
The IRS released two Revenue Procedures, 2012-19 and 2012-20, in March 2012 to explain the procedures by which a taxpayer may obtain IRS's automatic consent to change to the accounting methods provided in recently issued temporary regulations under IRC Section 162 and 263.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|8|9| 11| 07.03.2012 - The Health Care Act Deemed Constitutional by the Supreme Court
On June 28, 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court (the Court) made a historic decision on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) and its companion law, the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act (HCERA). In a 5 to 4 decision, the nation's highest court upheld all of the tax provisions and health insurance reforms that were part of the overall health care reform legislation passed in 2010 except for a certain Medicaid provision involving state funding. Critical to the Court's approval of President Obama's signature health care law was its finding that the new law’s mandatory penalty for certain individuals who fail to obtain “minimum essential health insurance coverage” was constitutional based upon Congress' power to tax.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|8|9| 12|15| 09.23.2015 - When BYOD is as Common as a Morning Coffee
As the practice of “Bring Your Own Device” (BYOD) to work becomes as much of a business norm as a morning coffee, the question becomes how will companies remain secure as businesses — especially those that fall under compliancy rules (such as PCI and HIPAA) — which are still required to comply with regulations when allowing the BYOD model.
1|2|6|9| 11| 08.10.2012 - Planning for the Personal Residence
A personal residence is one of the most significant assets owned by many people. Often people are unwilling to transfer their personal residence outright and thus they may likely retain a life use or life estate upon transfer.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|9| 10| 08.10.2012 - Hiring Trends Update
The summer of 2012 has seen a marked increase in new job openings across different industries for accounting and finance professionals. We have recently seen a much higher demand for professionals on a permanent and temporary basis. We are recognizing that in addition to hiring a candidate directly, there has been a shift in the way companies are hiring. They are focusing on hiring on an as needed basis for project related work. This gives companies the ability to help alleviate the work load within their existing departments without having to add to their head count.
1| 11| 08.22.2012 - Tax Tip: Foreign Asset Tax Compliance Act
The IRS has created Form 8938 for purposes of disclosing U.S. owners of foreign financial assets if the value of such assets exceeds $50,000.
1| 4| 08.22.2012 - Body Shop Fraud – Is Your Operation At Risk?
In the current environment auto dealers are looking for ways to provide services to customers and diversify their income streams. Many have built body shop departments to provide this income diversification. However, in an automobile dealership, having a body shop department adds more complexity to an already complex operation. Operating a body shop involves managing the flow of vehicles and parts of manufacturers other than the franchise.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|9| 09.10.2012 - The 2012 Survey of Connecticut Businesses
For over a decade, BlumShapiro and CBIA have partnered to produce the annual Survey of Connecticut Businesses, which explores the economic, fiscal, and regulatory climates for companies of all types and sizes throughout the state. This study takes the pulse of Connecticut’s business community and examines business leaders’ forecasts for conditions over the next 18 months. Findings help shape our government affairs agenda and set priorities for policymakers in order to strengthen the state’s economic competitiveness and grow jobs.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|9| 09.17.2012 - CBIA/BlumShapiro Release the 2012 Survey of Connecticut Businesses
BlumShapiro and the Connecticut Business and Industry Association (CBIA) released their annual survey of Connecticut’s businesses on September 7. This year’s survey shows that while some progress is being made and profitability is up, Connecticut continues to struggle to grow in a post-recession economy, and the overall sentiment about Connecticut as a place to do business is still negative.
6|2|1|9| 1| 12.09.2014 - Private Company Council Update
Back in May 2012, the Financial Accounting Foundation’s Board of Trustees approved the establishment of the Private Company Council (PCC), a new body to improve the process of setting accounting standards for private companies.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|9| 10.15.2012 - Will Online Sales Tax Issues Finally Be Put to Rest?
For well over a decade, states have been grappling with the issue of collecting sales tax from online sales. Growing internet shopping has state tax commissioners scratching their heads trying to hatch ideas for getting in on those sales tax revenues.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|9| 3| 10.16.2012 - Pay or Play—What Is It, What You Need to Know and Is There a Penalty in Your Future?
Among other things, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) imposes new obligations on “large employers." These rules (outlined in Internal Revenue Code § 4980H) will increase reporting obligations for all affected employers and may increase costs for certain employers.
1|2|3|4|6|9| 10.22.2012 - New York’s Metropolitan Commuter Transportation Mobility Tax Held Unconstitutional – Potential Tax Refund Opportunity – Action Needed By November 2, 2012
If you had or have employees working or are self-employed (including partners in a partnership or members in a limited liability company with self-employment earnings) doing business in New York’s Metropolitan Commuter Transportation District (MCTD), a potential tax refund opportunity may be available.
1| 10.30.2012 - Reporting Cash Payments Over $10,000
The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) announced on 9/19/12 that businesses are now able to file Form 8300 (Reports of Cash Payments Over $10,000 Received in a Trade or Business) electronically using the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) electronic filing system.
1|2|5|6|9| 10.30.2012 - Major Changes to Gift/Estate Taxes Looming By Year’s End
There could be significant changes coming by the end of 2012 to laws regulating taxes on gifts and estates, so if you have not already planned for these changes, now is the time to prepare for the possible impact.
1|2|3|5|6|7|9| 1| 11.14.2012 - FASB Issues Guidance to Simplify Impairment Testing for Indefinite-lived Intangible Assets
On July 27, 2012, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) issued Accounting Standards Update (ASU) No. 2012-02 to simplify impairment testing of indefinite-lived intangible assets other than goodwill. ASU 2012-02 applies to intangible assets that are not subject to amortization. Examples of intangible assets subject to the revised standard include indefinite-lived trademarks, licenses and distribution rights.
6|8|9|1|2| 2| 11.14.2012 - Value Drivers For Your Business
By most accounts, there is a wave of small- and medium-sized businesses that will be sold in the next five to ten years. Studies have shown that of the 78 million members of the baby boomer generation, nearly 10% are small business owners. In addition, nearly two-thirds of business owners in the United States do not have children that plan on taking over the family business. This leaves an estimated five to seven million small businesses without a family succession plan. In all likelihood, these businesses will come to market in one of three ways: 1) the owner will leave the business to his or her estate who will either sell or dissolve the company, 2) the owner will become an absentee owner or dissolve the company and retire (leaving market share to be taken by another entity), or 3) the company will be sold to employees or a third party. Of the three scenarios, maximum value to the owner is typically achieved only by a sale to a third party.
1|2|6|9| 11| 11.14.2012 - A Changing Nexus Environment
In an effort to curtail budget deficits, states are becoming increasingly aggressive in asserting their right to tax out-of-state businesses exploiting their marketplace. These “nexus” assertions can apply to business entity income and franchise taxation, pass-through entity (e.g., limited liability companies, partnerships and S corporations) owner income taxation, sales and use taxation and other tax types.
1|2|6|9| 10| 12.05.2012 - Hiring the Right People
There is a function that every manager has to do regardless of industry, company size or economic conditions. There are many who are very good at it, those who are not and others who make the same mistakes time and time again. This function is hiring. What’s even more important is understanding the difference between hiring and hiring the right people for your organization to build a winning team.
4|3|2|1|9|7|6|5| 11| 01.14.2016 - It’s Tax Time Again and the IRS Sent Me a Personal Identification Number
If your 2014 tax return was rejected by the IRS because a return had already been filed, then you should have submitted Form 14039, Identity Theft Affidavit. Once you file Form 14039, the IRS will assign you a six digit Identity Protection Personal Identification Number (IP-PIN). You will need to use your assigned IP-PIN number for the subsequent year’s tax return.
1|2|6|9| 12.10.2012 - Year-End Tax Planning in the Midst of Uncertainty
The expiration of the “Bush tax cuts”, the temporary cut in social security taxes on December 31, 2012 and the implementation of the new income taxes on high income earners in 2013 passed under Obama’s 2010 Healthcare Act, is what has been coined the “fiscal cliff”. The fiscal cliff is expected to raise more than $500 billion in taxes in 2013. It appears that Washington is going to call on nearly all Americans to help reduce the deficit by raising taxes across the board on all taxpayers. Low-income tax earners will be most affected by the reduction in the childcare credit, the elimination of the 10% tax bracket and the expiration of the temporary cut in social security taxes. High-income households would be hit harder by higher tax rates on ordinary income, the expiration of the 15% tax rate on long term-capital gains and qualified dividends, the additional 3.8% Medicare tax on investment income and the .9% Medicare tax increase on earned income starting in 2013.
1|2|6|9| 3|11| 12.13.2012 - Hurricane Sandy Relief
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Department of Labor (DOL) have issued guidance providing relief for those affected by Hurricane Sandy.
1|2|6|9| 11| 01.02.2013 - Fiscal Cliff Averted?
As Americans woke this morning it was learned that the House of Representatives had passed “The American Taxpayer Relief Act”. Now the only thing left is for President Obama to sign and enact the bill into law, which he is expected to do. After what feels like months of negotiations, the following major tax provisions will be enacted:
1|2|6|9| 1|7| 11.19.2014 - Preserving Healthcare Benefits Promised to Retirees
With the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), private and public healthcare insurance exchanges offer the best and most cost-effective solution for an employer’s younger retirees who are not yet eligible for Medicare, provided that collective-bargaining agreements don’t preclude their use by union members.
1|2|6|9| 01.09.2013 - Turning the Tide, Moving Forward in 2013
Now that we’ve backed away from the fiscal cliff, Connecticut’s economy could be in for a better overall year in 2013. For starters, what has been uncertain for so long is now a deal, and certainty in taxes is a valuable factor for businesses to be able to move forward.
9|1|2|6| 11| 01.16.2013 - Connecticut JET Credit Report Due As Soon As Possible
A business that has applied for and is eligible to claim the Connecticut Job Expansion Tax (JET) Credit must complete and return DECD Forms JET-1, Summary of New Full-time Employment Positions Created and Retained, and JET-2, Schedule of Employees at End of Reporting Period, along with the supporting documentation to the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) as soon as possible in order for the business to determine the tax credit it is eligible to claim on its 2012 Connecticut income tax return.
1|2|6|9| 11| 01.22.2013 - 2012 Taxpayer Relief Act - Key Individual Tax Breaks
On January 2, 2013, the President signed into law the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (“2012 Taxpayer Relief Act”). The new laws may be seen in many lights as there are both positive and negative aspects to the changes. The largest and most publicized component of the 2012 Taxpayer Relief Act is the restoration of the pre-Bush era income tax rates for some high-income taxpayers. As we peel back the layers of the tax laws, we see not only increases in tax rates from 2012 but a reduction in deductions allowable by higher-income taxpayers. With that being said, there are some very positive aspects of the new law such as permanently increasing the AMT exemption amount and restoring favorable tax credits.
9|1|2|5|6| 11| 01.29.2013 - Tax Breaks Retroactively Reinstated and Extended by the 2012 Taxpayer Relief Act
As part of the much discussed ‘Fiscal Cliff’ legislation which addresses many of the expiring Bush era tax cuts, provisions of the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 retroactively reinstated various business and individual tax breaks which expired at the end of 2011. While legislation was designed and passed in 2013, taxpayers, as in years before 2012, once again have the opportunity to benefit from the following items retroactively to 2012.
1|2|6|9| 6| 02.19.2013 - Beware of the Discount Rate
The objective of an expert’s opinion of damages in a lost profit engagement is deceptively simple: measure in financial terms, the extent of harm a plaintiff has suffered because of defendant’s alleged wrongdoing. The purpose of awarding damages is to restore an injured party to a position they were in prior to being injured.
1|2|6|8|9| 7| 02.22.2013 - Whitepaper: Your Finance Function: How Do You Measure Up?
Your Finance Organization may be simple or complex; its structure dependent on the size and complexity of you overall organization. However, its relationship to the business will change over time. Processes that worked in the past may not really be working effectively right now.
1|2|6|9| 2| 03.18.2013 - Succession Planning: A Requirement for Fiscal Fitness
Time is passing — and there is no stopping it — but as business professionals we can plan for the changes that it brings. Whether your goal is staying competitive and profitable now or creating an exit plan that will make the eventual transition to new owners as seamless as possible, there is no substitute for fiscal fitness. This is true especially for family owned operations.
1|2|6|9| 10| 03.19.2013 - Why Recruitment is NOT Dying
With the rise of social media and internet visibility, many have speculated that the need for recruiters has changed dramatically. There has been inference that, the recruiting industry, is losing business to LinkedIn, Facebook and blogs, which have recently been on the rise. We have established that it is indeed a candidate market at the present time; there are more job openings than there are qualified candidates.
9|7|6|5|4|3|2|1| 1|11| 10.22.2014 - Affordable Care Act Update: Employers Get First Look at Health Insurance Information Reporting
Since passage of the Affordable Care Act, several key requirements for employers have been delayed, including reporting of health coverage offered to employees, known as Code Sec. 6056 reporting. However, as 2015 nears, and the prospects of further delay appear unlikely, employers and the IRS are preparing for the filing of these new information returns. While the reporting requirement is not mandatory until 2015, employers must start planning now for how the required information will be acquired and reported, and by whom it will be reported.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|9| 11| 04.11.2013 - The Affordable Care Act: Very Soon, Businesses Need to Decide if They Are Going to “Play or Pay”
Come the start of next year, hundreds of businesses across Connecticut will have to have answered a critical question when it comes to healthcare – do they want to play or pay?
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|9| 6| 04.18.2013 - Calculating Damages of Early Stage Intellectual Property Infringement
As technology advances and its usage becomes even more widespread, intellectual property law and the related litigation becomes more relevant.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|9| 05.17.2013 - Five Years Later, It’s Still About Jobs
What Connecticut needs most to achieve a real and sustained economic recovery is still, not surprisingly, more jobs. But we won’t get those jobs without both a housing recovery and a more confident business community.
1|2|3|4|6|7|9| 11| 05.17.2013 - Is Tax Reform on the Horizon
There are several tax reform proposals being bantered about. All of the proposals have one common goal: reduce the federal government's approximate $16 trillion federal budget deficit. To reduce the budget deficit, many of the plans propose to cut spending and raise revenues.
1|2|5|6|9| 11| 05.17.2013 - Massachusetts Small Businesses Eligible for New Wellness Tax Credit
Promoting employee wellness through workplace education, incentives and other programs can have a direct and positive impact on productivity while also helping to control employer healthcare costs. A 2011 study published by the American Journal of Health Promotion found that healthcare costs rose at a 15 percent slower rate among employees who participated in wellness programs. Now small businesses in Massachusetts can earn a state tax credit worth 25 percent of the cost to implement qualified wellness programs.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|8|9| 7|8| 06.10.2013 - White paper: Your Finance Function - Where do you spend your time?
In our last white paper, we began with an adage that tends to hold true for most organizations: “the thinking that got you where you are may not be the thinking that propels you to the next level”. Your finance function will change, as change is an inevitable reality in a competitive business landscape. The pace is fast. As we know from experience, one day runs into the next and when a finance organization takes a breath, it may find itself with processes that are not as effective as they once were.
1|3|6|9| 11| 06.18.2013 - This Year, the Deadline for Reporting Foreign Financial Accounts Is June 28
Taxpayers required to file an annual Report of Foreign Bank and Foreign Accounts (FBAR) with the Treasury Department should keep in mind that the deadline for doing so this year is June 28, not June 30. The due date is slightly accelerated due to an anomaly in Treasury Department filing rules.
1|6|9| 11| 06.18.2013 - Senate Passes Internet Sales Tax Bill That Will Require State Sales Tax on All Online Purchases
On May 6, 2013 the Senate passed the Marketplace Fairness Act of 2013 (Act) by a 69-27 vote. Passage in the Senate was considered a major hurdle for taxing Internet sales. The Act is now being considered in the House and it is likely that the House will propose changes to the Act that was passed by the Senate.
1|2|6|9| 11| 06.19.2013 - Connecticut Tax Amnesty Program
The Connecticut legislature passed Public Act 13-184, which includes a tax amnesty program. The tax amnesty program will cover all state taxes except for motor carrier road taxes and is available for any taxable period ending on or before November 30, 2012.
1|2|6|9| 3|11| 06.21.2013 - New Excise Tax Due July 31, 2013 on Plan Sponsors of Self-Funded Plans
The Affordable Care Act imposes fees on issuers of specified health insurance policies and on plan sponsors of applicable self-insured health plans. Self-insured health plans also include health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs).
9|6|2|1| 11| 11.19.2014 - Where Will We Be This Year-End – The Uncertainty of 2014 Tax Planning
Election Day has come and gone and we still have no answers. The hope is that the new Republican-controlled Congress and President Obama can begin negotiating on common ground. With so many tax provisions expiring at the end of 2013, it has left many taxpayers wondering what can be done for 2014. Some of the tax breaks may be retroactively reinstated and extended. The IRS has already pleaded with the Treasury to act swiftly in order to not cause a delay in the opening of tax season. Many tax practitioners are also hoping for this as tax busy season seems to get more condensed every year.
9|1|2|3|4|5|6|7| 11| 07.02.2013 - Many Tax Planning Questions Arise After Supreme Court's DOMA Decision
On June 26, the U.S. Supreme Court held that Section 3 of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is unconstitutional (E.S. Windsor, SCt., June 26, 2013). Immediately after the decision, President Obama directed all federal agencies, including the IRS, to revise their regulations to reflect the Court's order. How the IRS will revise its tax regulations - and when - remains to be seen; but in the meantime, the Court's decision opens a number of planning tax opportunities for same-sex couples.
1|2|4|6|9| 07.18.2013 - How are vacation homes taxed?
Vacation homes offer owners many tax breaks similar to those for primary residences. Vacation homes also offer owners the opportunity to earn tax-advantaged and even tax-free income from a certain level of rental income. The value of vacation homes are also on the rise again, offering an investment side to ownership that can ultimately be realized at a beneficial long-term capital gains rate.
1|2|6|9| 09.24.2013 - FAQ: What Important Provisions Are Taking Effect Under the Affordable Care Act?
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA)—the Obama administration's healthcare reform law—was enacted in 2010, and many of its provisions have taken effect. Other important provisions will first take effect in 2014 and 2015. These provisions of the law will require affected parties to take action—or at least to be aware of the law's impact—in 2013 and 2014. These provisions affect individuals, families, employers and health insurers, among others.
1|2|6|9| 11| 08.14.2013 - Changes to Massachusetts Sales and Use Tax on Computer and Software Services Law Effective July 31, 2013
Effective July 31, 2013, pursuant to newly-enacted legislation, An Act Relative to Transportation Finance, St. 2013, c. 46 (the Act), Chapters 64H and 64I of the Massachusetts General Laws have been amended to apply the sales and use tax to certain services relating to (1) computer system design and (2) the modification, integration, enhancement, installation or configuration of standardized or prewritten software.
1|2|6|8|9| 4|6|9|12| 08.15.2013 - eDiscovery and SharePoint 2013 as a Litigation Tool
Electronic discovery or eDiscovery is the process of searching for electronically stored information (ESI) with intentions of using it for legal purposes. Electronically stored information can be found in any type of electronic form; documents, emails, videos or instant messages. It includes any type of file containing information pertaining to a civil lawsuit, audit or investigation.
1|2|6|9| 08.15.2013 - For Family Owned Businesses, Succession Planning Is Essential
In the majority of family owned businesses, there is usually a strong desire to keep that business ownership within the family and to maintain that legacy, even when the founding generation prepares to retire and move on.
1|2|6|9| 08.15.2013 - FAQ: To What Extent are Business Meals Deductible?
A business can deduct meals only if they are ordinary and necessary expenses and not lavish or extravagant. Further, the amount allowable as a deduction for business meal and entertainment expenses, whether incurred in-town or out-of-town is generally limited to 50 percent of the expense.
1|2|3|6|9| 11| 08.15.2013 - U.S. Delays FATCA's Withholding, Reporting and Other Rules For Six Months
The scheduled January 1, 2014 rollout of withholding, reporting and other rules in the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) has been delayed six months, the Treasury Department and the IRS have announced. The six-month delay is expected to give the U.S. more time to conclude negotiations and sign agreements to implement FATCA with foreign governments. The Treasury Department and the IRS have not, however, delayed the rules for reporting by individuals.
1|2|6|9| 09.24.2013 - With Many Encouraging Signs, What’s Next for Businesses in Connecticut?
For the 12th year in a row, the Connecticut Business and Industry Association (CBIA) and BlumShapiro recently released the Survey of Connecticut Businesses, which serves as a snapshot of how our state’s business leaders are feeling about doing business in Connecticut. And this year’s report, without question, builds on the gradual momentum we’ve seen since the state’s economy reached its nadir in 2009.
1|2|6|9| 11| 09.24.2013 - IRS Releases Comprehensive Repair/Capitalization Final Regulations
The IRS has released much-anticipated final “repair” regulations (T.D. 9636) governing when taxpayers must capitalize and when they can deduct their expenses for acquiring, maintaining, repairing and replacing tangible property. The final regulations make significant tax-payer-friendly changes to the 2011 temporary regulations. Compliance with the labyrinth of rules in the final regs, however, will challenge virtually every business, especially in light of an approaching January 1, 2014 effective date.
1|2|6|9| 09.24.2013 - Are You Prepared to Implement the FASB’s New Revenue Recognition Model?
Revenue is a key performance indicator and considered to be of critical importance to many users of financial statements. U.S. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) contain multiple industry specific revenue recognition guidance that sometimes result in different accounting treatment for transactions that may be economically similar. Furthermore, revenue recognition guidance for companies following U.S. GAAP is different than guidance contained in International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) which further impedes comparability of financial statements.
1|2|6|9| 11| 09.24.2013 - 2013 Year-End Tax Planning – Plan Now
It is never too late to start strategizing for year-end tax planning. Due to recent tax legislation (or lack thereof) along with new IRS rules and regulations, 2013 personal and business tax planning is vital. Looking ahead to year-end 2013, there are many planning strategies to explore and evaluate.
2|9|6|1| 11| 11.19.2014 - 2014 Tax Planning Strategies for Businesses and Business Owners
Enclosed are some of the year-end steps that can be taken to save taxes for businesses and business owners. You should reach out to your tax advisor to discuss your particular situation. There may be more opportunities if Congress acts swiftly to reinstate the tax extenders. If that happens, make sure you call your tax practitioner to see what else can be done.
9|6|2|1| 11| 11.19.2014 - 2014 Tax-Planning Strategies for Individuals
Enclosed are just some of the year-end steps that can be taken to save taxes for individuals. You should reach out to your tax advisor to discuss your particular situation. There may be more opportunities if Congress acts swiftly to reinstate the tax extenders. If that happens, make sure you call your tax practitioner to see what else can be done.
1|2|6|8|9| 7| 10.22.2013 - Businesses Need to Avoid the “Virtual Blind Spots”
Often times in the business world, companies can be undermined by what is known as the “virtual blind spot.” Much like actual blind spots on the road, those areas we are unable to see and therefore make us vulnerable. In the business world, these are areas where business leaders fail to identify new opportunities until it’s too late. So how do businesses avoid virtual blind spots?
1|2|6|8|9| 12| 10.23.2013 - Enterprise Social Networks: Should Your Organization Use One?
At home, millions of employees have their own Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other social networking accounts. At work, do you use these tools to organize events and communicate with your co-workers? For most, the answer is probably not. With good reason, these social networks are not managed, private or secured within the confines of each business’ virtual walls. However, a new wave of online, cloud based services called enterprise social networks (ESNs) have entered the market over the last few years and matured.
1|2|5|6|9| 2| 11.14.2013 - Why Exit Planning? Why Now?
As advisors, we know that business owners who create business plans are able to react more quickly to new events—events of the past few years in this economy and this world come to mind—than those who don’t.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|9| 3| 11.16.2013 - Two Things Your Employee Benefit Plan Cannot Live Without
It is not uncommon in the retirement plan marketplace for plan sponsors to place the responsibility of investment selection on the participants in the plan. However, the fiduciary responsibility remains with the plan sponsor, who is charged with oversight over the plan. The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) was designed to protect participants, not the plan administrator or the plan sponsor.
1|2|3|4|6|7|9| 11.19.2013 - Give Yourself Credit For Hiring!
Employers considering hiring or who hire on a continuous basis should give themselves some credit. The Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) allows an employer a credit of $1,200 to $9,600 per employee hired from certain targeted groups. The credit is based on potential wages paid to these targeted new hires and the group in which they qualify.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|9| 12.17.2013 - 2013 – Flashback to 2000
This year has brought many changes to the tax landscape. The top rates have been increased and deductions are being phased out. Although we knew this was coming, reality has set in and it is time to deal with it. As we compare 2013 to 2012 it is very likely that if you are affected by the higher tax rates and phase-out of deductions, you could see a 15% to 20% increase in your tax bill. As 2013 comes to an end there are three numbers you should keep in mind.
9|7|6|5|4|3|2|1| 1|2|4|6| 07.11.2017 - Financial Statement Red Flags
The last 15 years have produced some of the most notable financial statement frauds in U.S. History, including: Enron, WorldCom, Tyco, HealthSouth and AIG. The magnitude of the losses associated with recent accounting scandals continues to inform users of financial statements about the importance of recognizing financial reporting red flags. These red flags are often indicative of underlying operational or economic distress.
9|1|2|6| 01.27.2014 - Potential for Good Things on Connecticut’s Horizon
As the new Year begins there are several encouraging factors in the U.S. economy. In 2013 there was more progress on energy independence, a reawakening of business confidence and job creation, and a very strong year on Wall Street.
1| 02.10.2014 - Auto Team America: 2025 Dealership Vision: What Lies Ahead
The ATA paper presents key findings from an opinion survey of automotive dealers throughout the US as well as brainstorming sessions with dealers, ATA members and other industry specialists on the strategic vision of dealerships for the year 2025.
9|1|2|3|4|5|6|7| 3| 01.27.2014 - Errors in Employee Benefit Plans – What are Your Options?
No plan sponsor wants to find an error in their employee retirement plan, but mistakes happen and no plan is perfect. The key to avoiding severe penalties and tax qualification issues is to identify and correct mistakes in a timely manner. If plan sponsors roll the dice and hope for the best, corrections can get very expensive. Both the Department of Labor (DOL) and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) offer various correction programs to facilitate the correction of errors found in employee benefit plans.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|9|10|13|12|11|14| 09.01.2017 - Tips to Prepare for the Employee Benefit Plan Year-End Audit
Many companies are in the process of gathering information for the year-end audit of their employee benefit plan. This article provides a checklist of review procedures the plan sponsor should complete in order to fulfill and provide support of compliance with some of their fiduciary duties. Completing these procedures will help your organization prepare for the employee benefit plan year-end audit, as well as provide strong fiduciary oversight. This is not a comprehensive list, but rather a reminder of the more common areas which are often overlooked.
1|2|6|9| 3| 03.18.2014 - 401(k) Loan Policies – What to Consider
Although it is not required by law to maintain a participant loan feature within an employee retirement plan, most plans do allow these programs. When choosing to allow a loan program within an employee retirement plan, it is important to adopt the loan policy features that are right for the plan.
1|2|6|9| 7| 03.18.2014 - Economic Downturn Gives Owners Time to Work on Value Drivers
Value Drivers are the intrinsic characteristics of a company that buyers look for when deciding what company to buy and how much to pay. Value Drivers are an important aspect in a successful sale of a business, and consequently it is the work of the owner (not employees) to create and to nurture them. Installing value drivers in your company is the best thing you can do to increase both the salability of your company and its price tag, but doing so takes time. Today’s economic downturn gives you the time you need to prepare your company to sell when the M&A market recovers.
9|6|2|1| 11| 03.14.2017 - Connecticut Residents Beware - Tax Implications of Your Ties to New York
If you're a Connecticut resident, you can relate to the feeling that Connecticut is just a place between New York and Boston. We are often merely the link between our larger neighbors and there is no larger neighbor than New York City. But, your ties to New York can have major implications for your income tax liability – specifically if you own or rent a second home in New York or if you "telecommute" to an office there.
1|2|6|9| 11| 05.16.2014 - Take Me Out to the Ball Game – Can I Deduct That?
Many companies in the normal course of business entertain vendors or clients. With the success of the sports teams in New England, more and more companies have purchased seasons tickets to entertain and thank their clients. As a result, the question often arises as to whether the season tickets are deductible.
1|2|6|9| 11| 05.04.2017 - What are "AFRs" for Tax Purposes?
Each month, the IRS provides various prescribed rates for federal income tax purposes. These rates, known as Applicable Federal Rates (or AFRs), are regularly published as revenue rulings and are available on the IRS website. AFRs are used for loans that are considered to be below-market loans, which are defined as loans in which the stated interest rate is lower than the rate required for tax purposes. Various types of below-market loans exist, such as gift loans, compensation-related loans and corporation-shareholder loans.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|8|9| 7|9|12| 05.19.2014 - Is Cloud Computing Right for Your Company?
With all of the hype surrounding the convenience and efficiency of cloud computing, business owners often ask whether it’s worth moving their financial applications to the cloud. You’ve probably wondered this yourself. The benefits of the cloud are real, but the risks can be, too. What’s important is that you look at the unique features of your company and determine whether the cloud is right for you. In contemplating a switch to cloud computing, one of your first steps should be to consider the potential benefits given your company’s work style, culture and location(s).
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|9| 3| 05.19.2014 - Employee Benefit Plan Fiduciaries: What is Your Responsibility?
As a fiduciary of an employee retirement plan, it is important to understand your responsibilities as well as the responsibilities of the other fiduciaries of the plan. An understanding of these responsibilities can be obtained by reviewing various plan instruments, including the plan document and related adoption agreement, trust document, service agreements, collective bargaining agreements and internal policies and procedures manuals. This article provides a brief description of the key parties to a retirement plan (which are generally the fiduciaries of the plan) and their responsibilities.
1|2|6|9| 11| 05.19.2014 - Looking Back Before Moving Forward: Post Filing-Season Check-up for 2014 Tax Savings
Now is the time to learn the lessons from last year’s tax return that can make a difference in your 2014 filing situation.
1| 11| 05.29.2014 - Taxation of Facility Image Upgrade Payments
On May 15, 2014 the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released a General Legal Advice Memorandum (GLAM) addressing manufacturer incentive payments to dealers for facility upgrades. The issue of manufacturer payments to dealers has been a source of confusion and frustration for many years. Manufacturers often tout these payments as a “reimbursement” to the dealer for upgrading their facilities to meet manufacturer requirements. It is not uncommon for dealers to assume that these reimbursements should be used to offset the cost of the project, versus treating the payment as taxable income.
9|1|2|3|4|5|6|7| 1|3| 06.17.2014 - Reducing or Suspending Safe Harbor Contributions Mid-Year
Beginning with plan years after 2014, under Treasury Regulation 9641, 401(k) safe harbor matching contributions may be reduced or suspended mid-year under the same circumstances that apply to safe harbor non-elective contributions.
1|2|9| 11| 06.17.2014 - This Year's FBAR Deadline: What Changed and What Hasn't
U.S. taxpayers with foreign financial accounts must file a Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR) if the aggregate value of their accounts exceeds $10,000 at any time during the calendar year.
1|2|6|9| 11| 06.17.2014 - Congress Juggles Immediate and Long-term Tax Issues
Nearly halfway into the year, tax legislation has been hotly debated in Congress but lawmakers have failed to move many bills. Only one bill, legislation to make permanent the research tax credit, has been approved by the House of Representatives (the House); its fate in the Senate still remains uncertain.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|9| 1| 06.17.2014 - Revenue Recognition Changes… Are you Ready?
As the business climate continues to evolve and become more global, it has become increasingly important to ensure comparability of financial information reported by companies around the world. Accounting Standards Update 2014-09, Revenue from Contracts with Customers (the Update), was a result of a joint project between the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) and the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) with the goals of clarifying the principles regarding revenue recognition and developing a common revenue standard for both U.S. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) and International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS).
1|2|5|6|9| 11| 07.16.2014 - Tax Changes in 2015 Rhode Island Budget Bill Will Impact Businesses and Individuals
Last month, Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee signed the state’s fiscal year 2015 budget bill. The bill enacts widespread changes to the Rhode Island tax system across a number of tax areas. The most significant changes will be to the corporate income tax, but changes were also made that impact both personal income tax and the estate tax.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|9| 11| 07.16.2014 - Connecticut Tax Legislation Highlights: 2014 Session
The recently concluded 2014 legislation session of the Connecticut General Assembly passed (with the governor’s approval) important broad-based tax measures which will impact individual and business taxpayers. Following is a brief explanation of the enacted legislation which will likely have the broadest impact in the areas of individual income taxation, sales and use taxation, property taxation and business entity taxation.
1|2|6|9| 1|7| 08.05.2014 - The Connecticut Economy: What Makes a Top State for Business?
Sponsored by BlumShapiro, Ion Bank, and UIL Holdings, this is the fall's most important economic event. Hear from top executives and leading economists about which industries are adding jobs, what's driving (and deflecting) business investment in Connecticut, and how state fiscal policy will impact the strength and pace of economic recovery. We will also release results of the 2014 Survey of Connecticut Businesses. All attendees receive a free copy of the report.
1|2|3|4|6|7|8|9| 8|12|15| 08.18.2014 - How to Safely “BYOD”
As technology advances and new mobile devices emerge daily, businesses need to continuously evolve their security strategies in order to protect their organizations.
1|2|6|9| 11| 08.18.2014 - Tax Updates Affecting Massachusetts Businesses and Individuals
On July 11, 2014, Governor Deval Patrick signed into law the fiscal year 2015 Massachusetts budget bill. This article shares a brief summary of the tax legislation that has the broadest impact.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|9| 3| 08.18.2014 - Pension Plan De-Risking Trending Upwards
Among the many trends seen in the pension plan arena over the past several years is the continued annuitization of defined benefit plans. Large and small companies continue to investigate strategies to lower their pension liabilities and shift the obligations from the sponsoring company to an insurance company.
1|2|6|9| 08.18.2014 - Phishing Scams – What Should You Look Out For?
Phishing is a scam typically carried out by unsolicited telephone calls, emails and/or websites that pose as legitimate sites and lure unsuspecting victims to provide personal and financial information. Recently, headlines have shared phishing scams involving people claiming to be from the IRS.
1| 1|7| 09.22.2014 - Your Reputation Shows in Your Financial Statement
As you already know, your dealership’s reputation ultimately shows up in your financial statement. In fact, it is in every department. But how do you find it? Your reputation can either hurt or help your financial results. As we all know, a dealership stands out in most communities, especially rural areas. If you treat your customers badly or just don’t care about them, your financial statements are eventually going to show you how badly you are doing.
1| 1|7| 09.22.2014 - Volume or Gross?
Auto franchises’ financial statements are quite different in format and how the financial data is displayed for your review. Each franchise seems to think its format is the best to inform you as the dealer how your business is performing. They are very different but the basics remain. There is a balance sheet and an income statement. The income statement is broken up into many departments: new, used, F&I, service, parts, body shop, rental, quick lube, etc. Some statements show some of the variable expenses under the sales and gross profit area, and others show the gross and all expenses separately.
1| 11| 09.22.2014 - New Rule Effective in 2015-One IRA Rollover Permitted Per Year
The IRS is following the Tax Court ruling that the limit of one rollover per year applies on an aggregate basis and not on an IRA-by-IRA basis. The IRS withdrew a 1981 proposed regulation and announced that the new ruling will not apply to any rollover that involves a distribution that occurs before January 1, 2015.
1| 1|4|8| 09.22.2014 - Five Types of Fraud Dealerships Can Prevent With Better Internal Controls
The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania recently indicted the former controller of a car dealership, who subsequently pleaded guilty to the charges. The indictment details several ways in which the controller stole $10.2 million over a six-year-period and highlights the importance of proper internal controls in a dealership. Many dealers are likely wondering whether something like this could happen in their dealership.
1| 1|5|11| 09.22.2014 - Fair Credit and Fair Gain
To know how to make a reasonable profit, to abide by government regulations and to offer fair credit contracts is vital to staying in business and doing good business in the automotive industry. However, it is not an easy task.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|9| 1| 09.25.2014 - The Importance of Establishing a Record Retention Policy for Your Organization
As accountants and business consultants, we are often asked how long business records should be saved. Recordkeeping is important because it provides information to support decision-making by management and is generally required by legal retention requirements.
1|2|6|9| 1|3| 09.29.2014 - DOL Updates Guidance on Locating Missing Participants in Defined Contribution Plans
On August 14, 2014, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued Field Assistance Bulletin No. 2014-01 (the FAB). When a defined contribution plan, such as a 401(k) or a 403(b) plan, is terminated, it is the plan sponsor’s responsibility to locate all participants and distribute their accumulated balances held by the plan as soon as administratively feasible. The FAB addresses a plan fiduciary’s duties regarding “missing” or “lost” participants in terminated defined contribution plans.
9|6|2|1| 1|11|6| 10.23.2014 - OECD Provides Guidance on Transfer Pricing Documentation
A transfer price is the price for goods, services or intangibles that are sold or transferred between related legal entities within a multinational enterprise. Transfer pricing strategies have been employed by multinational companies that shift profits to countries with low corporate tax rates, even though the company may have little or no economic activity in that country. The practice of artificially shifting income into tax-advantaged environments is referred to as base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS).
1|2|6|9| 11| 01.26.2015 - Tax Implications of the Final Massachusetts Market-Based Sourcing Regulations
The Massachusetts Department of Revenue (“DOR”) recently released a final regulation 830 CMR 63.38.1 addressing the 2013 statutory change to its sourcing rules for the sale of services and transactions involving intangible property in Massachusetts. Under the new statute, all entity taxpayers (including C corporations, S corporations and partnerships) are required to use market-based sourcing rather than cost of performance for the assignment of these gross receipts in the income apportionment calculation. The final regulations are effective for taxable years beginning on or after January 1, 2014 and are extremely important for companies and practitioners to review based on the level of complexity and wide range of taxpayers who will be impacted by the change.
1|2|6|9| 01.26.2015 - Top Tax Developments of 2014 with Impact on Businesses in 2015
2014 was a notable year for tax developments on a number of fronts, and selecting the "top" 2014 tax developments affecting businesses in 2015 requires judgment calls based upon uniqueness and forward-looking impact on 2015 and beyond. There certainly were others that may prove more significant to any particular business, so please feel free to contact any of our tax professionals for a more customized look at the impact of 2014 developments upon your organization’s unique tax situation.
1|2|6|9| 1| 02.23.2015 - Management Soon to be Required to Assess Going Concern Under U.S. GAAP
In August 2014, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) issued Accounting Standards Update 2014-15 regarding Disclosure of Uncertainties about an Entity’s Ability to Continue as a Going Concern. Under the standards, prior to this update, there was no guidance related to management’s responsibility to evaluate the going concern of the entity or to provide the related footnote disclosures to the financial statements.
1|2|6|9| 11| 02.23.2015 - Healthcare Reform News: IRS Grants Penalty Relief for 2014 Premium Credit Shortfalls, Issues New Tax Forms
Healthcare tax incentives can result in unexpected penalties for underpayment of estimated taxes, as well as late payment of taxes in some cases. The IRS issued notice 2015-9 to provide some relief from penalties that result from a reconciliation of advanced premium payments/subsidies and the Premium Tax Credit that is ultimately calculated on a taxpayer’s return.
1|2|6|9| 11| 02.24.2015 - IRS Continues Program for Disclosing Offshore Accounts
The IRS continues to provide programs for U.S. taxpayers who have failed to disclose offshore assets and pay taxes due. Recently the IRS provided guidance and clarifications that apply to taxpayers who apply for relief under the streamlined filing compliance procedures. These new instructions are effective for applications submitted on or after July 1, 2014.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|9| 1|3| 07.18.2017 - Liquidation Basis Accounting Standards for Employee Benefit Plans
With interest rates on the rise, it has become more attractive to plan sponsors to terminate their legacy-defined benefit pension plans. When a plan sponsor decides to terminate an employee benefit plan, they must look to the liquidation basis of accounting requirements for proper presentation of their plan's financial statements.
1|2|6|8|9| 12| 03.20.2015 - Overcome the Challenge of Outsourcing Technology
At some point in time, technology outsourcing becomes a necessity for all businesses. Whether your staff lacks the expertise to manage and maintain network infrastructure, or your data requires secure off-site storage, there are a number of reasons why technology outsourcing eventually develops into an operational requirement. Even mega-tech giants like Microsoft and IBM, whose core competencies exist through excellence in all things IT, outsource their technology functions to some degree.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|9| 11| 04.13.2015 - New Health Care Provisions Impact Tax Returns
Tax Day on April 15 is fast approaching, and both business and individual filers across the state should be busy preparing their returns in anticipation of the looming deadline. As this is done, filers need to be mindful of one of the most significant pieces of legislation to be signed into law in the past decade — the Affordable Care Act, known colloquially as Obamacare — and the tax implications that exist this year that need to be considered. These include new forms to be filed as well as penalties businesses and individuals face for failing to comply with the ACA.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|9| 4|8| 04.24.2015 - Fraud and Internal Controls
The most recent recession sharpened a trend already in place across the national economy – companies run leaner today than they did 5, 10 or 15 years ago. The financial difficulties many companies are experiencing have reinforced a movement spurred by technological advances. Mainly, there are fewer people in the workplace handling more responsibilities. Unfortunately for business owners and senior corporate executives, reduction of the workforce equates to fewer supervisors, thus less availability to oversee and audit operations. This condition is an invitation for employees to pilfer from a company -- either by walking off with inventory or inappropriately handling receipts.
1|2|6|9| 11| 05.12.2015 - Tax Legislation Advances as Filing Season Concludes Successfully
The tax filing season concluded on April 15 with the IRS Commissioner reporting that return and refund processing went smoothly. Congress returned to work in April after a two-week recess, and the House immediately passed a number of tax-related bills. House lawmakers voted to repeal the federal estate tax, make permanent the state and local sales tax deduction and make reforms to the IRS.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|9| 1|4|7| 05.15.2015 - Payroll Fraud – An Often Overlooked Risk and How to Address It
We often hear or read stories in the news about fraud occurring within businesses. Frequently, such businesses are victimized when an individual in a position of financial authority makes unauthorized withdrawals or disbursements from bank accounts, or misdirects cash deposits. In response to these risks, controls are often implemented to prevent and detect fraud relating to cash, but what is often overlooked is the potential for payroll fraud.
1|2|5|6|9| 11| 06.12.2015 - Connecticut’s Tax Budget Increases Taxes
During its regular session ending on June 3, 2015, the Connecticut General Assembly passed a $40 billion biennium budget (House Bill, H7061). The budget is expected to increase revenues by over $2 billion over the next two years (July 1, 2015 through June 30, 2017), largely by raising taxes and canceling previously approved tax exemptions, tax cuts and phase-outs.
1|2|6|9| 11| 06.12.2015 - Transfer Pricing - It’s No Longer Just for Multinational Companies
Many states are facing budgetary short-falls and seek new revenue sources to fill the gaps. States are increasing scrutiny of transfer pricing as a means to address budget shortfalls without publicly increasing taxes. As a result, transfer pricing compliance is no longer just an issue for multinational enterprises; rather, it is now a concern for all companies that transact across state borders with related party entities.
1|2|5|6|9| 7| 06.12.2015 - The Time for Family Businesses to Start Thinking About Succession Planning Is Now
One challenge family owned businesses are now facing is what happens when the current generation of leadership retires. Will the sons and/or daughters take over? Will it remain partly in the family with other relatives? Will the next generation be unwilling (or perhaps unqualified) to run the business, requiring current management to consider selling or looking to outside investors? These questions are extremely important and extremely real, and they point to one clear business strategy that must be employed—succession planning.
1| 1| 06.29.2015 - The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and Responding with a Fair Credit Compliance Program
Automotive dealers were largely exempted from the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) jurisdiction after a long and tumultuous battle on Capitol Hill, but that has not stopped the CFPB from finding ways to regulate dealers. In 2013, the CFPB undertook an effort to focus on regulating auto loans by targeting banks under its jurisdiction. Concerns particularly surrounded “dealer-assisted financing” or “dealer participation”, the process whereby a dealership arranges an auto loan or lease with a bank, credit union or other financial institution.
1| 11| 06.29.2015 - Tax Tip – Interest Expense on Loan Secured by Residence
IRS Ruled in TC Memo 2015-56 that interest expense on loan proceeds secured by the taxpayers' residence was not deductible as investment interest expense when the proceeds of the loan were loaned to the taxpayers' C Corporation.
1| 1|7| 06.29.2015 - Managing and Controlling Your Parts Department
When was the last time you walked through your parts department? Did you just cut through there or did you actually walk every aisle and maybe even look at the shelves and bins? I bet you have never actually walked into your parts department, up and down each aisle slowly, looking at each shelf, bin and drawer to see what you actually own and how your cash is tied up. Organization in your parts department is central to having a well-run parts department so your employees working there can find the parts quickly, as every minute they make a technician wait costs you gross profit.
1|2|5|6|9| 11| 07.10.2015 - Malloy Signs Connecticut Budget, Many Tax Increases Remain
On June 30, 2015, following up on its regular session ending on June 3, 2015, the Connecticut General Assembly passed a $40 billion biennium budget (Senate Bill, 1502, a budget implementation bill, amending House Bill 7061) and the governor has signed it.
6|5|4|3|2|1|9|7| 11| 02.04.2016 - How Long Should I Keep My Tax Records?
One record retention guideline is often misconstrued; the retention guideline pertaining to tax returns and related documents. A common misconception is that the Internal Revenue Service can only audit tax returns related to the last three years.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|9| 1|3| 07.21.2015 - Tibble v. Edison: Lessons for 401(k)/403(b) Plan Sponsors
In 2007 a lawsuit was brought against the Edison International company sponsored 401(k) plan. The suit alleged that the plan sponsor and its fiduciaries failed to monitor the fees charged to the company retirement plan. There are five key outcomes from this case that plan sponsors and fiduciaries should pay close attention to. These lessons, outlined below, should be implemented by all sponsors of company retirement plans.
1|2|3|4|5|7|9| 1|4| 07.21.2015 - Ten Tips to Help Businesses Avoid Payroll-Related Fraud
Payroll is one of the largest, if not the largest, expense on a corporate income statement. Accordingly, companies should design, implement and maintain a system of controls over payroll in order to ensure that transactions are properly authorized and recorded. Payroll-related fraud is not industry specific and can be difficult to detect. It is also one of the most common.
1|2|6|9| 11| 08.20.2015 - Lawmakers Hear From Small Businesses About Tax Complexity, Compliance
Small business tax reform was the topic of two Congressional hearings in July. House and Senate lawmakers heard from small business owners and leaders in the tax and accounting area about concerns over tax complexity, compliance and penalties. After the hearings, the chair of the Senate Small Business Committee said that he is moving forward with a small business tax compliance reform bill.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|9| 1|3| 08.21.2015 - Penalty Relief for Form 5500-EZ Late Filings
In 2014, the IRS established a one-year pilot program that provided penalty relief for failure to timely file annual reports for one-participant retirement plans. The feedback from the pilot program was favorable, and it was suggested that a permanent penalty relief program be put in place. In June 2015, the IRS issued Revenue Procedure 2015-32, which establishes a permanent penalty relief program for filers of Form 5500-EZ, Annual Return of One-Participant (Owners and Their Spouses) Retirement Plan.
1|2|6|9| 11| 11.11.2015 - Family Owned Businesses Need to Start Succession Planning Today
A recent study that our firm developed with Baker Tilly International indicates that, while this alarming number of businesses have not yet begun the planning process, there are serious advantages to those businesses who start that process several years out. This is a never-before-seen generational shift we are experiencing and will continue to experience through 2025, and it gives businesses the impetus to put these plans in place.
1|2|6|9| 1| 12.15.2015 - Accounting and Auditing Standards Update
The mission of the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) is to establish and improve standards of financial accounting and reporting that foster financial reporting that provides decision-useful information to investors and other users of financial reports. The Accounting Standards Updates (ASU) discussed below were issued between July 1, 2015 and the date of this article. These updates will affect manufacturers, distributors and retailers.
1|2|6|9| 11| 12.15.2015 - Recent Items of Interest Regarding Tangible Property Regulations
In 2014, the IRS issued final guidance on the treatment of costs for tangible property under the sweeping “repair” regulations that impact most businesses. Since that time, there has been much conversation about the final regulations since their implementation became mandatory. Most recently, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released guidance pertaining to two areas in which business taxpayers must determine whether to capitalize or deduct certain costs.
1|2|6|9| 11| 12.18.2015 - Congressional Budget Agreement Means Tax-Saving Opportunities for Businesses
Now that Congress has reached an agreement on a variety of key tax provisions, once President Obama signs them into law, it should mean a number of beneficial tax deduction extenders are available to businesses if they choose to take advantage of them. In particular, here are five key provisions that could provide businesses with opportunities for tax savings.
9|1|2|5|6| 11| 01.06.2016 - Connecticut December Special Session Passes Tax Legislation
On December 8, 2015 the Connecticut General Assembly passed the state’s third major budget and revenue bill (Senate Bill 1601). Subsequently, on December 29, 2015 the governor signed Public Act No. 15-1 containing a number of significant retroactive and prospective tax law changes that address tax legislation passed earlier this year (see Malloy Signs Budget and CT Tax Budget articles) as well as including new tax legislation to provide tax relief to individuals and Connecticut-based businesses.
9|1|2|6| 11| 04.22.2016 - Congress Takes First Steps to Tax Reform
Tax reform continues to be highly touted in Congress. Lawmakers from both parties agree that the U.S. tax system is in need of reform. Congress continues to explore ways to make the U.S. tax system simpler, fairer, and more efficient but identifying and enacting policies that will result in a simpler, fairer, and more efficient tax system remains a challenge. At times this year President Obama and Congressional Republicans seem far apart on a way forward, but at similar times in the past, agreements have quickly and often surprisingly emerged, most recently in the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015 (“PATH Act”).
8|9|1|2|3|4|5|6|7| 8|15| 04.26.2016 - Ransomware - The New Pandemic
What is ransomware? How can you mitigate risk? What do you do if infected by ransomware? Learn about all of the above in this compelling and information packed article.
8|9|1|2|3|4|5|6|7| 8|12|15| 06.03.2016 - Are mobile phones your biggest weakness to cyber threats?
Our phones are no longer only for making calls, they’ve evolved into our hand-held personal computers. With this, comes the storing of sensitive data so it's easily available to us―emails, calendars, contact information, passwords, payment data, etc. While these features are great for the traveling or telecommuting employee, it’s also attractive to hackers.
9|1|2|3|4|5|6|7| 11| 06.08.2016 - Employers Need to Prepare Now For New Federal Overtime Guidelines
Regulations released by the United States Department of Labor establishing new guidelines under which employees must be paid overtime will have a far-reaching impact on employers throughout Connecticut and the nation. Business leaders now must take the right steps to ensure they are in compliance with these new rules before they take effect in December.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|8|9| 8|12|15| 06.30.2016 - Cyber Security Facts and Trends Infographic
Learn more about the real costs of cyber attacks with our cybersecurity facts, trends and statistics infographic.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|9| 11| 08.12.2016 - Affordable Care Act Could Bring Additional Challenges for Employers in 2017
As hard as it may be to believe, the Affordable Care Act (ACA, also known to many as Obamacare) is now more than six years old. It was signed into law amid cheers and protests from competing sides, and in that time has survived dozens of efforts by Congress to repeal it. Through all of that it still exists and requires businesses with more than 50 people to provide health insurance for employees. While the results of the November election could have an impact on its long-term viability, it is safe to say that qualifying businesses would be wise to plan to continue adhering to the law into 2017.
1|2|5|6|9| 11| 08.16.2016 - Proposed Treasury Regulations Would Limit Valuation Discounts
A tax planning strategy utilized in reducing gift and estate tax has been taking advantage of valuation discounts for family transfers of closely held businesses. However, this strategy may soon evaporate with the recent issuance of regulations limiting valuation discounts.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|9| 1|3| 09.01.2016 - When Does Your Retirement Plan Need an Audit?
The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) establishes standards and rules governing employee benefit plans (401(k), 403(b), Pension, other retirement and health and welfare plans), including independent audit requirements. Generally, all large non-governmental and non-church retirement plans are required to be audited by a qualified certified or licensed public accountant on an annual basis. ERISA also generally requires large funded health and welfare plans (normally indicated by the establishment of a trust to hold plan assets) to be audited on an annual basis.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|8|9| 15| 09.07.2016 - 8 Lessons Learned from History's Biggest Cyber Attacks
Every day, over 4,000 cyber-attacks occur, nearly three attacks every minute. The sophistication and techniques used by hackers is growing and evolving constantly. Fortunately, we can use the lessons learned throughout the history of cyber-attacks to increase our knowledge and awareness, and in turn, better protect ourselves from cyber-attacks.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|9| 3| 09.27.2016 - How to Select an Auditor for Your Employee Benefit Plan
All employee benefit plans (401(k), 403(b), Pension and other retirement and health and welfare plans) categorized as “large” plans for Form 5500 reporting purposes are required to have an annual audit performed by an independent auditor.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|9| 3| 11.01.2016 - 401(k) and 403(b) Audit Checklist
It is important to prepare for your annual retirement plan audit to ensure a smooth audit and Form 5500 filing. This checklist is designed as a summary of the items that will typically be reviewed as part of the annual audit of your defined contribution plan (401(k), 403(b) and profit sharing plans). It is not meant to be all-inclusive, but covers the common items requested during an audit of a defined contribution plan.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|9| 11| 11.14.2016 - What are “excepted benefits” for purposes of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) minimum essential coverage?
The ACA created Code Sec. 5000A whereby individuals must now have minimum essential health insurance coverage, qualify for a health coverage exemption or make an individual shared responsibility payment.
1|2|5|6|9| 11| 11.16.2016 - Looking Past Election Day: Tax Reform on the Horizon
Now that the election is over, the focus of many Americans will be on whether Trump will get his proposed tax policy reform passed through the Republican-held Congress and how the proposed tax policy will affect them.
1| 11| 12.06.2016 - Deductions for Heavy Trucks and Vans
As you know, unfavorable depreciation rules apply to most passenger autos and light trucks used in business.
1|9| 11| 01.11.2017 - IRS releases 2017 standard mileage rates; business and medical/moving rates drop
The IRS has released the 2017 optional standard mileage rates that employees, self-employed individuals, and other taxpayers can use to compute deductible costs of operating automobiles (including vans, pickups and panel trucks) for business, medical, moving and charitable purposes.
8|1|2|3|4|5|6|7|9| 12| 12.01.2016 - Investing in Technology Helps Businesses Stay Ahead
Everywhere we look, both here in Connecticut and throughout the nation, the largest internal investment being made by businesses is in new technology. Find out how this investment in technology can lead to success for your organization.
1|9| 06.23.2017 - Revenue Recognition Standards and the Impact to Dealers
In 2014 the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) and the International Accounting Standards Board released their highly anticipated standard on revenue recognition. The standard was issued as part of a convergence of efforts to more closely align accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America with international accounting standards.
1|6|9| 11| 06.26.2017 - Use Tax Reporting Requirements for Remote Sellers
The world of sales and use tax compliance is getting exceedingly complex. Remote sellers need to be extremely aware of their nexus footprint, both physical and economical, in order to comply with their sales and use tax collection obligations. Learn more.
1| 07.05.2017 - Customer Testimonial: Gengras Motor Cars
Listen to Jonathan Gengras, Owner of Gengras Motor Cars, discuss their relationship with BlumShapiro that has spanned over three generations!
1| 07.14.2017 - Customer Testimonial: Manchester Sports Center
Listen to auto dealership president Jonathan Larabee, of Manchester Sports Center, share how BlumShapiro has helped his dealership stay on top of industry trends and issues.
9|1|2|10|13|12|11|14| 11| 08.22.2017 - The Succession Planning Process
How does an organization go about succession planning? What should be considered and by whom? Are there particular steps in the planning process that should be included? Read on to find out…
1|2|3|5|6|7|9|10|11|12|13|14| 12.22.2017 - President Trump Signs Sweeping Tax Overhaul
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (H.R. 1) was signed today by President Trump. H.R. 1 impacts virtually every individual and business on a level not seen in over 30 years. As with any tax bill, however, there are “winners” and “losers.” This historic bill calls for lowering the individual and corporate tax rates, repealing countless tax credits and deductions, enhancing the child tax credit, boosting business expensing, and more. The bill also impacts the Affordable Care Act (ACA), effectively repealing the individual shared responsibility requirement.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|9|10|11|12|13|14| 01.11.2018 - Event: Navigating Tax Reform
In what has been the most extensive tax reform in over 30 years, business and individuals alike will be affected. To get a better understanding of how you will be impacted by the tax reform, please utilize our Tax Reform Central for the latest events.
1| 1| 01.16.2018 - 2018 Tax Reform Key Provisions Impacting Dealerships and Their Owners
Read about the 2018 tax reform key provisions impacting dealerships and their owners.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|9|10|11|12|13|14| 11| 01.23.2018 - Get the latest updates on tax reform
In what has been the most extensive tax reform in over 30 years, business and individuals alike will be affected. To get a better understanding of how you will be impacted by the tax reform, please utilize our Tax Reform Central for the latest events, webinars and articles.
1|2|5|6|10|11|12|13|14| 11| 03.13.2018 - New Law Drops Corporate Income Tax Rate to 21%, Modifies Individual Rate Brackets
The biggest piece of tax legislation passed in the last 30 years (the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act), signed late last year by President Trump, significantly overhauls individual and corporate income tax rates beginning in 2018. Here are some of the most important highlights of the new law.
9|1|2|5|6|10|13|12|11|14| 11| 03.15.2018 - New 20% Deduction for Pass-Through Business Income Under New Tax Law
The newly signed Tax Cuts and Jobs Act contains a significant new tax deduction effective for owners of “pass-through” businesses in 2018—specifically affecting partnerships, S corporations, LLCs or sole proprietorships—and it should provide a substantial tax benefit to those with qualified business income.
9|1|2|3|4|5|6|7|10|13|12|11|14| 03.21.2018 - Contract Modification Under the New Revenue Recognition Guidance
There are many nuances under ASC No. 606, Revenue from Contracts with Customers, that are often referred to as the “new rev rec" guidance. One of those nuances worth exploring further is contract modifications.
9|1|2|3|4|5|6|7|10|13|12|11|14| 03.26.2018 - Accounting for Warranties Under the New Revenue Recognition Standard
Many companies provide or sell additional warranties on their products. The new revenue recognition standard, ASC 606 Revenue From Contracts with Customers, specifically addresses defining warranties within a contract and determining if they should be accounted for as a separate performance obligation.
9|1|2|3|4|5|6|7|10|13|12|11|14| 03.28.2018 - Revenue Recognition Standard – Price Concessions
The Financial Accounting Standards Board and the International Accounting Standards Board issued their final standard on revenue from contracts with customers. The standard, issued as ASU 2014-09 by the FASB and as IFRS 15 by the IASB, outlines guidance for entities to use in accounting for revenue arising from contracts with customers and supersedes most current revenue recognition guidance, including industry-specific guidance.
1|2|6|9|10|11|12|13| 11| 05.01.2018 - New Federal Tax Law Brings New Foreign Tax Provisions
This article will highlight several of the key provisions starting in 2018 that will have the most significant impact on organizations that have multi-national operations or participate in cross-border transactions.
1|9| 11| 08.28.2018 - Tax Reform - The New Pass-Through Deduction
One of the most significant aspects of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act for dealerships organized as pass-through entities was the enactment of the Section 199A Qualified Business Income (QBI) Deduction. Find out if it affects you.
1|4|9| 5|12| 08.29.2018 - The Future of Transportation - Will We Embrace It?
Just over 117 years ago, Connecticut became the first state in the nation to adopt a speed limit. Can Connecticut still be a leader in future changes in transportation?
1|9| 1| 09.04.2018 - Lease Accounting Changes – Considerations for Dealers
The new lease guidance will have considerable accounting implications on your financial statements. Our advice: Get ahead of the curve and start preparing now by considering those items outlined in this article.
1|9| 08.30.2018 - Auto Dealership and Succession Planning
When considering succession planning, whether it be to a family member or selling the business outright, ownership should develop a plan that addresses the elements in this article.
1|8|9| 7| 09.06.2018 - Human Resources “Health” Assessments – Not Just for Big Dealership Groups
Even the most talented HR professionals find it challenging to balance the daily tasks and unexpected demands of the business and also have the time to proactively address the bigger issues. Learn how an HR assessment can help you.
1|9| 11| 09.11.2018 - Dealerships Need to Adapt to Major New Changes in Meals and Entertainment Tax Deductions
The new law repeals the deduction for business entertainment expenses, effective after December 31, 2017, except for certain employee events such as office parties. The deduction is allowed for recreational, social or similar activities that primarily benefit non-highly compensated employees.

Advisors | Auditors | Consultants | CPAs – BlumShapiro is one of the premier Auto Dealership CPA firms in New England and a Top 100 CPA Firm in the U.S. Our professionals serve car and truck dealerships in Boston (MA), Hartford (CT), Cranston (RI), Shelton (CT), Quincy (MA) and Newton (MA) with audit, tax and business consulting services. We are members of Auto Team America, National Automobile Dealers Association, Rhode Island Automobile Dealers Association, Massachusetts State Automobile Dealers Association and the Connecticut Automotive Retailers Association.