Utility Scammers

A new scam!     By now we have all heard about the phone/internet scams that give you a message about overdue or late payments of taxes.  Here is a new twist to that:  you get a call from your utility vendor saying you are many months behind and your service is going to be turned off if you don’t pay it within 30 minutes. Just like with the IRS…  Read more

Which home loan is right for you?

Home Considering home ownership? Congratulations! Buying a home is an exciting milestone and for most people, one of the biggest investments they’ll ever make. Among the many decisions to be made along the way, you’ll need to choose the best mortgage option for your circumstances. In this blog we’ll weigh the pros and cons of fixed, variable, and revolving credit home loans to help you make the right choice. Why…  Read more

Reasons to consider hiring a CPA

Financial Planning For business owners who want financial security now and freedom in retirement, having a CPA on the team is a must. A CPA will create a customized, strategic action plan to help you achieve your personal financial goals. Getting to know you and your business inside out is the first step we will take to understand where you are now, where you want to go, and then determine…  Read more

What to do if you get audited

Audited No one looks forward to a letter from the taxman requesting a closer look at the books. If you’ve received an audit letter – an official request by the tax authority to review your accounts and confirm your taxes have been paid to date – don’t panic. Prepare and call us. These four steps will help you get through the process with minimal stress and the best possible outcome.…  Read more

Tactics for paying down debt faster

Very few business owners have the means to operate without borrowing at start up, or later on when it’s time to invest in growth. Borrowing, however, is only a temporary solution to a lack of funds. Without a repayment plan debt can grow into an unmanageable problem that costs much more than the initial loan. These strategies will help you re-pay your debt faster, so you can invest the cash…  Read more

Restaurant Qualified Improvements

  The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act that was passed late last year repealed the qualified retail, restaurant and leasehold improvement rules and replaced them with a new qualified improvement property acquired and placed in service after 12/31/2017 and before 12/31/2022. Qualified improvement property consists of interior modifications to commercial property (except elevators, escalators and enlargements). Prior laws enabled write offs for much of the improvements to a space which…  Read more

Changing Accounting Methods

August 3, 2018 the IRS released Revenue Procedure 2018-40 regarding changing accounting methods because of last year’s Jobs Act.  This is another attempt to simplify the lives of small business taxpayers.  Unfortunately, it is complicated before it gets simpler. Who is eligible?  Taxpayers with average revenues for the 3 prior years of $25 million or less that are currently using the accrual method accounting may change back to the cash…  Read more

Federal Tax Withholding for 2018

Federal Tax Withholding for 2018 – In late 2017 Congress passed a major tax bill which resulted in lower Federal taxes for many Americans.  When we reviewed taxes with our 2017 clients, we offered the warning “don’t spend it, ’cause they will want it back”.  In February of this year, the IRS changed their withholding tables and mostly reduced the amount of tax being withheld from paychecks.  The intention was…  Read more

Minnesota K-12 Tax Benefits

K-12 Education Credit For parents, it’s almost time to start back-to-school shopping. Most school supplies could qualify for valuable K-12 tax benefits on your 2018 Minnesota income tax returns. Do not forget to save your school supply receipts. “Each year, parents invest in their children’s education by purchasing school supplies,” said Revenue Commissioner Cynthia Bauerly. “Keeping the receipts for these purchases can help parents save when it comes time to file…  Read more

Minnesota Sales Tax

Minnesota will require remote sellers and Marketplace Providers facilitating sales into Minnesota to collect sales tax no later than October 1, 2018 ST. PAUL, Minn. – The Minnesota Department of Revenue will require remote sellers and Marketplace Providers facilitating sales into Minnesota to begin collecting sales tax no later than October 1, 2018. Remote Sellers Minnesota law requires all sellers to collect sales or use tax to the extent allowed under the United…  Read more

Internet Sales Tax

Sales Tax Issues In a case with nationwide ramifications, on June 21st the US Supreme Court overturned the old Quill corporation decision in the case of South Dakota versus Wayfair, which will now allow individual states to attempt to collect sales tax from out-of-state sellers, such as online and website sales. Since 1967, remote vendors without a physical presence in a state could not be forced to collect sales tax. In…  Read more

  IRS Unveils Draft Form 1040 ‘Postcard’ But Critics Are Not Impressed The new Form 1040 released by the Treasury Department this week meet the administration’s promise of a smaller “postcard style” tax form, but skepticism remains on whether the revisions are a meaningful step toward tax simplification. A draft version of the 2018 Form 1040, available here, reduces the number of line-items from 79 to 23 and shortens it from two…  Read more

Why your business needs you to say no

Just Say No! Being open to new possibilities is a positive trait shared by most entrepreneurs—but saying yes to all the people you meet and opportunities that come your way can get you into trouble. When we over commit—especially when we take on projects that don’t actually benefit our business—our stress can hit the roof. It’s much hard to be productive when we’re feeling burned out and resentful. One of…  Read more

Business mileage log requirements

F Recent Court Case Illustrates that a contemporaneous mileage log is required.  • Edwards, T.C. Memo. 2018-44 Written contemporaneous mileage logs are a requirement to claim a deduction for business mileage. The taxpayer’s job required him to respond to emergencies, such as floods and hurricanes that could adversely affect the state’s transportation system. He was responsible for supervising communications and for assigning personnel and equipment to disaster locations.  For a…  Read more

Does “mindfulness” have a place in business?

According to Google, which offers employees a course on mindfulness meditation, and Lululemon, a company that keeps a Director of Mindfulness on staff, the answer is a resounding yes. Mindfulness, as American scientist Jon Kabat-Zinn defines it, is simply “paying attention in a sustained and particular way – on purpose, in the present moment and non-judgmentally.” Research has shown that practicing mindful meditation can lead to reduced stress, lowered blood…  Read more

Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018

Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 On February 9, 2018, the President signed into law H.R. 1892, the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, which extends federal funding for the government. The law also contains a number of tax provisions, including the extension of a number of provisions that had expired as of the end of 2016. These changes affect the preparation of 2017 tax returns.  This may delay filing of returns until the IRS…  Read more

2017 Tax Cuts Act: Pass-Through Income

Currently, owners of partnerships, S corporations, and sole proprietorships – as “pass-through” entities – pay tax at the individual rates, with the highest rate at 39.6 percent. The highest rate is reduced to 37 percent under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. The Act also allows a temporary deduction in an amount equal to 20 percent of qualified income of pass-through entities, subject to a number of limitations and qualifications.…  Read more

Tax Reform Guidance

 Tax Reform Guidance “Job One” At IRS  Implementing the new tax law will dominate the guidance landscape for 2018, practitioners said at a recent Tax Reform Conference sponsored by the DC Bar Association.  NSA Executive VP John Ams, who attended the conference, said that a number of Treasury and IRS attorneys responsible for implementation of the tax reform bill were panelists at the conference but few had any answers.  “That’s…  Read more

Tax Cuts and Jobs Act

Re: 2017 Tax Cuts Act: What it Means For Individuals   The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was signed by President Trump on December 22. The Act makes sweeping changes to the U.S. tax code and impacts virtually every taxpayer. Individuals are more impacted by the provisions of the act than any other class of taxpayer. With the reduction in effective tax rates, the elimination of some deductions, exclusions, and…  Read more

Is it better to buy or lease a company vehicle?

If you need a car to operate your business, you may wonder whether it makes more sense to purchase or lease. On the one hand, if your business owns the car you’ll have a long-term asset and may qualify for more tax deductions. On the other hand, buying a car is a huge expense and monthly lease payments tend to be lower than car loan payments; they may also be…  Read more

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