Uncle Sam Wants You! – IRS Advisory Council

Uncle Sam wants your help. The Internal Revenue Service is currently accepting applications for membership in the IRS Advisory Council (IRSAC) for a three-year term beginning January, 2017. The IRSAC’s purpose is to provide an organized public forum for IRS officials and representatives of the public to discuss relevant tax administration issues. The Council strives to …

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When Does Computer Fraud Occur?

Most information in organizations is now created, managed, and stored electronically, which has caused an increase in the rate of computer-related criminal activity. There are four situations in which a computer device may be involved in a crime: when the computer is (1) the target of the crime, (2) the medium through which the crime …

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Going Nowhere FAST if You Owe Taxes

Tax season has come to an end and the season for travel is approaching. So as I wait for clients that are on extension to provide me some missing information, I found myself browsing tax news and articles (Exciting, I know!). Anyways, I was trying to find a blog topic to jump out at me …

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Performing a Monthly Bank Reconciliation

A bank reconciliation compares the transactions that occurred in the organization’s bank account to the transactions that occurred in the organization’s general ledger or accounting software. It is important to note that the ending cash balance for the bank account is referred to as the “bank balance” and the ending cash balance for the organization’s …

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Happy (for Some) 100th Anniversary to the Estate Tax

Back in 1916, Congress wanted to boost U.S. revenues in case America joined in on World War I in Europe. Lawmakers voted for a new tax on a person’s assets at death, which we now call the Estate Tax aka “Death Tax”. This tax affected fewer than 1% of Americans and today only affects 2 …

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What Prince’s Death Teaches Us about Estate Tax

Prince Rogers Nelson, American singer, songwriter, and actor, passed away on April 21, 2016. Cities, social media, and fans showed their support and solidarity in a sea of purple. Prince resided in Minnesota at the time of his death. As of the date of this posting, no Will has been presented to the Carver County …

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Ethical Fundraising Practices

Recently, I overheard two individuals discussing ethical fundraising practices for their small nonprofit organization over lunch. As an auditor specializing in non-profit, you can imagine how quickly this caught my attention. I was grateful for the noise of the restaurant and the influx of customers as I scooted my chair a little bit closer to …

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Trusts: Fully Deductible Expenses vs AGI Limit

Generally, miscellaneous itemized deductions may be deducted to the extent they exceed 2% of adjusted gross income (AGI). Miscellaneous itemized deductions can include tax preparation fees, investment fees, estate planning legal fees, and safe deposit box charges, to name a few. The same idea applies for estates and trusts, with some exceptions. And the exceptions …

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Bonus Depreciation Changes

As many of you may know, the Protecting Americans From Tax Hikes (PATH) Act of 2015 extended the bonus depreciation rules through 2019. The Act also calls for a gradual reduction in the percentage: 50% in 2015 – 2017, 40% in 2018, and 30% in 2019. The law then expires after 2019. What you may …

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Effectiveness of fraud hotlines

The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) recently released its 2016 Report to the Nations on Occupational Fraud and Abuse. Once again, the number one method for detecting fraud was through tips. Of the frauds that were discovered, 39.1% were discovered by tips. That number differs between companies based on the size of the organization. …

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