Health savings accounts as retirement savings

Three words: triple tax free. The contributions are tax deductible, the earnings are not taxed and distributions are tax free if they are used for qualified expenses. This is the main advantage and beauty of Health Savings Accounts (HSAs). While Roth and traditional retirement savings accounts will almost always result in taxable income (now, or …

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Paul Allen’s death and the estate settlement process

Paul Allen, co-founder of Microsoft, passed away on October 15, 2018. He led an amazing life full of accomplishments that would span several blogs. Some noteworthy items include being the sole investor of SpaceShipOne suborbital commercial spacecraft, redeveloping the South Lake Union neighborhood of Seattle, owning the Seattle Seahawks and Portland Trail Blazers and donating …

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Are your temporary job expenses deductible?

Your employee expenses for job assignments away from home are miscellaneous deductions. Sadly, these are no longer deductible starting in 2018 and extending to 2025 under the new rules established by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA). If your employer reimburses your temporary job expenses, your employer can take a deduction for the reimbursement, …

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Annual compliance reminders for your 401(k) plan

Year-end compliance tasks are in full swing for employee benefit plans and most likely your company has a 401(k) plan. The administration of 401(k) plans for restaurants can be very tedious and it is easy to overlook or miss an annual deadline or test to be performed. Below is a list of common issues surrounding …

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Update on transaction multiples

You have probably heard valuation multiples being tossed around by owners and others regarding the value of businesses. The typical multiple referenced is a multiple of EBITDA which is defined as “Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization.” Owners sometimes overestimate the value of their business. Recent market data can be very instructive but must …

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IT safeguards, are you protecting your business?

Generally, when executives are discussing the company’s internal safeguards, they look to controls within the accounting department such as segregation of duties, dual check signors and purchase order matching. But what about safeguards within the information technology environment? As the role of IT continues to grow in the business world, your company should continue to …

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Tax reform comparison for businesses

The IRS recently released a handy tax reform comparison for businesses. The comparison is broken down by various sections such as deductions, depreciation, expensing, tax credits and other provisions. There are two columns that show the tax treatment under prior law and what has changed under TCJA. This side-by-side comparison can help you understand the …

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Backup withholding changes under the new tax law

Before we get into the details of what has changed with the new tax law, let’s first define what backup withholding is. In general, backup withholding is a tax withholding required on income that usually does not require withholding. Backup withholding is usually triggered when a taxpayer fails to supply the correct taxpayer identification number …

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IRS Bank Secrecy Act has little impact on tax compliance

Many of you may know the BSA as the Boy Scouts of America. It’s where I spent many years as Scout Leader for my boys’ Cub Scout Pack and Boy Scout Troop. But there’s another BSA – the IRS Bank Secrecy Act. This BSA started in 1970 when it was originally known as the Currency …

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Quiz time! Are you furthering your expertise?

The Journal of Accountancy is a great resource for all things accounting. From fraud schemes to new accounting standards to the latest technology, the Journal covers it all. They also regularly have quizzes you can take to test your knowledge and skills for various areas. Recently, I came across a quiz they created for “Best …

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