Estate planning: don’t forget your IRA

The IRA is often overlooked when clients meet with their attorney for estate planning. This may be because the IRA owners complete the beneficiary designation form themselves and are unaware of potential pitfalls. Often, the value of the IRA alone far exceeds the value of the planned for estate. Failing to have your attorney review …

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Can I claim my parents as dependents?

These days it is not uncommon for people to be looking after or taking care of their parents. However, did you know that you may be able to get a tax credit to offset some of your expenses? Prior to the 2018 tax year, you may have been able to claim your parents as dependents. …

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Distinguishing direct donor benefits from fundraising expenses

Many not-for-profit organizations hold special fundraising events with the intent to raise contributions to support their mission, such as galas, balls, dinners, theater parties and auctions. Donor participants purchase tickets to attend the event in exchange for goods or services provided as a benefit to the participant. The direct benefits to the donor participant are …

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Timely remittances: what exactly does “timely” mean?

In recent years, the timely remittances have become quite the hot topic with the Department of Labor (DOL). The guidelines say that employers are required to remit employee deferrals to the plan no later than the 15th business day of the month following the payroll date. The DOL has not provided a safe harbor for …

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Changes impacting debt issues for government entities

Are you, as well as other key personnel, aware of the new amendments? In February 2019, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) amendments to Rule 15c2-12 went into effect for those entities that issue bond debt. This requirement is on new bond obligations being issued now and, in the future, and not a requirement for …

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Charitable contribution through loan forgiveness

Some years ago, we were involved in an IRS examination where the deductibility of a charitable contribution was brought in to question. This contribution was not your standard charitable donation. In this case, the contribution resulted from a taxpayer forgiving a loan to a charitable organization. This threw the IRS agent for a loop. He …

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Schedule C: Doing business in CA as a single member LLC

Something you may need to beware of is the single member LLC (SMLLC) rules of California. Even if you have a net LOSS. Take note that if you are a single member LLC doing business in California, you may happen to fall into a small category of certain filing requirements. As a single member LLC, …

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10 Tips for choosing a tax preparer

Filing your taxes is a big deal. You want a good preparer who knows their stuff, especially since you are ultimately responsible for the information that’s reported to the IRS, even if someone else prepares your return. So, here are 10 tips from the IRS for choosing a tax preparer. Check their qualifications. You can …

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How scholarships can help your education tax credits

Many of you may have personally taken an education tax credit on a return at some point or perhaps have taken one for a child. Just as a quick refresher – there are two education tax credits currently available on your federal income tax return: American Opportunity Tax Credit. A potential credit of up to …

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Revenue recognition for contractors: uninstalled materials

The new revenue recognition has been discussed extensively for the past few years and while most discussions focus on the technical issues, I like to discuss application of the standard, particularly on how it affects the construction industry. On a previous blog, I discussed contract fulfillment costs and how these costs are treated under the …

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