Marvin & Co. Blog

Special Alert: Congress Repeals Onerous “Parking Tax” And Adjusts Private Foundation Excise Tax Rates on Net Investment Income

Posted on: 1/6/20 by Marvin and Company

The government funding legislation passed by the House on Dec. 17 and by the Senate on Dec. 19 includes repeal of Internal Revenue Code Section 512(a)(7), commonly referred to as the “parking tax”.  The legislation was signed into law by the President on Dec. 20.

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Guide to 2019 Year-End Tax Planning

Posted on: 1/6/20 by Amy L. Ethier

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) of 2017 reduced tax rates for most individuals, introduced a new deduction for owners of sole proprietorships and pass-through entities, increased the standard deduction and, among other things, significantly increased the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) exemption and either limited or eliminated many other tax deductions. While the IRS continues to release guidance and update forms to reflect the changes, we offer the following tax planning guide that includes significant opportunities to minimize individual tax obligations.

In this article, Marvin and Company Senior Tax Associate Amy L. Ethier provides updated year-end tax strategies and best practices for individual taxpayers and small business owners in the wake of the changes brought about by the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

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Sales Tax Registation Requirement For Businesses With No Physical Presence In NYS

Memorandum TSB-M-19(4)S
 
New York issued memorandum TSB-M-19(4)S dated November 5, 2019 providing guidance to sales registration requirement for businesses with no physical presence in New York.

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Windows 7 Support Ending

Posted on: 1/6/20 by Rachel Reynolds

As of January 14, 2020, Microsoft will no longer provide security updates or support for PCs running Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008. This means that computers running on Windows 7 will be more vulnerable to security risks and viruses. To avoid these risks, Microsoft recommends upgrading to Windows 10.

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Personalizing Retirement Communications Based On Life Events

Posted on: 1/6/20 by Myra M. Thorne, MBA, PHR

Many employers are looking to reinvent their benefit strategies by coming up with new forms of retirement, financial wellness, and health benefits to better meet the needs of their workforces. While developing new types of benefits may certainly help increase employee engagement and satisfaction, rethinking the way information about existing benefits is communicated to employees can make a powerful impact as well.
 
One way to do this is by personalizing your messages to employees. Your workforce likely comprises a broad range of age groups—from baby boomers close to retirement to Gen Z in their first job. Rather than sending the same message to all employees, you could tailor the message to focus on what is likely to be most relevant to that life stage.

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Vet or Forget? The Case for Background Checks for Nonprofit Board Members

Posted on: 1/6/20 by Heather R. Lewis, CPA

A recent topic of concern is whether the nonprofit organization’s policy on background checks should also apply to board members, or at least to those with the greatest influence over funding.
 
Determining whether to pursue background checks on board members should take into consideration several factors:

  • the organization’s culture
  • the organization’s risk tolerance
  • the role of the board member

It might seem odd to entertain this idea, since many nonprofit board members are established members of their communities with a professional history. However, it can be dangerous from a financial and reputational standpoint to make assumptions about anyone’s history. News articles have shown how organizations can be embarrassed by information that was discovered about a board member after the individual was appointed.
 
At a minimum, a general public records search should be conducted on all board members. Extending full background checks to board officers and/or all board members is worth discussion.

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Tax Exempt & Government Entities Division Releases 2020 Program Letter

Posted on: 1/6/20 by Thomas W. Hosey, CPA

The IRS Tax Exempt and Government Entities (TE/GE) division functions to help organizations and entities understand and comply with applicable tax laws and to protect the public by applying them with integrity and fairness.

The TE/GE division reports it has been busy carrying out its 2019 program activities with the added task of navigating and implementing changes resulting from the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and recent legislation from The First Act enacted in July 2019. TE/GE reports that it has been hiring and building teams, and announced that Edward T. Killen joined Tamera Ripperda, TE/GE commissioner, as the team’s deputy commissioner.

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Still Dealing with 2019 in QBO? Clearing the Way for 2020

Posted on: 1/6/20 by Reshma N. Mulchandani, CPA

If you have a nagging feeling this month that you’re not caught up with your accounting tasks, it’s time to clean up your unfinished 2019 work.

It would be great if you could have closed out 2019 knowing that you were all caught up with your accounting work. You sent all your invoices, paid all your bills, and wrapped everything up with a series of reports and a proverbial bow.
 
Unfortunately, December rarely goes that way. You’re making last-minute adjustments for your taxes. Dealing with the holiday rush if you’re a retailer. Handling end-of-year employee issues, trying to make your monthly sales quotas, and doing something special to make your customers feel appreciated at this time of year.
 
On top of your daily accounting work, you’re feeling pressure in December to get a clear picture of your finances for the entire year. Then the holidays hit, and suddenly you’re ringing in the New Year without having had time for that.
 
This article offers five things you can do clean up 2019 and make way for 2020.

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Start 2020 Right: Get into the Report Habit

Posted on: 1/6/20 by Amy L. Ethier

It’s a good time to start new habits – or refresh old ones. Running reports regularly will help you make better business decisions.

Whether or not you made New Year’s resolutions, you probably look at January as a fresh start in personal and professional matters. Unfortunately, we can’t help you join a gym or organize your closets or meet your monthly sales goals.
 
What we can do, though, is encourage you to start a new habit that may actually leave you more time for those activities and even improve your company’s financial bottom line. We’re talking about committing to using the reporting tools QuickBooks offers.
 
You can’t possibly know how your business is doing unless you take advantage of this critical feature. It’s the payoff for all the hard work you do keeping up with your daily accounting workflow. This article offers five things you should try.

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FASB Affirms Decisions to Defer Effective Dates of Major New Accounting Standards

Posted on: 12/3/19 by Alan W. Clink, CPA

At its October 16, 2019 meeting, the FASB affirmed its decisions on two proposed Accounting Standards Updates (ASUs) to extend the deadline to implement FASB standards on current expected credit losses (CECL), leases, hedging and insurance that are not yet effective for some or all companies. 

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