The CBD Blog

Find peer advice, partner insights, and industry updates – all here in the CBD blog, ‘At The Helm’! With contributions from our entire team, we blog about the things that interest you.

The IRS Takes a Proactive Stance against Identity Theft and Tax Scams

The Federal Trade Commission estimates as many as 9 million Americans have their identities stolen every year. In the aftermath of its highly publicized data breach, the IRS has taken steps to protect electronic taxpayer data against identity theft. Here, we explain how the IRS plans to fight tax fraud and which types of identity protection services taxpayers should include in their taxable income.

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Will Congress Resolve Taxing Issues for Internet Sellers?

Congress is currently deciding whether it should permanently extend legislation that bans states from imposing tax on Internet access. This legislation is sometimes confused with a different proposal that would grant states the right to collect sales tax from out-of-state Internet sellers. Here, we clarify the confusing income, sales and use tax rules that may apply to online transactions.

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EMV Compliance: Are You Ready for the October 1 Deadline?

Many U.S. merchants and banks still use payment cards with magnetic strip technology that’s more than 50 years old. On October 1, a liability shift goes into effect that may entice businesses to adopt modern “chip” technologies and reduce the risk of counterfeit card fraud. Here’s critical information that merchants and consumers should know about the liability shift as they conduct business using payment cards in the near future.

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Highway Trust Fund Extension Results in Tax Law Changes

A new law provides a three-month extension of the Highway Trust Fund. Its fine print contains several tax law changes to help generate revenue to fund federal infrastructure projects until a long-term bill is passed. Here we cover changes to tax and information return filing deadlines, the statute of limitations on basis overstatements and other rules that will affect businesses, estates and individuals.

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Maximize Your Return on Social Media Spending

Social media is an increasingly popular tool to build brand awareness and customer loyalty. But keeping up with posts can be a daunting task, especially for closely held businesses. This article discusses the latest trends, tips for making the most of your social media marketing budgets and key differences between programs that target businesses vs. consumers.

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Bringing Jobs Back to the USA

Reshoring remains a hot trend among U.S. businesses. In June, the Reshoring Initiative reported that the United States outpaced Canada and Mexico between 2010 and 2014 in bringing back the most jobs to domestic soil. Here we discuss reasons for reshoring, the regions and industries that brought the most U.S. jobs back, and a possible tax break for companies that resist the temptation to expatriate to save taxes.

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DOL Gets Tough on Independent Contractor Classification

If you’re issuing a lot of Form1099s to people performing work for your company, take note: The Department of Labor (DOL) is aggressively challenging the status of many independent contractors who it believes are de facto employees. The distinction is crucial. Here’s a look at a recent DOL “Administrator’s Interpretation” on this matter.

Read on CBD Spotlight >

New Trade Law Stiffens Penalties for Certain Taxpayers

If you read the fine print of the Trade Preference Extension Act of 2015, you’ll discover that it calls for important but little-noticed changes to the penalties for failing to file required information returns with the IRS and failing to furnish required statements to payees. Here’s how much the penalties have increased and which federal tax forms and schedules are affected by the changes.

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Proposed DOL Rule May Make Millions More Eligible for Overtime Pay

On June 30, The U.S. Department of Labor issued long-awaited proposed changes to overtime pay rules. If implemented, the proposed rule would increase the minimum salary for exempt status and make millions more workers eligible for overtime. This article explains the current requirements, as well as the path the proposed rule needs to take in order to become a final rule that could go into effect in 2016 or later.

Read on CBD Spotlight >

Bringing Jobs Back to the USA

Reshoring remains a hot trend among U.S. businesses. In June, the Reshoring Initiative reported that the United States outpaced Canada and Mexico between 2010 and 2014 in bringing back the most jobs to domestic soil. Here we discuss reasons for reshoring, the regions and industries that brought the most U.S. jobs back, and a possible tax break for companies that resist the temptation to expatriate to save taxes.

Read on CBD Spotlight >

DOL Gets Tough on Independent Contractor Classification

If you’re issuing a lot of Form1099s to people performing work for your company, take note: The Department of Labor (DOL) is aggressively challenging the status of many independent contractors who it believes are de facto employees. The distinction is crucial. Here’s a look at a recent DOL “Administrator’s Interpretation” on this matter.

Read on CBD Spotlight >

New Trade Law Stiffens Penalties for Certain Taxpayers

If you read the fine print of the Trade Preference Extension Act of 2015, you’ll discover that it calls for important but little-noticed changes to the penalties for failing to file required information returns with the IRS and failing to furnish required statements to payees. Here’s how much the penalties have increased and which federal tax forms and schedules are affected by the changes.

Read on CBD Spotlight >

Proposed DOL Rule May Make Millions More Eligible for Overtime Pay

On June 30, The U.S. Department of Labor issued long-awaited proposed changes to overtime pay rules. If implemented, the proposed rule would increase the minimum salary for exempt status and make millions more workers eligible for overtime. This article explains the current requirements, as well as the path the proposed rule needs to take in order to become a final rule that could go into effect in 2016 or later.

Read on CBD Spotlight >

Recent Supreme Court Cases That May Affect Your Business

As the U.S. Supreme Court adjourns for its summer recess, the cases about same-sex marriage and the Affordable Care Act premium tax credits have garnered most of the publicity. However, you should also be aware of some lesser-known Supreme Court decisions regarding royalties on expired patents, religious dress code and human resources policies for pregnant workers that may affect your business.

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Disaster Planning: Expect the Unexpected

Along with warm temperatures, summer can bring natural disasters, including hurricanes, severe storms, floods and wildfires. Here are some reminders to help individuals and businesses mitigate their losses when disasters strike. Plus, a sidebar outlines how the IRS lends a hand to help affected taxpayers recover from disasters and provides a list of federally declared disaster areas for the first half of 2015.

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Summer Construction: Are You Ready for the Housing Market to Heat Up?

Summer is historically the season for building, remodeling and selling homes. But this year, housing starts and permit applications are at their highest levels since the housing market crashed, thanks to low interest rates and strong consumer confidence. Here’s the latest on residential housing market trends, including a list of the hottest residential property markets for buyers and sellers.

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Rules on Deducting Business Start-Up Expenses

Taxpayers struggle with the question of when to deduct costs related to starting a business. A case demonstrates how it can be difficult to differentiate between Section 162 expenses that are deductible in the current year and Section 195 start-up costs that are deductible after the start-up commences business operations. Here’s some guidance on deducting start-up expenses with confidence.

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Update on Medicare Insurance Premiums and Related Tax Deductions

President Obama recently signed the Medicare and CHIP Reauthorization Act. Known as the “Doc Fix Law,” this law made changes to how physicians are paid for treating Medicare patients. However, it also made changes that will result in some higher-income Medicare beneficiaries paying more in premiums starting in 2018. This article explains who will face higher costs, as well as the tax treatment and 2015 premium amounts.

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Supreme Court Removes Double Tax for Maryland Residents

In a new case, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that some Maryland residents have been double taxed on income earned in other states. Although the case deals only with Maryland, it is creating questions about the way some other states and localities tax their residents. This article provides details about the case, as well as the states and jurisdictions that might be affected by the ruling.

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Minimizing Your Risk of Cyber Breach

Proactive business owners worry about the risk of cyber breaches. And for good reason: Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Mary Jo White just named cyber threats as the biggest systematic risk facing the financial markets and U.S. economy. Here’s some advice to help businesses lower their risk of future cyber breaches.

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