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.

IRS Reports a Significant Increase in Whistleblower Awards

The IRS Whistleblower Office is celebrating its tenth anniversary this year. According to a recent report, fiscal year 2016 was “very productive” and “transformative” for the program. It collected nearly $369 million in unpaid tax liabilities and awarded more than $61 million to informants. Here’s more on how the IRS program works, along with a list of federal laws that provide whistleblower programs for employees and others.

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Tax Fraud Awareness: How to Protect Your Identity and Assets

Do you know the warning signs that you may be a victim of tax-related identity theft? Here we explain those signs along with ways thieves can turn your personal information into quick cash. Tax season starts on January 23. There’s no time like the present to take simple steps to safeguard your data online and at home from identity thieves.

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Consider State Taxes When Deciding Where to Live in Retirement

For years, you’ve dreamed about your ideal retirement home. Regardless of whether you prefer the beach, the mountains or a location close to the grandkids, state taxes are an important financial consideration. Here, we explain the full range of state taxes to consider including income, property and estate taxes and then we highlight the importance of establishing domicile to prevent both your old and new states from claiming you owe them taxes.

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Important Tax Figures for 2017

Every year, the dollar amounts allowed for various federal tax benefits are subject to change based on inflation adjustments and legislation. Here are some important tax figures for 2017, compared with 2016, including the estate tax exemption, Social Security wage base, qualified retirement plan and IRA contribution limits, driving deductions, allowable business write-off amounts and more.

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Cures Act Approves HRAs for Small Employers

A new law goes into effect on New Year’s Day that will allow small employers to set aside money in standalone Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs) without incurring penalties under the Affordable Care Act. Here, we explain how these tax-advantaged accounts work, which employers are eligible to use standalone HRAs without incurring penalties and how to provide notice to employees about these arrangements.

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Employee, Partner or Both? Recent Developments Help You Decide

Long-standing IRS guidance says a partner can’t also be an employee of the same partnership. Unless the IRS makes some exceptions to this guidance, taxpayers with even a small ownership interest in a partnership will be classified as partners. Here, we discuss these rules and highlight two recent cases that support the IRS’s hard-line stance on recognizing partnership income. (Warning to LLC members: This IRS guidance also extends to you.)

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FBI Case Exposes Massive Telefraud Scheme

Your telephone could become a tool for fraudsters to steal your money, if you’re unaware of the latest ploys and fail to apply a healthy dose of skepticism when answering calls from unfamiliar sources. Here’s the story of a recent FBI indictment of a multinational fraud ring that caused millions of dollars in losses in the United States and information on how to avoid becoming the next telefraud victim.

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Spotlight On Business Tax Trends

What’s the most popular choice of entity: sole proprietorship, C corporation, S corporation, partnership or limited liability company? A recent report by the Joint Committee on Taxation answers this question and highlights trends in how businesses have been structured over the last 35 years. With the recent election and proposed tax reforms in the works for 2017, however, it’s possible that these trends could reverse or slow down in the future.

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New Overtime Rules Suspended for Now

Although new overtime regulations were set to kick in on December 1, a federal district court has moved to block the changes, at least temporarily. What does this mean for employers and what should they do now? Whether businesses should immediately drop plans to comply with the new rules, or move forward anyway, may not be a simple question for employers to answer. Here’s more.

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Year-End Reminder: Don’t Forget FSAs

November is benefits enrollment time for most companies. Do you know how health care Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs), child care FSAs and Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) differ? Here, we explain the differences and provide year-end spending and budgeting strategies. Beware: Employees who don’t spend the remaining funds in their FSAs before year end could forfeit what’s left over, unless a special provision applies.

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It's Time for Individuals to Plan for Taxes in 2016 and Beyond

The election is finally over, and it’s time to focus on the future. Republicans are calling for tax reform and when they take control of Congress and the White House in 2017, tax rates and other rules could change. Have you factored the election results into your year-end tax plans? Here are some tips for individual taxpayers to consider before December 31.

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Year-End Tax Strategies for Small Businesses

Are you looking for last-minute strategies to help lower the 2016 tax bill for your small business? Here are some effective tax-saving moves, based on current tax law, that may be worthwhile. Strategies include timing income and deductible expenses, buying vehicles and equipment, selling qualified small business corporation stock, and taking advantage of net operating losses.

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Managing the Ups and Downs of Seasonal Businesses

During their busy times, seasonal businesses experience a surge in revenues that tapers off in the slow season. Ebbs and flows in the business cycle can create cash flow shortages and human resource issues. Plus, seasonal businesses have less room for error in their marketing and sales campaigns. Here are some creative solutions for the challenges that seasonal fluctuations present.

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Avoiding Digital Disruption While Heading toward the Future

Many businesses are suffering due to “digital disruption,” such as the commotion caused by Uber and Airbnb. A recent survey of business leaders across 16 countries found that 78% feel threatened by start-ups and 45% are afraid they will become obsolete in less than five years. This article discusses the results of the survey and offers five tips for companies that think it might be time for a digital transformation.

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How to Make the Most of Medical Expense Deductions

Health insurance premiums and medical care costs seem to increase every year and the IRS has been cutting back on tax breaks related to health care. Here are a couple of planning strategies to consider over the next two years that could help reduce your tax liability and ease the burden of rising health care costs.

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Spotlight on Gains from Qualified Small Business Stock

Under the qualified small business stock (QSBS) rules, eligible gains from selling QSBS may qualify for a 0% federal tax rate. Sound too good to be true? These rules were made permanent under the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act of 2015. Here are some important details about this tax-saving opportunity, including the most important restrictions and limitations.

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Update on Home Mortgage Interest Deductions

Itemized deductions for qualified residence interest are an ongoing source of controversy between taxpayers and the IRS. Here, we review the rules and summarize several recent developments for deducting interest from acquisition and home equity debt for federal income tax purposes. Some of the latest Tax Court decisions might even surprise you.

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Did You Miss the 60-Day Deadline for Your IRA Rollover?

A new IRS procedure can save the day if you have a valid excuse for missing the 60-day rollover deadline for IRA distributions. Instead of going through the hassle and expense of applying for a hardship waiver from the IRS, you may be eligible to submit a written self-certification document. Here’s a list of valid excuses, as well as conditions for self-certification and background on the 60-day rule.

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Loan Applications: Put Your Best Foot Forward

Withdrawals from a line of credit and asset-based loans can help your business grow. But applying for bank credit can be time-consuming and nerve-wracking. Here are insights into your lender’s mindset, factors underwriters consider when making credit decisions and a list of documents to gather for your loan package. Following these best practices can help increase the chances that your loan application will be approved.

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