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.

Do Employers Have to Compensate Hourly Technicians for Travel Time?

In a new Opinion Letter, the U.S. Department of Labor answered a company’s questions about whether it had to pay technicians for travel time to and from jobs and training courses. The company was told that the federal Fair Labor Standards Act requires it to compensate much, but not all, of the technicians’ travel time. This article details the Opinion Letter.

Read on CBD Spotlight >

Capital Gains Rates Before and After the New Tax Law

The tax brackets for long-term capital gains and qualified dividends are changing under the new tax law. For 2018 through 2025, these brackets aren’t linked to the ordinary-income tax brackets for individuals. Here are the new cutoffs, along with 1) how the brackets have changed for trusts, estates and dependents subject to the kiddie tax, 2) what’s happened to the 3.8% net investment income tax, and 3) how short-term capital gains are taxed.

Read on CBD Spotlight >

Save or Shred? Follow These Recordkeeping Guidelines

When tax season ends, many individuals and businesses are unsure which records they should retain and which ones can be thrown in the shredder. Here are some best practices to prevent your paper and digital records from mounting up, while retaining them long enough to prove your tax return information in the event of an audit or to file an amended return if you overlook tax breaks.

Read on CBD Spotlight >

Mandatory E-Verify May Be Coming, Are You Ready?

Illegal immigration is a Trump administration priority and in its ongoing efforts to clamp down on it, the White House is seeking to expand employer usage of E-Verify. That is the federal government’s free electronic service that checks immigration status for employers. Here’s the latest on what you need to know about the E-Verify program.

Read on CBD Spotlight >

Go Green, Save Green: Tax Breaks for Saving Energy

Earth Day (April 22) is a good time to brainstorm about ways to reduce your carbon footprint. Maybe you want to install solar panels on your home, upgrade to a geothermal heating system or trade in your old gas guzzling SUV for a new plug-in electric vehicle. “Going green” is a priority for many people and the IRS offers breaks if you install qualifying energy-efficient equipment in your home or purchase a new plug-in electric vehicle.

Read on CBD Spotlight >

The Outlook for Internships is Looking Up

Thinking about bringing some interns on board this summer? If so, here’s some good news: The U.S. Department of Labor recently made its criteria much more flexible when it comes to determining whether an intern working in the private sector is subject to the Fair Labor Standards Act. For many employers, that could tip the scales in favor of sponsoring an internship program. Here’s what’s new.

Read on CBD Spotlight >

Good Reasons to File Extensions for 2017 Returns

Need more time to have your personal tax return filed? Tax Day is almost here. But many people haven’t gathered all the information or completed all the necessary transactions to complete their 2017 federal tax returns. Filing for an automatic six-month extension can give you extra breathing room. Here are some situations where an extension might help you, along with some potential pitfalls to avoid.

Read on CBD Spotlight >

Last Chance to Claim the Domestic Production Activities Deduction

Do you know which activities qualify for the so-called “domestic production activities deduction” (DPAD)? Some business taxpayers overlook this valuable tax break because they don’t understand the rules. The DPAD has been repealed for tax years beginning after December 31, 2017, so it may be worth revisiting one last time. Here’s an overview of the basics.

Read on CBD Spotlight >

Last-Minute Tax Planning Tips for 2017

Tax Day for individuals, sole proprietors and C corporations is April 17, 2018, this year. Have you filed (or extended) your tax return for 2017 yet? For many people, filing tax returns is a dreaded chore they want to avoid for as long as possible. Although we can’t change the tax due date, there are some last-minute strategies to potentially lower your tax liability.

Read on CBD Spotlight >

Got Bitcoin? Virtual Currency Complicates Tax Reporting

Bitcoin and other forms of virtual currency are rapidly gaining popularity. But businesses, consumers, employees and investors have many questions about how Bitcoin works and how to report transactions for federal income tax purposes. If you’re a Bitcoin investor or user, here are some answers to help you comply with the latest tax rules.

Read on CBD Spotlight >

Congress Raises 401(k) Hardship Withdrawal Limits

Restrictions on employee 401(k) hardship withdrawals will be eased next year, thanks to new legislation enacted by Congress in February 2018. While that could be good news for plan participants, it could also give them an opportunity for a self-inflicted financial setback. As the employer, you might need to step up your guidance to minimize the chances of that from happening.

Read on CBD Spotlight >

Are Roth IRAs Still Beneficial under the New Tax Law?

Roth IRAs can be a smart way for you to save for retirement. And temporary tax rate cuts for 2018 through 2025 under the new tax law could persuade some people to convert traditional IRAs into Roth IRAs sooner rather than later. But the new law also contains a potential pitfall if an account’s value unexpectedly falls after it’s converted. Here’s what you need to know before jumping headfirst into a Roth IRA or a Roth conversion.

Read on CBD Spotlight >

Survey: Employers Adapt Quickly to Withholding Tax Changes

A recent survey found that employers, for the most part, had few problems meeting the February 15 deadline for using new 2018 income tax withholding tables, which reflect changes made by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. However, employees had many questions about how the law will affect their paychecks and their tax returns. This article reviews the survey results.

Read on CBD Spotlight >

Good News! More Families May Be Eligible for the Child Credit in 2018

In previous years, many families didn’t qualify for the child credit, because they made too much money. But, thanks to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, for 2018 through 2025, this credit has been expanded and the phaseout thresholds have been substantially increased. Will your children and other “nonchild dependents” qualify you to claim this valuable tax break in 2018?

Read on CBD Spotlight >

How the New Tax Law Affects Rental Real Estate Owners

There’s more to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act for owners of rental real estate than just lower ordinary income tax rates. Here’s an overview of some new or modified provisions that will generally provide favorable tax outcomes for rental property owners along with an unfavorable change that could hit owners of properties that generate tax losses.

Read on CBD Spotlight >

Close-Up on Mortgage Interest Deduction Rules

Unfortunately, the new tax law places new limits on home mortgage interest deductions for the 2018 through 2025 tax years. But the changes only affect homeowners with larger first mortgages and those with home equity debt. Are you in danger of losing some of your home mortgage interest deduction under the new law? Read this article to find the answer.

Read on CBD Spotlight >

How the New Limit on SALT Deductions Affects Homeowners

There’s been a lot of controversy about the recent tax law change that limits the federal deductions for state and local taxes (SALT). This limitation will have an adverse effect on many homeowners, especially residents of jurisdictions with high property taxes and people who own expensive homes or more than one home. Here are the details, along with important information if you’re thinking about selling your house.

Read on CBD Spotlight >

Important Tax Figures for 2018

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 2018, compared with 2017, 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.

Read on CBD Spotlight >