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 Ups the Ante on Retirement Contributions

Did you know that you will be able to contribute more to your 401(k), IRA and other types of qualified retirement accounts in 2019? The IRS recently published annual cost-of-living adjustments to these accounts. Many limits have increased, including the amount you’re allowed to contribute to a traditional IRA account, which last increased in 2013. Here’s what you should know.

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4 Year-End Strategies to Lower Your Personal Tax Bill

Have you thought about your personal tax situation for 2018? In addition to reviewing the adequacy of your payroll withholdings and estimated tax payments, there’s still time to employ some tax-savvy moves that could potentially decrease this year’s tax bill. Tax reform legislation has changed the rules of the game, so it’s important to discuss end-of-year strategies with your tax advisor as soon as possible.

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Are You Eligible for the New Dependent Credit and HOH Filing Status?

The IRS recently clarified who’s eligible for the new $500 tax credit for dependents who aren’t qualifying children under age 17, as well as how much income those individuals can earn each year without negating the credit. The income test is also relevant if you’re unmarried and want to use the beneficial head of household (HOH) filing status. Here are the details.

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Small Employers: Should You Jump on the MEP Bandwagon?

Congress and the U.S. Department of Labor are working on rules that would make it easier for small employers to join multiple employer plans (MEPs). These defined contribution plans are designed to help American workers save for retirement. MEPs are expected to lower administrative costs, but do they offer the simplicity that employers want? Here are some issues to consider.

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Can You Have Too Much Tax Deferral?

Deferring income is a conventional tax planning strategy for businesses and individuals alike. It’s especially effective when your tax bracket is expected to remain the same or decrease in future years. But under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, deferring too much income might be inadvisable. Here’s why it’s important to think twice before you defer income under today’s tax law.

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5 Ways to Boost Deductions for Charitable Giving

Are you feeling generous? The holiday season is a popular time to donate to charities. But many people are uncertain about whether they’ll be allowed to deduct charitable contributions on their 2018 federal income tax return. This article reviews the provisions of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act that may affect charitable giving and provides strategies to maximize the tax benefits.

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7 Year-End Tax Planning Moves for Small Businesses

What can small business owners do before year end to lower their tax bills? That question is top of mind every autumn, but the answers may be less familiar (and possibly more complicated) under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. This article updates some tried-and-true tax strategies to account for the tax law changes that went into effect this year.

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Tax Savings from Cost Segregation Studies Add Up for Businesses

A cost segregation study can help substantially reduce your company’s tax bill, if you purchased real estate to rent out or use in business. Thanks to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, more generous bonus depreciation and Section 179 deduction rules may allow significant first-year depreciation deductions for land improvements and contents of buildings. Here are the details.

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Free Credit Freezes and Fraud Alerts Are Here!

Has a credit reporting agency ever charged you a fee to “freeze” your accounts after a security breach? It sounds like double jeopardy, right? Fortunately, a new law no longer allows this to happen. Here’s how you can take advantage of the new consumer-protection rules that recently took effect under the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act.

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IRS Issues Guidance Deducting Meals Bought During Entertainment

As a small business owner, can you deduct for federal income tax purposes the costs of taking a customer or business contact out to a baseball game and buying hot dogs and drinks? The IRS just issued guidance answering that question. This article explains how these types of entertainment and meal expenses have changed under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

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Reporting Income from Vacation Home Rentals under Today’s Tax Rules

Many people own vacation homes that they use for both personal and rental purposes. This article explains how to report income and expenses under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act for properties that are rented out but also used a great deal of time by owners and their family and friends. Different rules apply to properties that are rented out with minimal personal use.

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Tax Law Allows Employees to Defer Income from Equity-Based Pay

Restricted stock, stock options and other forms of equity-based compensation can help private companies attract and retain skilled workers. Now, thanks to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the deal is even sweeter, because qualified employees may be able to defer the tax hit from these awards for up to five years. This article explains how this election works and what’s required to qualify.

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Employers: IRS Updates Business Travel Per Diems

Itemized deductions for unreimbursed business expenses are disallowed for employees from 2018 through 2025. So, formal expense reimbursement policies and procedures may be a necessary evil under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Employers can simplify the process by paying travel per diems instead of requiring employees to submit receipts for actual travel expenses. Here are details.

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Create an Accountable Plan to Reimburse Employees for Business Expenses

For 2018 through 2025, employees can’t claim itemized deductions for unreimbursed business expenses they incur on behalf of their employers. Your company can minimize the adverse effects of this tax law change by setting up an “accountable plan” to reimburse employees tax-free. Here are the details, including the requirements, potential pitfalls and two other reimbursement alternatives to consider.

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Claiming the New Employer Tax Credit for Family and Medical Leave

Does your company offer paid family and medical leave? This perk can help attract and retain workers in today’s tight job market and a new tax credit can sweeten the deal. But this tax break is available for only two years, unless Congress extends it. Plus, it’s subject to numerous rules and restrictions. Here are some FAQs to help you decide whether it’s cost-effective for your company to offer a leave plan that’s eligible for the new credit.

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Employers: Consider Telemedicine and Make Sure Employees Use It

Telemedicine is the rapidly growing system for delivering health care services using telecommunications. It’s where medical diagnostics and communications technology intersect. With outcomes that benefit employees and employers, telemedicine holds the promise of improving health care efficiency and quality as well as lowering overall cost. Yet many employees who have access to telemedicine aren’t using it. Here’s how to help make it work for your organization.

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Tax Reform: Which Changes Are Temporary vs. Permanent?

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act calls for many changes to the tax rules for individuals and businesses. It’s hard to keep track of what’s permanent and which changes are scheduled to expire at the end of 2025. Plus, Republican lawmakers in the House have introduced a bill that proposes to make permanent some provisions that are currently temporary. Here’s a scorecard to help you keep track of the details.

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Tax-Exempt Organizations: IRS Provides Guidance on New UBTI Rule

Many not-for-profit organizations conduct business activities that are unrelated to their tax-exempt function. To the extent that an organization earns income from these activities, it must pay the unrelated business income tax. Now, thanks to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, unrelated business taxable income (UBTI) must be calculated for each separate trade or business.

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Calculating W-2 Wages for Limitations on the QBI Deduction

Some parts of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act simplify the tax code but others add complexity. When it comes to the new qualified business income (QBI) deduction for pass-through entities, the devil is in the details. Recently issued IRS proposed regulations help businesses understand how to calculate the QBI deduction. Here, we cover the limitations based on W-2 wages and the basis of qualified property.

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