The spirit of volunteerism runs deep here at Gross Mendelsohn. Recently I sat down for a conversation with Jennifer Rock of our Nonprofit Group. Jenn is a nonprofit auditor and has been an absolute rock star volunteer for several local nonprofit organizations, who I might add, are lucky to have her on their side. I’m excited to share Jenn’s story, and the advice she has for nonprofit leaders from the perspective of both a CPA and a volunteer.
Maybe you have a new contract that requires an audit or maybe your bank requested audited financial statements. If you’re a construction contractor, a first-time audit can seem overwhelming and daunting. Because your work in process schedule is crucial to your company’s revenue recognition, we’ve identified the top three things contractors can do when preparing their WIP schedule as part of the financial statement audit.
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Social Security and Medicare tax As of January 1, 2021, the maximum amount of annual earnings subject to Social Security increased to $142,800 (from $137,700 in 2020). There is no limit on the amount of earnings subject to the Medicare tax.
It’s normal for high net worth families to have “family offices” that manage banking, investments, bill paying and more. But most of us aren’t born with the name Rockefeller and we don’t have family offices. However, I believe there are lessons to be learned from family offices that are helpful for any family who wants to get a better handle on their financial situation. As a CPA and Certified Financial Planner, I work with high net worth clients who have family offices. I apply some of the principles behind family offices to my other clients. Let’s look at family offices, their purpose and how we can apply their benefits to the financial matters of everyday folks.
With the opening of Maryland’s General Assembly today, Governor Larry Hogan is expected to introduce the state’s latest relief package, called the $1 Billion RELIEF Act of 2021. He outlined the plan at a press conference earlier in the week. Hogan is asking state lawmakers to take quick action on this legislation, which includes actions to help Maryland families, small businesses and those who have lost jobs as a result of the pandemic. If enacted, this emergency legislation would support small businesses with sales tax credits, extend unemployment tax relief for small businesses, repeal income taxes on state unemployment benefits, safeguard Maryland businesses against tax increases, and provide direct stimulus payments for low- to moderate-income Marylanders. Let’s look more closely at some of the provisions in the relief package.
There’s a win-win for business taxpayers and restaurants in the latest round of stimulus legislation, known as the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021. Under the new legislation, business meals provided by restaurants in 2021 and 2022 are now 100% deductible. Previously, the deduction of food and beverage expenses associated with operating a business was limited to 50%. The new 100% deduction applies to meals in a restaurant, and takeout and delivery meals provided by a restaurant. Let’s dig into the specifics.
At the end of 2020, Congress passed and President Trump signed a new law that provides for additional relief related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (CAA, 2021) includes a second draw of Paycheck Protection Program loans (PPP2 loans) and it also finally overruled the IRS and allows businesses to deduct ordinary and necessary expenses paid from the proceeds of PPP loans. Let’s take a look at who’s eligible for a PPP2 loan, the terms of the loans and when to apply.
Legendary musician Prince died on April 21, 2016 without a will. As a result, it created one of the largest and most complicated probate hearings in his home state of Minnesota’s history. The Internal Revenue Service is claiming that the executors of Prince’s estate have undervalued the estate by 50%, or about $80 million. The IRS determined that Prince’s estate is worth $163.2 million, well above the $82.3 million valuation submitted by the estate’s administrator, Comerica Bank & Trust. No will, no estate plan and a vast difference of opinion among valuation experts. Let’s look behind the curtain at how this is playing out.
Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot announced extended filing and payment deadlines for certain state business and individual taxes and quarterly estimated income tax returns and payments.
The social and economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic continues to rage on, wreaking havoc on countless businesses and their employees. As individuals look for possible solutions to their cash flow challenges, they may turn to their retirement plans as a source of funding.
President Trump signed the bill into law on December 27, 2020. Well, it’s hot off the press and it’s 5,593 pages long. It’s impossible to cover everything in the latest COVID-19 relief bill - called the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 - so we are concentrating on Divisions M & N of the bill involving updates to the CARES Act. Let’s look at the highlights.
The year ahead could bring major tax changes for businesses and families. President-elect Joe Biden talked about several big tax changes on the campaign trail. What we don’t yet know is how easy it will be for those proposed changes to become law.
It’s hard to believe that it’s been nine months since this pandemic flipped the world upside down. Even as time has passed, businesses across the world are still figuring out how to survive in the COVID-era. I, along with a few of my colleagues at Gross Mendelsohn, teamed up to offer some of the biggest pieces of advice we have for businesses right now. As a business owner myself, I know what a struggle it’s been to keep on top of what seems like a constantly changing rulebook.
On March 23, 2020, Maryland’s Governor Hogan ordered nonessential businesses to close their doors. A day later the District of Columbia’s Mayor Bowser and Virginia’s Governor Northam ordered nonessential businesses to close their doors. In the scramble to continue operations many businesses quickly set up their employees to work from home. What most companies did not consider at the time, however, was the impact remote employees could have on their state and local tax filing requirements.
It’s been a tough year for a lot of nonprofits. Like many, nonprofit leaders are cautiously looking ahead to 2021 with hope, particularly with multiple vaccines on the horizon. Our Nonprofit Group teamed up with some industry experts to present a webinar on how nonprofits can prepare for their recovery in 2021. Let’s look at some of the key takeaways.
When a small business has an issue with fraud, it’s usually for one key reason: a lack of internal controls. Internal controls are “checks” a business has in place to deter fraud.
January is just around the corner and with it comes the beginning of a new annual information reporting cycle. For small businesses accustomed to using Form 1099-MISC to report nonemployee compensation, there are important changes that you should be aware of when reporting nonemployee compensation for the 2020 tax year.
Ever since the sweeping tax law changes brought about by the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act of 2017, high-tax states like Maryland have been scheming to circumvent the $10,000 cap on state tax deductions. After some trial and error, the U.S. Treasury and the IRS approved one of those schemes. Maryland is now allowing pass-through entities (PTE) to elect to subject themselves to an entity-level tax on behalf of Maryland resident members. The members that had Maryland tax paid on the PTE level will receive a corresponding state tax credit for the same amount. The benefit of this is that a PTE can deduct the tax paid on the PTE level, which will then flow to the member’s K-1. This is effective for any tax payments made after November 9, 2020.
The Small Business Administration (SBA) released new required forms for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan recipients with loans exceeding $2 million. These forms will help the SBA confirm “necessity” of loaned funds, of which the agency has already announced that PPP loans exceeding $2 million will be audited.
The story is a common one: the divorce settlement has been finalized. The couple parts ways, with both parties walking away with certain assets. Inevitably, only one of the parties has likely maintained a relationship with their financial advisor. Often, it’s been the husband who has managed the couple’s investment accounts alongside a financial advisor. He most likely will continue that relationship, while the wife, who is walking away with a nice settlement after the divorce proceedings, is left without a financial advisor. It’s important for that spouse to quickly find their own financial advisor who can help manage the money that was obtained through the settlement.
It’s been several months since the early days of the pandemic when many businesses closed their doors and sent their employees home to work remotely or await reopening. To survive, businesses had to find new and creative ways to adapt and overcome. However, even as the weeks have stretched to months, many business owners are still facing new pandemic related challenges every day. That’s why I, along with a few of my colleagues at Gross Mendelsohn, banded together to offer some of our biggest pieces of pandemic related advice for business owners as part of the firm’s new weekly video series, Advice From.
2020 has been a unique year to say the least. Many people who would otherwise commute to an office or jobsite every day are finding that they need to work from home because of the COVID-19 pandemic and social distancing restrictions. There may be tax benefits for individuals who find themselves setting up shop at home for an undetermined period of time. Here’s what you need to know to take advantage of those rules.
The best fundraising tip for nonprofits during a global pandemic? Don’t stop asking for support. “There may be some hesitancy to ask and that's understandable,” said nonprofit fundraising expert, Vince Connelly, “But bottom line, the only way you're really going to raise money is if you ask for it.”
Virginia Governor Ralph Northam recently announced that Rebuild VA, the $70 million economic recovery fund launched in August, is expanding its eligibility criteria to allow more small businesses to apply. Certain types of Virginia-based businesses and nonprofits whose normal operations were impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic are eligible to receive grants of up to $10,000. Here’s what you need to know about the Rebuild VA Grant Fund.
The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) is moving into the forgiveness stage for most business owners. While there still aren’t any hard and fast rules on applying for PPP forgiveness, there are a few areas where we can offer some insight. Here’s an overview of some of the guidance and advice I’ve been giving my clients on how to navigate the PPP loan forgiveness process.
There’s a lot of uncertainty in the Maryland construction and real estate industry right now. With a presidential election a few weeks away, a worldwide pandemic and an unpredictable economy, we asked four seasoned industry veterans to tell us what they thought the future of the industry holds.
An interest in a closely-held business can often be one of the most significant assets in an individual’s estate. As such, there are many planning opportunities that exist when creating an estate plan for a business owner. A timely valuation prepared by a qualified business valuation professional may be necessary to make informed business and financial decisions. Let’s take a look at the ins and outs of business valuation when there’s a business involved in an estate.
There's good news for Maryland residents who have incurred at least $20,000 in undergraduate and/or graduate student loan debt: you may be eligible for a Maryland tax credit.
The Maryland construction industry looks different than it did at the beginning of 2020. While many contractors are working off a backlog, it’s hard to predict what to expect going forward. That’s why we surveyed Maryland construction contractors in July 2020 to get an idea on what the future of the industry holds.
The future is uncertain for many Maryland construction contractors. That’s why we surveyed construction contractors in July 2020 on what they think the future of their business and the industry looks like. Here are the highlights of the survey: Optimism for company outlook is down. Contractors say industry outlook is “worse.” Revenue decreases expected. No layoffs ahead. At least six months expected for businesses to “normalize.” Finding new business has become the top concern for contractors. Concern about finding qualified employees is on the rise.
Calculating income for support purposes, whether it be child support or alimony, can be complicated. For owners of pass-through entities (“PTEs”), it can be especially difficult.
If you’re a business owner with more than $500,000 of excess business losses, the recently-passed Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES) Act includes an unexpected tax giveaway you’ll want to know about.
Given how so much in the world has changed in the last few months, we’ve been producing a lot of content for business owners that answers the question “What’s next for my business?” We know that the top can be a lonely place, and many business owners crave insights from other owners on how they deal with the same difficult challenges. In the spirit of sharing, this article is for business owners who are curious to know how other leaders are dealing with the pandemic. I decided to chat with David Goldner, who just finished his tenure as Gross Mendelsohn’s managing partner, to hear first-hand what he has learned as a business owner as he navigates his way through the COVID-19 crisis.
Figuring out how long you need to keep your tax records can be tricky. The easiest (and vaguest) answer is that it depends. The general rule of thumb, according to the IRS, is that you need to keep records that support an item of income, deduction or credit until the period of limitations for that tax return runs out. The period of limitations is the time in which you can A) amend your tax return to claim a credit or refund and B) the IRS can assess additional tax.
Effective July 1, 2020, employees who work in the District of Columbia more than 50% of the time and whose wages are subject to DC unemployment tax are eligible for paid family leave.
The application period for the Paycheck Protection Program closed on August 8, 2020. Learn more about how to get your PPP loan forgiven here. The application period for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) has been extended until August 8, 2020. This gives businesses additional time to claim the remaining $130 billion in PPP loan funds that are still available.
If you took a required minimum distribution (RMD) from your retirement account in 2020, you now have until August 31, 2020 to return the money without incurring any tax consequences. This new guidance was issued by the IRS on June 23 and corrects previous legislation that excluded retirees who took RMDs prior to the passing of the CARES Act in March.
The Maryland State Department of Assessments and Taxation has confirmed that the deadline to submit Maryland Annual Reports and Personal Property Tax Returns will be July 15, 2020. This deadline will be in effect regardless of whether an extension request was filed.
The Small Business Administration (SBA) has released a revised loan forgiveness application for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and a brand new EZ loan forgiveness application.
Cash flow is a major concern for most businesses right now. As the country starts to reopen, companies everywhere are facing a big challenge — how to adapt to new COVID-19 health and safety guidelines all while finding ways to stay profitable. In a recession, the most important thing a business can do is take control of its finances.
On May 27, 2020 Virginia enacted a biennial budget bill containing various corporate and personal income tax provisions. Here is a summary of six key changes that’ll impact corporate and individual taxpayers.
The application period for the Paycheck Protection Program closed on August 8, 2020. Learn more about how to get your PPP loan forgiven here. The Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act of 2020 will bring some major changes to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). The bill, which has passed the Senate and House, now heads to the president for his signature.
Taxpayers and tax professionals alike have debated the merits and faults of The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA) over the last two years. One change that has negatively affected many individuals who itemize their federal deductions is the $10,000 limit on state and local taxes (SALT cap). Maryland recently joined Connecticut, New Jersey, and several other states employing a new strategy to provide a larger federal benefit to individuals for state taxes paid.
A calculator from the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) could help you calculate your Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan forgiveness amount. Developed with guidance from the Small Business Administration and the United States Department of the Treasury, the AICPA will continue to update the calculator as future PPP guidance becomes available.
The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) just authorized an Accounting Standards Update (ASU) that will defer the implementation of three accounting standards for private companies. The standards involve accounting for leases, credit losses and hedging.
The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) recently approved the use of a revised Voluntary Self‐Identification of Disability Form, also known as Form CC-305. The more streamlined, user-friendly form is intended to increase the response rate of applicants and employees who choose to voluntarily self-identify their disability status.
The loan forgiveness period for the Paycheck Protection Program was extended from eight to 24 weeks by the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act of 2020. The Small Business Administration (SBA) released information on how borrowers can apply for forgiveness for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans. The Loan Forgiveness Application, which was released on May 15, 2020, includes instructions for borrowers on how to apply for forgiveness through their lender and how to perform the calculations required by the CARES Act to confirm eligibility for loan forgiveness.
All of us are adapting to a new way of life as the world struggles to deal with the COVID-19 crisis. To mitigate the consequences of stay-at-home orders, federal and state agencies have created various programs to assist small businesses dealing with losses of revenues and to sustain employees who have lost their jobs in industries where shelter-in-place orders exist. Following are a few tax planning opportunities that stem from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and other recent legislative acts to consider.
Applications opened today for Baltimore County’s Small Business Emergency Relief Grants Program. Here’s what you need to know about the $10 million COVID-19 relief fund and how to apply.
With thousands of businesses forced to close or abruptly setup shop at home, network access and online communication between employees and customers is more important than ever. Many businesses understandably cobbled together a means for employees to work from home when the pandemic hit. But what’s next for business owners? Business as we used to know it won’t return for some time, even as we come out of the shutdown. Is your technology poised to support efficiency and productivity in a remote environment?
COVID-19 sent the economy into a tailspin. Looking ahead, what can investors expect in the future?
The unfortunate reality of COVID-19 is forcing us to face those “what if” scenarios no one likes to think about. Now is a critical time to take a second look at your estate plan to make sure your personal financial house is in good order. While no one gets excited about estate planning, your family will be glad you prepared.
Some laid off employees are electing not to come back to work, even when offered the same position, hours and salary. Many of these employees are making more money in unemployment benefits than they do working due to expanded unemployment benefits under the CARES Act.
The Government Contractors Group at Gross Mendelsohn has been following the COVID-19 related traffic at the Department of Defense and other agencies, including DoD Class Deviation - CARES Act S3610 and DFARS 231.205-79 (CARES Act S3610 Implementation and subsequent FAQs).
The application period for this program has closed. Baltimore City’s COVID-19 Small Business Assistance Initiative is offering up to $5.5 million in relief to small businesses. Applications for the program just opened. However, the application window is small. Here’s what you need to know about the relief program and how to apply.
One of the biggest complaints from small businesses applying and still waiting for funds under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) is the number of large corporations who have already applied and been granted loans under the program.
As of December 2020, the dispute between Congress and the IRS was resolved. Now, all expenses paid with Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan proceeds are deductible. There’s a new wrinkle related to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). The IRS just announced that expenses related to forgivable loans through the PPP will not be tax deductible.
The loan forgiveness period for the Paycheck Protection Program was extended from eight to 24 weeks by the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act of 2020. In a matter of weeks, the federal government doled out more than $650 billion in forgivable loans to small businesses. While your loan allows you to continue paying your employees during the COVID-19 crisis, you need to plan carefully to make sure the loan proceeds are used correctly. Otherwise, your loan might not be forgiven.
The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) is a Small Business Administration loan that helps businesses keep their workforce employed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Let’s look at who’s eligible, how much you can borrow, how much of the loan will be forgiven, and how to apply.
Small business owners will be relieved to hear that a new $484 billion relief bill has been signed into law by President Trump. This replenishes the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which was quickly depleted just two weeks after the program was funded as part of the CARES Act in late March. This is promising news for business owners who have been patiently waiting for additional funds to be made available through the PPP.
Nonprofits and foundations are getting some relief from the IRS, which recently granted an extension to file the Form 990 series of tax returns and payments. Tax-exempt organizations whose tax filings are normally due May 15 were granted a two-month extension to July 15, 2020.
Businesses are making one of two big mistakes in their marketing right now: they’ve either stopped marketing altogether or they’re being too aggressive in their approach. Or at least that’s what Tim Bojanowski, founder of Zest Social Media Solutions, told me as we covered how to market a business during the COVID-19 pandemic on Next Level.
The application period for this program has closed. Businesses and nonprofits located in Montgomery County who have experienced significant financial losses due to COVID-19 may be eligible for grant funds of up to $75,000 as part of Montgomery County’s Public Health Emergency Grant (PHEG) program.
Economic relief packages continue to come through the pipeline in a steady stream from government sources. The latest offering is the Main Street Lending Program. It comes from the Federal Reserve Board, which is pledging $600 billion in loans to help small and medium-sized businesses. This program is one of many safety nets for businesses that are in need of funding to survive the financial crisis brought about by COVID-19.
We write a lot about taxes, profitability strategies and accounting here on the Gross Mendelsohn blog. Our team cranks out business advice that’s backed by hard numbers, quantifiable data and years of experience. Not today. No one really has experience dealing with a worldwide pandemic. Today we’re giving voice to things that concern all of us — regardless of whether we’re business owners, CFOs, nonprofit board members or IT directors.
Numerous businesses are losing income as a result of the coronavirus. Some businesses have been forced to close by government order, while others continue to operate but in a limited capacity due to government orders prohibiting large gatherings and events, restricting travel and directing people to stay at home. Business closures and lost profits raise questions as to whether those losses will be covered by insurance.
Although bad news comes out of the COVID-19 pandemic at a rapid-fire pace, stories of human goodness and innovation are surfacing right and left. Businesses, especially manufacturers, and people everywhere are stepping up to help in different ways. But if you told me last week that our CPA firm would become part of a supply chain for critical need items, I wouldn’t have believed you. Then this happened.
In his decades in the business world, David Goldner, CPA, has never run into a situation quite like COVID-19. “We don’t know what’s really going to happen here,” David said in his interview on Next Level. “We hope things return to normal. We’re just not sure how long that will take.”
The United States Department of Homeland Security issued temporary modifications to the Form I-9 document verification process to account for the number of employers that are now operating remotely due to COVID-19.
Like so many businesses, Gross Mendelsohn gave employees the option to work remotely at the start of the coronavirus outbreak, around March 16. Since then, the bulk of our staff is working from home, adhering to social distancing guidelines and doing our part to tamp down the spread of COVID-19. While members of our firm’s Technology Solutions Group have worked remotely for years, this is a brand new situation for many members of our team, so I thought I’d check in to see how things are going, and report back to share their insights on transitioning to remote work.
On March 27, 2020, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) was signed into law. This $2+ trillion package provides emergency relief to businesses, individuals and nonprofits who face economic hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Here are a few financial programs for nonprofits that were created under the CARES Act.
There’s not a whole lot of positive news these days, but one sure source of inspiration has cropped up: Maryland manufacturers are stepping up and getting creative to help in the fight against COVID-19. Maryland’s Department of Commerce did some stepping up of its own by launching a $5 million incentive program to help Maryland manufacturers produce personal protective equipment and other items that are urgently needed by Maryland hospitals, healthcare facilities and emergency responders.
The economic implications of the COVID-19 pandemic are shaping up to be seismic. On March 25, the Senate passed a third economic stimulus package, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, also known as the CARES Act.
Businesses are doing their part to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 by following CDC guidelines for disinfecting and offering remote work arrangements for employees. The COVID-19 outbreak has forced many business owners to put their contingency plans into place to keep operations going, and some are wondering how they will make payroll.
On March 23, 2020, Governor Larry Hogan announced new economic relief packages from the Maryland Department of Commerce for Maryland small businesses and nonprofits affected by COVID-19.
The SBA is currently only accepting applications for this program from agricultural businesses. The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is making low-interest disaster recovery loans available to small businesses that have been severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Loans are available to businesses located in declared disaster areas, including Maryland, Washington, DC and Virginia.
Earlier this week, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin delayed the deadline for individual tax payments by 90 days, moving the deadline to July 15 from April 15, when individual tax returns are normally due. Today Secretary Mnuchin took to Twitter to announce that the deadline for individual income tax filings has been extended to July 15, 2020.
President Trump just signed into law a second phase of coronavirus-related relief, called the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. It’s a $100 billion relief package designed to offer help to businesses and their employees who are impacted by the coronavirus. The first phase of relief, an $8.3 billion piece of legislation, was dedicated to coronavirus vaccine research and development. This new legislation includes provisions for tax credits for employers who offer paid sick leave or family or medical leave for their employees who miss work for various coronavirus-related reasons. Let’s take a closer look at the FFCRA and what it means for businesses and employees, and what business owners need to be ready to offer to employees by April 2.
With a potential economic crisis on the horizon, business owners are more than concerned. Business owners everywhere are walking a delicate tight rope of financial concern, meeting cancellations, travel restrictions, technology challenges and employee morale, all while trying to remain empathetic toward employees and customers. It’s flat out hard being a business owner right now. When I asked some of our firm’s leaders for their #1 piece of advice for business owners, several common themes emerged: communication and patience. Let’s look at what they had to say.
Sharon Paul, CPA, really wants you to install your computer updates. (Seriously, though.) A tech titan and partner in Gross Mendelsohn’s Technology Solutions Group, Sharon has been helping businesses figure out their toughest technology issues for 30+ years. When she stopped by the set of Next Level, Sharon told me about how technology can help a business run more efficiently.
Most small to mid-size business owners have a lot on their plate. Not only are you still involved in much of the day-to-day operations at your company, but you probably also wear the hat of accountant, marketer, recruiter and more. This shifting list of priorities can make it tough to focus on building and growing your business.
The secret sauce for a great marketing strategy starts with the story you tell about your business. Or at least that’s what Dan Schepleng of the Baltimore creative agency Kapowza told me when he stopped by the set of Next Level to talk about how to market a business.
The #1 accounting tip that Ernie Paszkiewicz has for business owners is this: if you’re going to grow, do it profitably. In his 40+ year career, Ernie has seen the full spectrum of challenges and mistakes that trip up growing businesses.
If Linda Pietras has learned one thing about hiring in her 30+ year career, it’s this: a bad hire will cost you more than waiting for the right candidate. Linda joined me on the set of Next Level to talk about hiring, including common hiring mistakes that growing businesses make.
Social Security and Medicare tax As of January 1, 2020, the maximum amount of annual earnings subject to Social Security increases to $137,700 (from $132,900 in 2019). There is no limit on the amount of earnings subject to the Medicare tax.
Every business wonders how they can pay less in taxes. Or at least that’s what the firm’s managing partner, David Goldner told me when we sat down on the set of Next Level to chat about tax challenges that growing businesses often face.
Computer software drives the world. Businesses use software to account for transactions, communicate with colleagues and customers, and design and manufacture new products. One thing is clear: without software, we’d be lost. Accounting for the costs associated with software acquisition, however, can be less than straightforward. In this article, we’ll outline some things a business will need to consider when acquiring or implementing new software for its own use and how to account for those transactions.
On December 20, 2019, the “parking tax” for nonprofits was repealed. The parking tax, otherwise known as the taxation of transportation fringe benefits by nonprofit employers under Section 512(a)(7), was first brought into law with the passing of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) at the end of 2017.
With the holidays over, tax-minded individuals are now focused on gathering their paperwork to file 2019 returns and project what their tax situation will look like in 2020. Each year, Congress decides to extend or let expire various provisions of the tax law. This article summarizes some of the more commonly-used “extenders” so individuals and business owners may understand the impact of various courses of action.
Nonprofits are required to include a liquidity disclosure in their financial statements. 1 This liquidity disclosure overviews qualitative and quantitative information about how the nonprofit manages its liquid resources. This information can make it easier for someone reviewing a nonprofit’s financial statements to understand the financial health of the organization. Currently, there is no required format on how to present the information in the liquidity disclosure, as long as all of the required elements are included in the disclosure.
The Supreme Court’s decision in South Dakota vs. Wayfair continues to have a ripple effect for businesses with interstate sales. With the Wayfair decision adding potentially significant sales tax exposure to some businesses, there is also the potential for increased exposure to the personal liability of unsuspecting business owners, corporate officers and even employees like tax and finance managers. It’s more important than ever for “responsible persons,” which we’ll define in a moment, to understand their responsibility and potential liability in the sales tax process.
In June 2018, the United States Supreme Court issued their ruling in the case of South Dakota vs. Wayfair, which cleared the way for states to collect sales tax from businesses that do not have a “physical presence” in the state, but do have an “economic presence” in the state. While much attention has been given to the impact on online retailers, the decision potentially impacts the sales tax obligations of any business that makes remote sales to out-of-state customers. While some states are still reacting to the decision, many states have already implemented laws that require remote sellers to collect and remit sales tax on sales to out-of-state customers without having a physical presence in the state. Understanding this new and still evolving sales tax landscape is important for any company that conducts business in multiple states.
The long awaited new Form W-4 is finally here. Here’s the rundown on the new form, which businesses must start using for new employees hired on or after January 1, 2020.
The IRS recently announced new rules for e-filing requirements for tax-exempt organizations. The Taxpayer First Act requires all tax-exempt organizations to electronically file Form 990. Currently, only a limited number of nonprofits are required to file electronically. That all changes for tax-exempt organizations starting with tax years that begin after July 1, 2019. Let’s look at the kinds of organizations and tax returns that are affected.
Our firm has had a strong presence on social media for years, but when our staff asked for tips for using social media tools like LinkedIn to supplement their own networking efforts, we got right to work pulling together an internal training program. We turned to four social-savvy Baltimore area business people for help, and invited them to participate in a panel discussion called “How to Use Social Media to Supercharge Your Networking Efforts.” Our staff was invited to submit questions to the panel in advance of the discussion. Here are just some of the takeaways, which can be used by anyone in any line of work.
The IRS recently publicized that it will be cracking down on taxpayers for not properly reporting cryptocurrency transactions. In this article, we’ll summarize different types of transactions and how the IRS has recommended they be reported.
Just as sweet potatoes and pumpkin pie might be staples on your Thanksgiving table, community service days are staples for Gross Mendelsohn every autumn. Individually, our staff members volunteer year-round for organizations they believe in (you’ll see a sampling of them at the end of this blog post), but autumn is when we put our hearts and hands together as a team to help local nonprofits. It’s an all-hands-on-deck kind of thing. This year, we converged on Special Olympics Maryland’s tennis tournament and the Maryland Food Bank to help make the local community stronger through service.
Figuring out how to select a business valuation expert can be tough. A quick Google search yields hundreds of so-called valuation experts, but how do you whittle down the list? The good news is there are specific qualifications and certifications attorneys can use when evaluating potential business valuation experts.
In the recent Tax Court opinion in Estate of Aaron U. Jones v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue (T.C. Memo 2019-101), the court came to some surprising opinions that benefit taxpayers valuing businesses for gift and estate tax purposes.
We recently polled private school heads and financial staff to find out whether their last audit was “stress-free.” Not surprisingly, nearly half of respondents answered “no.” While it’s easy to look at your school’s annual audit as a necessary evil, not to mention time consuming and stress inducing, there are several often overlooked benefits to the annual audit.
Business owners and financial executives now have one more thing to keep track of – making sure payroll taxes are actually getting paid to tax authorities. With so many businesses relying on outside parties to process paychecks and pay employment taxes, millions of dollars pass through the hands of payroll companies every day. But are those millions of dollars making it into workers’ paychecks and, just as important, being sent to federal and state tax authorities?
It’s something that divorce attorneys see fairly regularly – one spouse accusing the other spouse of accessing their private bank accounts during the divorce process. But what happens when one of the spouses is accessing the bank accounts from space? Yes, that’s right – outer space. That’s exactly what Summer Worden has accused her spouse, NASA astronaut Anne McClain, of doing.
It’s not too often that you hear about an organization losing their nonprofit status. Here’s the story of one that did.
Government contractors and GSA acquisition personnel will have more time to understand and participate in the Transactional Data Reporting (TDR) pilot. GSA just announced that the TDR pilot has been extended through FY2020.
When the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) passed in December 2017, many taxpayers couldn’t foresee the implications of the legislation on their individual withholding for the coming year.
This year has brought some big changes for skilled nursing facilities. October will mark the implementation of the Patient Driven Payment Model (PDPM). It’s no secret that this implementation has some facilities feeling skittish. In this year’s 2019 Skilled Nursing Facility Survey, conducted by our Healthcare Group, we surveyed skilled nursing facilities on what they thought about the future of the industry.
The Maryland Department of Commerce is helping defense contractors grow their businesses, increase profits and find new opportunities. The Maryland Defense Diversification Assistance (MDDA) program seeks to help defense contractors diversify into new markets. Diversification is important for defense contractors given the unpredictability of procurement trends of the United States Department of Defense (DoD).
Capital campaigns can be a great opportunity for a nonprofit to raise money for a specific project. However, not every nonprofit capital campaign performs as well as it should.
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) has had a significant impact on divorcing couples. Many divorcing couples and their attorneys are aware of the elimination of the alimony deduction under the TCJA, but fewer are aware of the changes related to 529 plan funds.
It’s hard to believe we’ve been in our new space for six months already. It feels like yesterday that we were packing up hundreds of boxes and decades of memories. We knew that moving a firm our size was going to be an enormous undertaking, but it was necessary. In addition to needing more room to accommodate our growth, all of us at Gross Mendelsohn wanted a space that better reflected who we are as a firm: modern, streamlined and open. After months of looking at existing real estate throughout Baltimore City, we ultimately decided on new construction in an exciting new part of the city called McHenry Row. Despite the massive effort it took to plan for and manage a move of 100+ people, it was worth it. Here’s what we love about our new office, and why.
Financial management can be tricky for private schools, especially when it comes to areas like fundraising, endowments, audits and strategic planning. That’s why we had four private school experts cover each of these topics in a webinar for private schools. Here’s a summary of each segment from panelists…
The vast majority of cases settle before ever going to trial. In many instances, they are settled through mediation. Having your financial expert at mediation, whether it’s for a divorce matter, damages claim, or any claim dealing with a complex financial matter, can be a game changer. A financial expert can serve many different roles during a mediation. Here are five things your financial expert can do to contribute to the success of your next mediation.
Government contractors have a new official source for wage determination data: beta.SAM.gov. WDOL.gov, short for Wage Determinations Online, was retired last week. All wage determination data can now be accessed through beta.SAM.gov, which features significant improvements over the old site.
Every year we poll Maryland construction business owners and employees to take the pulse of the state’s construction industry. This year, we saw a significant shift in the way contractors answered the question, “What are your top three concerns for your business in 2019?” Let’s first take a look at how contractors answered that question in 2018 vs 2019.
A recent Blackbaud Institute charitable giving report confirmed nationally what we have seen in the Baltimore/Washington, DC area market: charitable giving increased slightly, by 1.5%, from 2017 to 2018. This increase occurred not just among the super wealthy, but also among a larger population of high net worth charitably inclined individuals and families. This uptick in charitable giving is, of course, excellent news for nonprofits. A nonprofit can benefit even more, however, when its staff is able to educate potential donors about several tax benefits of charitable giving – beyond a simple cash donation. To understand the big picture, let’s first step back and take a look at the reason behind the increase in giving.
Nonprofit fundraising isn’t exactly a walk in the park. Most organizations struggle to bring in fundraising dollars. This can be especially difficult when your nonprofit’s board isn’t on board with fundraising. The board helps your nonprofit thrive. That can mean donating money, contributing their time or helping your organization make connections. At a recent webinar hosted by our Nonprofit Group, nonprofit fundraising expert Vince Connelly answered the audience’s questions on nonprofit fundraising. In this article, we’ll focus on Vince’s advice for engaging the board of directors in fundraising efforts.
The U.S. Department of Labor recently updated the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) rights poster, which federal government contractors and subcontractors are required to display.
Culture can make or break a construction business. It’s not enough anymore to offer the lowest prices to customers or pay employees the most. Employees want to work for a business with a good culture. Not to mention, customers want to hire a business whose culture matches their personal values.
Earlier this year, we discussed the new income tax credit for qualified family leave. This credit applies to employers who satisfy certain criteria and pay employees under qualified plans.
If you have children or grandchildren, you’re likely concerned about the cost of their college education. For Marylanders, there is a little bit of relief in sight, thanks to the state teaming up with the Maryland College Investment Plan. You might be eligible to receive matching funds from the state of Maryland if you meet certain criteria, but you must submit an application by May 31.
Knowing where your Maryland construction business stands in relation to other contractors in the state can be tough. To get a pulse on the state of the industry, Gross Mendelsohn partnered with the Maryland Construction Network (MCN) in 2019 to gather and analyze data from 150+ people working in Maryland’s construction industry.
After collecting input from more than 150 Maryland contractors for our annual construction industry survey, we sifted through the data and found three common obstacles that are challenging contractors. Last week I presented the results of the survey to members of the Maryland Construction Network, and we reviewed those common obstacles – and how to overcome them.
If you need to hire an outside Certified Public Accountant (CPA) for your construction business, you’re most likely wondering how to choose the best firm for the job. Finding a quality CPA can sometimes be time consuming, even for those who’ve been through the process before. The good news is that working with a good CPA firm can help your construction businesses grow and become more profitable.
Hiring and retaining quality construction employees is getting harder. In fact, of the 150+ contractors who took the 2019 Maryland Construction Industry Survey, not one respondent said it would be easier to hire employees in 2019 compared to 2018.
Jeffrey David, the former chief revenue officer for the NBA’s Sacramento Kings, recently pleaded guilty to charges of wire fraud and identity theft in a scheme that misappropriated approximately $13.4 million of the team’s funds. Mr. David, who was the corporate officer responsible for generating revenue for the Kings, directly negotiated sponsorship, partnership, and other advertising and marketing agreements between the Kings and outside companies. According to the plea agreement, Mr. David directed some of those companies to wire some of their payments to bank accounts held in the name of a limited liability company under his sole control, Sacramento Sports Partners, LLC. There are lessons business owners can learn from the Sacramento Kings' embezzlement case. Let's look at how the perpetrator embezzled funds, how the scheme was uncovered, and the ways it could have been avoided.