We’ve brought together the latest news, commentary, and information to keep you informed about topics affecting you and the industries we serve. Our videos on tax, accounting, and audit issues are designed to provide insights that individuals and businesses should keep top-of-mind. Our tips can be implemented to improve your tax planning strategy, estate planning efforts, and audit preparation.
Assurance team managers Kyle Drost, CPA, Matt Marinaro, CPA, and supervisor Ashley Stillwell discuss what you need to know about 401k plan audits and how a company can prepare for one.
A company’s 401k plan or other retirement plans offered must be audited annually as required by ERISA. They are required to be audited when a plan has more than 100 eligible participants or 120 if not previously audited.
Learn more about when a 401k plan audit is required and what two major areas this type of audit reviews: 0:05
Learn how you can prepare for a 401k audit and what documents an auditor will request: 1:02
The plan sponsor has a number of fiduciary responsibilities it is required to follow, learn about them here: 01:37
Auditors will need to complete additional internal planning as risk assessments. Learn how to be prepared: 2:03
Once an auditor completes these assessments, there are various areas they will focus on depending on the risks identified. Learn about these areas: 2:33
If you have any questions about 401k plan audits or if your company’s retirement plan needs one please contact an Untracht Early advisor.
Untracht Early professionals at various levels provide insights into the value of starting their accounting career at the firm in this video. Questions they answer include what makes Untracht Early’s culture unique, what keeps each of them engaged at the firm, how the coaching program helped them, and what was their first year like.
You’ll hear from principal Robert Slootmaker, CPA who started his accounting career at the firm right out of college, and how the coaching program has helped him progress in his career. Managers Melissa Silvestri, CPA, and Melissa Castro, CPA discuss how the unique culture at Untracht Early has been so valuable to them and their careers. Also, a number of our professionals across the firm discuss what their first year was like and how the opportunities available to them keep them engaged.
The largest overhaul of the tax code occurred in 2017 with the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. One of the significant changes that was brought about by the reform was the new bonus depreciation rules. These rules have increased bonus depreciation on assets used in business from 50% to 100%.
In this video, you will learn about what qualifies property for 100% bonus depreciation (0:40) and the issue with qualified improvement property (1:46).
Although these rules may seem straightforward, understanding and applying the final regulations and newly proposed regulations to your individual business situation can be complex so it’s always a wise idea to consult with your Untracht Early advisor before taking any action.
When you need to prepare for your accountant’s annual review it is important to do the following to ensure a complete and thorough process.
Ideally, you should be reconciling your company’s books on a monthly basis, but this all depends on the activity your company has. You’ll want to ensure you check your company’s equity beginning balances and ensure they agree with your prior year’s tax returns if using tax basis or against the prior year’s financials if using GAAP basis.
The next thing your company should do is enter your bank and credit card activity. Then you’ll need to prepare reconciliations, make copies of period-to-date payrolls, and invoice copies of any capital expenditures.
Once you have completed this, you’ll need to send these items to your accountant in a secure manner, along with any new agreements that you’ve entered into for the year. This can include leasing agreements and updated ownership agreements.
If you have any questions or need help preparing your accountant’s annual review, please contact us.
There are several different options you can choose from when selecting the QuickBooks product that will benefit your company the most. The two versions Accounting Manager, Mariana I. Toro, CPA compares here are QuickBooks Pro and QuickBooks Enterprise.
This video discusses a few different benefits of each version based on your type of organization. The features and benefits of QuickBooks Pro and QuickBooks Enterprise that are outlined will help you determine which version of QuickBooks will be the right fit for your organization.
If you need help determining if QuickBooks Pro or QuickBooks Enterprise is best for your Organization, please contact us.
When is it a good idea to consider deferring income?
Not all employees have the opportunity to defer wages or salaries in an effort to reduce taxable income for individual taxes. In this video, you’ll learn about an opportunity all employees have available to them when it comes to deferring income regardless of your employment situation.
If you’re interested in learning more about opportunities for deferring income specific to your situation, please contact your Untracht Early tax advisor.
What is loss harvesting and how can it be used to offset capital gains?
In Part 3 of this year-end tax planning video series for individuals, learn how high income taxpayers, under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, will continue to benefit by implementing a loss harvesting strategy to offset capital gains. This video discusses what tax loss harvesting is, why it’s effective, and how to offset capital gains through selling depreciated assets.
If you’re interested in learning more about offsetting capital gains using loss harvesting, you should contact your Untracht Early tax advisor.
Should I be carefully timing when I incur medical expenses?
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act has lowered the threshold for deducting unreimbursed medical expenses in 2018. It may be wise to incur medical expenses in 2018 to take advantage of this reduced threshold. View this video to learn more about deducting medical expenses on your tax returns.
What’s changed for standard tax deductions and itemized tax deductions?
In this video, you will find out how the landscape of standardized tax deductions and itemized tax deductions has changed. We discuss these changes and provide you with an example on how these changes may impact your decision to take the standard tax deduction or itemized tax deductions for 2018. This is Part 1 of our four part year-end tax planning videos series for individuals.
Due to newly-adopted legislation, all New York employers must update their sexual harassment policy and trainings by October 9, 2018 in order to be compliant with the new requirements. View this video, featuring Human Resources Generalist Cristiana Wilson, SHRM-CP, to find out what sexual harassment policy requirements a New York employer needs to have in place, New York City-specific requirements, what type of training programs need to be provided, and where you can find resources to help implement your sexual harassment programs and procedures.
Part 3 of our series on using rental properties as a source of passive income provides insights on the use of mixed-use rental properties as a source of passive income. You will find out about the difference between mixed-use properties and 100% rental properties. Additionally you will learn about the tax treatment of mixed-use rental properties and the pitfalls you’ll want to avoid.
In Part 2 of this video series on utilizing rental properties as a source of passive income, it discusses the use of 100 percent rental properties as a source of passive income. You will find out about the difference between 100 percent rental properties and mixed-use property. Additionally, you will learn about the tax treatment of 100 percent rental properties and the pitfalls you’ll want to avoid.
If you missed Part 1 in the series, you can view it here:
Learn about the ever growing popularity of using rental properties as a source of passive income. In this video you will find out some common expenses associated with owning and operating a rental property and how rental income is taxed.
Assurance Manager Melissa Castro discusses several improvements made to employee share-based payment accounting in this video. These improvements include provisions regarding the accounting of forfeited share-based payment awards and elections nonpublic companies can make when measuring the fair value of an option.
In this video, Assurance Manager Melissa Castro discusses the improvements to employee share-based payment accounting, which applies to all entities which issue share-based payment awards to their employees. Find out how the improvements affect income taxes and what restrictions regarding the determination of an award’s equity classification on the company’s balance sheet from watching this video.
This video discusses what partnership profits interests are and how both vested and unvested profits interests are taxed. Essentially if you receive profits interest you receive the right to a percentage of profits in the future and appreciation of the partnership. You will have no right to any current capital.
When receiving partnership interests in exchange for services rendered, there are two types of interests to consider. They are capital interests and profits interests. There are several factors to consider when determining which type of interest is appropriate.
An unvested capital interest is an interest that’s restricted and is either non-transferable or subject to a substantial risk of forfeiture. If the employee chooses not to make this type of election, he or she doesn’t recognize any income until the capital interest vests.
This video discusses two tax-advantaged vehicles to transfer your wealth, tax free gifting and an irrevocable life insurance trust. No one likes to think the wealth they’ve worked too hard to amass might eventually end up in Uncle Sam’s pockets as much or more than in their own family members’. But with a little well thought out wealth planning, this scenario can easily be prevented. Using one or more specific tax-advantaged vehicles can be very effective in helping you accomplish your succession planning goals.
When transferring wealth to your heirs, you don’t want to be required to pay additional taxes on the wealth you have worked hard to amass. Tax free gifting is a way to transfer your wealth on a yearly basis as an effective and easy-to-execute strategy to transfer your wealth.
An Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust – or ILIT – is a trust established expressly for the purpose of holding a life insurance policy. When it comes to transferring wealth, an ILIT is a tax-advantaged vehicle worth considering. They can be very effective in helping you accomplish your succession planning goals.
In part two, we discuss when a grantor retained annuity trust, a type of irrevocable trust, is appropriate to help you retain more of your inherited wealth keeping your tax consequences to a minimum. When setting up a grantor retained annuity trust, the grantor specifies a term then transfers specific assets into the trust. The grantor then receives fixed, annual annuity payments for the term of the grantor retained annuity trust set at a rate in accordance with IRS guidelines. When the term expires, whatever assets remain in the grantor retained annuity trust are distributed to the trust beneficiaries.
It’s extremely important to have controls established to protect your company’s assets. The three factors outlined in this video create the perfect opportunity for cyber criminals to target assets. Watch the next two videos to learn what you need to look for fraudulent requests and how to implement controls to prevent wire transfer fraud.
Wire transfer fraud my be happening to you when fraudsters pose as someone within your organization. There are a few wire transfer fraud warning signs to be aware of. If a request seems to be unusual or urgent, make sure you follow the three simple steps outlined in the video above to check and see if the request is fraudulent.
Learn how implementing these controls can help prevent wire transfer fraud from happening to you. Be sure to have internal controls set and check with your bank to ensure they have a control process in place when it comes to wire transfers.
A compilation report is the most basic level of reporting an accountant can provide. Its purpose is for the accountant to help management package the necessary information into the standard financial statement reporting format. A compilation report does not provide any assurance or opinion as to whether the financial statements are materially misstated or whether they are in conformity with the reporting framework that is used.
Deciding between a financial review or an audit? If your company is able to provide its stakeholders a report that includes a limited degree of assurance but doesn’t need something as exhaustive as an audit, a review can be preformed. A review is most commonly used by private companies that need to provide at least limited assurance on their financial statements to outside parties such as lendors, creditors, or potential buyers, but don’t need to provide audited statements.
Is an accountant’s compilation report necessary? Sometimes a compilation report is not needed. When there’s no in-house accountant and there’s no required reliance on an accountant’s report, an external accountant may be retained to provide bookkeeping services and prepare the company’s financial statements, including the balance sheet and P&L, without a report.
As a foreign partnership that needs to file U.S. tax returns, there is a lot to consider when it comes to converting financial statements for tax reporting purposes. Untracht Early Tax Senior Maria Scala discusses the importance of converting financial statements for a trading fund’s tax reporting purposes as the IRS will only accept returns expressed in U.S. dollars. This video will tell you when a currency conversion needs to be considered, what parts of a financial statement might need to be converted, how a balance sheet should be treated and what rate is used to convert an income statement.
Some commonly overlooked tax deductions and credits that can be used to maximize your tax savings include contributing the maximum amount to your retirement savings, leveraging the alternative motor vehicle credit, taking mortgage interest deductions which can be used on second and vacation homes, and more.
Several tax deductions and credits High Net Worth Individuals shouldn’t overlook that could add up to a significant tax savings include wealth transfers, paying another’s tuition expenses and/or medical expenses, making charitable contributions, and more.
Untracht Early Assurance Senior Kyle Drost and Tax Senior Olga Lavrinenko sat down with WRRC the Bronc at September 27th’s Rider University Career Fair. Listen to their accounting interview to learn more about our firm, its culture, what we look for in candidates, and some of the current opportunities that are available.
Changes to financial statements preparation requirements provide benefits to those needing the service alongside a greatly improved level of service from preparers. Most significantly, these changes will save your accountant time and you money by eliminating unneeded reports.
This video will provide ways to protect against individual tax identity theft. Tax identify theft for individuals happens when someone uses a stolen social security number to file a tax return claiming a fraudulent refund. You may not know you’ve been a victim until you try to file a return and learn that one’s already been filed in your name.
How can business tax identity theft happen? Business Tax Identity Theft happens when employees’ or customers’ social security numbers and/or business Employer Identification Numbers, also known as EINs, are stolen. This video outlines what to be aware of and what you can do to help in safeguarding against business tax identity theft.
In this Next Up Video, tax supervisor, Matthew Milwicz, discusses potential tax deductible expenses volunteer charitable board members incur out-of-pocket while serving on a board. Find out what expenses can be deducted and which expenses do not qualify in this video.
Tax Supervisor, Matthew Milwicz, offers you insight into the tax deductible expense exceptions for volunteer charitable board members. View the requirements for out-of-pocket expenditures in excess of $250 in this video.
Tax Supervisor, Matthew Milwicz, discusses why charitable volunteer board member expense deductions may be denied in this video. View how out-of-pocket expenses must be incurred in order to qualify as a deduction.
Family Office Services manager, Sandra Repetti, offers insights into the factors you should consider in choosing a family office service provider and how to navigate the service and specialty options available, in this video.
Trust, Gift and Estate Specialist, Rebecca Alicea, discusses how effective estate planning differs from other types of financial planning. This video will explain how the higher 2016 exemption can affect your estate plan, how often to review your estate plan, and a few other things to watch for.
Senior Assurance Managers, discuss some tips you need to consider when preparing for a financial statement audit. This video provides you with five key tips you should follow to ensure you will have faster, more seamless financial statement audit.
Senior Assurance Manager Adam Doctor discusses some important Accounting Standard Updates (ASU’s) that should be implemented soon. This video offers insights on how new Accounting Standard Updates impacting corporations will simplify reporting for them and when they will go into effect.
This video discusses a few important tax considerations when moving from one state to another. You will be provided with five tips on how to establish your new permanent home and clear and convincing evidence you have changed your domicile for tax purposes.
Untracht Early Executive Director Angela Garofalo gives some great advice on getting your personal and financial affairs in order, including where to begin, as well as helpful checklists of personal, legal, and financial information to ensure you’re well prepared.
In this video, Senior Assurance Manager Dennis Murtha discusses when a 401k audit is required. View who’s an eligible participant for a 401k plan and the main areas auditors review when performing audits.