Tax Update: October 2019

TRENDING IN TAX

Emerging issues for the family office
From taxation complexity to understanding cyberthreats, what are today’s top five concerns for family offices?
Family offices come in all shapes and sizes and the differences from one to another can be vast. It’s been said that if you’ve seen one family office, you’ve truly seen just one family office. From single-generation members focused on mutual goals to a multigenerational family with complex interests and diverging investment and philanthropic objectives, variations of the family office construct are endless.

State and local gross receipts taxes a new trend in state tax law
Recent activity among state and local gross receipts taxes may signify that a historic approach to taxation is ready to be a new trend.
As states continue to face the uncertain impact of federal tax reform on their budgets, a possible downturn in the economy, and several years of lackluster state and local tax collections, many state legislatures have been considering new (or bringing back old) methods of revenue generation. In addition to rolling back spending, increasing tax rates, and broadening sales tax bases, one trend that may be developing is state and local gross receipts taxes. Gross receipts taxes are generally levied on a company’s gross receipts instead of its net income and are imposed with a low tax rate on a broad tax base with fewer exemptions and deductions than an income tax.

 

State and local gross receipts taxes a new trend in state tax law

 

Source: RSM US LLP
Used with permission as a member of the RSM US Alliance
https://rsmus.com/what-we-do/services/tax/additional-tax-resources/tax-ideas-insights.html

Disclaimer

At Insero, we make it our business to stay abreast of the latest trends and technical updates in accounting, tax, and audit; and we understand how important timely updates are to our clients. As a member of the RSM US Alliance, we also have the benefit of access to the resources and subject matter experts of RSM US LLP (formerly known as McGladrey LLP). This includes regular updates on the latest federal, state, and international tax news as well as updates pertaining to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. We hope that you find these informative and useful, and invite you to reach out to us if you have any questions.

Tax Update: September 2019

TRENDING IN TAX

Qualified opportunity funds: Estate and gift tax planning implications
Exploring ways to incorporate qualified opportunity fund (QOF) investments into your overall estate and gift tax plan. While it is certainly possible to do some effective wealth transfer planning with QOFs, these assets provide a narrower bandwidth for planning than many other types of assets. Here is an overview of the essential estate and gift tax planning aspects of QOFs.

Opportunity knocks, will investors answer the call?
The IRS and Treasury Department released the second round of Qualified Opportunity Zone (OZ) regulations that may spur taxpayer confidence and financial implications will drive investment and set the stage for capital deployment into these designated areas. The OZ program also offers a large incentive related to those investments held at least 10 years.

U.S. partners to determine their own GILTI inclusion
Final regulations issued in late June 2019 on GILTI inclusion could have a considerably differently impact on PE and VC fund structures. GILTI is a new anti-deferral provision of the U.S. tax law that results in current taxation of offshore earnings for U.S. shareholders of a controlled foreign corporation (CFC) regardless of whether the income is distributed or retained offshore.

 

Estate and gift tax planning implications exploring ways to incorporate qualified opportunity fund investments

 

Source: RSM US LLP
Used with permission as a member of the RSM US Alliance
https://rsmus.com/what-we-do/services/tax/additional-tax-resources/tax-ideas-insights.html

Disclaimer

At Insero, we make it our business to stay abreast of the latest trends and technical updates in accounting, tax, and audit; and we understand how important timely updates are to our clients. As a member of the RSM US Alliance, we also have the benefit of access to the resources and subject matter experts of RSM US LLP (formerly known as McGladrey LLP). This includes regular updates on the latest federal, state, and international tax news as well as updates pertaining to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. We hope that you find these informative and useful, and invite you to reach out to us if you have any questions.

Employee or Independent Contractor: Know the Difference!

Are some of your workers independent contractors instead of employees? Correctly classifying your workers will preserve the tax breaks that come with hiring independent contractors — and help you avoid major penalties.

Why it matters

Employers are required to withhold taxes for employees and pay the employer’s share of payroll taxes on wages. These amounts are reported to the IRS, as well as state tax obligations. An employer may also be liable for fringe benefits for eligible employees, like health insurance and matching 401(k) contributions.

Conversely, an employer doesn’t have to withhold or pay taxes on behalf of independent contractors. These workers take care of taxes, insurance and other benefits on their own.This is why the IRS pays special attention to how workers are classified.

Control is key. Generally, the issue boils down to control. If an employer maintains behavioral and financial control over a worker, he or she should be treated as an employee. Independent contractors, on the other hand, have a high level of autonomy and independence over the work being performed.

Avoid misclassification

The stakes are high. If the IRS discovers a misclassification, it will assess back taxes for the tax years in question, plus interest and penalties. For an intentional error, criminal sanctions may be imposed.

Here’s what an employer can do to avoid the IRS challenging an independent contractor classification:

  • Understand the tax rules. If you exercise a great deal of control over workers, they are likely to be considered employees.
  • Be specific. Spell out the services to be performed by independent contractors, their responsibilities and the expectations in a written contract.
  • Keep work schedules flexible. Avoid setting a regular work schedule for independent contractors. Allow them the ability to set their own hours.
  • Maintain separate payment practices. Compensate independent contractors on a per-job basis. Don’t pay them a regular amount each payroll period, like you do employees.
  • Review work arrangements periodically. Request invoices from independent contractors before payments are made.
  • Be careful about benefits. You don’t need to cover independent contractors under a health insurance plan or provide other fringe benefits that are typically given to employees.

Keep in mind that an employer that has experienced misclassification issues may qualify for tax penalty relief if it can establish it has a reasonable basis for treating workers as independent contractors. This is based on various factors and past history. Back taxes and penalties may be waived if the employer has been consistent in its treatment.

Call us if you have questions about your business situation.

definition of employee vs. indpenedent contractor in the dictionary

As always, we hope you find our tips and news for businesses valuable, and look forward to receiving your feedback. Companies focused on growth have sought the help of Insero & Co. for more than 40 years. During that time they have consistently experienced the peace of mind that comes from knowing their CPA firm takes the concept of integrity seriously. Should you have any questions, please contact us directly.

Tax Update: August 2019

TRENDING IN TAX

Cash balance plans may boost benefits for small business owners
Small business owners may be able to increase tax-beneficial retirement contributions with a combination 401(k) cash balance plan. While 401(k) plans are in wide use, cash balances plans and their potential for significant wealth accumulation for owners may be new to most people.

California enacts changes to recent remote seller provisions
California amends the effective date for district remote seller nexus requirements; offers penalty relief for certain marketplace sellers. California is offering a limited penalty abatement to retailers with “inventory nexus” for sales made between April 1, 2016 and March 31, 2019.

New tax transparency rules will have an impact on the auto industry
The work of the OECD regarding tax transparency has been substantial. The new rules will affect car manufacturers in particular, as they represent the industry with the largest volume of intercompany transactions.

10 success tips for the family business and its next generation
Get key tips for bringing the next generation into the family business. Here are some lessons learned and tips that, if addressed, are likely to improve the likelihood that your business can be one of those success stories where the next generation develops the right traits to propel the enterprise to greater heights.

 

Cash balance plans may boost benefits for small business owners

 

Source: RSM US LLP
Used with permission as a member of the RSM US Alliance
https://rsmus.com/what-we-do/services/tax/additional-tax-resources/tax-ideas-insights.html

Disclaimer

At Insero, we make it our business to stay abreast of the latest trends and technical updates in accounting, tax, and audit; and we understand how important timely updates are to our clients. As a member of the RSM US Alliance, we also have the benefit of access to the resources and subject matter experts of RSM US LLP (formerly known as McGladrey LLP). This includes regular updates on the latest federal, state, and international tax news as well as updates pertaining to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. We hope that you find these informative and useful, and invite you to reach out to us if you have any questions.

Insero Names New Tax Partner

Insero & Co. CPAs has announced that Douglas D. Stark has been admitted as a partner in the firm’s Tax Department based in Rochester. He joins Insero with over 35 years of diversified tax and accounting experience serving privately-held businesses, family offices and high net worth individuals.

His areas of specialization include tax and estate planning, business acquisitions and divestitures, family office services, succession planning and wealth transfer strategies. Stark began his career at Deloitte & Touche, where he eventually became partner before making the move to private industry. He has a broad base of diversified business experience working with startups through late stage multi-generational businesses and their owners.

Douglas Stark, Tax Partner at Insero & Co. CPAs

“Doug has a wealth of knowledge to share and our clients will see a great benefit from his return to public accounting,” said Nancy Catarisano, Managing Partner of Insero & Co. CPAs. “With our firm’s growth and the increasing complexities associated with changes in tax law, we are glad to have Doug on our team.”

Stark is a graduate of Houghton College, where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and the Rochester Institute of Technology where he received a Master of Science in Accounting.

Rochester-based Insero & Co. CPAs is an accounting and business advisory practice with five locations serving New York state. A full-service public accounting firm, Insero provides attest, tax and consulting services to government agencies, colleges and universities, non-profit organizations and businesses ranging from privately held family businesses to multi-national corporations. These clients represent many industries, including service, manufacturing, distribution, high-tech, telecommunications, education, social services and real estate. For more information, visit www.inserocpa.com.

Tax Update: September 2018

Tax Reform
A closer look at the new pass-through deduction proposed regulations
Initial thoughts, observations and insights on several key areas of the new pass-through deduction proposed regulations.

Trending in Tax

Wayfair, sales tax, and economic presence laws
Economic sales and use tax nexus laws are gaining momentum as states make a direct challenge to traditional physical presence standards.

How to structure executive compensation in a competitive market
Effective executive compensation includes strategy, a mix of components and metrics closely aligned with the organization’s goals.

Ninth Circuit finds transferee liability in asset sale
Former shareholders found liable for tax from asset sale as transferees because the subsequent stock sale lacked economic substance.

 

Book on desk open with pen

Source: RSM US LLP
Used with permission as a member of the RSM US Alliance
http://rsmus.com/our-insights/newsletters/tax-digest.html

Disclaimer

At Insero, we make it our business to stay abreast of the latest trends and technical updates in accounting, tax, and audit; and we understand how important timely updates are to our clients. As a member of the RSM US Alliance, we also have the benefit of access to the resources and subject matter experts of RSM US LLP (formerly known as McGladrey LLP). This includes regular updates on the latest federal, state, and international tax news. We hope that you find these informative and useful, and invite you to reach out to us if you have any questions.

Now is a Great Time to Revisit Your Will

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is making a dramatic impact on will drafting. There are many changes, but one of the most impactful is that the estate tax, gift tax, and generation skipping tax lifetime exclusion has been doubled for years beginning in 2018 and ending on December 31, 2025. If your will was drafted before the TCJA was signed into law on December 22, 2017, there is a chance that your estate planning goals will not be accomplished by your current will structure. You may be leaving too much or too little to an intended loved one or charity.

For example, if your will contains a provision leaving your children an amount equaling your available federal estate tax exclusion with your remaining or excess assets going to your spouse, there is a possibility that your spouse will not receive the amount you originally intended her/him to receive when you pass away. This is because the lifetime exclusion amount has increased from $5,490,000 to $11,180,000 per taxpayer. In essence, your children may potentially receive an amount that is twice what you intended when you drafted your will. If your total assets do not exceed $11,180,000, your spouse will not get a dime pursuant to your will.

Photo of paper reading last will and testament with a fountain pen

If you are charitably inclined, there is also a possibility that charities may not receive what you intended under your will. For instance, if your will states that your children will receive an amount equal to your remaining lifetime exclusion and that your remaining wealth should go to named charities, the charities may receive fewer assets (or even nothing), depending on the value of your estate. If the value of your estate is less than $11,180,000, the charities will not get a dime.

As you can see, it is important to meet with your estate planning team regarding your current will to ensure your wishes are still being met under the new law. Insero’s Estates & Trusts Group can work together with you and your attorney to help ensure your wishes are met. Contact us today to learn more about our team and how we can help.