Do you want to save more for retirement on a tax-favored basis? If so, and if you qualify, you can make a deductible traditional IRA contribution for the 2018 tax year between now and the tax filing deadline and claim the write-off on your 2018 return. Or you can contribute to a Roth IRA and avoid paying taxes on future withdrawals.

You can potentially make a contribution of up to $5,500 (or $6,500 if you were age 50 or older as of December 31, 2018). If you’re married, your spouse can potentially do the same, thereby doubling your tax benefits.

The deadline for 2018 traditional and Roth contributions for most taxpayers is April 15, 2019 (April 17 for those in Maine and Massachusetts).

There are some ground rules. Continue Reading It’s Not Too Late to Make a Deductible IRA Contribution for 2018

Russ: This is PKF Texas Entrepreneur’s Playbook. I’m Russ Capper, this week’s guest host, and I’m coming to you from the Gulf Coast Regional Family Forum. I’m very pleased to have as my guest now, Richard Gruber, Co-founder and Chief Commercial Officer of MERIT SI. Richard, welcome to the show.

Richard: Thank you, Russ.

Russ: You bet. Tell us about MERIT SI.

Richard: MERIT SI is a two-year-old firm headquartered in Houston. Our focus is developing renewable strategies and solutions for energy, water and chemical companies to help them drive lower costs, reduce their emissions and improve their overall stakeholder awareness.

Russ: Ok. So, renewables, are we talking about solar and wind?

Richard: Principally, solar and solar with battery storage, and typically with advanced controls. And located at their points of demand for these companies, so where they consume it is where we site it.

Continue Reading Solar Energy Can Lower Costs and Reduce Emissions?

As accountants and trusted business advisors, we enjoy working with you to co-create ideas and co-develop innovative solutions for your business. To supplement this, we also want to provide valuable information, including upcoming  Houston events that we support, and think may be of interest to you. 

  • Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship
  • Turnaround Management Association – Lunch Meeting
  • Turnaround Management Association and Network of Women – Happy Hour
  • National Association of Corporate Directors
  • Greater Houston Women’s Chamber of Commerce
If you have questions about any event details or registration information, the organization-specific contacts are below. We hope to see you at any or all of these events!
Spotlight On: Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship

Rice Business Plan Competition 2019 

nullWhen: April 4 – 6, 2019 
Where: McNair Hall, Rice University | 6100 Main St., Houston, TX 77005
What: The Rice Business Plan Competition is the world’s richest and largest graduate-level student startup competition. The competition is designed to give collegiate entrepreneurs a real-world experience to fine tune their business plans and elevator pitches to generate funding to successfully commercialize their product. This is the 19th year for the competition, and PKF Texas has been a supporter since 2002 and will be the official accountants for the 10th year. More…

Event: Mary Lynn Fernau | 713-348-5374 |

Turnaround Management Association
Lunch Meeting April 2019

TMA LogoWhen: Wednesday, April 3, 2019 | 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Junior League of Houston | 1811 Briar Oaks Lane, Houston, TX 77027
What: Join Turnaround Management Association for a lunch meeting about “Leading a Government to Solvency,” with guest speaker, Zack A. Clement, Financial Restructure for Businesses and Governments. One (1) hour of CPE is offered for this program. There is no pre-requisite preparation or experience required. More…

Cost: Members “Early Bird” $50 – Ends Midnight March 31 | Regular Price $65
Non-Members “Early Bird” $70 – Ends Midnight March 31 | Regular Price $85

Register Now button  
 Event Contact: Dale Wilkins | 713-839-0808 |

Turnaround Management Association and Network of Women
Happy Hour April 2019

TMA Logo

When: Wednesday, April 10, 2019 | 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Where: Mastro’s Steakhouse |  1650 W. Loop South, Houston, TX 77027
What: Turnaround Management Association is hosting its next happy hour in April 2019, sponsored by Network of Women. Join the women of TMA for a relaxing two-hour event at Mastro’s Restaurant. Wine, beer and heavy hors-d’oeuvres are included in registration. More…

Cost: Members $30 | Non-Members $50

Register Now button  

Event Contact: Dale Wilkins | 713-839-0808 |

National Association of Corporate Directors
Innovating in a Nonprofit World

When: Thursday, April 11, 2019 | 7:00 a.m. – 9:15 a.m.
Where: Junior League of Houston |  1811 Briar Oaks Lane, Houston, TX 77027
What: Innovating in the nonprofit world comes with its own unique set of challenges and constraints, such as mission, culture, funding, engagement, risk tolerance and lack of vision. Join the National Association of Corporate Directors as they dive into this topic with speakers: Kim Sterling, Sterling Associates; Perryn Leach, Managing Director, Houston Grand Opera; and Pat Jonas, Board Director, Cerebral Palsy Research Foundation. More…

Cost: Members Free | Non-Members $75

Register Now button  
 Event Contact: Becky White | 832-369-7710 |

Greater Houston Women’s Chamber of CommerceGreater Houston Women's Chamber of Commerce Logo
Greater Houston Conference for Women 2019

When: Thursday, April 18, 2019 | 7:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Where: Hilton Americas Hotel | 1600 Lamar St., Houston, TX 77010
What: Join the Greater Houston Women’s Chamber of Commerce for the Greater Houston Conference for Women. Now in its 11th year, the conference is a life-changing experience for attendees and is the perfect opportunity to enhance personal and professional leadership skills, while creating valuable business relationships. This year’s keynote speakers include Tiffany Pham, Founder and CEO, Mogul, and Laurie Fabiano, President, Tory Burch Foundation. More…

Cost: Members $295 | Non-Members $350

Register Now button  
 Event Contact: Suzan Deison |
Additional Upcoming Events

More details coming soon!

  • May 20, 2019 – Greater Houston Partnership – State of the City

Next week, the Rice Business Plan Competition will host its 19th competition on April 4 – 6, 2019. PKF Texas is proud to be supporters once again, as well as the official accountants for the 10th year.

The Rice Business Plan Competition is the world’s richest and largest graduate-level student startup competition. It is hosted and organized by the Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship, which is Rice University’s internationally recognized initiative devoted to the support of entrepreneurship and the Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Business.

The competition has grown from nine teams, competing for $10,000 in prize money in 2001, to 42 teams from around the world, competing for more than $1.5 million in cash and prizes today.

We’ll be posting live updates from the Saturday night banquet, so make sure to follow our social media channels:

For more details, visit

Required minimum distributions (RMDs) are the amounts you’re legally required to withdraw from your qualified retirement plans and traditional IRAs after reaching age 70½. If you participate in a qualified retirement plan, such as a 401(k), you must generally begin taking required withdrawals from the plan no later than April 1 of the year after which you turn age 70½.

However, there’s an exception that applies to certain plan participants who are still working for the entire year in which they turn 70½.

Continue Reading Understanding Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs)

Jen: This is the PKF Texas Entrepreneur’s Playbook. I’m Jen Lemanski, and I’m back again with Frank Landreneau, one of our International Tax Directors. Frank, welcome back to The Playbook.

Frank: Thanks, Jen. It’s great to be back.

Jen: We’ve been talking about IC-DISC, and last time we talked about tax reform. What’s changed strategy wise since before tax reform and now after tax reform?

Frank: I think with IC-DISC it’s kind of a Back to the Future type of thing, because when the IC-DISC came out, it was really meant to be a deferral tactic and to really get tax advantages, because you’re deferring the recognition of the IC-DISC income, or really, the export income. Continue Reading Your IC-DISC Strategy: Does it Need to Change?

K Carpenter Associates Inc. (KCA) is hosting its first Houston Energy Breakfast of the year on Friday, March 29, 2019 – “Evolving in the Energy Sector Means…” Once again, PKF Texas is a proud sponsor of this “can’t miss” networking event.

Attendees will hear from a lineup of speakers who offer their insight on sectors in oil, natural gas, power and renewable industries. The March edition speakers include:

  • Trent Lee, Managing Director, Gulf Coast Region, Schlumberger
  • Ramanan Krishnamoorti, Chief Energy Officer, UH Energy
  • T. Dukes, Research Director, Wood Mackenzie
  • Todd Abbott, VP Resource Plays South, Marathon Oil

The next Houston Energy Breakfast is later this Fall, on Friday, September 20, 2019, so don’t forget to save the date!

For full details on the Houston Energy Breakfast, visit

A celebrity — whether they’re Hollywood stars, hometown sports heroes or local TV news anchors — can provide a big boost to the not-for-profits they publicly support. The flip side is that stars can also harm an organization by association.

Accusations connected with the #MeToo movement and other crises have recently brought down many famous people and, in some cases, caused major headaches for the charities they’ve supported.

Continue Reading Not-for-Profits: Know Who You’re Partnering With

If you’re the parent of a child who is age 17 to 23, and you pay all (or most) of his or her expenses, you may be surprised to learn you’re not eligible for the child tax credit.

But there’s a dependent tax credit that may be available to you. It’s not as valuable as the child tax credit, but when you’re saving for college or paying tuition, every dollar counts!

Continue Reading How You (and Your College Student) Qualify for Dependent Tax Credit