Tax and Accounting Desk

Is your business closing? Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic has forced many to shut down. If this is your situation, we’re here to assist you in any way we can, including taking care of the various tax obligations that must be met.

a sign sitting behind a window with the red words "closed," image used for blog post about business closing during COVID-19 pandemic

Of course, a business must file a final income tax return and some other related forms for the year it closes. The type of return to be filed depends on the type of business you have.

Here’s a rundown of the basic requirements.


Continue Reading The Tax Responsibilities of Your Business Closing

It’s important to schedule internal audits. Fraud doesn’t simply take a vacation during crises, such as the COVID-19 pandemic. If your not-for-profit’s internal controls aren’t effective, crooked individuals can find ways to exploit them and steal from your organization — even if they’re working remotely. Other threats, such as financial shortfalls, might also loom.

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Comprehensive independent audits help assure stakeholders that your not-for-profit is ready for anything that might come its way — including opportunities.


Continue Reading How Internal Audits Can Serve as Risk Mitigation

When a couple gets divorced, taxes are probably not foremost in their minds. But without proper planning and advice, some people find divorce to be an even more taxing experience. Several tax concerns need to be addressed to ensure that taxes are kept to a minimum and that important tax-related decisions are properly made.

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Here are four issues to understand if you’re getting divorced.


Continue Reading 4 Tax Issues Divorced Couples Need to Know

“Accountability” may seem like one of those popular management concepts you know would be nice to implement if your not-for-profit had the time and budget.

graphic image of a green billboard sign with the word "accountability" printed; image used for blog post about not-for-profit accountability

But not only is accountability essential to your not-for-profit’s health and efficacy — affecting everything from donations to grants, hiring to volunteering, board fiduciary duty to employee morale — it’s also easy to adopt.


Continue Reading Make Time for Accountability for Your Not-for-Profit

If you invest in mutual funds, be aware of some potential pitfalls involved in buying and selling shares.

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Surprise Sales
You may already have made taxable “sales” of part of your mutual fund investment without knowing it.

One way this can happen is if your mutual fund allows you to write checks against your fund investment. Every time you write a check against your mutual fund account, you’ve made a partial sale of your interest in the fund. Thus, except for funds such as money market funds, for which share value remains constant, you may have taxable gain (or a deductible loss) when you write a check. And each such sale is a separate transaction that must be reported on your tax return.

Here’s another way you may unexpectedly make a taxable sale.


Continue Reading Avoid Tax Pitfalls of Mutual Funds

It would be an understatement to say 2020 has been challenging. Leaders of not-for-profits still standing are justified in having anxiety and worrying about strained budgets and their ability to deliver on their organization’s promises during a pandemic, financial crisis and time of social and political upheaval.

green and yellow paper forming a speech bubble with an ellipses; image used for blog post about easing not-for-profit staffers' anxiety

Staffers are likely to be just as concerned about the future of your organization and its constituents. Understandably given the current high unemployment rate, many are also worried about their own job security. Now more than ever, you need to be as open and transparent as possible.


Continue Reading How to Help Ease Your Not-for-Profit’s Staffers’ Anxiety

If you’re finally done filing last year’s return, you might wonder: Which tax records can you toss once you’re done?

files and books of paper stacked across a shelf; image used for blog post about keeping tax records or throwing them away

October 15 is the deadline for individual taxpayers who extended their 2019 tax returns. (The original April 15 filing deadline was extended this year to July 15 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.) Now is a good time to go through old tax records and see what you can discard.


Continue Reading Keep Tax Records or Throw Them Away?

IRS audit rates are historically low, according to the latest data, but that’s little consolation if your return is among those selected to be examined. But with proper preparation and planning, you should fare well.

In fiscal year 2019, the IRS audited approximately 0.4% of individuals. Businesses, large corporations and high-income individuals are more likely to be audited but, overall, all types of audits are being conducted less frequently than they were a decade ago.

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There’s no 100% guarantee that you won’t be picked for an audit, because some tax returns are chosen randomly. However, the best way to survive an IRS audit is to prepare for one in advance. On an ongoing basis you should systematically maintain documentation — invoices, bills, cancelled checks, receipts, or other proof — for all items to be reported on your tax returns. Keep all your records in one place. And it helps to know what might catch the attention of the IRS.


Continue Reading Getting Ready for an IRS Audit in Advance

As a result of the current estate tax exemption amount ($11.58 million in 2020), many estates no longer need to be concerned with federal estate tax. Before 2011, a much smaller amount resulted in estate plans attempting to avoid it. Now, because many estates won’t be subject to tax, more planning can be devoted to saving income taxes for your heirs.

one-hundred dollar bills stacked on top of each other; image used for blog post about planning income tax for estate plan

While saving both income and transfer taxes has always been a goal of estate planning, it was more difficult to succeed at both when the estate and gift tax exemption level was much lower.

Here are some strategies to consider.


Continue Reading Plan for Income Taxes as Part of Your Estate Plan