Are you a charitably minded individual who is also taking distributions from a traditional IRA? You may want to consider the tax advantages of making a cash donation to an IRS-approved charity out of your IRA. When distributions are taken directly out of traditional IRAs, federal income tax of up to 37% in 2022 will have to be paid. State income taxes may also be owed. Qualified charitable distributions One popular way to transfer IRA assets to charity is via a tax provision that allows IRA owners who are age 70½ or older to direct up to $100,000 per year of their IRA distributions to charity. These distributions are known as qualified charitable distributions (QCDs). The money given to charity counts toward your required minimum distributions (RMDs) but doesn’t increase your adjusted gross income (AGI) or generate a tax bill. Keeping the donation out of your AGI may be important...[ Read More ]
The downturn in the stock market may have caused the value of your retirement account to decrease. But if you have a traditional IRA, this decline may provide a valuable opportunity: It may allow you to convert your traditional IRA to a Roth IRA at a lower tax cost. Traditional vs. Roth Here’s what makes a traditional IRA different from a Roth IRA: Traditional IRA. Contributions to a traditional IRA may be deductible, depending on your modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) and whether you (or your spouse) participate in a qualified retirement plan, such as a 401(k). Funds in the account can grow tax deferred. On the downside, you generally must pay income tax on withdrawals. In addition, you’ll face a penalty if you withdraw funds before age 59½ — unless you qualify for a handful of exceptions — and you’ll face an even larger penalty if you don’t take your...[ Read More ]
Business owners are aware that the price of gas is historically high, which has made their vehicle costs soar. The average nationwide price of a gallon of unleaded regular gas on June 17 was $5, compared with $3.08 a year earlier, according to the AAA Gas Prices website. A gallon of diesel averaged $5.78 a gallon, compared with $3.21 a year earlier. Fortunately, the IRS is providing some relief. The tax agency announced an increase in the optional standard mileage rate for the last six months of 2022. Taxpayers may use the optional cents-per-mile rate to calculate the deductible costs of operating a vehicle for business. For the second half of 2022 (July 1–December 31), the standard mileage rate for business travel will be 62.5 cents per mile, up from 58.5 cents per mile for the first half of the year (January 1–June 30). There are different standard mileage rates...[ Read More ]
Starting in fiscal year 2022, all entities — except nonprofit organizations in the scope of Topic 958, Not-for-Profit Entities, and employee benefit plans — must provide detailed disclosures about government assistance. Here are the details of the new rules. Defining government assistance The term “government assistance” may refer to perks and other incentives policymakers provide to lure large companies to establish a business in their states. The goal of these incentives is to drive economic growth by boosting jobs for residents. However, government assistance can take many forms because there are many types of governments, related entities and enterprises authorized by governments to administer assistance for them. Examples of government assistance transactions include grants of assets, tax assistance, low-interest-rate loans, loan guarantees and forgiveness of liabilities. The COVID-19 pandemic significantly increased the number of entities receiving assistance and the level of government funding provided. Following new rules Accounting Standards Update (ASU) 2021-10, Government...[ Read More ]
Is your board staring at financial red flags without knowing it? Although some warning signs — such as those experienced when the pandemic first hit — are obvious, others are easy to overlook. Here are several signs of trouble that board members need to be aware of and prepared to act on. Unexplained variances and other budget issues Certain budget-related issues may hint at rocky financial times to come. Having no budget is a flashing red light and suggests an undisciplined approach to fiscal matters. But assuming management has submitted a budget, your board should ensure it’s in line with board-developed and approved strategies. Once a budget has been okayed, your board needs to compare it to actual results for unexplained variances. Some discrepancies are bound to happen, but staff should explain significant differences. There may be a reasonable explanation, such as program expansion, funding changes or macroeconomic factors. But...[ Read More ]
  The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) was signed into law on November 15, 2021. It includes new information reporting requirements that will generally apply to digital asset transactions starting in 2023. Cryptocurrency exchanges will be required to perform intermediary Form 1099 reporting for cryptocurrency transactions. Existing reporting rules If you have a stock brokerage account, whenever you sell stock or other securities, you receive a Form 1099-B after the end of the year. Your broker uses the form to report transaction details such as sale proceeds, relevant dates, your tax basis and the character of gains or losses. In addition, if you transfer stock from one broker to another broker, the old broker must furnish a statement with relevant information, such as tax basis, to the new broker. Digital asset broker reporting The IIJA expands the definition of brokers who must furnish Forms 1099-B to include businesses that...[ Read More ]

The Ins and Outs of IRAs

Posted June 9, 2022

Traditional IRAs and Roth IRAs have been around for decades and the rules surrounding them have changed many times. What hasn’t changed is that they can help you save for retirement on a tax-favored basis. Here’s an overview. Traditional IRAs You can make an annual deductible contribution to a traditional IRA if: You (and your spouse) aren’t active participants in employer-sponsored retirement plans, or You (or your spouse) are active participants in an employer plan, and your modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) doesn’t exceed certain levels that vary annually by filing status. For example, in 2022, if you’re a joint return filer covered by an employer plan, your deductible IRA contribution phases out over $109,000 to $129,000 of MAGI ($68,000 to $78,000 for singles). Deductible IRA contributions reduce your current tax bill, and earnings are tax-deferred. However, withdrawals are taxed in full (and subject to a 10% penalty if taken before age...[ Read More ]
The use of a company vehicle is a valuable fringe benefit for owners and employees of small businesses. This perk results in tax deductions for the employer as well as tax breaks for the owners and employees using the cars. (And of course, they get the nontax benefit of getting a company car.) Plus, current tax law and IRS rules make the benefit even better than it was in the past. The rules in action Let’s say you’re the owner-employee of a corporation that’s going to provide you with a company car. You need the car to visit customers, meet with vendors and check on suppliers. You expect to drive the car 8,500 miles a year for business. You also expect to use the car for about 7,000 miles of personal driving, including commuting, running errands and weekend trips. Therefore, your usage of the vehicle will be approximately 55% for...[ Read More ]
Most not-for-profits encourage donors to make unrestricted contributions that will give the organization flexibility to use the money where it’s needed most. But there will always be some donors who place restrictions on their gifts — and these require a higher level of responsibility. If your nonprofit fails to use a restricted donation as intended, it’s possible the donor will request its return, potentially resorting to legal means. Even worse, other donors may hear about the situation and decide your organization doesn’t deserve their support. So you need to handle restricted gifts with kid gloves. Accountability is key Proper tracking of restricted donations is a vital part of the accountability and transparency your supporters expect. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach for tracking restricted contributions. You need to develop and consistently apply well-defined procedures that suit your circumstances. However, in general, nonprofits should train employees to properly identify and label incoming restricted...[ Read More ]

Preparations vs. Compilations

Posted May 19, 2022

Your business needs financial statements so management can monitor performance, attract investment capital and borrow money from a bank or other lender. But not all financial statements are created equal. Audited statements are considered the “gold standard” in financial reporting. While public companies are required to issue audited statements, smaller, privately held organizations have options. CPAs provide three other types of financial statements, which, in order of descending level of diligence, are: reviews, compilations and preparations. Here’s some insight into the newest and most basic financial reporting service available to private businesses — preparations — and how these engagements differ from compilations. Preparations Financial statement preparations are often created as part of bookkeeping or tax-related work. While some lenders may accept preparations in support of small lending arrangements, preparations are generally reserved for internal purposes to provide information on the business’s current financial condition and as a basis of comparison against future...[ Read More ]