The new tax reform law, commonly called the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act” (TCJA), is the biggest federal tax law overhaul in 31 years, and it has both good and bad news for taxpayers.
Below are highlights of some of the most significant changes affecting individual and business taxpayers. Except where noted, these changes are effective for tax years beginning after December 31, 2017. (more…)
By Abe Livchitz, CPA, Senior Tax Manager
For many years San Jose required residential landlords with rentals within the city to pay an annual Business (License) Tax. A license was required if the landlord owned three or more residential rentals. In March, 2016 voters passed Measure G which “modernized” the city’s Business License rules effective July 1, 2017. The exception for property owners holding one or two residential rental properties was eliminated. As a result all taxpayer’s owning residential rental property within San Jose must register for and pay the $195 San Jose Business License Tax. Registration under measure G was required prior to September 30, 2017 but the City has extended the deadline until December 15th. The City will waive penalties and interest if property owners register and pay their Business License Tax prior to December 15th. Registration and payment can be made on-line at:
Measure G also increased the tax rates and maximum tax imposed on commercial landlords and mobile home park owners.
By Jackie Phan, CPA, Tax Manager
ASL Family Wealth & Individual Tax Group
The season of giving is almost upon us, but will generosity to friends and family trigger a gift tax return filing requirement? The main tax advantage of gifting during your lifetime is the removal of assets that would otherwise be included in your gross estate and be subject to federal estate tax upon your passing. But even if your estate is under the current estate tax filing threshold of $5.49 million per taxpayer for 2017 (or $5.6 million in 2018), you may still be required to report gifts you made during the tax year. The annual gift tax return, IRS Form 709, is due April 15th following the calendar year the reportable gifts were made.
By Deepa Bhat, CPA, Principal & Carol Wagner, CPA, Principal
ASL Assurance & Accounting
No time like the present to prepare a game plan for the new revenue recognition standard. To ensure a smooth transition from your current approach, be sure to explore all available resources, read and review practical guidance to understand how these new standards affect your business practices and then develop your implementation strategy. A brief overview of this process is outlined here:
Revenue Recognition Standard and Timeline
By Jeff Faust, CVA, Director of Valuation Services
ASL Business Valuation Services
Earlier this year we wrote about the looming regulations affecting valuation discounts under the IRS Proposed Section 2704 Regulations. The proposed regulations would have curbed valuation discounts, resulting in increased estate taxes on the deaths of owners of family businesses.
The Treasury, after extensive deliberation in furtherance of the policies stated in Executive Order 13789, decided to withdraw these regulations entirely for the following reasons: (more…)
By Samantha Ramirez, CPA, Tax Manager
ASL Nonprofit Group
Several questions on the Federal Form 990, Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax, ask about the existence of certain governance policies. While these questions may seem insignificant, the implications of not having these policies in place could be detrimental to the organization. This article will briefly discuss what these policies are and why they are important. (more…)
By Deepa Bhat, CPA, Audit Principal
ASL Construction Group
These days, a lot of our business gets done on mobile devices, whether we are checking e-mail, tracking appointments or even reviewing plans and paperwork. Smartphones and tablets have given us the ability to accomplish as much in the field as we would at our desk. This is especially true if you are working in the construction industry as you are likely always on the go and moving from site to site.
Being able to manage your people and projects from the field may be convenient, but it also introduces new security concerns. Malware and viruses designed to steal information and, in some cases, your money are becoming more prevalent on mobile devices. Distractions at the job site can also cause you to let your guard down, leaving you vulnerable to scams and other attacks. (more…)
By Jyothi Chillara, CPA, Senior Tax Manager
ASL Emerging Business Group
Crowdfunding is a method of raising financing for projects from the public via crowdfunding platforms and social media. Some of the most common crowdfunding platforms are Kickstarter, Indiegogo and GoFundMe. According to Investopedia, Kickstarter has raised over $2 billion since 2009.
Forbes predicts that crowdfunding eventually will surpass venture capital for investing. According to Business News Daily, ““Crowdfunding is here to stay. By 2025, the global crowdfunding market potential could be between $90 billion and $96 billion,” said Bill Clerico, co-founder and CEO of WePay, citing data from the World Bank.” (more…)
By Tony Dai, CPA, Senior Tax Manager
ASL Technology Group
The Social Security Administration announced that the maximum wages in 2018 subject to the 6.2% Social Security tax, or “FICA”, will rise from $127,200 to $128,700, an increase of just over 1%. The FUTA (Federal Unemployment Tax Act) taxable wages ($7,000) is expected to remain unchanged. It is important to calculate both FICA and FUTA taxes correctly when an employee has multiple employers during the year. (more…)