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Key Tax Provisions of the $2 Trillion CARES Act

By Mike Bodrato The Senate voted last night, 96-0, to approve the Coronavirus Aid Relief, and Economic Security Act or the CARES Act, which has more than $2 trillion in spending and tax breaks to assist economically and fund a nationwide effort to stop the coronavirus.  At this writing, the CARES Act is still awaiting House approval and the President’s signature, which is not expected until tomorrow. The bipartisan legislation includes about $500 billion that can be used to back...

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IRS Releases Official Guidance After Treasury Secretary’s Announcement

by Evan Gernant Following Secretary Mnuchin’s earlier announcement, the Treasury Department released guidance on Friday, which supersedes and expands upon the guidance issued earlier this week that gave taxpayers extra time to pay their taxes but not to file. The new guidance provides for the following relief: The filing of 2019 federal income tax returns and the payment of 2019 federal income tax (including tax on self-employment income) due on April 15, 2020, is automatically...

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U.S. Treasury Response to the Coronavirus

by Evan Gernant The Coronavirus has intruded into all facets of our lives.  As we all try to grapple with the uncertainty this situation brings we still find ourselves in the midst of tax filing season, an already stressful time for business owners and other taxpayers. The Treasury Department issued guidance yesterday clarifying Secretary Mnuchin’s announcement on Tuesday that taxpayers can delay income tax payments due April 15, 2020.  The guidance provides that for all taxpayers...

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Elective Business Alternative Income Tax for Pass-Through Entities to Address Federal Limitation on State and Local Deduction

On January 13, 2020, Governor Phil Murphy signed into law Senate Bill 3246 establishing the business alternative income tax, an elective New Jersey business tax for pass-through entities. A corresponding refundable state gross income tax credit is allowed for the owners of the pass-through entities to offset personal or corporate income tax liability.  The pass-through entity tax applies to tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2020.  The intent of the new legislation is to...

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Reading Financial Statements 101 – Quick Tips To Identify Potential Errors

The last thing your company or organization wants is unreliable financial statements. Your partners, investors, lenders and especially your company’s bottom line depend on numbers from your accounting department that you can comprehend and trust. To minimize the potential for errors, make sure that the following criteria are met when reporting your numbers:  Balance Sheet Asset accounts should have debit balances and liability accounts should have credit balances. As long as your...

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The New Partnership Audit Rules Effective January 1, 2018

By Mike Bodrato, CPA, JD As part of the Bipartisan Budget Agreement of 2015, Congress made significant changes in the procedures used by the IRS to conduct partnership audits (including LLCs treated as partnerships) and their partners.  Proposed regulations were issued on January 19, 2017, but prior to being released were withdrawn by executive order.  New proposed regulations were issued on June 14, 2017.  The new partnership audit rules repeal the current regime under the Tax Equity...

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QBI and Guaranteed Payments

While there is much to say about the complexity and application of the new Qualified Business Income (“QBI”) deduction provided under the recently enacted Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, I am going to focus on a narrow aspect of these rules that could have a significant impact on partners and partnerships. Under the new QBI deduction provisions, effective after January 1, 2018, an owner of a sole proprietorship, S corporation or partnership is entitled to a deduction equal to 20% of the “qualified...

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Revamping Your Chart of Accounts

By Wiss Associate In last month’s post, we discussed what your company’s chart of accounts should entail and its prominence to the accounting and financial side of your organization. Now let’s see why and when you should reorganize the information that will make up your chart of accounts. Why to Take Action Your spotless and well-organized accounts will help your company prepare your books for the following activities: Working with your outside accounting advisors for quick and...

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The Benefits of a Clean Chart of Accounts

By Wiss Associate As a business owner or executive, year-end processes and reporting can be a nightmare – but it doesn’t have to be. You don’t need to scramble when your accountant asks for your tax deductible items or when your auditor requests various reports so they can perform testing. It should be a simple process to go into your accounting system and run reports with 100% confidence they are complete and accurate. But how do you know if they are truly complete and accurate?...

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The Importance of Audit Documentation

By Wiss Employee Numbers don’t lie, but they also don’t talk. Instead, clearly documented words in a work paper speak for the numbers, and in the case of audit documentation, this is how an auditor proves to others — including, perhaps, a court of law — that an audit was thoroughly and effectively executed. Despite the critical nature of this task, auditors often question whether the effort it takes to provide sufficient documentation is worth the end result. A competent...

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