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Common Accounting Terms Explained

By Louann Cassano Feel like your accountant is speaking another language? We won’t make you feel that way. Here are some common accounting terms to help you sound like an accounting pro: The Balance Sheet is the financial statement that includes your assets, liabilities and equity.  Assets always equal Liabilities plus Equity. Income Statement (also known as the P&L) is the financial statement that includes your sales and expenses.  The expenses are subtracted from sales to arrive...

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Here’s Why Your Tax Refund Might Not Be What it Once Was

Updated 7/30/2019. This 2018 U.S. federal tax filing season, the good news might actually be the smaller refunds seen by many Americans. However, you might be understandably hard to convince if you, your employees or family members fall into this category. At this point in the tax return season, many are dismayed to find their refunds are smaller than expected. Or non-existent, in the case of those shocked to find that they owe more. Spoiler alert: the culprit is most likely to be...

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3 Areas Contractors Should Focus on to be Successful in 2019

By Timothy Kennedy As we formally say good bye to 2018, we enter a new year that brings lots of promise. In order to seize the opportunities that will be presented to you in 2019, consider solidifying your approach to the following areas of your business: Accounting software A robust accounting software that is customized for your needs is a must in 2019. Contractors have unique needs that need to be addressed in order to have an accurate financial picture. Some of the items that...

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Trust Nexus Tax Case on SC Docket Could Have Wide Ranging Implications

By Arfa Scott Following its June 2018 decision in Wayfair, the U.S. Supreme Court continues to focus on cases that deal with how much taxation states can impose and in what circumstances.  In January 2019, the nation’s highest court agreed to look at under what circumstances a state can impose its income tax on a trust by granting certiorari in the case of North Carolina Dept. of Revenue v. Kaestner Family Trust. The Kaestner Trust case involves a New York trust whose only contact...

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HR ALERT: NJ Paid Family Leave

Governor Murphy has yet again signed a bill into law providing New Jersey employees with greater benefits. This new law expands the already existing paid family leave program in New Jersey, which has been in place since 2009. The existing program has provided paid leave to workers for up to six weeks, at a benefit equal to two-thirds of their pay, with a maximum benefit of $650 per week. Under this new law, which takes effect July 1, 2020, employees will be able to take 12 weeks...

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Inventory Management Systems

By David Singletary Are you still using Excel spreadsheets to keep track of your company’s inventory? You’ll know it’s time to upgrade when your business grows to the point where you or your people are spending way too much time inputting static data. A good inventory management system should do the heavy lifting. Here are a few features and capabilities a good solution should offer. Multiple costing method options — You shouldn’t be limited to just one method of calculating...

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HR ALERT: NJ Minimum Wage Increase

Updated February 4, 2019 Governor Murphy has now signed the bill raising the minimum wage in New Jersey, something we have started to see in other states.  The state’s legislature had only passed the bill last week, but Governor Murphy quickly signed it, having been a strong advocate for this change. The new law will raise the minimum wage in increments.  The first increase is set for July 1, 2019 when it rises to $10 an hour for most workers, with future increases each year in January...

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The Critical Importance of Effective Cybersecurity in Your Business

Updated 7/30/2019. Cybersecurity does not offer a return on investment — unless you count stable client relations, peace of mind, insurance against the financial, and public relations disaster that can result from digital criminal activity. In other words, cybersecurity is something that your business will hardly notice if it’s functioning well, and deeply regret if it goes wrong. Harmful effects from data breaches Data breach can be a crisis for your business in a number...

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Retirement Savings and Tax Deduction Strategies for 2018 Filers

Whether you’re self-employed or working for someone else, tax filing season is a great excuse to start thinking about strategies to lower your taxable income and maximize your retirement savings. You still have time. You have until April 15 to make contributions to your retirement accounts and have it apply to the 2018 tax year. If you file for an extension, your deadline for doing this in 2019 is October 15. The following information will be especially useful if you discover or...

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Why Your Business Should Embrace Digital Transformation

Updated 7/30/2019. The term “digital transformation” probably sounds a bit intimidating. Like something beyond your capabilities and a drag on your business in trying to undertake it. So let’s start with a basic definition that’s not quite so off-putting. Digital transformation is simply your efforts to integrate digital technology into all areas of your business. The right mix of digital technology solutions will make your company run smoother and more productively internally, and...

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12 Days of Self-Care – Day 12: Paul Lembo

When you hear about self-care, the first things that usually come to mind are exercising, spending time with family and friends and other types of activities that make you feel at peace. Don’t get me wrong, I love hanging out with my daughter just as much as the next dad, maybe more. I also try very hard to be in the gym 4-5 days a week. However, there is one hobby that I participate in which most people probably don’t think of when they talking about self-care. In fact, I am willing...

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12 Days of Self-Care – Day 11: Laura Grigoriew

In this fast paced world that we live in it is far too easy to forget about self-care. As the holiday season and year end approaches, the to-do lists are only getting longer which is why I love working for a company who cares about prioritizing self-care on that list! When I think of self-care, I think of the pre-flight safety cards that stress the importance of putting your own oxygen mask on first. My favorite form of self-care is backcountry camping. Day hikes are great for a...

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12 Days of Self-Care – Day 10: Floriana Allen

I have many way that I de-compress after a stressful day at work.  I love being outdoors and being physically active and I am very lucky that my family wants to participate.  We go for long bike rides, take our dog for a walk, play basketball, play soccer, go swimming, etc.  There is something about the fresh air outside that rejuvenates and energies us as the same time creating memorable memories. I really enjoy cooking with my family. My daughter especially loves assisting me and...

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Denial of Expense Deductions for Marijuana Businesses Is Reinforced

In the most recent in a now developing line of Tax Court cases involving the application of Section 280E of the Internal Revenue Code, a hard blow struck the ever-expanding cannabis industry.  In Patients Mutual Assistance Collective Corp. (dba Harborside Health Center) (“Harborside”), v. Commissioner, 151 T.C. No. 11 (November 29, 2018), the Tax Court rejected a variety of arguments in support of ordinary and necessary business deductions and costs of goods sold taken by a taxpayer...

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12 Days of Self-Care – Day 9: Carol Mott

The most wonderful time of the year has arrived and with it most often comes the most stressful time of year! Especially during this time of year, we need self-care or as I like to refer to it “me” time. This does not come easy for me. It’s something I need to make a conscious effort to do. One way I practice self-care is by exercising. Sometimes I may do it alone and other times I’ll do it with a friend. Either way, I always feel better after doing it. Spending time with my girlfriends...

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12 Days of Self-Care – Day 8: Jill Clancy

Christmas is my favorite time of year. It has so much magic, a peaceful glow of love surrounds it. The joy and memories it brings to my family is everlasting. With that being said please don’t think my home looks like it came out of a HGTV Christmas Special! I have never been an overall “Martha Stewart” type of person. In that I mean, I can cook with the best of them but when it comes to crafts, decorating and gift wrapping I fall short. So I play to my strengths, shopping and cooking. Shopping...

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Update – “Parking Tax” Alert! Interim Guidance Released

By: Linda Curro and Diana Miller On December 10th, the IRS issued Notice 2018-99 (“Notice”) addressing guidance with respect to the tax treatment of qualified transportation fringe (“QTF”) benefits; specifically how employers should determine the amount of any nondeductible parking expense for employer provided parking.  The Notice has provided guidance as to the disallowed parking expenses associated with the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act which currently disallows certain employer...

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12 Days of Self-Care – Day 7: Jay Jenco

Self-care is important, and it’s something that is easy to under prioritize in our busy lives. We spend most of the day working and doing things for others, and it’s important to take care of yourself. There are a few activities I do in order unwind and relax. Every day, I take my dog on long walks/runs early in the morning and late at night. This is time I use to clear my head, listen to music, catch up on podcasts, think or nothing at all. It’s my time alone (with the dog), and...

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12 Days of Self-Care – Day 4: Lauren Stella

Christmas is my favorite time of the year, even though I often feel some stress in those last days of trying to find the perfect gift!  During the holidays, or any stressful time, I have a few favorite activities that I lean on for self-care. The first, and most helpful, is spending time with my fiancé and our families. I am extremely family-oriented and always do my best to spend as much time with family as I can. I can always depend on my fiancé for a good laugh, my parents and...

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2019 Maximum Limitations for Retirement Plans

The IRS has announced that the amounts employees can contribute to retirement plans will increase in 2019.  Following is a table detailing some of those increases:     – Source – Notice 2018-83 (https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-drop/n-18-83.pdf)   Provided by Wiss’ Employee Benefit Plan Group Craig R. Erickson – Partner Cindy Sandomenico – Director Laura Zindel – Manager   Craig Erickson is the Partner-in-Charge of our Employee Benefit Plan Group where...

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12 Days of Self-Care – Day 6: Lexie Chen

Self-care is extremely important, especially in an industry like ours.  As such, I try to do everything in my power to ensure that my work/life balance is in check. During the off seasons, when I have more time to myself, I try to unwind by doing the things that I love: eating good food, spending time with the people I care about, travelling and trying to find new and exciting adventures in the area and abroad! I love to try different cuisines with my family and friends and living...

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12 Days of Self-Care – Day 5: David Singletary

I have many ways in which I can unwind after a stressful day at work. From exercise to cooking, a lot of my favorite things to do also help me relax. Working out, keeps me energized and feeling good. With all the to-dos we have during the day, it’s an easy one to check off the list. When the weather is nice, I like to take walks, either at work around the building or at home through my neighborhood. It’s always nice to stop and smell the roses when things get hectic. I also always...

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12 Days of Self-Care – Day 1: Steve Nation

Self-care to me is making good decisions, living a healthy and active lifestyle and spending time with family and friends. This starts with making good food choices, foods that are low in carbs, starches and fat.  Don’t get me wrong, there is definitely some pizza going down but it’s in moderation. Living an active lifestyle is important. I do group fitness classes with my wife; it’s fun to spend time together and push each other.  I also lift weights and walk for miles wearing a...

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12 Days of Self-Care – Day 2: Michael Suserman

If the question what do I do for self-care was asked to me two years ago, my answer would instantly be: sports, sports, and sports.  Playing sports, watching sports, and talking about sports has always taken my mind off everything and has helped me find a peace of mind as this is mostly all I did growing up.  But two years later, if you asked me the same question, the number one factor in my self-care is someone who means everything to me in my life, my nephew, Justin. I never knew...

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12 Days of Self-Care – Day 3: Mary Pratt

For me the best way to de-stress, unclutter the mind and strengthen the body is to take a hike out in the woods. It’s so peaceful to be away from everything, phone off (normally…lol), enjoying the sights and sounds of nature. There are plenty of beautiful places nearby so there’s always somewhere different to go, but I do have a favorite short hike that I do often. I’m looking forward to a snowy winter as it puts a whole new perspective on things! I enjoy hiking alone when I need...

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4 Easy Steps to a Paperless Company

By David Singletary Remember the prime promise to the business community as the computer age took hold? Paper will become obsolete. Every memo, letter, contract, and spreadsheet will be stored on a relatively small stack of floppy disks. (Yeah, it was a few years ago when that promise was made.) So what happened? Nowadays, you can store just about everything “in the cloud,” a virtual patch of real estate located somewhere in cyberspace. Leading cloud storage options are more secure...

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HR & Payroll Year End Readiness

By Lisa Calick, Carolyn Hall, Floriana Allen, and Laura Melville The end of the year can be busy for many companies.  While December brings holiday parties and end-of-year celebrations, business owners should be mindful to make sure their HR and payroll departments are on top of timely actions in order to ensure a smooth transition into the New Year.  This checklist will help you get a jumpstart on your year-end planning. Human Resources Review your employees’ data to make sure...

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2018 New Jersey Tax Amnesty Program

Starting on November 15, 2018 and ending January 15, 2019, the State of New Jersey will hold a 60-day tax amnesty program aimed towards taxpayers who have delinquent taxes owed to the state.  This will provide taxpayers an opportunity to file past tax returns and/or pay outstanding taxes due to the state, including a one-half reduction of the interest due as of November 1, 2018. The amnesty program only applies to outstanding filings and payments due for tax returns which were due...

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Four Strategic Decisions Holding Your Small or Mid-Market Company Back

By Joe Cicerone Updated 7/29/2019. Your business needs help. No, that doesn’t mean you’re doing anything wrong — or more wrong than anyone else trying to independently run a business.  But it would help to have an experienced CFO advisory group who could see your company’s challenges and opportunities from a fresh perspective. That’s because the management team of young and growing companies tend to see what they’ve always seen. They only know the one way of looking at their...

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Hardship Withdrawal Rule Changes from the New Tax Code

By Laura Zindel, CPA Details of the Trump Administration’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act are so complex that it is easier for businesses to discuss the details and ramifications in smaller pieces. One specific section of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act involves changes to rules affecting hardship withdrawals from your employees’ benefit plan account, most commonly 401(k) and 403(b) plans. The definition of a hardship withdrawal hasn’t changed. If a plan permits, a hardship is an early withdrawal...

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Tax Bill Impact on Transportation Benefits

Its intentions are good, but the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) can have a negative effect on non-profit organizations in at least a couple ways. We’ll take a look at how one of the new provisions of the TCJA complicates the provision of what might be a much-needed benefit for some of your employees. Disallowed Benefits The IRS explains the tax code change, known as section 512(a)(7), under the heading “Increase in unrelated business taxable income by disallowed fringe.” This...

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Exchange of Information Systems in International Commerce

By Mary Vasilescu, CPA, MST Background In this new age of technology and ever-expanding global commerce, there is a growing need among industrialized countries for tax information sharing and cooperation among their respective tax authorities for the purposes of tax enforcement, as well as tax evasion detection and mitigation.  This can be evidenced by the recent advent of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (known as “FATCA”) which has resulted in over one hundred inter-governmental...

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New Jersey Employers Subject To New Paid Sick Leave law

By Lisa Calick, SPHR New Jersey employers will soon be faced with new requirements to provide paid sick leave to all employees.  Signed into law by Governor Murphy earlier this year, the new requirements will take effect on October 29th. As stated in an earlier blog, this mandate applies to businesses of all sizes and requires employers to provide up to 40 hours of paid sick leave to employees, including part-time, temporary and seasonal employees.  Businesses that do not currently...

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7 Common Mistakes Made by Early Stage Companies

By Donna Woronka, CPA, MBA Updated 7/30/2019. Early stage entrepreneurs have plenty on their minds, from developing and launching their new product or service, to establishing customer and vendor relationships, to hiring employees and raising capital to make it all possible. There’s a lot that can potentially slip through the cracks. Issues related to state and federal compliance is an area that is not frequently at the top of the list. In my 20+ years working with over one hundred...

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Preparing Your Business for an ERP Implementation

There are few administrative initiatives that might prove more challenging to more of your employees in more departments than the launch or changeover of an ERP system. Don’t get me wrong — in time you’ll all feel that it’s totally worth it in terms of enhanced productivity and accuracy. It’s just that you’ll all work up a sweat getting there. In an earlier blog post I described your Enterprise Resource Planning system as being the brain center of your company. So an ERP implementation...

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Summer Spotlight: Joanne Spencer Goes to Puerto Rico for Mini Mission Trip

When Tax Assistant, Joanne Spencer, is not working or studying for her Master’s in Divinity at Drew University, she finds time to volunteer. She recently had an opportunity to take a long weekend to help with Hurrican relief in Puerto Rico.   Joanne sought out this opportunity after taking a course in Educational Ministry for her Master’s, in which she chose to focus on Puerto Rican history and culture. With the knowledge from that class and the recent events of Hurricane Maria,...

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Summer Spotlight: Kelsey Silverstein Soaks up the Antigua Sun

Kelsey Silverstein, Talent Development Associate, spent a week in St. Mary’s Parish, Antigua vacationing with her mom and sister. The trip was in celebration of Kelsey’s recent graduation from Rutgers University as well as her sister’s graduation from Concordia College’s Master’s Program. With school completed, the girls were excited to destress. They took full advantage of the all-inclusive resort by jet skiing, sail boating and snorkeling. Despite all of...

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Summer Spotlight: Pat Gianforte Explores Northwest America!

Pat Gianforte, Senior Associate, takes outdorsy trip to Montana! This summer Pat Gianforte took a trip to Bozeman Montana to visit with his cousin. He spent time hiking, camping and visiting local breweries. The highlight of the trip was hiking through the Bridger Moutain Range all the way to Sacagawea Peak. At the top, not only was there a beautiful view of all the Gallatin Valley, but also mountain goats. There are many great breweries around Bozeman including Bozone Brewery,...

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HR ALERT: NYC Faces New Sexual Harassment Responsibilities

New York City and New York State employers need to be aware of upcoming responsibilities resulting from the passage of anti-sexual harassment laws earlier this year. The most immediate change goes into effect on September 6, 2018 when New York City employers will need to comply with the Stop Sexual Harassment in NYC Act.  As of that date, all employers will be required to post the required anti-sexual harassment notice in the workplace and provide this information to employees at...

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Summer Spotlight: Matt Barbieri Takes On Iceland!

Partner, Matt Barbieri, takes advantage of his summer with several trips and fun activities! When he is not at work, coaching baseball or football, making wine or watching dance recitals, Matt finds time for vacation with his family and friends. This summer he took a 5-day trip to Iceland with his wife as well as a trip to the Outer Banks with both family and freinds. One of the many highlights of his trip to Iceland was the beautiful Blue Lagoon. He also enjoyed the food especially...

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Treasury Publishes Proposed Regulations on 20% QBI Deduction

On August 8 the U.S. Treasury and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released highly anticipated proposed regulations providing rules and clarification regarding the 20% Qualified Business Income (QBI) deduction.  Concurrently, the IRS also released a FAQ listing, which walks through the basics of the QBI deduction and Notice 2018-64, which provides guidance on ways in which taxpayers can compute “W-2 wages” with regard to the QBI deduction limitation.  The regulations attempt to clarify...

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Summer Spotlight: Paul Peterson’s Scottish Adventure!

Managing Partner, Paul Peterson, Heads to Scotland!     Paul and his family took a week-long trip to Scotland. From its beautiful blue oceans to its abundant history, Scotland was an amazing trip for the Petersons. Paul’s favorite spots were the Isle of Skye, home to a picturesque fishing village, and Gleneagles, a luxurious hotel, spa and golf resort. Paul was pleasantly surprised with the high-quality cuisine, saying that the fish was fresh, the coffee was rich and carrot...

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Business Process Reviews-the First Step to Positioning Your MSO or DSO for Rapid Expansion

By Carolyn Hall, CPA, MBA Business owners with an entrepreneurial spirit welcome growth without necessarily focusing on the bottom line. MSO and DSO professionals who own and operate medical and dental service organizations that are experiencing patient gains and revenue growth can often lose sight of the details that go into back-end processes. Your accounting system can be your first and most visible sign of trouble. When billing is slow or error-filled, processes are broken, locations...

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Advantages of Onboarding an Outside Accounting Firm for Your MSO or DSO

By Carolyn Hall, CPA, MBA Updated 7/29/2019. In my last blog post, we covered how a business process review is a great tool to determine what processes can be improved upon in your medical service organization (MSO) or dental service organization (DSO). One of the most common outcomes of a BPR is a company elects to onboard an outsourced accounting firm. With this post, let’s explore the value-added benefits of such a relationship. An outsourced accounting firm with experience in...

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Proper Management Gets Ambitious Projects Over the Finish Line

What could be more intimidating to a business than the prospect of launching a new ecommerce website? Or merging with a competitor? Or implementing a new business process management software solution that will touch virtually every department in the company? Lots of thoughts go through your head as you consider taking on a project that might take months or years, and will impact your company and your people for a long time to come. Just think of the prospects of establishing goals,...

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Toss Your Paper Receipts for a Better Digital Solution

Is your wallet stuffed with business receipts that you just don’t have time to organize? Do you dread preparing expense reports? Does your bookkeeper spend an inordinate amount of time chasing down those tiny pieces of paper and explanations from salespeople in far-flung regions? How often do your employees feel cheated out of reimbursement because they lost proof of valid expenditures? In other words, is your business still being held hostage to the dreaded paper receipt? It needn’t...

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Governor Murphy Signs State Budget

On July 1, 2018, Governor Murphy signed New Jersey’s 2019 budget. Here are a few highlights of which you should be aware. Main highlights: Increased income tax rate, effective for the 2018 tax year, to 10.75% for individual taxpayers whose incomes are at or above $5M A temporary corporate business tax surcharge of 2.5% for 2018 & 2019 and 1.5% for 2020 & 2021 Effective for the 2018 tax year, an increase in the state property tax deduction cap from $10,000 to $15,000 There...

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ALERT: Supreme Court Expands States Ability To Collect Sales Tax

The Supreme Court cleared the way Thursday for state and local governments to collect new sales taxes from online retailers and others with substantial sales into a state. The ruling in the South Dakota v. Wayfair case opens the door for states to require out-of-state online retailers and other remote sellers to collect sales tax from their customers, overturning a prior court decision that states have fought for years and that the court upheld in 1992’s Quill case. In 1992,...

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Finding Tax Advantages in Opportunity Zones

By Michael Kroll, CPA and Larry DiPasquale, CPA, MST The Tax Cuts and Jobs Acts has been a popular topic this year where the focus has been mainly on tax cuts. However, there is a lot more to the new tax law than just tax cuts.  There are new provisions providing significant tax benefits for investments in so-called Opportunity Zones and below are the details you need to know. Distressed Area Investment The idea behind the Opportunity Zones program is to create tax incentives for...

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Net Asset Presentation on Not-for-Profit Entity Financial Statements

By Ugochi Oguh, CPA Updated 7/29/2019 Prior to the adoption of ASU 2016-14, Presentation of Financial Statements of Not-for-Profit Entities, not-for-profit entities (NFPs) were required to segregate net asset disclosures between temporarily restricted, permanently restricted and unrestricted.  To reduce confusion and enhance transparency, ASU 2016-14 reduces the number of classes of net assets from the above three to two – net assets without donor restrictions and net assets with...

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When and Why Your Business Needs a Business Process Review

By David Singletary Have you ever really noticed a process at your business that’s been in place seemingly forever? As you take a closer look it doesn’t appear to be the best way of doing things, so you ask the logical question: “Why?” In response, your team collectively shrugs and says, “Well…that’s how we’ve always done it.” It’s time for a business process optimization review. Third-Party Overview Business process reviews are important because they’re conducted by a professionally...

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Be Substantially Compliant or Face Monetary Penalties

By Mary Vasilescu, CPA, MST File complete forms 5471 and 5472 to avoid penalties and extension of statute of limitation. The IRS Practice Unit (IPU) “The Meaning of “Substantially Complete” with Reference to International Information Return Penalties,” addresses substantial compliance related to international information returns. This release follows a 2015 issued IPU: “Failure to File the Form 5471 – Category 4 and 5 Filers – Monetary Penalty,” which focuses on Category 4 and 5...

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KPI Checklist for Evaluating Your CFO or Controller

By Paul Ursich, CPA Updated 7/29/2019. How do you grade the accomplishments of your Chief Financial Officer or Controller? Not only at review time, but whenever you’re thinking of the value this key management team member brings to your company. What are the key performance indicators, or KPIs, that really matter to you? Does your CFO or Controller know the KPIs that define success in your eyes? How could they know if you don’t? Here’s what to do: For starters, review the job description...

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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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New Jersey & New York Attempt Work-around on the SALT Deduction Limitation

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed legislation this past Friday (May 4, 2018) which attempts to work-around the state and local tax deduction limitation imposed by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which was enacted in December of 2017.  Under that federal legislation, the aggregate state and local tax deduction (which includes state income, property and sales tax) an individual taxpayer may claim is limited to $10,000 per year.  New York already has their version of a work-around...

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Governor Murphy Signs Statewide Paid Sick and Safe Leave Bill

By Lisa Calick, SPHR Governor Murphy has signed a Paid Sick Leave Law, which will now require New Jersey employers of all sizes to provide up to 40 hours of paid sick leave to employees each year.  Several municipalities already have existing ordinances requiring similar leave, however this new act will preempt those individual ordinances and provide a uniform benefit requirement statewide.  The new law will take effect 180 days from the date signed, and will cover employers of all...

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Ideal Minimum Requirements for Your Accounting Department

By Angelique Zitz, CPA One of the most common causes of chronic problems in accounting departments is having the wrong people on board – or the right people in the wrong positions. In other words, things can go terribly wrong when the education, work experiences and career trajectories of your personnel do not match up with your expectations. With that in mind, here are some of the ideal minimum requirements for business process optimization you should look for under most circumstances...

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Is It Time to Upgrade Your ERP Software?

By David Singletary Updated 7/29/2019. We all know about the rapid pace of technology and the headaches it can cause your company. It can be more than merely annoying. It can also be costly and time-consuming. You’re constantly upgrading your tech hardware or software — or fielding complaints from employees if you don’t. Your ERP solution is the brain center of your company. Depending on your line of business, it’s likely to impact your accounting, HR, sales, inventory and...

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The Importance of Setting A Budget for Your NonProfit Organization

By Diana Miller, CPA The Importance of Annual Budgets for Nonprofit Organizations Sometimes the importance of writing and maintaining realistic annual budgets is not always understood -but it’s imperative for a number of reasons. For one thing, the document might find more interested readers than you suspect. Who Cares? Let’s start with your co-workers. Staffers need to know when funds will be available, or whether belt-tightening might soon begin (or continue). Your budget will...

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NJ Lawmakers Pass Equal Pay Act: What It Means For Your Business

By Lisa Calick, SPHR New Jersey lawmakers have overwhelmingly passed the Diane B. Allen Equal Pay Act, a comprehensive pay equity law that significantly strengthens employer requirements to provide equal pay for similar employment without regard to gender or other protected characteristics.  Governor Phil Murphy, a strong proponent of equal pay, has stated he will sign the legislation, which would take effect on July 1, 2018.  Once signed, New Jersey would have one of the broadest...

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Accounting Department Red Flags: Is It Poor Training, Incompetence or Theft?

When things go wrong in your accounting department, you’re sure to feel the pain — especially if errors are common. Problems and irregularities can crop up for several reasons. For instance, your accounting staff might be inadequately trained, or they’re just not suited for the job. But the cause could also be much worse: someone is stealing from your company. Let’s take a closer look at both scenarios. Innocent Mistakes Everything from inadequate training to incompetence could...

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Factors to Consider When Valuing Your Engineering Firm

By Amos Gibello You’re the owner of an engineering firm which you’re thinking of selling. Or maybe you’re trying to establish its worth in consideration of securing loans, partnerships, outside investors or a merger. Or you’d like to get a better handle on your net worth for estate purposes. Whatever the reason, here are some of the leading factors to consider while estimating your firm’s value. Revenue Growth — How have you done over recent years? Trending upward or down?...

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Potential 15% Increase in NJ Angel Investor Tax Credit Program

By Bill Beiermeister, CPA and Ryan Silva, CPA, CFE, CVA In January 2013, Governor Chris Christie signed legislation creating an angel investor tax credit program to spur job creation and growth in New Jersey’s current and next generation of high-skill, high-wage emerging technology industries. Under the current program New Jersey offers a 10% investor tax credit for an individual that invests in a New Jersey emerging technology company up to a maximum of $500,000 for the tax...

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How Manhattan’s Commercial Rent Tax (CRT) Changes Might Benefit Your Bottom Line

By Kerri Nelan If you rent commercial space for a company located in designated sections of Manhattan, you might soon qualify for significant tax relief. Your business could save thousands of dollars annually as a result of upcoming changes to New York City’s Commercial Rent Tax, or CRT. First, a little background. Manhattan’s CRT The CRT is currently paid by commercial tenants renting space below 96th Street and above Murray Street in Manhattan who pay at least $250,000 in annual...

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Know When an HR Assessment Is Needed

By Lisa Calick, SPHR Are your business’s human resources starting to fall behind? Have you not reviewed HR policies and procedures in quite some time? Are you running a new startup? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may need an HR assessment to ensure compliance with state and federal regulations, as well as reduce the risk of potential liabilities. When Should an HR Assessment Be Performed? Fundamentally, an HR assessment is an investigation of a company’s current...

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How the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Affects How You Do Business

Updated 7/29/2019 If you operate a business that is in any way involved with obtaining, managing or using the personal data of residents of the European Union, note the date May 25, 2018. That’s when the two-years-in-the-making General Data Protection Regulation became the law of the land. Your company might be affected by the GDPR — and subject to potentially stiff financial penalties for violations — even if it doesn’t have a physical presence in Europe. Let’s take...

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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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Do You Have an Accounting Policies & Procedures Manual for Your Nonprofit?

By Diana Miller Updated 7/30/2019. Written documentation of your organization’s policies and procedures regarding accounting practices always makes sense, regardless of your line of business. But it’s particularly critical when yours is a not-for-profit organization. While the production of such a document can be highly detailed and time-consuming, it’s worth it. And it’s a job you’ll likely only do once — or perhaps just tweak periodically as laws or conditions change. Let’s...

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Impact of the New Tax Law on Engineering Firms

The “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act” signed by President Trump on December 22, 2017, contains numerous provisions that impact business that specialize in providing professional services in the field of engineering.  Below is a summary of some of the key provisions: Corporate and Non-corporate:  Limits on the Deduction of Business Interest – IRC Sec. 163(j) Generally, for tax years beginning after Dec. 31, 2017, every business, regardless of its form, will be subject to a...

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Tax Reform Manifesto for the Real Estate Industry – Part 3

This posting is a part of a 3-part series. The full article will be available in the coming weeks. Click here to read Part 1. By Alexander J. Narcise, CPA and contributions from the entire real estate accounting services team: Michael Kroll, CPA Larry DiPasquale, CPA Steve Warholak, CPA Michael Bodrato, CPA Kyle Pennacchia, CPA James Jenco, CPA Ken Trainor, CPA Phil London, CPA Chris Gati, CPA Charlie Komack, CPA The Internal Revenue Code has historically provided many planning...

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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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Tax Reform Manifesto for the Real Estate Industry – Part 2

This posting is a part of a 3-part series. The full article will be available in the coming weeks. Click here to read previous post. By Alexander J. Narcise, CPA and contributions from the entire Wiss and Company LLP Real Estate Team: Michael Kroll, CPA Larry DiPasquale, CPA Steve Warholak, CPA Michael Bodrato, CPA Kyle Pennacchia, CPA James Jenco, CPA Ken Trainor, CPA Phil London, CPA Chris Gati, CPA Charlie Komack, CPA The Internal Revenue Code has historically provided many...

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Alleviate 1099 Reporting Stress

By Wiss Advisory Associate If your company works with nonemployee service providers “in the course of business,” you may be subject to 1099 reporting requirements. Failing to file these forms may result in penalties, so here’s what you need to know to keep your business in compliance. 1099 reporting requirements You’re required to send 1099-MISC forms to vendors when payments to them total $600 or more during the calendar year for: Services performed for your business by someone...

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Tax Reform Manifesto for the Real Estate Industry

This posting is a part of a 3-part series. The full article will be available in thecoming weeks.  By Alexander J. Narcise, CPA, with contributions from the entire Wiss Real Estate Team: Michael Kroll, CPA Larry DiPasquale, CPA Steve Warholak, CPA Michael Bodrato, CPA Kyle Pennacchia, CPA James Jenco, CPA Ken Trainor, CPA Phil London, CPA Chris Gati, CPA Charlie Komack, CPA My take on this whole thing: The Internal Revenue Code has historically provided many planning opportunities...

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IRS ISSUES NEW UPDATED WITHHOLDING TABLES

One of the most often heard Congressional talking points for the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) was that millions of workers would see an increase in their take home paychecks. To this end, on Thursday, the IRS issued new wage withholding guidelines. The guidelines are needed so employers can calculate how much tax to withhold from employees’ pay. Employees should begin seeing changes in their paychecks by February 15th (or sooner) since it normally takes about a month to update systems....

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2018 National Manufacturing Outlook and Insights

The LEA Manufacturing Steering Group oversees the development of this annual report. It is made up of members from the following firms: ABBB Anders CPAs + Advisors Bennett Thrasher LLP Blue & Co., LLC EKS&H LLP KPM CPAs & Advisors LBMC Lutz PKF Texas Schenck SC William Vaughan Company More than 450 manufacturing executives participated in the survey, which includes the opinions of respondents who produce industrial/machining, transportation/automotive, construction,...

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Refinancing Student Loans: Is It Worth It?

By Rachel Kleiman A letter from a student loan refinancing company is placed on your desk. Have you wondered if refinancing is worth it or just a scam? Refinancing means taking on new debt with new terms in order to pay off older debt.  By refinancing, you can reduce monthly payments, secure a lower interest rate, and renegotiate the term of your loan.  Additionally, refinanced student debt is still student debt, meaning you will still receive a 1098-E for tax purposes.  Refinancing...

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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 Importance of Finding a Mentor

By Andrea Saenz Many people have set a goal, perhaps in the form of a New Year’s resolution that, for one reason or another, has gone unmet. Perhaps you’ve started a diet, only to be drawn back to the allure of chocolate. Or you’ve joined a gym one month, and found your running shoes collecting dust the next. While it is one thing to be motivated toward a desire or project at the start, it is quite another to see that project through to completion. That’s why, in your work life,...

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12 Days of Traditions – Day 12: Lesya Kostyuk

Among Ukrainians, the most beloved of all festivities is Christmas, which covers a cycle of important feast days, all centering around the family. The main event is the evening meal called “Holy Supper” (Svyata Vechera). According to the custom, all members of the family should be present that night for a family reunion. Christmas in Ukraine is celebrated on January 7 according to the Gregorian calendar. Many people wonder why the Ukrainian date is thirteen days later and only a...

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12 Days of Traditions – Day 11: Cami Sia

Christmas is my favorite time of the year. Romanian Christmas is filled with traditions, superstitions and customs transmitted from generation to generation. Family, food, caroling and traditional outfits (picture below depicts traditional outfits from Transylvania) can be found in each corner of Romania, especially at the country side where customs are more preserved. I am from Transylvania and, for me, the excitement of Christmas begins on December 5th. This is the day every child...

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Salary History Ban Takes Effect in NYC

By Lisa Calick, SPHR If you’re a company based in, or with offices in, New York City, you should be aware of a new law that took effect on October 31st.  As of that date, it became illegal for public and private employers in New York City to inquire about an applicant’s salary history during any stage of the hiring process. This includes inquiries on employment applications, during interviews and while conducting background checks. The law was introduced to even the wage gap between...

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12 Days of Traditions – Day 10: Fu Fu

One of the most traditional festivals in China, which is the Mid-Autumn festival, which is celebrated August 15th on the lunar calendar. When you look at the sky at that day, the moon is round, which symbolizes harmony and reunion in Chinese culture. On this particular day, people get together with their families to spend time and enjoy the full moon together. The tradition is to eat the mooncakes, which is a Chinese dessert in a round shape. That’s the symbol of Mid-Autumn festival....

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Upcoming Changes to New Jersey and New York Taxes

By Evan Gernant With tax reform legislation nearing enactment in Washington it’s easy to keep one’s focus on those headlines.  There are, however, important changes in New Jersey and New York tax that have already been signed into law and will impact local taxpayers.  Below is a summary of the more significant changes you will see affecting New Jersey and New York State taxpayers in 2018 and beyond. New Jersey The sales & use tax rate will continue decrease slightly.  A two-phase...

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12 Days of Traditions – Day 9: Joanne Spencer

Each year as the season approaches, I have a few traditions that bring out the holiday spirit in me. The first tradition I’d like to share is that I go downtown to Montclair and Newark dressed in an elf hat and deliver gospel tracts with candy canes. I also bake holiday cookies and take them to Penn Station. My second favorite tradition is helping out those in need around this time of year, so I buy and wrap gifts for those who don’t have a roof over their head. I will gift hats,...

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12 Days of Traditions – Day 8: Mike Marin

Christmas traditions can vary all around the world, but celebrating the holidays outside of your own country, or 3,000 miles away from the rest of your family can be overwhelming and a different experience. During the holidays, many of us realize the importance of keeping our traditions in order to build strong family relationships that will then be passed on to future generations. In my beautiful country, Colombia, Christmas celebrations start on December 7,  a day known as “El...

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12 Days of Traditions – Day 7: Judy DeJesus

In Puerto Rico, the Christmas celebrations start early! We call Christmas Eve “Nochebuena,” and that’s when my family gathers to eat traditional foods of lechón asado (roasted pork) and pasteles (similar to tamales), arroz con dulce and our famous Coquito! We usually sit around and sing Alguinardos, what we call Christmas Songs. My family celebrates through Dia de Los Reyes, (Three Kings Day on January 6th) and that’s when the kids receive their Christmas presents. On the eve...

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12 Days of Traditions – Day 6: Jonssen Angbetic

Filipinos have always been superstitious, especially when it comes to the holiday seasons, and the New Year brings a lot of superstitious beliefs into action.  One of these beliefs/traditions is preparing what we call the “six bowls of blessings,” for a lack of a better term.  It consists of a tray with six containers/bowls of different items.  Each item has a different meaning for the upcoming new year: Rice – An abundance in food, in hopes that we will never go hungry Sugar –...

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12 Days of Traditions – Day 5: Ruth Raftery

A Christmas Eve Tradition Growing up in a Carpatho-Rusyn Family and attending a Russian Orthodox Church – Christmas Eve Dinner (called the Holy Supper) was full of symbolism and ethnic traditions. First, the entire day was a strict fast day. That meant no meat or dairy was allowed.  The Supper consisted of 12 foods (no meat or dairy), symbolic of the 12 Apostles.  Foods included Kesalicha (a thick soup made with oats – that my cousin and I referred to as wallpaper paste), pierogi...

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12 Days of Traditions – Day 4: Jenna Sanfilippo

Growing up I was always that little kid who drove my family nuts around the holidays. Either it was making a list for Santa that was taller than me or the Christmas Eve nights where I forced my sister to stay up and stake out the living room to catch Santa in the act. Even though, at the time, my family wanted to tie me up to make sure I wasn’t getting into any trouble, those are the silly memories that we always reminisce on each and every Christmas holiday! Since I was a baby,...

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12 Days of Traditions – Day 3: Chrissy Giamanco

One of my favorite holiday traditions is one that our family looks forward to each year. It is not my personal family (Giamanco) tradition, but rather one that developed when my brother married his wife in 1982. My brother was in the Navy stationed in Virginia Beach and spent several weeks and months out to sea. During that time, funds were limited, so my sister-in-law started making Christmas ornaments to gift to our entire family. It started the first year, became her family tradition,...

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IRS Serves Up Savings With the 45(B) Tax Credit

By James Jenco If you own a food and beverage establishment, you might be overpaying the IRS in payroll taxes. That could be the case if you’re not taking advantage of IRC 45(B). This rather little-known federal tax deduction could save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars a year, depending on the size of your tip-eligible workforce. Here’s how it works. Taxing Issues As you probably know, it’s your responsibility to pay the employer withholding tax on the FICA and Medicare...

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12 Days of Traditions – Day 2: Taylor Kolbeck

Let me preface this by saying I love the holidays. Everything from the tree, music, lights, food, and most of all family. I even love Christmas movies. Not just any Christmas movies, but the B-rated ones with bad acting that they play on the Hallmark channel on the weekends. I think my love for this time of year comes from my grandma who I will reference as Nana from here on out, as she is way too cool to be just a grandma. While our tradition may not be unique, it is one that I...

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12 Days of Traditions – Day 1: Andrea Saenz

My personal traditions include kicking off the holiday season as early as Thanksgiving. I join my church in collecting items that would make for a great Thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings, even including a Turkey! We put it all together and deliver each basket to families in need. Below is a picture of some of the baskets we were able to put together. During the month of December, I gather with my church to put on our Santa Hats and hit the streets! We set up a stand 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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Holy Matrimony: Contractors and New Jersey Sales Tax

By Tim Kennedy Not all work performed on a property is created equal in the eyes of the tax collector. Some improvements fall into the realm of capital improvement, while others are considered repairs, and still others are maintenance services. Because New Jersey sales tax rules differ based on the type of work performed, it is important to understand the classifications to avoid paying too much or too little in taxes. Here’s what you need to know. What work is exempt from sales...

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EB-5 Legislation Could Spell Change for Foreign Investors

By Mark Feldstein The Immigrant Investor Program, more commonly known as EB-5, found itself in the news recently due to the introduction of a Congressional bill in July 2017 that could change qualifying terms. But first, let’s review the EB-5 program and how it currently affects foreign investors and entrepreneurs. Program Overview The federal EB-5 Program has been in effect since 1992. Its purpose is to provide U.S. visas and a path to citizenship for immigrants who invest at least...

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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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Breaking the Accountant Stereotype

By Wiss Associate Think of an accountant, and what do you picture? If you follow the common societal stereotype, you may envision someone with a pocket protector and a beige plastic raincoat who goes to bed cuddling his calculator, with no emotion and no social competence. A person who would rather recite the square root of pi than eat pie. Think of an entrepreneur, and you probably picture an entirely different image. Beyond the sheer sophistication of the word “entrepreneur” itself,...

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Keep the Brews Flowing Without Affecting Cash Flow

Understanding the NJ Alcohol Tax By Paul Lembo You’ve perfected your batch. You’ve scouted your location. You’ve raised the capital. And now you are ready to venture into the wild, wonderful world of professional brewing. But before you make that first pour, make sure you understand the state tax laws that apply to your sales. In New Jersey, alcohol producers must pay not only state and federal taxes, but also an additional alcoholic beverage tax. These taxes can be significant,...

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