April 1, 2022

Banning Masks, Banning Russian Oil, Making Lynching a Federal Hate Crime and Saving Sunshine

Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2022 (HR 2471) – This legislation will fund the federal government through September 2022, but also includes a plethora of other bills folded within for the purpose of quick passage by both the House and Senate. Among them is the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act and the allocation of $13.6 billion in additional aid to support Ukraine in its conflict against Russia. The bill was signed into law by President Biden on March 15. STANDUP Act of 2021 (S 1543) – STANDUP is the anacronym for Suicide Training and Awareness Nationally Delivered for Universal Prevention. It authorizes the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to give preference to state, tribal and local educational agencies […]
March 1, 2022

Taxation of Legal Settlements and Fees

The taxation of legal settlements and fees is a complex topic. While the mechanics to make a proper claim are now easier, the rules are still complex. Below we look at six rules to consider when it comes to the taxation of legal settlements and the deduction of legal fees on your taxes. Taxes depend on the origin of the claim; or in plain English, according to why you are seeking recovery. For example, in a case where the plaintiff is suing another business for losing profits, the settlement would be considered lost profits, and therefore would be ordinary business income. If a worker sues for unlawful termination, then the settlement would be considered wages and taxed accordingly. Another example […]
March 1, 2022

How Businesses Can Stay Current with the Digital Economy

According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the level of usage and data swirling around the internet is expanding at an accelerating pace. The amount of data on the internet globally during 2020 amounted to 3 trillion gigabytes; and 2022’s traffic is expected to increase to 4.5 trillion gigabytes. As a result, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is concerned about the challenges American companies will have when it comes to business competitiveness. According to a survey from Statista titled “Challenges encountered as a result of digital transformations in global organizations as of 2020,” there are common challenges that businesses are facing, such as: 51 percent of respondents said that “skill gaps have opened up on traditional teams as top talent […]
March 1, 2022

How To Maximize the Potential of Your 401(k) Plan

One of the easiest ways to save for retirement is to participate in an employer-sponsored retirement plan. You simply select a percentage of your paycheck that you would like transferred to your 401(k) (or similar) account. Not only does your employer make the transfer for you, but it comes out of your paycheck before income taxes are taken out. This way, you avoid paying taxes on that income from each paycheck, and those taxes are not due until you withdraw the money from your retirement plan. This usually happens once people retire and enter a lower tax bracket. That’s the simple beauty of investing in a 401(k) plan. However, with a little more effort, you can do a better job […]
March 1, 2022

How to Manage Your Aging Parents’ Finances

Taking over your aging parents’ finances is not easy. But it’s something that can be handled in an organized, compassionate way. Here’s a roadmap that shows how to embrace it and do the right things for everyone involved. Start the conversation early. Right now, your parents might not need any help. They might be handling everything just fine. But there will come a day when they can’t – and they’ll need your help. The National Institute on Aging recommends that parents give advance written consent to designated family members so they can discuss personal matters with doctors, financial representatives and Medicare officials. If you don’t have this, you’ll be faced with some road blocks. If you open the dialogue now, […]
March 1, 2022

What Does the Metaverse Mean for Businesses

Metaverse has become a buzzword with much debate on its potential implications once it is fully realized. As far as businesses are concerned, the metaverse presents new opportunities and challenges, especially for marketing, branding and communication professionals. Understanding Metaverse Metaverse became a hot topic thanks to Facebook announcing its rebrand to Meta in October 2021. However, the metaverse is not new and can be traced back to 1992 in the fiction novel “Snow Crash” by Neal Stephenson. Stephenson used the term to refer to a virtual world where people can do different activities. As the internet moves to a new iteration as Web 3.0, different players are working toward creating their metaverse – or rather, a unified virtual space. This […]
March 1, 2022

Relief for USPS Financial Requirements, Plus Support for Victims of Sexual Harassment and Online Child Exploitation

Amache National Historic Site Act (HR 2497) – This Act was introduced by Rep. Joe Negusa (D-CO) on April 24, 2021. The bill authorizes the Department of the Interior to acquire land in Colorado in order to establish a park called the Amache National Historic Site. It is to be included as part of the National Park System for the purpose of preserving, protecting and interpreting resources associated with the incarceration of civilians of Japanese ancestry during World War II at the Granada Relocation Center, as well as the military service of incarcerees at the Granada Relocation Center. The bill was passed by Congress on Feb. 18 and is now with the president. Ending Forced Arbitration of Sexual Assault and […]
February 1, 2022

2022 U.S. Tax Legislation Forecast

No one knows for sure what 2022 will bring in the form of tax legislation, but there is certain to be some action. Top tax analysts think there are several topics that are likely to come up in 2022. Most predict that a lot of potential changes that were discussed but never made much traction in 2021 will be revisited. Rolling Back Corporate Tax Rates Back in 2017, then-President Trump’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Acts (TCJA) reduced corporate tax rates. While a bid raise them again failed in 2021, many believe there is a good chance that Democrats will try again in 2022. Most believe a 2022 proposal would try to raise the current 21 percent corporate tax bracket up […]
February 1, 2022

What’s the Future for Measuring Employee Performance?

Yearly performance evaluations just might be heading out the door, according to a recent WorkHuman Analytics & Research Institute Survey. Findings reveal that these appraisals are less than effective and used less often. Based on select findings, 55 percent of employees responded that yearly evaluations don’t help them become better in their role. Almost as many, 53 percent, indicated that annual reviews recognize an employee’s complete workload. The survey also found that only 54 percent of businesses used annual reviews in 2019, compared to 82 percent of workers saying their employer used annual reviews in 2016. According to Gallup, only 14 percent of workers responded positively that performance reviews motivated them to get better at their skill set. It also […]
February 1, 2022

Create a Healthcare Plan for Retirement

If you pay $250 a month for cable and premium channels, that’s $3,000 a year. Over a 30-year period, the total cost would be $90,000. We don’t tend to think about how much we pay in regular expenses over the long term. However, that’s how various industry analysts report the cost of healthcare during retirement. Recent estimates for a retiring 65-year-old couple fall between $300,000 and $400,000 to cover healthcare expenses in retirement. At first glance, that’s an intimidating number and implies that pre-retirees need to have this much saved by the time they retire. Fortunately, when you break down the numbers, that’s not the case. First of all, that estimate includes premiums for Medicare with prescription drug coverage, which […]
February 1, 2022

8 Ways to Negotiate Medical Bills

According to statistics from the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), employer-budgeted healthcare costs increased to an average of $12,792 per employee in 2021. Employees can help keep employer healthcare costs – and their premiums – down by planning ahead and negotiating fees for service. Call Before Your Treatment When you’re busy, sending an email might expedite your request. However, it’s best to stop, take a little time to pick up the phone and talk to a real person. Ask for the hospital’s billing department and get an estimate of how much your procedure might cost. (Write down the name of the person you speak with, plus the day and time.) Send this to your insurance provider to find out […]
February 1, 2022

Importance of Cloud Accounting Certification

Certifications are not a new thing in the accounting industry. However, with new technology trends, accounting departments are faced with the challenge of taking courses in technology in order to carry out their tasks. Many businesses are ditching desktop-based accounting software and turning to cloud-based software. This requires that the users be well-versed with necessary skills to use the cloud accounting solution. What is Cloud Accounting? Among the cloud-based solutions that businesses have adapted is cloud accounting. Cloud accounting has all the functionalities of desktop accounting. However, in cloud accounting all processes are carried out online where the data is stored on cloud servers. Cloud accounting offers businesses various benefits, such as the ability to access the system anytime and […]
February 1, 2022

Pursuing Voting Rights, Critical Therapies, VA Online Education Benefits and Condemning Forced Labor

Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act(HR 5746) – This act is comprised of two previous bills that were combined and passed in the House using a procedural workaround, then sent to the Senate where it did not pass under current Senate rules. A Senate bipartisan committee is taking action to draft another bill containing components of this one, but it is yet to be seen. This Freedom to Vote Act was designed to expand voting access, standardize voting election laws across the country, and restore provisions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Other key provisions include: Making Election Day a federal holiday Online, automatic and same-day voter registration A minimum of 15 days of early voting, including during […]
January 1, 2022

The Risks of Using Self-Directed IRAs

Self-directed IRAs (SDIRAs) are becoming more and more popular as IRA holders look to enter alternative investments. While SDIRAs can open up a world of investment options, the rules around them are complicated and compliance can be tricky. Below, we’ll look at a couple of relevant court cases that illustrate some of the potential pitfalls. Self-Directed Equals Higher Fees A SDIRA can own an investment in pretty much any type of asset except life insurance or collectibles. The downside to accessing investments beyond stocks, mutual funds, ETFs and bonds is that it is more expensive. The SDIRA custodian usually charges an annual fee as well as per transaction fees. The assets also need to be valued at the end of […]
January 1, 2022

How Businesses Can Combat Inflation’s Toll

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the Producer Price Index (PPI) or the increase in prices, goods and services that producers experienced for their input costs, saw a substantial rise, according to its latest report issued on Dec. 14. For November 2021, the PPI grew by 0.8 percent. For the past year ending in November 2021, it rose by 9.6 percent on an annualized basis. According to the BLS, this is the hottest PPI reading since this metric originated in November 2010. With costs not appearing to abate anytime soon, how can businesses combat rising costs? Figure out Financial Priorities Harvard Business Review (HBR) details steps that companies can take to evaluate and make adjustments to mitigate […]
January 1, 2022

Long-Term Investment Opportunities Presented by the Infrastructure Bill

In November, President Biden signed legislative funding that represents the largest transportation spending package in U.S. history. The $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act authorized funding for roads, highways, bridges, public transit systems, utility systems, electrical grids, energy projects and broadband infrastructure. Because the funding extends over a five-year period, it should not have a major effect on the fiscal deficit. This is not only good news for taxpayers, but also investors. Those long-term investments offer the potential for shareholders to get in on the ground floor of reliable and well-capitalized government projects by hundreds of American companies poised to get the business. The new bill is expected to enhance productivity, innovation, improve labor force participation and have a […]
January 1, 2022

How to Get Your 2022 Finances in Order

Believe it or not, the New Year is here. If you’re trying to wrap your head around everything that’s ahead, one of the best things you can do is prepare yourself financially. Here are a few tasks you can get started on right away. Look Back at 2021 Depending on how in-depth you want to go, this could take a couple hours or more. That said, ask yourself these questions: Did you spend as planned? Where do you want to adjust, increase or decrease spending thresholds? What kind of unexpected expenses came up? How did you handle it? Think about what you’ll do for the upcoming year. When it comes to money, the cliché “hindsight is always 20/20” will often […]
January 1, 2022

2022 Technology Trends for The Accounting Industry

Technology has had a major impact on the accounting industry. Gone are days when technology was a second thought and accountants preferred the traditional methods to which they were accustomed. As we start another year, technology is also progressing rapidly. The recent business disruption by the COVID-19 pandemic also has contributed to the acceleration in tech adoption. A major lesson learned from the events of the past two years is the need for digital transformation and prioritizing technologies that will help businesses remain relevant. Since the accounting industry plays a crucial role in running businesses, it is important to be aware of relevant technologies that will impact their future work. Remote Accounting  Remote work is picking up, and accountants have […]
January 1, 2022

Raising the Debt Limit, Protecting the Capitol and Prohibiting Foreign Campaign Financing

A joint resolution relating to increasing the debt limit(SJ Res 33) – This legislation was initially introduced on Dec. 14 by Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY). It is a joint resolution that authorized an increase to the public debt limit by $2.5 trillion. It passed in the Senate and the House within one day and was enacted into law by the president on Dec. 16. Capitol Police Emergency Assistance Act of 2021(S 3377) – This bill empowers the chief of the U.S. Capitol Police to unilaterally request the assistance of the D.C. National Guard or Federal law enforcement agencies in emergencies without prior approval from the Capitol Police Board. The legislation was introduced on Dec. 13 by Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN). […]
December 1, 2021

Year-End Tax Planning Tips for Individuals and Businesses

Here we are again, nearing the end of another year. While the tax deadline for 2021 isn’t until April 2022, now is the time to plan and make some strategic moves to optimize your tax situation. Below we’ll look at some tax planning ideas for both small businesses and individuals. Business Tax Planning Business owners should consider a few potential planning areas. Below we’ll look at a handful of relevant topics. Section 163(j) Interest Expense Limitation Businesses can deduct interest expenses, subject to a limit at 30 percent of adjusted taxable income (ATI). The calculation for determining ATI is changing in 2022, so some planning might be in order. Currently, ATI is calculated as taxable income with depreciation and amortization […]
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