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New IRS warning: Email scams will surge this holiday season

December 10, 2018

Unfortunately, cyber scammers never take a vacation. In fact, the IRS has issued a warning of a surge in fraudulent emails that bait potential phishing victims with fake tax transcripts. Links within these emails lead recipients to documents containing the well-known malware, Emotet.

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Minimize the hustle and bustle and stay on budget this holiday season

December 3, 2018

The holidays can be overwhelming. You only have so many hours in a day, your gift list is long, and your budget may be tight. A bit of up-front planning and prioritizing can help save you time and money. Here are a few ideas to help you minimize the hustle and bustle, stay on budget, and find more peace this holiday season.

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Spreading the feeling of gratitude

November 19, 2018

Instilling a thankful frame of mind among your staff makes for a gratifying work place. Consider a few suggestions for developing an atmosphere of thankfulness to get into the spirit of the holiday season.

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Ramp up awareness to ‘shop small’ on Small Business Saturday this month

November 12, 2018

Black Friday and Cyber Monday need no introduction, but for small business owners it’s all about Small Business Saturday—an annual holiday shopping tradition that gets communities out in support of their local small businesses. Small Business Saturday falls on November 24 this year, so if you haven’t already…start getting the word out.

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Important Update: 1099 Reporting for 2018

November 1, 2018

The Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act of 2015 requires Forms 1099-MISC reporting non-employee compensation (NEC) in box 7 to be filed by January 31.

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Bring in extra traffic with some trick-or-treat action

October 15, 2018

Small business owners in many communities offer downtown trick or treat events. Take advantage of this opportunity to build your business reputation. Involvement in local events goes a long way with both existing and prospective customers—indicating a vested interest in your community. Find creative ways to make your business stand out this trick-or-treat season. We hope the following suggestions will spark fun promotional ideas:

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Recognizing Women-Owned Small Businesses Everywhere!

October 3, 2018

October marks Women’s Small Business Month, and we are happy and proud to recognize women in business both locally and around the world. Successful business women of the past and present continue to forge new paths for female entrepreneurs. We celebrate all those who are breaking the glass ceiling and serving as role models and mentors to women everywhere.

 

To...

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ACPC Announces Partnership With Edward Lowe Foundation

August 29, 2018

We are excited to be partnering with the Edward Lowe Foundation, which is a national expert on second-stage companies (those with 10-99 employees). The foundation hosts a variety of programs to help business leaders tackle existing challenges and identify new opportunities.

We believe, as does the Edward Lowe Foundation, that entrepreneurship is a...

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How Is the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Affecting Your (or Your Employees') Tax Burden?

August 22, 2018

Following tax law changes of the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act, you should do a paycheck checkup using the IRS’s Withholding Calculator and, if necessary, complete a new W-4 form. The calculator helps determine the right amount of withholding.

You should check, especially if you:
•Are a two-income family.
•Have two or more jobs at the same time or only work part of...

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5 Tips to Get Kids Out of Technology and Into Nature this Summer

July 2, 2018

If you are like most families, summer means vacation. And if your kids are like most kids, they tend to be tethered to their technology. Whether planning to travel abroad or a long weekend at a local campground, summer is a time for exploration and simply paying attention to the beauty around us.

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Ideas for Multigenerational Family Vacations this Summer

June 18, 2018

Multigenerational family vacations have experienced an uptick in popularity, especially with older generations being more active and families living farther apart. Family getaways certainly bring people together physically, but also emotionally. Dedicated family time is simply good for the soul…even more so when multiple generations take part. With this in mind, we bring you a few ideas and tips to consider when planning your next multigenerational vacation.

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Your Smartphone Preparedness Travel Guide

June 4, 2018

For many of us, our smartphone is a vital travel tool. We rely on it for navigating unfamiliar places, taking photos, and identifying recreational activities. Michael Zhao, an editor for TheWirecutter.com, offers the following tips on what to pack in addition to your smartphone—so you won’t be stranded when traveling this summer...or any other time of the year.

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Facing the Facts: How to Interpret Facial Expressions at Work

May 15, 2018

You may be completely proficient at decoding emojis on social media and in text messages, but for many of us, figuring out what other people’s facial expressions mean can be quite a challenge. Here’s a quick rundown of how to interpret different facial stances based on research from people-communicating.com:

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Summer is Just Around the Corner— And So Are Potential Childcare Tax Credits

May 1, 2018

Summer will be here before you know it! If you are a working parent with school-aged children, you know that it can also mean pretty steep bills for childcare and summer camp. However, you may be able to soften the hit to your family’s budget if these services qualify for the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit.

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Employee Recognition – A Great Way to Motivate Your Staff!

April 18, 2018

Quite often we can get so wrapped up in checking projects off the company’s to-do list that we forget to recognize the labor that went into each accomplishment. Acknowledging milestones provides opportunity to show appreciation to the employees who helped you achieve them...

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Receiving a Tax Refund? Spend It Wisely With These Tips!

April 2, 2018

Are you expecting a tax refund? If so, don’t treat your tax refund as ‘bonus’ cash. Rather look at it as simply a return of taxes paid beyond your actual obligation. This will help you think about using this money purposefully. Here are some ideas to try:

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Spring Cleaning Time is Here! An Easy 3-Step Checklist for Cleaning Your Office

March 19, 2018

The spring season is here! In addition to taxes, many of us want to take care of some overlooked cleaning tasks. Procrastination often creeps in when it comes to cleaning—especially our offices. It can feel overwhelming and somewhat unproductive to spend time decluttering and cleaning your workspace, but once complete, most people feel a sense of relief and calm. Use this handy checklist...

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Disappearing Tax Deductions! Don’t Miss Them on Your 2017 Tax Return

March 5, 2018

Have you filed your 2017 taxes yet? If not, you still have the opportunity to make sure that you lower your tax obligation as much as possible. With new tax laws in effect for 2018 and beyond, the following deductions will disappear after this tax season—check them out to see which ones may help you lower your taxable income...

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Tips to Boost Client Appreciation Efforts… Even When Time is Tight

February 15, 2018

When you are super busy running a business, it can be easy to let customer appreciation slide to the bottom of your long to-do list. The problem is, if you don’t show your customers love on a regular basis, they’re going to feel neglected, which can put their continued loyalty at risk.

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LARA No Longer Accepting Annual Reports By Mail

February 1, 2018

 

Every Michigan registered Corporation, Not-For-Profit Corporation and Limited Liability Company is required to file an annual report with LARA.  These reports will no longer be mailed.  Each business should have received a letter providing log-in information and a unique Customer ID (CID) and PIN.  The annual report filing is supposed to be available 90 days...

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Considering Hiring a Cybersecurity Professional? Here’s What to Look For.

February 1, 2018

With the occurrence of cybercrimes affecting businesses increasing daily, many companies are looking for outside expertise to help them mitigate their risks. If your company has never engaged a cybersecurity professional before, you may be unsure of what to look for. The IRS suggests businesses use the following four steps when evaluating and selecting a cybersecurity...

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Are You In Compliance with Local City Taxes?

January 26, 2018

Local city taxes are often overlooked.  Be aware that effective January 1, 2018, the City of Benton Harbor has adopted a local city tax on all persons employed in the City.

As an employer you are required to withhold from employees if:

1) You have a location in the city, or

2) You are doing business in the city even...

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Michigan Personal Property Tax Returns Due February 20

January 26, 2018

Michigan Personal Property Tax returns are due on February 20. Some businesses never receive forms and do not file. Others do.

If you have received either a Form 632 or Form 5076 from your city or township assessor, do not ignore these forms. You may be exempt, but will not be treated as exempt if you do not file the form timely.

If you ever need assistance...

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If You Owe $51,000 or More in Back Taxes, the IRS is Coming for Your Passport

January 18, 2018

The Internal Revenue Service today strongly encouraged taxpayers who are seriously behind on their taxes to pay what they owe or enter into a payment agreement with the IRS to avoid putting their passports in jeopardy.


This month, the IRS will begin implementation of new procedures affecting individuals with “seriously delinquent tax debts.” These new procedures...

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Need Help Trying to Make New Habits Stick? Try These Simple Tips…

January 16, 2018

Even if you are not a New Year’s resolution maker, it’s likely that at some point in your life you’ll want to adopt healthier or more productive habits. When you do want to make a change for the better, consider trying the following tips from lifehack.org to increase your chances of making your new good habits stick:

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Quick Tips to Help You Tackle Your Taxes with Ease

January 3, 2018

Tax season is approaching quickly. It’s just a few weeks until the IRS officially starts accepting returns, which means now is the perfect time to use the tips below to help you net some last-minute tax-savings and tackle tax season with ease.

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Tax Cut And Jobs Act: Potential Impact on Individuals

December 22, 2017

On December 20, the House approved H.R. 1, the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act,” the sweeping tax reform measure, by a vote of 224 to 201. The Senate had passed the measure, as revised to address some procedural complications, the night before, and the bill  will soon make its way to President Trump for his expected signature.

The new version of the bill carries the title...

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Tax Cut And Jobs Act: Potential Impact on Businesses

December 22, 2017

On December 20, the House approved H.R. 1, the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act,” the sweeping tax reform measure, by a vote of 224 to 201. The Senate had passed the measure, as revised to address some procedural complications, the night before, and the bill will soon make its way to President Trump for his expected signature.

The new version of the bill carries the title...

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Tips to Help You Truly Enjoy the Most Wonderful—and Overwhelming—Time of the Year

December 18, 2017

It’s amazing how much festive fun can be packed into a few weeks. While the holidays truly can be wonderful, they can also feel overwhelming with too much to do and too many temptations that derail us from enjoying what is truly important. To help you make your holidays feel more fulfilling and less frantic, try these suggestions...

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Tax Reform Update: A Snapshot of Key Proposals in the GOP Bill

December 4, 2017

On November 16, the House passed a new tax reform bill that moves the GOP closer to bringing the legislation to fruition. Now the Senate is preparing its own tax reform package. If passed, it must be reconciled with the House before any final legislation goes to the White House. Here is a snapshot of some of the key changes proposed in the tax reform bill:

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Tips to Simplify Your Thanksgiving Spread

November 14, 2017

With just days to go before Thanksgiving, the clock is ticking down to some of the most memorable meals of the year. However, for many of us, the pressure of preparing a perfect Thanksgiving feast can be overwhelming. If this is true for you, consider these tips to simplify your seasonal spread.

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Tax Cut And Jobs Act: What to Expect

November 3, 2017

Tax reform is the current hot topic on Capitol Hill, as well as the rest of the nation.  Further details on the proposed bill follow, but consider this: As of today, November 3, The House has only 20 more days in session before the holiday recess.  This is a very short amount of time to pass any sort of reform to the current tax code.  Should the act pass both the Senate and...

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Plan Now and Take Advantage of 2017 Tax Savings

November 1, 2017

The end of the year is often hectic, which is why it’s important to take some time now to reduce your tax bill. Our firm can offer additional strategies to further mitigate your tax burden; however, the following 5 tips are an excellent starting point:

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Changes to Minimum Wage Coming in 2018

October 24, 2017

Employers in Michigan should be aware that as of January 1, 2018, the minimum wage is increasing to $9.25 per hour. This is $.35 more than the 2017 Michigan minimum wage, and $2 more than the current federal minimum wage.

The Tipped Employee wage is also increasing to $3.52 an hour.

Employers may be required to post these rates in a common area for their employees. If you'd...

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Simplify Seasonal Staffing with these Smart Strategies

October 16, 2017

Whether your business needs temporary workers to get through the holiday season or you hire short-term help on a regular basis, the process of finding the right candidates can be challenging. Try applying these strategies to make seasonal staffing easier:

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5 Tips to Reset Your Stress Response

October 2, 2017

Because stress related to work, family issues and other events is something that affects many of us, it’s important to reset your own stress response to protect your health and productivity. Sharon Melnick, Ph.D., a business psychologist, offers these tips:

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Proposed Tax Reform Plan: What Could It Mean for You?

September 29, 2017

Tax reform, one of President Trump’s key legislative agenda items, is moving closer to fruition. Based on the outline of his proposed tax reform package, which he unveiled on September 27, 2017, we’ve compiled this brief overview of the President’s major tax proposals:

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Impacted by the Equifax Hack? Take These Steps Now!

September 14, 2017

If you were a victim of the recently announced Equifax hack, you need to take action to mitigate any negative impact it may have on your finances and credit. If you’re not sure if you were affected, you can use Equifax’s Potential Impact tool to find out. You will need to input your last name and the last six digits of your social security number to use this tool.

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Tips for Maximizing the Value of Your Next Staff Retreat

August 30, 2017

Staff retreats can offer companies a lot of value. They can also be expensive and, unless managed effectively, not particularly productive. Before you plan your next (or first) staff retreat, review the following key factors to help you make the most of...

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Free Money-Saving Apps for Every College Student

August 15, 2017

There likely aren’t many college students who don’t have a smart phone loaded with helpful apps. However, it is unlikely that any of these apps are dedicated to helping them build their financial fortitude. This is why we created our list below—chock-full of apps designed to make it easier for college students of any age to save money.

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Expert Advice to Keep Your Internet-Enabled Devices Safe from Cyber Criminals

August 1, 2017

Did you know that your webcam and even your home or office internet router can be the gateway through which cyber criminals gain access to your most sensitive data? If not, don’t panic—we have helpful tips below from the experts at the National Cyber Security Alliance to ensure that you head off this type of malicious action.

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Be Alert and Aware: Tax Scammers Don’t Take a Summer Vacation

July 13, 2017

The IRS has identified several new variations of standard tax scams involving fake tax bills and demands for payments. Many of these scams involve purchasing and transferring information using a gift card or iTunes card. Other scams to be aware of include:

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Tips for Implementing a Successful Flex-time Schedule this Summer

June 29, 2017

Now that summer/vacation season is here, your business may be enjoying a more relaxed vibe with employees taking time off or leaving early. If you’ve ever thought about implementing a flexible work program, now may be the time to pilot one, especially if your business is a bit slower this time of year. To help, we offer the following tips...

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Four Money-Saving Mid-Year Financial Planning Tips

June 15, 2017

It’s almost exactly the mid-point of the year, which makes it prime time for a mid-year financial review. If you need some monetary motivation for evaluating your financial progress so far this year, you may want to think of mid-year planning as a series of potential money-saving opportunities, for example:

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How to Protect Your Business from the Next “Wanna Cry” Attack

June 1, 2017

The recent “Wanna Cry” ransomware attack that paralyzed several large organizations in the U.S. and Europe is a solemn reminder that the risk of cyber security breaches is real. Every business owner should take steps...

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Putting Your Children On The Payroll

May 31, 2017

Employing your children in the family business can reduce your overall taxes by shifting assets to your child without gift tax implications. As a business owner, you can take a deduction for wages paid to your child while your child can utilize his or her standard deduction (up to $6,350 in 2017) to offset those wages making them income tax free.

Additional...

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Tips to Help You Stem the Flow of Potential Risks This Flood Season

May 16, 2017

Whether from heavy rains or hurricanes, this time of year can bring with it the risk of floods across many parts of the United States. While you may not be able to predict the likelihood of a flood in your area, with these tips you can help to mitigate physical and financial damage if a flood occurs where you live.

  1. Treat structural damage seriously. In any...

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How to Really “Clean Up” at Your Next Yard Sale

May 4, 2017

This time of year is when you often see yard sale signs popping up. For some, holding a yard sale is a means of clearing out unwanted items. For others, it’s an opportunity to get some great “finds.” Whichever side of the yard sale fence you’re on, these tips can help you “clean up”:

Choose your timing carefully. Research continues...

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Take Your Spring Cleaning to the Office with These Tips

April 19, 2017

Window washing, carpet cleaning, garden grooming—these are all popular spring cleaning chores for homeowners. However, with year-end and tax season behind you, this time of year is also perfect for spring cleaning at the office. These tips will help you and your staff get—and keep—that “just cleaned my office” feeling:

Start with a clean sweep of...

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These Tax Day Treats Shine Light at the End of the “Tax Season Tunnel”

April 3, 2017

With just a few weeks to go until Tax Day on April 18, it’s time to make sure that you’re on track to get your individual return filed. If you haven’t already engaged our firm to help you with your taxes and you need assistance, don’t delay…it’s time to let us know!

While tax season can be stressful, Tax Day itself can be quite rewarding if you...

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Do You Sit All Day? Take a Stand Against a Sedentary Lifestyle

March 20, 2017

The average American sits a lot. Many of us sit while we work, while we relax and while we learn. Over the long term, this sedentary way of life can have a negative impact on our health, increasing the risk of diabetes, heart disease and cancer—in addition to shortening life spans. To counteract these negative effects, it’s important to get up, get active and get...

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Set the Stage to Help Your Home Sell This Spring

March 1, 2017

Spring is in the air...which means peak home-selling season isn’t far away. In fact, according to recent market data, 60 percent of all home sales in the United States will occur in the spring and summer months. If you’re thinking about putting your home on the market, now is the time to get prepared—which includes considering how you will “stage” your home to...

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Avoid March Madness—Why You Should File Your Taxes Now

February 17, 2017

For sports fans, this time of year is an exciting one. First the Super Bowl, and then the buildup toward the NCAA March Madness tournament. While tax season isn’t quite as exciting as these events, you’ll still want to make the effort to get ahead of the game—and the April 18 deadline—to score the benefits of early filing.

Avoiding identity...

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Small Businesses Can Restart Health Reimbursement Accounts in 2017

February 1, 2017

Although the fate of the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) is not yet clear, thanks to the passing of the 21st Century Cures Act at the end of 2016, employers with fewer than 50 employees can now start funding stand-alone health reimbursement accounts (HRAs) again. Employees can use HRAs to pay for medical expenses, including health insurance coverage on the Obamacare health insurance...

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Tips to Defend Your Business from Cyber Attacks

January 17, 2017

You need only tune into the news to see that cybercrimes are a very real threat. From viruses to malware, everyday computer use and online browsing can leave you vulnerable to hackers who want your valuable information. If you have a small business, your risk of a cyberattack is likely even higher, especially if you do not have the resources or know-how to enact effective security policies....

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Break Barriers in 2017 with These Mind-Changing Mini Resolutions

December 28, 2016

There’s a reason why the regular New Year’s resolutions like losing weight, exercising more and sticking to a budget are popular—so many of us need to do them! There’s also a common reason why so many of us fail to meet our goals in these areas: we haven’t developed the mindset to support the changes that we want to make.

Instead of setting a big,...

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New W-2 Filing Deadline

December 23, 2016

The IRS is reminding employers that W-2 Forms must now be filed by January 31.  

The deadline has been moved up from the previous deadline as part of The Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act of 2015.  The revised deadline will help the IRS detect and prevent fraud.

The new deadline also applies to some Forms 1099-MISC.  Providing the IRS the W-2s and...

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Keep the Holidays Merry with These Simple Stress Relievers

December 14, 2016

The holiday season can be wonderful, but they can also be one of the most stressful times of the year. Fortunately, the experts at Psychology Today also offer these simple stress relievers to put the joy back in this special time of year:

  1. Take a time-out. Time-outs aren’t just for toddlers who have a tantrum. In fact, rather than being a...

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Potential Election Impact on Tax Code

November 29, 2016

While nothing is assured, it is better to have some idea of the possible impact the recent election may have on tax law in the near future

President-elect Donald Trump's tax plan is similar in many ways to the House of Representatives Republicans' "A Better Way" plan.  This means that many of the President-elect's proposals are likely to have an easier time being passed through...

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New Overtime Rule ON HOLD

November 29, 2016

The new overtime rule set to go into effect December 1, 2016 is now on hold.

U.S. District Judge Amos Mazzant has granted an injunction that will prevent the new regulations from going into effect as expected.  Note that this is not a permanent resolution.  The injunction is temporary, pending the appeals ruling.

For more information on the regulations currently on...

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Dept. of Labor Institutes New Overtime Rule

October 27, 2016

In May 2016, a new overtime rule was signed by President Obama. The rule goes into effect on December 1, 2016. It updates the national minimum salary level to $47,476 per year. This increase from the current threshold of $23,660 per year is a significant change for many employers, especially in the retail and restaurant industries. As an employer, you need to examine your payroll and...

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IRS Warns of New Email Scam

October 27, 2016

Emails appearing to be issued from Austin, Texas with a fraudulent CP2000 notice attached. The notices appear to relate to the Affordable Care Act and request that checks be made out to the “I.R.S.”.

An authentic CP2000 will always be mailed, NEVER emailed. Additionally, the IRS never requests checks be made out to IRS, but rather to United States Treasury.

IRS...

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IRS Warns of Tax-Based Phishing Scam

March 1, 2016

The Internal Revenue Service is reminding everyone, especially payroll and human resources professionals to do due diligence before releasing potentially sensitive information.

A relatively new scam has payroll and human resources offices mistakenly emailing payroll data including Forms W-2 that contain Social Security numbers and other personally identifiable information to scammers...

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