A tried-and-true year-end tax strategy is to make charitable donations. As long as you itemize and your gift qualifies, you can claim a charitable deduction. But did you know that you can enjoy an additional tax benefit if you donate long-term appreciated stock instead of cash? 2 benefits from 1 gift Appreciated publicly traded stock you’ve held more than one year is long-term capital gains property. If you donate it to a qualified charity, you may be able to enjoy two tax benefits: If you itemize deductions, you can claim a charitable deduction equal to the stock’s fair market value, and You can avoid the capital gains tax you’d pay if you sold the stock. Donating appreciated stock can be especially beneficial to taxpayers facing the 3.8% net investment income tax (NIIT) or the top 20% long-term capital gains rate this year. Stock vs. cash Let’s say you donate $10,000 of stock that you paid $3,000 for, your ordinary-income tax rate is 37% and your long-term capital gains rate is 20%. Let’s also say you itemize deductions. If you sold the stock, you’d pay $1,400 in tax on the $7,000 gain. If you were also subject to the 3.8% NIIT, […] Details
Many employers routinely watch key financial metrics, such as current ratio and gross profit. But these aren’t the only measures you should consider monitoring. Recent years have seen the emergence of vital human resource (HR) metrics. These measures can help your organization make better-informed decisions about human capital, operations, and overall strategy. Here are three examples of critical HR metrics: 1. Turnover The turnover percentage is calculated by dividing the number of terminations (voluntary and involuntary) for a specified period by the average headcount and multiplying that number by 100. Turnover is a good indicator of your company’s culture and health overall, but you also can apply it on a more granular demographic level. Looking at turnover for your high performers or Millennials, for example, can give you valuable insight on how well you’re managing these employees. High turnover among new hires could suggest problems with your recruiting or onboarding processes. 2. Average time to fill This metric is useful in assessing the efficiency of your recruiting process. It’s calculated by dividing the amount of time it’s taken to fill all roles (that is, the total days all positions were open) by the total number of openings filled. Higher numbers […] Details
Every year, your audit firm will conduct a fresh risk assessment before the start of fieldwork. Why? Because your auditor wants to mitigate the risk of expressing an incorrect opinion regarding the accuracy and integrity of the company’s financial statements. Inadvertently signing off on financial statements that contain material misstatements can open a Pandora’s box of risks — from shareholder lawsuits to increased regulatory oversight. 3-prong assessment Audit risk is a combination of three components: 1. Control risk. Sometimes a company’s internal controls are inadequate to prevent or detect material misstatements. Control risk increases when the company fails to deploy and enforce effective internal controls, or when employees or third parties override them without the company discovering their actions. 2. Inherent risk. This term refers to susceptibility to a material misstatement, regardless of whether the company has strong internal controls. Certain transactions and industries present greater inherent risk than others. For example, companies operating in developing countries face a greater threat of bribery and corruption by government officials, regardless of the internal controls they put in place. Inherent risk is also greater when accounting transactions are complex or involve a high degree of judgment. 3. Detection risk. Audit procedures are […] Details
Strong internal controls can help prevent and detect fraud. That’s why Section 404(a) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) requires a public company’s management to annually assess the effectiveness of internal controls over financial reporting. And Sec. 404(b) requires the company’s independent auditors to provide an attestation report on management’s assessment of internal controls. Some smaller entities may be exempt from the latter requirement — but not the former one. Burdensome for smaller entities When the SEC published the regulations, smaller public companies told the SEC that the costs of complying with Sec. 404(b) would outweigh the benefits for investors. While the SEC explored ways to ease the compliance burden, the compliance deadline for Sec. 404(b) was repeatedly delayed for nonaccelerated filers — companies with a public float of less than $75 million on the last business day of their most recent second fiscal quarter. In 2010, the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act instructed the SEC to permanently exempt nonaccelerated filers from SOX Sec. 404(b). Absent this exemption, nonaccelerated filers would have been required to comply with Sec. 404(b) beginning with fiscal years ending on or after June 15, 2010. New definition provides no new Sec. 404(b) relief […] Details
You’ve spent years building your company and now are ready to move on to something else, whether launching a new business, taking advantage of another career opportunity or retiring. Whatever your plans, you want to get the return from your business that you’ve earned from all of the time and money you’ve put into it. That means not only getting a good price but also minimizing the tax hit on the proceeds. One option that can help you defer tax and perhaps even reduce it is an installment sale. Tax benefits With an installment sale, you don’t receive a lump sum payment when the deal closes. Instead, you receive installment payments over a period of time, spreading the gain over a number of years. This generally defers tax, because you pay most of the tax liability as you receive the payments. Usually, tax deferral is beneficial, but it could be especially beneficial if it would allow you to stay under the thresholds for triggering the 3.8% net investment income tax (NIIT) or the 20% long-term capital gains rate. For 2018, taxpayers with modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) over $200,000 per year ($250,000 for married filing jointly and $125,000 for married […] Details
Tyler, Simms & St. Sauveur, CPAs, P.C.
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