SECURE Act and Retirement

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On December 20, 2019, the President signed into law the SECURE Act – Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act.  This new law had strong bi-partisan support and focuses on retirement savings.  Many of the provisions of the SECURE Act go into effect in 2020, but others will go into effect after this year.  Most experts agree that the changes under the SECURE Act are the most sweeping changes to the retirement plan landscape in well over a decade.  The purpose of this new law is to provide individuals with more opportunities to save for retirement.  Here is a brief summary of some of the more significant changes.  

Not-for-Profit Tax Update January 2020

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The bill, known as the Further Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2020, contains two important provisions for not-for-profit organizations. First, the tax law provision forcing not-for-profit organization to recognize taxable revenue for the costs of providing employees with certain transportation benefits including parking has been repealed. The second provision in the bill affects private foundations by changing the excise tax rate on net investment income to 1.39%. &nbsp

1031 Exchanges

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If you are considering selling investment property only to buy other investment property, you should know about IRS code section 1031 and how you can utilize this to defer otherwise taxable gains. In summary, a 1031 exchange is a method used to defer gains on real property either used in a trade or business or as investment property. This is accomplished by timely reinvesting sales proceeds into other real property either used in a business or as an investment property, is like kind in value and is an equal or greater value of the relinquished property.   

Social Media and Cyber Security

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Social media and online connectivity are a big part of most people’s everyday routines these days, so it’s not surprising to learn that many of the sites, posts and links offered through these channels are, unfortunately nefarious. Just think of the infamous Instagram Ray-Ban hack you may have come across in recent months. It often looked like a promotional photo post on your feed, except that it came from an account or person you follow, but who was uncharacteristically advertising discounted Ray-Ban sunglasses. Fortunately, it wasn’t long before followers recognized the highly suspect post for what it was.  

Securing Your Personal Data Online

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It’s National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, and recommendations on securing your personal data online are in the spotlight this week. In this article we are sharing some tools to use and situations to watch for to build up your cyber security quotient both at home and at work. Learn more about how to secure your online activity with these tips on password controls, authentication measures, system updates, and greater awareness of phishing and skimming risks.  

Dale Dresch Discusses Ransomware in Crain’s

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As part of Cybersecurity Month, Crain’s Cleveland Business published an article “Be proactive when it comes to ransomware” detailing the challenges business face with preventing hackers and scammers from holding a company’s information technology and data hostage.  

Cybersecurity Update

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Ahhh, October. That time of year when we celebrate Christopher Columbus, carve pumpkins, and maybe even buy candy corn. And, for the 16th year running, it’s also the time for recognizing National Cybersecurity Awareness Month.

This annual campaign, co-led by government and industry via the National Cyber Security Alliance and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency (CISA), is all about building cybersecurity awareness at home and at work by understanding the risks and updating your digital practices to reduce them. This year the overarching theme of the campaign makes a clever play on the term Information Technology, with organizers urging us to: “Own IT. Secure IT. Protect IT.”

Crop Insurance Proceeds

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With the extremely wet year we had in 2019, this is a good time to address the income tax reporting options regarding reporting crop insurance proceeds.  For cash basis farmers, crop insurance proceeds are taxable to the recipient when received.  However, for insurance proceeds, prevent plant indemnities and federal disaster payments received for the destruction or damage to crops, an election is available to defer reporting the proceeds to the following tax year.  

Not-for-profit Tax Returns

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Mandatory E-filing for Not-For-Profit Tax Returns and Failure to File Notification By: Chris Anderson, CPA The Taxpayer First Act of 2019, recently signed into law by President Trump, contained 2 important provisions for not-for-profit organizations that are required to file returns in the Form 990 series:  mandatory e-filing for not-for-profit tax returns and notice from the IRS when an organization … Read More

Nonprofit Grants and Contracts Accounting

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Revenue Accounting for Nonprofit Grants and Contracts By: Pam Lebold, CPA It has been a year of change for nonprofit organizations.  First, there was ASU 2016-14 that changed the presentation of nonprofit financial statements.  And now, there is ASU 2018-08, Clarifying the Scope and the Accounting Guidance for Contributions Received and Contributions Made, which changes the way you may have … Read More