Accounting, Audit and Tax

Advantages of a Cross-Tested 401k Plan

Posted in Accounting, Audit and Tax | Accounting Services | Tax on August 3, 2017

Your 401(k) plan can provide a benefit to more than just your employees; when designed properly, it can also benefit owners and targeted groups, such as key personnel and managers. If you are currently making a profit sharing contribution within your 401(k) plan, it is likely being allocated based only on employee compensation. A cross-tested allocation formula, on the other hand, allows you to sp... [More]

Should a Retirement Plan Implement a Fee Policy Statement?

Posted in Accounting, Audit and Tax | Accounting Services | Retirement Planning on August 3, 2017

Like all other fiduciary actions, the value of a fee policy statement is a function of how well it is written and how consistently a plan sponsor describes or practices the process documented. For the client who may be concerned about fiduciary compliance, a fee policy statement can offer comfort. However, this statement can potentially create problems in addition to mitigating them. Assuming the ... [More]

High Times in the Workplace...What is all the Buzz About?

Posted in Accounting, Audit and Tax | Human Resources | Leadership on August 3, 2017

Although marijuana is still illegal at the federal level, as of today, at least 28 states have legalized the medical use of the drug, and eight states permit its recreational use.  With more than half of the states permitting some form of pot use, employers and HR departments are understandably caught in a haze about how this shifting stance will impact their businesses and current workplace ... [More]

Auto-IRA Initiative in Illinois Meets Exemption Challenges

Posted in Accounting, Audit and Tax | Individual Consulting | Retirement Planning | Government on August 3, 2017

Illinois may face challenges during attempts to implement a binding, state-based auto-individual retirement account (IRA) program for private employers. During the initial proposal of a payroll-deduction auto-IRA, Illinois government officials aimed to create a state-run savings plan that could provide any employer lacking retirement plan options with such. The auto-IRA would have employers automa... [More]

Wellness Plan Incentives Can Have Unhealthy Tax Consequences

Posted in Accounting, Audit and Tax | Tax | Government | Healthcare on August 3, 2017

As more companies seek to offer wellness programs or incentives to their employees, issues and confusion concerning the taxability of health-related programs emerge. Guidelines outlined by the IRS address the problem at hand, allowing employers to learn more about wellness program policies and the taxes that go along with these plans. Employers are encouraged, before enrolling in health and wellne... [More]

Late on Filing Health Insurance Coverage Forms? IRS Notices Require Prompt Action

Posted in Accounting, Audit and Tax | Tax | Government | Healthcare on August 3, 2017

Late on Filing Health Insurance Coverage Forms?  IRS Notices Require Prompt Action The IRS recently released notices to Applicable Large Employers (ALE) who have failed to deliver employee statements to their staff and file them with the IRS. The IRS-issued notices address health insurance coverage employee statement Form 1095-C and transmittal Form 1094-C from the years 2015 and 2016. Action... [More]

Illinois Tax Changes: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Posted in Accounting, Audit and Tax | Tax | Personal Tax | State & Local Tax | Income Tax Planning on August 1, 2017

The fallout from the recent passing of the Illinois budget consists of changes to tax rates and elimination of certain deductions, as well as a few taxpayer-friendly provisions. Be [More]

Herding Skinny Elephants - ACA Repeal Effort Fails in Senate

Posted in Accounting, Audit and Tax | Tax | Federal Tax | Healthcare on July 28, 2017

As you may recall, the House Republican leadership struggled corralling its members into moving forward with the Affordable Care Act (ACA) repeal legislation earlier this year. The Senate GOP leaders found it difficult as well in herding elephants to rally around an ACA repeal bill. As we last left off, the Senate Leadership had unveiled its ACA repeal and replace plan, but it lacked enough support for a vote before the July 4th recess. The vote was delayed as the Senate Leadership re-crafted its proposal during the July 4th recess. Since then, a lot has happened, but at the same time, nothing has happened. Here is the skinny on what has taken place: [More]

Considering trading your equipment on a lease? Understanding the tax rules, risks and rewards will help with smarter leasing

Posted in Accounting, Audit and Tax | Tax | Agriculture on July 26, 2017

The art of tax planning can be tricky – especially when it comes to the minutia of business decisions, like trading in your equipment on a lease – but the proper arrangement can make a huge difference and put more money in your pocket in the long term, especially if you’re considering doing so right now.  With low prices for corn, soybeans and wheat, equipment companies and ... [More]

ACA Repeal Unveiled in the Senate Could Set the Stage for Some Early 4th of July Fireworks in Washington

Posted in Accounting, Audit and Tax | Accounting Services | Government on June 23, 2017

After months of rumors and anticipation, the Senate finally unveiled on June 22, 2017 its ACA repeal bill; named the “Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017” (BCRA). The Senate bill is similar, but not identical, to the House bill that was recently passed. As you may recall, we last left off with Congress as the House had just passed legislation to repeal and replace the “Afford... [More]

403(b) Plan Update - Uptick in IRS Audits and Compliance Checks

Posted in Accounting, Audit and Tax | Accounting Services | Not-for-Profit on June 18, 2017

Not-for-profit organizations have come a long way since 2009, when they were first required to file Form 5500 and adopt plan documents in accordance with new reporting, filing and audit requirements.  Looking back, organizations were scurrying to adhere to the tedious process of developing books and records, implement internal controls over the new reporting process, and create written plan d... [More]

Auto Enrollment/Escalation in Retirement Plans - Its Success Often Depends Upon Employer Actions

Posted in Accounting, Audit and Tax | Accounting Services | Retirement Planning on May 19, 2017

There’s no disagreement that saving for retirement is something everyone needs to be doing.  Yet, still today, not everyone is doing it.  As companies continually look at ways to increase employee participation in their sponsored retirement plans, two features have had a great impact on plan participation: auto enrollment and auto escalation. To help employees start saving money i... [More]

401(k) Hardship Distributions Come With Strings Attached for Employers

Posted in Accounting, Audit and Tax | Accounting Services | Retirement Planning on May 19, 2017

 Do You Have Appropriate Documentation and Protocols in Place for Safe Harbor Distributions? The IRS has indicated via memorandum the concern that not all employers properly substantiate that a hardship exists before granting a hardship distribution.  With the vast majority of 401(k) retirement plans set up to allow for hardship distributions, it’s important for those employers to ... [More]

House Passes Revised Legislation to Repeal and Replace the ACA

Posted in Accounting, Audit and Tax | Healthcare on May 5, 2017

On May 4, 2017, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 1628, “The American Health Care Act of 2017” (AHCA) by a narrow margin. The bill now moves to the Senate where it faces more legislative and political challenges. [More]

First Look at the Tax Reform Plan Proposal Released by the Trump Administration

Posted in Accounting, Audit and Tax | Tax | Federal Tax | Personal Tax on April 28, 2017

Potential Impact to Individuals and Businesses Unveiled Touted by the Trump Administration as the “biggest individual and business tax cut in American history,” the highly anticipated tax reform proposal was unveiled this week.  The plan, announced by Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn on April 26, 2017, is a broad outline of princip... [More]

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Disclaimer: This material has been prepared for general informational purposes only and is not intended to be relied upon as accounting, tax, or other professional advice. Please refer to your advisors for specific advice.