Overlooked Year-end Checklist Items for Government Contractors

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As the end of the year quickly approaches, many government contractors turn their attention to year-end planning. Rather than focusing on the usual end of year checklists that address year-end close activities, we’d like to discuss some of the areas that might be overlooked this year.

New lease accounting standards

close up of a woman's hand writing a checklist down on a notepad she's holding open with her other handFor any annual or fiscal reporting periods after December 15, 2021, businesses and organizations will need to implement the new lease accounting standards, ASC 842, unless the entity implemented at an earlier time. The standards require an entity that leases assets to recognize the assets and liabilities for the rights and obligations created by those leases when they have terms for more than one year. If this applies to you, what are your next steps?

  1. Review and understand the standards.
  2. Gather information on your current and past leases and reexamine the documents.
  3. Set up procedures and processes for implementation.
  4. Discuss with your audit and tax team to ensure proper application.

For more resources on the standards and implementation, take a look at our New Lease Accounting Standards articles.

Year-end adjustments and rate changes

If you are planning to issue year-end bonuses to staff or process discretionary contributions to retirement plans, be sure to calculate the effect these transactions and their timing will have on your indirect cost rates. Any unplanned or unproportioned change to either the base or the total pool costs will inadvertently cause the actual rates to fluctuate, thus affecting the intended contract profitability results, especially if the entity is operating with preapproved or contract fixed rates.

Tax planning and compliance

Most government contractor businesses already plan to take actions to reduce taxability before year-end. All government contractors should remember to ask the following questions:

  1. Have we used/applied for all available credits either as part of the CARES Act or otherwise available tax credits and deductions? Think about PPP loan forgiveness if not obtained and the Employee Retention Credit that was extended through December 31, 2021. This is also the best time to connect with your professional advisor and address changes in your business and activities and their tax or financial implications.
  2. Have we completed additional compliance if we have over 50 full-time employees? Such employers are considered applicable large employers and are required to file Forms 1094-C and 1095-C for the year. These forms should be filed by February 28, 2022.
  3. Do we have the necessary information to complete the annual Forms 1096 and 1099? All entities are required to file the forms to report non-employee compensation or miscellaneous income paid during the year of at least $600. For tax years 2020 and beyond, the IRS reintroduced Form 1099-NEC for reporting the non-employee compensation. Both Forms 1099-MISC and 1099-NEC are due by January 31, 2022.

Data Analytics

The approaching year-end is a great time to review accumulated data throughout the year and determine whether it is reliable and complete to be used for additional analytics. It is also the time to examine if new models or analytics should be used on the data to provide answers for more informed management decisions as they relate to activities, customers, projects or the entity as a whole.

The end of the year tends to be a busy time for all organizations and businesses, but it is also an opportune time to evaluate activities and results and take corrective actions in the new year. Whether you choose to analyze accumulated data, discuss strategies with outside partners (likely your professional advisor) or engage in financial planning and assessments, do not miss the opportunity to reflect and renew. Reach out to our government contractor experts with any questions and be on the lookout for additional insights for government contractor professionals.

Contact our team:

Learn about indirect cost rates and why they change here.

This publication contains general information only and Sikich is not, by means of this publication, rendering accounting, business, financial, investment, legal, tax, or any other professional advice or services. This publication is not a substitute for such professional advice or services, nor should you use it as a basis for any decision, action or omission that may affect you or your business. Before making any decision, taking any action or omitting an action that may affect you or your business, you should consult a qualified professional advisor. You acknowledge that Sikich shall not be responsible for any loss sustained by you or any person who relies on this publication.

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