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Wednesday, April 1st, 2015

When Hard Work Pays Off, It Shows!

And in this case, that hard work shows with promotions! Congratulations to our newest promotions.  We are appreciative for the persistence and commitment you each demonstrate here at Mauldin & Jenkins.  Thanks for being part of what makes M&J such a successful firm.

MichelleUnderwood_blog-congrats

Promotions:

Macon:
Adam Blakely to Supervisor
Rick Spires to Senior
Kirk Arich to Senior
Bradenton:
Ashley Reese to Supervisor
Birmingham:
Kristin Studdard to Manager
Joseph Martin to Director

Tuesday, March 31st, 2015

FAQ: Are IRS audits one-size-fits-all?

There are three main types of IRS audits: correspondence audits, office audits, and field audits (listed in order of increasing invasiveness). Correspondence audits are initiated (and generally conducted) by postal mail. Office audits require a taxpayer and/or its representative to appear in an IRS office; and a field audit involves IRS examiners paying a visit to the taxpayer’s place of business.

Correspondence audits

Correspondence audits, as the name suggests, are conducted entirely through the U.S. mail. (The IRS never uses e-mail to correspond with taxpayers.) Correspondence examinations require less involvement from IRS examiners and are therefore used more frequently by the budget-strapped IRS. Because correspondence examinations make up such a large percentage of the total examinations the IRS conducts, they are considered the “work horse” of the IRS audit tools.

The IRS routinely uses correspondence examinations for issues that it generally deems more efficient and less burdensome to handle by mail, for example questionable claims for earned income tax credits (EITCs) or inconsistent line items.

Read the rest of this entry »


Monday, March 23rd, 2015

Bradenton’s Melodie Rich Completes Leadership Manatee Program

Melodie Rich Picture

Melodie Rich, Tax Director in the Bradenton office, is a graduate of the Leadership Manatee 2014-2015 class. The six-month program is designed to expose current and future Manatee County leaders to the opportunities and challenges facing our community.

“For me, it brought awareness to our community’s needs.  The class was a diverse group and I’ve bonded a few lasting friendships,” states Melodie.

Melodie joins fellow M&J’ers who have graduated from the program and have gone on to participate in the Leadership Manatee Alumni Association. Click here for a complete list of 2014-2015 graduates.  Way to go Melodie!


Monday, March 23rd, 2015

2015 Chattanooga Business Expo

Mauldin & Jenkins will be returning to this year’s  Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce EXPO 2015 , Wednesday, March 25 at the Chattanooga Convention Center. EXPO Chattanooga is the largest showcase of local products and services and draws hundreds of key business decision-makers and community leaders. EXPO Chattanooga is a great way to make new business connections and maintain your ties with current business partners.

Hundreds of business, civic and community leaders gather for Chattanooga’s largest showcase of local business. Admission is free and open to the public.

Don’t forget to stop by M&J’s booth (#112) for some fun giveaways and a chance to win a FitBit!

 

chamber expo


Thursday, March 19th, 2015

Questions about the new fair value standard? GASB Project Team discusses Statement No. 72

The Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) issued Statement No. 72, ‘Fair Value Measurement and Application’ in February 2015.  Recently, the GASB Project Team discussed the new standard including the need for this standard as well as some of its key provisions.  The short video from the GASB Project Team can be found here:  http://ht.ly/KvCfH
The provisions of Statement No. 72 are required to implemented during fiscal years beginning after June 15, 2015.  A complete list of Mauldin & Jenkins professionals who can answer any of your questions about Statement No. 72 can be found here: http://www.mjcpa.dreamhosters.com/about-us/partners-leadership#Governmental

Monday, March 16th, 2015

Cyber Forensics: Just the FAQs with Randy Upchurch

The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners is hosting their March Meeting of the Chattanooga Chapter this Wednesday, March 18 at the Walden Club in downtown Chattanooga.  Randy will be addressing some of the most commonly asked questions of a cyber-forensics investigator in a private industry.

From the benign, to the bizarre, I will present real life cases and the techniques I have used to solve them.” – Randy Upchurch

photoACFE

 

For more information visit:  acfechattanooga.org/upcoming_events.html

 


Thursday, March 12th, 2015

Tommye Travels

Tommye’s first few months as the AICPA Chair has kept her on the go.  Check out her most recent travels…

After her inauguration in October, Tommye headed to Washington DC to attend the AICPA Women’s Global Leadership Summit where attendees gained valuable insights from global women leaders in the accounting profession. The Summit was designed to help women learn, grow and prosper professionally with new skills, knowledge and relationships.

Next, she presented on the topic of the “Landscape of the Profession” at the Washington State Society of CPAs Annual Accounting and Auditing Conference, held in Seattle.

Then she was back to DC for the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) Annual Meeting. Tommye reported on the AICPA’s ongoing and upcoming projects, specifically focusing on how they will impact the State Boards of Accountancy.  Attendees listened to comparisons and contrasts between the roles the AICPA and the NASBA play in the professional lives of all CPA’s.

Tommye at NASBA

Presenting at the NASBA Annual Meeting

Along with 3,900+ accountants from about 125 countries, Tommye attended the World Congress of Accountants in Rome, Italy.  Tommye states, “This provided the opportunity for intense and effective debate on the issues the accounting profession has to deal with today, but above all, the opportunity to fulfill our role as a global profession serving the public interest.”

TB World Congress

Tommye at the World Congress of Accountants Meeting (Rome, Italy)

Tommye at IFAC

At the International Federation of Accountants Council (IFAC) opening reception during the World Congress of Accountants in Rome.From L to R: Carol Bellringer, IFAC Board Member and the Auditor General for the Province of British Columbia; Tommye Barie; Rachel Grimes, Deputy President of IFAC and CFO of Group Technology at Westpac Group (Sydney, Australia); Pamela Ellis, IFAC Board Member and the Auditor General of Jamaica. 

Tommye landed stateside to then attend the AICPA Board Meeting in NYC.  “This was my first AICPA Board meeting as Chair!  I had the privilege of welcoming a class of five new Board members.” 

Wow, those first two months as AICPA chair went by fast!  Tommye enjoyed gathering with family and friends during the holidays before getting back to an intense travel schedule.

What’s Tommye been up to in 2015? Keep reading!

In early January Tommye and Managing Partner Donny Luker attended the Major Firms Group (MFG) Meeting in Naples, Florida.  Members of the MFG include the next 100 largest firms after the Big Four. Disclaimer: Mauldin & Jenkins keeps moving on up the Top 100 List!  Tommye and Barry Melancon, AICPA CEO, presented on the topic of the “Landscape of the Profession.”

Then it was back to the west coast.  Tommye attended the AICPA Private Companies Practice Section (PCPS) Executive Committee Meeting held in Berkeley, CA.  This committee is the governing body of the PCPS and steers programs to help improve the quality of services and operating success of PCPS member firms.   She also presented the quality initiatives the Board is currently working on and participated in discussion of other agenda items.

Back to NYC! Next up was the AICPA Board Meeting where the Board members actively brainstormed to identify “highly likely trends” and “critical uncertainties” to be considered in the process of developing the AICPA FY 2016-2018 Strategic Plan.

A long plane flight later, Tommye found herself in tropical Sydney, Australia and Auckland, New Zealand for the CPA Australia and Chartered  Accountants (CA) Australia/New Zealand Meeting.

Tommye says “I met with the CEOs of these organizations and several members of their respective leadership teams to discuss similar issues our organizations are facing and how we can work together.”

Tommye in Australia

From L to R: Alex Malley, CEO of CPA Australia, Tommye Barie, & Lee White, CEO of CA Australia/New Zealand.

While there, she also attended a two lunches (one in Sydney and one in Auckland) with women in leadership positions to discuss effective leadership of women in the profession, as well as issues facing the profession.

For the past few weeks, Tommye’s office door has been open!  But, I’m sure her next adventure is just around the corner.

In other news…Tommye was also interviewed by her Alma mater, Stetson University. Click here for the article in “Stetson Today”.


Monday, March 2nd, 2015

Tax legislation and reform cautiously move forward in new Congress

The White House and the new Congress continue to look for common ground on tax legislation and tax reform in 2015. Both sides say tax reform is possible in 2015 and behind the usual rhetoric there seems to be a real drive to move tax reform in the 114th Congress. Reform could be similar to the comprehensive package moved nearly 30 years ago in the Tax Reform Act of 1986, or, as many observers predict, will take a new track to reflect a vastly different economy and Tax Code compared to 1986.

Tax bills

The two tax writing committees-House Ways and Means and Senate Finance-have so far approved a number of tax bills impacting individuals and businesses. Among the bills that House Ways and Means has marked up is legislation to:

  • Make permanent Code Sec. 179 small business expensing ($500,000 dollar limit/$2 million investment limit, indexed for inflation)
  • Enhance Code Sec. 529 college savings plans
  • Extend and expand the charitable deduction for contributions of food inventory
  • Enhance and make permanent the research tax credit
  • Make permanent the reduced recognition period for built-in gains of S corporations
  • Extend permanently the special rules for tax-free distributions from IRAs for charitable purposes by qualified individuals

The Senate Finance Committee (SFC) also has been busy with tax legislation. The SFC has approved, among other bills, legislation to:

  • Modify the alternative minimum tax for small insurance companies
  • Provide special rules for charitable contributions to agricultural organizations
  • Create a Waste-Heat-to-Power investment tax credit
  • Exclude from income certain compensation received by public safety officers and their dependents
  • Require the IRS to notify exempt organizations before revoking exempt status for failing to file returns
  • Exclude from Gross Income Certain Clean Coal Power Grants
  • Create a Military Spouse Job Continuity Credit

House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, has signaled his support for some of the bills. Boehner controls the House’s schedule and his support is necessary to bring bills before the full House for a vote. In the Senate, the new Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, has said he wants to move tax legislation this year but has not provided any timetable for legislation. Because of Senate rules, bills generally come more slowly to the floor for a vote and often are subject to a lengthy amendment process. The Senate also generally requires a supermajority of 60 votes to approve tax legislation. Our office will keep you posted of developments as tax legislation moves forward.

Tax reform

All of the key players have voiced support for tax reform-President Obama, Speaker Boehner, Majority Leader McConnell-along with the chairs of the House and Senate tax writing committees. They differ on the scope of tax reform, how to pay for tax reform, and more details.

President Obama’s fiscal year 2016 budget recommendations, released in early February, could be a catalyst for tax reform, especially the President’s proposals for small businesses. Many of the small business proposals, such as enhanced Code Sec. 179 expensing, enjoy bipartisan support. As in past years, the hurdle of how to pay for these and other tax reforms is problematic. President Obama has proposed to eliminate fossil fuel tax breaks, repeal LIFO, and other revenue raisers, to pay for business tax reform, including a reduction in the corporate tax rate.

Affordable Care Act

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is another potential hurdle to tax reform this year. The House has approved legislation to repeal the ACA and Senate Republicans have offered replacement bills. The real test of how the ACA could impact tax reform will come after June, when the U.S. Supreme Court will decide the fate of the Code Sec. 36B premium assistance tax credit. If the Supreme Court strikes down IRS regulations extending the credit to individuals in both federally-facilitated Marketplaces and state-run Marketplaces, President Obama is expected to call on Congress to come up with a legislative solution. If the White House and Congress can reach an agreement, it would be a good harbinger for tax reform.

If you have any questions about pending tax legislation or tax reform, please contact our office.  Article written by CCH.


Friday, February 27th, 2015

M&J Hob Nobs

Representatives from the Bradenton Office enjoyed pouring wine to over 600 guests at the 27th Annual Hob Nob BBQ, hosted by the Bradenton Area Economic Development Council.  Guests and booth workers enjoyed a country themed event full of networking, food, spirits and music.  We enjoyed seeing old friends and meeting some new ones!  Check out some pictures snapped at last night’s event.

 


Wednesday, February 18th, 2015

Goodwill Manasota Mardi Gras Gala

M&J’ers celebrated Fat Tuesday in style at Goodwill Manasota’s Annual Mardi Gras themed Gala.  Check out a few pictures from last night’s event at Michael’s on East!