Friday, August 26th, 2016
M&J’s Managing Partner, Donny Luker, participated in panel discussion at The Georgia Society of CPAs Southeastern Accounting Show yesterday. The topic was “Hiring and Retaining Your Workforce”
“Most companies struggle to find and keep good employees and accountants are no exception. This panel of experts will give you tips and best practices on finding, hiring and retaining your most important long-term asset – your workforce.”
Along with Donny on this panel was Andy Decker, Robert Half International Inc., Atlanta, Ga, Debbie Sessions, CPA, Porter Keadle Moore, Atlanta, Ga and Angie Farsee, Georgia Transmission Corporation, Tucker, Ga.
Thursday, August 25th, 2016
Wednesday, August 24th, 2016
Last week, the Bradenton team hosted a lemonade stand to support the Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, a charity devoted to finding a cure for childhood cancers.
We are thrilled to report we exceeded our original fundraising goal of $500 and raised a grand total of $1,239! We’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who generously donated to this cause.
Ashley Walker did a fabulous job of coordinating this quarter’s community service project for the Bradenton office. A big ‘thank you’ goes out to our volunteers.
You can still donate! Check out our page, here.
Wednesday, August 24th, 2016
Many expenses that may qualify as miscellaneous itemized deductions are deductible only to the extent they exceed, in aggregate, 2% of your adjusted gross income (AGI). Bunching these expenses into a single year may allow you to exceed this “floor.” So now is a good time to add up your potential deductions to date to see if bunching is a smart strategy for you this year.
Should you bunch into 2016?
If your miscellaneous itemized deductions are getting close to — or they already exceed — the 2% floor, consider incurring and paying additional expenses by Dec. 31, such as:
- Deductible investment expenses, including advisory fees, custodial fees and publications
- Professional fees, such as tax planning and preparation, accounting, and certain legal fees
- Unreimbursed employee business expenses, including vehicle costs, travel, and allowable meals and entertainment.
But beware …
These expenses aren’t deductible for alternative minimum tax (AMT) purposes. So don’t bunch them into 2016 if you might be subject to the AMT this year.
Also, if your AGI exceeds the applicable threshold, certain deductions — including miscellaneous itemized deductions — are reduced by 3% of the AGI amount that exceeds the threshold (not to exceed 80% of otherwise allowable deductions). For 2016, the thresholds are $259,400 (single), $285,350 (head of household), $311,300 (married filing jointly) and $155,650 (married filing separately).
If you’d like more information on miscellaneous itemized deductions, the AMT or the itemized deduction limit, let us know.
Wednesday, August 24th, 2016
Year-end tax planning may be a little easier for 2016. For the first time in several years, taxpayers won’t have to wait for Congressional action on late-year “extenders” legislation to know whether certain popular tax breaks are still available to them. The Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act of 2015 made some of those provisions permanent and extended others for several years.
This 2016 Year-end Tax Planning Guide highlights various PATH Act provisions, along with other potential opportunities for lowering individual and business taxes. As always, it’s best to start planning as early as possible because many strategies will be effective only if they’re implemented before year-end.
However, before you act on any of the information presented in the guide, you’ll want to obtain professional advice. The federal tax law remains highly complex, and your tax planning should be done within the context of your specific situation. Click on the icon below to access the guide!
Thursday, August 18th, 2016
Undergrad: Auburn University Accounting/Finance
Hobbies: Fishing, Hunting, Golf
Something Interesting: I was once attacked by a shark in the Bahamas.
Bachelor of Music: University of Northern Iowa
Master of Music: Northwestern University
Master of Professional Accountancy: Georgia State University
Hobbies: cooking, eating, spending time with family
Something Interesting: I was a trombonist with the Portuguese Symphony Orchestra in Lisbon, Portugal for five years
Grad School: Valdosta State University
Hobbies: Running, baking, playing tennis
Something Interesting: I’m a New Year’s baby
Undergrad: University of North Georgia
Hobbies: Outdoor activities and playing with my Beagle puppy named Harper!
Something Interesting: I am getting married in 2 months!
Undergrad: Wesleyan College
Hobbies: Riding horses, reading, walking with (or usually running after) my mini dachshund
Something Interesting: I competed on my collegiate equestrian team.
Lisa Huffman, Manager, also joined the Atlanta team
Undergrad & Grad: I received both my Bachelors and Masters degree from Auburn University.
Hobbies: I enjoy watching college football (particularly Auburn), watching movies, and traveling. Most recently, spending time with my almost 1 y/o daughter.
Something Interesting: 1) I met my husband at freshman orientation. 2) I once got on stage and was sang to by the country music band, Lonestar.
We’d like to welcome back our former interns Bo Wright of the Albany office and Natasha Heenie of the Chattanooga office. They recently started Full-Time as Staff I’s. We’d also like to welcome back Victoria Wyke, Professional, to the Chattanooga office.
Tuesday, August 16th, 2016
Paying the proper amount of tax by the annual federal income tax filing deadline isn’t enough to avoid interest and penalties; you must also meet requirements for paying tax throughout the year through withholding and/or quarterly estimated tax payments. If you have income from sources such as self-employment, interest, dividends, alimony, rent, prizes, awards or the sales of assets, you may have to pay estimated tax.
Generally, you must pay estimated tax if both of these statements apply:
- You expect to owe at least $1,000 in tax after subtracting tax withholding and credits, and
- You expect withholding and credits to be less than the smaller of 90% of your tax for the year or 100% of the tax on your previous year’s return. There are special rules for farmers, fishermen, certain household employers and certain higher-income taxpayers.
If you’re a sole proprietor, partner or S corporation shareholder, you generally have to make estimated tax payments if you expect to owe $1,000 or more in tax when you file your return.
Making the payments
Payments are spaced through the year into four periods or due dates. Generally, the due dates areApril 15, June 15, Sept. 15 and Jan. 15, unless the date falls on a weekend or holiday.
Estimated tax is calculated by factoring in expected gross income, taxable income, taxes, deductions and credits for the year. The easiest way to pay estimated tax is electronically through the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System. You can also pay estimated tax by check or money order using the Estimated Tax Payment Voucher or by credit or debit card.
If you’d like assistance determining whether you need to pay estimated tax or calculating your payments, contact us.
Friday, August 12th, 2016
Mauldin & Jenkins is proud to be recognized as a Top 100 Firm again this year by INSIDE Public Accounting. IPA 100 firms are ranked by U.S. net revenues and are complied by analyzing more than 540 responses to IPA’s Survey and Analysis of Firms. This is IPA’s 26th annual ranking of the largest accounting firms in the nation.
Wednesday, August 10th, 2016
Adam Fraley of the Atlanta office was accepted into the Cobb Chamber’s “Leadership Cobb Class of 2016-2017” and Bradenton’s Jennifer Cook was accepted into the Manatee Chamber’s “Leadership Manatee Class of 2016-2017.”
These Chamber Leadership programs are designed to expose current and future leaders to all aspects of their community such as their county’s various business sectors, the opportunities and issues facing their counties, and how participants can further develop their civic leadership roles.
Leadership Cobb and Leadership Manatee is also a means to meet and network with other business leaders on a regular basis.
Way to go Adam and Jennifer!
Tuesday, August 9th, 2016
Giving away assets during your life will help reduce the size of your taxable estate, which is beneficial if you have a large estate that could be subject to estate taxes. For 2016, the lifetime gift and estate tax exemption is $5.45 million (twice that for married couples with proper estate planning strategies in place).
Even if your estate tax isn’t large enough for estate taxes to be a concern, there are income tax consequences to consider. Plus it’s possible the estate tax exemption could be reduced or your wealth could increase significantly in the future, and estate taxes could become a concern.
That’s why, no matter your current net worth, it’s important to choose gifts wisely. Consider both estate and income tax consequences and the economic aspects of any gifts you’d like to make.
Here are three strategies for tax-smart giving:
1. To minimize estate tax, gift property with the greatest future appreciation potential. You’ll remove that future appreciation from your taxable estate.
2. To minimize your beneficiary’s income tax, gift property that hasn’t appreciated significantly while you’ve owned it. The beneficiary can sell the property at a minimal income tax cost.
3. To minimize your own income tax, don’t gift property that’s declined in value. Instead, consider selling the property so you can take the tax loss. You can then gift the sale proceeds.
For more ideas on tax-smart giving strategies, contact us.