search

News & Insights

New Credit Benefits Employers who Provide Paid Family and Medical Leave

Eligible employers who provide paid family and medical leave to their employees during tax years 2018 and 2019 might qualify for a new business tax credit. This new employer credit for family and medical leave is part of tax reform legislation passed in December 2017. Here are some facts about the credit to help employers find out if they might be able to claim it. ..

Read More

IRS Alerts Taxpayers to be Aware of Scammers

The Internal Revenue Service is reminding taxpayers to beware of criminals who continue using devious tactics to steal money and personal information from unsuspecting victims, especially as the fall season approaches.  The agency warns that scammers continue to pose as the IRS, making threatening phone calls and using email phishing schemes to lure taxpayers. The scams may be particularly prevalent ahead of the Oct. 15 tax-filing extension deadline. Another tax scam, where criminals pose as charity organizations, tends to peak during hurricane season or following a natural disaster. Taxpayers should learn about these ongoing tax scams and know what to do if they’re targeted. The IRS urges taxpayers to look out for suspicious calls, emails and donation requests and take appropriate action if they experience any of the following: ..

Read More

Meals Continue to be Deductible Under New IRS Guidance

The IRS this week issued guidance clarifying that taxpayers may generally continue to deduct 50% of the food and beverage expenses associated with operating their trade or business, despite changes to the meal and entertainment expense deduction under made by the tax law known as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TJCA). According to the IRS, the amendments specifically deny deductions for expenses for entertainment, amusement, or recreation, but do not address the deductibility of expenses for business meals. This omission has created a lot of confusion in the business community, which the IRS is addressing in this interim guidance. Taxpayers can rely on the guidance in the notice until the IRS issues proposed regulations. ..

Read More

The New Postcard Size IRS Form 1040 for 2019

The Internal Revenue Service has released a prototype of the new Form 1040 that hundreds of millions of Americans use to file their annual taxes. The new "postcard sized" form will be used for the 2018 income tax year.  A full-size PDF draft version of the new 1040 form can be viewed from the IRS website. ..

Read More

Detecting and Preventing Expense Reimbursement Fraud

Expense reimbursement fraud accounts for 21 percent of fraud in small businesses (<100 employees), and 11 percent in large businesses (100+ employees), according to the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners’ 2018 Report to the Nations. Businesses often overlook expense reimbursement fraud because the amount of money may seem trivial: but small losses can add up quickly. The median duration of expense reimbursement fraud is 24 months, and the median loss is $31,000. ..

Read More

2018 Form 1040 to be shorter but with more schedules

The IRS is working on a draft version of the 2018 Form 1040, U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, that reduces the size of the form to two half-pages in length and eliminates more than 50 lines, compared to the 2017 version of the form. The draft form moves many items that in the past have appeared on the face of the 1040 to various new schedules. ..

Read More

Louisiana decreases the overall state sales tax rate effective July 1, 2018

Beginning July 1, 2018, the overall state sales tax rate will be reduced from 5 % to 4.45 %.  The new tax rate of 0.45 percent will sunset on June 30, 2025.  Louisiana updated the exemption table for exemptions and exclusions: ..

Read More

IRS adjusts health savings account limits for 2019

The Internal Revenue Service has issued a revenue procedure providing the 2019 inflation-adjusted amounts for health savings accounts.  In Revenue Procedure 2018-30, the IRS said the annual limitation on deductions for an individual with self -only coverage under a high deductible health plan is $3,500 for calendar year 2019. Also for next year, the annual limitation on deductions for an individual with family coverage under a high deductible health plan is $7,000. ..

Read More

Section 529 Plans Can Now Be Used for Private Elementary and High Schools

In the past, parents often used tax-favored Section 529 plans to build up funds for the college education of their children. Now the new tax law – the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) -- expands the scope of these programs. Under the TCJA, you can tap into a Section 529 plan to pay tuition expenses at many elementary and secondary schools. ..

Read More