Retroactive termination of employee benefit plans

Posted 1 CommentPosted in Accounting, Employee Benefits, Small Business, Taxes

Don’t believe everything you read on the Internet! Lately I’ve written that the general rule is that you can not retroactively terminate or amend an employee benefit plan but that under certain circumstances it may be better to do so than not. This is not a topic that lends itself well to a blog post. […]

Quoting fees for tax return preparation

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Accounting, Tax Planning, Taxes

Another accountant proposed the concept that there is significant business value of having a standardized and rehearsed response to an initial call from a potential client asking about tax work. I agree. We presume that a primary motivation of the caller is to push for price information. But giving a price with limited information is risky and, […]

Tax practice in an environment of non-compliance

Posted 6 CommentsPosted in Accounting, News and Politics, Small Business, Social Media

Around noon yesterday I posted a short social media comment about how busy I was finishing up corporate tax returns. A guy who had previously asked about accounting services before saw the post and decided this would be a good time to call me and ask a series of questions about having me take over his small business tax accounting. […]

S corporation vs. single member LLC

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Accounting, Small Business

This issue comes up again and again in my tax practice: why do business owners and professionals establish  S corporations when a single member LLC will suffice? Let professionals continue to set up one owner S corps. Single member LLCs offer the same legal protection but are considered “disregarded entities” for tax purposes. An LLC is […]

Is your small business ready for the change in credit card rules?

Posted 2 CommentsPosted in Accounting, Small Business

We are now only six weeks away from a major shift in financial risk that affects every small business that accepts credit card payments. Yet many small business owners are still unaware of the change or have not considered the immediate impact of this fundamental change in their business. Beginning October 1 2015 a business that accepts a stolen […]

Clear explanation that there are no “1099 employees”

Posted 1 CommentPosted in 401(k), Accounting, Employee Benefits, Small Business, Taxes

I like this clear simple language in Employee Benefit News: “Employers face an uphill battle in classifying a worker as an independent contractor due to DOL guidance that defines ‘employee’ so broadly that such a classification should only be reserved for a narrow subset of workers.” It is amazing how many employers are oblivious of […]

Most workers are employees

Posted 1 CommentPosted in Accounting, Employee Benefits, Taxes

The issue of worker misclassification – where businesses classify workers as independent contractors and local, state and federal authorities call them employees –  is a long-standing problem area for small businesses. Federal and state auditors (not just tax but worker’s compensation as well) have been engaged in an aggressive “crackdown” on misclassified workers. This week […]

Fixing the problems of financial do-it-yourselfers

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Accounting, Financial Planning, Small Business, Taxes

New Jersey financial adviser Michael Kay wrote in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal “Do-it-yourselfers often approach advisers as a last resort when they have an especially complex or urgent financial issue, and advisers should proceed carefully with this type of client.” Since the launch of my own practice six months ago, I notice that a high […]

First case of fraud in small business accounting

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Accounting, Small Business

I’m dealing with my first case of likely fraud in a small business client’s bookkeeping. It apparently stems from the actions of an incompetent or inattentive bookkeeper and an overly trusting business owner. I should not be surprised knowing that $2 out of every $100 passing through the US economy is based on fraud of […]