Obamacare adviser blues

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Accounting, News and Politics, Small Business, Taxes

Some of the telephone and email requests I receive for professional help with Obamacare include phrases like: My theory is … I heard that… My brother-in-law says that … I have a hard time expressing in a socially acceptable manner that as a professional. I cannot and do not have any significant regard for what […]

Should a CPA help a delinquent taxpayer? a criminal? a drug dealer?

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Accounting, Taxes, Values

A CPA posed a question online about whether he should help a person who had not filed income tax returns for years but now wants to come clean and catch up. It was surprising to me that almost all the CPAs who responded said they would not help. Many had strong logical arguments for their […]

CPA Tax Rates for 2015

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

Until now, I have used negotiated flat fees for all accounting services – including tax services – under an approach commonly called “value pricing”. These fees should have some reasonable basis and market rate or competitive pricing may be one input into this basis of pricing. We presume that there is social value in having consumers […]

How to choose a financial adviser

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Accounting, Financial Planning, Investment

This blog post is revised from an article that I originally published in 2006 and is reproduced at www.tonynovak.com. At that time I operated as an independent Registered Investment Adviser. Since then, I’ve simplified and automated investment client advisory functions to the point where I presume that separate RIA registration is not required. Now, as […]

Surprise announcement by DOL affects small business health care planning

Posted 1 CommentPosted in Accounting, Small Business, Tax Planning

I didn’t see this one coming either: A small business employer who gives an employee money to help pay for the cost of Obamacare under any circumstances is considered to have set up an illegal group benefit plan that may trigger penalties under the Affordable Care Act. The warning is titled “FAQs about Affordable Care […]

Tax planning engagement letter for individual clients (revised)

Posted 1 CommentPosted in Accounting, Financial Planning, Small Business, Tax Planning

Update in September 2015: I am no longer using this letter. The new version is shorter, more segmented, and is in a format intended to be delivered by email and not on paper or PDF. The collaboration section is now simplified and changed. I am working on updating and expanding my tax planning engagement letter for […]

How I inadvertently contributed to incorrect tax treatment of HRAs

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Accounting, Employee Benefits, Tax Planning

Imagine that you are a mechanic and someone walks into your shop and asks you to put wings on his Honda Civic. You might say, “That’s silly, Civic’s don’t fly” and dismiss the request. Then three more owners walk in with the same question. You think about it some more and say “Well, it might look […]

Post-Sandy Government Shame List

Posted 3 CommentsPosted in Accounting, News and Politics, Small Business

In the two years since Sandy, I have found myself on the front line of an unfortunate number of unjustifiable actions taken by government against my small business clients and neighbors in the bayshore region of South Jersey. This list compiles ten of the most terrible government actions taken in the two years since Sandy. New […]

New CPA Office Makes a Value Offer for 2014 Tax Preparation

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Accounting, Small Business, Tax Planning

I am pleased to announce the launch my tax return preparation practice for the 2014 tax season. I am prepared with the most advanced software, qualified support staff and ready to handle electronic filing for all types of individual and small business tax returns anywhere in the U.S. In order to reduce the risk that […]