Misunderstandings of tax treatment of health insurance

Posted 3 CommentsPosted in Accounting, Employee Benefits, Taxes

An article in Forbes earlier this month was apparently misunderstood by some readers. PPACA is certainly difficult and some issues are not yet resolved. But we should not let that confusion undermine our understanding of basis tax principles governing the treatment of health insurance premiums paid by an employer. I suggest that it would be good […]

Testing small business social media marketing message for CPA/benefits practice

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Accounting, Employee Benefits, Small Business, Social Media, Tax Planning

Today I plan to test this new social media marketing message on a sample of my small business owner connections. It is meant to incorporate the components of the advice I’m reading lately on how to do this type of social media marketing. I deliberately tried to include an immediacy point, a focus on the reader, […]

When QuickBooks is a no-brainer

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

I ran into an old friend by chance on a Philadelphia sidewalk today. We used to see each other often but now he lives more than an hour away with his three dogs at a rural country place in beautiful upper Bucks Country. He knows that I am an accountant but we’ve never “talked business” […]

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 […]