Marvin & Co. Blog

Tax Angles for Self-Employed Individuals

Posted on: 7/31/17 by Debra L. Smith, CPA

Numerous tax aspects to consider

Being self-employed has its advantages and disadvantages. As the person in charge of your business affairs, you can set your own schedule and generally have more flexibility than someone in a 9-to-5 job. On the other hand, you are fully responsible for the bottom line, often with little or no backup to rely on.

What about taxes? There are a number of special considerations for self-employed individuals and this article explains a few.

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Volunteer for These Charitable Deductions

Posted on: 7/31/17 by Thomas W. Donovan, CPA

How to write off out-of-pocket expenses

Do you help your favorite charity with more than just money? Although you cannot deduct the value of your volunteer services, you are entitled to a charitable deduction of your out-of-pocket expenses. Of course, the other usual rules for charitable deductions, including the recordkeeping requirements, still apply.

What sort of expenses are we talking about? This article shares a partial list that may be claimed by charitable volunteers.

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Facts & Figures for August

Posted on: 7/31/17 by Thomas W. Donovan, CPA

Timely points of particular interest

Man’s Best Friend—If you claim to have moved from a state with a high tax rate to one with a low rate—or no state income tax at all—the former state may investigate.

Measuring Success—How can you tell if your business is a success? Is it how much cash you have in the bank? Is it your gross sales?

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Substantiation of Hardship Distributions

Posted on: 7/31/17 by Alan W. Clink, CPA

The IRS recently issued two memorandums to its employee plan examiners indicating it is permissible for 401(k) and 403(b) plan sponsors and their service providers to rely on participants’ written summaries describing their financial hardships when processing hardship withdrawals from plans that apply safe harbor event rules.

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Three Critical Privacy Issues Every Nonprofit Entity Should Consider

Posted on: 7/31/17 by John J. Unser

Most nonprofit organizations collect, use and store “personal information” of donors and staff. There are well over 200 laws, just in the United States, that mandate protections of this information and apply, in whole or in part, to nonprofits. All nonprofit entities should understand the requirements that TCPA, GDPR and U.S. state data breach/protection laws impose upon their organizations.

Just a few years ago, many entities were largely unaware of the impact data privacy and cybersecurity could have on their organization overall. Most categorized these issues as belonging to the IT or HR departments. Now, data-privacy class-action litigation has erupted and data breach announcements dominate the headlines. Currently, in almost every survey conducted of boards and senior management, data issues rank as one of their three top concerns, if not their single greatest concern. Nonprofit entities would be well advised to tend to this important area which is often overlooked until it becomes a crisis.

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So, You Want to Terminate Private Foundation Status and Become a Public Charity?

Posted on: 7/31/17 by Christopher J. Healy, CPA, CGFM

Once an organization is classified by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) as a private foundation, it remains a private foundation. While most private foundations thrive, others may struggle to maintain longevity. Some mature private foundations struggle to keep philanthropy a family endeavor and/or struggle to meet their annual distribution requirements. In addition, operational costs can be significant and the excise tax on net investment income may cut into available funds. Occasionally, an organization may have erroneously determined that it was a private foundation and wish to correct the error in classification. Issues like these can lead a private foundation to consider terminating its foundation status.

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Meet SASB: Why Sustainability Metrics are Smart for Nonprofits

Posted on: 7/31/17 by Heather R. Lewis, CPA

I want to tell you about a relatively new standard-setting body that is shaking up the way entities communicate with their stakeholders called the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB). There are several lessons from the SASB that the nonprofit sector can use to deepen and improve the way they tell their stories.

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7 Best Practices for QuickBooks Online

Posted on: 7/31/17 by Margaret Hurlburt, CPA

Even if you've been using QuickBooks Online for a long time, it's good to step back and evaluate your actions.

“Best practices” aren’t enforceable rules. They’re simply guidelines businesses commonly follow in one area or another. If you’re in retail, for example, one best practice might be to always ask customers checking out if they found everything they were looking for. This serves two purposes: It conveys a feeling of concern for the customer’s shopping experience, and it may also lead to increased sales.
QuickBooks Online has many best practices, some of which may serve multiple purposes, including these:

  • They keep your company data safe and clean.
  • They provide insight on your financial status.
  • They save time.
  • They can lead you to better relationships with customers and vendors.

Are any or all the following common practices for your business?

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How To Build Your Corporate Culture

Posted on: 7/3/17 by Matthew W. Merriam, CPA

Six steps for making improvements

Frequently, business owners and employees will cite their corporate culture as the reason for the company’s success. This article explores six practical suggestions to help build or improve on your company's culture.

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Midyear Strategies for Individuals and Businesses

Posted on: 7/3/17 by Daniel J. Litz, CPA

While the chances for tax reform remains uncertain, individual taxpayers and small-business owners find themselves reviewing their tax planning based on current laws while keeping an eye out for potential changes. This makes planning somewhat of a challenge given the wide range of proposals currently being considered. 

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