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Do You Have a Nanny or Household Employee? Make Sure You’re Up-to-Date on Tax Requirements

Hiring a nanny for child care can mean tax liabilities you didn’t have before, even if they aren’t a full-time employee. Here’s what you need to know about the nanny tax.

Congress Has Approved the Infrastructure Bill: What’s In It For You?

The long-awaited $1 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) received the U.S. House of Representatives’ approval Friday, November 5, 2021, to provide funding for improvements to highways, bridges, and other road safety measures. The bill also offers plans to reconnect communities previously divided by highway building and expand national broadband networks.

IRS Temporarily Expands List of Tax Forms Eligible for E-signatures

The IRS has temporarily expanded its e-signature allowance to include several additional tax forms. Review the complete list and restrictions here.

Making a Family File

One of the most difficult things for a family to deal with after the death of a loved one is sorting through the endless paperwork needed to get the estate in order. It is important that your documents are in order to ensure prompt payout on any life insurance policies. By creating a “family file” that contains all of the important documents needed in the event of your death, you can make an already painful process a little bit easier for your loved ones.

IRS releases W-2 reporting requirements for qualified leave in 2021

The FFCRA requires employees who take leave or sick time due to COVID-19 to be reported separately to employees on Form W-2. Learn how to report them correctly.

Don’t overlook the Employee Retention Credit

The Employee Retention Credit (ERC) was introduced in 2020 to help businesses that have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Since its release, it has been expanded and modified to help more businesses. Despite all of this, many businesses that are eligible for the credit haven’t filed for it. Did the pandemic impact your business? Don’t assume your business is ineligible. Keep reading to learn more.

Seven tax strategies that save small businesses money

Taxes are a constant for any business. They come due every year, whether you have a  profitable year or are in times of economic downturn. Planning for your taxes is an important business function, as it allows you to make decisions throughout the year to maximize your tax deductions and save your business on taxes. Businesses often encounter multiple types of taxes throughout the operating year. These include income taxes, employment taxes like FICA and social security taxes, sales taxes, and excise taxes (only for specific industries). In the article below, we’ll discuss simple measures for saving your business and your employees on some of these taxes.

Understanding Your Cash Flow and Financial Statements

As a business owner, it is important to be able to read and understand the accounting terms found in your financial statements. Once you understand the basics of financial statements, you can interpret what they mean to your organization’s financial health.

Walter & Shuffain Recognized as a 2021 IPA Top 200 Firm

Inside Public Accounting (IPA) has named Walter & Shuffain, P.C. (Walter & Shuffain) a 2021 Top 200 Firm. This is the first year that the firm has broken into the Top 200, having been listed in the Top 300 for the past seven years.

Understanding How the R&D Tax Credit Can Offset Payroll Taxes

Start-ups and small businesses customarily incur expenditures that may qualify for Research & Development (R&D) tax credits, but generally, these businesses don’t have the taxable profit needed to take advantage of the credit. Qualifying small businesses can apply all or a portion of this popular credit against their payroll tax liability, including social security taxes. Below we’ve answered some of the key R&D questions and whether your business is eligible for offsetting payroll tax.

Developing a Disaster Preparedness Plan

Preparedness takes many forms, from creating a disaster plan, complete with supply kits and evacuation routes, to safeguarding your business with communication templates and IT backup. This article will explore the steps business owners can take both before and after a disaster strikes to protect their company, employees, clients, and the community.

Tax facts to know about vacation rentals

With the rise of VRBO and Airbnb, allowing short-term rentals on a vacation home are becoming more popular. Here’s what you need to know about vacation home taxes.

IRS releases website to manage child tax credit deposits

The IRS recently released information on how to check eligibility, opt-in for non-filers, and opt-out of the advance child tax credit payments as part of the ARP. 

Understanding business meal and entertainment deduction rules

There have been many changes to the business meals and expenses tax rules over the past few years. This article breaks it down to basics for you. Keep reading.

Creating Your Small Business Exit Strategy

Do you know what will happen to your business when you retire? By necessity, many busy small business owners spend all of their time thinking about the here and now, with little opportunity to focus on the future. But your company’s long-term survival -— and your own retirement security -— may depend on establishing a realistic and workable exit strategy.

Tax implications for cryptocurrency owners

The IRS is cracking down on cryptocurrency reporting on tax documents. Here's what you need to know to properly report gains and losses on your tax return.

What is a custody? Learn what family offices need to know about custody arrangements.

Family offices need to understand the definition of custody and the many arrangements that are possible. In this blog post, we will review the definition of custody, overview the different types, and how they affect your business. 

Employee v. contractor: Which is right (and legal) for your business

Businesses are constantly evolving how they operate in order to meet the fast-paced changes coming from customers and the marketplace. Further, individuals are increasingly taking advantage of the income they can earn from the gig economy. These factors have more businesses looking for contractors and more workers looking for a contracting arrangement than ever before.  

IRS provides guidance on tax credits for employers providing paid vaccine leave

The IRS and Treasury Department provided new information regarding the tax credits available through the American Rescue Plan (ARP). The ARP was created to help small businesses through the pandemic. This new guidance provides information on how eligible businesses can claim the credit for providing paid time off to employees receiving or recovering from the vaccine. Below, we’ve outlined which employers are eligible for the credits and when and how the credits can be taken.

Like-Kind exchange updates: Clarifying real property and escrow policies

If you are in possession of business or investment property or looking to exchange real property for others, you might want to get acquainted with “like-kind exchanges,” also known as a 1031 exchange. As with all tax codes, changes are consistently made to clarify previous unclear areas or adjust the language based on a new policy. In 2020, there were some larger changes noted to section 1031 of the tax code, which deals with like-kind exchanges of real property.

PPP extension passes House and Senate

A measure to extend the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) application deadline from March 31, 2021, to May 31, 2021, has passed the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate. It now heads to President Biden’s desk for signature which he is expected to do promptly.

Prepare your RIA firm for its next surprise audit

Registered Investment Advisors (RIAs) serve an important role in their client’s lives. They can often be financial custodians to their clients and hold great responsibility for the client’s financial situation. Due to past examples of mismanagement by RIAs in recent history, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) began requiring annual surprise exams (surprise audits) of RIAs to detect fraud, misused, or misappropriated use of client assets managed by RIAs.  

Key tax provisions in the American Rescue Plan Act

The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) has been signed into law by President Biden and makes significant updates to several tax provisions to alleviate some of the pandemic's financial burdens for individual taxpayers and businesses. Updates include expansions and extensions of various tax credits such as the employee retention credit (ERC), COBRA continuation coverage, Affordable Care Act (ACA) subsidies, and more. The bill also includes $1.46 billion for the IRS to manage the additional responsibilities on top of the annual tax filing season. Here are the critical tax updates.

American Rescue Plan Act signed into law

The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) of 2021 passed Congress and President Biden signed the bill into law on March 12, 2021. The ARPA approves $1.9 trillion in spending for individuals, businesses, governments, and certain industries impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The third Act in a year, the ARPA approves additional economic impact payments for individuals; the extension of federal unemployment benefits; additional funds for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Loans, and Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) for hard-hit small businesses; and grants for food and beverage establishments. Here are the key individual and business provisions in the bill.

IRS clarifies employee retention credit eligibility for PPP loans and 2020 claims

The IRS has released additional guidance in Notice 2021-20 on the Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERC) with clarifications on the retroactive changes for expanded eligibility applicable to 2020. Employers who received a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan have been waiting on guidance on claiming the credit in combination with forgiveness of their loan. The provisions outlined here apply to retroactive claims for 2020 as well as providing a plan for those yet to seek forgiveness.

New PPP calculation released for Form 1040, Schedule C filers

Form 1040, Schedule C taxpayers received an updated interim final rule (IFR) on the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) from the Small Business Association (SBA). The IFR clarifies guidance released on Feb. 22 that made changes to how self-employed and sole proprietors could calculate their maximum loan amount to help expand the program for these groups. Approximately 2.6 million sole proprietors have applied for PPP loans, and it is estimated there are about 25 million sole proprietors across the country.

Smallest businesses get PPP updates, special filing period

The nation’s smallest businesses are getting revamped Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) rules and a special filing period announced in recent changes from the Biden-Harris administration. Small businesses with fewer than 20 employees make up 98% of the small businesses in the U.S. but have not received much assistance from the PPP so far and have accounted for a significant portion of business closures during the pandemic. These new rules seek to remedy that. Here’s what you should know.

Recordkeeping best practices are good for taxes

Have you ever tried to claim a new tax deduction, but in the process of compiling supporting documents, you found you were missing critical information and therefore missed out on the opportunity? Or, have you ever faced an IRS audit and struggled to come up with documentation supporting your tax return data? How about this currently familiar experience, your records are in your brick and mortar office, but your staff is working remotely. Or you need to gather documents for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans. As you can see, good recordkeeping is more than a storyboard for your business; it’s a valuable tool for tax preparation and in today’s climate, loan forgiveness.

Business meals and entertainment expenses: What’s deductible?

The Tax Cuts & Jobs Act (TCJA) of 2017 made many significant changes for business tax deductions including the disallowing of the business deductions for most entertainment expenses. The IRS has since released final regulations for the treatment of meals and entertainment deductions, and businesses should be apprised of these changes.

Massachusetts and PPP Loan Forgiveness

When Federal Laws change, in Mass. there is an automatic mandate that Corporations will follow current Federal rules.   However, for individuals whose business income comes from a Schedule C or a pass through entity, Massachusetts generally follows the Code as amended and in effect on January 1, 2005.  Therefore, for a borrower subject to Massachusetts personal income tax, any amount forgiven under Section 1106 of the Act is includable in gross income and subject to tax, and there is no disallowance of deductions attributable to the payment of expenses resulting in the forgiveness of the loan.  

IRS announces 2021 standard mileage rates for business, charitable, medical, and moving purposes

The Internal Revenue Service recently issued the 2021 optional standard mileage rates. These rates, which adjust every year to account for inflation of fuel costs, vehicle cost and maintenance, and insurance rate increases, will once again affect the way a company reimburses their mobile workers. 

Everything you need to know about the expanded ERTC

The employee retention tax credit (ERTC) is intended to provide liquidity to employers during the pandemic and was greatly expanded in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 thanks to Sections 206 and 207 of the Taxpayer Certainty and Disaster Relief Act portion, opening the doors to more businesses to be able to qualify for and receive this credit who are facing significant hardship as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Many changes from the original credit were enacted including an expansion in the amount of credit and business eligibility, and how it plays with the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).  

Summary of the Employee Retention Tax Credit Provision of the CARES Act

This credit is geared towards employers subject to partial or full COVID-19 related closures. This credit impacts compensation, furlough, and layoff strategies. If you are considering making workforce reductions, it is important to understand your options under the CARES Act.

Treasury issues interim final rules on updated PPP guidance

Two new interim final rules for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) have been released from the Small Business Administration (SBA) and Treasury in response to the changes and second round of funding enacted by the relief portion of the Consolidated Appropriations Act signed at the end of December. 

Congress passes second Coronavirus relief bill, includes new funding and updates to PPP

The U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate have passed the Coronavirus Response & Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, and President Trump has signed the bill. The agreement comes after weeks of negotiations and two funding extensions to keep Congress open until a bill was passed with a $1.4 trillion government-wide funding plan. The $900 billion coronavirus relief portion includes another round of Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funding, extended unemployment benefits, and direct payments to taxpayers. Here’s an overview of the key provisions in the bill.

Work-from-home tax implications: What employers and employees need to know

The pandemic created by the novel coronavirus has drastically changed the way we live and work. As more businesses are forced to send their employees home, work-from-home life has become a mainstay especially in knowledge-based jobs (jobs that do not require physical labor), and many of these industries are not going back to the workplace anytime soon. This can create wrinkles for both employers and employees when it comes to their tax situations. Here’s what employers and employees need to know about remote work and the impact it can have on taxes.  

Financial best practices to implement and pitfalls to avoid with your private foundation

Following the reopening of the IRS in July 2020, high-income earners and private foundations have been under the IRS’s lens in an effort to recover back taxes owed by these groups. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin reported that the IRS would be looking to audit these groups back in March 2020, in an effort to recover taxes from high-income non-filers and interrupt self-dealing in private foundations.

Guidance issued on deductibility of expenses with a PPP loan

On Nov. 18, the IRS and Treasury issued Revenue Ruling 2020-27 which provides long-awaited guidance on the tax treatment of expenses related to Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans. The guidance states that the expenses listed in section 1106(b) of the CARES Act that would otherwise be deductible will not be allowed in the taxable year that the expenses were paid or incurred and covered under a PPP loan that is forgiven or expected to be forgiven. 

Walter & Shuffain ranked the #1 Best Firm for Young Accountants by Accounting Today

Walter & Shuffain, P.C. (Walter & Shuffain) has been ranked the #1 Best Firm for Young Accountants from Accounting Today for 2020. The Best Firm for Young Accountants award is determined using the data from employees under 30 years-of-age who completed the Top 100 Best Firms to Work For survey (to which Walter & Shuffain was also named). Accounting Today names 10 firms from the list, with Walter & Shuffain taking the #1 spot for 2020. 

Understanding the 3 PPP forgiveness applications: Which one to use

The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) from the Small Business Administration (SBA) and Treasury has had many updates over the past few months including changes to timelines and forgiveness applications. Among these changes was the introduction of three different types of forgiveness applications: 

2020 tax planning considerations for businesses, individuals

This year has been unique and beyond comparison in many ways, and tax planning is just one of the implications of current events. Both individual and business taxes have the potential to be significantly impacted by the various legislation that has passed like the FFCRA and the CARES Act, the loan programs made available like the PPP and the EIDL, and the unemployment/stimulus programs that touched many Americans. It’s imperative that we take into account all these potential factors when implementing your tax plan for 2020. In this article, we’ll take a look at the main areas to consider, both common and pandemic-related, when planning for 2020 year-end taxes. 

Tax planning considerations: Election results, sunset provisions

According to news outlets, as of this writing, Joe Biden has been named the president-elect of the U.S. Vote counting is still ongoing and election results have not yet been certified, but this news may have some taxpayers wondering what changes, if any, they should make in their tax planning to close out an eventful tax year.  

PPP loans of $50,000 or less get simplified rules from the SBA

The Small Business Administration (SBA) and Treasury announced on October 8 that a simplified application (Form 3508S) for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan forgiveness is now available for borrowers whose loans fall in the $50,000 or less threshold. As more and more businesses begin filing for PPP loan forgiveness, this change outlined in a new interim final rule greatly simplifies the process for borrowers with smaller loans. However, it is important to note that this simplified form is not equal to automatic forgiveness.   

Latest update to PPP provides guidance on owner-employee compensation, non-payroll costs

On Aug. 24, the Small Business Administration (SBA) and Treasury issued the latest interim final rule update to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) that seeks to clarify guidance related to owner-employee compensation and non-payroll costs. This guidance has been long-awaited and clears up several questions borrowers have had about forgiveness. Here are the main points: 

Walter & Shuffain Awarded Three Professional Accolades

Walter & Shuffain, P.C. (Walter & Shuffain) has been named to three professional accolade lists including the Top Accounting Firms to Work For from Accounting Today, and the Best of the Best Firms and Top 300 Firms from INSIDE Public Accounting (IPA).  

COVID-19 FAQs

Will I receive cash from the government? If so, when?

Single individuals with 2019 (2018, if your 2019 return hasn’t been filed yet) Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) up to $75,000 ($112,500 if you file as “head of household”) will generally receive a $1,200 rebate from the IRS. Joint filers with AGI up to $150,000 will receive a rebate of $2,400. An additional $500 rebate is available for each qualifying child under age 17. If your income is too high, the rebate will be reduced by $5 for each $100 your AGI exceeds the threshold. So, for a typical family of four, the amount is completely phased out once AGI exceeds $218,000.

Russell, Brier & Co. LLP merges with Walter & Shuffain, P.C.

Walter & Shuffain, P.C. (Walter & Shuffain) announces the acquisition of Russell, Brier & Co. LLP (Russell Brier) effective Sept. 1, 2020. The merger makes Walter & Shuffain a Top 20 firm in Massachusetts. The combination of the two firms offers the Boston metro area greater access to robust knowledge, expertise and skills, in addition to greater value through the firms’ complementary strengths, resources and experience.  

Latest PPP FAQ Document- An overview of some of the most notable clarified guidance

The Small Business Administration (SBA) and Treasury released an updated Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) FAQ on Aug. 4 in an effort to address PPP loan forgiveness issues that have arisen as borrowers begin to complete their applications. The 23 FAQs address various aspects of PPP forgiveness including general loan forgiveness, payroll costs, non-payroll costs, and loan forgiveness reductions.

House, Senate Approve 5-week PPP Extension

The U.S. Senate and House of Representatives have both unanimously agreed to extend the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) by five weeks.

PPP Extension Bill Approved by Senate, Signed by President

On June 4, 2020, the president signed into law the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act after it passed the Senate with a unanimous vote.

House passes bill to extend, expand provisions of PPP

On May 28, 2020, in a nearly unanimous vote, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to extend certain provisions of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to provide small businesses with relief in the timeframe and use of their PPP loan funds.

SBA guidance on PPP Loan Forgiveness issued

On May 15, the Small Business Administration (SBA) issued the Loan Forgiveness application and on May 22, the interim final rule guidance on the PPP loan forgiveness was issued. 

Employer Retention Credit- an alternative to PPP

The “CARES Act” provides a tax credit for eligible employers to encourage them to continue paying employees.

PPP Loan Forgiveness- Next Steps

We are going to attempt to at least provide some best practices in the short term until clear guidance is available.  Remember, this is for the 8 week period after the loan is issued. 

What is the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program (EIDL)?

The EIDL (Economic Injury Disaster Loan) program is a program available to certain small businesses located in areas subject to a presidential disaster declaration that have suffered a substantial economic injury as a result.

What is the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)?

The PPP provides short-term cash flow assistance to small businesses to help these businesses and their employees deal with the immediate economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)

On March 18, 2020, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) was signed into law, marking the second major legislative initiative to address COVID-19.

CARES Act introduces Paycheck Protection Program, Disaster Assistance from SBA and Other Options

Changes to the existing SBA 7(a) loan programs and also provides information on SBA Disaster Loans and the Facebook Small Business Grant. 

The CARES Act for Individuals and Businesses

Phase 3 of the COVID-19 response plan, The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act

Tax Filing Deadline Extended To July 15

“Moving tax day from April 15 to July 15.  All taxpayers and businesses will have this additional time to file and make payments without interest and penalties”

Tax Payment Deferral

On Tuesday, March 17th, Treasury Secretary Mnuchin announced a 90-day grace period on the payment of individual and corporate taxes normally due April 15th.

A message to our friends and clients regarding the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak

Our top priority has always been to deliver superior service to our clients. To do that in the current environment, we're taking every precaution possible.    Fortunately, we have the technological capability for everyone on our team to work remotely. 

Congratulations to W&S Supervisor Danielle Donovan named one of the MSCPA’s 2019 Women to Watch

Congratulations to Danielle Donovan! Danielle is a recipient of one of the MSCPA’s 2019 Women to Watch Awards, selected as an Emerging Leader! The Women to Watch Awards recognize outstanding women in the accounting profession.

W&S Named one of Accounting Today’s 2019 Best Accounting Firms To Work For

Walter & Shuffain, PC, was recently named as one of the 2019 Accounting Today’s Best Accounting Firms to Work for.  "We're truly honored to have been named to Accounting Today’s 2019 Best Accounting Firms To Work For," said Jonathan Yorks, Managing Shareholder. "We employ a team approach to achieving clients’ business goals, and strive to create a fulfilling, energized, and supportive work environment for each and every member of our team."

Sales Tax Nexus – What it Means in Massachusetts

Consumers who were once limited to their local storefronts to browse for goods are now able to shop and make purchases globally. Consumers aren’t the only ones benefitting from these digital shopping cart advancements. Businesses are now able to target a market well beyond their physical location, but these tempting multi-state customers come with challenges. 

The New U.S. Tax Law and its Impact on Real Estate

W&S Shareholder Angela Parziale shares her insights on the new US tax law and its impact on Real Estate in this CREW Network update

New Lease Accounting Standards Could Affect Your Financial Statements

New lease accounting standards could impact balance sheets and financial reporting.

Meals and Entertainment Deductions See BIG Changes in 2018

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) offers many taxpayers a break through corporate and individual tax rate reductions. However, the new legislation comes with a few thorns. One of the biggest surprises to business owners is the elimination of the entertainment deduction.

W&S Shareholder to Speak at Women’s Council of the RI Society of CPAs Event

W&S Shareholder Angela Parziale will be a discussion leader and head up a break-out session on the value of women's initiatives and being a mindful leader in the workplace.

Walter & Shuffain Featured in Journal of Accountancy

Two of our shareholders, Angela Parziale and William Cooper, are featured in an article titled "Customizing Talent Development" on the Journal of Accountancy website.

Congress Approves Sweeping Tax Reform

On December 20, 2017, Congress approved sweeping tax reform. The President is expected to sign the bill next week in its current form. 

What is a 1031 Exchange and Who Can Benefit from One?

The opportunity to defer tax is music to the ears of many. In this article, we’ll discuss the different types of 1031 exchanges and the potential benefits for each.

New Revenue Recognition – 5 Steps You’ll Need to Know

Not familiar with revenue recognition? An often-misunderstood principle, revenue recognition determines the conditions under which revenue is received. The new standards emphasize that revenue should be recorded when goods and services are transferred, or a customer takes control.  Control is identified as the ability to direct the use of and reap the benefits of the goods or services performed under the contract. The guidance provides five steps to implementing the new standards.

Understanding How the R&D Tax Credit Can Offset Payroll Taxes

Start-ups and small businesses customarily incur expenditures that may qualify for Research & Development (R&D) tax credits, but generally, these businesses don’t have the taxable profit needed to take advantage of the credit. The IRS issued guidance earlier this year that explains how qualifying small businesses can now apply all or a portion of the credit against their payroll tax liability, including social security taxes. Below we’ve answered some of the key R&D questions and whether your business is eligible for offsetting payroll tax.

W&S Named one of Accounting Today’s 2017 Best Accounting Firms To Work For

Walter & Shuffain, P.C. was recently named one of Accounting Today’s 2017 Best Accounting Firms To Work For. Accounting Today partnered with Best Companies Group to identify the top 100 companies that excel in creating quality workplaces for employees.

Walter & Shuffain Selected to IPA’s Annual Best of the Best Accounting Firms

We are proud to announce that W&S has been selected as a Best of the Best Firm by INSIDE Public Accounting (IPA).