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Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017: Summary and Analysis

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2017 TCJA Summary and Analysis

**With the recent changes in tax law, we are posting the below as a summary and analysis that we hope will aid in understanding some of the changes in the new tax law that was passed on December 22, 2017. Please note that while efforts were made to assure the accuracy of the below article,


Watch out for potential tax pitfalls of donating real estate to charity

Charitable giving allows you to help an organization you care about and, in most cases, enjoy a valuable income tax deduction. If you’re considering a large gift, a noncash donation such as appreciated real estate can provide additional benefits. For example, if you’ve held the property for more than one year, you generally will be able to deduct its full fair market value and avoid any capital gains tax you’d owe if you sold the property.


6 ways to control your unemployment tax costs


Unemployment tax rates for employers vary from state to state. Your unemployment tax bill may be influenced by the number of former employees who’ve filed unemployment claims with the state, your current number of employees and your business’s age. Typically, the more claims made against a business, the higher the unemployment tax bill.

Here are six ways to control your unemployment tax costs:

1. Buy down your unemployment tax rate if your state permits it.


3 midyear tax planning strategies for business


Tax reform has been a major topic of discussion in Washington, but it’s still unclear exactly what such legislation will include and whether it will be signed into law this year. However, the last major tax legislation that was signed into law — back in December of 2015 — still has a significant impact on tax planning for businesses. Let’s look at three midyear tax strategies inspired by the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act:



All fringe benefits aren’t created equal for tax purposes


According to IRS Publication 5137, Fringe Benefit Guide, a fringe benefit is “a form of pay (including property, services, cash or cash equivalent), in addition to stated pay, for the performance of services.” But the tax treatment of a fringe benefit can vary dramatically based on the type of benefit.

Generally, the IRS takes one of four tax approaches to fringe benefits:

1. Taxable/includable.


When does your nonprofit owe UBIT on investment income?


In recent years, the IRS has increased its scrutiny of not-for-profits’ unrelated business income (UBI). Dividends, interest, rents, annuities and other investment income generally are excluded when calculating unrelated business income tax (UBIT). However, there are two exceptions where such income is taxable.

1. Debt-financed property

When your nonprofit incurs debt to acquire an income-producing asset, the portion of the income or gain that’s debt-financed is generally taxable UBI.


3 breaks for business charitable donations you may not know about


Donating to charity is more than good business citizenship; it can also save tax. Here are three lesser-known federal income tax breaks for charitable donations by businesses.

1. Food donations

Charitable write-offs for donated food (such as by restaurants and grocery stores) are normally limited to the lower of the taxpayer’s basis in the food (generally cost) or fair market value (FMV), but an enhanced deduction equals the lesser of:

  • The food’s basis plus one-half the FMV in excess of basis,


Why your nonprofit must avoid excess benefit transactions


Not-for-profits that ignore the IRS’s private benefit and private inurement provisions do so at their own peril. These rules prohibit an individual inside or outside a nonprofit from reaping an excess benefit from the organization’s transactions. Violation of such rules can have devastating consequences.

Defining terms

A private benefit is any payment or transfer of assets made (directly or indirectly) by your nonprofit that’s beyond reasonable compensation for the services provided or the goods sold to your organization,


Managing the risks of your nonprofit’s special events with insurance


Not-for-profit special events can be lucrative from a fundraising standpoint, but they also carry significant risks. Proper insurance coverage can help protect your organization.

Special event, special planning

Risks associated with special events run the gamut from accidents and personal injury, to fraud and theft, to cancellation due to inclement weather or nonappearance by a featured performer. However, it’s possible to buy designated “special events insurance.”

These policies provide coverage for lawsuits and claims brought by a third party who suffered a loss connected to the event.


Keep real estate separate from your business’s corporate assets to save tax


It’s common for a business to own not only typical business assets, such as equipment, inventory and furnishings, but also the building where the business operates — and possibly other real estate as well. There can, however, be negative consequences when a business’s real estate is included in its general corporate assets. By holding real estate in a separate entity, owners can save tax and enjoy other benefits, too.

Capturing tax savings

Many businesses operate as C corporations so they can buy and hold real estate just as they do equipment,