Article Archives: 2020

Posted by: Sarah Wine

Did you know that donors aged 70 ½* years old or older can meet their annual minimum IRA distribution by making a gift to your organization?

These types of distributions are called Qualified Charitable Distributions (QCDs). And by making a QCD, donors can achieve their annual required minimum distribution without creating taxable income, as well as benefit your organization at the same time!

QCDs provide donors with tax benefits even if they are not itemizing, since they avoid paying federal income taxes on the IRA distribution. Also, since the QCD does not count as income, it may reduce their annual income level.

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Posted by: Cheryl R. Olson

By Cheryl R. Olson, CPA, CGMA and
Co Author Paul L. Havel, Intellectual Property Team Leader, Miller Nash Graham & Dunn LLP

(This article was originally published on 2/1/2016 by NetRaising | a web consultancy. It was updated on 7/29/2020 to reflect the latest guidance and information.)

You’ve created the perfect website. You’ve spent countless hours with website designers and consultants. You’ve spent weeks writing and rewriting content, perfecting your message, choosing the right graphics, and making sure your website tells your story.

But what about that legal mumbo jumbo every website seems to have?

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Posted by: Steve Vasconcellos

Is your software provider following best practices in keeping their data, and by extension your data, safe? A System and Organization Controls (SOC) report can help you determine how closely a third-party organization is adhering to federal guidelines on cybersecurity. This article will highlight why SOC reports exist and why you should request them from your software vendors.

Third-Party Software Systems Come with Risk

While powerful technology tools have become more streamlined and available, keeping your data safe is still an uphill battle. Today, the capability to breach a system far outpaces the industry’s ability to develop secure code. This is because learning how to write secure code is most-often accomplished through on-the-job coaching and online self-learning.

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Posted by: Sarah Huang

This article reflects the law prior to the passage of the Consolidated Appropriations Act (CAA) in December 2020. As such, certain sections may now be outdated. To learn more about the CAA updates, read our article here.

As borrowers near the end of their covered period for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans, many questions are surfacing on the forgiveness process.

These uncertainties have arisen from the evolving rules issued since the COVID-19 crisis began. In early June, the Paycheck Protection Flexibility Act (PPPFA) was passed, which modified many PPP loan provisions. The SBA and Treasury have also issued various forms of interim guidance over the past months,

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Posted by: Julie Eisenhauer

It’s no secret the COVID-19 pandemic has had a substantial negative impact on businesses. Companies deemed non-essential have closed their doors, employees have been furloughed or laid off, supply chains have been disrupted, and consumer demand is down.

In these trying times, a quote by John F. Kennedy can help remind us of the opportunities that also exist:

The Chinese use two brush strokes to write the word ‘crisis’. One brush stroke stands for danger; the other for opportunity. In a crisis, be aware of the danger, but recognize the opportunity.”

Many business owners are responding to the danger this crisis has created by managing expenses,

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Understanding the different types of commercial loans can be a challenge if you’re not in the finance sector. Before I became an accountant, I spent 12 years working in the banking industry. During my time there, I opened accounts, underwrote loans, worked on loan collection, and restructured problem loans. In summary, I have been involved in the complete lending cycle process from start to finish. With that experience, here’s a high-level introduction to the different types of commercial loans:

Revolving Business Line of Credit

A revolving business line of credit, which is similar to a credit card, has a loan limit that you can draw on up to the credit limit.

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Posted by: Rene Schaefer

The CARES Act provided a technical correction for Qualified Improvement Property (QIP) that enables taxpayers to claim 100% bonus depreciation on eligible improvements. This change was made retroactive to property placed in service on or after January 1, 2018.

About the Provision

After the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), the various pre-existing categories (qualified leasehold improvement property, qualified restaurant property, and qualified retail improvement property) were replaced with one category called Qualified Improvement Property (QIP). The tax law change had intended for QIP to be classified as 15-year life property, eligible for 100% bonus depreciation. However, it was erroneously classified as 39-year depreciable property,

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Posted by: Sarah Huang

On Friday, June 5, the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act of 2020 was signed into law by President Trump. The bill passed the House last week and cleared the Senate on Wednesday with a unanimous vote. It provides increased flexibility to current and future recipients of Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans.

Below is a summary of the prior PPP rules and the revisions made in the new bill:

As of June 3, the Paycheck Protection Program has provided over 4.5 million loans to individuals and organizations, resulting in over $510 billion of funding. There is still over $120 billion in loan funds available for disbursement.

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Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many companies have been required to adopt mandatory work-from-home procedures. This shift has forced employees to drastically change their way of working and find new ways of interacting with others. These sudden shifts can elicit anxiety over an uncertain future and stress from a lack of normalcy. In this new environment, how can companies best communicate and connect with their employees?

Understanding Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

One of the models that can be exceptionally helpful in guiding the way we communicate and connect with others is Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs is a motivational theory made up of five hierarchical levels describing the basic human needs.

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Posted by: Rene Schaefer

June 9 update: This article has been edited to reflect new guidance introduced in the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act of 2020.

Congress has created numerous tax incentives to assist businesses during this unprecedented time, including the Paid Sick and FMLA Payroll Tax Credit and the Employee Retention Credit. In addition to these, the CARES Act also added a new provision allowing employers to defer the payment of the employer’s portion of Social Security (FICA) taxes for a minimum of 12 months and, for some deferrals, a period of more than 32 months.

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