Blog Archives: 2021

Leading with Data

Things were simpler in times of old. Back in the pre-industrial era, the only data you needed for a profitable harvest was a ledger of your past sales and maybe a farmer’s almanac.

Today, data is everywhere. The problem isn’t how we get the information we need to make decisions, it’s how we get the right information we need, in the right format, and how to see through the clutter and white noise that surrounds everything we do.

Every day, our systems accumulate vast amounts of data without any intentional action by us. As I write this article,

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Washington Legislature Adopts Fix to Remove the Special Tourism Assessment from Measure of Sales and B&O Taxes on Lodging

Washington cities and counties are permitted to establish parking and business improvement areas (PBIAs) and levy assessments on the businesses that are benefitted by PBIA activities. Seattle has one such PBIA known as the Seattle Tourism Improvement Area. Lodging businesses within the PBIA collect a charge from guests to fund improvement area assessments.

In 2019, the Department of Revenue audited a Seattle hotel and concluded that the assessments billed to guests should be included in the amount subject to sales and business and occupation (B&O) taxes. In response, members of the Washington Hospitality Association approached legislators seeking a legislative fix to make clear that the amounts charged by lodging businesses for the assessments are not subject to sales or B&O tax.

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The Strength of Compassionate Leadership

More so than any time in recent history, the COVID-19 pandemic has enabled company leaders to reflect on the notion of becoming compassionate leaders.

Sara Elizabeth Hyre, head of Clark Nuber’s Tax Department, and Tom Sulewski, head of our Audit Department, are two leaders who have overseen their service groups during a time of unprecedented change in the industry – walking a tightrope of meeting client expectations and ensuring their employees are cared for.

Here’s what these shareholders had to say about the enduring strength of compassionate leadership:

Thank you both for sitting down to talk with us today.  » Read more

Washington B&O Tax Treatment of COVID-19 Related Emergency Funding

Last year, following the passage of the federal CARES Act, the Washington State Department of Revenue (DOR) published guidance regarding its view on whether federal COVID-19 related financial assistance is subject to the Business & Occupation (B&O) tax (including loan forgiveness under the Paycheck Protection Program [PPP]).

At that time, the DOR indicated its belief that the financial assistance should not be reportable for B&O tax purposes. Since then, the Legislature has enacted a specific exemption from the B&O tax for qualifying grants received on or after February 29, 2020 (the date the Governor issued a COVID-19 emergency proclamation).

The new law (SHB 1095),

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When the Cat’s Away, Should You Play?

The chances of an IRS examination of a tax-exempt entity is one in 742, reported the Treasury Inspector General For Tax Administration (TIGTA) in February. For-profit businesses are five times as likely to be examined (one in 156) and individuals are three times as likely to be examined (one in 226). The rate for churches is about one in 5,000.

To better show you how many this is, during FY 2019, there were almost 1.5 million Form 990 series returns and notices filed; however, the EO function examined approximately 2,000 (0.13 percent) Form 990 series returns during the same year.

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