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As 2019 came to a close, Clark Nuber promoted a record five principals into the ranks of shareholder. Little did these new shareholders know what was waiting for them on the other side of the new year. We recently met with them to discuss the challenges of 2020, the unexpected opportunities of working remote, and what it was like coming into a leadership role during a once-in-a-lifetime crisis.

Interviewer: You’ve been shareholders at Clark Nuber for over a year now. Did you see yourself here when you first began?

Jennifer Mace (JM): I would say it felt like a natural progression.

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The Taxpayer Certainty and Disaster Tax Relief Act of 2020 (TCDTR) signed into law in December 2020, extends certain favorable CARES Act provisions regarding charitable deductions and provides for disaster relief deductions. Here are the highlights.

Individual Charitable Contribution Deduction for Non-Itemizers

Individuals that do not itemize deductions on their tax returns may take a charitable deduction for 2020 up to $300 per return for cash contributions to an organization exempt under Code Section 501(c)(3), except for contributions to supporting organizations and donor advised funds. This deduction will also be available for 2021, up to $300 (and, added by TCDTR, $600 on a joint return).

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The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 made a second draw of Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans available to qualifying organizations. Here is an overview of the entities eligible for first and second draw PPP loans:

Eligible for First Draw PPP Loans

  • Small entities that, together with their affiliates, have 500 or less employees. This includes nonprofits, veterans’ organizations, tribal concerns, self-employed individuals, sole proprietorships, and independent contractors.
  • Certain entities with more than 500 employees in certain industries can also apply. This includes businesses with a NAICS Code that begins with 72 (The Accommodation and Food Services sector) or eligible news organizations with no more than 500 employees per physical locations,

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Introduction

Starting in 2018, under the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act (TCJA), all business meals were made 50% deductible. This included all employee, business, travel, and per diem meals, unless separately billed to a client. It also included meals incurred during entertainment (i.e. football games) if the meals were separately stated from the entertainment expense. The 50% meals limitation does not apply to employee parties. It was unclear whether employee office snacks (de minimis) and office meals were subject to the 50% limitation.

On October 9, 2020, the IRS issued final regulations that clarified the employee office snacks (de minimis) and office meals are subject to the 50% limitation.

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Most of us spent 2020 experiencing upheaval like never before, both on a global scale and in our personal and professional lives. Since March 2020, the world has been in constant state of flux as we all try to get our bearings in the COVID-19 reality. To frame a terrible year in its best possible light, you could characterize this as an intense period of innovation. But is all the change we’re going through really strategic innovation? Or is it merely a knee-jerk reaction to the current moment?

I’ve spent the year watching with curiosity to see which of these new COVID-induced routines will be valuable enough to stay – the true innovations – and which are destined for the dustbin when the quarantine lifts.

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If you have ever been advised or tempted to convert your traditional IRA to a Roth, 2020 may finally be the year to make that move.

There are two factors that could make the conversion more attractive this year: the challenging economic environment, and a 2020 change in tax law that may work in your favor. We’ll cover both below.

Lower Tax Brackets

First, for many high net worth individuals, 2020 will be a challenging year with a much lower taxable income compared to prior and (hopefully) future years.

While this current situation is certainly painful, it does mean that lower IRS income tax brackets could apply for the 2020 tax year. 

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Do you remember the old Pringles jingle, “Once you pop, you can’t stop”? The idea was that, once you got a taste of the sinfully salty snack, you’d be compelled to eat more and more. That same principle can apply to committing occupational fraud. Oftentimes, once an employee has committed one act of fraud, they’ll go on to perform further criminal acts.

Frauds in the News

The following are a few recent stories from the news about people carrying out more than one con job at their place of business:

The defendant in this indictment from Evansville, Wisconsin,

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Media Contact

Melissa Takade
Director of Marketing
Clark Nuber
Phone: 425-454-4919
Contact Melissa

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