December 2015

Private tax collection poised for possible return

Tucked into the pending highway and transportation spending bill is a provision authorizing the IRS to outsource some tax collection activities. If this sounds familiar, it is. Several times in the past 20 years, the IRS has contracted with private sector debt collection agencies for tax collection work. The results have been mixed, but as lawmakers scramble for money to […]

Employee Promotions December 2015

The Partner Group is excited to announce the following promotions effective January 2016. Join us in congratulating them! Kathy Guyett has been promoted to Manager in the A&A department. Diane Eller has been promoted to Senior Accountant in the A&A department.

Cyber Security Training

Cyber security expert Steven Short visited the firm to conduct a course on cyber security. All Flaherty and Salmin CPA employees completed the CyberSAFE course from Logical Operations and received official certificates upon completion.

Last-minute tax planning strategies to consider as the 2015 tax year closes

In between preparing for the year-end holidays, school vacations, travel, work, and so on, tax planning should not be on the back burner. Although 2015 is quickly coming to a close, there is still time, with careful planning, to execute some last minute tax strategies. In many cases, these strategies can help minimize the tax burden. Of course, every individual’s […]

How Do I? Compute payroll taxes as an employer

A business that has employees must withhold income taxes on payments to each employee. Each employee must first fill out Form W-4, Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate, and provide it to the employer. On the form the employee can claim exemptions, such as the personal exemption or an exemption for a spouse or child, and determine the number of withholding allowances […]

FAQ . . . Can an S corporation own an interest in another business entity?

An S corporation can own an interest in another business entity. It can also be a partner in a partnership or a member of a limited liability company (LLC). An S corporation can own 80 percent or more of the stock of a C corporation, which can elect to join in the filing of a consolidated return with its affiliated […]

December 2015 tax compliance calendar

December 2
Employers. Semi-weekly depositors must deposit employment taxes for payroll dates November 25–27. 

December 4
Employers. Semi-weekly depositors must deposit employment taxes for payroll dates November 28–December 1. 

December 9
Employers. Semi-weekly depositors must deposit employment taxes for payroll dates December 2–4. 

December 10
Employees who work for tips. Employees who received $20 or more in tips during November must report them to their employer using […]

Flaherty Salmin CPA employees attend Buffalo Bills game 12/6/15

Bills win 30-21 against the Texans.

FAQs: What are AFRs for tax purposes?

The applicable federal rates (AFRs) are used for a number of federal tax provisions. For example, Code Sec. 1274 uses AFRs to determine whether a debt instrument has original issue discount (OID or imputed interest). This determination requires the calculation of the present value of payments made on the debt instrument; present value is calculated using a discount rate equal […]

FAQ: What is new Form 1095-A, Health Insurance Marketplace Statement

Form 1095-A, Health Insurance Marketplace Statement, is a new information return. The IRS requires the Health Insurance Marketplace to report certain information about every individual who receives health insurance coverage through the Marketplace to the agency and also to the enrollee. Form 1095-A reports information about the individual(s) covered by Marketplace coverage, the starting and ending dates of coverage, and […]

How Do I? Follow the new-for-2015 one-IRA rollover-per-year limit?

As most people know, a taxpayer can take a distribution from an IRA without being taxed if the taxpayer rolls over (contributes) the amount received into an IRA within 60 days. This tax-free treatment does not apply if the individual rolled over another distribution from an IRA within the one-year period ending on the day of the second distribution.

Taxpayers and […]

IRS auditors place more focus on partnerships as use of the entity increases

IRS officials, including Faris Fink, then Commissioner of the Small Business and Self-Employed Division, announced in 2013 that the IRS would increase its scrutiny of partnership entities. Indeed, the IRS’s audit statistics for 2014 have shown that Fink’s prediction was accurate. While the overall audit rate for all types of businesses fell from 0.61 percent in Fiscal Year (FY) […]

How do I . . . Change my tax withholding?

An employer must withhold income taxes from compensation paid to common-law employees (but not from compensation paid to independent contractors). The amount withheld from an employee’s wages is determined in part by the number of withholding exemptions and allowances the employee claims. Note that although the Tax Code and regulations distinguish between “withholding exemptions” and “withholding allowances,” the terms are […]

FAQ: Are employer-provided meals deduction/income?

Every year the IRS publishes a list of projects that are currently on its agenda. For example, the IRS may indicate through this list that it is working on a new set of procedures relating to claiming business expenses. The new 2014–2015 IRS Priority Guidance Plan, just released this September, has indicated that IRS is working on guidance relating to […]

New look to TINs/EINs to prevent identity theft/refund fraud

The IRS continues to ramp-up its work to fight identity theft/refund fraud and recently announced new rules allowing the use of abbreviated (truncated) personal identification numbers and employer identification numbers. Instead of showing a taxpayer’s full Social Security number (SSN) or other identification number on certain forms, asterisks or Xs replace the first five digits and only the last four […]

FAQ…do I need a receipt for every gift to charity

The IRS requires that taxpayers substantiate their donations to charity. Whatever the donation is, whether money or a household item or clothing, the substantiation rules must be followed. The rules are complex and frequently tripped up taxpayers who had good intentions but failed to satisfy the IRS’s requirements.


One way to understand the IRS’s requirements is to break them down by […]

How do I…Protect against tax-related identity theft?

The IRS expects to receive more than 150 million individual income tax returns this year and issue billions of dollars in refunds. That huge pool of refunds drives scam artists and criminals to steal taxpayer identities and claim fraudulent refunds. The IRS has many protections in place to discover false returns and refund claims, but taxpayers still need to be […]

Liability for the “nanny” tax

Employers of course have to pay employment taxes on the wages they pay to their employees. A nanny who takes care of a child is considered a household employee, and the parent or other responsible person is her household employer. Housekeepers, maids, babysitters, and others who work in or around the residence are employees. Repairmen and other business people who […]

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