Tag Archives: Schutte & Hilgendorf

2018 Standard Mileage Rates

From the IRS website:

Beginning on Jan. 1, 2018, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car (also vans, pickups or panel trucks) will be:

  • 54.5 cents for every mile of business travel driven, up 1 cent from the rate for 2017.
  • 18 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes, up 1 cent from the rate for 2017.
  • 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations.

The business mileage rate and the medical and moving expense rates each increased 1 cent per mile from the rates for 2017. The charitable rate is set by statute and remains unchanged.

 

Schutte & Hilgendorf offers a broad range of professional accounting, tax, and audit services to individuals and businesses throughout Yavapai County and Northern Arizona.   With over 40 years combined certified public accounting experience, we specialize in providing services to numerous industry specific areas, including non-profit organizations, homeowner’s associations and construction contracting.  We also provide tax planning and preparation, sales tax and payroll tax return preparation, ongoing accounting/bookkeeping, live payroll, and QuickBooks setup and training (QuickBooks Proadvisors).  Given our small size, we can still provide a personal touch with professional expertise. Come in and see us anytime at 2086 Willow Creek Road, Prescott, Arizona or call us at 928-778-0079.


Recent Tax Law Changes

Schutte & Hilgendorf, PLLC has been tracking the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act very closely. We believe your knowledge of these changes and how they affect you and/or your business is very important.  Following are a few of the main components of the bill that may affect your tax returns. Most of the provisions of the bill go into effect for 2018 tax returns, but there are couple changes that will go into effect for 2017 tax returns.

 

Individual Tax Law Changes

Individual mandate

The act removed (by reducing it to zero) the penalty for not obtaining qualified health insurance, effective after 2018.

 

A top individual tax bracket of 37%

The top tax bracket for individuals has been reduced from 39.6% to 37%. Many of the other brackets have been reduced as well.

 

Standard deduction: The act increased the standard deduction to $24,000 for joint returns and $12,000 for single individuals. The additional standard deduction for elderly and blind taxpayers was not changed by the act. The personal exemptions of $4,050 per person were repealed.

 

Itemized deductions

  • Overall limitation: The act repealed the overall limitation on itemized deductions.
  • Mortgage interest: The home mortgage interest deduction was modified to reduce the limit to $750,000 of acquisition debt (from the limit of $1 million) on mortgages created or modified after December 15th, 2017.
  • Home-equity loans: The home-equity loan interest will no longer be deductible. 
  • State and local taxes: Individuals will only be allowed to deduct up to $10,000 in state and local income or property taxes.
  • Miscellaneous itemized deductions: All miscellaneous itemized deductions subject to the 2% floor under current law will no longer be allowed, including common deductions like employee business expenses, tax preparation fees, investment fees, safe deposit box fees.
  • Medical expenses: The threshold for deduction of medical expenses was reduced to 7.5% from 10% of adjusted gross income for 2017 and 2018.

 

Individual Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT)

The act increased the thresholds for when AMT will apply to individuals.

 

Child tax credit

The act increased the amount of the child tax credit to $2,000 per qualifying child. The maximum refundable amount of the credit is now $1,400. The act also created a new nonrefundable $500 credit for qualifying dependents who are not qualifying children. The threshold at which the credit begins to phase out was increased to $400,000 for joint returns and $200,000 for other taxpayers.

 

Education provisions

The act modifies Sec. 529 plans to allow them to distribute up to $10,000 in expenses for tuition at an elementary or secondary school. This limitation applies on a per-student basis, rather than on a per-account basis.

 

Alimony

For any divorce or separation agreement executed or modified after Dec. 31, 2018, the act provides that alimony and separate maintenance payments are not deductible by the payer spouse. Payments to the recipient spouse are also no longer taxable.

 

Business Tax Law Changes

 Corporate tax rate of 21%

The act replaced the prior-law graduated corporate tax rate, with a flat rate of 21%. The new rate took effect Jan. 1, 2018.

 

Pass-through income deduction

For tax years after 2017, individuals may be allowed to deduct 20% of “qualified business income” from a partnership, S corporation, or sole proprietorship, as well as 20% of qualified real estate investment trust (REIT) dividends, qualified cooperative dividends, and qualified publicly traded partnership income.

 

The deduction can be phased out based on W-2 wages above a threshold amount and for “specified service businesses” when the taxpayer has taxable income in excess of $315,000 for a joint return and $157,500 for single individuals.

 

Bonus depreciation

The act extended and modified bonus depreciation, allowing businesses to immediately deduct 100% of the cost of eligible property in the year it is placed in service. It also removed the rule that made bonus depreciation available only for new property.

 

Sec. 179 expensing 

The act increased the maximum amount a taxpayer may expense under Sec. 179 to $1 million and increased the phaseout threshold to $2.5 million. These amounts will be indexed for inflation after 2018.

 

Like-kind exchanges 

Under the act, like-kind exchanges under Sec. 1031 will be limited to exchanges of real property that is not primarily held for sale. This will affect the trade in of company vehicles when purchasing a new company vehicle.

 

Domestic production activities

The act repealed the Sec. 199 domestic production activities deduction.

 

Entertainment expenses

The act disallows a deduction for (1) an activity generally considered to be entertainment, amusement, or recreation; (2) membership dues for any club organized for business, pleasure, recreation, or other social purposes; or (3) a facility or portion thereof used in connection with any of the above items.

 

Corporate Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT)

The act repealed the corporate AMT.

 

Employer credit for paid family or medical leave

The act allows eligible employers to claim a credit equal to 12.5% of the amount of wages paid to a qualifying employee during any period in which the employee is on family and medical leave if the rate of payment under the program is 50% of the wages normally paid to the employee. The credit is increased by 0.25 percentage points (but not above 25%) for each percentage point by which the rate of payment exceeds 50%. The maximum amount of family and medical leave that may be taken into account for any employee in any tax year is 12 weeks. However, the credit is only available in 2018 and 2019.

 

Schutte & Hilgendorf offers a broad range of professional accounting, tax, and audit services to individuals and businesses throughout Yavapai County and Northern Arizona.   With over 40 years combined certified public accounting experience, we specialize in providing services to numerous industry specific areas, including non-profit organizations, homeowner’s associations and construction contracting.  We also provide tax planning and preparation, sales tax and payroll tax return preparation, ongoing accounting/bookkeeping, live payroll, and QuickBooks setup and training (QuickBooks Proadvisors).  Given our small size, we can still provide a personal touch with professional expertise. Come in and see us anytime at 2086 Willow Creek Road, Prescott, Arizona or call us at 928-778-0079.


City of Prescott Sales Tax Change

Starting January 1, 2018, the City of Prescott sales tax rate is increasing by 0.75%, to 2.75%. The combined retail sales tax rate for City of Prescott and State/County will be 9.1%. Rental properties will be at 2.75%, since they are not subject to tax by the State/County. This change does not affect any sales in Prescott Valley, Chino Valley or any other areas outside of Prescott.

 

You will need to update your software or invoice calculations to calculate the sales tax on sales starting January 1st. Please let us know if you need assistance making these adjustments or have any questions on the changes.

 

Schutte & Hilgendorf offers a broad range of professional accounting, tax, and audit services to individuals and businesses throughout Yavapai County and Northern Arizona.   With over 40 years combined certified public accounting experience, we specialize in providing services to numerous industry specific areas, including non-profit organizations, homeowner’s associations and construction contracting.  We also provide tax planning and preparation, sales tax and payroll tax return preparation, ongoing accounting/bookkeeping, live payroll, and QuickBooks setup and training (QuickBooks Proadvisors).  Given our small size, we can still provide a personal touch with professional expertise. Come in and see us anytime at 2086 Willow Creek Road, Prescott, Arizona or call us at 928-778-0079.


FASB’s New Standard Aims to Improve Not-for-Profit Financial Reporting

In August, 2016, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) launched new reporting standards for Non-for-Profit Entities that will be effective for 2018 calendar year-ends or 2019 fiscal year ends. It is important to be familiar with the requirements ahead of time, but we are not recommending early-adoption, since you have to implement the entire standard.  Please call Schutte & Hilgendorf, CPAs with questions about the new standard and implementation.

Click on the link for a summary of the requirements:

 

New Non-for-Profit Reporting Standards

 

Schutte & Hilgendorf offers a broad range of professional accounting, tax, and audit services to individuals and businesses throughout Yavapai County and Northern Arizona.   With over 40 years combined certified public accounting experience, we specialize in providing services to numerous industry specific areas, including non-profit organizations, homeowner’s associations and construction contracting.  We also provide tax planning and preparation, sales tax and payroll tax return preparation, ongoing accounting/bookkeeping, live payroll, and QuickBooks setup and training (QuickBooks Proadvisors).  Given our small size, we can still provide a personal touch with professional expertise. Come in and see us anytime at 2086 Willow Creek Road, Prescott, Arizona or call us at 928-778-0079.


New Mandatory Sick Leave Under Prop 206 – Arizona law Effective July 1, 2017

REMINDER: Check your paid-time-off policies to include the new requirements under Prop 206:

In addition to the increased minimum wage in Arizona,the less publicized part of Prop 206 is the requirement for private and municipal employers to provide paid sick leave to all employees beginning July 1, 2017. Under Prop 206, all employees must accrue paid sick time at a minimum rate of one (1) hour of paid sick time per every thirty (30) hours worked (not confined to a work week or pay period). Employers with less than fifteen (15) employees, must provide and allow the use of twenty-four (24) hours of paid sick time per year, while employers with fifteen (15) or more employees must provide and allow the use of forty (40) hours of paid sick time a year.

Under Prop 206, earned paid sick time may be used by employees for the following reasons:

  • Employee’s own physical or mental illness;
  • Care for employee’s family member who has a physical or mental illness;
  • Public health emergency;
  • Absence due to domestic violence, sexual violence, or stalking of employee or employee’s family member

Implementing mandatory paid sick time may present challenges to employers given the many nuances of Proposition 206, including:

  • Part-time and temporary workers are considered “employees”
  • Employers must post a notice in the workplace that outlines employees’ rights and protections under Prop 206
  • Employers are required to retain payroll records for four (4) years
  • Employers must also provide employees either in or on an attachment to the employee’s paycheck: (1) the amount of earned paid sick time available to the employee, (2) the amount of earned paid sick time taken by the employee to date in the year, and (3) the amount of pay time the employee has received as earned paid sick time
  • Employers can require reasonable documentation from an employee after three (3) or more consecutive work days of paid sick time used
  • Employees may use earned paid sick time as soon as it is accrued; however, an employer may require an employee hired after July 1, 2017 to wait ninety (90) calendar days after the start of employment before using accrued earned paid sick time
  • Employers can include accrual and usage caps on paid sick time in accordance with the mandatory requirements
  • Paid sick time can be used in hourly increments or the smallest increment of employer’s payroll system used to account for absences or use of time, whichever is smaller
  • Employers cannot require employees seeking to use earned paid sick time to find a replacement worker to cover the employee’s absence
  • Employers cannot count the use of paid sick time as an absence that leads to discipline or termination
  • Employers are not required to pay out unused paid sick time upon termination

For further information, contact Schutte & Hilgendorf, CPAs at 928-778-0079.

Schutte & Hilgendorf offers a broad range of professional accounting, tax, and audit services to individuals and businesses throughout Yavapai County and Northern Arizona.   With over 40 years combined certified public accounting experience, we specialize in providing services to numerous industry specific areas, including non-profit organizations, homeowner’s associations and construction contracting.  We also provide tax planning and preparation, sales tax and payroll tax return preparation, ongoing accounting/bookkeeping, live payroll, and QuickBooks setup and training (QuickBooks Proadvisors).  Given our small size, we can still provide a personal touch with professional expertise. Come in and see us anytime at 2086 Willow Creek Road, Prescott, Arizona or call us at 928-778-0079.


IRS Alerts

Borrowed via Checkpoint Newsstand – Thomson Reuters post 2/7/17
The following are some recent phishing scams and myths that the IRS would like you to be aware of :
Federal Tax Highlights

Washington Alert — Part I

IRS, joined by state tax agencies and the tax industry, has issued an “urgent alert” to all employers regarding the Form W-2 (Wage and Tax Statement) email phishing scam. (IR 2017-20) According to the agency, the phishing scam “has evolved beyond the corporate world and is spreading to other sectors, including school districts, tribal organizations and nonprofits”. The W-2 scammers have been coupling their attempts to steal employee W-2 information with a scheme regarding wire transfers. As described by IRS, cybercriminals use a variety of techniques to make an email appear as if it is from an organization executive. The email is sent to an employee in the payroll or human resources departments and requests a list of all employees and their Forms W-2. In a new twist, the perpetrators follow up with an “executive” email to the payroll department or comptroller and ask that a wire transfer be made to a specific account. In some cases, companies have responded to this request. Noting that there has been “an upswing of [scam] reports in recent days”, IRS urged employers to immediately share this information with their payroll, finance and human resource personnel. They also should have an internal policy on the distribution of employee W-2 information and conducting wire transfers. “This is one of the most dangerous email phishing scams we’ve seen in a long time”, said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. “It can result in the large-scale theft of sensitive data that criminals can use to commit various crimes, including filing fraudulent tax returns.” Additional information is available at irs.gov/uac/dangerous-w-2-phishing-scam-evolving-targeting-schools-restaurants-hospitals-tribal-groups-and-others

IRS has issued tips to taxpayers that refute several “myths” pertaining to tax refunds currently circulating. (IR 2017-16) The myths included the following – all refunds are delayed; calling IRS or a tax professional will provide a better refund date; ordering a tax transcript is a “secret way” to obtain a refund date; the “Where’s My Refund” tool must be incorrect because there is no deposit date appearing; and delayed refunds for those claiming the earned income tax credit or the additional child tax credit will be delivered on Feb. 15. Complete details can be found at irs.gov/uac/newsroom/irs-answers-common-early-tax-season-refund-questions-and-addresses-surrounding-myths

IRS has commenced publishing entries to its annual list of “Dirty Dozen” tax scams for the 2017 filing season. (IR 2017-15) Phishing schemes now lead the newest Dirty Dozen list. As of Feb. 3, IRS published two additional entries on its list – telephone scams and identity theft. It is expected that the agency will be announcing daily additions to the list. Updated information will appear at irs.gov/uac/newsroom/dirty-dozen

 

If you receive any suspicious emails, phone calls, or mail, contact us at  Schutte & Hilgendorf CPAs .

 

Schutte & Hilgendorf offers a broad range of professional accounting, tax, and audit services to individuals and businesses throughout Yavapai County and Northern Arizona.   With over 40 years combined certified public accounting experience, we specialize in providing services to numerous industry specific areas, including non-profit organizations, homeowner’s associations and construction contracting.  We also provide tax planning and preparation, sales tax and payroll tax return preparation, ongoing accounting/bookkeeping, live payroll, and QuickBooks setup and training (QuickBooks Proadvisors).  Given our small size, we can still provide a personal touch with professional expertise. Come in and see us anytime at 2086 Willow Creek Road, Prescott, Arizona or call us at 928-778-0079.

 

 


Prescott becomes a Program City for Arizona Sales Tax

All Prescott and other cities’ sales taxes will now be reported and paid through the State of Arizona.

Effective January 1, 2017, the Arizona Department of Revenue (ADOR) will become the single point of administration and collection of transaction privilege tax (TPT).  Your sales tax return that is due in February will be the first required return to be filed using the new method.  The link for details on the new requirements for reporting sales tax is:  https://www.azdor.gov/News/tabid/74/newsid530/732/Centralized-Licensing-and-Reporting-of-Transaction-Privilege-Tax-TPT-Begins-Jan-1/Default.aspx?utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery

The Arizona licensing fee was due on January 1, 2017.  If you have not renewed your license, you should log onto the aztaxes.gov website and renew.  Information on how to do this may be found at this link:   https://www.azdor.gov/Portals/0/TPTSimplification/license_renewal_fs.pdf

The City of Prescott requires a business license and registration with the city in addition to the required registration with Arizona/Prescott for a sales tax license.  Additional information on this can be found at this webpage:

http://www.prescott-az.gov/business/license/

Residential & Commercial Rental owners have had their license information submitted to the State of Arizona by the City of Prescott for processing.  Owners will receive a letter from the State containing the new Arizona license number and instructions on how to obtain an online account.  Further information from the City of Prescott for commercial and residential landlords and how to register with the state can be found at:  http://www.prescott-az.gov/_d/residential_and_commercial_rental_tips.pdf

Additional information on licensing for Arizona can be found at:  https://www.azdor.gov/Business/LicensingGuide.aspx

 

For additional information, contact Schutte &  Hilgendorf at 928-778-0079

Schutte & Hilgendorf, CPAs offers a broad range of professional accounting, tax, and audit services to individuals and businesses throughout Yavapai County and Northern Arizona.   With over 40 years combined certified public accounting experience, we specialize in providing services to numerous industry specific areas, including non-profit organizations, homeowner’s associations and construction contracting.  We also provide tax planning and preparation, sales tax and payroll tax return preparation, ongoing accounting/bookkeeping, live payroll, and QuickBooks setup and training (QuickBooks Proadvisors).  Given our small size, we can still provide a personal touch with professional expertise. Come in and see us anytime at 2086 Willow Creek Road, Prescott, Arizona or call us at 928-778-0079.


HAPPY NEW YEAR – Important Announcements for Employers

HAPPY 2017!

This letter was sent to all of our business clients at year end with important Arizona and Federal announcements affecting employers in the new year.

Click the link:   Business-Year-End-Letter-2016

 

Schutte & Hilgendorf offers a broad range of professional accounting, tax, and audit services to individuals and businesses throughout Yavapai County and Northern Arizona.   With over 40 years combined certified public accounting experience, we specialize in providing services to numerous industry specific areas, including non-profit organizations, homeowner’s associations and construction contracting.  We also provide tax planning and preparation, sales tax and payroll tax return preparation, ongoing accounting/bookkeeping, live payroll, and QuickBooks setup and training (QuickBooks Proadvisors).  Given our small size, we can still provide a personal touch with professional expertise. Come in and see us anytime at 2086 Willow Creek Road, Prescott, Arizona or call us at 928-778-0079.


2017 Standard Mileage Rates

From the IRS website:

Beginning on Jan. 1, 2017, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car (also vans, pickups or panel trucks) will be:

  • 53.5 cents per mile for business miles driven, down from 54 cents for 2016
  • 17 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes, down from 19 cents for 2016
  • 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations

The business mileage rate decreased half a cent per mile and the medical and moving expense rates each dropped 2 cents per mile from 2016. The charitable rate is set by statute and remains unchanged.   The standard mileage rate for business is based on an annual study of the fixed and variable costs of operating an automobile. The rate for medical and moving purposes is based on the variable costs.

 

Go to the following link for more information:

 

2017 Standard Mileage Rates for Business, Medical and Moving Announced

 

Schutte & Hilgendorf is a leading Prescott CPA firm, offering superior client service to individuals, small businesses, non-profit organizations, and homeowners associations.

Our services include accounting, bookkeeping, audit, review, tax return preparation, tax planning, payroll and QuickBooks consulting. We are located in Prescott and serve all of Yavapai County, and Northern Arizona.


UPDATE ON DOL OVERTIME RULES

Dear Clients,

 

There has been an important update on the new DOL Overtime Rules that were set to go into effect on December 1st. Yesterday a U.S. District Judge issued an injunction against the new rules. This means that the new overtime rules will not go into effect on December 1st. The injunction stops implementation or enforcement of the new  rules until further action is taken by the Department of Labor, most likely through appealing the ruling. At this point it is uncertain when, if ever, the new rules will go into effect.

 

We will keep you apprised of any new developments. Please check our website as well for any updates. Contact us if you have any questions about how this will affect your business.

 

Thank you,

Gidget and Adam

 

 

 

 

Schutte & Hilgendorf is a leading Prescott CPA firm, offering superior client service to individuals, small businesses, non-profit organizations, and homeowners associations.

Our services include accounting, bookkeeping, audit, review, tax return preparation, tax planning, payroll and QuickBooks consulting. We are located in Prescott and serve all of Yavapai County, and Northern Arizona.