The Proactive Solutions Blog

2016 Year-End Tax Planning for Individuals

Individual income taxes, whether paid through employer withholding or quarterly estimates, are probably one of your largest annual expenditures. So, just as you would shop around for the best price for food, clothing, or merchandise, you want to consider opportunities to reduce or defer your annual tax obligation. This Tax Letter is intended to assist you in that effort. 

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2016 Year-End Tax Planning for Businesses

The time to consider tax-saving opportunities for your business is before its tax year-end. Some of these opportunities may apply regardless of whether your business is conducted as a sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company, S corporation, or regular corporation. Other opportunities may apply only to a particular type of business organization. This Tax Letter is organized into sections discussing year-end, and year-round, tax-saving opportunities for:

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Quarterly Nonprofit Newsletter

With year-end fundraising well underway, the nonprofit sector has turned its attention to the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead in 2017. On the brink of the new year, the latest edition of the Nonprofit Standard discusses how potential tax reforms could impact nonprofit's day-to-day operations and highlights the IRS' Fiscal Year 2017 priorities for tax-exempt organizations. Dive into the full issue for further guidance on the nonprofit financial reporting ASU and a comprehensive examination of foreign income tax considerations for nonprofit employees. 

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2017 Standard Mileage Rates for Business

The Internal Revenue Service today issued the 2017 optional standard mileage rates used to calculate the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business, charitable, medical or moving purposes.

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

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WHATS IT COST

Data on prices has begun to show some consistent lift as the third quarter ended. Demand for construction nationally is pinching labor supply and is giving manufacturers the confidence to test the market with price increases. Consumer prices are nudging above the one percent level and wages are consistently up 2.5 percent or more year-over-year. Yet for all the talk of inflation beginning to trend towards “normal” levels, an examination of year-over-year changes in September shows that prices are more stable overall than in a number of years.

Since 2008, there have been two major swings in the price of oil and energy that have induced big deltas in the prices of oil-related or energy-intensive materials. October marked two full years since the collapse of the oil price and the impact is noticeable in the lack of a severe outlier among the basic materials and products. Even after an apparent agreement by OPEC producers is factored in, the price associate with oil should not swing the cost of construction materials dramatically.

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NATIONAL OUTLOOK

Economic data from August and September painted a picture of a U.S. economy that remains stuck in a slow-growth cycle, but which is strong relative to its primary global partners. Job creation remains solid given the duration of the business cycle; and related data on wage growth and household incomes suggest that U.S. consumers have less to be concerned about today than even two years ago. Activity by business continues to weaken – albeit slightly – as a strong U.S. dollar, political uncertainty and weak global demand are sources of worry.

Labor markets remain the best source of optimism about the economy. Employment grew by 156,000 jobs in September, according to the October 7 report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. After revisions were made to July and August job creation estimates, the September data meant that the monthly job additions during the third quarter averaged 191,000 – higher than the average of 171,000 for the full year to date.

As important as the jobs gained were the increase in average workers wages, which were up 2.6 percent year-over-year. Labor force participation also improved, with 444,000 more people entering the workforce. The average hours worked also jumped during the quarter. The September report showed a continuation of the upward trend in professional services and healthcare jobs, a possible end to the extended job losses in energy and further declines in manufacturing employment.

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7 things Millennials should not say to supervisors

Most CPAs, no matter their age, have said things they regret, either out of frustration or because they did not mull over their thoughts or articulate them properly. Some people also fall into bad habits, using certain words or phrases that are deemed less than professional. For instance, established leaders sometimes say the wrong thing to Millennials.

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Having Problems Keeping Employees?

Is retention of good employees a priority for your business? Consider conducting “stay” interviews. 

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A Comparison of Trump and House GOP Tax Reform Proposals

Comparing the House GOP plan to the Trump Plan: while there are many differences in the extent of tax relief promoted by each plan (with Trump's being by far the more generous), there are many similarities on key issues, including significant cuts in both individual and business tax rates, repeal of the estate tax and efforts to position U.S. businesses to compete on a more level playing field internationally. 

Click here for a comparison of the House GOP plan and the Trump plan by Holland & Knight: www.hklway.com

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Get to Know Andrew Byers, Staff Accountant

Describe your role at Weber O’Brien: 

I am a member of the accounting and assurance team. I assist with the review of company’s financials and help ensure quality and efficiency for a variety of different clients that include: non-profits, governmental, and small to medium sized businesses.

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