Debunking the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA)

Can you hear the truth through all the financial noise?

As you might have heard by now, President Trump and Congress were successful in passing one of the most sweeping changes within the U.S. tax law in modern time, the law known as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA). This law added another 186 pages to the already complex and lengthy U.S. tax code spanning over 74,000 pages! Numerous sources are generating financial “noise” promising significant tax savings through the TCJA in hopes of gaining a web site click or selling a product. Can you tell what’s real or myth?

Don't Let the Grinch Steal Your Identity

Don’t let identity theft ruin your holiday spirit!

The Holiday season and all that it brings is in full swing.  With that excitement there is the to-do list that continues to grow by the day.  Last minute gifts to buy, trips to the grocery store, making sure the blow-up mattress still works so the cousins have a place to sleep, and on and on it goes.  Don’t let identity theft ruin your holiday spirit.

Are Those Shareholder Distributions Going to Cost You?

A Review of Reasonable Compensation.

Dentists of all ages, specialties and locales tend to have at least one thing in common: a love affair with avoiding taxation. While every step should be taken to legitimately lower the tax burden, sometimes these concepts or strategies get blurred to rationalize avaricious behavior and decision-making. The often-employed strategy to forego wages in lieu of shareholder distributions for S-corporation owners has come under debate many times. While it certainly has merit, the extent of the benefit provided given the level of audit risk must be considered.

Total Cost of Ownership

Looking Past Any One Metric to Evaluate the Real Cost of an Investment Solution. 

Costs matter. Whether you’re buying a car or selecting an investment strategy, the costs you expect to pay are likely to be an important factor in making any major financial decision.

Not All that Glimmers is Bitcoin

A Case Study in Adverse Investor Behavior. 

One of the concepts I often use during the financial education portion of my client meetings is the idea of the emotional investor. We all know the classic investment adage: buy low and sell high. Yet study after study shows that investor behavior frequently guides them to do the opposite - a proven and surefire way to destroy wealth over time.

TCJA Meals & Entertainment Changes

How to Stay in Compliance but Get the Maximum Deduction. 

A common issue that small business owners face is how to ensure they don’t run afoul of the IRS when incurring expenses that are truly business-related but are also personally beneficial to the owner in some way.  Now, in light of recent tax reform, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) has changed the landscape for the tax treatment of some of these types of business expenses.  This may require businesses to track these expenses somewhat differently than before and owners may need to revisit and/or change some of their existing business policies.

Tax Cuts and Jobs Act

Making Sense of the Impact on Dental Clients. 

Was Congress successful in passing a tax reform substantial enough that my fellow CPA colleagues and I are soon to be out of a job? To find out, let’s walk through three aspects of the TCJA which are of particular interest to small business owners: the new QBI deduction for pass-through entities, entity structuring under the new code, and the reformed standard deduction and child tax credit.

Embezzlement Part 2

Minimize Your Risk.

Understanding why fraud occurs and how to identify the likely offenders plays an important first step in preventing fraud in your practice.  Now the focus turns to specific steps that can be taken to implement sound internal controls for your practice.

Embezzlement Part 1

Minimize Your Risk.

Dentists often ask, “How can I prevent embezzlement in my practice?”  This is because it is commonly known that embezzlement occurs more often in dental practices than in many other industries.  Of dentists who reported embezzlement, the median loss was nearly $10,000!

Ebenezer’s Failed Plan

Look Past the Obvious.

Now that the holiday season has begun, the typical refrains of prudent gift spending and year-end IRA planning are in the air.  Deeper and more meaningful lessons can sometimes be learned by looking outside the conventional financial planner’s holiday playbook.  Consider the financial message offered by a hallowed favorite, Dickens' "A Christmas Carol."

Protect the Veil of your LLC

Are You Putting Your Assets at Risk?

One key reason that business owners choose the limited liability company (LLC) as the legal entity for their businesses is for the liability protection it affords.  The owner of the business is then protected against being held personally liable for business debts or judgments made against the business.  It is possible, however, for the courts to "pierce the veil of limited liability" of the LLC and hold the owners personally liable for business debts.

Automobile Expenses

What's Deductible for Your Business?

Almost all business owners think there are tax deductions associated with their automobiles. Most, however, are unsure about the specifics of the applicable tax deductions and what steps are needed to qualify. Common questions include: What expenses qualify as business expenses? How should I pay for my automobile expenses? What documentation should I retain? Should I purchase my car in the name of my business entity?