Test Your Small Business Finance IQ 04-20-2015

Did you know that April is "National Financial Capability Month"?  The Federal Government has designated April as "National Financial Capability Month" in an effort to make Americans more financially literate. Approximately 40 percent of U.S. small business owners consider themselves to be financially illiterate.  Despite this fact, over 80 percent still handle their own business finances, according to a 2014 study conducted by Intuit. Here is a quick nine-question quiz to test your financial literacy.  Some of the answers to the quiz might surprise you. Continue reading

Tips for Protecting Your Personal Information Against Online Surveillance 03-30-2015

The internet has provide us many opportunities to change the way we go about our daily lives.  We use the internet to facilitate transactions and the transmission of information on a daily basis.  But with opportunities come risks. In today's Web-based world and with our constant use of the internet, it's critical to know the contents of your "digital dossier" and take steps to minimize the risks that various forms of online surveillance pose to your personal and financial security. Continue reading

Tax Scams: The IRS Identifies This Year’s ‘Dirty Dozen’ Scams 03-09-2015

There are an endless number of scams that people need to look out for.  Recently, tax scams appear to be very popular for those individuals who are looking to take advantage of others and the tax system.  The IRS has released what it has identified as the most notorious tax scams of 2015. Participants in one of the IRS's "Dirty Dozen" schemes could win an IRS investigation, penalties, interest charges and even a trip to federal prison. Here is a list of the top scams and ways you can protect yourself from falling victim to one of these scams. Continue reading

Reprieve for Small Businesses with Health Premium Reimbursement Plans 03-04-2015

Good news from the IRS: If you are a small business that has been reimbursing employees the cost of buying their own health coverage, you have been granted a temporary reprieve. Previously that arrangement was deemed unacceptable and, therefore, subjected small businesses to hefty penalties. Learn what you must do by June 30 to avoid penalties. Additionally, you can find information about recent changes to the small business health care tax credit. Continue reading

Extension Made Available to Employers to File Work Opportunity Tax Credit Paperwork 03-04-2015

Employers have been provided extra time to file a form required to claim the Work Opportunity Tax Credit for eligible employees. Thanks to the IRS, employers now have until April 30, 2015 to file the required form, Form 8850, to claim this valuable tax credit for qualifying workers that were hired during 2014. This article contains details concerning the IRS relief and outlines the steps an employer must take to take advantage of this valuable opportunity. Continue reading

S Corps and Partnerships: Make Sure You Avoid Failure-to-File Penalties 03-04-2015

The S corporation is a popular business structure utilized by many privately held businesses. A recent Tax Court case serves a reminder to taxpayers that there's a steep penalty for S corps (and partnerships) that fail to file timely federal tax returns, even if there's no taxable income to report. These penalties are easy to avoid. There is also some information reviewing the qualifications for switching from C corporation to S corporation status. Continue reading

Ashley Lough promoted to Firm Administrator 09-24-2013

Aldridge, Borden & Company is pleased to announce that Ashley Lough has been promoted to Firm Administrator. Ashley began her career with Aldridge, Borden after graduating from the University of Alabama. She has primarily served in the Firm’s Assurance Services Division where she has been instrumental in the development, implementation and maintenance of the Firm’s Quality Control Functions.

As Firm Administrator, Ashley will be able to utilize the skill set, which she developed in her management of quality control functions, throughout multiple areas of the Firm thereby enhancing overall operating efficiency of the Firm. In addition, Ashley will continue to oversee the Quality Control Function of the Firm.

A native of Louisville, Kentucky, Ashley is the treasurer for One Place Family Justice Center, Inc. and an officer of the Montgomery Area Wellness Coalition.

Aldridge, Borden & Company, P.C. is a full-service certified public accounting firm founded in 1918 and located in downtown Montgomery, Alabama. In addition to the core practice areas of tax compliance, auditing and bookkeeping, our professional staff offers a wide range of more specialized services, including management advisory services, business valuation, personal financial services, estate and gift tax planning, tax consulting and planning, and information technology consulting.

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Scott Grier To Be Inducted into Troy University’s Accounting Hall of Honor 07-09-2013

Scott Grier, a principal in Aldridge Borden’s attestation group, has been selected as a recipient of Troy University’s Accounting Hall of Honor. Each year three individuals are awarded this honor. Two are Troy University alumni and one is a non-alumni supporter. Scott has been selected as this year’s non-alumni inductee. He will be officially inducted on Thursday, September 5, 2013 during the Troy Accountancy Day Program.

Scott joined Aldridge Borden in 1998 after majoring in accounting and receiving his undergraduate degree from Auburn University at Montgomery.  Scott works in the construction industry with highway and bridge contractors, general and electrical contractors, and homebuilders, along with providing audit services to clients subject to OMB A-133 (Office of Management and Budget Circulars) audit requirements.

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Affordable Care Act Provisions Delayed 07-02-2013

The Obama Administration announced on July 2, 2013, that implementation of certain provisions found in the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) will be delayed until January 1, 2015.  Specifically, the delay affects the shared responsibility payment provisions of the employer mandate. Prior to this announcement, employers with more than 50 full-time employees would have been exposed to a penalty for not offering health insurance to their full-time employees beginning January 1, 2014.  In plain English, the penalties (shared responsibility payment) for failing to provide health insurance coverage have been delayed by one year.

The Administration explained that this delay was to allow employers, insurers, and other affected parties time to comply with the reporting requirements of the law.  In its published release, the U.S. Department of Treasury went on to encourage employers to voluntarily implement information reporting in 2014 even though it will not be enforced.  To view the full text of the publication on the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s website, please click here.

At this time, there are many unanswered questions.  However, even if there is a delay in the enforcement of the penalties until 2015, testing periods for plan years beginning January 1, 2015, will start on October 15, 2013, if employers want a 12 month measurement period.  The Administration is delaying the penalty provisions because employers did not have enough time in 2013 to implement these testing periods, among other things.  It is critical that employers use this delay to their advantage and begin testing employee hours at the earliest date of October 15, 2013, depending on plan year and management decisions.

In addition, based on the information presently available, we have seen nothing to suggest that other reporting requirements, scheduled for 2014 implementation, are being delayed.  One such requirement is the disclosure to employees concerning their coverage options within the state run exchanges.  The state health insurance exchanges are required to be operational by October 1, 2013, regardless of whether the exchange is operated by the state or federal government.  One of the requirements that must be met is the distribution of information by employers to employees, regardless of the number of employees, concerning the new health insurance exchanges.  As an employer, this information must be given to all of your employees no later than October 1, 2013, the same day the health insurance exchanges are set to open.   There is an additional requirement if your business address is in a county in which 10% or more of the population is only literate in a non-English language.  If you meet this requirement, you must provide the material in their native language.   Templates for this information are available below along with a link to the Department of Labor’s website.

We will continue to update you on new developments as they occur.

Templates Regarding Required Information to be Disclosed to Employees Regarding State Run Health Exchanges:

Notice to Employees of Coverage Options

Department of Labor Website

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Jason Westbrook Nominated to AICPA Joint Trial Board 02-26-2013

Jason Westbrook, CPA, CVA has been nominated to serve on the American Institute of Certified Pubic Accountant’s Joint Trial Board. The Joint Trial Board consists of 36 members elected for a three year term by the Nominations Committee and ratified by the AICPA Council. Jason’s formal election to the Joint Trial Board is scheduled at the annual member’s meeting in October, 2013.

The Joint Trial Board provides for uniform enforcement of professional standards by adjudicating disciplinary charges against state society and AICPA members. Its decisions affect both AICPA and state society memberships.

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