How to determine if you need to worry about estate taxes 09-16-2015

Here’s a simplified way to project your estate tax exposure. Take the value of your estate, net of any debts. Also subtract any assets that will pass to charity on your death.

Then, if you’re married and your spouse is a U.S. citizen, subtract any assets you’ll pass to him or her. Those assets qualify for the marital deduction and avoid potential estate tax exposure until the surviving spouse dies. The net number represents your taxable estate.

You can transfer up to your available exemption amount at death free of federal estate taxes. So if your taxable estate is equal to or less than the estate tax exemption (for 2015, $5.43 million) reduced by any gift tax exemption you used during your life, no federal estate tax will be due when you die. But if your taxable estate exceeds this amount, it will be subject to estate tax. Many states, however, now impose estate tax at a lower threshold than the federal government does, so you’ll also need to consider the rules in your state.

If you’re not sure whether you’re at risk for the estate tax or if you’d like to learn about gift and estate planning strategies to reduce your potential liability, please contact us.

© 2015

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What Industries Will the Baby Boomers Effect Next 03-16-2015

The boom of nearly 80 million born between 1946 and 1964 has affect America in many different ways, especially in the consumer markets.  The Baby Boomers are reaching the next stage of their lives as retirees, grandparents and mentors.  Their buying habits and consumer attitudes are changing,  but they control 70 percent of the nation's disposable income. Here are six emerging market trends that you might be able to capitalize on while you serve the Baby Boomers. We also highlight iconic Baby Boomers and popular relocation destinations for empty nesters wanting to downsize their homes. 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

You May Need to Consider Estate Planning to Minimize Your Current Federal Income Taxes 03-04-2015

A resent report published by the Congressional Research Service stated that less than 0.2 percent of all estates will owe federal estate tax. Therefore, most people wouldn't think about estate planning. However, almost everyone who is in the middle class or higher owes federal income annually. You should determine if estate planning today could affect you. If so, you should focus on strategies to reduce federal income taxes by minimizing capital gains, utilizing capital losses while you're still alive and updating your designated beneficiaries. Continue reading

Merger and Acquisition Trends: What’s Hot and Pitfalls You Want to Avoid 03-04-2015

The activity with mergers and acquisitions (MAs) during 2014 was the hottest since the financial crisis began in 2007, according to recent estimates. It looks like 2015 is expected to pick up where 2014 left off and will be even hotter. Here are some recent trends and best practices to consider if you are considering buying or selling a business in the upcoming year. Continue reading

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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American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 01-04-2013

The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 was passed by Congress on January 1, 2013. CCH has developed an explanation and analysis of the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 in a CCH Tax Briefing Special Report. This document highlights the new tax rates, Bush-Era tax rates extended, the AMT patch, extension of various credits and business tax extenders, and a number of extenders retroactive to the beginning of 2012.

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Aldridge, Borden Announces 2013 Interns 12-01-2012

Jan Bigham, Andrew Martin, and Joe Mills from Auburn Montgomery and Jake Scurlock from Troy University will participate in the Aldridge, Borden’s 2013 internship program. The internships will begin in January of 2013.

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Aldridge, Borden Announces Promotions 08-21-2012

Aldridge, Borden & Company P.C. recently announced the promotions of Scott Grier, CPA, CVA and Jason Westbrook, CPA, CVA to Principal and Wes Blake, CPA and Corey Savoie, CPA to Manager.

Grier practices in the firm’s attestation division. His specialty is in the construction industry where he manages engagements of closely held contractors of various sizes. Scott also assists contractors with licensing and prequalification with multiple States in the southeast. Scott graduated from Auburn University Montgomery and began his career with Aldridge, Borden and Company in 1998.

Westbrook‘s primary focus is in the firm’s consulting division, although he provides attestation and tax services to clients in various industries as well. Jason graduated from Auburn University Montgomery and joined Aldridge, Borden in 1996. He is involved in several civic organizations within Montgomery.

Blake graduated from Auburn University and joined the firm in 2004. He provides both attestation and tax services in a wide range of industries.

Savoie practices in the firm’s attestation division. He is a graduate of Auburn University and joined Aldridge, Borden in 2006.

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