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December 2016 Newsletter

Bryan's Random Thoughts

Hello ,
 
Another year has gone by and we are already planning for another tax season.  Before we get there, we would like to remind everyone December is the last of tax planning season.  If you've had significant changes during the year, please let us know so we can determine the impact and see if there are any modifications that need to take place by the end of the month.
 
We are constantly reading articles to stay apprised on tax law changes, court rulings, the economy, and any other areas that my impact our customers.  We use this newsletter to share some of the more relevant and timely articles.  Some of the articles chosen come from questions by our customers.  Please reach out to us if there is something you are pondering, others may be wondering the same thing.  Also, let us know if you have requests for specific types of articles.
 
We will give you the beginning of the articles.  If you would like to read the article, click on the link below the full article.
 
Take some time during this busy time of year to catch your breath and think back on everything you are thankful for in your life, remember to give to those less fortunate, and spend quality time with your closest friends and family. 
 
Happy Holidays!
 
Bryan Mogg

November 23, 2016 by Sue Grupe

INCOME TAX: Trump’s Tax Reform Plans for Individuals, Businesses, and Estates

We think the most popular question we are asked right now is how will the Presidential election may affect the tax law.
 
It is still speculative at this time since Trump isn't in office yet and then any changes have to be reviewed and approved by committees, House, and Senate before they are enacted.  However, it seems likely tax law changes will occur.
 
We found an article comparing Trump's proposal and the House Tax Force Proposals so you can see which items they are most similar on and where they may disagree.  We also like the preface of the article because it explains how speculative a conclusion is at this time.
 
As more clarity is obtained in the future, we will follow up with additional articles on this subject.
 
Beginning of the article by Sue Grupe
 
Now that the 2016 presidential election is over, it is clear that the Republican-controlled Congress will push for tax reform in the next administration. What is not clear is how quickly this will occur and the extent to which the tax changes will conform to the revisions proposed by President-elect Donald Trump or the House GOP Tax Reform Task Force, led by Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady, R-Texas.
 
The tax reform proposals asserted by Trump and the House Task Force would impact individuals, estates and gifts, and businesses.
 
If you would like to read the full article, click on the link below.

Read more about Trump's proposal, click on this link.

November 29, 2016 by David McCann

PAYROLL: Is Court Ruling on Overtime Regs the Last Word?

If you haven't heard, a federal court has issued a preliminary injunction stopping the changes that went into effect on December 1, 2016.  However, the DOL can appeal the ruling and it's unknown how companies will be impacted if they don't implement the new rules and the federal court is overturned in appeals.  We chose this article because it explains the information a business needs to consider in deciding how to approach until this is resolved.
 
Beginning of the article by David McCann
 
While companies are cheering a judge's decision to quash the new DoL overtime regulations, thorny issues are in play, including the prospect of an appeal.
 
After the Labor Department issued new rules last May that doubled the salary threshold under which workers were eligible for overtime pay, many companies undertook an employee-by-employee review of compensation and hours worked to determine how to minimize any financial fallout.
 
But now that a federal district court in Texas has issed a preliminary injuction stopping the rules’ scheduled implementation on Dec. 1, companies may be in a quandary over whether to go forward with their plans.
 
If you would like to read the full article, click on the link below.

To read more about the overtime injuction, click on this link.

November 14, 2016 by McClatchy

BUSINESS DEDUCTIONS: Real Records Are Necessary for Deducting Business Use of Car

We'll see over time how the IRS will apply this in their examination but this may be quite significant for many of us.
 
Many taxpayers aren't very good at keeping a business mileage log and they have believed they could recreate it at time they are examined by using their calendar history, invoices, bills, etc.  However, this court ruling puts a timeframe on this recreation.  In this ruling, the IRS did not contest the validity of the recreation but the timeliness of the recreation and disallowed the deduction because it had been recreated more than two years after-the-fact.
 
We will be bringing this up to all customers claiming this deduction this tax season as a reminder.
 
Beginning of the article by McClatchy
 
The IRS can disallow deductions for travel expenses, including those for business car use, if you don't keep adequate records. Notably, you're required to keep a contemporaneous log or other similar record of your business trips. That doesn't mean you have to record the information as soon as you arrive home, but you can't wait until months have passed either.
 
In lieu of keeping track of actual expenses, you can use a standard mileage method based on the business miles traveled (you still must keep track of the dates, business reasons, and mileage for business-related trips). For 2016, the standard mileage rate is 54 cents per business mile (plus business-related tolls and parking fees). 
 
If you would like to read the full article, click on the link below.

To read more about the mileage deduction, click on this link.

December 2, 2016 by TaRhonda Thomas

TAX SCAM: Scammers use Obamacare, IRS to target people

This article comes from our Denver 9 News.
 
First thing to remember about this article. - Congress has not given the IRS the ability to use email outside of the their organization so they can only use it for internal purposes and cannot correspond with taxpayers by email.
 
There are scammers emailing fake IRS notices to taxpayers participating in Obamacare.
 
Beginning of the article by TaRhonda Thomas
 
Scammers are at it again, this time claiming to be from the Internal Revenue Service.
 
They’re taking aim at people who are covered under Obamacare and exploiting confusion about the program. This latest scam is an email targeting people with insurance through the Affordable Care Act, alleging they owe additional money for their coverage.
 
If you would like to read the full article, click on the link below.

To read more about scam direct toward Obamacare participants, click on this link.

November 11, 2016 by Mark Williams

TAX FRAUD: New Programs Reduce Tax Fraud

Here is a good news article about tax fraud.  We hear so many warnings about ID theft relating to fraudulent returns.  It's good to hear the extra efforts are working.
 
Beginning of the article by Mark Williams
 
 
The crackdown on identity theft and tax fraud by federal and state tax authorities appears to be working.
 
The number of people reporting stolen identities on federal tax returns has fallen by more than 50 percent for the first nine months of 2016 with nearly 275,000 fewer victims, the Internal Revenue Service said Thursday.
 
If you would like to read the full article, click on the link below.

To read more about tax fraud improvements, click on link.

December 1, 2016 by Sally P. Schreiber, J.D.

FEDERAL TAX: New online tool allows taxpayers to check IRS account information

A brand new system for accessing your federal tax account to check your account balance.  This service is for taxpayers.  We will not be able to access system.  User will receive a code each time they attempt to access to verify their identity.
 
Beginning of article by Sally P. Schreiber, J.D.
 
 
The IRS announced on Thursday that it has launched an online tool that allows individuals to check their tax account balances online, including tax due, penalties, and interest, after they complete an online registration process called Secure Access. To register for Secure Access the first time, taxpayers must have an email address, a text-enabled cellphone in the taxpayer’s name, and specific account information for the taxpayer, such as credit card accounts and loan account numbers.
 
Each time a taxpayer returns to use the service, he or she will be required to enter a code received from the IRS by email or text. The IRS, mindful of the many scams that try to obtain taxpayers’ information, noted that it will not send emails or texts asking for personal information or login credentials—it will only send codes for one-time use.
 
If you would like to read the full article, click on the link below.

Click here to read more about new online system.

Chwele, Kenya / Farming Loan

KIVA LOAN: Meet Phanice's Group

We are spotlighting a Kiva microfinancing loan we made through our lending group.  This loan is made up of 16 lenders from around the world.
 
A loan of $400 helped a member to purchase a solar light and gain access to cost efficient hybrid seeds and fertilizer for maize cultivation.
 
Excerpt from loan page -
 
Phanice is 48 years old and is often described as a very hardworking individual. She has four children and is married. As a group leader, Phanice is representing her group of nine farmers in the Chwele District in Kenya. She is very excited to be working with One Acre Fund for the first time this year.
 
The decision to join One Acre Fund was largely a result of Phanice's desire to earn enough to feed her family. Apart from receiving farming inputs, she is also purchasing a solar light as part of her loan. This is very exciting to her as she will now be able to have light during dark hours for her children to be able to study. With the profits that she gains from this year’s harvest, she plans to send her children to school.
 
Phanice and her group will receive a total of seven solar lights as well as input loans of maize and fertilizer to plant a total of 4.5 acres.
 
In this group: Phanice, Jimmy, Yohana, Ivy, Margrate, Pamela, Geofrey, Yvone, Robert

Click here to see lending page.

In This Issue

Bryan's Random Thoughts

INCOME TAX: Trump’s Tax Reform Plans for Individuals, Businesses, and Estates

PAYROLL: Is Court Ruling on Overtime Regs the Last Word?

BUSINESS DEDUCTIONS: Real Records Are Necessary for Deducting Business Use of Car

TAX SCAM: Scammers use Obamacare, IRS to target people

TAX FRAUD: New Programs Reduce Tax Fraud

FEDERAL TAX: New online tool allows taxpayers to check IRS account information

KIVA LOAN: Meet Phanice's Group

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Payroll Relief
We now have a fully comprehensive payroll solution platform with a low cost fixed fee. It processes accurate payroll but also includes direct deposit, e-filing of tax payments and forms, year end processing, and provides an employee portal at no extra charge.
Click for more information on Payroll Relief
Kiva Mircofinancing Loans
We are always looking for ways to give back.  Kiva microfinancing loans is one way we do this.
 
Kiva is an international nonprofit, founded in 2005 and based in San Francisco, with a mission to connect people through lending to alleviate poverty. They celebrate and support people looking to create a better future for themselves, their families and their communities.
 
By lending as little as $25 on Kiva, anyone can help a borrower start or grow a business, go to school, access clean energy or realize their potential. For some, it’s a matter of survival, for others it’s the fuel for a life-long ambition.
 
100% of every dollar you lend on Kiva goes to funding loans. Kiva covers costs primarily through optional donations, as well as through support from grants and sponsors.
Click here to join our lending team.
Mogg & Associates, LLC  •  68 Inverness Lane East, Suite 203  •  Englewood  •  CO  •  80112
http://www.bmoggcpa.com
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