News & Event

Consider the fact that potential donors often have only the organization’s audited financials and Form 990 to evaluate the organization’s financial strength and how efficiently it would use a potential donation. Evaluating a nonprofit organization’s financial statements is different than evaluating statements of for-profit entities because having large amounts of revenue over expenses is not the main goal of the nonprofit organization and many organizations are budgeted to have zero excess revenues over expenses.

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The change of administration in Washington, as well as state and local initiatives, makes this a hard time for nonprofit boards and management to predict and determine the best strategies for sustainability -meeting the needs of its stakeholders and financial viability becomes ever more challenging.

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The Affordable Care Act (“ACA”), otherwise known as Obamacare, has been in the headlines lately as Republicans work to replace the ACA or otherwise repeal it entirely. In recent days, efforts to replace the law have fallen through as certain Republican senators have pledged to oppose it. The debates surrounding the ACA have also brought the Net Investment Income Tax (“NIIT”) into the spotlight.

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In an ever-globalizing world, U.S. tax payers are looking abroad for their insurance needs.  According to UHY partner Christopher Byrne, while taxpayers may find certain benefits from policies issued by a foreign insurer that they might not find domestically, many find themselves with a rude awakening when they are hit with a surprise surcharge from the IRS.  Pursuant to Internal Revenue Code § 4371(2), a one percent excise tax is charged on the premium paid on a policy for life, sickness, or accident insurance or an annuity contract. 

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UHY LLP (“UHY”), one of the nation’s fastest growing accounting firms, just finished up it’s summer recruiting and leadership program, UHY Connect, where over one hundred accounting students were given a glimpse inside UHY offices across the country. The program allows potential recruits to get a feel for the firm’s culture and working environment, and make connections with partners, accounting staff and others prior to graduating and choosing their career path.

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A United States citizen dies in the United Kingdom having spent a significant number of years living and working in the UK. To which country or countries will estate taxes be payable? Fortunately, in the case of the US and the UK there is an estate tax treaty that has mechanisms to prevent double taxation. According to UHY partner Christopher Byrne, the US / UK Estate Tax Treaty uses domicile primarily as the bases of estate taxation. The exception is real property and business property of a permanent establishment. Those are taxed based on location.

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The IRS, with an affirmative ruling from the Tax Court, has disallowed an S corporation's deduction of the unpaid portion of the payroll expenses for employees who participated in the S corporation's employee stock ownership plan (ESOP).

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Consumers in the US benefit from customs duty rates of nearly a third lower than the global average, saving them significant amounts of money, according to a new study by UHY, the international accounting and consultancy network.

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On May 4, the House of Representatives passed the American Health Care Act (AHCA) by a vote of 217 to 213. However, instead of promptly sending the bill to the Senate, the House instead waited for the Congressional Budget Office's (CBO) analysis. The CBO, along with the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) issued its report on May 24.

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The IRS has issued a new taxpayer friendly procedure for certain estate tax returns that missed the filing deadline to obtain the portability election. Rev. Proc. 2017-34 provides a simplified method to receive an extension of time to make a portability election if you didn't file the 706 return on time. A portability election allows a deceased taxpayer to transfer any unused gift/estate tax exemption amount (currently the maximum is $5,490,000 in 2017) to their surviving spouse.

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Many years ago you started to put some money aside to provide a comfortable retirement. Maybe it was a pension plan, possibly a 401K plan or even an IRA. Do you have more than one of these accounts because of job or investment advisor changes? Have you gotten married since you opened your account? Have you had children, got divorced, had grandchildren or had a death in the family? Chances are one or more of these life events will apply to you. When you set your retirement account up you made a beneficiary election. Do you remember who you selected...or have a copy of the election you made? Your retirement account is just that, for retirement. However, in most cases these funds are never totally exhausted before the account owner dies so your beneficiary election is vital to proper retirement planning. Your beneficiary election will determine who inherits your retirement account, but more importantly, how and when it will be taxed to them.

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According to a recent public service announcement, the FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center ("IC3") states the business email compromise (BEC)/email account compromise (EAC) scam continues to grow. BEC is a sophisticated scam targeting businesses working with foreign suppliers and/or businesses that regularly perform wire transfer payments. The EAC is a component of BEC targeting individuals that execute wire transfer payments. The scam is carried out when a subject compromises legitimate business email accounts through social engineering (ex. phishing) or computer intrusion techniques to make unauthorized transfers of funds.

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Do you know someone that lives in Detroit but uses a permanent address outside the city? Maybe someone you know has a business in Detroit but uses a non-Detroit mailing address. Or perhaps you know someone who owns rental property in Midtown or downtown Detroit. The city of Detroit has 11 auditors and three attorneys searching for Detroit residents and businesses that are not paying Detroit taxes and is targeting the now popular Midtown and downtown areas.

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In recent months, police in Michigan have reported an increasing number of incidents of this fraud. In most cases, the fraud is only discovered if your employee attempts to file an unemployment claim and learns that a claim has already been filed; an employee receives a statement of benefits from the insurance company, or an employee's federal or state income taxes are intercepted.

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WannaCrypt is a serious ransomware attack that has caused major interruptions to individuals, businesses and governments around the world. However, what gives this ransomware teeth is that it took advantage of a vulnerability in Microsoft operating systems that has been public knowledge. Anyone who was using an operating system newer than Windows XP, could have simply patched their workstation and their only risk was to click on a link they shouldn't have. The problem is many people and organizations haven't patched their computers or are still running Windows XP.

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The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) issued a new Accounting Standard Update in early 2017 (ASU 2017-05) to clarify guidance on Accounting Standard Codification (ASC) Subtopic 610-20 - Gains and Losses from the Derecognition of Nonfinancial Assets. All public entities should apply the amendments in ASU 2017-05 to annual reporting periods beginning after Dec. 15, 2017.

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The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) has issued Accounting Standards Update (ASU) 2017-08 to update the amortization period of certain callable debt securities held at a premium, requiring the premium to be amortized to the earliest call date. Entities generally amortize the premiums and discounts on callable debt securities over the contractual life of the instrument under current GAAP.

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President Donald Trump imposed a tariff on importing Canadian softwood lumber. Tariffs between 3 and 24.1 percent are to be imposed on five Canadian lumber companies: West Fraser Mills, Tolko Marketing and Sales, J.D. Irving, Canfor Corporation and Resolute FP Canada.

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Yesterday, the House of Representatives passed the American Health Care Act (AHCA) in a narrow vote of 217 to 213 after the bill had been amended from its previous version proposed a few weeks earlier. The AHCA is new proposed legislation that will repeal and replace parts of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) which is currently the law of the land. While this is only the first step of the new legislation, here are a few of the highlights of the bill.

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There are several reasons for which a public charity can loss its tax-exempt status – and the most common is also the most easily avoidable. Each year thousands of nonprofits loss their tax-exempt status for failure to fulfill annual filing requirements. More specifically, they fail to file the Form 990, Return of Organization Exempt From Income Tax.

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When auditors of not-for-profit organizations can provide the optimal level of assurance on an organization's financial statements, the report will say “the financial statements present fairly, in all material respects, the financial position of the organization and the changes in its net assets and cash flows.” The question naturally arises, then: what is meant by “material”? Auditing standards define materiality as something that could influence “the judgment of a reasonable person relying on the information.” Thus, materiality is not only quantitative but qualitative as well.

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Yesterday, the White House released President Donald Trump's tax reform plan to the public. The proposal aims to drastically cut corporate taxes as well as provide tax relief for individuals, with middle-income families as the primary target. The goal of the tax reform is to create economic growth, and American jobs, and to lower the business tax rate to one of the lowest in the world. The proposed tax reform plan is being touted as one of the biggest individual and business tax cuts in American history.

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Now that the initial April 18 personal income tax deadline has passed, the Internal Revenue Service has released six major changes to collection policies. Taxpayers that have outstanding balances due to the IRS can expect to be impacted in more ways than the traditional paper notices that arrive by mail every few weeks. The changes are designed to be motivation for delinquent taxpayers to settle all tax debts sooner rather than later.

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There are times when putting a business up for sale is the best — or only — next step. All owners need to recognize the signs that they’ve reached this expiration date so they can properly prepare for a sale and start building the case for a reasonable sale price.

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In 2015, the Financial Accounting Standards Board issued Accounting Standards Update Simplifying the Measurement of Inventory (ASU 2015-11). This standard simplifies the subsequent measurement of inventory by replacing the "lower of cost or market" test with a new "lower of cost and net realizable value test." However, entities that use the LIFO or retail inventory methods, will continue applying their current impairment models.

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In the wake of all the cyberattacks, data breaches and technology related identity thefts, fraudsters are continuing to come up with new ways to scam us.

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US not-for-profits encompass a wide variety of industries that include health care, higher education, credit unions and public authorities, to name a few. Andrea Murad speaks to the individuals who ensure they maintain their nonprofit status.

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UHY Advisors shared how to implement effective change management through a culture of continuous improvement on its Atlanta Business Radio show April 21st at 10 a.m. EST. UHY’s Managing Directors Frank Fenello and Cindy Hannafey hosted as part of UHY’s monthly radio program series, Cause & Affect. Listeners learned how to successfully manage through change and sustain the resulting increased efficiencies and productivity.

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The US is powering ahead of the world average in terms of capital investment in its economy’s business resources and public infrastructure, strengthening its future growth prospects, reveals a new study by UHY, the international accounting and consultancy network.

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Under-performing companies present special valuation challenges. Financial distress adds an element of risk, which lowers value. So, compared with healthy companies, distressed businesses tend to have higher discount rates (under the income approach) and receive downward adjustments to pricing multiples (under the market approach), and sometimes don’t have past or projected earnings that contribute to the company’s value (under the cost approach). Or valuators might select guideline companies with similar financial performance or a proximate transaction date to avoid using deals that occurred during better economic times.

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All taxpayers should be aware that the IRS has implemented a new program that allows private debt collection agencies to call to collect past-due taxes. This may be confusing to many taxpayers since there have been a bevy of warnings circulating that warn of scams where a fraudster calls identifying themselves as a representative of the IRS.

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Both sellers and buyers must handle a torrent of details during an M&A deal closing, such as getting permissions from a host of parties and transferring various operating permits. If you’re in a transaction’s early stages, you might not realize how much paperwork and communication will be necessary to achieve an ownership transfer. The earlier that the parties prepare for this time-consuming task, the better.

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Although Detroit already had a "jock tax" in place, it was not officially codified until early March. Detroit's jock tax is the first tax in the US to count travel days that don't necessarily include service inside the city. The new ordinance provides guidance to teams on how to allocate income accordingly.

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If you’ve ever obtained a business valuation for a client, you know that the final value usually includes several components — including tangible and intangible assets. The term “intangible assets” often triggers thoughts.

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Becoming wealthy may not be your primary goal, but if it is, there is a reasonably predictable way to get rich in America.

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If you do not participate in your employer's retirement plan, you have up until April 18, 2017 to make a traditional IRA contribution which would be fully deductible on your 2016 income tax return.

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If you have considered selling your business of late, you may have been disappointed to see the offers a business like yours would garner from would-be acquirers.

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Looming large in the sphere of big accounting changes, new requirements to bring leases on to corporate balance sheets are starting to win pockets of attention. That attention is mixed, however, as companies enter the home stretch in adopting even bigger change to the way they recognize revenue in financial statements.

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Today, the Federal Open Market Committee raised the Federal Reserve's federal funds rate by a quarter percentage point to a target range of 0.75% to 1.00%. This move was highly anticipated - one might even say a forgone conclusion - by the time it was announced. In light of inflation estimates reaching 2% and the February "jobs report" showing unemployment down to 4.7%, nearly every Fed watcher expected the upward movement today.

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Whether you want to sell your business next year or a decade from now, you will have two basic options for an external sale: the financial or the strategic buyer.

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The New York State Department of Financial Services (“NYDFS”) recently announced the country’s first state regulations requiring the establishment and maintenance of cybersecurity programs for financial institutions - “Cybersecurity Requirements for Financial Services Companies.”

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The change in administrations in Washington has generated a new focus on tax reform. The White House and lawmakers from both parties have discussed tax cuts, infrastructure spending, and more to encourage economic growth. However, the details of their plans have yet to be revealed. Tax reform legislation may be unveiled in February.

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Have you set a goal for your company this year? If you’re like most business owners, you’re striving for an increase in your annual sales. It’s natural to want your company to be bigger because that’s what everyone around us seems to celebrate.

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The 2017 tax filing season launched on January 23. The IRS predicted a few speedbumps for taxpayers, especially for taxpayers who file early in anticipation of early refunds. The agency expects to receive more than 150 million individual income tax returns. The vast majority of individual income tax returns will be filed electronically and the IRS has extra safeguards in place to protect taxpayers from cybercrime.

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UHY Advisors, Inc. (“UHY Advisors”) announces their return to the Texas market and the opening of a new office. Consultants from Berkeley Research Group, led by Norman Comstock (a former UHY managing director) and David Phillips, have joined UHY to focus on providing cybersecurity and related technology advisory services to a national client base.

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First-time business sellers often must negotiate an M&A deal with far more experienced buyers. If your buyer already has several acquisitions under its belt, you could be at a competitive disadvantage. Experienced M&A advisors, who can fight on your behalf for the best price and deal terms, are essential to overcoming this strategic disadvantage.

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Team collaboration applications such as Slack and Unify Circuit can make life easier for enterprises. But for some organizations, the risk might not be worth the reward.

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National Taxpayer Advocate Nina Olson, in a recent report to Congress, urged the IRS to change its culture from one that is enforcement-oriented to one that is service-oriented. Such a change, Olson provided, would create an environment that encourages taxpayer trust and confidence. In the report, Olson also highlighted key areas for tax simplification and the top-10 most litigated tax issues.

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The IRS has rules that limit the deductibility of expenses and losses from a hobby or activity not engaged in for profit. If the IRS determines that an activity is not profit-driven, deductions from the activity are limited to the amount of income the activity generates. Losses from such activities cannot be used to offset other income, such as salary or investments.

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Are enterprises more or less secure than 5 years ago? That’s the big question of the moment, especially with ongoing revelations about state-sponsored hacking, as well as an unending stream of reports about customer and employee data being compromised by even the most seemingly security-conscious organizations. Awareness of data security is running at a fever pitch at the highest levels of government and business organizations. There have been plenty of technology advances, and awareness has grown. Still, the wave of breaches and threats never seems to abate, and likely never will.

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The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) released Accounting Standards Update (ASU) 2017-01 in order to have more consistent application of accounting principles relating to business and asset acquisitions and disposals. The ASU aims to achieve this by clarifying the definition of a business with the objective of adding guidance to assist entities with evaluating whether transactions should be accounted for as acquisitions (or disposals) of assets or businesses.

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The IRS has proposed several rule changes that could bode well for taxpayers. The biggest proposed change would affect the earned income tax credit that has been in effect since 1994.With the proposed changes both taxpayers are eligible to claim the earned income tax credit; one can claim the full portion of the credit and the other can claim the reduced credit for childless taxpayers if certain requirements are met.

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President Trump's first couple weeks in office have been quite eventful, moving to repeal the Affordable Care Act, giving the green light for the Keystone XL and Dakota Access Pipelines to be constructed, immigration restrictions and of course "The Wall". Trump has proposed to use "comprehensive tax reform" as a means to tax imports from the countries that the US has trade deficits with; like Mexico.

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The Better Business Bureau has learned that scammers are now targeting small business owners with phishing emails using QuickBooks software as bait. Emails are being sent with the subject line "QuickBooks Support: Change Request". The message is "confirming" that the business name was changed with Intuit, QuickBooks' manufacturer, even though no such request was made.

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IRS warns a damaging W-2 phishing email scam is spreading aggressively beyond corporate America. Two weeks ago the IRS issued a warning about a W-2 phishing email scam. Less than a week later the IRS issued an urgent alert stressing the scam is spreading aggressively beyond corporate America and into schools, hospitals, nonprofits, middle market companies, etc.

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The prudent businessperson is always cautious when he or she is offered a great bargain on real estate, equipment, a business interest, or some other property that just might be too good to be true. Even in connection with ordinary business transactions but especially when considering taking over a property or business that in a bargain because of some legal wrinkle, you should consider whether there might be some tax liability attached to the bargain that could come back to haunt you down the road.

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The prudent businessperson is always cautious when he or she is offered a great bargain on real estate, equipment, a business interest, or some other property that just might be too good to be true. Even in connection with ordinary business transactions but especially when considering taking over a property or business that in a bargain because of some legal wrinkle, you should consider whether there might be some tax liability attached to the bargain that could come back to haunt you down the road.

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The amount of foreign direct investment (FDI) attracted by the US is outperforming the global average by over thirteen times, according to a new study by UHY, the international accounting and consultancy network. According to UHY, inflows of FDI into the US were $379.4 billion last year, accounting for 2.1% of total GDP. This compares to the average world figure of $29.3 billion, or 2.2% of total GDP.

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There have been a lot of questions lately surrounding the 1095 reporting requirements for the 2016 reporting period. Read more to review some bullet points from frequently asked questions.

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The IRS has opened the doors to begin receiving 2016 tax returns, but some early filers may find they are left waiting weeks before their refund arrives. That's thanks to a new law intended to reduce cases of tax fraud.

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UHY Advisors, Inc. (“UHY Advisors”) today announced that they have acquired Byrne International LLC, effective January 2017. Christopher J. Byrne joins UHY as a Managing Director; and he has brought a team of four staff members with him. This merger, based out of UHY Advisors’ New York office, will greatly enhance the company’s ability to offer dynamic solutions and domain expertise for UHY’s international clientele.

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UHY Advisors, Inc. (“UHY Advisors”), one of the nation’s fastest growing professional services firms, announces the appointment of six new managing directors: Cynthia Hannafey, Stacey Massa, Pamela May, Keith Moore, Marian Shaw and Paul Truber.

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President-elect Donald Trump has promised to introduce a tax plan that includes estate tax repeal as a priority in his first 100 days, however several questions must be addressed before repeal becomes reality.

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Last summer, proposed changes to Section 2704 of the Internal Revenue Code appeared to be tightly constraining the benefits of certain transfers of family-controlled business assets by eviscerating discounts that might be available to such transfers. The proposed changes caused a visceral reaction within much of the accounting, financial planning and legal industries as it started a clock on implementing those strategies before a potential change.

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We are seeing the rise in identity theft, including in the unemployment benefits area. Unemployment identity theft not only causes inconvenience and loss of funds, it could result in wages being garnished, tax refunds being intercepted and more.

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The political uncertainty surrounding Donald Trump will likely have a significant impact on individual tax planning. It is still unclear how Trump’s tax plan will be implemented and whether it will be approved of by the House Republican leadership. Adding to tax preparation uncertainty are other unknown factors including the 2017 rate structure, the repeal of Obamacare and the impact on the net investment income tax (NIIT), and limitations on deductions dictated by the alternative minimum tax (AMT) including the possibility of its repeal in 2017.

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We welcome, SEC – Sociedade de Ensino e Consultoria, our new member firm in Mozambique, to the global accountancy network UHY, extending our coverage within the EMEA region.

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Although the end of the year is quickly approaching, there is still time to implement some tax strategies that can improve your tax circumstances for 2016 and beyond.

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The IRS issued Notice 2016-79, updating optional standard mileage rates for business, charitable, medical or moving purposes.

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Effective Jan. 1, 2017, minimum wage employees in Michigan will see an increase of 40 cents per hour from $8.50 to $8.90. For 2017 budgets that translates to an extra $16 per week per full-time employee, or $832 per year. The law, Public Act 138 known as the Workforce Opportunity Wage Act (WOWA) of 2014 took effect on May 27, 2014 when minimum wage was $7.90, which has gradually increased to the current $8.50

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We welcome, BBI Advisory & Audit, our new member firm in Cameroon, to the global accountancy network UHY, extending our coverage within the EMEA region.

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The FBI has warned of a dramatic increase in targeted email attacks on company employees that appear to come from the CEO or other executive. These scams usually begin with the attackers compromising the executive's email account, or messaging from look-alike email addresses that may be one or two letters different from the real company email address.

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With the release of Accounting Standards Update (ASU) 2016-09 by FASB, accounting for employee share-based payments will take a more simplified approach to both accounting and financial reporting. One change noted in the ASU is that any excess tax benefit that used to be recognized as additional paid-in capital is now to be recorded as income tax expense. Any tax deficiencies are now to be reported on the income statement and cannot be used to offset accumulated excess tax benefits.

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Recently, The American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) outlined its priorities for tax reform legislation, as a major change is expected to take place. The release of these priorities comes as Republicans are pushing to pass legislation that overhauls the tax code next year. Republicans believe that 2017 is the perfect time to pass a tax reform bill as they will control both houses of Congress, as well as the White House, with the new administration.

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In a ruling that has significant implications for many industries, on Nov. 22, a Texas federal judge dealt the US Department of Labor a major setback by preliminarily enjoining DOL's overtime rule which was set to go into effect on Dec. 1, 2016. The nationwide injunction means that employers do not have to comply with the rule on Dec. 1. Most employers have been actively planning or implementing changes with respect to how they compensate employees and classify them for purposes of overtime eligibility.

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Beginning with tax year 2016, the deadline for employers and small businesses to file Form W-2 and certain 1099s has been moved up to Jan. 31; therefore 2016 forms are due Jan. 31, 2017.

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Employers in California and the US Virgin Islands are the only jurisdictions subject to credit reduction for the 2016 tax year due to failure to pay off federal UI loans by Nov. 10, 2016. Employers in these jurisdictions face a 2016 federal unemployment tax that is 1.8 percent higher than employers not in credit reduction states.

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As employers move into their second year of reporting under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the IRS has extended penalty relief and the due dates for ACA information reporting. Employers with 50 or more full-time employees will now have until March 2, 2017 (instead of Jan. 31, 2017) to issue their 2016 Form 1095-B or 1095-C to their employees and covered individuals. This extension does NOT apply to the employer reporting to the IRS with Form 1094 transmittal, which will remain at February 28 (March 31 if filing electronically).

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On July 1 the user fee to process the Form 1023-EZ, Streamlined Application for Recognition of Exemption Under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, was decreased from $400 to $275 (Rev. Proc. 2016-32).

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New §501(c)(4) exempt organizations and their advisors need to be mindful of a requirement added to the Code under the PATH Act, enacted December 18, 2015. Under newly-enacted IRC §506 such organizations must electronically submit Form 8976 - Notice of Intent to Operate Under Section 501(c)(4) - within 60 days of formation. This form does not exist on paper and thus will not be found by searching at the IRS website. An individual desiring to electronically submit this form needs to establish an account at the IRS website and pay a user fee of $50 through www.pay.gov. Late filing can be penalized. (Rev. Proc. 2016-41).

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Many accountants and users find that certain areas of the current NFP financial reporting framework are often difficult to navigate and interpret. This becomes especially apparent in the board room and at management meetings where financial statement literacy may not always be a core skillset for all members. In an effort to address some of these concerns among users, on August 18, 2016, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) issued Accounting Standards Update (ASU) No. 2016-14, Not for Profit Entities (Topic 958): Presentation of Financial Statements of Not-For-Profit Entities.

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It only took 10 years, but this summer the Department of Labor (DOL) announced sweeping changes to the federal overtime rules. The most significant change is raising the standard salary level by which salaried employees are now eligible for overtime pay. The new rules will go into effect December 1, 2016 and apply to both for-profit and non-profit entities.

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We welcome, ABG Consulting, our new member firm in Georgia, to the global accountancy network UHY, extending our coverage within the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region.

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After the most significant election in our nation's history, the votes are in and Republican nominee, Donald Trump has been elected to become the 45th president of the United States. President-elect Trump's tax plan looks to reduce taxes across the board, including making the business tax rate more competitive and creating new opportunities to grow our economy. Before any proposed changes can be made, they must be approved by Congress.

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Every year the IRS will announce annual inflation adjustments on various tax provisions and rates.

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The Internal Revenue Service has announced the cost-of-living adjustments impacting dollar limitations for pension plans and other retirement related items for tax year 2017. While many limits remain unchanged, see below for the 2017 increases.

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As reported in Dykema's 2016 M&A Outlook Survey: For the first time since the 2008 survey, respondents said that US financial buyers topped strategic buyers for having the most influence on US deal valuation over the past year.

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The Social Security Administration (SSA) recently announced a 2017 cost-of-living adjustment for the Social Security taxable wage limit. The maximum amount of earnings subject to Social Security tax for 2017 will increase by 7% to $127,200 from $118,500 in 2016.

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UHY Advisors, one of the most respected professional services firms in the country, welcomes Joseph Chivini as business development director. In this role, Chivini will lead the firm’s business development efforts in the Chicago market for the full range of services including attest, tax, management consulting and resource solutions offerings.

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As 2017 approaches, retirement plan sponsors need to be prepared for the Department of Labor's recently modified rules that affect ERISA retirement plans (as well as individual retirement accounts and even some health savings accounts). Under previously implemented rules, some investment advisors of retirement plans (those that were generally compensated via commissions and mutual fund management fees) were not held to a fiduciary standard - requiring only that their advice be "suitable" to their clients. Under the new rule, which becomes effective April 10, 2017, most investment advisors to plans (regardless of the manner in which they are compensated) will be considered fiduciaries.

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Are you looking to buy a new property but haven't been able to sell your existing one? Or perhaps it would make more sense for you to keep your existing property while you make improvements to your new property? Do you want to defer the taxes on the sale of your existing property? If so, then you may be a candidate for a reverse like-kind exchange.

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According to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) report No. 2016-40-065, during the period February 2011 to December 2015, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) identified almost 1.1 million taxpayers who were victims of employment-related identity theft. Employment-related identity theft is when an identity thief uses a stolen social security number of a taxpayer when applying for employment.

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If you are required to file partnership tax returns, C corporation tax returns, or foreign information reporting (FinCen 114/FBAR), the Surface Transportation Act of 2015 ("the Highway Act") brings some actionable news regarding revised filing deadlines effective for 2016 tax returns. The current partnership return deadline imposes a problem for many partners to timely file their returns by April 15. The partnership due date change may give more time for partners to include any Schedule(s) K-1 income and/or loss on their personal income tax returns and file by April 15.

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The IRS has reported that there have been many recent claims of fake CP2000 notices being sent to taxpayers indicating an amount due related to the Affordable Care Act. A CP2000 notice is normally sent to taxpayers when the income on their tax return does not match what has been reported by the third-party (such as an employer). In many cases, these fraudulent notices are being sent as an attachment to an email message.

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Michigan is again offering reimbursement for specified costs related to training new and current employees. The Skilled Trades Training Fund (STTF) is used for short term training (3 months or less, unless an apprenticeship). This applies to ALL employers with a presence in Michigan; it is not industry specific. The employer must be in compliance with all federal and state tax obligations and willing to participate with the program's guidelines.

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The IRS had twice extended the time period to submit paperwork for employers to claim the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) for qualified employees hired between the dates of Jan. 1, 2015 and Aug. 31, 2016. The extended due date for the submission of WOTC paperwork is Sept. 28, 2016.

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Recently, there's been an alarming rise in fraudsters attempting to file for unemployment benefits using stolen identities. For example, a company receives a notice from the Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA) stating that 'Employee X' has filed for unemployment benefits, when in fact 'Employee X' is still a current employee with the company.

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The FBI has issued a threat advisory to charitable organizations and nonprofits in the US and Canada. A Nigerian criminal network has already targeted more than two dozen organizations with a sophisticated, multi-step wire fraud scheme.

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After a long primary season, it appears that the American people will have a choice between Hillary Clinton, the likely Democratic nominee, and Donald Trump, the likely Republican nominee. Despite the relative uniqueness of each candidate, there’s an old proverb that says the only thing we learn from new elections is that we learned nothing from the last one. In the summer of 2016, we once again face an election where the winner may dictate the future of health care in this country. It is important to understand each candidate’s stance on health care.

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As the election draws nearer, more details of the candidates' economic plans are being unveiled. With this we can start to get a better idea of what our tax future may look like. Unfortunately, the majority of the proposed changes from each candidate are based on taxable income and are different for every situation. Below are the basics in no particular order.

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If a distribution from a qualified plan or an IRA is not rolled over to another eligible retirement plan or IRA within 60 days, not only is the distribution generally taxable, but the distribution may also be subject to a 10 percent early withdrawal penalty. Up until now, if a taxpayer missed the 60-day rollover requirement, the only recourse was to request a waiver from the IRS via a letter ruling. Now, a new self-certification procedure (outlined in Revenue Procedure 2016-47) may allow taxpayers to qualify for a waiver of the 60-day retirement distribution rollover requirement without requesting a waiver directly from the IRS.

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UHY LLP together with UHY Advisors, Inc. (“UHY”) has been recognized by INSIDE Public Accounting (IPA) as one of the top 10 fastest growing accounting firms of 2016. The ranking, determined by the IPA Annual Survey and Analysis of Firms, confirms an upward trend that UHY has been experiencing over many years.

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On Aug. 4, 2016, The IRS issued proposed regulations that will dramatically affect your ability as a business owner to transfer wealth to the next generation in a tax efficient manner. The time to act is now as these changes could be in force by the end of this year. These regulations are currently open for public comments which could result in changes, however waiting may not be the most prudent option.

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In a recent speech at the Olympic Training Center in Lake Placid, democratic Senator Charles Schumer of New York, called on the House to pass legislation that would give Olympic and Paralympic athletes a tax exemption on their Olympic medals and monetary bonuses. Schumer expressed that it was wrong to tax these athletes after earning a hard fought victory for the country.

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Krystina Borrocci, 31, Director of Marketing at UHY LLP was honored in front of a crowd of her peers, alumni and donors of Wayne State University’s Mike Ilitch School of Business. It was at the school’s 36th Annual Recognition & Awards Program where she was awarded as the 2016 Emerging Leader along with two other honorees who received Executive of the Year (Nancy Schlichting) and Distinguished Alumnus (Mark Davidoff). Borrocci is the youngest alumnus to ever win this award.

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Recently Tom Alongi, leader of UHYI’s Global Automotive SIG and audit partner in UHY’s Sterling Heights office sat down with Ian Welham of Haydenrock Solutions for a podcast on successful CPAs.

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Wednesday August 23 2017 | 8:00AM—9:30AM UHY Innovation Lab | 12900 Hall Road, Sterling Heights, MI 48313

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Hosted at UHY’s Training Center in Farmington Hills Thursday August 17 2017 | 8:00AM - 10:30AM 

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This is a reminder that the Form 5278, Essential Services Assessment (ESA), must be certified (approved) and paid by August 15. Taxpayers have been mailed notifications reminding them to complete the process via the MTO System (Michigan Treasury Online). Payment must be made online. No invoices pertaining to the ESA are being mailed to taxpayers.

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The Mortgage Credit Certificate program has issued a federal tax credit to first time homebuyers statewide. The homebuyer can credit 20 percent of their annual mortgage interest paid against their federal tax liability. This credit is good for the life of the mortgage. There are only certain mortgage companies that are participating in this program.

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You've spent time and money configuring your enterprise security software and have assured your stakeholders that this investment will help keep your data safe. What happens when the software that is supposed to protect your data winds up exposing it instead? This nightmare scenario is a reality for many businesses; possibly yours. Several versions of Symantec antivirus software were recently found to have multiple critical vulnerabilities that can expose all of your sensitive information to unknown third parties.

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When the skies are blue and the mercury tops 90, many of us turn to America's pastime, baseball, to distract us from our daily travails. But in recent years, America has developed a new pastime, watching and predicting what the Fed will do with interest rates. At the end of July, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting provided a couple of innings of data on what might be happening down the stretch of 2016.

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The Michigan Department of Treasury has recently issued guidance that has eliminated the requirement that flow-through entities (e.g., a partnership, S Corporation, or limited liability company) withhold income tax on a member's distributive share of income for tax years that begin on or after July 1, 2016. The new bill discontinues the flow-through entity's obligation to withhold taxes for their individual nonresident members, corporate members, and other flow-through entities.

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The Budget Act of 2015, which was signed into law in November 2015, made major changes to the rules governing federal tax audits of partnerships. The legislative change repealed the partnership audit procedures commonly known as TEFRA (Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 1982). Generally, a partnership with eleven or more partners at any one time during the partnership's tax year is a TEFRA partnership. TEFRA audits are subject to additional administrative procedures during an IRS audit.

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Last week the United Kingdom made a historical decision to leave the European Union, otherwise known as "Brexit" (a portmanteau of "British exit"). After a 52 to 48 percent vote to leave the EU, economists continue to reassure the public that the move will have a relatively small impact on the global economy as a whole.

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The IRS recently issued Notice 2016-40 that provides transitional relief to employers claiming the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC). The WOTC is a tax credit for employers that hire individuals that belong to one of nine different targeted groups including Veterans, Temporary Assistance Recipients, and Empowerment Zone residents. The President signed the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015 (the PATH Act) in mid-December 2015 which retroactively reinstated the WOTC to Jan. 1, 2015 and extended it through Dec. 31, 2019.

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Both the electronic filing PIN tool on IRS. gov and the toll-free phone service were shut down last week due to increased automated bot attacks on the platform. A similar increase was detected in February, but the service was kept online since it was the middle of tax season and the e-filing pin system was used in nearly all commercial tax programs.

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Election Day will be here before you know it. Both presidential hopefuls Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have already disclosed some major changes they would like to make to our current tax system including tax brackets, estate tax and investment income.

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The US levies one of the lowest property purchase taxes in the world on prime real estate, charging on average 0.6 percent, or $6,000, in tax on a property purchase of $1 million, reveals a new study by UHY, a leading international accounting and consultancy network. This is far lower than the global average of 3.3 percent ($33,038) for properties worth $1 million. UHY says that by keeping taxes in this price bracket low, governments can encourage labor market mobility of senior executives and valuable overseas investment from High Net Worth individuals, although they also risk losing out on an attractive source of revenue.

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UHY Advisors convened a roundtable discussion among financial services industry professionals on Thursday, June 16th to explore the implications and causes of recent cyber bank heists. The roundtable, “Lessons Learned from Cyber Bank Heists,” launched UHY’s Financial Services Roundtable series and included compliance, risk management, internal audit, and technology managers from some of the world’s largest banks and financial services firms.

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Mass shootings that make headlines similar to what we saw as a result of the Orlando tragedy not only generate a nation-wide flood of donations for the victims and their families, but also a spike in scamming activities including attempts to gain money or private taxpayer information.

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As part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), one of the many excise taxes imposed by this act is again quickly approaching. The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) fee is an excise tax imposed on health insurance issuers and plan sponsors of self-insured health plans effective for plan years ending on or after Oct. 1, 2012. The fee is calculated at $2.08 per covered life for plan years ending after Oct. 1, 2014 but before Oct. 1, 2015 and increases to $2.17 per covered life for those plan years ending on or after Oct. 1, 2015 and before Oct. 1, 2016. This fee is due by July 31 each year with increases corresponding to the medical inflation rate all the way through the 2019 plan year.

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Do you have a financial interest in or signature authority over a foreign financial account, including a bank account, brokerage account, mutual fund, or other type of foreign financial account? If you do, and certain thresholds are met, then filing of FinCEN Form 114 Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts will be required to avoid substantial penalties.

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Many believed that the Federal Reserve would raise interest rates in June, but a recent May hiring report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that may not be the case. The report from the Bureau showed that just 38,000 jobs were added to the US economy in May, the lowest monthly job gain since September 2010.

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In early 2015, the IRS transitioned its listing of automatic accounting method changes from the appendix of the general Revenue Procedure to its own separate Revenue Procedure, giving it the freedom to regularly issue new changes and modifications. On May 5, the IRS did just that in issuing Rev. Proc. 2016-29.

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Earlier in the year we reported an increase in email phishing and spoofing scams this tax season. Recently, the Milwaukee Bucks made headlines when an employee leaked player financial information.

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It has been all over the news as of late; presumptive GOP nominee and business mogul Donald Trump has been under fire after refusing to turn over his Federal income tax returns to the general public until after a routine audit by the IRS is completed. Although candidates are not required to publically release their tax returns the last seven presidents have. Trump has indicated in several interviews that he would do so after the audit ends, which may not happen before the election. So why is Donald Trump's tax return under audit?

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UHY Training Center | 27725 Stansbury Blvd. | Farmington Hills, MI 48334 Tuesday June 13 2017 | 3:00PM - 6:30PM

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UHY LLP and Howard & Howard Attorneys PLLC dusted off the equipment, sharpened the skates and pulled out the old sweaters to take on Talmer Bank & Trust in the fourth annual charity hockey game at Oak Park Ice Arena.

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Various states offer tax amnesty programs throughout the year. The programs allow the taxpayer to file delinquent returns and waive penalties associated with late filings. The programs also limit the look-back period for outstanding tax returns. Taxpayers who believe they may have delinquent tax exposure should consider participating in the amnesty programs to limit their tax liability. Massachusetts and Alabama are now offering tax amnesty programs.

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The original filing deadline in February has been extended to Tuesday, May 31, to file Form 5278 or resubmit a Form 5278 that had been denied due to an incomplete form. The form must be received by the local assessor's office by the deadline and postmarks are not acceptable.

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As consumers and businesses have begun receiving new credit and debit cards with shiny embedded microchips (known as EMV technology), many are unaware of the liability shift that occurred in 2015. As of October 2015, merchants that are not certified to accept EMV card transactions may be responsible for certain fraudulent charges, a change from standards that previously existed where the liability rested solely with the card issuer. Estimates indicate 94 percent of magnetic-only credit cards will be replaced by the end of 2016. As a result, businesses that accept credit cards face a dramatically different landscape compared to just a few short months ago.

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Beginning Dec. 1, 2016, salaried employees making less than $47,476 a year or $913 a week will qualify for overtime pay for any work exceeding 40 hours. The new threshold doubles the current $23,660 threshold and would automatically make 35% of salaried workers eligible for time-and-a-half pay.

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After advising on Crain's Detroit Business' "Deal of the Year Under 100 Million" in 2015, UHY Advisors' Corporate Finance was also recognized for both buy-side and sell-side support on five other deals that made Crain's List of Largest Mergers and Acquisitions of 2015

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The IRS released temporary and proposed regulations for a the new voluntary certification program for PEOs. The application process is targeted to open on July 1. Under the IRS program, PEOs that apply will be required to meet certain requirements to gain certification. Click here to read the full article from Accounting Today.

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Businesses in the US are paying among the highest corporation taxes in the world at a rate well above the global average, reveals a new study by UHY, a leading international accounting and consultancy network. According to UHY, the US’ corporation tax rate was 41.1 percent (combined federal and assumed state tax rate of 7.1 percent) on taxable profits of $1,000,000 for the financial year ending 2015*.

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The General Sales Tax Act exempts the "sale of rolling stock purchased by an interstate motor carrier or for rental or lease to an interstate motor carrier and used in interstate commerce." The Use Tax Act exempts "the storage, use, or consumption of rolling stock used in interstate commerce and purchased, rented, or leased by an interstate fleet motor carrier."

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A commercial activity tax (CAT) is imposed on most taxpayers doing business in Ohio that have taxable gross receipts in excess of $150,000. The CAT is not an income tax, but rather a tax based on sales transacted in Ohio.

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The sudden death of pop icon and Rock & Roll Hall of Famer, Prince, left fans all over the world weeping and cities paying their last respects with Purple Rain-themed tributes on buildings and stadiums. It was a death so unexpected that Prince has no known will.

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For those that have filed Form 5278, "Affidavit and Statement for Eligible Manufacturing Personal Property and Essential Services Assessment (ESA)", the local assessor's office has transmitted this information to the Department of Treasury to create an Electronic ESA Statement (Statement). The ESA is a State-specific tax on eligible personal property owned by, leased to or in possession of an eligible claimant as of Dec. 31 of the year immediately preceding the assessment year. The tax is collected by the State, not the local assessor's office. The Statement will be available for taxpayer viewing as of May 1 via the Michigan Treasury On-Line System (MTO).

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We welcome Premier Financial Services (Seychelles) Limited, our new member firm in Seychelles, to the global accountancy network UHY, extending our coverage within the African region.

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We welcome El Sayed El Ayouty & Co, Certified Public Accountants, our new member firm in Bahrain, to the global accountancy network UHY, extending our coverage within the Middle East. El Sayed El Ayouty & Co, formed in 1989, is based in Manama and with a team of 26, including two partners, the firm provides audit, accounting, management and legal consulting services to a portfolio of local and Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) clients, primarily in the wholesale, manufacturing, real estate, contracting/trading and services sectors.

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We welcome GUIÑAZU & ASOCIADOS SpA, our new member firm in Chile, to the global accountancy network UHY, extending our coverage within South America. GUIÑAZU & ASOCIADOS SpA is based in Santiago and with a team of 32, including three partners, the firm provides audit, accounting, pay-roll, tax and management consulting services to a portfolio of local and international clients primarily in the manufacturing, service, education, engineering, construction and mining sectors.

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The Tax Foundation released a study called the International Tax Competitiveness Index, in which our great nation ranked 32nd out of 34 countries in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development in relation to tax competitiveness. The study compared tax systems using over 40 variables in five categories: corporate taxes, consumption taxes, property taxes, individual taxes and international tax rules. The study claims that the US individual income tax system is poorly structured, confusing and has high rates.

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In March 2016 the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) issued Accounting Standards Update No. 2016-07, Investments - Equity Method and Joint Ventures (Topic 323): Simplifying the Transition to the Equity Method of Accounting, The update affects all entities that have an investment that becomes qualified for the equity method of accounting as a result of an increase in the level of ownership interest or degree of influence.

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As filing deadlines draw closer, the IRS and taxpayers continue to be a vulnerable target of several cyber-attacks. The tactics range from phone calls attempting to verify personal information, to fake emails, to network attacks. In a recent attack, hackers used previously obtained social security numbers to generate E-File Personal Identification Numbers (PINs).

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The IRS has issued final regulations on the application of the rules that require certain domestic entities to annually report their interest in certain foreign assets effective for tax years beginning after Dec. 31, 2015. Beginning Jan. 1, 2016, the IRS now requires specified domestic entities - partnerships, corporations, or trusts to also attach Form 8938 to their tax return.

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The IRS recently issued Notice 2016-22 that provides transitional relief to employers claiming the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC). The WOTC is a tax credit for employers that hire individuals that belong to one of nine different targeted groups including Veterans, Temporary Assistance Recipients, and Empowerment Zone residents. The President signed the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015 (the PATH Act) in mid-December 2015 which retroactively reinstated the WOTC to Jan. 1, 2015 and extended it through Dec. 31, 2019. The Notice issued allows employers additional time to complete the IRS Form 8850 and Department of Labor Form ETA 9061 (or ETA 9062) because of this retroactive application.

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Congress is requiring a new informational return to be filed with the IRS to ensure there is a consistent reporting of the basis of assets between the estate tax return and the beneficiary receiving the asset. The IRS has finalized the Form 8971, Information Regarding Beneficiaries Acquiring Property from a Decedent. An executor or personal representative of an estate who filed a Form 706 (Estate and Generation -Skipping Transfer Tax Return) for a decedent, will be required to file Form 8971 with both the IRS and the beneficiaries of the estate. Form 8971 is only required for those estates where the total gross estate value exceeded the filing threshold requiring it to file a 706 return.

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In 2016, the estate/gift tax exemption has increased to $5.45 million for federal tax purpose. There are many factors to take into consideration to avoid unintended tax consequences and prepare for an orderly transfer of assets. Below are four tax-friendly reminders to consider while planning for your estate.

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On Jan. 7, 2016, the IRS added new frequently asked questions (FAQs) to its website on the streamlined offshore compliance program, which includes guidance to participants in Canadian registered retirement savings plans (RRSP), registered retirement income fund (RRIF) or other similar Canadian retirement plans. Generally, an individual who is a citizen or resident of the US and a beneficiary of a Canadian retirement plan may be subject to US tax on accrued income in the plan even though the income is not currently distributed to the beneficiary.

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President Obama sent his final annual budget proposal for the 2017 fiscal year to Congress. The new proposals in the budget include dramatic changes to the world of tax.

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Statements and reports for domestic and foreign limited liability companies and professional limited liability companies must be filed online by Feb. 15, 2016, or if mailing instead, received by Feb. 15. A $50 late filing penalty will be assessed for 2016 annual statements and annual reports received after Feb. 15.

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Recently in Washington D.C., Jeff Solis PEO Practice Leader at UHY LLP, and other industry leaders met with representatives from the IRS and the US Treasury to address details included in the Small Business Efficiency Act (SBEA).

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In 2015, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) drafted an updated lease accounting standard to recognize lease liabilities on the balance sheet with corresponding right-of-use assets. In May 2013, The FASB issued a proposed Accounting Standards Update, Leases (Topic 842). Since the proposed standard was issued, FASB deliberated proposals in the May 2013 Exposure Draft. Recently, the Board updated the Standard for two items: an exception to the lease classification test and an effective date for adoption of the standard.

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The Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015 (PATH) was signed by President Obama on Dec. 18, 2015. Included in the many tax breaks and incentives that were "extended" by this bill was the reinstatement of the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC). The WOTC is a credit to employers who hire certain targeted groups of employees and is based on a percentage of the wages paid to those employees. The PATH Act even added a new category that will be available in 2016.

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As tax-related identity theft has become more prevalent over the past five years, the IRS is taking steps to stop these fraudulent returns. Once the IRS confirms you are a victim, they will issue an Identity Protection PIN (IP PIN) for the taxpayer to use when filing their return, whether they file electronically or on paper.

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Before the New Year the IRS issued Notice IR 2015-137, updating optional standard mileage rates for business, charitable, medical or moving purposes. Taxpayers have the option to deduct the actual costs of using their vehicle, rather than the IRS standard mileage rates.

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We welcome Hassouneh Auditing Firm in the Palestinian territories to the global accountancy network UHY, extending our coverage within the EMEA region.

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UHY Advisors, Inc. (“UHY Advisors”), one of the nation’s leading professional services firms, announces the appointment of five new managing directors: Brad Baer, Harold Mohn, Robert Scope, Mehmet Sengulen and Aaron Witalec.

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Michigan's personal property tax reform continues Jan. 1, 2016, with the most significant changes for taxpayers with eligible manufacturing property. As of Dec. 31, 2015, the General Property Tax Act provides an exemption from tax for qualified new personal property and qualified previously existing personal property for eligible manufacturing personal property (EMPP). EMPP is defined as "...all personal property located on occupied real property if that personal property is predominantly (greater than 50 percent) used in industrial processing or direct integrated support."

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At its Dec. 15, 2015 meeting, the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) adopted new rules that provide audit firm transparency to public company investors. The rules require audit firms to disclose information regarding certain audit participants in public company audits.

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People always say there are two guarantees in life - death and taxes. While that may be true, you can escape a lot of tax when you pass away. The "portability" rules provide for the transfer of a deceased spouse's unused estate tax exemption (deceased spousal unused exclusion or "DSUE"). In 2015 the exemption amount is $5,430,000; therefore if the decedent's taxable estate is not more than the exemption amount, the DSUE can be used by the surviving spouse with respect to both gift taxes and estate taxes.

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On Dec. 8, 2015, the IRS launched the Early Interaction Initiative to identify employers who appear to be falling behind on their payroll or employment taxes, and help them stay in compliance to avoid interest and penalty charges.

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In November 2015, the FASB issued Accounting Standards Update (ASU) 2015-17, Income Taxes (Topic740): Balance Sheet Classification of Deferred Taxes, to simplify the presentation of deferred income taxes. Under current GAAP when a classified balance sheet is presented, deferred tax liabilities and assets are separated into a current amount and a noncurrent amount generally on the basis of the classification of the related asset or liability for financial reporting. The Board determined that the current presentation under GAAP does not provide users of financial statements with useful information as the classification between current and noncurrent generally does not reflect when a temporary difference will reverse and become a taxable or deductible item.

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In an effort to further reduce taxpayers' administrative burden, the IRS has raised the de minimis safe harbor for capital expenditures from $500 to $2,500. The change comes as a direct result of feedback received during a public comment period during which the Treasury Department and IRS formally requested comments on whether the safe harbor limit should be raised, and if so by how much.

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The IRS recently released Notice 2016-4 in which the Service has extended the due date for companies required to distribute Forms 1095-B Health Coverage, or 1095-C Employer-Provided Health Insurance Offer and Coverage. Employers and insurance providers alike will now have until March 31, 2016 to distribute Forms 1095 to their respective individuals, the previous deadline was February 1, 2016. The timing for filing these forms with the IRS has also been extended from February 29, 2016 to May 31, 2016, and slightly longer for those companies required to submit their forms electronically. The automatic extension was granted to provide companies additional time to implement the new systems and procedures necessary to accurately report health care coverage information to the individuals and the Service.

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UHY Advisors, Inc. (“UHY Advisors”), one of the countries most respected professional services firms, announces the merger of MohnAllen PC, a CPA firm located in Olney and Frederick, MD, effective today.

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UHY, the international accounting and consultancy network, has elected Bernard Fay as the new chairman of UHY, following 17 years as a UHY Board Director. With Bernard’s election, the UHY network will be led for the first time by a Director from outside its founding countries, the USA and UK, reflecting the increasingly international mix of the work undertaken by member firms. Bernard Fay has been on the UHY Board for nearly two decades and plans to lead expansion of the network’s footprint, focusing on UHY’s unique strengths: its people and their collaborative spirit.

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We welcome Canahuate Calderon & Asociados, a new additional member firm in the Dominican Republic, to the global accountancy network UHY, extending our coverage within the Caribbean.

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For the second consecutive year, UHY LLP sponsored the Distinguished Clown Corps float in the 89th America's Thanksgiving Parade. Over 70 feet long and standing 17 feet tall, the DCC float is the centerpiece of the 180+ Distinguished Clowns greeting and entertaining hundreds of thousands of spectators.

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According to a recent study by UHY International, new business creation in the USA is trailing behind the global average, with the number of new businesses created up just 11% since 2010,* shows a new study by UHY, the international accounting and consultancy network. The global average increase was 26%, between 2010 and 2014.

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The IRS recently announced the 2016 retirement limits. These limits are adjusted each year based on the cost of living index and, due to low inflation, most retirement limits will remain the same as 2015.

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After her presentation at the third annual Mark R. Solomon Tax Symposium at Walsh College, discussing the tax issues related to cloud computing, DBusiness asked Susan Wagner to write an article for the publication's "Guest Blog" section on their website.

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As planning for 2015 audits has begun, it is important to take into consideration key areas of risk, as determined by the Center for Audit Quality (CAQ) and the PCAOB.

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UHY LLP, member of the global accountancy network UHY, introduces UHY Global. UHY member firms understand the choices and challenges clients face in a fast-moving and competitive world full of opportunities and risks. Through UHY Global, we want to share a little of the diversity, the thinking and the difference that a truly global team can make.

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The Department of Treasury has announced for transactions occurring on and after Oct. 1, 2015, out-of-state retailers are required to remit sales or use tax on sales into Michigan if the seller has nexus under affiliate and click-through nexus requirements.

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Retrospectively, reporting measurement period adjustments to amounts recognized in business combinations will soon be a thing of the past. Stakeholders shared that the cost outweighed the benefit and the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) listened. On Friday, Sept. 28 the FASB issued Accounting Standards Update (ASU) No. 2015-16, Business Combinations (Topic 805): Simplifying the Accounting for Measurement-Period Adjustment, as part of its simplification initiative.

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The IRS has released finalized versions of two important tax forms that employers and all health insurance providers will need to file for the 2015 calendar year.

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Back in August 2014, Accounting Standards Update (ASU) No. 2014-15, Presentation of Financial Statements - Going Concern (Subtopic 205-40): Disclosure of Uncertainties about an Entity's Ability to Continue as a Going Concern was issued by the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB).

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Over 20 employees from UHY LLP, certified public accountants, in conjunction with UHY Cares, the firm’s nonprofit 501c3 organization, teamed up with others from Citizens Bank to teach the Junior Achievement Program to over 400 students from kindergarten to fifth grade at the Academy of Warren. The Academy of Warren represents a collaborative community of teachers, school administrators and the Parent Advisory Board (PAB), all with a common goal of seeing the students succeed and creating “worlds of opportunity” for each student.

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When was the last time you looked at your buy/sell agreement? Chances are it's been a while. Some of you may not even know where your buy/sell agreement is or worse yet - don't have one at all. The purpose of such an agreement is to establish a process by which shareholders of a privately held business can both create liquidity in their shares and limit exposure to unintended shareholders upon a specific triggering event such as the death of a shareholder.

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When an individual transfers real estate in the state of Michigan a real estate transfer tax fee is charged, which is percentage of the sales price. This fee is assessed both by the state and the county in which the property was sold. This fee is the seller's responsibility, unless otherwise agreed upon, and is reported on the "Real Estate Transfer Valuation."

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UHY Advisors, Inc. (“UHY Advisors”), one of the nation’s leading professional services firms, announces the designation of Robert Bauer, Thomas Callan, Howard Foote, Michael Mahoney, Steven McCarty and Steven Wendling to serve on the firm’s board of directors. Joining these leaders on the board is the firm’s chief executive officer, Anthony Frabotta. This seven member board is charged with the stewardship of UHY Advisors, guiding its corporate strategy, reviewing and approving annual budgets, and appointing and monitoring the performance of the CEO. Their terms of office commenced October 1st.

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UHY Advisors MI, Inc. Earns MBPA ‘Best & Brightest Company’ Honor for 12th Straight Year

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After many years, the overtime pay law may be changing.

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UHY Strengthens Presence in Africa: New Member Firms in Zambia and Uganda Join the UHY Network

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UHY LLP Makes Significant Contribution to Support Ronald McDonald House by “Socking” Co-Workers

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A few months ago, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled that Cleveland's jock taxing system ("game day" method) was illegal. If the law suit trend continues, it could spell the end of the jock tax.

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June 19, 2015 marked a very exciting day for small businesses and investors alike. The implementation of Title IV of the JOBS Act, also known as Regulation A+, has leveled the playing field for investors by granting early stage companies the ability to raise capital from anyone as opposed to only accredited investors.

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The Michigan Department of Treasury now provides an "offer in compromise" program that allows individual or business taxpayers with a tax liability to submit an offer to settle with the state for less than the full amount due. 

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On June 29, President Obama signed into law two major trade bills: (1) the Trade Preference Extension Act of 2015 (TPE); and (2) and the Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015 (TPA). 

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On Friday, July 31, President Obama signed into law the Surface Transportation and Veterans Health Care Choice Improvement Act of 2015.

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On Friday, July 31, President Obama signed into law the Surface Transportation and Veterans Health Care Choice Improvement Act of 2015. This act has several parts which include important tax compliance provisions.

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Guidance has been issued by the IRS's Small Business/Self-Employed Division (SB/SE) to its Collection department employees regarding collecting taxes that were due to be paid, but were not paid, by a PEO with respect to wages paid before April 1, 2014.

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Guidance has been issued by the IRS's Small Business/Self-Employed Division regarding collecting taxes that were due to be paid, but were not paid, by a PEO with respect to wages paid before April 1, 2014.

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U.S. persons with a financial interest or signature authority over a foreign financial account(s) for which the total of all foreign accounts is greater than $10,000 at any time during 2014 must file a Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (Form 114 - FBAR) by June 30, 2015.

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U.S. persons with a financial interest or signature authority over a foreign financial account(s) for which the total of all foreign accounts is greater than $10,000 at any time during 2014 must file a Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (Form 114 - FBAR) by June 30, 2015. There are no extensions. 

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The UHY teamed up with Beyond Basics to host students to help improve reading comprehension and expand the students vocabularies.

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UHY Air Passenger Tax Study Reveals USA’s Air Passenger Taxes Among World’s Highest Seen as damaging to tourism, business and labor mobility

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A 401(k) plan sponsor has an ongoing fiduciary duty to the plan's beneficiaries.

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UHY Strengthens Presence in Central and Eastern Europe: New Member Firm in Poland Joins the UHY Network

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The decision confirms that a state's income tax laws cannot unfairly discriminate against interstate commerce.

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Individuals who participate in a health insurance plan with a "high deductible" are permitted a tax deduction for contributions to qualified HSAs.

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Now that another tax filing season is behind us, is it possible that Congress will jumpstart reviewing the numerous expired tax provisions or the much talked about tax reform?

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Western European Economies Saddled with Tax Burden 40 Percent Higher than the Global Average   Low tax centers Dubai and Singapore hoping to lure high value industries from ‘Old Europe’

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The IRS issued long-awaited regulations effective for tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2014 that create guidelines for treatment of both real and tangible personal property (TPP). These regulations will affect taxpayers in every industry that own depreciable capital assets, have repairs and maintenance, or materials and supplies. All businesses and any individuals that file a Schedule C or E will be affected and must comply with these new regulations. As currently written, the new regulations are complex and present onerous compliance requirements that will significantly increase the amount of compliance work required for the 2014 tax filings.

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The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) has decided to explore the option of simplifying the standards in relation to deferred tax assets and liabilities from a reporting and classification standpoint. After many sleepless months, the FASB has proposed two accounting standard updates.

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If you hired new employees in 2014, then you should know that your business may be entitled to substantial tax benefits for doing so. This is because the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) has been extended.

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Global accountancy network UHY releases its 2015 “Global Transfer Pricing Guide” to assist tax and finance professionals responsible for cross-border tax planning and compliance with their inquiries. Given the complexity of transfer pricing issues, the guide provides in the first instance a country-by-country summary of major transfer pricing requirements, including pricing methods, documentation and penalties covering 80 countries. 

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UHY GLOBAL TRANSFER PRICING GUIDE 2015 NOW AVAILABLE 

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UHY LLP welcomes new member firm, BusinessCollegia LLC (Belarus), based in Belarus to the global accountancy network UHY, of which our firm has been a member since 2001.   

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UHY Strengthens Presence in Eastern Europe: Firm in Belarus Joins the UHY Network

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UHY Strengthens Presence in Eastern Europe: Firm in Belarus Joins the UHY Network

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Once again, we've reached the time of year that many entrepreneurs have come to dread: tax-filing season. Tax returns without extensions are due by March 16th for most corporations and April 15th for individuals and passthrough entities.  

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Electronic banking transactions via the Automated Clearing House (ACH) network are commonplace for even the smallest businesses. As the volume of ACH transactions increases, so does the likelihood of fraud.

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The Department of Treasury has announced that it is providing an "offer in compromise" program beginning Jan. 1, 2015. The program allows for a taxpayer to submit an offer to lower the amount of a tax liability for less than the full amount due. A tax liability includes the tax and any related interest and penalty.

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In late December 2014, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) issued an accounting standards update, ASU No. 2014-18: Accounting for Identifiable Intangible Assets in a Business Combination. Under current accounting standards, the acquirer of a company is required to recognize most assets acquired and liabilities assumed in a business combination at their acquisition-date fair values, including all intangible assets that are identifiable. Companies may now elect an accounting alternative for recognition of certain intangible assets acquired.

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As more and more industries turn to the Internet as a source to reach their consumers, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is making the research and development (R&D) tax credit more available. The IRS recently issued proposed regulations that would expand the amount of software projects eligible for the credit. Many of the online shopping and banking websites that were once considered "internal use software" will now be eligible for the R&D tax credit.

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With the New Year upon us and tax season kicking into full gear, there have been lots of questions as to how the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will affect your 2014 tax filings.

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Earlier this year the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB), responsible for U.S. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (US GAAP), and the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB), responsible for International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), issued jointly a converged standard on the recognition of revenue from contracts with customers that will supersede virtually all revenue recognition guidance currently in US GAAP and IFRS.  The new standard was issued to address a number of concerns regarding the complexity and lack of consistency surrounding the accounting for revenue transactions. 

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The risk of fraudulent activity within a company is nothing new. According to the Journal of Accountancy, losses from fraud can total approximately 5 percent of annual revenues for a typical company. Over the years, Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) and the Dodd-Frank Act have encouraged employers to address fraud through the development of a company-wide whistleblowing program. The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners recently reported that most cases of internal fraud were discovered in 2014 through employee tips, ranging from 34 to 45 percent of instances, based on the size of the company.

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In the past several years, the IRS has been vigorously pursuing taxpayers who fail to comply with foreign reporting requirements, imposing severe penalties for noncompliance. Therefore, as we begin a new year in 2015, it is important taxpayers are reminded of the forms they are required to file, and informed of foreign reporting requirements they may be unaware of.

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On December 10, 2014 the IRS issued Notice 2014-79 updating optional standard mileage rates for business, charitable, medical or moving purposes.

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On December 19, 2014 President Obama signed the Tax Increase Prevention Act of 2014 ("TIPA" or "the Act") into law, which included a tax-advantaged savings program for persons with disabilities.The program, known as the Achieving a Better Life Experience Act of 2014, provides for the following: 

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UHY LLP welcomes new member firm, Assurance & Services Auditores y Consultores CIA., LTDA., based in Ecuador to the global accountancy network UHY, of which our firm has been a member since 2001.   

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The US Senate approved legislation, which the House already passed, to extend for one year more than 50 tax provisions that had expired at the end of 2013. The pending retroactive enactment of this legislation will impact the 2014 taxes for many individuals and businesses.

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Taxpayers and preparers can expect to see a new check box on a familiar form in 2015. Just last week, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued the 2015 version of Form 1099-MISC. This most recent version features a new check box to identify foreign financial institutions filing to satisfy their FATCA (Federal Account Tax Compliance Act) reporting requirements.

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As we move into the new 2015 tax year, there are some important tax numbers that will increase due to the inflation adjustments required by law.

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Identity thieves seek taxpayer identification numbers (TINs) for many purposes. During 2014, the Department of Justice reported that from 2008 through May 2012, over 550,000 taxpayers had their identities stolen by thieves claiming false tax refunds. In 2009, the IRS has tested the use of truncated social security numbers on certain payee statements. The IRS issued final regulations in July 2014, to make this program permanent. On a recent 60 Minutes airing, it has been predicted that the IRS will issue over $21 billion in fraudulent tax refunds from the filing of electronic income tax returns for the 2015 tax year.

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The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) recently issued exposure drafts of accounting standards updates designed to reduce the cost and complexity of accounting for intangible assets acquired by private companies in business combinations.

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As the year comes to an end, this would be the best time to plan for your annual tax bill. Many wait to complete their tax planning in April, right before they foot the bill but by then it is too late. We all know this is not the best planning strategy, but then again neither is waiting for tax reform.

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In order to deduct charitable contributions on your personal return, you must adhere to the following guidelines.

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The government has just recently made available the "Transitional Reinsurance Annual Enrollment and Contributions Submission Form" through their official government website. This document will enable health insurance issuers, and those company sponsored self-insured group health plans offering medical coverage, to comply with the required steps related to the Transitional Reinsurance Program as outlined in the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

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The Social Security Administration (SSA) recently issued a cost-of-living adjustment for the Social Security taxable wage limit. For tax year 2015, the maximum amount of earnings subject to the Social Security tax will increase to $118,500 ($1,500 increase from 2014). The employee and employer tax rate will remain unchanged at 6.2%. Due to the increase in the wage limit, the maximum Social Security tax payable by an employee will be $7,347 ($93 increase from 2014).

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Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties have been declared as federal disaster areas due to the damage caused by the severe storms and flooding in August. The declaration permits the IRS to postpone certain deadlines for affected taxpayers of the covered disaster areas.

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The Small Business Exemption was passed by the legislature in early 2014, exempting small business from Michigan personal property tax. The taxpayer must have less than $80,000 of true cash value for all business property in a particular taxing jurisdiction and file an affidavit claiming such exemption with the assessor no later than February 10 of each tax year.

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Beginning in 2013, the state of Ohio created a new deduction for individuals owning a business, including interests in pass-through entities, such as partnerships, S corporations and limited liability companies. The Small Business Investor Income Deduction allows an individual to deduct 50% of the taxpayer's small business income subject to certain limitations and increases to 75% in 2014.  

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According to the US Governmental Accountability Office, more than $5 billion of your hard earned dollars were mistakenly paid out to tax identity thieves in 2013. An IRS-estimated $24.2 billion (based on what it could detect) of fraudulent refunds were prevented from being mistakenly paid out. 

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The Michigan Legislature has passed Public Act 282 of 2014 that retroactively repeals the Multistate Tax Compact (MTC) and makes changes to the Michigan Business Tax (MBT). More so, the legislation negates the effect of Michigan's Supreme Court's recent ruling in the IBM case (International Business Machines v. Michigan Dept. of Treasury ("IBM") and the potential refund claims resulting from the court decision.

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UHY LLP, a leading national CPA firm with over 300 employees in Oakland and Macomb counties, is opening its third Michigan office in the heart of downtown Detroit’s financial district. UHY’s first Wayne County office will be open for business on the sixth floor of the Chrysler House (previously known as the Dime Building) sometime in November. The 23-story historic skyscraper is located at Griswold and Fort streets near Campus Martius Park.

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With Congress back in session, the political rhetoric regarding the economic impact of "corporate inversions" (i.e., tax-driven foreign mergers), and the best way to prevent them, became more pronounced.  Discussions of reinstating certain tax deductions and credits that expired on December 31, 2013 also increased. These developments are discussed further below, but we lead off with a warning from the IRS about a current telephone scam.

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In 1998, the Internet Tax Freedom Act was signed into law. The law bars federal, state and local governments from taxing Internet access and from imposing discriminatory taxes such as bit taxes, bandwidth taxes, and email taxes. The law also prohibits any multiple taxes on any electronic commerce.

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The late former mayor of New York City, Ed Koch, used to ask people on the streets of NY “How ’m I doin’?”  I feel now is the time to look back on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to see how it is doing. The one thing that needs no discussion would be the failure of the on-line enrollment system for the Federal market place exchanges. Clearly there are other aspects of the ACA that need to be looked at to see if the intention of the act came to fruition; such as coverage for dependent adults to age 26, elimination of the pre-existing condition clause on all health insurance plans, and formal coverage for all U.S. citizens.

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The scandal at the Department of Veterans Affairs is a disappointment on many levels, and there is no lack of solutions being offered to fix it. Since this began, Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki and other high ranking officials have stepped down. But while making changes to senior management might fix some of the problems, that kind of top-down approach will not yield any substantive change. There are clearly some fundamental processes at the VA that are broken. The way to really fix them, and to institute real change that’s sustainable, is by working up from the bottom.

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Bank lending to the private sector in the US has stagnated in the last year, down by 0.13% in real terms, and continuing to fall behind the rest of the G7, according to a new study by UHY, the international accountancy network.

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UHY LLP, a member of the global accountancy network UHY, introduces the latest editions of UHY International Business – Issue 29 Issue 29. This bi-annual publication features fresh insight, provided by our members, on the most current business challenges and key issues faced by companies and individuals around the world.

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A valuation project in the bankruptcy context may include specific purposes. During each valuation project it is not uncommon to encounter unique and customized circumstances. However, in the bankruptcy context, below is a list of some of the most common.

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Due to the recent flooding in southeast Michigan, many businesses and individuals may be facing the loss or destruction of tax records. In the event of an IRS examination, the burden is on the taxpayer to prove any deductions claimed

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As the US and Europe continue their economic recovery (albeit slowly), this time around, OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers) want to have more insight into their supplier relationships. 

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An increasing amount of complaints have been made regarding emails informing a taxpayer that their federal tax payment is being returned by their financial institution.

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The IRS is warning individuals and businesses to steer clear of the following popular tax scams in 2014.

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The Michigan Supreme Court has made the determination that a purchaser of tangible goods in Michigan is liable for use tax when the taxpayer was unable to prove during an audit that sales tax was paid on the purchases. 

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If a taxpayer has a tax liability they can't pay or if paying a tax liability would create a financial hardship, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and most states have programs that allow taxpayers to settle their tax debt for less that the full amount owed. 

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Part of the dissension in this great country revolves around who is financing our government spending, coupled with the redistribution of wealth theory.

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The IRS has issued temporary and proposed regulations allowing taxpayers that did not claim a research and development credit on a timely filed return (including extensions) to elect the alternative simplified credit ("ASC") on an amended return.

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On May 28, 2014, the FASB (Financial Accounting Standards Board) and IASB (International Accounting Standards Board) issued a joint standard on recognizing revenue from contracts with customers. 

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On December 31, 2013, 53 tax provisions expired, some of which have been around for a number of years. While there has been some talk in Congress about some of these provisions being extended and/or increased to their previous benefit amounts, currently none of them have been extended. 

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Generally, when one thinks of Social Security, they tend to look at it as a government-run savings program. While many of the characteristics of Social Security are very similar to a pension, one aspect, survivor benefits, has a few wrinkles that need to be carefully evaluated to maximize the benefit.

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Private business owners who own the building or property their company uses routinely set up separate legal entities to own these buildings and properties that are then leased to the operating company. 

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The financially stressed city of Flint may soon be facing the prospect of being the second major city in Michigan to file for Chapter 9 municipal bankruptcy protection. A retiree lawsuit recently filed to stop the city from enacting proposed health care benefit cuts may push the city into insolvency.

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Medical and dental practitioners are currently the target of choice for identity thieves. Recent articles in The Journal of the American Medical Association, Businessweek, and The Washington Post highlight the alarming increase of health care professionals that have been victimized this year by identity theft used to fraudulently obtain federal and state tax refunds.

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The first major phase of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) came into effect as of January 2014. The individual mandate was implemented requiring all citizens of the United States to have medical coverage or face a financial penalty. Depending upon their number of full-time employees/equivalents, large employers will not have to comply with the employer mandate until 2015/ 2016.

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The USA enjoys some of the lowest gasoline pump prices among the major world economies, according to a new study by UHY, the international accountancy network. UHY explains that the USA has an extremely low tax rate on fuel, levying just 13% on gasoline and 12% on diesel, considerably less than many other major developed economies, in particular European countries.

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UHY LLP welcomes new member, Abdul Jabber Certified Accountants and Consultants Office, in Saudi Arabia to the global accountancy network UHY, of which our firm has been a member since 2001.

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Employers in 15 states (and the Virgin Islands) may not be eligible to claim the maximum amount of state unemployment tax credits on their 2014 federal unemployment tax return because their state has had an outstanding federal unemployment insurance loan for at least two years.

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With the signing of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) in March 2010, one area of the law that was not greatly discussed at the time was a new health care organization known as an Accountable Care Organization (ACO).

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Recently, the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ruled in McLauchlan v. Commissioner, 5th Cir., Case No. 12-60657, that a law firm's partner could not deduct various business expenses incurred personally because they were reimbursable by the firm pursuant to the partnership agreement. The expenses which were reimbursable by the partnership included reasonable travel, client maintenance and development, interoffice travel, automobile lease and rental expenses, meals and entertainment, and continuing education.

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A new study, recently conducted by UHY International, found that “Old“ world economies charge higher inheritance & estate taxes than “New” world economies.

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On January 14, 2014, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in United States v. Quality Store. This ongoing case questions whether severance payments made to employees whose employment was involuntarily terminated are considered wages and subject to tax under the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA).

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What are disruptive technologies, you ask? The term was first used by Harvard Business School professor Clayton M. Christensen to describe a new technology that unexpectedly displaces an established technology. In his book, The Innovator's Dilemma, Christensen separates new technology into two categories: sustaining and disruptive. Sustaining technologies are based on incremental improvements to an established technology, whereas, disruptive technologies can be defined as "simple, convenient-to-use innovations that initially are used by only unsophisticated customers at the low end of markets". Christensen has stated that large companies tend not to pay attention to these disruptive technologies because they don't satisfy the demands of high-end users - at least, not at first.

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Tariffs are a form of tax that restrict trade and increases the cost of doing business with a foreign supplier. There are several types of tariffs in existence that the government can use to tax imported goods. Some of the different types of tariffs used by our government today are specific tariffs, which are a flat fee for each individual unit being imported based on the type of product it is. There are ad valorem tariffs, which are tariffs that are levied based on a percentage of the goods value. Tariffs do more than just keep pricing fair, they are used by the governments to protect consumers, domestic employment, and national security, and at times can be used as retaliation.

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The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently announced that a number of services that required the direct contact of an IRS representative will transition at the beginning of 2014 to more automated resources. The services being affected include tax return preparation, transcript delivery, tax law assistance, refund inquiries, EIN applications, and practitioner priority services.

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UHY LLP welcomes new member, McKenzie Shaw Ltd. in Qatar to the global accountancy network UHY, of which our firm has been a member since 2001. The firm will be operating under the UHY branding as UHY Ammo & Co.

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On February 10th, the IRS issued final regulations that give employers who have 50-99 full-time employees until 2016 to comply with the employer mandate rules of the ACA. (These rules are discussed further below.)This is the second time that this mandate has been deferred. Employers with 100 or more employees must comply with the law as of January 1, 2015. These deferrals are welcome by most employers, but continue to add complexity to a law that most people do not understand.

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Late afternoon on February 10, 2014, just seven months after its initial delay, the Treasury Department has granted additional transition relief from the employer shared responsibility provisions of the Affordable Care Act. Now, mid-sized employers (defined as those with 50 to 99 full-time employees) will be given until January 1, 2016 before the employer mandate takes full effect.

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The US Technical Advisory Group (TAG) for International Standards Organization Technical Committee (ISO/TC) 260, a professional organization charged with the development of Human Resource Management standards has recently appointed Krystyna Smutek, HRIS Manager of UHY Advisors, Inc. as its newest member.

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UHY LLP welcomes new member, Mont Audit Plus, in Montenegro to the global accountancy network UHY, of which our firm has been a member since 2001. Mont Audit Plus was established in 2007. With a team of 12 staff including 4 partners, the firm’s head office is based in Podgorica, the capital city. The firm provides audit, consulting, assets’ and capital valuations, tax counseling and accounting services to a portfolio of clients in a variety of private and public sectors in the region.

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After 2012, taxpayers with wages in excess of $200,000 ($250,000 if married filing jointly and $125,000 if married filing separately) are required to pay an additional 0.9% Medicare tax. This tax is in addition to the regular Medicare tax rate of 1.45% on wages received by employees.

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The USA attracts FDI equivalent to 6.6% of GDP, compared to a 17% global average. The USA is lagging behind most major economies in terms of its ability to attract foreign direct investment, according to a new study by UHY, the international accountancy network. 

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Over the past year, we have been inundated with the ACA (Affordable Care Act) and the various components of the law; whether it be the individual mandate, insurance exchange marketplaces, or employee notices. At this point, employers are gearing themselves for 2015 when the mandate will apply to employers that have 50 or more full-time employees. It is anticipated that as we get closer to January 2015, the activity level will reach a fever pitch as it did last year.

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The USA is falling behind Europe and China in the race to capitalize on globalization and could potentially miss out on future economic growth as a result, according to a new survey by UHY, the international accounting and consultancy network.

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The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) recently endorsed a GAAP exception for private companies and their treatment of goodwill, marking a milestone in the work to provide simpler, less costly rules for private companies while producing financial statements that reflect economic reality.

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On December 20, 2013, the Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC") issued a staff report to Congress regarding its disclosure rules for US public companies (Regulation S-K), which was mandated by Congress in the Jumpstart Our Business Startups ("JOBS") Act of 2012 and provides a framework for disclosure reform.

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The Financial Accounting Standards Board and the International Accounting Standards Board are developing a converged standard regarding revenue recognition that is expected to have an effect on all entities that adhere to US GAAP or IFRS. The standard is expected to be released in the first quarter of 2014.

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Michigan consumers will no longer be taxed on the full purchase price of new or used motor vehicles, recreational vehicles, or titled watercraft when a consumer provides a trade-in towards a purchase.

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The Michigan Department of Treasury recently issued Bulletin 11 of 2013, highlighting the amendment to the existing industrial and commercial personal property tax laws.

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On December 6, the IRS issued Notice 2013-08 updating the optional standard mileage rates for business, medical, moving and charitable expenses.

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As another year end approaches, Congress and Treasury are addressing tax reform projects, while the Affordable Care Act marketplace troubles are, hopefully, being resolved. The following are some recent developments:

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On March 23, 2010 the Patient Protection Affordable Care Act was signed into law by President Obama. The act is now known simply as the Affordable Care Act or ACA. One of the components of the ACA is what is known as “essential health benefits”. Essential health benefits will apply to all plans that are offered by the state and federal exchanges as well as non-grandfathered individual plans and non-grandfathered, fully insured small group plans through private insurers. Large group fully insured plans, self-funded plans and grandfathered plans are not required to add essential health benefits.

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Section 1502 of the Dodd-Frank Act was adopted on August 22, 2012 and specifies the requirements surrounding the sources of materials that are classified as "conflict minerals" that may be present in the products a company produces and/or sells. The key minerals are tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold. Deadlines for the first reporting period regarding reasonable country of origin inquiries (RCOIs) and conflict minerals are due May 31, 2014. With just six months left to complete your due diligence, it is crucial that your company has actively initiated a plan that includes a review of potential conflict minerals and the country of origin.

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A directive has been issued by the Large Business & International Division (LB&I) simplifying the approach in determining who bears the benefits and burdens of ownership in a contract manufacturing arrangement to claim a deduction under section 199 (DPAD). 

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According to the Internal Revenue Service's Technical Advice Memorandum (TAM 201347020), a professional employer organization (PEO) is not eligible to claim the income tax credit for portion of employer social security taxes paid with respect to employee cash tips received by its clients' employees in connection with the providing, delivering, or serving of food or beverages for consumption.

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Last summer, the IRS listed new guidelines for Large Business & International (LB&I) examiners and specialists to follow related to Information Document Requests (IDRs) for LB&I companies under IRS examination. Any corporation, subchapter S corporation or partnership will be subject to the LB&I guidelines if their assets are greater than $10 million. Earlier this month, the IRS issued a directive which provides guidance on the new IDR enforcement process that will be effective January 2, 2014. The main focus of the new process is to clearly identify and state the issue that has led to the IRS examination of the LB&I company.

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Subject to voter approval in August 2014 (already passed by legislature in 2012), the phase out of personal property taxes will begin in 2016. By eliminating personal property taxes on property that is 10 years old, as well as new personal property, the personal property tax will be completely eliminated by 2023. If voters approve the measure, a special assessment will be added to real property tax bills starting in 2017 to pay for essential services.

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For tax year 2014, the IRS recently announced annual inflation adjustments for more than 40 tax provisions, including cost-of-living adjustments (COLA) applicable to dollar limitations for pension and other retirement plans for 2014. The increase in the 2014 limitations results from an increase in the cost-of-living index.

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The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently announced a delay of approximately one to two weeks to the start of the upcoming tax-filing season, which is a result of the 16-day federal government shutdown. The original start date of when the IRS would begin accepting and processing tax returns was expected to be January 21, however, it now appears that start date will likely be sometime between January 28 and February 4.

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The Private Company Council (PCC) has finalized two proposed accounting standards that would provide alternatives within US Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) for private companies. These two standards mentioned address accounting for certain interest rate swaps and accounting for goodwill subsequent to a business combination. The proposed standards have been sent to the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) for endorsement as final Accounting Standards Updates.

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The FBI recently announced two electronic identity theft scams that are flourishing. The first scam is through your mobile phone. Smartphone users should be aware of scams that target Android operating mobile devices by infecting them with malware programs, leading to identity theft. Fraudsters trick victims to click on links with advertisements which lead them to websites that will embed malware on their device.

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UHY LLP in the US welcomes two new member firms in Ghana, Voscon Chartered Accountants and Douglas Godwinson World, to the global accountancy network UHY, of which our firm has been a member since 2001. Both firms will rebrand to UHY Voscon and UHY Godwinson respectively and are both based in Accra, the Ghanaian capital.

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There is still not a great deal of federal tax news to report given the extensive time spent by Congress during late September and much of October in addressing the funding of the government's current operations and also extending the nation's borrowing authority.

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Companies typically have thousands of vendors and all of them are trying to figure out a strategy to sell your company more and more of their goods or services. Often times, and especially common in many facets of the energy industry, a vendor starts to push the envelope in terms of gifts and entertainment, bid rigging, or vendor kickbacks that are the result of that vendor exploiting a relationship with someone at your company to obtain an unfair advantage over other vendors. Of course, even though we all hope that we don’t have employees that are looking for ways to obtain “extras” from vendors in exchange for directing work their way, employees can also be guilty of exploiting the vendor relationship. Unfortunately, in either case, few companies have robust processes and internal controls to detect and prevent such activities, which are mostly “off the books”.

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One of the key provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), which was enacted by Congress and signed into law by President Obama in 2010, required each state to establish an "American Health Benefit Exchange" (sometimes simply referred to as an “Exchange" or the "Health Insurance Marketplace"). Exchanges are intended to permit those individuals without some other form of health insurance to purchase health insurance from competing private health insurance carriers that choose to participate in the Exchange.

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During 2012, the Internal Revenue Service issued a new ruling regarding the taxation of automatic gratuities included on the tabs of restaurant guests.

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The IRS has issued proposed regulations regarding the small business health care credit which will come into effect for tax years beginning after December 31, 2013.

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Wealthy Americans considering giving up their citizenship to avoid higher taxes might want to hold on to their U.S. passports. Living aboard could result in bigger tax bills for Americans, especially if they want to buy an expensive abode.

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It is that time of year when companies (“holders”) begin to ramp up their unclaimed property reporting activities. It is good business practice to assign one person at the company who is responsible for escheat compliance, and insert this responsibility in their job description to insure continuity. Most unclaimed property reports and remittances are due to the states on or before November 1.  These are the “fall states”.  A few states are due in March, April or even July. 

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There have been many updates surrounding the Affordable Care Act ("ACA") with regards to guidance for employers. Most recently, is a written notice (the "Notice") that the ACA requires of many employers. The Notice must be provided by October 1, 2013 to all of the employer's current employees (whether full-time or part-time) and is intended to inform them of the health insurance coverage options available in the new Health Insurance Marketplace mandated by ACA.

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With Congress only recently returned from recess, there is little in the way of current legislative developments. However, in the regulatory area, the IRS has issued final regulations dealing with the rules for deduction vs. capitalization of tangible property. These regulations are briefly summarized below.

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This is a final reminder that ALL employers covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act are required to provide a written notice to their employees about the Health Insurance Marketplace (aka the Health Care Exchange) by October 1, 2013. This notice is required regardless of whether employers currently offer health insurance coverage or not. Full Article: This is a final reminder that ALL employers covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act are required to provide a written notice to their employees about the Health Insurance Marketplace (aka the Health Care Exchange) by October 1, 2013. This notice is required regardless of whether employers currently offer health insurance coverage or not.

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Shareholder loans and the required accompanying documentation are facing increasing scrutiny by the IRS. Any potential deduction that may arise from a worthless shareholder loan must be substantiated by documentation confirming a valid loan exists. When entering into loan agreements with related parties it is important that all notes are expressed in the form of a written formal note, indicate a reasonable interest rate, and authorized in the corporate minute book. Besides having the written documentation, the taxpayer is also responsible to be sure that the terms of the note are being adhered to.

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There are several reasons a business owner plans an exit including retirement, liquidity, lack of generational succession, and diminished competitive position to name a few. All things considered, one could make a strong case that 2013 represents the optimal value for many middle market businesses.

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Last month, the AICPA released a new financial reporting framework (FRF) for small and medium-sized entities (SMEs) that are privately-held and not required to report under US GAAP. This FRF is not intended to be a replacement for US GAAP when US GAAP reporting is required.

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