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On Aug. 23, 2018, the Internal Revenue Service issued proposed regulations governing the availability of charitable contribution deductions when a taxpayer expects to receive a corresponding state or local tax credit.

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The Internal Revenue Service is encouraging taxpayers to use its Withholding Calculator to perform a "paycheck checkup". While they recommend reviewing your withholding amounts annually, changes from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 have made this a vital step for taxpayers. Taxpayers that do not verify that they are withholding the appropriate amount of tax from their paychecks risk an unexpected tax bill or penalty during tax time.

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While the term "unicorn" has been reserved for the once rare existence of a large, private company with a valuation in excess of $1 billion, such companies have become much more common in recent years. Today, over 150 unicorns are headquartered in the US, which represents significant growth as compared to less than 25 in 2011.

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FASB issued ASU 2018-11, which contains targeted improvements to Topic 842 Leases. Among the targeted improvements are a transitional method for reporting during the adoption period and clarification on separating components of a contract for lessors as they relate to FASB's new revenue guidance Topic 606 Revenue from Contracts with Customers. Topic 842 significantly alters current lease accounting under US GAAP. The new standard removes the current approach of classifying leases as either capital or operating leases.

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On Aug. 8 the Internal Revenue Service issued proposed regulations containing some clarification on the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) passed last December. One of the areas of anticipated clarification was whether W-2 wages paid from third party payers, such as professional employer organizations (PEOs) or agents under section 3504, were included in the wages of the third party payer or the taxpayer for purposes of calculating the qualified business deduction for pass-through entities.

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On August 23, 2018, the Internal Revenue Service issued Proposed Regulations governing the availability of charitable contribution deductions when a taxpayer expects to receive a corresponding state or local tax credit.

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Pursuant to the South Dakota v. Wayfair ruling, the Michigan Department of Treasury has announced that beginning Oct. 1, 2018, remote sellers, regardless of in-state presence, who meet certain requirements, must pay sales tax on transactions of taxable sales in the state. The Supreme Court decision in June has led to several states enacting new legislation pertaining to the collection of sales tax based on "economic presence".

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Every year, hundreds of thousands of people lose money to telephone scams. One of the most infamous scams is the IRS scam - and it is still on the rise. On July 19, the IRS issued its Tax Tip 2018-111, "Here's How the IRS Contacts Taxpayers", to help people avoid becoming a victim of scammers who pretend to be from the IRS with a goal of stealing personal information and ultimately his/her money.

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On March 13, 2018 the IRS announced five new compliance campaigns (3/13/18 IRS Announcement - SECA Tax), one of which relates to the reporting of self-employment income by limited partners in partnerships and LLCs. In the past there has been much uncertainty and inconsistency about the reporting of self-employment income by LLC members. Sec. 1402(a)(13) states that, other than guaranteed payments, the distributive share of all other income to a "limited partner" is excluded from self-employment tax. This has led to many LLC members, whether active in the business or not, to exclude their earnings from self-employment taxes.

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You have done your planning to make an IRA contribution or Roth IRA conversion and visit your broker to complete the paperwork to make the magic happen. You're given a myriad of documents to complete to set the account up, provide funding details and selecting a beneficiary. You start to gather your things to leave and then you're handed a three page document that appears to be a lot of "boiler plate" language and your broker tells you that no signature is required. You may not be aware that this document is the contract between you and your custodian and it lays out all of the rules you have agreed to follow. Much like a qualified retirement plan, the document governs everything.

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