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In late 2017, the IRS issued Notice 2017-64 which provides the annual cost of living adjustments and contribution limits on 401(k) plans, pension plans and retirement accounts for 2018. Although the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act made changes as to how cost of living adjustments are made, the previously released amounts remain unchanged.

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The newly enacted Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (the "Act") gave us what some people refer to as "mandatory repatriation" for previously untaxed foreign earnings of specified foreign corporations. In other words, Section 965 of the Internal Revenue Code now requires some taxpayers to pay tax on the untaxed foreign earnings of certain foreign corporations as if the earnings had been repatriated to the United States. This will take effect for the 2017 tax year for a majority of taxpayers.

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GASB issued a new standard on April 2 that requires state and local governments to present direct borrowings and direct placements of debt separately from other types of debt in their statement note disclosures. This new standard mandates the disclosure of additional debt-related information for all types of debt (including amounts of unused lines of credit and assets pledged as collateral for debt).

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SPI Research, a leading independent technology services research firm, named UHY Advisors’ Management & Technology Consulting practice as one of the 2018 Best-of-the-Best professional services organizations (PSO)! SPI’s extensive annual survey, the PS Maturity™ Benchmark, revealed UHY Advisors as a top performer that grew in both revenues and new jobs at more than twice the rate of average firms.

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The Trump administration's trade policy made a bold statement with a spontaneous announcement to impose tariffs of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum. The president excluded Canada and Mexico, for now.

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The Internal Revenue Service announced on March 13 that it plans to end its Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program (OVDP) on Sept. 28, 2018. The OVDP allowed taxpayers to avoid prosecution by voluntarily disclosing untaxed money held overseas and paying a set penalty. The OVDP, which has been available since 2009, has experienced a significant decline in taxpayer participation as awareness of offshore tax and reporting requirements has increased.

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The US has a tax burden of 22 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), a third (30 percent) lower than the G7 average (of 31.1 percent) shows research by UHY, the international accounting and consultancy network.

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Under the newly enacted Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the Federal estate, gift and generation-skipping tax (GST) lifetime exemption amounts have now increased to $11.2 million for individuals and $22.4 million for married couples. After increasing with inflation each year through 2025, the exemption amounts will revert back to the 2017 levels ($5,490,000 and $10,980,000) on Jan. 1, 2026. These substantial, yet temporary, increases in the exemption amounts present a unique opportunity for the implementation of various estate planning techniques that will allow the transfer of wealth to future generations.

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The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, passed by Congress and signed by President Trump on Feb. 9, 2018, retroactively extends over 30 tax provisions that had expired at the end of 2016. This one year extension applies to the extended provisions and is effective for 2017 only. Many of the extended provisions are related to energy credits which are especially important for businesses and individual taxpayers.

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Twenty years! That's how long Roth IRAs have been around. In the year 2000 only about $77 billion was invested in these types of accounts but by 2017 it is estimated that there is almost $3 trillion in Roth IRAs. While these accounts have enjoyed explosive growth over two decades, many things are not fully understood about this tax-free retirement account.

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