Proud to Support the Association for Corporate Growth

The Association for Corporate Growth® (ACG), the global organization focused on driving middle-market growth, recently announced the winners of the annual “Chapter of the Year.” ACG Detroit received the honor for Mid-Chapter of the Year, and we couldn’t be more proud!

ACG DetroitClayton & McKervey has been a part of the ACG Detroit leadership team for more than 20 years, starting with former President Don Clayton who served as a long-term board member and as ACG Board President from 2000 to 2002, and shareholder Rob Dutkiewicz who served as ACG President from 2013 to 2015, and who continues to serve on the board.

401k Plan “Best Practices”

CFO/Controller Roundtables | 401k Best Practices401k plans, although typically intended to provide a tax-beneficial savings vehicle and foster employee retention and satisfaction, have evolved to require extensive compliance and oversight to remain within the parameters of Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) and Department of Labor (“DOL”) provisions. At our December CFO/Controller Roundtable, Tim Hilligoss, CPA, MST, Shareholder – International Accounting, Practice Leader for Asia, and Bryan Powrozek, CPA, CGMA, Senior Accountant – SME, facilitated a discussion on 401k plan challenges and best practices, including the following:

Personal Property Tax Reform – What You Need to Know

Margaret Amsden, CPA, MST | Shareholder - Tax Services | Personal Property Tax ReformPrior to 2014, all businesses filed the same Personal Property Tax (“PPT”) Statement by February 20 each year and were subject to the tax on all personal property that was used in a trade or business. In 2014, Michigan voters passed Personal Property Tax Reform, which essentially phases out the PPT that small businesses and manufacturers pay on business equipment, and adds a new tax, the Essential Services Assessment (“ESA”). The new law is being phased in over several years, as follows:

Are You Ready for the New Revenue Recognition Standard?

Julie Killian, CPA, CGMA | Principal - Assurance | Revenue RecognitionRevenue recognition guidance is changing. Under current US Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (“GAAP”), there are multiple accounting models for revenue and extensive industry-specific guidance which can result in different accounting treatment for transactions of similar economic substance. As a result, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (“FASB”) (and the International Accounting Standards Board (“IASB”) as part of the convergence) developed a new principles-based model for revenue to be recognized based on the satisfaction of performance obligations. This new standard removes industry specific guidance and inconsistencies, and therefore, will enhance financial reporting comparability.

Clayton & McKervey Expands International Resources through Affiliation with PrimeGlobal

PrimeGlobalClayton & McKervey, an international accounting and business advisory firm headquartered in southeastern Michigan, has joined  PrimeGlobal, one of the five largest associations of independent accounting firms in the world.  PrimeGlobal will enhance Clayton & McKervey’s depth of resources to meet growing client needs, both internationally and domestically.

“PrimeGlobal’s expertise lies in sharing ideas and business referrals among firms with visionary business practices,” said Michelle Arnold, PrimeGlobal’s Chief Regional Officer, North America. “We are excited to offer the clients of our member firms around the globe an excellent resource in this Detroit-based firm.”

Performing Employee Benefit Plan Audits

Julie Killian, CPA, CGMA | Principal - Assurance Services | Performing Employee Benefit Plan AuditsRecently the Department of Labor (“DOL”) has been sending letters to employee benefit plan administrators that read
as follows:

Dear Plan Administrator:

I am sending you this email because you may be in the process of selecting or working with a CPA firm to audit the 401(K) Plan’s 2015 financial statements that will be submitted to the Department of Labor (DOL) as part of the Plan’s Form 5500 filing. Selecting a qualified CPA who has the expertise to perform an audit in accordance with professional auditing standards is a critical responsibility in safeguarding your plan’s assets and ensuring your compliance with ERISA’s reporting and fiduciary requirements. 

Making Payments to a Foreign Person

Suzanne Tuson, CPA, MST | Shareholder - International Tax Services | Making Payments to Foreign PersonsEvery United States person that makes payments of fixed, determinable, annual, or periodical (“FDAP”) income (such as dividends, interest, royalties, and certain payments for personal services) to a foreign payee (including non-resident aliens, foreign partnerships, foreign corporations, and non-resident aliens or foreign fiduciaries of estates or trusts) is required to withhold US income taxes. The US payor (withholding agent) is responsible to withhold tax at the time the payment is made, deposit tax, and file timely reports. This article addresses the documents required from the foreign payee, the timing of withholding tax remittance to the IRS, and the reporting of the 1042 series after year-end.

Independent Contractors in Mexico

Timothy Finerty, CPA | Shareholder - International Assurance, Practice Leader for Mexico & Latin America | Independent Contractors in MexicoA common practice for many US companies with activities in Mexico is to pay Mexican residents as independent contractors. US companies do this so they are not liable for Mexican labor obligations, such as payroll taxes and employee benefits. Additionally, they do not want to create a permanent establishment, or taxable presence, in Mexico.

Identifying this practice, the Mexican government recently enacted amendments to the federal labor law that would impose significant fines on companies using alternative legal arrangements to avoid or reduce its statutory labor obligations or employees’ fringe benefits. These amendments could create significant risk to US companies utilizing Mexican resident independent contractors. To limit their exposure, companies should make sure they thoroughly understand the requirements for Mexican independent contractors.

Congress Passes Law to Make Some “Tax Extenders” Permanent

Margaret Amsden, CPA, MST | Shareholder - Tax Services | Tax ExtendersFor most of the year, taxpayers have been wondering if the “tax extenders,” all of which expired as of December 31, 2014, would be extended again. Congress continued to say it would get done, but taxpayers entered December with no assurances. As the congressional sessions drew to a close for 2015, the House (on December 17) and the Senate (on December 18) passed a bill that went to President Obama late in the day on December 18, which was signed.

The Highway Act Leads to Multiple Tax Due Date Changes

Margaret Amsden, CPA, MST | Shareholder - Tax Services | Tax Due Date ChangesOn July 31, 2015, President Obama signed the Surface Transportation and Veterans Health Care Choice Improvement Act of 2015 (Highway Act) into law. The Highway Act includes some significant changes to longstanding tax provisions.

For years beginning after December 31, 2015

  • Partnership and S corporation returns will be due March 15 following the close of the calendar year. For fiscal year entities, the returns will be due the fifteenth day of the third month following the close of the year.