Maximizing Social Security Benefits

Margaret Amsden, CPA, MST | Shareholder - Tax Services | Maximize Social Security BenefitsWhen contemplating retirement, due consideration must be given to the potential Social Security benefit that may be claimed. This benefit is determined based on the individual’s earnings record and full retirement age (FRA). FRA is defined as the age a person can receive full benefits when first applying for Social Security.

Individuals and their spouses have several choices regarding how and when to start claiming their monthly benefits. In simple terms:

  • Workers who take their benefits at FRA receive full Social Security benefits,
  • Those receiving benefits before FRA receive reduced benefits, and

Would Your Company Benefit from Intercompany Service Charges?

Alex Martin | Principal - Transfer Pricing Services | Intercompany Service ChargesOnce businesses expand internationally, it makes sense to centralize certain management, administrative, and technical services in one location. Centralized services can substantially reduce costs and allow companies to standardize processes and procedures. However, companies expanding internationally may not prioritize what is often considered a tax-only issue.

From a high-level, intercompany service fees can be charged on a cross-border basis when the assistance benefits the commercial position of the recipient company. Services can include everything from technical services to back-office support, but there are certain restrictions in both US and international transfer pricing rules that govern when charges are permissible.

Is International Expansion into Cuba Right for Your Business?

Kevin McKervey, CPA | President, Clayton & McKervey, P.C.International Expansion into Cuba

You may be asking: What is the buzz about Cuba? And, are there international business expansion opportunities for us?

Given our focus on helping clients grow internationally, we are asking the same question.  Over the last couple of days, we have sat in on a webinar about international expansion into Cuba and attended an event titled “Cuba – The Next Frontier” that was sponsored by Automation Alley.  Our brief education has certainly not made us experts on Cuba, but it has given us perspective on some of the basic challenges companies will face as they explore international expansion to this new market.

Private Company Reporting Options – “FRF for SMEs” vs. “Private Company Council GAAP”

Timothy Finerty, CPA | Shareholder - International Assurance, Practice Leader for Mexico & Latin America | Private Company Financial Reporting OptionsThe private company financial reporting landscape has changed. With new acronyms like “FRF for SMEs” and “PCC,” it can be hard for companies to decide which reporting option is right for them. Here’s a quick overview of the alternatives and benefits for each.

What reporting options are available for private companies?

Besides a traditional United States Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (“US GAAP”) financial statement, private companies have two options they didn’t have a few years ago. These reporting options are tailored for private companies so they don’t have to spend time (and money) on financial reporting areas that don’t bring value to the financial statement users.

LLC Members Could Soon Be Subject to Self-Employment Tax

Margaret Amsden, CPA, MST | Shareholder - Tax Services | Self-Employment TaxInternal Revenue Code Section 1402(a) defines “net earnings from self-employment” as:

  • Gross income an individual receives from any trade or business, plus
  • An individual’s distributive share of income or loss from a partnership in which he or she is a partner, unless a specific exclusion applies.

Such an exclusion is located in IRC Section 1402(a)(13) which generally provides that the distributive share of partnership income or loss is excluded from the net earnings from self-employment if the partner receiving the distribution of income is a Limited Partner.

Estate Planning: What is it, and Why do you need it?

Margaret Amsden, CPA, MST | Shareholder - Tax Services | Estate PlanningEstate Planning, What is it?

Estate Planning, as defined by Black’s Law Dictionary, is “That branch of the law which, in arranging a person’s property and estate, takes into account the laws of wills, taxes, insurance, property, and trust so as to gain maximum benefit of all laws while carrying out the person’s own wishes for the disposition of his property upon his death.”

This is a very broad definition and quickly identifies that there are many disciplines that need to be considered to make sure that the plan addresses all the issues. It also helps to point out that preparing and implementing a plan will likely require the services of:

Eight Questions Answered About SSARS 21: Statement on Standards for Accounting and Review Services: Clarification and Recodification

Kevin Johns, CPA | Shareholder - International Accounting | SSARS 21: Accounting and Review StandardsNew SSARS 21 pronouncement brings new options to financial reporting

Effective for years ending after December 15, 2015, accountants in pubic practice will have new options available when working with their clients in regards to their financial reporting. Statement on Standards for Accounting and Review Services 21 (or “SSARS 21”) was issued to help clarify and revise the standards for reviews, compilations, and engagements to prepare financial statements. The following outlines key questions and answers to consider when analyzing the impact of this pronouncement.

Committee of Sponsoring Organizations Framework (COSO) and How It Applies to Closely Held Businesses

Julie Killian, CPA, CGMA | Principal - Assurance Services | Committee of Sponsoring OrganizationsCommittee of Sponsoring Organizations

Due to heightened corrupt practices throughout businesses in the early to late 1970s, the US Securities and Exchange Commission partnered with the US Congress to enact rules that would cover the internal control structure in companies throughout the United States. As a result, the private sector initiated what is called the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission (otherwise known as “COSO”) to provide a framework that would help implement a strong system of internal controls in mid-1985.

5 Low-Tax Jurisdiction Strategies for Small- and Medium-Sized Businesses

Sarah Russell, CPA, MBA | Shareholder - International Tax | Low-Tax Jurisdiction Strategies for SMEsThere has been much publicity lately regarding large multi-national companies and their offshore tax planning strategies, which has led many business owners to wonder how they could employ similar strategies. This article will focus on things small- to medium-sized business owners should know when considering tax planning strategies related to offshore expansion.

Most small- to medium-sized entities (SMEs) have relatively simple tax structures when opening a foreign subsidiary. When expanding into international markets, SMEs with a foreign subsidiary typically treat the entity as a controlled foreign corporation, foreign partnership, or a disregarded entity. This article does not get into the differences between these structures, however it will give you a high level overview as well as reporting requirements.