Margaret Amsden Named one of MICPA’s Women to Watch

Margaret Amsden, CPA, MST | Shareholder - Tax ServicesThe accounting firm Clayton & McKervey, P.C. is pleased to announce that Margaret Amsden, CPA, MST, Shareholder – Tax, has been named one of the Michigan Association for Certified Public Accountants’ Women to Watch in the Experienced Leader category.

“Margaret truly is a Woman to Watch in the accounting profession. She is a mentor, teacher, role model, and a master at interpreting and advising her clients on complex tax legislation. She is deeply committed in the community, as we have seen most recently in her work the Boys & Girls Club of Oakland and Macomb Counties,” said Kevin McKervey, President of Clayton & McKervey, P.C. “We are extremely proud of her accomplishments and suspect they are only the beginning of what Margaret will achieve as a Woman to Watch.”

Don Clayton Receives Lifetime Achievement Award

Don Clayton, CPA | ChairmanClayton & McKervey, P.C. is pleased to announce that Don Clayton, CPA, Chairman, was awarded the first Association for Corporate Growth Detroit Chapter Lifetime Achievement award. Mr. Clayton was presented the award for his extraordinary leadership, his role in growing and shaping the chapter through sustained active and meaningful participation, and for being an outstanding example in the professional community.

“Our firm has been active with the Association for Corporate Growth for many years and we are proud to have Don recognized for the contributions he has made to the organization,” said Kevin McKervey, President of Clayton & McKervey, P.C. “Don joined ACG in 1996 and has served the organization in many forms, including as president from 2001 – 2003, vice president of membership, and as a member of the program committee.”

Sales Tax – Evolving Nexus Standards

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Will your company be surprised by an unexpected sales tax obligation? 

Almost all 50 states have a type of sales tax. This tax often helps fund vital projects such as roads, police, fire, and other public safety and works. States expect employers doing business and having nexus in their respective states to register and remit sales tax in a timely manner. Traditionally, brick and mortar stores were only subject to sales tax if they had a tangible, physical presence in the state. However, as cash strap states are trying to find ways to fill holes in their budgets, they are becoming more aggressive with on-line and out-of-state retailers with no physical presence in their state. Unsuspecting retailers are receiving notices and tax bills from states for sales tax remittance they were not aware they were obligated to make.

Top 5 Questions About Expenses & Related Reimbursement Plans

Margaret Amsden, CPA, MST | Shareholder - Tax ServicesThere are numerous instances when an employer may choose to reimburse employees for business related expenses. As a result, it is important to understand the different ways expenses may be reimbursed and the tax impact and information reporting for both the employer and the employee. Following are 5 of the most common questions our clients have regarding business expenses and related reimbursement plans.

1. What types of expenses are commonly reimbursed?

Expenses that may qualify for reimbursement include: business travel (airfare, hotel, business mileage other than commuting, parking), business meals and entertainment, business meeting costs, cell phone and internet expenses, home office expenses, business supplies and equipment, required uniforms, training and certifications, and automobile expenses.

Common Errors Found in Employee Benefit Plans

Julie Killian, CPA, CGMA | Principal - Assurance ServicesMany companies easily recognize the benefits of offering their employees a 401(k) plan. Too often, what companies do not recognize are the myriad of regulatory and compliance issues connected to maintaining a 401(k) plan – and it is not enough to have a reliable third-party administrator (“TPA”). Although a number of common deficiencies may be addressed by a competent TPA, it is ultimately the responsibility of the company sponsoring the 401(k) plan and the plan’s trustees to ensure compliance – and failure to comply may have legal and financial impacts. In short, a TPA is not enough and does not absolve the plan sponsor of its fiduciary and oversight responsibilities.

June 30 Due Date – Report of Foreign Bank & Financial Accounts (FBAR)

Suzanne Tuson, CPA, MST | Shareholder - International Tax ServicesDo you have a financial interest in or signature authority over a foreign financial account, including a bank account, brokerage account, mutual fund, trust, or other type of foreign financial account? If so, the Bank Secrecy Act may require you to report the account yearly to the Internal Revenue Service by electronically filing Form FinCEN 114 (formerly TD F 90-22.1), Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR).

The FBAR is a tool to help the United States government identify persons who may be using foreign financial accounts to circumvent United States law. Investigators use FBARs to help identify or trace funds used for illicit purposes or to identify unreported income maintained or generated abroad.

Employee Benefits – Recent Issues

How is your company’s employee benefit plan affected by same-sex marriages?

Julie Killian, CPA, CGMA | Principal - Assurance ServicesThe IRS has issued new guidance in response to the decision last summer by the US Supreme Court in United States v. Windsor. The decision held that section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which prohibited the recognition of same-sex marriages, is unconstitutional because it violates the principles of the Fifth Amendment and equal protection. The Federal Government and the states have been considering the impact on employers of the recognition of same-sex marriage.

What are the Employer Implications of Same-Sex Marriage?

Kevin McKervey, CPA | PresidentIn the wake of the landmark decision last summer by the US Supreme Court in United States v. Windsor, employers have been grappling with the impacts same-sex marriage will have on their businesses. With the recent decision in DeBoer v. Snyder, executives in Michigan have started to take a closer look at the effects. If you have not looked into the implications for your business, please read on.

Outbound International Filings

Sarah Russell, CPA, MBA | Senior Manager - International Tax ServicesAre you a resident of the US doing business in other countries? Or perhaps your company has expanded to other countries. While that business is taking place outside our borders, you need to ensure you are complying with the applicable Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) filing requirements.

There are specific filing requirements US residents should be aware when doing business outside the United States. Outbound international refers to a US-person (individual or entity) with activity outside the US. It is important to understand what the filing obligations are as failure to report income, activities, and investments can lead to extensive penalties. The information below outlines common outbound international filing requirements.