Local Office Blogs

Feel free to peruse our blog or search for posts based on a specific term.

September 14, 2015

The IRS is developing a technology solution that would streamline its ability to release digital copies of the Form 990 tax information filings. An announcement about the option comes from a U.S. district court ruling that ordered the IRS to produce digitally readable Forms 990 of nine organizations. Currently, the IRS releases digital copies of Forms 990 as image files.

A recent article by Tampa Bay Managing Director, Betty Isler, discusses how the new software would produce versions of the Forms 990 in the Metadata Exchange Format, also known as a machine-readable format and remove any personally identifiable information from the Form 990. It is slated for release in early 2016.

The announcement indicates the IRS is preparing to respond to more requests for Forms 990 in digitally readable files. Not-for-profit organizations should prepare for the demand as well. Digitally readable files make Forms 990 easier to aggregate, and allowing not-for-profits, the public, and other interested parties additional ways to compare not-for-profits to one another.

For more information about how these Form 990 developments could affect your organization, please contact Betty at bisler@cbiz.com or 727.572.1400.

July 7, 2015

Mark Baricos, Managing Director for the Memphis office, recently shared “3 Post-Tax Season Tangible Property Takeaways” for AccountingWEB. These few key takeaways follow the first tax filing in which Tangible Property Regulations were mandated:

1. TPRs will continue to be an issue that taxpayers face annually, as they review how certain expenditures should be treated (expensed versus capitalized and depreciated).

2. TPRs will continue to have a significant impact on certain industries.

3. TPRs will require proper internal controls related to the treatment of capital expenditures.

Mark also shares a few questions and best practices to consider as you plan tax compliance strategies.

To read the full article, click here.

For more information regarding how the Tangible Property Regulations may affect your business or tax filing, feel free to contact Mark at mbaricos@cbiz.com

July 1, 2015
Now halfway through the year, one of Minnesota’s most popular tax credit programs holds over one-third of its $16 million pot still available. In past years, the Angel Tax Credit’s pot has emptied months before the end of the year. And last year, the pot was emptied by early March. The struggle to empty the pot can be tied to lawmakers imposing restrictions on those who can reap the benefits. 

This year, lawmakers set aside $7.5 million for businesses owned by women or minorities, or businesses based in greater Minnesota. They also stopped early-investors from accessing the credits, which allowed them to regain a portion of their buy-in to a given company. 

Out of the $6.1 million remaining credits in the pot, $4.4 million are from the pool reserved for the underserved groups. These qualifying businesses have until Sept. 30 to act on this benefit before it funnels back into the general fund. The general fund contains a remaining $1.7 million and businesses who qualify will have until the end of the year to benefit from it. Funds left over at the end of the year will not rollover into 2016. 

To find out if you qualify for the Angel Tax Credit, please refer to the Minnesota DEED website

If you have questions about how this credit can affect your business, please reach out to one of our tax professionals at 612.339.7811.

June 30, 2015

Faced with a $400 million budget shortfall, Kansas Legislators recently passed significant tax law changes which may impact you and / or your organization. The two different bills, H.B. 2109 and S.B. 270, are generally effective July 1, 2015 (other effective dates are noted if different). A major change will make guaranteed payments retroactively taxed in Kansas from January 1, 2015. This will put partnerships on par with S-Corporations whose wages remained taxable under previous rules. Additionally, an amnesty program for state taxes is authorized from September 1, 2015 to October 15, 2015. More details are provided below.

Kansas Tax Law Changes

  • Kansas sales tax will increase from 6.1% to 6.5% effective July 1, 2015. Certain transition rules apply to contractors who have entered into a written, binding contract before May 1, 2015 for construction projects. Certification must be made to the state by July 10, 2015.
  • Taxing guaranteed payments for pass through entities retroactive to January 1, 2015;
  • Income tax rates freeze at 2.7% for the bottom rate and 4.6% for the top rate until tax year 2018. In 2018, the bottom rate drops to 2.6% and the top rate remains at 4.6%. The rates will remain in effect in the future unless changed by a formula that begins in 2019 (if certain general fund revenues increase more than 2.5% over the previous year, the formula lowers the income tax rate. KPERS spending is not subject to the formula);
  • Acceleration of deduction phase down and repeal of income tax deductions, repealing all deductions except for the mortgage interest deduction which can be claimed at 50% and the charitable deduction which could be claimed at 100% and a property tax deduction equal to 50% of the federal deduction, retroactive to January 1, 2015;
  • The cigarette tax increases by 50 cents a pack;
  • Exemption of certain low income Kansans from income tax is included (joint filers with taxable income of $12,500 or less and single filers with taxable income of $5,000 or less would pay nothing);
  • The food sales tax rebate program eliminated in 2012 is restored;
  • Individual development account tax credits eliminated in 2012 are resumed;
  • Tax amnesty for state taxes authorized from September 1, 2015 to October 15, 2015. The amnesty is limited to penalties and interest for tax periods ending prior to January 1, 2014 and does not apply to taxpayers who have received an assessment or for which an audit has been initiated prior to September 1, 2015.
  • Requiring SSN for claiming tax credits; and
  • Rural Opportunity Zone sunset extension for 5 years through taxable years beginning before January 1, 2022.

If you have questions regarding the Kansas Tax Law changes or would like more information, please reach out to your local CBIZ MHM contact.

June 15, 2015

Traditionally, the campus recruitment process is socially driven, so how does someone who doesn’t necessarily thrive in this environment set themselves apart as a viable candidate?

This is the question our local Recruiting Manager, Roxanne LaMonica, aimed to answer when she assembled a team of CBIZ & MHM staff to develop and pitch the idea of the 2015 CASE Competition, a program designed to attract, challenge and identify recruits who are more technically driven. To start, LaMonica reached out to three area colleges to identify partners in helping to promote this event. The University of Missouri Career Services was very enthusiastic and agreed to partner with CBIZ & MHM on this initiative. 

The Program
The event was promoted on the MU campus for a month and attracted more than 20 interested applicants. Participants were then divided into teams and asked to research and make a recommendation on how changes to the revenue recognition standards would impact a specific industry. Teams then had a few days to research their topic before presenting their findings and recommendations to a panel of experts including CBIZ & MHM leadership, in addition to Vairam Arunachalam, Director of the School of Accountancy at the University of Missouri. 
The Result
Through the presentation and Q&A response process, "it was clear we had attracted and engaged top talent and, as a result, we are now actively pursuing several of them," commented LaMonica. Our partnership with MU Career Services not only provided those more technically driven a chance to thrive in a different recruiting environment, but also provided the opportunity for CBIZ & MHM to increase our name recognition on the MU campus. This event generated positive results and is a concept we are actively pursuing on other college campuses.

June 5, 2015

The Phoenix office is lucky to have Zandra O'Keefe, Managing Director in the Tax Department, on our staff. She is extremely knowledgeable and highly trained in the area of healthcare tax. She has worked hard to build out a successful healthcare segment that includes numerous physician-owned practices. Zandra spends a significant amount of her time tending to her current client base which includes keeping them up to date on the latest information regarding their taxes. She is routinely asked to author and/or contribute to multiple healthcare publications with her tax tips and updates. Please see below for a listing of her latest articles. Thanks Zandra for all you do!

Insight into Physician Employment Contracts

The Specifics of LLCs, LLPs and Corporations

5 Tax Tips Physicians May Overlook

For Questions, please contact Zandra at 602.650.6204 or zokeefe@cbiz.com.

June 4, 2015

In 1997 Joyce Farris, Managing Director and current leader of our Kansas City Construction Industry group authored an article which appeared in the May - June edition of The Builders Association publication, Modern Builder. Her article contains helpful information for those considering starting their own construction company, then and 18 years later. Following is her original article – “A Few Basics for the Start-Up Company”.
So, you’re thinking about starting your own construction company. You have lots of great ideas and the technical capabilities, but what now? To some it may sound as easy as hanging out a sign and opening the office doors, but unfortunately, there are a few more behind the scenes items for you to think about.

Develop A Cash Flow Plan:
Developing a cash flow plan should be your first objective when considering a new company. Cash flow is merely cash coming in to the business and cash going out of the business. There never seems to be a problem with figuring out how to spend cash in a start-up company – the need for supplies, hiring of personnel, leasing office space, phone lines, utility deposits, etc. The problem is where to get the funds to start with. A decision should be made on how much of your personal savings you will need to invest in the company and whether you will also seek outside financing.

Before you can seek outside financing you will need to develop a business plan or a cash flow projection. A projection is a tool for mapping out when you will be required to expend cash in relation to when you will receive cash for the work performed. As you estimate cash inflows, consider seasonality of your work, sales history of similar businesses, and the overall economy. In determining the cash inflows and outflows, remember that you may have to spend the money to do the job before you can bill anyone and expect to receive payment. The major issue in developing a projection is to be realistic.

There are several sources for outside financing from friends, family, banks to the Small Business Association. Regardless of whom you reach out to, you will need to demonstrate that you have a sound business plan. Know “how much” you will need, “how long” until you would be able to start repaying the borrowed funds and “for what” the borrowed funds will be foremost on any lender’s mind.

Seek Advice From Your Accounting and Legal Advisors:
Now that you’ve developed your business plan it is time to consider what type of legal and tax entity would best fit your needs: an S-corporation, C-corporation, Partnership, LLC or Sole Proprietorship? The differences in the entities mainly involve the method for reporting and payment of tax and the business liability that you as the business owner are willing to accept. A discussion with both your accounting and legal advisor will provide you with the best options for your situation.

Once the entity type is decided, your advisors will draft and file articles of incorporation for the company, if necessary, and file for federal and state I.D. numbers. The I.D. numbers are a company’s equivalent to an individual’s social security number. The I.D. numbers will be required for  opening bank accounts, filing payroll and sales tax returns, and filing federal and state income tax returns.

Develop a Financial Information System:
Financial information lets you track the profitability of the company and the cash flow requirements. Accurate financial information is essential for you to make management decisions and is imperative if you intend to continue to borrow money or bond jobs.

At first, you may wish to have outside accounting company prepare the payroll and payroll tax returns or to perform all of the accounting functions. This type of arrangement is termed “outsourcing”. Outsourcing is well suited for start-up companies as it allows for accurate and efficient accounting records to be maintained while allowing the company to hire limited accounting and administrative personnel.

However, if you prefer to hire the administrative personnel and prepare the financial information in-house, then you will need to select an accounting system to fit your needs. As you select a system, leave room to grow and consider any special information tracking you require (i.e. job costs). In addition, you will need to consider the information that you will need to supply to the users of your statements – bankers, bonding companies, investors.

Develop Relationships With Other Professional Advisors:
Throughout the stages of your company, you will have a need for insurance or bonding and a good insurance advisor can help you determine how much coverage you need, when you need it and how to pay for it.

Other advisors, such as marketing consultants, may be needed at some time during the life of your business. In choosing any professional advisor, consider someone who understands your industry and who understands your needs as a start-up company.

Now that you have administrative basics out of the way, it’s time to open the doors.

June 2, 2015

The Minnesota Department of Revenue just announced that starting July 1, 2015, the capital equipment refund will become an up-front sales tax exemption. This announcement is favorable sales tax law change for all Minnesota manufacturers. 

To claim the exemption on eligible purchases, businesses must give the supplier a completed Form ST3, Certificate of Exemption. Use exemption reason code for “Capital equipment”. Businesses also must confirm that they have filed their refund claims for open periods. 

Before July 1, businesses were required to pay sales tax when purchasing eligible capital equipment and then file a refund request with the Department of Revenue.

Note: If you pay sales tax on purchases after June 30, 2015, you may still file a refund request for tax paid in error.

If you have any questions on the new sales tax law change, please reach out to our Tax Practice Leader, Ron Price, at rprice@cbiz.com or 612.376.1268. 


May 7, 2015

Although the 2015 tax deadline has passed, based on the increase of tax return fraud seen this year, Phil Zaman, based in Kansas City and Director of the CBIZ National Tax Office, recently shared some advice to mitigate risk of falling victim to these scams in future years.

“An increasingly successful technique used by scammers is filing fraudulent tax returns earlier than the average tax payer,” he told MainStreet. “The IRS generally assumes it’s valid, though they do have some [detecting] algorithms now,” continues Zaman.  If you are filing a paper return, it normally takes six weeks before being processed, “because of this, when the actual taxpayer goes to file their return, they won’t know until long after they file – when they get a notice that the IRS has bounced their return – that they have fallen victim to tax return identify theft,” warns Zaman. 

Read the full article about how to detect tax ID fraud here.

May 5, 2015

Phil Zaman, director of the National Tax Office and based in the CBIZ MHM Kansas City office, recently shared some advice about tax refunds and identity fraud. Scammers file fraudulent tax returns earlier than the average taxpayer, he told MainStreet.

"The IRS generally assumes it's valid, though they do have some [detecting] algorithms now," Zaman says. Because the scammers file far in advance of when most actual taxpayers file, the taxpayers won't know until long after the file -- when they get a notice that the IRS has bounced their return. "If you file a paper return, it will take you about six weeks to file," he says.

Read the full article about how to detect tax ID fraud here.


Phoenix tax Accounting affordable care act Alex Elliott anna howell Audit audit and assurance Award Awards awards and recognition BEPS Best Places to Work Betty Isler Bill Tapp BizJournals biztips bizwomen Blog Brad Hale brenda brigman bryan koch CBIZ CBIZ Kansas City CBIZ KC CBIZ MHM CBIZ MHM Memphis CBIZ MHM Tampa Bay cbiz security and advisory services CBIZ Women's Advantage CBIZBlog CBIZKC CBIZMHM CFO CFO & Controller Conference cfo conference CFO of the Year CFO of the year awards Charity Community Involvement Conference Construction Controller Conversation With country club plaza Craig Gilman cwa Dave Enick DOL EBP EBP Audits Ed Rataj Employee Benefit Plan Audits Employee Benefits employee engagement EmployeeBenefits entrepreneur EntreprenurialServicesGroup ESG Eustis Corrigan events Food Drive healthcare HR Human Resources Innovation International Tax Jenny Matasic Josh Finfrock Joyce Farris Kansas City KansasCity karen cassella KC CFO Breakfast Series KC Events KCEvents Linda Lauer Lloyd Grissinger Local Managing Director Manufacturing Mark Baricos MBJ Megan Murdock memphis Memphis Business Journal Memphis Daily News memphis super women in business mentoring monday mergers and acquisitions moira house Networking NFP Not-for-profit Paul Dunham pci compliance Phoenix promotions real estate Revenue Recognition SALT Service Social Committee sonya daniels Sponsorships Start Up Start Ups State and Local Tax steve dunavant Success Super Women in Business Tampa Bay Tampa Bay Business Journal tangible property regulations Tax Tax Incentives tax reform The Daily News Top Workplaces Tracey McDonald transaction advisory services Transfer Pricing UMB Bank University of Memphis Volunteer workplace award