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December 19, 2016

To get in the Holiday spirit, the office hosted a cubical decorating contest and Holiday sweater contest. The winners, pictured below, were announced at a pizza luncheon in the office. A secret Santa calendar exchange topped off the day’s activities.

The Holiday activities wrapped up with the annual Firm Day and Holiday Party held at Busch Gardens this year. To kick off the day, all employees participated in a photo scavenger hunt team-building exercise throughout the park. Employees were divided into 15 teams competing to see who could capture the most compelling, outrageous, and high-point-value photos.

After the team-building, everyone went to the Gwazi Pavilion for lunch and an unforgettable video presentation culminating the day’s events. Employees were free to enjoy the park after lunch for the remainder of the day.

Connect with us on Twitter and LinkedIn to see more fun activities from CBIZ MHM Tampa Bay!





December 14, 2016
The “Taxman” cometh in April; but it is wise to be prepared in December. The dreaded April 15th, when all those hard-earned dollars are due to Uncle Sam, is right around the corner. Manufacturing companies and their owners can and should take steps in December to minimize their tax burden in April. As we explore some of these year-end tax planning opportunities, it is important not to let the tax tail wag the dog; businesses should not spend a dollar to save 40 cents in taxes unless that dollar brings economic value to the company.

Before we delve deeper into tax planning opportunities, there are two underlying considerations: 

  • Coordinate business tax planning with individual tax planning: Most small to mid-market businesses are structured as pass-through entities (S-Corps/Partnerships /LLCs). Under these structures, the business does not pay income tax. The taxable income/loss of the business is reported on the owner’s individual tax return and the tax is paid at that level. As a result, it is critical to coordinate tax planning for a business with ownership tax planning.
  • Assess whether your income brackets are likely to change: As a general rule of thumb, businesses should accelerate deductions and defer income when tax brackets remain consistent year to year, or if the current year is in a higher tax bracket. If 2016 was a strong year, it is likely that you will want to accelerate deductions into 2016 and defer income into 2017. Conversely, if 2016 was a down year, the company would take the opposite approach.

Now let’s examine some of the various tax planning opportunities:

  • Timing of payments: Determine when to make related-party payments. Most related-party transactions (owner’s interest related-party rent, ownership bonuses, etc.) are treated on a cash basis. Companies should make these payments depending on if they want to accelerate or defer deductions.
  • Have your fixed asset ledger up to date: Due to Section 179 deductions and Bonus Depreciation, fixed asset additions create a tremendous opportunity to manage taxable income for assets purchased and placed in service before year-end. Although these determinations do not need to be made until after year-end, a company needs to know what impact tax depreciation will have on their taxable income while making other time-sensitive decisions.
  •  Managing your capital gains and losses: Capital gains and losses offset. If a pass-through business has generated any capital gains or losses, there should be coordination with the ownership’s investment advisors to explore opportunities to harvest capital gains or losses in the ownership’s personal investment portfolio.
  • Obsolete inventory: In general, manufacturers cannot take a deduction for obsolete inventory until it is physically disposed. If you have obsolete inventory that you have reserved for, dispose of it before the year-end to get the deduction.
  • Research and Development Tax Credits: The R&D credit provides significant tax savings to a significant number of manufacturers. If your manufacturing company does not take the R&D credit, double check to see if you qualify. If you are already
    taking advantage of the R&D credit, be sure to coordinate with your R&D expert regarding any changes in the laws and in your operations to maximize the credit.
  •  Explore creating an IC-DISC (Interest-Charge, Domestic International Sales Corporation): Manufacturers may be missing this lucrative U.S. tax incentive. Manufacturers that export (directly or indirectly) U.S. made goods may qualify for reduced tax rates on export profits. Because of the complexity involved with this tax strategy, many manufacturers are not taking advantage of this opportunity.
  • Don’t forget the bank: These tax planning strategies, along with others, can’t be considered in a tax planning vacuum. As always, manufacturers need to consider any impact that these decisions would have on their debt covenants with their lenders. Tax planning time is the perfect time to also review your compliance with bank covenants since many financial covenants are measured at year-end. There can be opportunities to coordinate tax planning and covenant compliance decisions. One example is the timing of tax distributions. If a company is planning on a significant tax distributions to ownership in early 2017 to cover 2016 tax liability, and the company could make those distributions in 2016 while still being in compliance with their bank covenants, consideration should be given to accelerating those distributions into 2016.

These are just a few of the various tax opportunities out there. The key to keeping taxes low in April is to make sure your ducks are in a row by December. Be sure to coordinate with your financial and tax advisors to minimize your tax obligations.

By Brian Barsi

BRIAN BARSI, CPA, is a Managing Director at CBIZ MHM and a Shareholder of Mayer Hoffman McCann P.C., an independent CPA firm. Brian has extensive experience serving mid-market clients primarily in the manufacturing and distribution industries, and leads the CBIZ MHM Minneapolis Manufacturing group. He can be reached at 612-376-1237 or bbarsi@cbiz.com.





December 13, 2016

For the second year in a row, the CBIZ Florida offices sponsored the ACG Capital Connection Conference in Amelia Island. This year’s conference, held November 15-16, attracted more than 450 attendees from 26 states to the Ritz-Carlton. The CBIZ Transaction Advisory Services (TAS) group was present and sponsored charging stations at the event.

Our CBIZ TAS professionals assist with decision-making throughout the transaction process. They stand at the ready to assist you with due diligence, quality of earnings reports or by providing financial and business services during the lifetime of your investment. With responsive service, a personalized approach and team continuity, they deliver a full suite of services to get you from deal evaluation through post-sale transition.

Contact Dave Enick, Southeast Transaction Advisory Leader, for more information on how to keep you connected to your complex transactions.




December 9, 2016

The holiday season is a time of giving. However, before you set plans into motion, it’s important to understand the tax advantages – as well as the possible complications – that are associated with gifting assets to family, charities and institutions.

That’s why we compiled the infographic below from the CBIZ 2016 Individual Tax Planning Supplement that details our top gift and estate tax planning ideas to consider. Please remember that these and other planning strategies need to be executed in the context of balancing who controls the assets and who benefits from the assets.

Note that some of these opportunities – specifically the ability to use valuation discounts in certain situations – are subject to revision by Congress and the IRS, so it’s important to start thinking about your gifting strategies now.

For other tax strategies, contact your CBIZ tax professional, or check out the CBIZ website and the rest of the Individual Tax Planning Supplement as a comprehensive guide to minimize your 2016 tax bill.






December 6, 2016

CBIZ MHM is pleased to announce that Steve Lackey has rejoined the Memphis practice as Managing Director. Steve is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) with significant experience with local and national firms. Most recently, Steve served as the Controller at the University of Memphis.

Steve spent more than 15 years as a Partner at Thompson Dunavant PLC and Managing Director of CBIZ MHM, focusing on audit and consulting services for a diverse group of businesses, governments, and not-for-profits. In addition to engagement management, Steve will focus on deepening relationships with the leadership and personnel of client organizations, contributing to business development efforts, and serving as a trusted business advisor to clients.

"We are pleased that Steve Lackey is rejoining CBIZ MHM and the profession. Steve brings back to our Firm a sense of familiarity with our clients, our processes, and our people," said Eustis Corrigan, Senior Managing Director, CBIZ MHM. "He will be key in executing our strategy to expand on our relationships and opportunities in the Greater Memphis area and in delivering exceptional client service."

Lackey received his bachelor's degree in Accounting from the University of Memphis. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Tennessee Society of Certified Public Accountants.

 




December 2, 2016

CBIZ MHM Tampa Bay is proud to announce our partnership with the University of South Florida Lynn Pippenger School of Accountancy to fund a teaching fellowship. The announcement was made Thursday morning by USF representatives at a gathering of more than 130 CBIZ MHM Tampa Bay team members. 

“Over the years, CBIZ MHM has been involved in leadership roles with both the Accounting Circle and the Advisory Council for USF’s School of Accountancy,” said Bill Tapp, Senior Managing Director and a graduate of USF’s College of Business. “Partnering with the Lynn Pippenger School of Accountancy to establish the CBIZ MHM Teaching Fellowship Fund is a logical extension in our support for USF and the School of Accountancy.”

Tapp continued, “We are proud to strengthen our commitment to an educational institution that has provided so many valuable team members to our practice here in Tampa Bay.” 

The Lynn Pippenger School of Accountancy provides a high-quality, diverse learning environment that focuses on innovation and critical thinking skills. A recent Brigham Young University research survey ranked the Lynn Pippenger School of Accountancy No. 1 in experimental accounting information systems research, No. 21 in audit research and No. 29 in tax research.

Heather Lively, an instructor teaching financial accounting and audit courses, has been named the first CBIZ MHM teaching fellow.  She commented, “The people of CBIZ MHM have a long history of engaging with the Lynn Pippenger School of Accountancy, and this fellowship further deepens the roots of the partnership between CBIZ MHM and USF.”

For more information about this partnership, the full article can be found on USF’s website.




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