Wednesday, February 23, 2011

A little bit more on the Business Climate Survey and a little tax heads-up

Here is a nice 2 minute video about the survey results as described by Marvin and Company's Managing Director Kevin McCoy.

Hope you all have signed up for the tax seminar coming up at the Troy Record. Thanks for all the support!

Actually one other thing - working through a lot of corporate returns right now and make sure you are making the right decision on whether or not to use Section 179 or Bonus depreciation (where applicable). I know there aren't too many companies out there that have taxable income over the past 2 years but bonus depreciation can create a net operating loss where section 179 can not - and if you had taxable income in the past two years maybe creating an NOL would be worth it and then you could amend your previous year's return and get some money refunded. I know this is pretty technical but your accountant should know all about this but if you need any help please don't hesitate to contact me at anytime.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Great article for non-profits...

Joanne Berry, Executive Director of the NYS Society of CPA's wrote a great editorial in last month's edition of The CPA Journal, in which she dives into the path that the CPA-non-profit relationship may be on.

The Roslyn School District scandal is probably the Enron of school district scandals with about $11 million in misappropriations and fraud and has since laid the ground work for more state audits and more regulation. We have seen many of our local school districts end up on the front page of the "capital district" section of a local paper talking about how money was spent inappropriately and how internal controls did nothing to prevent it - and Berry asks the same question with regards to NFP's and their spending responsibilities.

I believe this article comes at a good time because of the economic difficulties many non-profits have faced over the past couple years and some of these struggles include layoffs which can really have a negative impact on a small non-profit's internal control. Especially in these times when everyone is hurting a little in the wallet, you want to make sure that your internal controls are structured in a way that even the smallest of departments can handle and that is something your auditor should be able to help you with - but if not, as always, please feel free to give me a call.

Monday, February 21, 2011

25th Annual Business Climate Survey Released

Kevin McCoy, CPA and director, Marvin and Company, PC discussed highlights from the 25th Annual Business Climate Survey Friday, Feb. 18, 2011 at the University at Albany.

Compiled by Marvin and the University at Albany’s School of Business, the survey shows that nearly half of Capital Region firms expect business to increase in 2011, while more than nine out of 10 regional businesses expect their employment levels to increase or level off. Forty-two percent of area firms saw an overall increase in their business in 2010, the highest percentage in three years, while 49 percent of businesses believe they will see increases in 2011. You can read the full report here:

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Taking my show on the road...

The Troy Record has asked me to do a presentation on personal tax tips and such on March 8th from 6:30pm - 8:30pm. We will talk about things that did and did not come out of the December 17th, 2010 legislation as well as discuss our opinions as to where we think things might be headed. We will also discuss some common questions we get from clients as well as common errors we see on self-prepared returns. We'll also touch on some topics about IRS audits/inquiries and deciding on whether or not you should have someone prepare your return for you.

The presentation will be about an hour and 1/2 and then we will take questions after that. There will be refreshments and such and the event will be held at The Community Media Lab on 501 Broadway in Troy. If you have any questions or would like to register please contact Rebecca Eppelmann at the Troy Record at

Hope to see you there and meet some of you who have been following my blog - I just went over the 500th reader - thanks to all of those who support this blog. Kev-

Where do 'my' business concerns rank?

For the past 25 years Marvin and Company has been taking the business pulse of the capital district and beyond, asking business owners what their major concerns were in the upcoming year as well as following up on 2010 and what kind of successes/challenges there were.

Over the past few years we have been teaming up with SUNY Albany to present and conduct the survey and this past Friday we announced the results at a joint press conference on the SUNY Albany campus, with our friends UAlbany President (and former golfing buddy) George Philip and Don Siegel, Dean of the School of Business at UAlbany. The results showed some optimism for the first time in a while but still at the top of the list of concerns is the rising costs of providing health health benefits to employees.

I am linking some interviews from the event so please take a look and if you would like any more information please let me know. Kev-

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Conflicts of interest policies for non-profits

Don't get too far into your fiscal year having not updated your conflict of interest policy. Each board member, officer and/or highest paid employee if in a management position should be signing to the fact that no conflicts are outstanding or if they are, then they disclose the circumstances for the rest of the board to discuss. The 990 and the 1023 both ask about an organization's conflict of interest policy so I would strongly recommend your organization having one especially if you are a 501(c)(3) and receive contributions.

If you need an example of one shoot me an email or you can also google it and there are some pretty good pre-canned ones out there as well. If you have one and would like me to take a look at it I can but I would highly recommend having your attorney take a look at it as well

On another note don't forget about our free webinar on sales tax tomorrow from 12-1pm.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Friendly reminder on sales tax webinar

Check out our FREE webinar this Wednesday from noon to one on sales tax issues and what we are seeing with sales tax audits and other things like that. Hope to see you there! And did I mention it is FREE!


Repairs and Maintenance...

This time every year I am always asked from my business clients what can be expensed and what should be capitalized. I am linking a nice article about what the IRS looks for with regards to their R&M audits and thought it would be a good read for those of you who are nervous about your approach. One thing to think about also is with section 179 and Bonus depreciation available (sorry to get tax-y on you) you might want to consider capitalizing the asset and then use one of these accelerated methods to write most of the asset or all of it off in the first year. As always any questions please shoot me an email. Thanks, Kev-

Friday, February 11, 2011

Get your calendars out Non-Profits!!!

I have the pleasure of sitting on the panel for the Tech Valley Not For Profit Business Council's March event which will focus on tax implications and tax issues facing non-profits. The event is scheduled for March 17th from 1130-2 at the Italian American Community Center and to sign up go to the Albany Chamber Website at for event details.

These events are very well attended by many non-profit leaders in the area and I don't expect this session to be any different. The panel I believe is myself, someone from the Attorney General's office and someone from the Healthcare industry so there will be many great talking points I am sure.

Hope to see you there and any questions you can also email me at anytime!! Kev-

Free webinar

Marvin and Company's FREE webinar series continues this upcoming Wednesday, February 16th and deals with sales tax. The webinar is from noon to one on Wednesday and did I mention it is free!!!

One of my fellow partners Jim Amell, CPA will touch on topics including sales and use tax basics, such as the requirement to collect and pay sales tax, exempt entities, and exempt transactions and changes to sales tax exemptions for Qualified Enterprise Zone Entities. Jim will also discuss sales tax audits and what he has seen lately - some interesting stuff that is for sure!

I will send out the link shortly through a second blog because we are having some technical difficulties at the time - but stay tuned!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

2011 Retirement Limits - Start Planning Now!!!

I know it's only February but thinking about retirement limits and retirement goals should be going on at all times. Here are the limits as they relate to 2011:

Defined Contribution/401(k) Plans:
  1. Max contribution is $16,500
  2. Max Compensation limit is $245,000
  3. Additional catch-up contributions if age 50 or older $5,500
  4. Defined contribution plans - contribution limited to $49,000 or 100% of compensation

IRA Accounts:

  1. IRA contributions are limited to $5,000 with additional $1,000 contribution for people 50 and over.
  2. Anyone can make a contribution but contributions might not be deductible - if you are not covered by an employer's plan the income limitations are as follows: Single and head of households ($56k-$66k) married filing joint ($90k-$110k)
  3. If your spouse is a participant in a plan but you are not you are able to take a deduction, but the income phaseout is $169k-$179k.

ROTH IRA Accounts:

  1. Contribution amounts are the same as the IRA amounts above - obviously there is no deduction related to the ROTH because when you take the money out it comes out completely tax free!
  2. The income thresholds are a little different however - for single and head of households $107k-$122k) and for married filing joint ($169k - $179k).
  3. ROTHs are great vehicles because there is no required minimum distribution as there is with a traditional IRA - which means you never have to touch this account if you don't need to.

If you have a SEP or other retirement plan and have any questions please feel free to email me at anytime - especially this time of year I am always in the office!!!

Friday, February 4, 2011

A bonus from the Government? "Spend" it wisely!

One of the big shocks coming from the government lately was the reduction in the Social Security withholding tax. In the past 6.2% of your wages up to $106,800 were withheld for "your" social security account (basically the max they would withhold would be $6,621) but currently the rate has been reduced to 4.2% - which is a shock to a lot of people because of the problems you hear about social security having being in the RED all the time. It will produce revenue for the government though because now that amount that used to be withheld pretax will be taxable income to the employee - unless..... think about increasing your 401(k) contribution by the 2% - meaning net-net you will be taking home the same amount of money as in the past but you will be banking more for your retirement - basically let this reduction fund your retirement account. If you are over the wage threshold of $106,800 or you are already contributing the max to your retirement account this might not be that big of a deal to you but if you are not in either one of those boats think about it!!!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Future 1099 requirements - changes coming?!?!

Here is a great article about the possible repealing of the crazy 1099 requirements that are headed our way in 2011 and 2012. For 2011 the big change is for landlords - if you own rental property and you have any service done on your rental property during 2011 - anything over $600 (aggregate) would have to be recorded on a 1099MISC. For 2012 - the BIG CHANGE is being required to provide a 1099 for either services or purchases - this could be a HUGE burden on small businesses and any business for that matter. Check out the article and give me a buzz/email if you have any questions...

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Good news for small businesses on the horizon?

I know they don't always stick to their word but it is at least nice to hear that they are talking about small businesses. Now if they will just amend some of the ridiculousness surrounding the new 1099 requirements starting this year and next.