Eligible Taxpayers Can Still Make a 2014 Contribution to an IRA

The deadline for 2014 IRA contributions is April 15, 2015.

The limit for total contributions to all IRAs generally is $5,500 ($6,500 if you were age 50 or older on Dec. 31, 2014).

If you have not already maxed out your 2014 limit, consider making one of these types of contributions by April 15:


Deductible traditional 

If you and your spouse don’t participate in an employer-sponsored plan such as a 401(k) — or you do but your income doesn’t exceed certain limits — the contribution is fully deductible on your 2014 tax return. Account growth is tax-deferred; distributions are subject to income tax.


Tax Scams

Throughout the year there are a number of scams being perpetrated by criminally minded people wanting to steal sensitive information and ultimately money from unsuspecting individuals. Unfortunately, these scams are more common during tax season. If you believe you have been a victim of one of these or other tax scams, click here to visit the IRS Tax Scam Reporting resources.

Celebrating Employee Appreciation Day

Employee Appreciation Day Gifts

Happy Employee Appreciation Day Everyone!

As a token of the firm's appreciation, staff received a travel mug and gift card.
Thank you Smith Schafer staff for all your hard work and dedication! 

Minnesota Keystone Program

Minnesota Keystone Program

Smith Schafer is honored to be alongside nearly 200 other Minnesota companies as part of the Minnesota Keystone Program. The Minnesota Keystone Program recognizes and honors companies that donate at least 2 percent of their pre-tax earnings to the community. 

We take a lot of pride not only in our commitment to client service, but also in our dedication to the communities surrounding us. We regularly participate in fundraising activities for local organizations. Our people volunteer for a variety of not-for-profit boards and professional associations.

For more information about our giving program, please contact us at info@smithschafer.com

Tax Alert

IRS Provides ACA Penalty Relief for Small Employers 

The IRS has released Notice 2015-17 providing small employers with limited relief from penalties imposed under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The IRS and DOL have previously clarified that employer payment plans are group health plans that fail to comply with ACA market reforms and may be subject to penalties amounting to $100 per-day-per-employee.

This notice may create payroll tax refund opportunities as well as income tax savings opportunities for impacted clients. It would require the need for amended 2014 payroll tax returns, including Form W-2s. 

Click here to read more.


MN Private Colleges' Job & Internship Fair

Stop by and chat with Amanda and Jenny at the MN Private Colleges' Job & Internship Fair in Minneapolis! Learn about our career opportunities and why Smith Schafer won the Best Places to Work Award!

Multi-State Tax Issues

Manufacturers, retailers and other sellers of goods and services should carefully consider sales and use tax nexus issues. Crossing state lines for a project may be a way to boost the bottom line, but doing so can also mean dealing with new and complex tax issues. The economy is still showing signs of weakness and many states are increasing their efforts to increase tax revenue. States are adopting far-reaching rules and interpretations on the issue of nexus and it is important to understand your responsibilities. 

Click here to read more. 

United Way Giving

Olmsted United Way Awards

The Smith Schafer United Way Campaign ran from September 22 through October 3, 2014.


We are proud to announce, we had 100% participation in our Rochester office and raised $17,249! The Rochester office held an employee lunch and had speakers from the United Way, a bake sale and collected used coats, boots, hat and gloves for the Winter Outwear program. Great work everyone!


Pictured: Staff with their Corporate Giving Award and Platinum Award. (Photo by Fagan Studios)

Tax Prep Calendar

To help ensure you do not miss any important 2015 tax deadlines, we have provided the following summary of when various tax-related forms, payments and other actions are due from now until April 15, 2015. This schedule only includes the most commonly requested federal deadlines due to the large amount of the various federal, state and local tax deadlines. Please review the following and let us know if you have any questions about the deadlines or would like assistance in meeting them.

Winter Tax Newsletter

Deductions for Dining Out

Perhaps the most obvious way to deduct dining costs is to buy a meal for someone with whom you do business or would like to do business. The good news is that everything counts: food, drinks, tax, and tip. The bad news? Meal costs typically are considered entertainment expenses, which generally have a 50% cap on deductions.