Mandatory Timely Remittances to Qualified Retirement Plans

The Department of Labor (DOL) requires employee remittances to qualified plans to be made as soon as administratively feasible. The Plan Sponsor has a fiduciary and legal responsibility to remit employee pre-tax, ROTH and participant loan repayments in a timely fashion or face possible fines, penalties or sanctions.

Read More

Ways to Combat Business Identity Theft

The IRS and state tax authorities have made significant strides in curbing individual identity theft over the last two years. But cyber attacks against businesses are on the upswing. Here are some simple ways business taxpayers can help protect their data from hackers.


Read More

Maximize Write-Offs for Business Interest Expense

When you take out personal loans to buy a business, you want to maximize the tax write-offs for the resulting interest expense. The tax law in this area is tricky. But if you play your cards right, you can get the best possible outcome.

First, you need to trace your interest expense outlays. Under tax law, any interest expense you incur must be classified into one of four categories:

Read More

Work Opportunity Tax Credit for Transportation Companies

Hiring people from targeted categories and employing them for at least 120 hours may qualify your transportation company for the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC). Finding good drivers is a constant challenge for transportation companies. This program is designed to increase employment opportunities for individuals who typically experience certain barriers to employment. The WOTC program was renewed for five years, retroactively from January 1, 2015 to December 31, 2019.

Any first-time hire may qualify your transportation company for this credit. The new hire must fall into one of the following target groups listed below:

Read More

Importance of Valuations in Buy/Sell Agreements

If you own a business jointly with others, we recommend you establish an owner buy/sell agreement which governs what happens in situations, such as disability or death of an owner or an owner wants to dispose of their ownership interest. The owners agree on how to proceed when certain events occur. This agreement should be drafted by an attorney and updated when circumstances change.

Read More

Claiming Business Deductions for Work-Related Education Costs

If you are headed back in the classroom, or thinking about it, you might be wondering if the tuition expenses are tax deductible. To be considered work-related education for business deduction purposes, the training must meet one or both of the following standards:

Read More

New Changes to Minnesota Sales and Use Tax Rate

Effective July 1, 2017

In addition to the regular sales tax, The Minnesota Department of Revenue collects local sales tax for some localities. The local sales and use tax applies to all the same items being taxed by the Minnesota sales and use tax law. 


Changes in Local Taxes for 2017

As of January 1, 2017, Cook County, Mille Lacs County, Pine County, and Winona County increased their tax rate by 0.5 percent to include the Transit sales and use tax. The newest change, occurring on July 1, 2017, is an increase in the transit sales and use tax to Olmsted County. The rate increased to .5 percent from .25 percent.


Read More

Named Top Workplace in Minnesota

Top Workplace in Minnesota

Smith Schafer, a Minnesota-based public accounting and business consulting firm, has been named one of the Top Workplaces in Minnesota for the second year in a row. Top Workplaces recognizes the most progressive companies based on employee opinions measuring engagement, organizational health and satisfaction. Over 2,000 companies were invited to participate. 

Read More

Best Choice: A Board of Directors or an Advisory Board?

To survive and thrive in a competitive marketplace, companies need to secure help and guidance from a wide range of sources. To do so, many companies create advisory boards, or more formally, a board of directors to help guide them and hopefully facilitate growth. If your company plans to go public, it will be required to put a board of directors in place. However, prior to that time, you may be faced with the decision as to whether to create a board of directors or an advisory board. To determine which path makes most sense for your organization, here are some of the primary differences between a board of directors and an advisory board:


Read More

Unlock the Biggest Possible Deduction for a Home Office

The IRS recently issued a reminder about claiming the home office deduction. In particular, it explained a simplified method that offers a time-saving option. But many taxpayers who maintain a home office fare better tax-wise by deducting expenses under the regular method. Others may not be eligible to deduct any home office expenses. Here's why.

Most home-related expenses, such as utilities, insurance and repairs, are not deductible. But if you use part of your home for business purposes, you may be entitled to deduct a portion of these everyday expenses, within certain limits. 


Read More