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Smith Schafer Named Best Place to Work in SE Minnesota

We are proud to have been honored with the Best Place to Work in SE Minnesota AwardWe are always trying to make our firm a better place to work and create an environment that is flexible and supportive.

Thank you to the Smith Schafer Principals and staff for making this accomplishment possible!

Click here to learn more about our culture.

Deducting Taxes Paid

When you file your 2016 federal income tax return next year, you can take a standard deduction. For 2016, that is $6,300 for single taxpayers and for married individuals filing separately; $12,600 for couples filing jointly and for certain widow(er)s; and $9,300 for those filing as heads of household. The beauty of taking the standard deduction is that it is simple: There is no need to gather information and scant risk of triggering an audit. However, taking the time to itemize deductions can be a tax saver. If your itemized deductions exceed the standard amounts, you will generally come out ahead by listing them on Schedule A of Form 1040. Indeed, the amount you can claim under “Taxes You Paid” may be enough to justify itemizing.

Internships at Smith Schafer

Thank You 2016 Interns!

Each year we hire interns to assist us during busy season. They work alongside professionals at all levels and explore what works best for them. We would like to take this opportunity to thank them for all their hard work this past busy season!

We did a Q&A with our 2016 interns about their experience with us and what they learned along the way. Here is what they had to say...


"Everyone in the office is extremely respectful of each other and each other's time. Smith Schafer is a very friendly and open environment to work in, which makes it an easy decision to get up in the morning and want to go to work!"


Networking Nook

We are excited to be a part of the Winona State University-Rochester College of Business Networking Nook with Mayo ClinicTarget and C.H. Robinson

Winona State University-Rochester has served the region with distinction since 1917. We are happy to partner with them and their students to grow the Rochester business community. 


Happy Tax Day!

Connor brought us a treat for Tax Day! Thank you Connor and THANK YOU to our clients for choosing Smith Schafer for your accounting and tax needs. We are truly grateful for your business.

Also, THANK YOU to our great employees, whose dedication and hard work have brought us through another successful busy season!

Spring Tax Newsletter

Succession Planning for a Family Business

If you intend to name a family member to succeed you in running your company, you have some advantages. The person you will name (probably your son or daughter, son- or daughter-in-law) is someone you can identify easily, without an extensive search. You know that person’s capabilities and shortcomings; he or she likely works for the company now, so you have a good idea of how well the future owner will do. That said, passing on your company to a family member can pose problems. Intra-family dynamics should be considered, which may not be the case if your successor is an outsider. Moreover, there are several methods of relinquishing ownership, all of which may be closely scrutinized by the IRS.

Save on your Taxes and for Retirement: Saver's Credit

Do you contribute to a retirement plan, like a 401(k) or an IRA? You may be able to claim the Saver’s Credit. This credit can help you save for retirement and reduce the tax you owe.

Here are some key facts you should know about this important tax credit:

2015 IRA Contributions: Time is Running Out!

Did you contribute to an Individual Retirement Arrangement (IRA) last year? Are you thinking about contributing to your IRA now? If so, you may have questions about IRAs and your taxes.


For most taxpayers, the contribution deadline for 2015 is April 18, 2016.


Employee Appreciation Day 2016

Celebrating our Smith Schafer team on Employee Appreciation Day! 


“I wanted to take this opportunity to tell you how much I appreciate your dedication, especially during busy season. Thank you for all your hard work.  Smith Schafer is successful because of employees like you!"

-Steve Erchul, Managing Principal

New Lease Accounting Rules

Recently, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) issued an Accounting Standards Update (ASU) intended to improve financial reporting about leasing transactions. The ASU affects all companies and other organizations that lease assets such as real estate, vehicles and equipment. This new ASU is effective for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2018 for a public business entity and one year later for non-public entities. Lessees will be impacted the most by this standard.