2018 Health Savings Account Contribution Limit Change

In October 2017, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released the 2018 contribution and benefit limits for retirement and other benefit plans types. The IRS recently announced revisions to the Health Savings Account (HSA) contribution limit for individuals with family coverage. This change is a result of the tax reform law. Keep in mind, for HSA purposes, family coverage is any coverage other than self-only coverage. Below are a few HSA contribution highlights:

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Cybercrime: 4 Ways to Protect your Company

It is estimated, across the globe, cybercrimes cost businesses $450 billion in 2016. Yet companies of all sizes continue to ignore these threats. Many business owners feel they are too small for a cybercriminal to waste their time. However, the opposite is often true. Small companies are assumed to not have the proper safeguards in place to protect themselves or even recognize an attack.


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Hospitality Industry Benchmarks: How does your company stack up?

Real Life Example: You received your financial statements from your accountant and you are making money. That is great! Isn’t it? But what else are the numbers on the paper telling you? Is your company performing as well as its peers? Should you be doing better?
Utilizing benchmarks is the easiest way to determine how well your hospitality company stacks up against others in your industry. Below are benchmarks regarding three major subgroups in the hospitality industry – restaurants, hotels & lodging and golf courses:

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Transportation Industry: Key Tax Reform Changes

Businesses in the transportation industry often face complex challenges not encountered by other companies. Managing the demands of a large fleet including; drivers, safety and compliance, and the maintenance of new trucks and other equipment can be quite complicated. To stay competitive, transportation companies look for every advantage possible to win new business, reduce expenses and increase service levels. The good news is the Tax Cut and Jobs Act of 2017, more commonly known as tax reform, ushered in several changes which will benefit transportation companies.

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Vehicle Expense Deductions - Follow Detailed Recordkeeping Rules

Many business owners fail to follow the strict tax rules for substantiating vehicle expenses. But if your business is audited, the IRS will most likely ask for mileage logs if you deducted vehicle expenses — and it tends to be especially critical of the amount deducted if you are self employed or you employ relatives. While the basics seem simple, there are numerous exceptions.


Mileage Logs

Taxpayers can deduct actual vehicle expenses, including depreciation, gas, maintenance, insurance and other vehicle operating costs. Or they can use the standard mileage method, which allows a deduction based on the standard rate for each mile the vehicle is driven for business purposes.

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Minnesota Voluntary Disclosure Program

Most of the latest news surrounding taxes has focused on the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, commonly known as tax reform. The changes included in tax reform have far reaching consequences for both business and individual taxpayers, including how tax rates are determined, available deductions, expensing, bonus depreciation and a host of other matters. Although important, it’s essential to remember that tax reform applies only to federal taxes and not state.


<< Click to Read a Tax Reform Bill Overview >>


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Alternative Minimum Tax Calculations

The alternative minimum tax (AMT) was enacted back in 1969 to ensure high-income individuals do not take advantage of multiple tax breaks and avoid paying federal tax. However, in recent years, the AMT has been imposed on many middle-income taxpayers. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) retains the individual AMT, but AMT exemptions and phaseout thresholds have been increased for 2018 through 2025.

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Tax Reform Impact Hospitality Companies

The tax reform bill signed at the end of last year brought significant changes for many businesses and individuals, including an overall cut in tax rates. Those in the hospitality industry are generally optimistic about the changes, expecting both an increase in consumer spending and the ability to invest in people, technology, development and other improvements in their businesses because of anticipated lower tax liability. Specific provisions in the tax law affect the hospitality industry more than others. To help our hospitality clients, prospects and others understand these provisions, Smith Schafer has provided a summary of the applicable changes below.

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Valuation for Merger & Acquisition Presentation

Free Educational Seminar

Our Twin Cities valuation seminar series kicked-off 2018 with - Business Valuations for Mergers & Acquisitions. Our Valuation Expert, John Edson, discussed the approaches different buyers take to valuation and how the terms of the deal affect the purchase price. Click the button below to view the presentation.


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Sales Tax Implications for the Transportation Industry

The transport of people and products often have varying considerations when it comes to state sales tax implications. Sales tax is assessed on some items, but not others. The summary outlined below covers some of the more typical items in general commerce involving the transportation industry.

Passenger Transportation Services

Companies performing services within the transportation industry are afforded a number of tax-favorable benefits. One of which is a specific exemption related to passenger transportation. Passenger transportation services transport people to places. Under Minnesota Statutes 297B.03 and 297A.90, fees charged to transport passengers are not taxable for Minnesota sales tax purposes.

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