December 2016 Article Archives

FASB proposal would improve hedge accounting, AICPA committee says

Published on December 22, 2016

A FASB proposal for targeted improvements to accounting for hedging activities would simplify and improve the current model, according to a comment letter sent by the AICPA Financial Reporting Executive Committee (FinREC). 

In an effort to improve the hedge accounting model, FASB on Sept. 8 issued Proposed Accounting Standards Update, Derivatives and Hedging (Topic 815): Targeted Improvements to Accounting for Hedging Activities

According to FinREC, changes to the current standard are needed because the standard is challenging for reporting entities to apply, and because it is difficult to achieve hedge accounting for financial and nonfinancial risks under the current guidance. 

Read More >>

Year-End Tax Tips

Published on December 22, 2016

Steps to take before the New Year for a better tax return in 2017

1. First – what’s not changing:  While President-elect Trump is in a strong position to enact his promise of lower tax brackets next year, it’s important to remember that the current income tax rates of 10, 15, 25, 33, 35 and 39.6 percent are still in effect for the tax returns being filed next mid-April. The standard deduction amounts remain $6,300 single/married filing separately, and $12,600 for married filing jointly. The standard deduction for heads of households, however, rises to $9,300.

Read More >>

More Time for Some ACA Reporting

Published on December 22, 2016

The IRS has extended the 2017 due date for employers and coverage providers to furnish information statements to individuals – but the due date for filing with the IRS has not been extended. 

IRS Notice 2016-70 explained the upcoming 2017 reporting due dates:

Applicable large employers, including those that are self-insured, must send Forms 1095-C to full-time employees by March 2; and must file Forms 1095-C and 1094-C with the IRS by Feb. 28 for paper and March 31 for e-filing. (Applicable large employers that provide employer-sponsored self-insured health coverage to non-employees may use either 1095-B or 1095-C to report coverage for those individuals and other family members.) 

Read More >>

Employers: Accelerated Filing Deadlines for W-2s and 1099s in 2017

Published on December 22, 2016

One of the provisions in the Protecting Americans From Tax Hikes Act of 2015 (PATH Act) was to accelerate the filing deadline for Form W-2 and Form 1099-MISC. The new due dates take effect for the 2016 forms, which are due in 2017. 

The provision is aimed at reducing refund fraud connected to the reporting of employee and non-employee compensation through information returns like the W-2 and 1099. Thieves have been attempting to file fraudulent returns early in the tax season to claim refunds before the IRS has received and verified the data from employers. The new accelerated timeline will get the employer information to the IRS sooner, thereby helping to limit the opportunity thieves have to file fraudulent returns.

Read More >>

Judge Blocks Obama Rule Extending Overtime Pay to 4.2 Million U.S. Workers

Published on December 22, 2016

A federal judge blocked an Obama administration rule to extend mandatory overtime pay to more than 4 million salaried workers from taking effect, imperiling one of the outgoing president's signature achievements for boosting wages. 

U.S. District Judge Amos Mazzant, in Sherman, Texas, agreed with 21 states and a coalition of business groups, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, that the rule is unlawful and granted their motion for a nationwide injunction. 

The rule, issued by the Labor Department, was to take effect Dec. 1 and would have doubled to $47,500 the maximum salary a worker can earn and still be eligible for mandatory overtime pay. The new threshold would have been the first significant change in four decades. 

Read More >>

IRS lowers mileage rates for 2017

Published on December 22, 2016

The Internal Revenue Service has issued the 2017 optional standard mileage rates to calculate the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business, charitable, medical or moving purposes. 

Beginning Jan. 1, standard mileage rates for the use of a car (also vans, pickups or panel trucks) will be:

• 53.5 cents per mile for business miles driven, down from 54 cents for 2016;

• 17 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes, down from 19 cents for 2016;

• 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations.

Read More >>