November 2019 Article Archives

How Safe Are Password Managers?

Published on November 20, 2019

A password manager stores all your passwords and automatically fills them in your web browser and mobile apps. But is trusting an app with your passwords and storing them all in one place a smart idea?

Yes, yes, it is. We recommend everyone use a password manager, which is far superior to other ways of keeping track of your passwords. Here’s why they’re a safe choice.

Password Managers Are Safer Than the Alternative
A password manager stores your passwords in a secure vault, which you can unlock with a single master password—and, optionally, an extra two-factor authentication method to help keep everything extra secure.

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Lease Accounting: Keep Pushing Ahead

Published on November 20, 2019

In February 2016, FASB issued new lease accounting requirements in Accounting Standards Update (ASU) No. 2016-02, Leases (Topic 842). Under its core principle, a lessee recognizes a right-of-use (ROU) asset and a lease liability on its balance sheet for most leases, including operating leases. This is expected to have a significant impact on most entities' balance sheets, considering how prevalent and routine leasing is to most businesses.

FASB issued the new standard to increase transparency and comparability among entities by recognizing leases on the balance sheet and providing more information about leasing arrangements so that users can assess the amount, timing, and uncertainty of cash flows from leases.

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3 Reasons CPAs Should Care About Blockchain

Published on November 20, 2019

People’s perspectives on blockchain usually fall into two categories: You believe the technology will change everything, or you believe it’s a passing fad. The reality is probably somewhere in the middle.

At the recent 2nd Annual Blockchain Symposium in New York City, I highlighted three reasons CPAs should care about blockchain:

1. Adoption is coming
You may have heard about the Walmart mandate that will require its leafy green suppliers to use blockchain technology for food safety purposes. Even though we’re talking about the largest grocer in the world, it’s important to realize that this kind of mandate will eventually have a more local effect. By requiring use of blockchain technology, Walmart sets a certain standard and example — and rest assured, others will follow suit.

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IRS Increases Tax Deductions for 2020

Published on November 20, 2019

The Internal Revenue Service issued its annual inflation adjustments for dozens of tax items and tax schedules Wednesday, saying the standard deduction for married taxpayers who file joint tax returns will increase $400 to $24,800 in tax year 2020, while for single taxpayers and married individuals who file separately, the standard deduction will go up $200 to $12,400. For heads of households, the standard deduction will be $18,650 for tax year 2020, up $300.

Revenue Procedure 2019-44 spells out the details about these annual adjustments. Some tax law changes in the revenue procedure were added by the Taxpayer First Act of 2019, which increased the failure to file penalty to $330 for returns due after the end of 2019. The new penalty will be adjusted for inflation beginning with tax year 2021. Tax year 2020 adjustments typically are used on tax returns filed in 2021.

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Like-kind Exchanges and Personal Property

Published on November 20, 2019

With the enactment of the legislation known as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), P.L. 115-97, like-kind exchanges are now limited to real property held for use in a trade or business or for investment. Prior to the TCJA, taxpayers could defer the gain generated by like-kind exchanges of both real property and personal property. Most common like-kind exchanges of personal property included those of aircraft, boats, automobiles, trucks, and machinery or equipment. A taxpayer could benefit from deferring the gain on the like-kind exchange of personal property and adjust the basis of replacement property under the former rule. Because of the change in the TCJA, disposal of personal property and its exchange with other personal property of like kind is now a taxable event.

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