News

REAL ID Act | Arizona

Categories: News

Driver’s licenses, issued by states, have been the de facto national ID card. However, the federal government has now set higher security standards. On October 1, 2020, standard Arizona driver’s licenses will not be accepted at airports and federal-building security checkpoints. Why? This is when the REAL ID Act takes effect and your driver’s license will no longer serve as a comprehensive ID.

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Overtime Rule Revisited by DOL

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On March 7, 2019, the Department of Labor (DOL) released a proposed rule that would raise the salary-level threshold from $23,600 to $35,308 for white-collar exemptions. Meaning, the vast majority of employees earning under the threshold would be paid overtime. The change would impact approximately 1 million workers and companies would need to classify them as nonexempt and pay overtime, unless they are given raises placing them above the threshold.

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Guidance on Sec. 199A Deductions

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The new Qualified Business Income (QBI) deduction, created by the 2017 tax reform law known as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), allows many statutory employees, owners of sole proprietorships, partnerships, S corporations, trusts, or estates to deduct up to 20 percent of their qualified business income. Eligible taxpayers can also deduct up to 20 percent of their qualified real estate investment trust (REIT) dividends and publicly-traded partnership income.

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Padding Tax Deductions | Gambling with the IRS

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Consequences of padding tax deductions is serious and you are gambling with the IRS. Benjamin Franklin said, “In this world, nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” With that in mind, it is best to be prepared, at least financially, for taxes and tax season each year.

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New Partner Announcement | Christopher T. Coots, CPA, PFS™, J.D.

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Effective January 1, 2019, Christopher T. Coots, CPA, PFS™, J.D. was promoted to Partner, Scottsdale, AZ, bringing Wallace Plese + Dreher’s (WP+D) total number of partners to 13.
With over 20 years of professional accounting experience, Chris provides comprehensive tax planning and consulting services to individuals, partnerships, corporations, estates and trusts. He serves clients in a variety of industries, including technology, health care, manufacturing, and real estate. Working with privately-held businesses and their owners, he develops tax plans maximizing cash flow and minimizing tax liabilities. His hands-on collaborative approach effectively and efficiently guides clients on diverse business matters.

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2018 Medical and Dental Expenses | Deductions | Arizona

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Deducting medical and dental expenses is complicated. Your deductions must exceed 7.5 percent of your adjusted gross income and need to fall into an IRS-approved category. Deductible medical expenses may include, but are not limited to, doctors, dentists, surgeons, chiropractors, insulin, prescription medications, acupuncture, and transportation to qualified medical care.

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2018 Cubicle and Office Decorations Contest

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During the week of December 19, 2018, WP+D held its first annual Christmas and Seasonal cubicle and office decorations competition. All employees were invited to tastefully create and display a theme of their choice in our Chandler and Scottsdale offices.

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2018 Arizona Tax Credits

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Arizona provides two separate nonrefundable tax credits for individuals who make contributions to charitable organizations: Qualifying Charitable Organizations (QCO) and Qualifying Foster Care Charitable Organizations (QFCO). Individuals making cash donations to these charities may claim donations as tax credits up to the allowable amount on their Arizona individual tax returns. Below is a summary of the 2018 Arizona tax credits.

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Have You Outgrown Your Accounting Firm?

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Collaboration with your Arizona accounting firm should be part of your process when making business decisions. You should feel your accounting firm listens and helps you make strategic moves to grow your company. Your firm should have insights into expanding your business and guidance for avoiding obstacles. Only an accounting firm with experience directing other growing companies can help your company.

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IRS Clarification on State and Local Taxes

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In wake of tax reform, the IRS issued clarification allowing some business owners to bypass the new $10,000 cap on the state and local tax deduction. Now, business owners may want to consider claiming deductions for charitable contributions as ordinary, deductible business expenses.

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GoFundMe | IRS Rules

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GoFundMe is an online platform that anyone can create to raise money for a family member’s cancer treatments, college tuition, new church building, or other cause. Anyone who makes a donation can obtain an official-looking receipt for tax purposes. Are these donations eligible for a charitable deduction?

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Surviving a Tax Audit

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A tax audit is the fear of every taxpayer and subject of comedians, TV shows, and social media posts. If you are well-prepared, you can make it go smoothly and increase the odds of a good outcome.

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Business News | Preparing for New Accounting Challenges

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What accounting issue does every business leader need to be aware of heading into 2019? A big change in lease accounting, due in January 2019, will affect every public and private Arizona company. See more from Randy G. Brammer, CPA, CCIFP, Audit Partner, and Michelle L. Flynn, CPA, Tax Partner, as featured in Az Business.

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House in a Trust | Pros | Cons

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Trusts can solve a lot of estate planning problems, and you can even put your residence into one. There are many advantages to this powerful estate planning technique, but you need to know the details.

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Future of Bitcoin?

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The digital currency, bitcoin, has frequently been in the news. What is this controversial financial product and how does it work? Is it something you should invest in? Bitcoin is a decentralized digital currency known as a cryptocurrency. Essentially, it is a form of money that exists only as computer code and is not overseen by any central bank. The IRS considers bitcoin a real thing and it is taxable.

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Supporting Our Community and Arizona Military

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Wallace, Plese + Dreher (WP+D) believes in supporting our military and recognizes their sacrifices in protecting and defending the U.S. As one of the Firm’s community projects, we organized a drive to collect school supplies for Military Assistance Mission (MAM). With increased Arizona deployments, military children face many challenges and adjustments when family members are deployed.

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Wallace, Plese + Dreher (WP+D) Announces Promotions

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Wallace, Plese + Dreher (WP+D) announces numerous promotions. Our people have diverse backgrounds, speak a variety of languages, and possess a wide-range of technical skills. Promotions reflect our workplace culture that encourages continuous learning, career development, and opportunities for advancement.

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What Every Employer Should Know About State Unemployment Tax

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Most employers in the United States must pay state unemployment tax, the collection of which is authorized by the State Unemployment Tax Act (SUTA). Although most wages are subject to SUTA tax, certain wages may be exempt. In addition to paying and withholding applicable state unemployment tax, employers also must file wage reports with the state unemployment agency, usually on a quarterly basis. How you handle these requirements can influence your federal unemployment tax rate.

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Scott T. Wallace, CPA | FASB New Lease Accounting | Guidance | Planning

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On May 18, 2018, Scott T. Wallace, CPA presented to the Accounting & Financial Women’s Alliance (AFWA) on new lease accounting and revenue recognition standards. Scott provided details about upcoming changes and offered guidance for planning. According to the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB), the new standard will require organizations that lease assets, referred to as “lessees,” to recognize on the balance sheet assets and liabilities for the rights and obligations created by those leases.

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Charity as a Part of Your Legacy

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How do you effectively make charity a part of your legacy? You want to donate with your head as well as your heart, making sure a charity is legitimate, well-run and aligns with your values. This article discusses evaluating charity legitimacy, performing smart research, and tax planning.

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Did You Receive an Audit Notification?

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Every audit notification may not be legitimate and it is important to make sure it is official. The IRS will notify you either by letter or phone. The IRS does not notify taxpayers about audits through email. If you received an email stating you have been selected for an audit, it is probably fraudulent. If you determine that you are definitely getting audited, your next step is to learn what is involved.

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Fraud Alert | Synthetic Identities

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The most common identify theft is synthetic. By combining some factual stolen information with completely fake information, thieves convince banks and credit monitoring companies that a fake identity is real. The “bad guy” is not pretending to be the person whose information was stolen or acquired; rather, the data is being used to create a brand-new identity. Thus, synthetic identity theft is born.

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Estimated Taxes

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You may need to pay estimated taxes if you are self-employed or have income other than a salary. This article explains estimated tax payments that are due every quarter.

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