Zinner & Co. Blog and Newsroom

Groundbreaking Sales & Use Tax Case Decided by the Supreme Court

Posted by Matt Szydlowski, CPA on Jun 29, 2018 8:38:52 AM

By Matt Szydlowski, CPA

On June 21, the Supreme Court handed down a landmark decision in South Dakota vs. Wayfair (“Wayfair”).   The fallout of this decision will significantly change the way online vendors handle sales and use (“S&U”) tax for out-of-state consumers going forward.  It will, therefore, also affect online consumers.  Are you impacted!?

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Topics: Taxes - Corporate & Business, Taxes - Planning, Rules and Returns, Taxes - Individual, taxes

The new tax law will change divorce tactics

Posted by Zinner & Co. Tax Team on May 7, 2018 2:55:00 PM

When couples divorce, financial negotiations often involve alimony. The tax rules regarding alimony were dramatically changed by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) of 2017, but existing agreements have been grandfathered. In addition, the old rules remain in effect for divorce and separation agreements executed during 2018. Next year, the rules will change, and the roles will be reversed.

Under divorce or separation agreements executed in 2018, and for many years in the past, alimony payments have been tax deductible. Moreover, these deductions reduce adjusted gross income, so they may have benefits elsewhere on a tax return. While the spouse or former spouse paying the alimony gets a tax deduction, the recipient reports alimony as taxable income.

Shifting into reverse

Beginning with agreements executed in 2019, there will be no tax deduction for alimony. As an offset, alimony recipients will not include the payments in income.

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Topics: alimony, divorce, Taxes - Planning, Rules and Returns, Taxes - Individual, taxes, tax avoidance, Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

Posted by Howard J. Kass, CPA, AEP®, CGMA, Partner on May 4, 2018 2:47:00 PM

One Effect of the Recent Tax Reform on Not-for-Profit Organizations

By Howard J. Kass, CPA, CGMA, AEP®

As often as employers are maligned, there are times where they try to do the right thing for their employees.  To be fair, many times, an employer may take an action or incur an expense that benefits its employees, knowing that the employer will benefit by a tax deduction for incurring an expense.  In some cases, Congress encourages such behavior by explicitly permitting favorable tax treatment for certain programs.

One such case was a set of fringe benefits known as the “qualified transportation fringe” benefits that, in fact, received a double-barreled tax benefit for years, by virtue of Internal Revenue Code Section (IRC) 132(f)(5)(C).  Under that section, employers were allowed to take a deduction for, among other things, qualified parking fringe benefits that they provided to their employees. What, exactly, was a qualified parking fringe benefit?  Under IRC 132(f)(5)(C), “qualified parking” meant parking provided to an employee on or near the business premises of the employer, or on or near a location from which the employee commutes to work by transportation described in Code Sec. 132(f)(5)(A) (relating to “transit passes”), in a commuter highway vehicle, or by carpool

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Topics: tax, taxes, not-for-profit, Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017

'Tis the Season for Tax Scams and Fraud

Posted by Zinner & Co. Tax Department on Feb 28, 2017 10:27:51 AM

Tax season is prime time for scammers and cyber criminals. Beyond identity theft, which is seemingly quite commonplace, tax scams have the dubious distinction of rising to the top of the Better Business Bureau's list of scams in 2016.

According to the Better Business Bureau Scam Tracker, the top ten list includes: 

  • Tax scams
  • Debt collections
  • Sweepstakes/prizes/gifts
  • Online purchase
  • Employment
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Topics: identity theft, scams, fraud, Howard Kass, Taxes - Individual, taxes, IRS

What to do if You Received a "Failure to File" Notice from the Ohio Department of Taxation

Posted by Howard J. Kass, CPA, AEP®, CGMA, Partner on Dec 9, 2016 9:08:14 AM

Did you receive an Ohio Individual Income Tax Failure to File notice (ITDQ0009) from the Ohio Department of Taxation (ODT) advising you that they did not receive an Ohio Individual Income tax return? 

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Topics: Howard Kass, Brett W. Neate, taxes, income tax, IRS

U.S. Indicts Dozens of IRS Phone Scammers

Posted by Howard J. Kass, CPA, AEP®, CGMA, Partner on Oct 29, 2016 8:41:00 AM

Federal, state and local authorities have indicted dozens of people and businesses in the U.S. and India accused of impersonating Internal Revenue Service employees demanding money from innocent taxpayers in the U.S.

Related: Follow our Fraud & Scam blogs

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Topics: scams, fraud, Howard Kass, taxes

Yes, a Do-Over Does Exist in Business! What you need to know about the Rescission Doctrine

Posted by Zinner & Co. Tax Department on Oct 24, 2016 10:51:04 PM

As a business owner, you're entering into transactions potentially on a daily basis. Suppose you enter into a transaction with someone, hurrying to get the deal closed as you're set to rake it in. It comes around to December, and your accountant is preparing a projection of what your tax liability will likely be for the year.

Then you get a call that you're going to owe a boat load of money to the government for that transaction you failed to consult with your accountant about beforehand. What do you do now?

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Topics: hkass@zinnerco.com, taxes

Department of Labor's New Wage & Hour Rule Changes

Posted by Howard J. Kass, CPA, AEP®, CGMA, Partner on Sep 1, 2016 4:23:04 PM

Be proactive! On December 1, 2016, the minimum salary threshold for the FLSA's white-collar exemptions increases to an annual $47,476.

This more-than doubling of the salary test is the biggest change to the FLSA in decades, and will add an approximate 4.2 million employees to the ranks of the non-exempt, to whom you must pay overtime if they work more than 40 hours in a week.

As a result of this regulation, businesses will need to start tracking hours for exempt salaried employees who are at or below the $47,476 threshold.

If you have questions about this or other overtime rules and your business, contact any of our professionals at 216.831.0733 or info@zinnerco.com. We're ready to start the conversation. 


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Topics: Howard Kass, Taxes - Corporate & Business, taxes

10 Tips for Filing an Amended Tax Return

Posted by Howard J. Kass, CPA, AEP®, CGMA, Partner on Jul 6, 2016 4:39:40 PM

You may discover you made a mistake on your tax return. You can file an amended return if you need to fix an error. You can also amend your tax return to claim a tax credit or deduction.

Here are 10 tips from the IRS on amending your return:

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Topics: Howard Kass, taxes

8 Tax Issues to Consider When Your Spouse Dies

Posted by Gary Sigman, CPA, M.Tax, PFS, AEP on Jun 24, 2016 12:00:00 PM

It goes without saying that the death of one's spouse is typically an extremely difficult emotional trauma.  When one loses a spouse, the last thing on the surviving spouse’s mind is the tax issues to be addressed.  

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Topics: tax, taxes, dead, filing, death, spouse


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