This two-part series will provide information about in-kind gifts, including the definition and recognition of such gifts and in the second article, the documentation best practices and impact on tax reporting. Gifts to not-for-profit (NFP) organizations come in many forms. Contributions of non-monetary assets or services are often referred to as “in-kind” gifts and can […]
This time of year, taxpayers with investments should be reviewing their portfolio to determine year-to-date gains and losses. If you are projecting large capital gains, it might be a good time to sell a failing investment to counter the gains. This is not only helpful with tax planning, but also with making sure you understand […]
Data breaches are on the rise and many businesses are being reactive instead of proactive. It is hard to recover from bad publicity and loss of consumer trust. Not only is sensitive customer information at risk, but your business’s information is at risk too. According to the IRS, businesses are now becoming victim to identity […]
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) created a new general business tax credit for certain businesses that grant their qualifying employees paid family and medical leave in 2018 and 2019. The IRS now has released Notice 2018-71, which addresses several related issues, including eligibility, types of leave covered, and calculation of the credit amount. […]
The Leading Edge Alliance (LEA Global) has officially launched its third annual National Manufacturing Outlook Survey! This year, Blue & Co. is distributing the survey along with many industry partners. The survey is conducted in association with leading accounting firms across the country, and the report is a benefit to clients as part of our […]
Consider the 4 P’s of a Successful Transition Process There’s a well-known saying, “A rising tide lifts all boats,” suggesting as improvements in the general economy occur so will the fortunes of those who – both directly and indirectly – participate in said economy. On September 20, 2018, the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones […]
This two-part series will provide information about in-kind gifts, including the definition and recognition of such gifts and in the second article, the documentation best practices and impact on tax reporting.
Gifts to not-for-profit (NFP) organizations come in many forms. Contributions of non-monetary assets or services are often referred to as “in-kind” gifts and can be a valuable source of revenue for any not-for-profit. A NFP should develop procedures for accurately reporting in-kind gifts in order to reflect the scope of its efforts and ensure comparability within its own and other organizations’ reporting. We have prepared this summary to inform you about when to recognize these gifts, documentation that should be maintained by the NFP, and the impact these gifts have on the not-for-profit’s tax reporting.
Tangible and Intangible Items
In-kind gifts of tangible goods can include inventory, property and equipment, supplies, items to be sold for fundraising purposes, and other items. Gifts can also be intangible – including the donation of services (not considered personal services) – and include items such as advertising or internet services. These items should be recorded at the time of gift at fair market value. Only such items that can be used internally or sold should be recognized as a contribution. Items that will not be used before the end of the fiscal period should be recorded as inventory. Items that are received and used in the same period should be recognized as expense and contribution. If donated materials are sold at a fundraising event, such as an auction, no gain or loss should be recorded on the ultimate sale. Instead, the gain or loss is reported as an adjustment to the original contribution.
Many NFP organizations also receive donated personal services. These can be from volunteer workforces or professional services that provide assistance with activities such as fund-raising activities, program activities or general and administrative functions. Contributed personal services are required to be recognized as a contribution if they either:
- create or enhance a nonfinancial asset or
- require specialized skills that are provided by those possessing those skills and would be purchased if not donated.
Services that do not meet one of these two criteria are prohibited from be recognized as a contribution. Often times, the staff or volunteers used to carry out the NFP’s mission do not meet the criteria and should not be recognized as a contribution. There are some grant agreements that include a matching component whereby the grantee may be able to use volunteer time to meet the matching requirement of a grant. However, it is still prohibited from recognizing the time as a contribution for financial reporting purposes.
In-kind gifts can include the use of facilities. Like donated goods, the contribution should be valued at the fair market value. If a NFP receives the use of office space or other facilities more extravagant than what the NFP would typically procure, the NFP is still required to value the space at the market value. Should a NFP receive an unconditional promise to receive the use of facilities for a period of time, the gift should be valued at the market rate and recognized at the net realizable value. The value of the gift should be discounted to today’s dollar. This would then require the gift to be reported as time restricted, as the use will occur in future periods. As the use of the space occurs, the market value used should be released to unrestricted net assets and rent expense recorded as the receivable declines. Rent expense is required to be reported on a straight-line basis.
The same method is used for in-kind gifts for the use of facilities at below-market rates. The contribution is valued based on fair market value (the market value of the facility less the amount the NFP is committed to pay) discounted to today’s dollar. The gift is released as used, and rent is recorded. Long-term promises to give of the use of facilities are subject to the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) Accounting Standards Codification (ASC) 840 lease standard when it becomes effective for the NFP.
Long-lived assets can also be donated as in-kind gifts. These include items such as real estate or other fixed assets. These gifts should be valued at market rate at the time of gift and should include all costs incurred by the NFP to place the asset in service – including freight and installation. If a donor contributes a long-lived asset with a requirement as to the term it must be used, the contribution should be reported as restricted and released over the period of the donor’s requirement. Those donated without a donor-imposed time restriction under Accounting Standards Update (ASU) 2016-14, Presentation of Financial Statements of Not-for-Profit Entities, must not impose a time restriction and must release the contribution when it is placed in service.
Determining Fair Value for In-Kind Gifts
In-kind gifts must be reported at fair value. Accounting standards define fair value as “the price that would be received to sell an asset or paid to transfer a liability in an orderly transaction between market participants at the measurement date”. There are various sources for valuing an in-kind gift, including published catalogs, vendors, independent appraisals, and other sources. Estimates, averages, or computational approximations, such as average price per pound, can be used to value goods assuming the following:
- the method can reduce the cost of measuring the fair value,
- the use of the method is appropriate and consistently applied,
- and the results are not materially different from the results of a detailed measure of the fair value of the donated goods.
Difficulty in determining fair market value is not an acceptable reason not to recognize an in-kind gift.
Reporting for In-Kind Gifts
In-kind gift contributions should be reported by restriction in the same manner as other contributions. If the donor has restricted the use of the asset, it is reported as restricted support. In addition, in-kind gift expenses are reported by function. The donated items should be reported within the function for which they were used. For example, donated food for an after-school program should be reported as program expense by the NFP.
Now that you have learned about the types of in-kind gifts and the recording requirements of such gifts, look for the second article in the series which will discuss in-kind gift documentation best practices and the impact of in-kind gifts on tax reporting.
If you have any questions about recognition, documentation or tax reporting of in-kind gifts for your organization, feel free to contact Chris Mickelson (firstname.lastname@example.org) or talk to your local Blue & Co. advisor.
This time of year, taxpayers with investments should be reviewing their portfolio to determine year-to-date gains and losses. If you are projecting large capital gains, it might be a good time to sell a failing investment to counter the gains. This is not only helpful with tax planning, but also with making sure you understand your financial health and portfolio activity.
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) made the tax planning aspect of your investments even more difficult by changing how capital gain tax is calculated. While the TCJA didn’t change long-term capital gains rates, it did change the tax brackets for long-term capital gains and qualified dividends.
For 2018 through 2025, these brackets are no longer linked to the ordinary-income tax brackets for individuals. So, for example, you could be subject to the top long-term capital gains rate even if you aren’t subject to the top ordinary-income tax rate.
For the last several years, individual taxpayers faced three federal income tax rates on long-term capital gains and qualified dividends: 0%, 15%, and 20%. The rate brackets were tied to the ordinary-income rate brackets.
Specifically, if the long-term capital gains and/or dividends fell within the 10% or 15% ordinary-income brackets, no federal income tax was owed. If they fell within the 25%, 28%, 33% or 35% ordinary-income brackets, they were taxed at 15%. And, if they fell within the maximum 39.6% ordinary-income bracket, they were taxed at the maximum 20% rate.
In addition, higher-income individuals with long-term capital gains and dividends were also hit with the 3.8% net investment income tax (NIIT). It kicked in when modified adjusted gross income exceeded $200,000 for singles and heads of households and $250,000 for married couples filing jointly. So, many people actually paid 18.8% (15% + 3.8%) or 23.8% (20% + 3.8%) on their long-term capital gains and qualified dividends.
The TCJA retains the 0%, 15%, and 20% rates on long-term capital gains and qualified dividends for individual taxpayers. However, for 2018 through 2025, these rates have their own brackets. Here are the 2018 brackets:
- 0%: $0 – $38,600
- 15%: $38,601 – $425,800
- 20%: $425,801 and up
- Heads of households:
- 0%: $0 – $51,700
- 15%: $51,701 – $452,400
- 20%: $452,401 and up
- Married couples filing jointly:
- 0%: $0 – $77,200
- 15%: $77,201 – $479,000
- 20%: $479,001 and up
For 2018, the top ordinary-income rate of 37%, which also applies to short-term capital gains and nonqualified dividends, doesn’t go into effect until income exceeds $500,000 for singles and heads of households or $600,000 for joint filers. (Both the long-term capital gains brackets and the ordinary-income brackets will be indexed for inflation for 2019 through 2025.) The new tax law also retains the 3.8% NIIT and its $200,000 and $250,000 thresholds.
More Thresholds, More Complexity
Tax planning can be a daunting task, especially for 2018 with the numerous changes going into effect. Contact your local Blue & Co. advisor to discuss tax planning strategies or any questions you have.
Data breaches are on the rise and many businesses are being reactive instead of proactive. It is hard to recover from bad publicity and loss of consumer trust. Not only is sensitive customer information at risk, but your business’s information is at risk too. According to the IRS, businesses are now becoming victim to identity theft and tax fraud. With the increased use of technology in filing tax returns, it is more important than ever to know how to keep your information safe.
How it Works
In tax identity theft, a taxpayer’s identifying information (such as Social Security number) is used to fraudulently obtain a refund or commit other crimes. Business tax identity theft occurs when a criminal uses the identifying information of a business to obtain tax benefits or to enable individual tax identity theft schemes.
For example, a thief could use an Employer Identification Number (EIN) to file a fraudulent business tax return and claim a refund. Or a fraudster may report income and withholding for fake employees on false W-2 forms. Then, he or she can file fraudulent individual tax returns for these “employees” to claim refunds.
The consequences can include significant dollar amounts, lost time sorting out the mess and damage to your reputation.
There are some red flags that indicate possible tax identity theft. For example, your business’s identity may have been compromised if:
- Your business doesn’t receive expected or routine mailings from the IRS,
- You receive an IRS notice that doesn’t relate to anything your business submitted, that’s about fictitious employees or that’s related to a defunct, closed or dormant business after all account balances have been paid,
- The IRS rejects an e-filed return or an extension-to-file request, saying it already has a return with that identification number — or the IRS accepts it as an amended return,
- You receive an IRS letter stating that more than one tax return has been filed in your business’s name, or
- You receive a notice from the IRS that you have a balance due when you haven’t yet filed a return.
Keep in mind, though, that some of these could be the result of a simple error, such as an inadvertent transposition of numbers. Nevertheless, you should contact the IRS immediately if you receive any notices or letters from the agency that you believe might indicate that someone has fraudulently used your Employer Identification Number.
Businesses should take steps such as the following to protect their own information as well as that of their employees:
- Provide training to accounting, human resources and other employees to educate them on the latest tax fraud schemes and how to spot phishing emails.
- Use secure methods to send W-2 forms to employees.
- Implement risk management strategies designed to flag suspicious communications.
Of course, identity theft can go beyond tax identity theft, so be sure to have a comprehensive plan in place to protect the data of your business, your employees and your customers. Contact your local Blue & Co. advisor with any questions regarding identity theft or how to keep your sensitive information safe.
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) created a new general business tax credit for certain businesses that grant their qualifying employees paid family and medical leave in 2018 and 2019. The IRS now has released Notice 2018-71, which addresses several related issues, including eligibility, types of leave covered, and calculation of the credit amount. Notably, the guidance allows employers that do not currently have a paid family and medical leave policy to adopt a retroactive policy before year-end to claim the credit for 2018.
The IRS also has clarified the TCJA’s suspension of the deduction for moving expenses that may affect employers and employees. Specifically, it explains the treatment of moving expenses incurred in 2017 but reimbursed in 2018.
Credit Eligibility Requirements
IRS Notice 2018-71 explains that an eligible employer must have a written policy that:
- Covers all qualifying employees,
- Provides at least two weeks of annual paid family and medical leave for each full-time qualifying employee and at least a proportionate amount of leave for each part-time qualifying employee (qualifying employees who customarily work fewer than 30 hours per week),
- Provides leave pay at a rate of at least 50% of the qualifying employee’s wages, and
- Includes language providing “noninterference” protections if the employer has any qualifying employees who aren’t covered by the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) (for example, because they don’t work 1,250 hours per year).
Noninterference language generally must ensure that the employer won’t 1) interfere with the exercise of any right provided by the policy, or 2) fire or otherwise discriminate against individuals who oppose any practice prohibited by the policy. The notice also makes clear that an employer that isn’t subject to the FMLA — because none of its employees is covered by the law — still can be eligible for the credit if it includes the noninterference language.
An employer can set up the policy in a single document or multiple documents. The written policy also may be included in the same document that governs the employer’s other leave policies.
The written policy must be “in place” before the leave is taken to qualify for the credit. A policy is considered in place on the later of its adoption date or effective date. But the guidance provides a transition rule for 2018. The IRS will deem a written leave policy or amendment to be in place as of the effective date, rather than a subsequent adoption date, as long as it’s adopted on or before December 31, 2018, and the employer applies it retroactively for the entire period the policy or amendment covers.
For example, let’s say an employer adopts a written policy on October 15, 2018, retroactive to January 1, 2018. If the employer retroactively pays an employee who took unpaid family and medical leave in February at the appropriate rate, it can claim the credit for that pay.
An employer isn’t required to provide notice to employees that it has a written policy providing paid family and medical leave in place. If it does give notice, though, it must notify all qualifying employees (for example, by email, employee handbook or workplace posting).
Types of Covered Leave
The credit generally is available only if the leave is specifically designated for an FMLA purpose and can’t be used for any other reason. What if a policy permits leave that would otherwise be for an FMLA purpose but is taken to care for a non-FMLA-qualifying individual (for example, a grandchild with a serious health condition)? The IRS will view it as leave specifically designated for an FMLA purpose, but the employer can’t claim the credit for any leave taken to care for anyone other than FMLA-qualifying individuals, meaning an employee’s spouse, child, or parent.
Paid leave provided under the employer’s short-term disability program can be characterized as family and medical leave if it otherwise meets the requirements to be such leave. It can qualify as covered leave whether self-insured or provided through a short-term disability insurance policy.
Requirements for the Leave
The leave must be available to all qualifying employees who have worked at the company for at least one year and whose compensation for the preceding year doesn’t exceed 60% of the “amount applicable” for that year. For 2017, the amount applicable is $120,000, so a qualifying employee in 2018 may have earned no more than $72,000 in 2017. For a part-time qualifying employee, the paid leave ratio must be at least equal to the ratio of the employee’s expected weekly hours to the expected weekly hours of a non-part-time qualifying employee.
Until the IRS provides further guidance, employers may use any reasonable method to determine whether an employee has been employed for one year or more. Notice 2018-71 specifically declares, though, that requiring an employee to work 12 consecutive months or a minimum number of hours per year wouldn’t be considered reasonable.
The notice also explains how to determine an employee’s normal wages to ensure the employee is, as required, paid at least 50% of those wages while on leave. Overtime (other than regularly scheduled overtime) and discretionary bonuses aren’t included in wages. Any leave paid by a state or local government, or required by state or local law, doesn’t count toward the amount of paid family and medical leave provided by the employer, the rate of pay or, in turn, the credit. Pending further IRS guidance, employers with employees who are paid on a basis other than a salary or hourly rate must use the Fair Labor Standards Act rules for determining the regular pay rate to calculate normal wages.
Employers aren’t required to use the same pay rate or leave period for every qualifying employee or FMLA purpose. For example, an employer could provide six weeks of leave at 100% pay for childbirth or adoption, or to care for the child, but only two weeks at 75% pay for all other purposes. Similarly, an employer could provide two weeks of leave to every qualifying employee, with an extra two weeks for qualifying employees with at least 10 years of service. The policy cannot, however, exclude any class of qualifying employees, such as unionized employees, from paid leave.
The amount of the credit begins at 12.5% of wages paid for up to 12 weeks per tax year. The percentage rises incrementally as the rate of leave payment exceeds 50% of the normal wages, with a maximum credit of 25% when full wages are paid for the leave. The term “wages” generally encompasses all remuneration for employment.
Be aware that wages don’t include any amounts taken into account for other general business credits. It does, however, include wages paid by a third-party payer (for example, an insurance company or professional employer organization) or through an employer’s short-term disability program for leave taken into account for the leave credit. And, employers that claim the leave credit must reduce their wage/salary deduction by the credit amount.
The credit for any specific employee is limited to the employee’s normal hourly wage rate multiplied by the number of hours of leave taken. If an employee isn’t paid an hourly wage, an employer can, pending additional IRS guidance, use any reasonable method to convert the normal wages to an hourly rate.
The Moving Expense Guidance
A few days before it issued its guidance on the family and medical leave credit, the IRS published an advance version of its impending guidance on the tax treatment of employer reimbursements of “qualified moving expenses.” The TCJA suspended the exclusion of such reimbursements from an employee’s gross income and from wages for employment tax periods for the years 2018 through 2025.
Some employers may reimburse their employees in 2018 for expenses related to a work-related move that actually occurred in 2017, raising questions about the applicability of the exclusion. According to Notice 2018-75, these expenses are indeed tax-free if 1) they would have been deductible by the employee had the employee directly paid the expenses before January 1, 2018, and 2) the employee didn’t deduct the expenses in 2017. The guidance explains how employers that have already withheld federal employment taxes on the reimbursement of a 2017 move can seek an adjustment or refund for overpayment.
The IRS’s guidance on the family and medical leave credit is published in a question-and-answer format, and the contents will be incorporated into proposed regulations. The IRS will accept comments on the regulations through November 23, 2018, but the guidance took effect on September 24, 2018.
If you have questions or would like to discuss how this guidance may affect your business, please contact your local Blue & Co. advisor.
The Leading Edge Alliance (LEA Global) has officially launched its third annual National Manufacturing Outlook Survey! This year, Blue & Co. is distributing the survey along with many industry partners.
The survey is conducted in association with leading accounting firms across the country, and the report is a benefit to clients as part of our efforts to help co-develop the client experience with us as trusted advisors.
Now through October 30, 2018, the survey will be available to manufacturers worldwide. All individual responses will be kept confidential.
The results from the survey aim to provide:
- insight to better serve manufacturers
- first-hand understanding of the goals and challenges in manufacturing
- regional benchmarking results
The final report is scheduled to be issued in December of 2018, with results being released to all participants and clients in early 2019.
Questions? Contact Karen Kehl-Rose at email@example.com.
Consider the 4 P’s of a Successful Transition Process
There’s a well-known saying, “A rising tide lifts all boats,” suggesting as improvements in the general economy occur so will the fortunes of those who – both directly and indirectly – participate in said economy.
On September 20, 2018, the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average hit their highest point, ever (as of the writing of this article). What does that mean? For one thing, hopefully your 401k or alternate retirement vehicle is performing well. It also means companies, notably U.S. companies, are currently valued at one of the highest points in history.
There’s another well-known saying, “Buy low, sell high.” As a small business owner, is now the time to exit? Consider the 4 P’s of a successful business transition as you contemplate your business succession strategy and whether now is the time to sell.
Selecting your transition team will set you up for success as you navigate the road to a successful business transition. Having experienced accountants, legal counsel, and business intermediaries/brokers will help to ensure a smooth process and transition. As you contemplate selecting your accountant/business intermediary some things to look for in selecting representation include:
- Industry experience and expertise
- Knowledge of the M&A market, transaction pricing, and market participants – This is critical in the partnering process as a knowledgeable intermediary will be able to facilitate the identification of potential financial and/or strategic buyers in order to maximize the transaction price for the seller. Synergistic buyers are oftentimes in a position to pay a premium for a target company as they have the ability to extract value from the target through several avenues including but not limited to:
- Consolidation of operations into existing portfolio companies and/or related entities to eliminate excess capacity from an industry/market
- Create marketing opportunities for the target’s products and/or services
- Execute on strategies to maximize skills or technologies more rapidly or at lower cost versus what the target is developing internally
- Pick winners early and help them develop their businessesSynergies are typically realized in any one of the following categories (or some combination thereof): revenue enhancements, core competencies and/or skill sets, technology and process improvements, product/service line diversification and risk reduction, cost reductions, and financial economies of scale.
- Trusted Advisor (responsive, caring, advocate), acting with integrity and professionalism
Just as you would with your house, with the help of your realtor, you will want to spend some time with your Advisor to help you understand what your business might be worth. Be prepared to discuss the marketing strategy for your business and all of the operating history related to your company. Also, be prepared to execute a listing agreement. The final deliverable from the planning phase should be a Confidential Information Memorandum (CIM). The CIM is a marketing/information piece for your company and will include such things as:
- Industry & Company Overview – Summary of the industry, current outlook, and major market participants. History of operations, summary of current ownership, legal structure, etc.
- Business Operations – Summary of product or service, overview of customers, business infrastructure, management structure, and summary of owner and employee responsibilities
- Revenue Profile – Summary of how your company generates revenues
- Customer Profile – Summary of your typical customer
- Growth Opportunities – Market opportunities your company expects to take advantage of, or investments in the business to fuel growth into the future
- Financial Review – This will provide a historical snapshot of your company’s financial performance over a period of time (typically 3 – 5 years)
It is the business intermediary’s role to identify and evaluate potential buyers for your business but perhaps no one is more suited to help identify prospective buyers than you, the business owner. Confidentiality is paramount before releasing any information, including the CIM. All prospective buyers should be expected to sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) and only the necessary parts of the package will be released until the Advisor knows they are a viable candidate to purchase your business. The CIM can also be valuable in getting your business pre-approved for lending.
Marketing strategies leverage the Advisor’s vast network of like-minded entrepreneurs, private equity firms, and investment bankers to source potential buyers for your company.
This is the fun part yet just the beginning of the end. Once a prospective buyer is identified you should expect a non-binding letter of intent (LOI) from them. The typical LOI is:
- Non-binding, with exception of confidentiality, exclusivity, fees, governing law, etc.
- Contemplates structure of transaction and consideration
- Considers Principal terms of the deal
- Subject to a negotiated definitive agreement
- Might address employment arrangements with key employees
- Considers timing/milestones (e.g. due diligence, financing, employee interviews, final purchase agreement)
- Confidentiality (could refer to existing NDA or set out new terms)
- Offers exclusivity to the potential acquirer
- Includes an expiration/termination (typically 90 – 120 days)
The next article in this series will consider typical valuation approaches when pricing a company for sale (part of the Planning Phase above) as well as what to expect in the Purchase Phase including buyer’s due diligence, quality of earnings, and considerations in structuring a transaction.