Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Tax Laws Slowing Growth of Small Business

In a recent testimony before Congress, Troy Lewis, CPA, CGMA, and chair of the American Institute of CPAs’ (AICPA) Tax Executive Committee, claimed that that compliance with federal tax laws can act as a road block in the growth of small businesses, according to Seth Fineberg, writing in Accounting Web.

 “It is imperative that small businesses and their tax return preparers have the ability to communicate with the IRS when preparing their taxes and addressing compliance issues,” Lewis told committee members. “However, there has been increasingly limited access to the agency. Taxpayer service must remain a high priority in order for small businesses to receive the assistance they need on tax issues.”

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Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Inverting Companies Regain Contract Eligibility

In an article published in Bloomberg News, Zachary R. Mider reports that the Obama administration quietly handed a victory to U.S. companies that avoid taxes by claiming a foreign address, suggesting that virtually all of them are still eligible for government contracts.

The Department of Homeland Security last year endorsed a legal memorandum that argued in part that a 2002 law banning such companies from federal contracts was invalid, according to a copy of the memo obtained by Bloomberg News. Although President Barack Obama later began publicly criticizing the tax maneuvers known as inversions, there’s no sign that he has reversed the department’s decision.

The March 2013 memo was submitted to Homeland Security by one of the country’s largest inverted companies, the manufacturer Ingersoll-Rand Plc. The company argued in part that U.S. trade agreements with foreign governments invalidated the law that would prohibit it from winning federal contracts.

You can ask a real person what this means by calling Neikirk, Mahoney & Smith CPAs at 502-896-2999.

To read the full article, click here.

Monday, July 20, 2015

State-based marketplaces lag behind federal exchange

Brian M. Kalish, writing in the Employment Benefit Advisor, reports that state-based health insurance marketplaces aren't performing up to the Obama Administration's expectations.

As they struggle to become financially stable, state-based marketplaces are lagging behind the federally-facilitated marketplace and are likely to continue to do so in the near future.

Despite improvement efforts, it is safe to “say that the experience for issuers on the public exchange has been challenging,” said Scott Rathke, vice president of government relations at Tampa, Fla.-based Health Plan Services, a third-party administrator which works in the FFM and eight state-based marketplaces.

“Pretty much from the get-go, while the marketplaces have been improving, you still have lots of nuances and problems.”

If you have questions about your company's employee benefit structure, contact Neikirk, Mahoney & Smith at 502-896-2999.

Then read the rest of the article here!

Friday, July 17, 2015

Scam Phone Calls Continue; IRS Identifies Five Easy Ways to Spot Suspicious Calls

The Internal Revenue Service issued a consumer alert today providing taxpayers with additional tips to protect themselves from telephone scam artists calling and pretending to be with the IRS.
These callers may demand money or may say you have a refund due and try to trick you into sharing private information. These con artists can sound convincing when they call. They may know a lot about you, and they usually alter the caller ID to make it look like the IRS is calling. They use fake names and bogus IRS identification badge numbers. If you don’t answer, they often leave an “urgent” callback request.
“These telephone scams are being seen in every part of the country, and we urge people not to be deceived by these threatening phone calls,” IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said. “We have formal processes in place for people with tax issues. The IRS respects taxpayer rights, and these angry, shake-down calls are not how we do business.”
The IRS reminds people that they can know pretty easily when a supposed IRS caller is a fake. Here are five things the scammers often do but the IRS will not do. Any one of these five things is a tell-tale sign of a scam. The IRS will never:
  1. Call to demand immediate payment, nor will we call about taxes owed without first having mailed you a bill..
  2. Demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe.
  3. Require you to use a specific payment method for your taxes, such as a prepaid debit card.
  4. Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
  5. Threaten to bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.
If you get a phone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS and asking for money, here’s what you should do:
  • If you know you owe taxes or think you might owe, call the IRS at 1.800.829.1040. The IRS workers can help you with a payment issue.
  • If you know you don’t owe taxes or have no reason to believe that you do, report the incident to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) at 1.800.366.4484 or
  • You can file a complaint using the FTC Complaint Assistant; choose “Other” and then “Imposter Scams.” If the complaint involves someone impersonating the IRS, include the words “IRS Telephone Scam” in the notes.
Remember, too, the IRS does not use unsolicited email, text messages or any social media to discuss your personal tax issue. For more information on reporting tax scams, go to and type “scam” in the search box.
Additional information about tax scams are available on IRS social media sites, including YouTube and Tumblr where people can search “scam” to find all the scam-related posts.