Recent News & Blog

  • If you gave to charity in 2023, check to see that you have substantiation

    Did you give to charity last year? If you made a donation in 2023 but don’t have a letter from the charity yet, request it from the organization and wait to file your 2023 return until you receive it. Additional rules apply to certain types of donations, such as noncash contributions. Contact the CPA's and business tax advisors at SEK if you have questions about donations you hope to deduct on your 2023 tax return.

  • Nonprofits: Encouraging charitable donors to include you in their estate plans

    Planned, legacy or deferred gifts are often larger than current donations, so not-for-profits can’t afford to neglect pursuing them. These gifts generally are made through wills and living trusts, retirement plan and life insurance beneficiary designations, or via more complex charitable annuities and trusts. Include information about planned gifts on your website and in promotional materials and emphasize the potential tax benefits. Contact the CPA's and business advisors at SEK with your financial questions and for more tips.

  • Update on IRS efforts to combat questionable Employee Retention Tax Credit claims

    The Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC) provided cash that helped struggling businesses retain employees during the pandemic in 2020 and 2021. The IRS reports that it has received a deluge of “questionable” ERTC claims on amended tax returns after unscrupulous promotors asserted that large refunds could easily be obtained, even though there are strict eligibility requirements. The IRS has now created a Voluntary Disclosure Program that allows businesses to pay back money they received after filing erroneous claims. The application deadline is March 22, 2024. Contact the CPA's and business tax advisors at SEK for help and to answer your tax questions.

  • Seeing the big picture with an enterprise risk management program

    No business can operate risk-free. Those that try will miss out on growth opportunities and probably get surpassed by more ambitious competitors. One way to manage your company’s “risk profile” is to implement an enterprise risk management (ERM) program. An effective ERM program helps you not only identify major threats, but also devise feasible strategic, operational, reporting and compliance objectives. Contact the CPA's and business tax advisors at SEK for more information and for more tax tips.

  • Nonprofits: 3 tips for making the financial statement auditing process smoother

    Not-for-profits aren’t required to produce audited financial statements. But such statements are more likely to reassure stakeholders about your financial stability and generally will be required if you apply for a bank loan. Make the process easier by presenting your auditor with estimates and other requested documents. Your auditor will determine whether your internal controls, accounting policies and estimates are adequate to prevent or detect material errors or fraud. Contact the CPA's and business tax advisors at SEK for guidance with your not for profit or for more tax tips!

  • IRAs: Build a tax-favored retirement nest egg

    Traditional and Roth IRAs can help you save for retirement on a tax-favored basis. Contributions to a traditional IRA reduce your current tax bill if you’re eligible, and earnings are tax deferred. However, withdrawals are taxed in full (plus a 10% penalty if taken before age 59½, unless an exception applies). Roth IRA contributions aren’t deductible. But earnings are tax deferred and withdrawals are tax-free if certain conditions are met. Contact the CPA's and business tax advisors at SEK for your tax questions and for more tax tips.

  • Ready, set, value!

    If you’ve never worked with a business valuation professional, you might not know where to start. Although valuators use a variety of analytical techniques and possess different qualifications, they generally adhere to the same process of engagement, preparing and presenting reports. Contact the CPA's and business advisors to answer your questions.

  • Maryland bFile and Maryland Tax Connect

    Per communication on January 19, 2024, from the Comptroller of Maryland's office in regards to bFile and Maryland Tax Connect: January 18, 2024 - Last day to submit new Admissions and Amusement returns or make payments using the bFile system.

  • Should your business offer the new emergency savings accounts to employees?

    As part of the SECURE 2.0 law, there’s a new benefit option for employees facing emergencies. It’s called a pension-linked emergency savings account (PLESA) and it became effective for plan years beginning Jan. 1, 2024. Employers with 401(k), 403(b) and 457(b) plans can opt to offer PLESAs to non-highly compensated employees. Contact the CPA's and business tax advisors at SEK for more information and to answer your tax questions.

  • Nonprofits: Why uncertainty calls for a more flexible budget

    When times are turbulent, your not-for-profit’s budget could end up falling short. Even if you’ve already made a fixed budget for 2024, consider taking a different approach in the future. Identify variable costs and revenues and the effect trigger events might have on them. Then reforecast items likely to differ substantially from your original estimates. Contact the CPA's and business advisors at SEK to answer your tax questions and for more tax tips.

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