Frazer LLP Blog

Why do we disclose related party transactions?

Aug 19, 2016 2:10:45 PM / by Bethany Smith, CPA posted in Related Party Transactions, Financial Statements

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A related party transaction is a business deal or arrangement between two parties who are joined by a special relationship prior to the deal. A commonly seen related party transaction is a shareholder owning real estate and having a lease agreement with the corporation he owns shares in for the office space.

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Pell Grant Calculations Can be Confusing

Aug 9, 2016 12:35:58 PM / by Steve Bastardi, CPA posted in Institutions of Higher Learning, Pell Grant

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This is the sixth in a series of 10 blog posts related to the Top 10 Audit Findings of the U.S. Department of Education.

Pell Grant over/under payments are caused mainly by application of an incorrect Pell Grant formula, overall incorrect calculations, and errors connected to changes in enrollment status.

Background
According to the Higher Education Act of 1965, Title IV, Part A, Subpart 1, the Federal Pell Grant program is designed to help ensure access to postsecondary education for low and moderate income undergraduate students by providing grants that help meet postsecondary education costs.

According to a White House report in January 2014, titled “Increasing College Opportunity for Low-Income Students,” overall gains in U.S. college attainment have declined while other countries have continued to increase their share of citizens that complete college.

The Federal government has taken some action over the years to help keep college affordable for students and families. One of the steps taken includes increasing the maximum Pell Grant award from year to year, which expanded Pell Grant access to millions of students since 2008.

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The Top 5 Verification Violations and What You Can Do About It

Jun 30, 2016 1:10:44 PM / by Steve Bastardi, CPA posted in Institutions of Higher Learning, Verification

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This is the fifth in a series of 10 blog posts related to the Top 10 Audit Findings of the U.S. Department of Education.

Approximately 30% of students who submit a FAFSA are selected by the U.S. Department of Education for a process called Verification.  In most cases, applicants are selected by the U.S. Department of Education. However, an institution may also select a student.

At some schools almost all students are selected for verification, but this doesn’t mean there’s an error. It means the students wanting or receiving federal aid were selected for verification of certain information. Students selected for verification are notified on what is known as a Student Aid Report (SAR), which is generated from the Department of Education after a FAFSA is submitted.  Typically, students are also notified by the institution and additional documentation and/or substantiation may be required in order to complete the financial aid application. 

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Victim of disaster, fire or theft? How to deduct losses.

Jun 27, 2016 12:00:00 PM / by Nancy Chung, CPA posted in Tax

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If you suffer damage to your home or personal property, you may be able to deduct these “casualty” losses on your federal income tax return. A casualty is a sudden, unexpected or unusual event, such as a natural disaster (hurricane, tornado, flood, earthquake, etc.), fire, accident, theft or vandalism. A casualty loss doesn’t include losses from normal wear and tear or progressive deterioration from age or termite damage.

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Does summer day camp qualify for tax credits?

Jun 20, 2016 12:00:00 PM / by Jane Warren, CPA posted in Tax Credits

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Summer day camp is rapidly approaching for many families. If yours is among them, did you know that sending your child to day camp might make you eligible for a tax credit?

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What Are the Tax Consequences of a Home Sale?

Jun 15, 2016 12:47:06 PM / by Cindy Lim, CPA posted in Tax

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As the school year draws to a close and the days lengthen, you may be one of the many homeowners who are getting ready to put their home on the market. After all, in many locales, summer is the best time of year to sell a home. But it’s important to think not only about the potential profit (or loss) from a sale, but also about the tax consequences.

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Return of Title IV Funds Made Late? You’re Not Alone.

Jun 3, 2016 10:04:22 AM / by Steve Bastardi, CPA posted in Institutions of Higher Learning, Title IV Funds, R2T4

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This is the fourth in a series of 10 blog posts related to the Top 10 Audit Findings of the U.S. Department of Education.

According to the U.S. Department of Education, one of the top 10 audit findings is R2T4 (return of Title IV funds) made late. The Department finds that many institutions are having trouble making returns within the allowable timeframe.  Common reasons for late returns include an institution’s policies and procedures not followed; returns not made within the allowable 45-day time frame; inadequate system in place to identify/track official and unofficial withdrawals; and, no system in place to track number of days remaining to return funds.

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The Challenge of Calculating the Return of Title IV Funds

May 9, 2016 4:56:33 PM / by Steve Bastardi, CPA posted in Institutions of Higher Learning, Title IV Funds, R2T4

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This is the third in a series of 10 blog posts related to the Top 10 Audit Findings of the U.S. Department of Education.

According to the U.S. Department of Education, one of the top 10 audit findings is R2T4 (return of Title IV funds) calculation errors.

From a technical standpoint, regulations require that Title IV financial aid allocated for a student who later withdraws should be returned.

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Contribute to your IRA by April 18, 2016

Mar 23, 2016 12:13:00 PM / by Cindy Lim, CPA posted in Tax, IRAs, Retirement Planning

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Tax-advantaged retirement plans allow your money to grow tax-deferred — or, in the case of Roth accounts, tax-free. But annual contributions are limited by tax law, and any unused limit can’t be carried forward to make larger contributions in future years. So it’s a good idea to use up as much of your annual limits as possible. Have you maxed out your 2015 limits?

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Pre-Immigration Tax Planning for Non-Resident Aliens

Mar 17, 2016 12:30:00 PM / by Jeff C. Jones, CPA posted in Tax, Non-Resident Aliens, Immigration

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With increasing frequency our firm consults with foreign individuals (in U.S. tax law parlance, Non-Resident Aliens or NRA’s, aka foreign nationals) who are considering immigration to the United States.  Many of these NRA’s are wealthy and hold significant businesses, income-producing real estate, and liquid assets, in addition to their residence in their foreign country.

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