Frazer LLP Blog

Are My Moving Costs Tax Deductible?

Jul 24, 2017 11:00:00 AM / by Christopher Pham, CPA posted in Tax, Moving Expenses

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Summer is a popular time to move, whether it’s so the kids don’t have to change schools mid-school-year, to avoid having to move in bad weather or simply because it can be an easier time to sell a home. Unfortunately, moving can be expensive. The good news is that you might be eligible for a federal tax deduction for your moving costs.

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2017 Q3 Tax Calendar: Key Deadlines for Businesses and Other Employers

Jul 17, 2017 4:08:47 PM / by Jane Warren, CPA posted in Tax, Tax Deadlines

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Here are some of the key tax-related deadlines affecting businesses and other employers during the third quarter of 2017. Keep in mind that this list isn’t all-inclusive, so there may be additional deadlines that apply to you. Contact us to ensure you’re meeting all applicable deadlines and to learn more about the filing requirements.

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Protect Your Construction Company with a Buy-Sell Agreement

May 19, 2017 12:29:04 PM / by Brian Tunnelle posted in Construction, Buy-Sell Agreement

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There’s one contract every construction business owner needs to sign that sometimes goes overlooked: a buy-sell agreement. 

A “buy-sell,” as it’s often called for short, is a contract set forth by the owner or owners of a business that describes how ownership changes will take place. Like a good insurance policy, one of these arrangements will help protect you and other owners in difficult times.

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Home Related Tax-Saving Opportunities

Apr 5, 2017 2:33:06 PM / by Jonathan Smeragliuolo, CPA posted in Tax, Tax Breaks, Home Related Tax Deductions

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Currently, home ownership comes with many tax-saving opportunities. Consider both deductions and exclusions when you’re filing your 2016 return and tax planning for 2017:

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2016 IRA contributions: there's still time!

Mar 21, 2017 1:41:22 PM / by Cindy Lim, CPA posted in Tax, IRAs, Retirement Planning

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Yes, there’s still time to make 2016 contributions to your IRA. The deadline for such contributions is April 18, 2017. If the contribution is deductible, it will lower your 2016 tax bill. But even if it isn’t, making a 2016 contribution is likely a good idea.

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2017 Mileage Deduction Rates

Mar 13, 2017 11:00:00 AM / by Jonathan Smeragliuolo, CPA posted in Tax

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Rather than keeping track of the actual cost of operating a vehicle, employees and self-employed taxpayers can use a standard mileage rate to compute their deduction related to using a vehicle for business. But you might also be able to deduct miles driven for other purposes, including medical, moving and charitable purposes.

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Retirement Plan Contribution Limits for 2017

Mar 7, 2017 11:55:06 AM / by Jane Warren, CPA posted in Retirement Planning

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Retirement plan contribution limits are indexed for inflation, but with inflation remaining low most of the limits remain unchanged for 2017. The only limit that has increased from the 2016 level is for contributions to defined contribution plans, which has gone up by $1,000.

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Beware of Untimely or Incorrect G5 Expenditures Reporting

Dec 5, 2016 1:44:55 PM / by Steve Bastardi, CPA posted in Institutions of Higher Learning, G5 Expenditures, G5 Reporting

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

Untimely and/or incorrect reporting of G5 expenditures is the tenth item from a list of audit findings in order of number of deficiencies found.

Regulatory background

G5, formerly known as GAPS, is a delivery system used by Federal Student Aid (FSA) that supports program award and payment (drawdown) administration. It is a component of EDCAPS, U.S. Department of Education’s (ED’s) integrated financial processing system, managed and administered by the Department’s Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO), and communicates with the Common Origination and Disbursement (COD) system through the Financial Management System (FMS).

There are basically two ways of receiving FSA from the ED including the advance payment method and what is known as the heightened cash monitoring method. For various reasons, the Department of Education may place institutions on a Heightened Cash Monitoring (HCM) payment method to provide additional oversight of cash management.

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Modified Audit Opinion? You’re Not Alone.

Nov 29, 2016 1:50:37 PM / by Steve Bastardi, CPA posted in Institutions of Higher Learning, Modified Audit Report, Audit Opinion

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

A qualified auditor’s opinion cited in the audit report is one of the top 10 audit findings by the U.S. Department of Education. Serious deficiencies and areas of concern included:

  • - R2T4 violations
  • - Inadequate accounting systems and/or procedures
  • - Lack of internal controls

Receiving anything other than an unmodified (unqualified) opinion is a disturbing experience, but it does occur from time to time. It might help to know you’re not alone. Receiving a modified (qualified) audit opinion offers the opportunity to focus improvement efforts in identified areas of weakness in operations, financial reporting and compliance.

Even the U.S. Department of Education (ED) has had its challenges over the years.
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The Role of Entrance and Exit Counseling in Financial Literacy

Nov 22, 2016 12:23:39 PM / by Steve Bastardi, CPA posted in Institutions of Higher Learning, Exit Counseling, Financial Aid, Entrance Counseling

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

One of the top 10 audit findings, according to the U.S. Department of Education, includes student entrance and exit deficiencies. Indicated deficiencies include:

  • - Entrance counseling not conducted/documented for first-time borrowers.
  • - Exit counseling not conducted/documented for withdrawn students or graduates.
  • - Exit counseling materials not mailed to students who failed to complete counseling.

Whether first-time borrowers, withdrawn students or graduating students, follow through on required entrance and exit counseling can be challenging. Exit counseling, however, becomes a little more challenging considering the circumstances and variables involved with the ways students exit. This doesn’t come as a surprise to most but it only takes one or two off situations to catch the eye of a program reviewer. Let’s consider a short list of the compliance requirements mentioned in the FSA Handbook.

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