The growing AMT threat: What is it, and how to avoid it?

  • March 31, 2009

You may have heard people who talk about money or politics for a living mention something about the Alternative Minimum Tax, or AMT, as it is often called. Mention of the AMT has become more frequent of late because millions more taxpayers will be forced to calculate and pay this tax in the next few years. Dubbed "the stealth tax," the AMT has been blindsiding many "ordinary" taxpayers who count on taking what have become "ordinary" deductions. The AMT has been made even more dangerous by the labyrinth of rules for calculating the tax, which are complicated enough to give seasoned tax professionals fits. There are two questions that taxpayers want answered when it comes to the AMT: "What is it?" and "What can I do to avoid it?"

Payroll taxes can be a minefield for small employers

  • March 31, 2009

More small businesses get into trouble with the IRS over payroll taxes than any other type of tax. Payroll taxes are a huge source of government revenue and the IRS takes them very seriously. It is actively looking for businesses that have fallen behind in their payroll taxes or aren't depositing them. When the IRS finds a noncompliant business, it hits hard with penalties.

Am I overpaying in withholding and estimated tax?

  • March 31, 2009

Although an annual review of your form W-4 (Employee's Withholding Allowance Certificate) or estimated tax payments is always important, it may be particularly imperative to do so in 2009. The current economic recession and other changes to your personal and financial situation may have had, and will continue to have, a significant impact on your income. Moreover, recent changes in the tax law, including extensions of certain deductions and credits through 2009, make accurately estimating your tax and ensuring you are not overpaying in withholding all the more important. Changes in the latest stimulus tax package likely will require further adjustments to withholding and estimated tax for many taxpayers.

“Reasonable” compensation: Hot button for IRS auditors

  • March 31, 2009

In order to be tax deductible, compensation must be a reasonable payment for services. Smaller companies, whose employees frequently hold significant ownership interests, are particularly vulnerable to IRS attack on their compensation deductions.

Payroll and Cobra Provisions of the Economic Stimulus Plan

  • March 28, 2009

As published on the AICPA's Economic Crisis Resource Center: Several provisions of the economic stimulus plan may have a significant impact on your company or clients’ business, including the “Making Work Pay” tax credit and a host of COBRA requirements and provisions, ranging from a special 60-day election period and an additional plan enrollment option for COBRA recipients. Read the article for a summary of the provisions that may affect your business.

AICPA Develops Website Devoted to the Economic Crisis

  • March 28, 2009

The AICPA has developed a website to help deal with issues we are faced with during the economic crisis. The About Us section explains the intent of the website.

You’ve Got to Be Kidding

  • March 28, 2009

I was scouring the internet headlines to find out what Washington was doing about the economy and the banking system and I discovered they were busy with more pressing problems when I found this blog on washingtonwatch.com, posted by Jim Harper.

60 Minutes Interview With Bob Bernanke

  • March 16, 2009

See Bernanke's first TV interview about the financial crisis on 60 minutes.

PBS Frontline “Inside The Meltdown”

  • March 12, 2009

If you didn’t get a chance to see this on TV when it orginally aired you can watch it online. The...