One Firm Concept

Photo by BenandBeccalee

One Firm Concept. What exactly does this mean?  Over the past 20+ years of serving various capacities in the public accounting industry I’ve identified one critical flaw in most all accounting firm structures:  Your Guy.

We all know this, and we’ve all asked this question, that’s great Bill, but who is my guy/gal?  Who do I call for X?  Who will be working on my return?  Who is going to do my stuff?  Who do I call when I can’t sleep about something?  Who do I call when plans change or I’m buying a company?  Who do I send my stuff to?  Who will call me with questions?  Who will call me for missing information?

Scores of different questions all asking for the same assurance, I/the customer wants one point of contact.  Here’s the flaw:  What sets dynamic environments apart from the normal business?  They aren’t insular.  The flaw in the one point of contact concept is its inability to use a fresh set of eyes, they become insular within a project.  The same person misses the same thing, takes the same things for granted,  and generally approaches a project from the same direction every time.

One of our core cultural attributes is to attack a problem from a direction differently than anyone else.  The One Firm Concept is the embodiment of this cultural difference.  We utilize technology and discipline in maintaining a robust CRM, called Office Tools or OT, to track/record/task/monitor/complete all projects phone calls and life experiences from our conversations and meetings with you.  Why do we send emails with our Stream of Consciousness notes?  To populate our evolving CRM with our latest conversations.  This very unique method of conducting business with our clients allow any person in the firm to answer your question, work on your project, and provide expertise or answers on a timely basis.  The One Firm Concept gives our clients the ability to call our office and more than likely get an answer even if the normal suspects are not available.  It allows us to more effectively answer your emails if the normal suspect is not available.  Most importantly, it helps keep us moving/evolving/challenging for you, our Client.  The side benefit to HKA?  We are never bored, we’re always seeing something new and we’re always challenging ourselves and our team members to create a fun, dynamic, professional environment geared toward serving our Client’s needs.

Yes, there are point of contacts, Yes, you can ask to speak to the same person every time you call, but, when you really need something now, rest assured the One Firm Concept will be there to deliver for you when you need it the most, and every other day!

Walk to Defeat ALS

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Last weekend HKA participated in the Evansville, IN Walk to Defeat ALS in support of a family member battling the disease. Because of the donations we and others were able to raise, our team was the number one fundraiser and we were privileged to lead the walk down the beautiful Ohio riverfront.

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HKA Office Closed 6/20/16-6/24/16

Please note that the HKA office will be closed the week of 6/20/16-6/24/16. The staff will be attending an accounting conference in Las Vegas. If you need immediate assistance during that time please email Jessie at jessiem@hkaglobal.com or Blake at blakew@hkaglobal.com and we will get back to you as soon as possible. Follow us on Twitter (@HaukKruse) to stay up to date on our Vegas adventures!

Tax News for Georgia

Georgia Conservation Tax Credit Extended

Legislation has been enacted that extends the conservation tax credit available against Georgia corporate and personal income tax liabilities from December 31, 2016 to December 31, 2021. (Effective April 28, 2016).

Savings Trust Account Deduction Increased

Legislation has been enacted that increases the Georgia personal income tax deduction for contributions to savings trust accounts to $4,000 per beneficiary for contributors filing a joint return (previously $2,000), for taxable years beginning on or after January 1, 2016.

Property Tax: Bona Fide Conservation Use Property Provisions Amended

Legislation has been enacted relating to bona fide conservation use property for purposes of Georgia ad valorem taxes. Amendments provide clarification of an existing exception to a breach of covenant for bona fide conservation use property. Amendments provide for a new exception, for certain not for profit rodeo events, to a breach of covenant. (Effective April 28, 2016).

Property Tax: Exemption for All-Terrain Vehicles Enacted

Enacted legislation provides an exemption from Georgia ad valorem taxation for certain watercraft and all-terrain vehicles held in inventory for sale or resale. Previously the exemption applied to certain watercraft only. An all-terrain vehicle is any motorized vehicle designed for off-road use which is equipped with four low-pressure tires, a seat designed to be straddled by the operator, and handlebars for steering. (Effective May 3, 2016, applicable to all taxable years beginning on and after January 1, 2017).

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to call us at the office, 314-993-4285.

*This information was received from CCH Federal Tax Weekly.*

More Ways to Get Your Retirement Money Early

Last week we discussed why Roth IRA’s are perfect for Millennials. One of our reasons was the flexibility of Roth IRA’s when it comes to needing cash now for emergencies. Of course, a Roth IRA isn’t the only way to tap into your retirement funds early with no penalty. Today, we are going to recap 10 other ways you can use your retirement funds now:

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  1. Borrow From Your 401(k): The law allows you to borrow up to $50,000, or half your vested balance (whichever is less) from your 401(k) without owing taxes or incurring penalties. *Note: Employers don’t have to allow loans, but most big firms do. 
  2. Take Regular IRA Payouts: You can take “substantially equal periodic payments” from an IRA at any age for any purpose, without penalty. Once you begin such payments, you must continue withdrawals for at least five years or until you are 59 1/2, whichever is longer. The simplest method to calculate the payments: divide your IRA balance by your life expectancy. If that produces more cash than you need, split your IRA up and take payments from just one part.
  3. Leave The Job After 55: If you leave a job in a calendar year that you turn 55 or older, you can withdraw funds from the 401(k) associated with that job without penalty. This applies even if you’ve gotten a new job. *Warning: If you roll the money into an IRA, then the IRA rules, which impose penalties until you’re 59 1/2, will apply. 
  4. Tap An Inherited IRA: You can take money from an “inherited IRA” without penalty at any age. *Warning: If you inherit an IRA from a spouse instead of a parent or other relative, you’re eligible to roll it into your own name. If you do so, you’ll lose the ability to take money out without penalty when you need it. So wait until after you’re 59 1/2 to roll an IRA inherited from a spouse into your own name.
  5. Pay For College From An IRA: You can take an unlimited amount, penalty free, from a pre-tax IRA (but not a 401(k)!) to pay for college or graduate school tuition, books, and fees for yourself, your child, or your grandchild. If the student is in school more than half time, IRA money can also be used for room and board. *Warning: Any withdrawals you take count as taxable income and could limit your eligibility for financial aid the next year.
  6. Tap Your IRA For Your First House: You can take up to $10,000 from a pre-tax IRA penalty free to buy your first house. This provision doesn’t apply to a 401(k); even if your company allows you to take a distribution for a down payment, you’ll still be subject to the 10% penalty as well as ordinary income taxes on the withdrawal. So if you’re a young house hunter and you leave a job, roll your 401(k) into an IRA.
  7. Borrow An IRA Rollover: This is a dangerous maneuver, but if you’re sure you only need cash for a few weeks, you can “borrow” from your IRA through a rollover. Once you take the money out of on IRA, you must get it back into another IRA within 60 days. If you don’t, the IRS will treat it as an early distribution, subject to tax and (if you’re younger than 59 1/2) a 10% penalty too. Don’t expect the IRS to show any mercy if you mess this one up.
  8. Pay Big Medical Bills: You can take a distribution from an IRA or 401(k) penalty-free to pay for certain medical expenses. *Warning: Only expenses that exceed 10% of your adjusted gross income are eligible, and you must pay those expenses in the same year you take the distribution. 
  9. Pay For Medical Insurance: If you’re unemployed, you can take money penalty-free from an IRA (but not a 401(k)!) to pay for health insurance. To qualify, you must be on unemployment insurance for at least 12 weeks, and you can’t take the money out more than 60 days after getting a new job.
  10. Tell The IRS To “Levy Me”: If you use money from your IRA or 401(k) to settle a back tax bill, you’ll owe both income taxes and a 10% penalty on the withdrawal, assuming you’re not yet 59 1/2 or permanently disabled. If, however, the IRS gets its money by levying your retirement account, you’ll escape the 10% penalty.

 


To learn more about ways to get your retirement money early, call our office at (314) 993-4285 or e-mail us at office@hkaglobal.com

Why Millennials Should Have A Roth IRA

retirementThere is no reason to go into a long-winded discussion when it comes to why a young millennial like yourself should have a Roth IRA. The following two advantages Roth IRAs have for the younger generation speak for themselves:

  1. You get no tax deduction for your contribution, but withdrawals after age 59 are tax-free. By the time you are 59+, your income should be higher, so your tax rate is likely to be higher too. This makes the tax break you get at the end a lot more valuable than getting a tax break for your contribution. Also, the Roth may shield you from the growing list of tax and benefit penalties in the long-run as well.
  2. Roth IRAs are flexible. Let’s say, as a young millennial, you need cash now (to start your own business? for an emergency?). Unlike your 401(k), with a Roth IRA you can withdraw your original contributions without taxes, penalty, or jumping through hoops.

Of course, if you’re offered an employer-matched 401(k) you need to take it! But, if you’re planning a decent retirement and saving for other goals, you’ll need to save a lot more than 6% a year. The smartest thing you can do is put enough away into your 401(k) to get your employer match, then fund a Roth IRA.

So how much can you put away into a Roth IRA?

In 2015, you can contribute $5,500 per person to a Roth IRA, provided your AGI isn’t more than $116,000 for singles and heads of households or $183,000 for married couples.

If you earn too much to open a Roth IRA, you can get around that! You can open a nondeductible IRA and convert it to a Roth IRA as Congress lifted any income restrictions for Roth IRA conversions.


 

If you have any questions regarding Roth IRAs, please give us a call at (314) 993-4285 or e-mail us at office@hkaglobal.com

 

Importance of Electronic 1099s

electronic-1099The IRS has now made the electronic filing of 1040s mandatory (except for certain cases). Therefore, electronic tax documentation has become extremely important to tax preparers.

During one year a taxpayer may have bought and sold hundreds of stocks which each produce a transaction on Form 1099-B. This can create a document that easily exceeds 50 pages.

The IRS requires that either:

  • every sale transaction be reported separately on your tax return,
  • or that documentation be attached to the return if summary data is used instead.

Due to this requirement and the requirement to file electronically, we are asking our clients to send your 1099s from your investments to us in PDF form. This will allow us to electronically attach the document to your tax return.


 

If you have any questions regarding electornic 1099s, please don’t hesitate to call us at 314-993-4285 or email us at office@hkaglobal.com.