McKonly & Asbury has been named a 2018 Best Accounting Firm for Women! Firms were selected from the 2018 Accounting Today and Best Companies Group “Best Firms to Work For” list and we are thrilled to be counted on the list again this year. Kurt ...

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McKonly & Asbury Recognized as a 2018 Best Accounting Firm for Women


McKonly & Asbury has been named a 2018 Best Accounting Firm for Women!

Firms were selected from the 2018 Accounting Today and Best Companies Group “Best Firms to Work For” list and we are thrilled to be counted on the list again this year.

Kurt Trimarchi, Managing Partner with McKonly & Asbury, said:

“McKonly & Asbury recognizes the importance of women’s contributions to the field of public accounting and we believe our firm’s core values and innovative culture have a great deal to do with receiving this acknowledgement. We are honored to receive this award and our focus will continue to be on work-life balance, mentorship, and leadership roles for women in the workplace.”

To read more about this great recognition, please click here for the full article from the December issue of Accounting Today.

 

Technical Corrections to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act


Besides all the decorating, shopping, and singing that many of us will enjoy doing this holiday season, we also have to do some house cleaning as we prepare for great family and friends. Well, that house cleaning is exactly what Kevin Brady, Chairman of House Ways and Means, is doing in his proposed tax bill. The tax bill includes lots of different things from modernizing the IRS to tax extenders. However, it is the five technical corrections to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) that may add holiday magic to our tax year end. These corrections relate to the following areas:

  1. Excess Toll Charge Remittance (Section 965)
  2. Settlement Fees as Related to Sexual Harassment Nondisclosure Agreements
  3. Qualified REIT Dividends
  4. NOL Effective Date
  5. Qualified Improvement Property

While the first three are specific to certain types of business, the last two affect many more businesses and is where we will focus our attention.

NOL Effective Date 

This correction would make the new rules for NOL effective for taxpayers with year ends after December 31, 2017.

Under Pre TCJA, NOLs were allowed to be carried forward 20 years and carried back 2 years. TCJA allowed NOLs to no longer be carried back and made them able to be carried forward indefinitely, however, those losses were limited to 80% of taxable income. However, when the bill was passed, it negatively affected taxpayers whose year end was after December 31, 2017. That wording prevented all fiscal year filers who had NOLs from using them. This small change would allow all fiscal year filers the ability to carryback their 2017 NOLs as well as use them 100% against future income, just like calendar year filers could.

Qualified Improvement Property

This correction would make all qualified improvement property 15-year property under MACRS and 20-year property under ADS.

This was one of the most glaring mistakes that had been made when the TCJA was passed. This would be a really nice present for most businesses. Under Pre TCJA, qualified improvement property was broken up into three smaller designations (qualified leasehold improvement property, qualified restaurant property, and qualified retail improvement property) and all of them were 15-year property. However, when the bill was passed, it grouped them all into qualified improvement property but never assigned them a life of 15 years. This change not only allows taxpayers to take more depreciation expenses but makes the property eligible for 100% bonus depreciation. That could make for some huge tax savings on people’s 2018 tax returns.

These tax corrections would be nice because they would fix some of the issues that were created due to the speed at which this law was passed. However, this bill is trying to go through a Lame Duck Congress that is seeing the other party take power and would require 60 votes in the Senate. So, we will have to wait and see if taxpayers get something extra in their stocking this holiday season.

If you have questions about this article, please do not hesitate to reach out to Charles Eisenhart, Tax Manager with McKonly & Asbury at ceisenhart@macpas.com.

 

Webinar Recap – Business Ethics & The Three Monkeys in the Room


This webinar entitled “Business Ethics & The Three Monkeys in the Room” was originally produced on Wednesday, December 5, 2018. We hope that you enjoy the full recording of the presentation and additional resources offered below.

Elaine Nissley, Principal with McKonly & Asbury, provided an overview of ethical style and perspectives. During the webinar, she presented ethics from a macro, corporate, and individual level and discussed social contracts within organizations. She also discussed how our personal ethical perspective, the ethical perspective of others, and the organization’s ethical perspective influence social contracts and behavior in the workplace. Elaine then looked at a self-assessment tool which you can use to assess your ethical leadership style and a balanced scorecard to measure and track the corporate ethical environment, as well as some frameworks to help you to make balanced ethical decisions. The webinar concluded with a review of the state of ethics in the workplace in 2017 and a summary of the Federal Sentencing Guidelines related to the key components of an effective ethics program to protect both the organization and their employees.

During this webinar, attendees:

  • Gained an understanding the theory of ethics, ethical perspectives, and the social contract.
  • Related ethics and the social contract to behavior.
  • Gained an understanding of ethical decision making frameworks.
  • Gained insight into the state of ethics in the workplace.
  • Gained an understanding of the key components of an effective ethics program.

 

Watch a recording of the presentation

 

 

Additional Details

This free, one hour-long webinar took place on Wednesday, December 5th at 2:00 p.m. EST. One “Professional Ethics” CPE credit was available for this webinar. The level for this CPE was overview and there were no prerequisites for this CPE. This program was a live webinar which offered attendees the opportunity to ask questions and interact with the presenters.

If you have any questions regarding the material covered in this webinar, please contact us.

 

McKonly & Asbury Announces New Team Members


Over the past few months, McKonly & Asbury has expanded our team and welcomed eight full-time hires! These new team members come to us from various colleges, universities, and prior places of employment. We are excited to have them as part of our team and wanted to take a minute to introduce them to you!

Jean Zahurak is a Senior Manager in our Tax Services practice. She works out of our firm’s Camp Hill office and performs tax services for various types of entities – including corporations, pass-through entities, and individuals – in various industries, including manufacturing and distribution, construction, real estate, and financial service. Jean is a CPA and a graduate of The Pennsylvania State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting. Jean most recently worked as an accounting professional at an international firm.

 

Lynnanne Bocchi is a Supervisor in our Internal Audit and Management Consulting practice. She works out of our firm’s Camp Hill office and provides internal audit outsourcing, Sarbanes-Oxley, service organization controls, and internal controls assessment and testing services. Lynnanne is a CPA and a graduate of The Pennsylvania State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting and an MBA. She most recently worked as a Senior Director for Accounting Controls and Records Management within a national drugstore chain.

 

Colleen Bantz is a Senior Accountant in our Tax Services practice. She works out of our firm’s Lancaster office focusing on flow through and individual taxation. Colleen is a graduate of Grove City College with a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting and Finance. Colleen has previous public accounting experience, and also spent time working as the Director of Inventory Planning for a national children’s soccer program.

 

Matthew Burns is a Staff Accountant in our Entrepreneurial Services Group (ESG). He works out of our firm’s Camp Hill office and provides support in back office accounting to our clients. Matthew is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg with a Bachelor of Science in Management/Accounting degree. He most recently worked as an accounting professional for a global manufacturing/technology company.

 

Dan Dorgan is a Staff Accountant in our Assurance & Advisory Services practice. He works out of our firm’s Camp Hill office and provides audit services to our manufacturing clients. Dan is a graduate of Susquehanna University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting. He most recently worked as an accounting professional for an international retail company.

 

Michelle Herman is a Staff Accountant in our Tax Services practice. She works out of firm’s Lancaster office and performs tax compliance work for individuals and businesses in various industries. Michelle is a graduate of Millersville University with a Business Administration degree with a concentration in Accounting. She participated in our firm’s Externship and Internship Programs before joining our team full-time.

 

Jane Yin is a Staff Accountant in our Assurance & Advisory Services practice. She works out of our firm’s Camp Hill office. Jane is a graduate of China Jiliang University with a Bachelor of Science Arts in Financial Management as well as West Virginia University with a Masters of Professional Accountancy.

 

Laura Swartzlander is a Client Services Coordinator in our Administrative Department. She works out of our firm’s Camp Hill office and provides support to our tax team to facilitate the transfer of client information and tax returns to ensure that all of our clients’ needs are met. Laura is a graduate of The Pennsylvania State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting. She most recently worked as an accounting professional at a boutique law firm.

Please join us in welcoming these individuals to McKonly & Asbury! We are proud to have them as part of our team!

 

DC Plans: Year-End Plan Document Reviews


As we approach the end of the calendar year, plan sponsors of defined contribution plans should perform a review of their plan documents to determine whether updates are needed to meet legal compliance deadlines. Such reviews are an important part of satisfying ERISA’s fiduciary standards and maintaining tax-qualified status. Below are several important legal changes that may impact tax-qualified defined contribution retirement plans.

Hardship Distributions

The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 (the Act) gave plan sponsors the option to eliminate certain restrictions on hardship withdrawals for plan years beginning after December 31, 2018. Specifically, the Act: (1) eliminates the provision that a participant must be suspended from making deferrals for a period of at least six months after the hardship withdrawal; (2) eliminates the requirement that a participant take all available loans before taking a hardship withdrawal; and (3) permits hardship withdrawals to be taken from qualified nonelective contributions, qualified matching contributions, or earnings on post-1986 pre-tax contributions. These changes are voluntary, so to the extent an employer adopts one or more of these design changes, a plan amendment will be required by the end of the plan year in which such changes become effective (December 31, 2019 for calendar year plans).

Disaster Relief

As a result of several natural disasters that occurred in 2017, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), U.S. Congress, and the Puerto Rico Treasury provided disaster relief in the form of expanded in-service withdrawal and loan provisions for defined contribution plans. Plan sponsors who voluntarily offered this disaster relief to participants in affected areas should work with their third party administrators to confirm the scope of the relief provided. Plan amendments to implement relief must generally be adopted by the end of the 2018 plan year.

Use of Forfeiture Accounts in Safe Harbor Plans

The IRS recently issued regulations permitting employers to use forfeitures to fund safe harbor contributions. To the extent an employer updates its plan document to permit the use of forfeitures to make safe harbor contributions, a plan amendment will be required by the end of the plan year in which the update becomes effective (December 31, 2018 for calendar year plans).

Loan Offsets and IRAs

Effective for plan years beginning after December 31, 2017, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017: (1) prohibited a plan participant from re-characterizing a rollover to a Roth individual retirement account (IRA) as a rollover to a traditional IRA, and (2) extended the time a terminated plan participant has to rollover a plan loan offset by making an equivalent contribution to an IRA or another tax-qualified plan (thus avoiding the loan being deemed a taxable distribution). These changes are unlikely to require a plan amendment, but could affect plan participants and may require updates to summary plan descriptions.

For more information about McKonly & Asbury’s Employee Benefit Plan services, or for questions regarding this article, please contact Stephanie Kramer, Supervisor with McKonly & Asbury, at skramer@macpas.com.

 


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Check out our upcoming events, including conferences and webinars, at: www.macpas.com/events

        

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415 Fallowfield Road, Camp Hill, PA 17011 |  480 New Holland Avenue, Lancaster, PA 17602


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