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Education Savings Plans Help Ease the Financial Burden of Higher Education


No doubt about it, the cost of higher education is…well, high. As college tuition and fees continue to increase every year, being able to financially support your child through college is a real concern for many parents. However, it is never too early to start saving for your child’s education.

AHP Announces Partner Promotion in its Grand Rapids Office

AHP is proud to announce the promotion of Stephanie M. Cleaver, CPA to partner effective January 1, 2017.

Have You Recently Received a Layoff Notice? What Are the First Steps You Should Take?

No matter the situation, leaving a job is an emotional and intimidating experience. It is especially terrifying when it wasn’t something you had planned for ahead of time. However, there are steps you can take to aid in your financial well-being and peace of mind.

Should You Make a “Charitable IRA Rollover” in 2016

Taking an IRA withdrawal and donating it to charity can be a tax-smart option for charitably inclined retirees. But if you’re eligible, you might save more tax by making a direct charitable IRA rollover.

What the New Overtime Rules Mean for You

On May 18, the Department of Labor (DOL) came out with its new final rules, which take effect on December 1, 2016. The rules will significantly raise the salary level used to determine whether employees are eligible for overtime and will affect more than 4 million salaried employees, according to the DOL.

Understand the Tax Consequences of Selling Your Home

Your home might be one of your biggest investments, but the tax treatment of a sale can differ from that of other investments. Here’s what you need to know if you’re preparing to sell your principal residence or vacation home.

Unexpected Retirement Plan Disqualification Can Trigger Serious Tax Problems

It’s not unusual for the IRS to conduct audits of qualified employee benefit plans, including 401(k)s. Plan sponsors are expected to stay in compliance with numerous, frequently changing federal laws and regulations. If the IRS uncovers compliance errors and the plan sponsor doesn’t fix them, the plan could be disqualified.

The End is Approaching for Popular Social Security “File and Suspend” Strategy

You will not be impacted by the discontinuation of this strategy if you have already filed and suspended. However, if you were born on or before May 1, 1950, you are still eligible to file and suspend as long you do so before April 30, 2016.

Tips for Deducting Losses from a Disaster, Fire, or Theft

Victim of a disaster, fire or theft? You may be eligible for a tax deduction. But many rules and limits apply. Here are some things you should know.

Tax Tip: Save, or Defer, Tax by Carefully Timing Business Income and Expenses

The first step to smart timing is to project your business’s income and expenses for 2015 and 2016. With this information in hand, you can determine the best year-end timing strategy for your business.

Tax Tip: Selling Rather Than Trading in Business Vehicles Can Save Tax

Although a vehicle’s value typically drops fairly rapidly, the tax rules limit the amount of annual depreciation that can be claimed on most cars and light trucks. Thus, when it’s time to replace a vehicle used in business, it’s not unusual for its tax basis to be higher than its value.

EMV Compliance: Are You Ready for the October 1 Deadline?

On October 1, a liability shift goes into effect that may entice businesses to adopt modern "chip" technologies to more effectively combat fraud from counterfeit cards. Here's critical information that merchants and consumers should know about the liability shift going forward.

Teens in Your Family with Summer Jobs? Set Up IRAs for Them!

Teenagers’ retirement may seem too far off to warrant saving now, but IRAs can be perfect for teens precisely because they’ll likely have many years to let their accounts grow tax-deferred or tax-free.

Proposed DOL Rule May Make Millions More Eligible for Overtime Pay

In his 2015 State of the Union Address last January, President Obama said employees should get the overtime they've earned. He then directed the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) to review and amend the overtime rules under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) to make more workers eligible.

Proposed Changes to Not-for-Profit Financial Reporting


On April 22, 2015, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) issued a proposed Accounting Standards Update (ASU) seeking to improve the clarity and usefulness of not-for-profit organization (NFP) financial statements and notes. The amendments focus on net asset classifications and improving stakeholders’ ability to assess an NFP’s liquidity, financial performance, and cash flows. The amendments would affect all NFPs.

Tax and Financial Benefits from Hiring Your Children

Hiring your child for the summer or longer can have many benefits. It provides young people with income and valuable experience in a tough job market. It can also generate tax savings for business owners. Depending on how your business is organized, you may be able to shift income into a lower tax bracket, save on Social Security taxes and start a retirement plan for the child. Here are the details.

Not-for-Profit Guidance in Effect: Services Received from Personnel of an Affiliate


The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) has issued Accounting Standards Update (ASU) 2013-06 Not-for-Profit Entities. ASU 2013-06 provides guidance for not-for-profit entities receiving services from the personnel of an affiliate.

AHP Announces Merger with Owosso Firm, Demis & Wenzlick, P.C.

Andrews Hooper Pavlik PLC welcomes seventh office statewide.

Andrews Hooper Pavlik Announces Two Partner Promotions

Andrews Hooper Pavlik PLC (AHP) is proud to announce the promotions of Kellie M. Bos, CPA and Carrie L. Hindmon, CPA, CSEP to partner.

IRS Announces Mileage Rates for 2015

The Internal Revenue Service recently issued the 2015 optional standard mileage rates used to calculate the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business, charitable, medical or moving purposes.

2015 Limits for Retirement, Social Security, and HSA’s Announced

The Internal Revenue Service recently announced cost‑of‑living adjustments affecting dollar limitations for pension plans and other retirement-related items for tax year 2015.

Shellshock Vulnerability: Businesses Should Continue to Monitor


Various patches have been released to update the Bash interface, however related vulnerabilities continue to be discovered. Businesses should determine if there are any installations of Bash on their network, and whether or not those installations are vulnerable.

Watch Out for the Wash Sale Rule

If you've cashed in some big gains this year, consider looking for unrealized losses in your portfolio and selling those investments before year end to offset your gains. This can reduce your 2014 tax liability.

How to Protect Yourself from Underpayment Penalties

You can be subject to penalties if you don’t pay enough tax during the year through estimated tax payments and withholding. Learn more about how you may be able to protect yourself.

Is Your Business Ready for Play-or-Pay?

If you’re a “large” employer, time is running out to prepare for the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA’s) shared responsibility provision, commonly referred to as “play-or-pay.”

New Addendum to the Interagency Policy on Tax Sharing Agreements

Federal banking regulators recently adopted an addendum to the “Interagency Policy Statement on Income Tax Allocation in a Holding Company Structure”, addressing income tax allocation agreements between bank holding companies and insured depository institutions (IDI).

Michigan Minimum Wage Increases to $8.15 Effective September 1, 2014

Michigan's minimum wage is set to increase a total of 25% over the next four years. The increase will take place gradually, with the first increase coming up in September.

“Bunch” Miscellaneous Itemized Deductions to Reduce Your Tax Bill

Now is a good time to add up your potential deductions to date and see if they’re getting close to, or they already exceed, 2% "floor" of your adjusted gross income (AGI).

Give and Receive with a Charitable Remainder Trust

Would you like to benefit charity while reducing the size of your taxable estate yet maintain an income stream for yourself? Find out how you can with a charitable remainder trust.

Community Banking Advisor: Summer 2014 Edition

Learn more about two cybersecurity threats that loom over financial institutions, weighing in on your borrowers’ working capital levels, and how to avoid these common holding-company reporting errors.

Higher Education: New Uniform Guidance from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB)


It is important that this Uniform Grant Guidance be reviewed to determine what impact it will have on your organization in order to ensure compliance with these new requirements.

If You’ve Put Your Home on the Market, You Need to Know the Tax Consequences of a Sale

Summer is a common time to put a home on the market. If you’re among those who are following this trend, it’s important to be aware of the tax consequences.

Pension Protection Act (PPA) Restatement Guidance


Although the need to restate a pre-approved prototype plan is mandatory, it offers an excellent opportunity to evaluate your current plan provisions and ensure that your plan still meets your needs and expectations. New plan designs and options may now be available that may better fit your employee group and your personal needs.

Heartbleed Bug Causes Vulnerability


Learn about the Heartbleed bug and what can be done to protect yourself.

Tax Return Fraud Targets Healthcare Professionals

Identity theft and tax refund fraud occurrences are on the rise, specifically those targeting physicians and dentists.

IRS Warns of a New Email Phishing Scheme

The Internal Revenue Service is warning consumers to be on the lookout for a new email phishing scam. The emails appear to be from the IRS Taxpayer Advocate Service and include a bogus case number.

New Public Pension Accounting Rules Set to Go into Effect for Governmental Employers


For employer fiscal years beginning after June 15, 2014, the new public pension accounting rules, issued in June 2012 by the Government Accounting Standards Board (GASB), will go into effect. It is important for pension plans and governmental employers that have not yet begun the process to become acquainted with the new standards and to initiate discussions that address key implementation issues.

Cloud Computing: What is it all about?


A buzzword in business and IT circles for the past several years, cloud computing continues to grow in popularity.

Payroll Tax Changes for 2014 and Other Matters

2014 updates on payroll taxes, mileage rates, and 1099's.

2014 Pension Limits and Thresholds


A few items to update you on current limits as they relate to your qualified retirement plan.

IRS Announces 2014 Standard Mileage Rates

2014 standard mileage rates for business, medical, and moving purposes.

Have You Received a Form 1098-T Penalty Notice?


If you are like most colleges and universities, you have already received your Form 1098-T penalty notice from the IRS. These penalty notices started going out in August to colleges and universities across the country.

AHP Celebrates 20 Years in Business

AHP got its start in October 1993 when AHP took over the Ernst & Young offices in the Saginaw and Greater Lansing areas. It was then that Jim Andrews, Mark Hooper, and Kim Pavlik, along with 26 others, started AHP based on a foundation of large firm experience and quality along with attention to service based on close relationships.

COSO’s Internal Control Framework Gets Updated


The Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission (COSO) recently updated its Internal Control – Integrated Framework. COSO originally issued the framework in 1992 to address the need for a common approach to implementing and evaluating internal control.

How the New Medicare Tax Impacts Your Involvement in Passive Business Activities


Starting in 2013, enacted as part of the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act, there is a new 3.8 percent Medicare contribution tax on net investment income (NII). This new tax will raise the stakes for those taxpayers invested in “passive” trades or businesses.

Important IRS Regulation Changes Regarding Tangible Property

On September 19, 2013 the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) finalized tangible property regulations on repair deductions and capitalization of expenditures related to tangible property. These regulations will have a wide range and direct effect on businesses in all industries that acquire, produce, replace, or improve tangible property.

IRS Delays Start of 2014 Tax Season

IRS announces a delay in the start of the 2014 tax season by an estimated one to two weeks.

How the Supreme Court’s Ruling on DOMA Impacts Federal Income Taxes and Employee Benefits

This article briefly explains the impact of the Supreme Court's landmark decision on Defense of Marriage Act.

Deadline Approaching for Employers to Provide Notice on Health Insurance Marketplace

Certain employers must provide written notice to employees about health insurance coverage they offer, along with an explanation of the options available through the Marketplace.

Community Banking Advisor Summer 2013

AHP's quarterly newsletter for financial institutions.

IRS Issues Report on Colleges and Universities Compliance Project


Higher education institutions and other non-profit organizations can use the results of this project as an educational tool to be more aware of what the IRS will be looking at in the future. The report focuses primarily on two areas: underreporting of unrelated business taxable income and compensation practices of the selected organizations.

Start Your Business Right by Minding the Details


You just had a great idea. Customers will love it. You want to start a business or lead your organization down a new path. Now what?

Community Banking Advisor Spring 2013

AHP's quarterly newsletter for financial institutions.

IRS Reverses Position on OREO

Over the past several years the IRS has been challenging banks during audits on the deductibility of Other Real Estate Owned (OREO) expenses. The Office of the Chief Counsel for the IRS just released a Memorandum which now supports the banks' position.

Beware of Scam Targeting Corporations in Michigan

Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) warns of scam targeting Michigan corporations.

2013 Pension Limits and Thresholds

A few items to update you on current limits as they relate to your qualified retirement plan.

Highlights of the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012

Signed on January 2, 2013, by the President, the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 addresses a raise in taxes for higher income households, provides a fix to the Alternative Minimum Tax, and extends a few tax credits. AHP has summarized the key tax provisions of the Act in order to illustrate how it may affect you.

Community Banking Advisor Winter 2013

AHP's quarterly newsletter for financial institutions.

Payroll Tax Changes for 2013 and Other Matters

Read about changes coming up in 2013.

IRS Sets Effective Date for Repair/Capitalization Regulations

Last month, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued Notice 2012-73 regarding the intent of Treasury to issue final regulations in 2013 regarding the deduction and capitalization of expenditures related to tangible property. It is important to become familiar with how these regulations will affect your business.

IRS Increases the Standard Mileage Rate

The standard mileage rate will increase by one cent for 2013.

AHP Announces the Promotion of Laura Ebel to Partner

Andrews Hooper Pavlik PLC (AHP) is proud to announce the promotion of Laura M. (Kloha) Ebel to partner, effective January 1, 2013.

Is Your Organization Zombie-Resilient?


Why should you care about the zombie apocalypse? While the likelihood of a literal zombie attack may be zero, it has obvious advantages as a metaphor for being prepared and surviving a catastrophe.

Community Banking Advisor Fall 2012

AHP's newsletter for financial institutions.

Healthcare Act Tax Changes Affecting Individuals in 2013

A refresher course on the four key changes that can potentially affect individual taxpayers in 2013 and what you can do between now and December 31, 2012 to minimize the negative effects on your tax situation.

The Benefits of Making Gifts Before 2013

Currently, there is a window of opportunity to take advantage of a historically high exclusion amount for lifetime gifts.

Regulatory Changes Affect More Than Just Compliance


The regulatory changes that will occur over the next 18 months, particularly on the loan side of the financial institution, will be massive.

Income Tax Changes for Businesses in Michigan

An overview of filing requirements, how the tax is calculated, and important dates as they relate to the CIT.

Eliminating Waste in Business Processes


How eliminating waste from your processes helps your business.

Proposed New Rules on Appraisals


The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has announced proposed changes to Regulation B and to Regulation Z. The Regulation B change will affect all applications for first-lien secured loans on dwellings and, therefore, will have the greatest impact of the two.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Strikes Again


The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has been busy. This article provides a discussion of the proposed RESPA changes.

Flood Insurance Rule Changes


On July 6, 2012, President Obama signed into law the transportation bill, which included the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012. Read more...

Community Banking Advisor Summer 2012

AHP's newsletter for financial institutions.

Deposit Insurance Fees: The FDIC Gets a Little Testy


FDIC makes clarifications on deposit insurance fees.

Banking and Lotteries


The Federal Reserve Act, the National Bank Act and the Federal Deposit Insurance Act all have provisions prohibiting a bank from participating in a lottery. Learn more about what this entails.

Right to Rescind for Closed End Loans


A refresher course on the right to rescind for closed end loans

The Basics of Unlimited Federal Deposit Insurance


On January 1, 2010 the Transaction Account Guaranty Program expired, and the unlimited insurance of non-interest bearing deposit accounts provided in Section 343 of Dodd Frank became effective. It in turn expires, unless extended by Congress, on December 31, 2012.

Community Banking Advisor Spring 2012

AHP's newsletter for financial institutions.

The SAFE Act Revisited


Learn about important changes affecting mortgage loan originators (MLO).

Social Media: What a Financial Institution Needs to Know


For a financial institution social media is two things. First it is a method for you to promote your financial institution and its products very inexpensively. Second, it is a way for your customers to very publicly express their opinion of your financial institution and its services.

Here a Risk, There a Risk


Risk assessments are at the core of any effective BSA/AML Program and corresponding examination.

More Than a Warning Shot


On April 18, Ms. Patrice Ficklin, the Assistant Director for the Office of Fair Lending and Equal Opportunity of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, posted a blog on the CFPB website entitled “Fair Notice on Fair Lending”. This blog is more than just a warning shot over the bow of the lending industry.

Spring Cleaning with a Sanity Check


There is a lot of confusion about the new rules regarding compensating residential loan officers and just how strictly they will be applied.

Combined RESPA and TIL Disclosures: There is More to the Proposed Changes than Meets the Eye


Some of the biggest changes that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is considering have nothing to do with the disclosures themselves, but with the basic definition and calculation of the information that is being disclosed.

Diversity in the Banking Workplace


Under Section 342 of Dodd Frank, each banking regulatory agency is required to establish an Office of Minority and Women Inclusion.

BSA: When are Two Customers One? Aggregating Transactions for CTRs.


Sometimes under the BSA rules a bank must aggregate the cash transactions of two separately incorporated customers for the purpose of CTR reporting if the separate customers have common ownership and a level of joint operations.

Applicants, Consumers, Co-Signers and Co-Borrowers: Those Pesky Definitions


An understanding of the definitions for each regulation is mandatory in order to have a clear understanding of the regulation itself and a compliant result.

Suspicious Activity Reporting: When Does an Activity Become Suspicious?


Identifying a suspicious activity can be difficult because what is considered suspicious is subjective.

Mobile Devices in Business


Using mobile devices for business purposes.

Two Old Issues Revisited


An important update for financial institutions regarding overdraft fees and residential loan officer compensation.

Review Your Junior Lien Portfolio for Allowance for Loan and Lease Loss


On January 31, the regulatory agencies issued an Interagency Supervisory Guidance on Allowance for Loan and Lease Loss Estimation Practices for Loans and Lines of Credit Secured by Junior Liens on 1-4 Family Residential Properties.

Community Banking Advisor Winter 2012

AHP's newsletter for financial institutions.

Question and Answer: R&D Tax Credit

Q: I keep hearing that contractors can qualify for an R&D tax credit. Is this something I should look into?

Putting Incentives to Work

One electrical contractor recently used a provision of the Energy Policy Act of 2003 to salvage a project that was in danger of being postponed – and earned an attractive tax incentive at the same time.

Finding a Niche - Create Your Own Competitive Advantage

You’ve cut out all unnecessary expenses, taken a sharp pencil to your bids to make sure you don’t miss out on any reasonable opportunity, and tightened up billing and collections to maximize cash flow.

Joint Venture Risks That are Often Overlooked

With credit still tight and sureties still cautious, more and more contractors are considering joint ventures as a way to get their businesses moving again.

Fraud Risk Prevention


Learn how to prevent fraud within your business.

Financial Planning 101: Review Your Life Insurance


Learn the benefits of having your life insurance policy reviewed.

Contractor Financing White Paper

How to improve your chances of obtaining a loan in today’s tight credit environment.

Defining and Managing Risk

Is your organization at risk? This article can help you determine the answer to this question.