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Hosted at the MSU Management Education Center in Troy, MI Wednesday December 6 2017 | 8:00AM–5:30PM

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Prior to July 1, 2017 dental labs had been considered providers of a non-taxable service on the sale of prosthetic devices they manufactured and were not required to charge sales tax on the sales of the prosthetic devices (Michigan Letter Ruling 1985-20). Furthermore, the labs did not qualify for the "industrial processing exemption" and paid sales tax on the purchase of the materials to create the prosthetic device.

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The Michigan Department of Treasury will be implementing a new tax return system for motor fuel taxes over the next several months. The goal is to establish a modern system to make filing returns easier and more efficient. In the meantime companies should continue to file returns using the current method until the new system is complete. 

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A Roth IRA can be an attractive investment over a traditional IRA in a couple of different ways: it gives taxpayers the opportunity to avoid tax on their IRA distributions and a Roth is not subject to required minimum distribution rules. When converting a traditional IRA to a Roth IRA, a taxable event occurs and taxpayers must pay tax on their conversion amount as if it were ordinary income.

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With ever-growing globalization, wealthy families have taken the opportunity to live and maintain homes all across the world, including in the United States. One of the potential challenges facing such individuals is planning their estates in an effort to maximize tax efficiencies and to retain their hard-earned wealth.

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Executing new ideas in a conventional way is one of the key missteps we have seen people repeat when they are operationalizing a resilient organization. Convention tells you that to change an organization’s performance you need to change the organization by bringing together functions, capabilities and supporting technologies.

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The "Big Six" issued their "Unified Framework for Fixing Our Broken Tax Code". The framework is intended to give a template for the tax-writing committees to develop tax reform. The framework is also consistent with President Trump's four principles for tax reform.

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Bank lending to the private sector in the US is just 14 percent higher in the last year than it was before the financial crisis – compared to a global average of 24 percent – hampering the return to economic growth, reveals a new study by UHY, the international accounting and consultancy network.

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A new ransomware attack is underway world-wide, already targeting 20 million plus victims in the first few days. Here are the key facts to date: attack comes via email from Herbalife confirming an order or from a more generic "copier@______" address, email includes an attachment which when opened launches the ransomware, here may be as many as 8,000 variants of the email messages, no victims that have paid a ransom have received a decryption tool thus far

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The effective date of the new lease accounting standard, Accounting Standard Update (ASU) No. 2016-02, Leases (Topic 842), is quickly approaching with an effective date for fiscal years ending after Dec. 15, 2018 and Dec. 15, 2019 for public and non-public companies respectively. ASU 2016-02 is the first major change in lease accounting in over 30 years following the issuance of Statement of Financial Accounting Standards (SFAS) No. 13 in 1976 . Working towards convergence with International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) and generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP), and greater transparency are a couple of the major driving forces behind the new standard.

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The Bonus Bind: Are Bonuses Appropriate in Today’s Economy?
Sunday, November 8, 2009 by SuperUser Account
As our nation prepares for a slow economic revival in 2010, companies are realizing that their employees — especially those who have stuck through the ups and downs of 2009 — are more valuable than ever. Validating key performers’ efforts and recognizing work well done will move up a rung on the ladder of importance for talent retention. According to “American Job Thankfulness,” a survey conducted just before Thanksgiving, while most Americans are thankful for their jobs, a good number are willing to leave. Why? For 46% of those surveyed, it’s because they do not feel they are being recognized for their performance and the value they add.
 
These circumstances present an interesting quandary for companies and begs the question, how should companies recognize top performers? Giving bonuses comes to mind as a natural way to keep a company’s best talent happy. But in the face of continued pressure to conserve assets and operate in a tight fiscal environment, what part should bonuses play in the recognition mix?
You may recall the debates that ensued last January after Wall Street bankers accepted close to $20 billion in bonuses at the same time that the financial industry accepted a $700 billion bailout fund to prop up the financial system. President Obama called the bankers’ acceptance of those bonuses "shameful.”
 
The underlying predicament with bonuses — which companies will continue to face, perhaps to an even greater degree in 2010 — is the belief that there is a time for bonuses, and tough times are not the time. Others feel that times might get tougher if you lose top performers. In fact, many employees claim feeling burnt-out in their jobs because of extra work they’ve taken on as a result of company layoffs and being willing to shop around as soon as the job market stabilizes. The notion that employees are just thankful to have jobs is not entirely true.
 
Taking into account the price companies pay when losing key employees and finding replacements, the loss of intellectual capital and the interruption to production — developing a retention strategy as part of your upturn preparation is key. In fact, according to an article in the WorldatWork magazine, workspan, "The Balance Beam: Keeping Key People in Tough Times," it’s not only important to keep the best people, but the right people as well. “In times of economic distress, it becomes even more critical for organizations to optimize their workforces, use the right engagement and development strategies with employees and make the best human capital investments and decisions.”
 
Considering all of this, it seems that if the performance is there and the company is able to safely pay, it’s important to reward individuals for a job well done and take one more step toward retaining those valuable employees. This time of year also seems most appropriate to reexamine bonus recognition programs and ensure that companies are executing an effective approach. While most companies tie salary increases to some mix of individual and business performance, few companies develop recognition programs that differentiate high performers from other workers. As bonus pools dwindle, making this distinction will be imperative to the financial health of most companies.
 
To further define companies’ positions on whether bonuses are appropriate in today’s economy and if so, the basis for which bonuses are being distributed, UHY Advisors conducted a pulse survey on the topic during their Fourth Quarter 2009 Financial Leaders Summit. According to the results, 18.2% of respondents will not be granting bonuses; however a full 81.8% are giving bonus recognition. How are these responding companies going about granting their bonuses? The large majority, 48.5%, of the respondents are basing bonuses on a combination of personal and company performance; the remaining bonus rationale was based on company performance (24.2%), personal performance (9.1%), and end of year/holiday recognition (6.1%).
 
In the end, it all comes down to striking a balance between motivating your team and demonstrating to them their value, and being fiscally responsible. Below are a few bonus strategies for business leaders to consider:
1. If top workers are accustomed to receiving bonuses based on performance, and your company is financially able, then give bonuses. Why? Because by doing so you confirm their value to the organization and give recognition to the impact of their work on the company’s future direction. Plus, if you don’t give bonuses when expected, the message is sent that the company is not doing well, and employees may begin to fear for their jobs and potentially look elsewhere. Again, retention is paramount now ― so it’s important to give bonus pay if able. If your company is in a position to give bonuses but needs to reduce the amount, explain that to employees. People understand the pressures companies face today to conserve cash and operate in a lean manner. 
 
2. If bonus pay is a stretch, give other perks in lieu of cash — paid time off, alternative work schedules, gift certificates to local establishments. Any form of recognition is better than none at all. Make sure your top performers’ efforts are recognized, conversations are open about the status of the company and expectations for future bonuses are discussed.
 
3. Over-communicate. Whatever you decide, make sure you communicate it openly and honestly with your staff. Keeping employees, especially top performers, in the dark might send them searching for a more stable environment.
All things considered, bonus strategies boil down to securing your brain trust and expressing the value your top talent brings to the company. There is no cookie-cutter answer to this critical question—the decision will be different for each company. One decision that is the same for companies across the board, however, is that the last thing they need right now is to lose top performers who are critical to sustaining market share and driving future success.