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Tax reform provides an opportunity for simplification and tax relief for "small" businesses. Under the Act, a small business is defined as a taxpayer with average gross receipts during the previous three tax years of $25,000,000 or less. The $25,000,000 limit will be indexed for years after 2018. So what are qualifying taxpayers eligible for?

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As many companies work towards completing implementation of ASC Topic 606 (Revenue from Contracts with Customers), differing methods of accounting could be required for financial reporting vs. tax reporting. For annual reporting periods beginning after Dec. 15, 2018 (or beginning after Dec. 15, 2017 for publicly-traded entities), an entity must recognize revenue for promised goods and services to customers for financial reporting purposes in an amount that reflects the consideration to which the entity expects to be entitled in exchange for those goods and services under a five-step model.

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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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Recently, FASB issued ASU No. 2017-11, which changed the accounting for down round features and indefinite deferrals.

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A major change is on the horizon to how partnerships and LLCs are taxed and the relationships they have with their current and former partners. When the new audit regulations of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 (the BBA rules) take effect Jan. 1, 2018, it will be the first time ever in the history of audits that a tax could apply to a partnership or LLC.

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The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) issued a new Accounting Standard Update in early 2017 (ASU 2017-05) to clarify guidance on Accounting Standard Codification (ASC) Subtopic 610-20 - Gains and Losses from the Derecognition of Nonfinancial Assets. All public entities should apply the amendments in ASU 2017-05 to annual reporting periods beginning after Dec. 15, 2017.

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The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) has issued Accounting Standards Update (ASU) 2017-08 to update the amortization period of certain callable debt securities held at a premium, requiring the premium to be amortized to the earliest call date. Entities generally amortize the premiums and discounts on callable debt securities over the contractual life of the instrument under current GAAP.

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In 2015, the Financial Accounting Standards Board issued Accounting Standards Update Simplifying the Measurement of Inventory (ASU 2015-11). This standard simplifies the subsequent measurement of inventory by replacing the "lower of cost or market" test with a new "lower of cost and net realizable value test." However, entities that use the LIFO or retail inventory methods, will continue applying their current impairment models.

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The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) released Accounting Standards Update (ASU) 2017-01 in order to have more consistent application of accounting principles relating to business and asset acquisitions and disposals. The ASU aims to achieve this by clarifying the definition of a business with the objective of adding guidance to assist entities with evaluating whether transactions should be accounted for as acquisitions (or disposals) of assets or businesses.

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With the release of Accounting Standards Update (ASU) 2016-09 by FASB, accounting for employee share-based payments will take a more simplified approach to both accounting and financial reporting. One change noted in the ASU is that any excess tax benefit that used to be recognized as additional paid-in capital is now to be recorded as income tax expense. Any tax deficiencies are now to be reported on the income statement and cannot be used to offset accumulated excess tax benefits.

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