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Connecticut governor Ned Lamont proposed a two year $43.1 billion budget last week with the goal of modernizing the Sales Tax Base and bringing Connecticut's tax code into the 21st century - and make it fairer - by capturing a growing share of the digital economy and expenditures on consumer-oriented services. The end result is to have goods and services to be taxed equally.

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The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act greatly simplified the Kiddie Tax. The original Kiddie Tax required children under the age of 18, or under age 24 if they are a full time student, to pay taxes on their unearned income (interest, dividends, capital gains, rents, etc.) over $2,100 at their parents’ highest tax rate. It also required a separate form and some complicated computations, as well as requiring parents to share their tax information with their children.

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Do you have current or new employees that you plan to reimburse for moving expenses? In the past, these payments were excluded from income and treated as a non-taxable for the employees provided they were reimbursed under an accountable plan and the relocation met the distance requirements.

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The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act brought about many changes related to the deductibility of meals and entertainment expenses. Generally, business entertainment expenses (not including food and beverage expenses) are no longer deductible for amounts paid or incurred after Dec. 31, 2017. The term entertainment includes activities that are generally considered to constitute entertainment, amusement, or recreation, such as entertaining at a country club or athletic event.

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Using the per diem allowance rule can help alleviate the recordkeeping for lodging, meals, and incidental expenses incurred by an employee while away from home overnight on business. It can be a useful tool when you have many employees traveling on business at once. However, are you aware of the Internal Revenue Service requirements for reporting billable per diems on customer invoices?

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The IRS is requiring certain verification of identities during phone calls in an attempt to prevent tax fraud. Taxpayers and tax professionals must have the required verification in order for the IRS to answer questions regarding certain tax items. By law, the IRS telephone assistors will only speak with the taxpayer or the taxpayer's legally designated representative.

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Michael Zovistoski, Managing Director, was recently quoted in Financial Advisor. To view the article, "Shocking Disparity in LTC Insurance Rates."

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The new lease accounting standard, ASU 2016-02 (Topic 842), is set to take effect for not-for-profit organizations that have issued, or is a conduit bond obligor for, securities that are traded, listed, or quoted on an exchange or an over-the-counter market, with fiscal years beginning after Dec. 15, 2018 and for all other not-for-profits for fiscal years beginning after Dec. 15, 2019. Issued by the FASB in February 2016, the new standard significantly affects the way leases are recorded on the balance sheet. While there has been considerable emphasis placed on understanding what will change under this new standard, it is just as important to understand what will remain the same.

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When it comes to maintaining a proper accounting environment and having effective internal controls, not-for-profits (NFP) have essentially the same requirement as commercial organizations do. Having both are critical to capturing accounting data to provide for proper financial reporting, decision making, third party requirements, etc. However, in the increasingly competitive landscape of charitable organizations, smaller NFPs face some unique constraints that can significantly impact the internal control environment.

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When clients ask if the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) means tax simplification, I remind them of the three fundamental paradigms of taxation: only two things are certain in life – death and taxes; the correct answer to every tax question is “it depends”; and there is no such thing as tax simplification. This holds true in the new tax landscape, the tax reform will not result in simplification of tax law. The new law has brought meaningful changes to the tax code, but with that comes the following added complexities.

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