Aug 22

Residential Solar Incentives

There are some really cool federal individual income tax credit and production incentives for the purchase of solar electricity generating equipment. The attached article provides a general summary, applicable to residential purchases, of some of these benefits. In the right individual circumstances, a fairly quick payback period can be obtained.

Once a system cost has been recouped, you will have the on-going benefit of a significantly reduced electricity bill. In certain cases, with the use of net metering, your annual residential electricity cost may be $0.

It is worth a look! Please let us know if you should have any questions or want to complete some personalized tax planning.

Res Solar Panel Purch Incentives 0818

Aug 17

Business Tax Return Due Dates by Kyle Edberg

Kyle 1

 

If you file a tax return for a business, the IRS is changing when you need to file your return.  For tax years beginning after December 31, 2015, the changes are as follows

  • Corporation – Form 1120
    Previously due March 15, changing to April 15
  • S Corporation – Form 1120S
    Due date will continue to be March 15
  • Partnership – Form 1065
    Previously due April 15, changing to March 15
  • The due date for all of these returns that file extensions will continue to be September 15.

This change was included in the highway bill that was recently passed by Congress and signed into law by President Obama.  We believe this provision was added to this bill to have all entities that provide information to owners (partnerships and S corporations) on a Schedule K-1 filing on the same date.  It also allows corporate entities filing Form 1120 an additional month before paying tax owing with a return.

For most taxpayers, this change will take effect with their calendar year 2016 returns.  2015 returns will continue to use the due dates from previous years.

We’re happy to discuss these changes with you.  Please let us know if you have questions.

Jun 26

Credit Card Fraud by Robert D Marple

My family recently took a trip to Europe to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary.

We found credit cards were widely accepted in our foreign travels with two significant differences in their use, as compared to use in the U.S.

stockvault-credit-cards166050

The built in credit card chip was common-place in Europe and waiters & waitresses would bring their charge card reader to you and not take your credit card.

It appears the U.S. is behind in the adoption of both practices, chip use and card reader use. This may be changing with recent announcements and would be steps in the right direction. Charge card fraud is a significant problem in the U.S. with AP apparently reporting 50% of all credit card fraud in the world occurs in the U.S.

Everyone, including retailers and credit card companies, must become more proactive in their efforts to protect against ID theft and credit card fraud.

Aug 09

Business Benchmarking

There are so many demands on a business owner and it is easy to get into a reactionary mode just dealing with issues as they come up.

There are a number of ways to become proactive with your business. One method is to consider the use of benchmarking. In general, benchmarking is a process for comparing your business metrics with the metrics of other businesses. Benchmarking can be a very valuable tool in your business owner toolkit.

Our firm provides the Profit Cents benchmarking services of Sageworks. We provide the basic service, free to our existing clients.

You utilize Profit Cents services by providing your business metrics (no business name is provided when the data is entered into their databases) and obtaining a summary report comparing your business with similar businesses. You can also obtain industry summary reports for businesses similar to yours if you prefer not to share your financial data.

See below for sample report clips and our website for full Profit Cents reports. Please let us know if you should have any questions regarding Profit Cents and business benchmarking.

Click here for a sample report Benchmark

 

Dec 05

Data Backup and Computer Viruses

It is extremely important to backup your business and personal computer data on a regular basis and have more than one backup. Everyone knows this but few are adequately prepared.

A computer virus making the rounds serves as a stark reminder of how important data backup is. This particular virus encrypts the data on your computer and then demands payment, through Bitcoin or other difficult to trace payment methods, to obtain a key to unlock your data.

The virus is evidently spread by the opening of an e-mail attachment which looks like a FedEx tracking number. The locking and encryption apparently produces the following screen message as detailed in a feature story from the Business Insider:

Computer Virus

In a really nasty turn of events, apparently some of the servers facilitating payments and return of the key to unlock your data, have been seized by authorities. While it is great that some of the equipment used by these cyber-thieves has been confiscated it could also mean you might not be able to get a key to unlock your data.

Remember to backup regularly using more than one source! We have spent a significant amount of time developing data backup procedures and processes. Please let us know if you should have any questions.

 

May 11

Mother’s Day Greetings & Technology

Our firm is a big user of technology and use some of the Google services and products. There was a brief video posted by Google on You Tube entitled “Here’s to the Moms”.

It is a wonderfully done video and the perfect tribute to all moms, those still with us and those not. Our firm thought you might enjoy this video.

 

 

Feb 18

Tri-Cities Housing Growth

It is amazing how many different housing developments are underway in the Tri-Cities at this time. Not only are there a number of different projects underway but the scope of some is truly amazing.

Thompson Hill 1

 

The area behind Thompson Hill is great example. The south side of this hill is undergoing a transformation that is unbelievable. This hill received its name from Ken Thompson who built the first home on this hill and local folks just started to call it Thompson hill. (Ken was quite an interesting guy and even sponsored an unlimited hydroplane.)

Thompson Hill 2

You can see what use to be the Thompson residence (trees in left center) in this photo. A significant portion of the south side of the hill is under development and some of the lots are now starting to take shape.

Thompson Hill 3

There will likely be lots built on the top of the hill to take in the stunning view.

IMG_2929