Author Archives: Allan G. Steinman
About Allan G. SteinmanAllan Steinman is a principal in Bader Martin's tax practice and its accounting and assurance practice.
A For-Profit Corporation with a Social Mission? Washington State Enacts Social Purpose Corporation Law
Jude Martin is one of Seattle’s serial entrepreneurs. With two successful clean technology startups to his credit, he has something a little less business and a little more philanthropic in mind for his next venture. And he has the insanely great idea and the funding for another success.
What he hasn’t found is a corporate structure that supports his socially responsible vision, the implementation of which will impact the new venture’s bottom line: The company will donate a percentage of its (continue reading…)
It’s one of those bad news/goods news things. Gasoline prices are up significantly, increasing the cost of operating an automobile. That’s the bad news.
The good news is that the standard mileage rates used to calculate federal income tax deductions have increased for the final six months of 2011, resulting in larger deductions.
According to IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman, “This year’s increased gas prices are having a major impact on individual Americans. The IRS is adjusting the standard mileage rates to better (continue reading…)
You’ve probably had the experience. You’re given a gift card. It sits in your wallet for a few months―or maybe in your drawer. When you finally remember to use it, it’s expired or the issuer’s fees have reduced the value to almost nothing.
Who can keep track of the fees and expiration dates―especially when the rules for each gift card are different?
In what has been described as a win-win situation, the Federal Reserve Board has issued new rules―as required by last (continue reading…)
Affluent taxpayers have an attractive new retirement option available to them this year, the Roth IRA.
For the first time, income restrictions on converting to a Roth IRA no longer apply. A whole new group of affluent taxpayers is now eligible to convert traditional retirement accounts to Roth IRAs. In addition, there is a one-time benefit this year that delays recognition of taxable income generated as a result of converting.
Unfortunately, in spite of the tax incentives, there is no simple answer (continue reading…)
One hundred million dollars, annually: It’s the amount that Washington State loses each year in uncollected state and local sales taxes―and a significant revenue-enhancement opportunity at a time of growing budget deficits.
To enhance the effectiveness of the state’s sales tax collection efforts, the legislature enacted new rules effective January 1, 2010. If you sell products or services, you’re required to obtain reseller permits from buyers who claim exemption from retail sales tax. Otherwise, it’s generally your responsibility to prove the (continue reading…)
There’s an old saying that home is where the heart is―but it’s also an important economic engine for the country.
Homebuyers are consumers of mortgages; furnishings; appliances; electronics; landscaping materials; and carpentry, electrical and plumbing services.
Of late, that engine has stalled.
As a result, last year the federal government stepped in to help first-time homebuyers purchase houses by offering a homebuyer’s tax credit. Originally set to expire last summer, the credit was extended through November 30, 2009.
This fall, Congress acted to (continue reading…)
They’ve heard it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
Now in their mid-50s, April and Brian have always taken planning for retirement seriously and have accumulated significant (although recently diminished) balances in traditional IRAs as part of their retirement funds.
They also have smaller balances left in the 401(k) plans of former employers.
Although the couple briefly considered Roth IRAs, they were told that their incomes were too high to consider converting their traditional IRAs or to make future Roth IRA contributions.
Recently, April and Brian heard (continue reading…)
“Paying for college has become increasingly difficult for most American students and families,” according to a new report by the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education.
“The cost of college, even with financial aid, represents a larger share of the income of most American families than it did ten years ago.”
As a result, more families have begun investing in tax-advantaged 529 college savings plans to provide for future college costs. In fact, Americans have invested more than $120 billion (continue reading…)
The rules changed for unemployment insurance as of January 1, 2009. Before the change, corporate officers, LLC owners, partners, and sole proprietors were automatically exempted from state unemployment insurance coverage in Washington―unless the business specifically elected to cover them.
Beginning in 2009, for-profit corporations must specifically elect to exclude their corporate officers from unemployment insurance coverage by submitting an exemption form for each officer. If corporations do nothing, their officers will be covered. (Not affected by the rule change are sole (continue reading…)
“It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.” Mark Twain probably wasn’t speaking to business owners, but he could have been.
It actually seems pretty straightforward. For federal income tax purposes, you can deduct the ordinary and necessary expenses you incur in carrying out your business, or in other activities you engage in to produce income.
But what you consider a business may actually be a hobby according to (continue reading…)