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UPDATE 11/23/16: The Overtime Rule will not go into effect 12/1/16 as planned. Read here for full details.

Several rules and regulations have recently been passed that will affect payroll. Here is a summary of what to expect.

The Overtime Rule

Final ruling has been passed and will become effective on December 1, 2016. The final rule does not make any changes to the duties test for executive, administrative and professional employees. The final rule will raise the salary threshold indicating eligibility from $455/week to $913/week. Thus, anyone earning hourly wages or a set salary under $47,476 annually will be entitled to overtime pay.

In response to the new overtime rule, employers can:

• Pay time-and-a-half for overtime work
• Raise workers' salaries above the new threshold
• Limit workers' hours to 40 per week
• Some combination of the above

For additional information, please review Guidance for Private Employers or Guidance for Non-Profit Employers.

Please consult your HR Specialist to make sure you are in compliance prior to the effective date.

PA Child Support

Previously, employers were permitted to deduct up to 2% of the ordered amount per pay as reimbursement for administrative costs related to withholding support. Effective 8/30/16, employers may deduct a one-time fee of $50 for reimbursement of administrative expenses. The 2% fee is no longer permitted.

Accelerated Form W2/W3 and 1099-MISC Filing Deadlines

Beginning with 2016 forms filed in early 2017, employers are required to file forms W2 and W3, whether filing electronically or on paper, to the Social Security Administration by January 31. Form W2 is still required to be provided to employees by January 31.

The new January 31 deadline also applies to Forms 1099-MISC on which nonemployee compensation is reported in Box 7, even if amounts are also reported in other boxes on the form.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions. We are happy to help.

401k red flag

We are pleased to announce the third seminar in our series on Financial Literacy, Financial Self-Defense Moves for Your Work Retirement Plan and IRA Assets. Taking place Wednesday, September 21st in our Hatfield location, we are offering two sessions so you may attend at your convenience. The first session will run from 3:00-4:00 pm and the second 7:00-8:00 pm.

You will learn:

• Strategies to maximize your account assets in time for your retirement
• Retirement plan expenses and how excessive fees can eat into your account returns
• Tax implications - whether to use pre-tax or Roth contributions
• Different account features - what they are and tips on how to use them

The information provided in this seminar is based on the recently-published book – Your 401k, The Danger Within – which was co-written by Dr. Peter Roland, Managing Director and one of the founders of Canon Capital, and Roger Levy, CEO of Cambridge Fiduciary Services, LLC. Roger Levy’s name might sound familiar to you because he filed an amicus brief in support of the plaintiff, 401(k) plan participants, in the recent landmark Supreme Court case, Tibble v. Edison International.

This seminar is provided free of charge and is for any individuals desiring to maximize the amounts accumulated in their retirement accounts and also to learn what to look for when reviewing account investments, expenses, and service features.

Our time together will be both educational and informative. Please feel free to bring a relative or friend who might benefit from the topic. Every attendee will receive a free copy of Your 401k, The Danger Within, and Dr. Roland will be happy to sign your copy.

RSVP by Friday, 9/16/2016, to Jen Norman. You may RSVP via This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or call 215-723-4881, ext. 207. Please let us know whether you would like to attend the 3:00 pm or 7:00 pm session.

Canon Capital Management Group provides a single source of financial and business services to help you make the right decisions. 

Couple Concerned Finances

“Details matter.” That’s what a client recently said as I was handing her a series of amended tax returns for 2014 and 2015 which included around $18,000 in additional taxes owed. Add to that a projection of an additional $37,000 owed for 2016. Why? Four words. Four little words cost my client over $55,000 in unexpected taxes, and I am helpless to do anything about it at this point.

“Details matter.” How simple, yet how profound.

The four words? “Tenants-by-the-entireties.” What does that even mean?

My client’s husband had 50/50 ownership of several rental properties with an unrelated partner. My client’s husband began to have failing health and passed away in 2014. Before his passing, they approached a lawyer to provide some estate planning.

Fortunately, the lawyer established an estate where shares of the partnership would be passed to the children and heirs. This not only kept the partnership from terminating upon my client’s husband’s death but it also meant the partnership was no longer a 50/50 split. Simply put, you need two people for a partnership. If one passes away, the partnership no longer has two individuals and therefore can’t exist. So the lawyer adequately addressed one concern by passing the partnership on to the children and heirs. However, he also did something else that he probably shouldn’t have done. He admitted the wife into the partnership as “tenants-by-the-entireties.” Those four words – “tenants by the entireties” – cost my client about $55,000.

When my client’s husband passed away, the partnership interest (aka ownership) would have automatically gone to his surviving spouse. The fair market value of the partnership interest would have passed through his estate, and his wife would have inherited the properties/partnership interest at full fair market value. So if the properties were sold the day after the husband’s passing, the wife wouldn’t pay a penny in federal income tax because it was handled through the estate.

What should have been a simple inheritance was complicated by the lawyer admitting the wife to the partnership, creating a tenancy by the entireties. From a tax perspective, she then owned 50% of her husband’s share and became ineligible to inherit the whole ownership at fair market value. She was only eligible to inherit half of it at fair market value. As a result, she had to pay taxes on her half of her husband’s share.

Communication is Key

While this is a very complicated area of tax law, the point of the story is this: Whether you have a multi-million-dollar business or as little as two rental properties, make sure your team is in communication with each other. Your accountant, lawyer, insurance agent, investment broker, etc., should all be on the same page. I recommend your accountant should be the “quarterback” guiding the team and identifying the “details” that matter.

It wasn’t until after we drafted the final partnership return in 2016 that we discovered the partnership agreement as it was revised. At that point, there was nothing we could do. While the lawyer did what he did to ease the transfer of ownership, it cost my client approximately $55,000.

Don’t be deceived into thinking this couldn’t happen to you. These particular clients weren’t “big clients with a lot of money.” There were only two rental properties. So please, hear my plea, and that of my clients: “Details matter.”

If you have questions about how your estate planning affects your tax situation, we’d be happy to help. Contact us or call 215-723-4881.

 

BrentThompson fromweb

Brent Thompson, CPA has been with Canon Capital since 1998. He provides management advisory services, tax and general business planning, tax preparation, and financial statement preparation and review services for numerous businesses and their owners. He holds the Certified Management Accountant (CMA) designation and a Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA) designation. Brent is a member of the AICPA and the Institute of CMA’s.

This article is designed for general information only. The information presented should not be construed to be formal advice nor the formation of a client relationship.

Fraud red flag

The recap of our recent “Financial Self-Defense” seminar concludes with a general overview of the red flags to be wary of when dealing with a financial advisor. You always have the right to pursue a second opinion and to take the time to think things over.

Top Ten Red Flags of Financial Fraud

#1. “We’ve known him forever. I’m sure you can trust him.”
This is the “friends and family” prospects model. Your friend’s nephew is just starting out at a financial firm. Do you mind if he meets with you? It’s not impolite to decline such a meeting or, if you agree, do your homework. Make sure this person is someone you truly would trust with your finances.

#2. “Just sign here. I’ll take care of the rest.”
Never leave blanks on your signed financial paperwork. It might be tempting but be present for the completion of your paperwork.

#3. “This is just for my special clients.”
Beware any offer labeled as “private” or “exclusive.” It rarely is. Ask whether your investments are regulated or supervised by independent third parties.

#4. “I’ll send you all of the investment reports.”
Make sure you receive reports from your advisor and the independent third party custodian of your accounts. Those reports should match.

#5. “Make the check payable to me.”
Your check should be made payable to the custodial entity. Never give a financial professional a blank check, no matter how trusted your relationship.

CCMG FinancialSelfDefense May2016

#6. “I know it’s a difficult time, but you need to decide now.”
Take your time. If you’ve inherited some money, it’s recommended to take up to one year to decide how to manage these funds. Feel free to bring a trusted friend along to your appointment. Trust, but verify.

#7. “This one’s a no-brainer. You can’t lose.”
There’s prudence in financial management, but nothing is certain. Take your time. Get a second opinion. It’s your money.

#8. “This offer is only good today.”
Pressure selling is a common practice in the brokerage world. If anyone tries to force you into a decision using this tactic, steer clear.

#9. “I can replace that with something better.”
Understand how a financial professional earns their pay. Before agreeing to any transaction, carefully consider the charges you’ll incur and the timing involved.

#10. “It’s very complicated. No need to bother you with all the details.”
Don’t buy what you can’t understand. Make sure the advisor explains everything about your investments.

In addition to avoiding all of these red flags, it’s a good idea to designate a trusted friend or relative to handle your investments should something happen to you.

If you have questions about your investments or would like a second opinion, we’re happy to help. Contact us online or call 215-723-4881.

 

Miss the first two Financial Self-Defense: Financial Fraud Recaps? Read them now:

Financial Self-Defense: Avoiding IRS Scams

Financial Self-Defense for Senior Citizens

 

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