Tuesday, June 29, 2010

July/August Disclosures Goes Digital

The July/August issue of Disclosures is hot off the press and on its way to members' mailboxes, but that's not the biggest news of the month.

For the first time ever, Disclosures is now available in a gorgeous high-resolution digital format. Available at http://disclosures.vscpa.com, the digital version uses state-of-the-art page turning software, so you can read the issue online whenever you like. Features include immediate access to all links, which open in a new browser window, real-time RSS feeds of VSCPA news, the ability to easily e-mail articles to friends and colleagues and a robust search feature. We also have the capability to embed video, so watch for that in the future.

In addition, the digital version is now readable on Apple iPhones and iPads!

This is part of the VSCPA's commitment to becoming an "association of the future" -- one that stays on top of emerging trends and constantly scans the horizon for new and innovate ideas to best meet members' needs.

We'll be publishing a tutorial of the digital version in the September/October issue, but it's available now -- so go ahead and check it out! Post your comments on the new digital version here, or feel free to e-mail me directly at jedmonds@vscpa.com.

A Great Discount on a Popular CCH Resource

As a benefit of your VSCPA membership, CCH is offering a 30% discount on the New 2011 U.S. Master Tax Guide. All you have to do is order through the VSCPA partner page by August 31, and you get 30% off. You won’t be billed until the book ships, but you need to order before August 31 to lock in the discount.

This 94th edition reflects all pertinent federal taxation changes that affect 2010 returns and provides fast and reliable answers to tax questions affecting individual and business income tax. For details or to order, visit our CCH partner page at CCHGroup.com/members/VSCPA. For all your member discounts, visit www.vscpa.com/MemberDiscounts.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

CPA Cafe Included in Online Accounting Degree's Top 100 List

Great news! CPA Cafe was recently listed among Online Accounting Degree's "Top 100 Accounting Advice Blogs" in the "Top Accounting Advice State Association Blogs" category.

The Online Accounting Degree website, which includes its own blog, aims to "create the most comprehensive resource for prospective accounting students to find unbiased and honest information about obtaining a college education in accounting and pursuing a career in accounting."

The list compiles a lot of top-notch blogs, many of which we at CPA Cafe visit daily.

Thanks for the mention!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Virginia Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission Reviewing Virginia's Corporate Income Tax System

The Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission (JLARC) is conducting a review of Virginia's corporate income tax system, as directed by the 2009 Virginia General Assembly via HJR 681. You can ensure your perspective is taken into account by taking an anonymous survey by Friday, July 2.

JLARC is surveying C-corporations and pass-through entities with ties to Virginia in order to obtain as much business input as possible.
The Commission will then report to the General Assembly on:

  • The simplicity, equitability and appropriateness of the state's corporate income tax system
  • How it compares to other states'
  • The extent to which it affects economic development
  • Potential improvements
JLARC plans to release a final report on Nov. 8, 2010.  Click here for more information or  to participate in the survey before July 2.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Recognize Top Virginia CPAs

Do you know a top-notch CPA who deserves to be recognized? Honor your colleague by nominating him or her for a Super CPA or SmartCPA award!

Super CPAs
The VSCPA is partnering with Virginia Business magazine for the 10th consecutive year to sponsor the “Super CPA” awards. This public awareness program recognizes extraordinary CPAs for their important contributions to the profession and the Commonwealth of Virginia. If you work for an accounting firm, use this ballot. If you are a CPA for a specific group or company, use this ballot. Nominations are due July 16. More info is available here.

This fall, SmartCEO will recognize more than 300 top CPAs in the Mid-Atlantic in its SmartCPA Readers Poll. Send your nominee's name, firm and practice area to dmills@smartceo.com by June 25, 2010. Multiple nominations are welcome.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

VSCPA Expresses Concern Over Section 413 of the American Jobs and Closing Tax Loopholes Act of 2010

On June 14, the Virginia Society of CPAs (VSCPA) sent a letter to select members of the Senate Committee on Finance and House Committee on Ways & Means to express our concerns about certain aspects of Section 413 of the “American Jobs and Closing Tax Loopholes Act of 2010” (the 2010 Act).

The letter states: "This proposal not only threatens to result in a significant increase in taxes and complexity for S corporations and their shareholders, and for certain limited partners, but it continues the definitional blurring between capital and labor begun in the general partnership arena by further expanding laws that were clearly established to tax-only labor. We are also concerned that the proposal may reduce Social Security benefits for certain retirees."

Read the full comments here.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services, Labor, and Treasury Issue Regulation on 'Grandfathered' Health Plans Under the Affordable Care Act

The U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services, Labor and Treasury yesterday issued a new regulation that aims to protect the ability of individuals and businesses to keep their current health care plan while providing important consumer protections that give Americans control over their own health care.

The new regulation also aims to provide stability and flexibility to insurers and businesses that offer health insurance coverage.

Read more online at http://www.vscpa.com/, or check out a fact sheet about the regulation.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

TAX Releases Supplemental Information on Tax Conformity

The Virginia Department of Taxation (TAX) today released additional information regarding tax conformity. The information released today supplements Tax Bulletin 10-4 and only affects taxable year 2010.

The new information, which can be viewed here, details information on the domestic production deduction and the federal earned income tax credit under IRC § 32(b)(3). Read the entire notice for more information.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

CPAx Agenda Finalized

The agenda for CPAx 2010 — The Business Building Expo has been finalized, and it's not too late to sign up. The event is Tuesday, June 15, from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m. at the Fredericksburg Expo & Conference Center.

Sessions include:
  • Keys to Succession Planning in Mergers and Sales
  • Marketing Your Practice as a Tech Savvy Firm
  • Courting the CFO: How to Win More Corporate Clients
  • Pulling Profits from the Clouds
  • Malpractice Risks: Myths, Realities and Solutions
  • What's Hot in Estate and Business Planning
  • And more!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Health Care Reform Q&A With the VSCPA Insurance Center: Benefits for Women & Responsibilities for Employers

What do companies need to know about benefits for women enacted as part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (H.R. 3590) (the Reform Act) as amended by the Health Care & Education Affordability Reconciliation Act of 2010 (H.R. 4872) (the Reconciliation Act).

The Reform Act adds a new provision to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) that addresses the needs of working women who breastfeed their infant children. Effective immediately, employers covered by the FLSA must provide “reasonable” breaks to mothers to express milk for their infants who are up to one year old. The newly enacted section of the FLSA also mandates that employers provide a private location, other than a restroom, where mothers may express milk. This provision does not apply to employers with fewer than 50 employees if its requirements would “impose an undue hardship by causing the employer significant difficulty or expense.”

The Reform Act does not require that breaks for breast pumping be paid regardless of the time spent breast pumping. However, several states already mandate that breast pumping breaks be treated as compensable time and, under the newly enacted section of the FLSA in the Reform Act, employers must adhere to the standard that is more favorable to the employee. Thus, if the employer is located in a state that mandates paid breast pumping breaks, the employer will still need to satisfy this requirement.

Health Care Reform Q&A is facilitated by the VSCPA Insurance Center. Have a question? Leave a comment, or contact the VSCPA Insurance Center directly. This document is not intended to imply or provide tax or legal advice and is the VSCPA Insurance Center's current interpretation of the Health Reform Bill.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Health Care Reform Q&A With the VSCPA Insurance Center: Key Points of the Early Retiree Reinsurance Program

Question: What are the key points of the Early Retiree Reinsurance Program?

Answer: Here is an overview of the program:
  • Applies to self-insured and fully insured private plans that offer early retiree coverage (age 55 to Medicare eligible) can qualify for claims refunds
  • Applicable to 80% of discounted claims amounts between $15,000 and $90,000 per contract (including co-pay/out-of-pocket amounts) incurred beginning in 2010 through 2013
  • Payments will be on a first come first serve basis from the fund and will cease when funds are depleted
Application Process/Plan Requirements:

  • Health and Human Services (HHS) is expected to release the application in June 
  • Applications will be reviewed on a first come first serve basis
  • Any errors in the application will cause it to be rejected (i.e. you go to the back of the line)
  • Your plan must be certified by HHS
  • In the application you will likely be required to describe your expected use of funds, project your anticipated level of claims filings, as well as address other (yet to be determined) items
  • Carriers will have to provide claims data for filing purposes (carrier may need to file for fully insured plans) and plan sponsors will need written agreements with their carrier.
  • Since these are federal funds the company will be subject to audit and perhaps other requirements
  • Funds must be used to reduce plan participant costs and cannot be used as general funds
  • You will be required to demonstrate that your plan has programs in place to address high cost disease categories
  • You must attest that you have procedures in place to reduce fraud

  1. Contract participants incurred $120,000 in allowable discounted claims during the 2010 year- $100,000 prior to June 1 and $20,000 after June 1, 2010
  2. Claims prior to June 1 are not reimbursable but are counted toward the $15,000
  3. Reimbursable amount expected to be 80% of $20,000 or $16,000 ($100,000 goes to offset first $15,000 and remaining $20,000 is eligible for 80% subsidy)

  • Application is estimated to take 30 hours of time (one-time application)
  • Claims filing process estimated at 40 hours annually
Health Care Reform Q&A is facilitated by the VSCPA Insurance Center. Have a question? Leave a comment, or contact the VSCPA Insurance Center directly. This document is not intended to imply or provide tax or legal advice and is the VSCPA Insurance Center's current interpretation of the Health Reform Bill.