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Q2 2014 Edition

Rucci Bardaro & Falzone, PC
The Right Size Accounting Firm
919 Eastern Avenue
Malden, MA 02148
303 Wyman Street, Suite 300
Waltham, MA 02451

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Cambridge MA 02142

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IRS CIRCULAR 230 NOTICE: In compliance with IRS requirements, we inform you that any U.S. tax advice contained in this communication, including any attachments, is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of avoiding tax penalties that may be imposed on the taxpayer or in connection with marketing or promotional materials.


Welcome to the latest issue of RBF News - our summary of the important tax, business and financial news and opinion you need to help you see the bigger picture, and make more informed decisions.


Economic Snapshot
The U.S. economy slowed dramatically in the first quarter as a harsher-than-normal winter took its toll on business activity. Yet several surveys report optimism going forward as growth is expected to rebound with the warmer weather.

CFO confidence in the economy, for example, increased more than 10% in the first quarter of 2014, reaching a two-year high, according to a survey by Financial Executives International and Baruch College's Zicklin School of Business.  
And the CEOs of America's largest companies also seemed to feel better about the economy. The Business Roundtable CEO Economic Outlook Index found that 72% of CEOs expect sales to increase - and 48% plan to increase capital spending - in the next six months. 

Locally, the Massachusetts economy grew at a solid 2.6% annual rate in the first quarter, according to the latest quarterly index released by the University of Massachusetts Donahue Institute and the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. 
Taxes and Tax Planning

Are you a real estate professional in the eyes of the IRS? In some cases, developers and contractors with rental real estate holdings can re-characterize passive income to avoid the new 3.8% Obamacare surtax. RBF partner Bill Rucci explains what the IRS expects from those looking to qualify. 


For small businesses, the tax code is a bigger problem than the tax bill itself Sure, taxes are a pain for everyone. But in a recent survey by the National Small Business Association, most small business owners said that the administrative hassles associated with income taxes are a bigger burden than the taxes they actually pay.


IRS audit rates expected to be lower than ever Last year, the Internal Revenue Service audited less than 1% of all returns from individuals, which was the lowest rate since 2005. In an interview with Associated Press reported by FoxBusiness, IRS Commissioner John Koskinen says that number will be even smaller this year.


Managing Your Business
Need a loan? Now's the time to approach small banks Fundamentals for small businesses have improved, which puts them in the driver's seat when it comes to finding favorable loans. In March, small bank lending went up, as loans from big banks and alternative lenders dipped, according to an Inc.com report.   


The trick to getting your emails read Most email programs tend to show the first 50 characters of the text in the inbox view. So a clear subject line and a concise, actionable lead sentence will make it most likely to get chosen, writes Drake Baer in Fast Company magazine. Here's how to craft an email that will make the recipient click it, and actually read it.   


Most memorable late-to-work excuses In a recent Career Builder study, thousands of workers, hiring managers and human resource professionals across various industries and company sizes shared some of the strangest excuses from employees who were running late.


Around the Office

In April, RBF partner Paul Bardaro and supervisor Jimmy Mouchayleh (above, far left) visited Harvard University to present a seminar on tax basics to over 100 members of the Lebanese Collegiate Network. The LCN is a national organization that links over 30 university-based Lebanese clubs in the U.S. for the purpose of advancing academic and professional development among its student, graduate and alumni members. 


On May 4th, RBF fielded a team of walkers in the 45th annual Walk for Hunger held in Boston. Six staffers and friends of the firm tackled the 20-mile walk and raised close to $1,500 for hunger relief. Our hats off to walkers Anna Popova, Ashley Nadeau, Rose Dello Russo, Delaney San Martino, Hannah Neidorf and Kyle McClure.


In March, Paul Bardaro participated in a career workshop for student members of the Massachusetts Society of Certified Public Accountants.  The over 50 aspiring CPAs in attendance learned about different career paths, how to land their first position and the expectations of a first-year staff member.  


 More recently, Paul Bardaro, Lenny Smith and Rose Dello Russo were invited by the MSCPA to take part in a roundtable discussion with state Department of Revenue Commissioner Amy Pitter (at left, flanked by Paul and Rose)The gathering was part of the department's new customer service initiative seeking to design and implement ways to better serve CPAs and their small business clients.


In the publishing arena, an article by Bill Rucci entitled "Are You a Real Estate Professional in the Eyes of the IRS?" appeared in the spring 2014 issue of The Professional Contractor magazine. Read it in the Taxes & Tax Planning section above, or here


Rucci, Bardaro & Falzone PC  beatricec@rbfpc.com  | http://www.rbfpc.com
919 Eastern Avenue  Malden, MA 02148

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