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In This Issue
Best Employers in NC
Bernard Robinson & Company, L.L.P. was recently named as one of the 2016 Best Employers in North Carolina. The list of the Best Employers in North Carolina was created by Business North Carolina, the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) - NC State Council and Best Companies Group. Read more about this ranking and see the full list of employers here
Your BRC Team
Congrats to Amanda Patty, JD, CPA, CVA, Consultant in our Greensboro office for being selected by the Triad Business Journal as one of this year's honorees at the annual 40 Leaders Under Forty awards program, an annual event that recognizes young Triad professionals who exhibit exceptional leadership in their careers and their communities. Learn more about Amanda by clicking here
Congratulations to Casey Cox, CPA, IT Support Specialist for winning the 4th Quarter Employee Recognition Award!
Noteworthy Links
Consumers Warned of New Surge in IRS E-mail Schemes during 2016 Tax Season; Tax Industry Also Targeted
IRS Alerts Taxpayers To New Tax Season Related Phone Scam
IRS Tax Calendar for Businesses & Self-Employed
Filing Season Quick Guide-Tax Year 2015
How to Be Business Partners With a Friend
Wall Street Shouldn't Bank on Fed Hike
How Americans Plan to Use This Year's Tax Refunds
The IRS Audit Survival Guide

March 2016 
Filing Deadlines for C Corporations are Changing
By Ron Kuyath, CPA, Partner
For over 40 years, the initial filing deadline for calendar year C  corporation federal income tax returns has been March 15th. Due
to the Surface Transportation and Veterans Health Care Choice Improvement Act of 2015, the initial filing deadline for C corporation federal income tax returns will be changing for tax years beginning after December 31, 2015.  Below is a summary of the changes to the filing deadlines:

Tax Years Beginning After December 31, 2015

Year EndInitial Filing DeadlineExtension Period
June 3015th of the Third Month after Year EndSeven months
December 3115th of the Fourth Month after Year EndFive months
All Others15th of the Fourth Month after Year EndSix months
Tax Years Beginning After December 31, 2025

Year EndInitial Filing DeadlineExtension Period
All15th of the Fourth Month After Year EndSix months

Change Management
By Gary Hahn, CPA, Partner

Lessons Learned from Implementation of New Management Software

Having time to reflect on our firm's change of integral software, here are a few insights that might help you when you endeavor to implement major change in your business.

1. Budget more resources than your estimates indicate.
a. Resources can include personnel, time, and money.
b. Accurate projections of all three are difficult, if not impossible, on the front end.
c. Consider all areas that will be affected and whether to include personnel from those areas in the process.

2.  Include senior management with the responsibility and authority to make final decisions and keep the process moving.
a.  Obtain buy-in from decision-making personnel before moving forward.
b.  If more than one person's approval is required, have a way to keep moving if no consensus can be achieved.
3. Planning and testing are integral to an effective change.
a.  All changes will require decisions before and after the process has started.
b.  Consider seeking input from those outside the decision-making group.
c.  Testing can continue even after implementation.

4. Flexibility is key to success.
a.  Unless there is a regulatory reason, delaying implementation may result in a better outcome.

5. Remember the "human factor."
a.  Training will be forgotten and support will be needed to assist personnel.
b.  All scenarios may not have arisen in planning and testing. Adjust as required.
c.  Everyone will not be happy - with the new or the old.
Implementing anything new takes time, effort, and patience. Of equal importance is remembering that results may not be seen for days, weeks, months, or even years. Keep your eye on the prize while adjusting as required.
I Want a Trust, Don't I?
By Bryan Aust, CPA, Supervisor

A trust is a legal entity which holds a property interest for the benefit of someone else and can be a very beneficial planning tool in transferring wealth, protecting assets, and avoiding probate and associated fees. Trusts commonly fall within three basic categories: revocable, irrevocable, and charitable. This is the first in a series of four articles overviewing the different categories of trusts.

Each of the three types of trusts available offers unique features and benefits.  Determining which trust or trusts to include in your estate plan will depend on your unique situation and the goals you seek to accomplish.

Revocable Trusts
A revocable trust provides the most flexibility. This type of trust is cancelable, amendable, and easily invaded by the creator. The assets in a revocable trust avoid state probate upon the death of the creator of the trust.  However, the use of a revocable trust has no current income or estate tax advantages and is "invisible" for income tax purposes.  

Irrevocable Trusts
An irrevocable trust cannot be revoked, though changes may be possible by application of state statute. Benefits to establishing an irrevocable trust can include exclusion of the assets from the estate of the creator of the trust, tax-free transfer of the growth of assets to future generations, and limiting the beneficiary's use of the assets to specific purposes.

Charitable Trusts
A charitable trust is an irrevocable trust with at least one tax-exempt United States charity as a beneficiary.  The charity may receive its benefits in a lump sum payment, known as a remainder trust, or over time, known as a lead trust.  In either situation, the creator of the trust is entitled to an income tax deduction at the time of the transfer to the trust. 

Before you create a trust, consider the advantages and disadvantages in light of your overall estate plan.  Please contact your tax and legal advisors to determine what is right for you.
Why Me?! Reasons for Selection for an IRS Audit
By Ashley Khan, CPA, Senior Manager

You are flipping through your mail, and you find a letter from the IRS.  Upon opening the letter, you realize that you are being audited by the IRS.  The color leaves your face, your hands start to shake, and  you wonder what could possibly be the reason that you're  being audited.
Chances are it is not anything you did or did not do. There are numerous reasons that you may get selected.  Some of the most common are:

1. High Income: Your odds of being audited are greater when your income is higher, because, rightly or wrongly, the IRS believes more potential exists for uncovering large amounts due in tax returns with higher income.

2. Incorrect Reporting or Failure to Include All Income:  The IRS gets copies of all of your 1099s, W-2s and K-1s before you file your tax return.  IRS computers match the numbers on those forms to your return.  A mismatch sends up a red flag and causes the IRS to generate a notice.


3. Deductions:  Deductions deemed to be higher than average in relation to your income level can trigger an audit.

4. Charitable Contributions:  The key to proving deductions of $250 or more for charitable contributions is retaining the receipts or acknowledgement letters that you receive from the charity when the contribution is  made.  For smaller contributions, a receipt, cancelled check or credit card statement is acceptable.

5. Running a Small Business:  
The IRS believes this to be a gold mine of excessive deductions, unreported income, etc. 

6. Suspected Passive Activity Losses:  Passive activity losses are limited to passive activity income, or carried forward to future years. To avoid passive classification, a taxpayer must materially participate on a regular, continuous, and substantial basis in a business. 

7. Hobby Activity: If you have a hobby that earns money, i.e., jewelry making or horse breeding, you must report any income that you earn. That income may be offset by your expenses up to your income because the law prohibits writing off losses from a hobby.

Though you may be afraid of an audit, several things can help you through the process.  Keep detailed records of any deductions, charitable contributions, or business activities for at least six years.  Attempt to meet all deadlines by gathering any information requested as quickly as possible.  Always be courteous and honest with the auditor throughout the process. 

If you are feeling overwhelmed or would rather spend your time doing most anything but dealing with the IRS, contact your tax advisor for assistance with process.

Bernard Robinson & Company | (336) 294-4494 |  [email protected] |
1501 Highwoods Blvd, Ste 300
Greensboro, NC 27410
BRC Strategy is designed to provide information of a general nature and is not intended as a substitute for professional consultation and advice.  The opinions and interpretations expressed should not be construed or used as legal or tax advice, written or otherwise, and cannot be used for the purpose of avoiding any penalties that may be imposed under federal, state or local law.