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September 2016
In This Issue
Bernard Robinson & Company, L.L.P. earns National Ranking
Inside Public Accounting recently named Bernard Robinson & Company, L.L.P. as one of the nation's Top 300 accounting firms!

Register Today!

BRC Financial Symposiums

Presented by Bernard Robinson & Company, L.L.P.

Topics include tax updates, employment law and compliance, economic outlook for business planning, and more!

8 hours of CPE eligible

Three dates and locations for your convenience!

Click here to register,
space is limited!

Winston-Salem Symposium-
October 25, 2016

Greensboro Symposium-
October 27, 2016

Raleigh Symposium-
November 3, 2016 

Happy Fall!
Thursday, September 22nd marks the first day of Fall. Fall into a healthy eating routine with some of the season's best recipes.
Noteworthy Links
IRS Tax Calendar for Businesses & Self-Employed
How to Tell if You're on Track to a Secure Retirement
7 Successful Entrepreneurs Share the Advice They'd Give to Their 20-Year-Old Selves
Interest Rates Remain the Same for the Fourth Quarter of 2016
IRS Urges Taxpayers to Check Their Withholding; New Factors Increase Importance of Mid-Year Check Up
The Depreciation Advantage
By Kevin Witriol, CPA, Principal
When it comes to tax planning, depreciation is always a hot topic.  Not knowing how much you are entitled to can leave you or your business at a disadvantage when it comes time to file your taxes.

Bonus depreciation and Section 179 expensing are each a form of accelerated depreciation, and they can both be utilized to reduce your tax liability.  After years of making last minute decisions, Congress has extended bonus depreciation in advance through 2019 as follows:
  • 2016 and 2017 - 50%
  • 2018 - 40%
  • 2019 - 30%
However, Section 179 expensing is set at a maximum of $500,000 per year until further notice.  The two can be used in tandem to write off new assets at an eye-popping pace.  Keep in mind that bonus depreciation can only be used on certain new assets while Section 179 can be used on both new and used items.

All assets are not created equal depending on the industry in which they are used.  For example, new carpeting and appliances used in a law firm would be depreciated over 7 years, while these same assets may be depreciated over 5 years if they are used in an apartment complex.  New construction has its caveats as well.  A newly-constructed building would normally be depreciated over 39 years.  However, if it is used in the residential rental industry, it would be depreciated over 27 years.  And certain farming structures may be depreciated in as little as 7 - 10 years!

Make sure you have these types of conversations with your trusted business advisor well before the end of the year and before tax-filing time so that a depreciation solution can be customized for you.    
Not-for-Profit Financial Reporting Changes
By Allison Mills, CPA, Manager

Significant changes to the way not-for-profit organizations report financial information are on the horizon.  On August 18, 2016, the Financial Accounting Standards Board issued Accounting Standards Update (ASU) No. 2016-14 - Presentation of Financial Statements of Not-for-Profit Entities.  This guidance, which will be effective for annual financial statements issued for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2017, is aimed at improving the quality of information provided to financial statement users.  Among other changes to current reporting guidelines, ASU No. 2016-14 introduces new requirements for net asset classification, liquidity disclosures, and cash flow presentation.

Under current United States Generally Accepted Accounting Practices (US GAAP), not-for-profit organizations present three classifications of net assets: unrestricted, temporarily restricted, and permanently restricted.  ASU No. 2016-14 requires organizations to present only two classifications of net assets: net assets with donor restrictions, and net assets without donor restrictions.  Organizations will report changes in the two classes of net assets and continue to report the amount of total net assets and the change in the amount of total net assets.  The new guidance requires disclosures about internally designated uses of net assets without donor restrictions.

ASU No. 2016-14 also requires not-for-profit organizations to disclose qualitative and quantitative information about liquidity.  Organizations will be required to qualify how they manage their liquid assets and quantify the availability of those assets at the balance sheet date to satisfy cash needs for general expenditures for the one year period beginning on the balance sheet date.

The guidance in ASU No. 2016-14 also affords a change to cash flow presentation.  Under current US GAAP, not-for-profit organizations must include an indirect method reconciliation when reporting cash flows under the direct method.  ASU No. 2016-14 allows organizations to eliminate this reconciliation when reporting cash flows under the direct method.  Organizations will continue to have the choice to report cash flows under either the indirect method or direct method.

These and many other changes to not-for-profit financial reporting included in ASU No. 2016-14 are available for early application.  Please consult a CPA with not-for-profit audit experience to determine the effect that ASU No. 2016-14 will have on your organization's financial statements and to allow your organization sufficient time to prepare for the changes.
ACA Update
By Tracey Martin, CPA, Partner

Watch for it! 

Health Insurance Marketplace Notices are in the mail for some employers and the appeals deadline is approaching!
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) federally facilitated marketplace's 2016 Employee Notice Program has begun.  The ACA regulations require each Health Insurance Marketplace to notify any employer whose employee received an advanced premium tax credit or cost sharing reduction because the employee attested that he or she was neither enrolled in an employer sponsored coverage nor eligible for employer coverage that is affordable and meets the minimum value standard. 

This notice program is being phased in beginning this year.  Eventually all employers whose employees enrolled in Marketplace coverage with a tax credit will be notified.

Why would an employer get a letter if it complied with the ACA or wasn't subject to the ACA regulations?  When employees submit their application to see if they are eligible to receive an advanced premium tax credit or cost sharing reduction, they are asked several questions regarding household income, hours worked per week, whether they were offered affordable group health coverage through their employer, etc.  If an employee attests that he worked more than 30 hours per week and his employer failed to provide affordable minimum value coverage, the employee can receive coverage subsidies based on his own statements, whether accurate or not. 

Employers are not subject to the Employer Shared Responsibility Payments if: 
  • The employer provided the employee access to affordable, minimum value employer sponsored coverage
  • The employer has less than 50 full time equivalent employees
If you offered your employee access to affordable, minimum value employer sponsored coverage or if the individual listed on the Notice is not your employee or worked less than 30 hours per week, you may appeal by completing an Employer Appeal Request FormYou have 90 days from the date stated on the notice from the Marketplace to appeal.

It's important to remember that the ACA retaliation rules prohibit an employer from discharging or discriminating against an employee who receives a credit under the ACA. 

If you have questions regarding the Health Insurance Marketplace Notices or other tax implications of the ACA, make sure to consult a tax professional well-versed in the topic.
Annual BRC Financial Symposium
By Sarah Turner, Marketing Coordinator

Please join us for the 2016 Annual BRC Financial Symposiums, full-day seminars designed for CPAs, attorneys, and other accounting, tax, and financial professionals. 

Our engaging speakers will present on relevant topics packed with important information to keep you up to date and in the know.  Each event will cover the current and future economic status of our region, new IRS and FASB requirements, employment law and compliance, and changes in the Employee Retirement Income Security Act. Additional speakers and topics may vary by location.

As a registered NASBA provider, participants can receive up to eight hours of CPE credit, with hours in the fields of accounting, auditing, business law, economics, and taxes. Registration costs $45 and includes a continental breakfast, networking lunch, and snacks.

With three locations and dates to serve you, we hope you will be a part of an important event designed with your business in mind.  Visit our website to sign up today as space is limited.

Bernard Robinson & Company, L.L.P. | (336) 294-4494 | |
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.