Weekly Digest – June 30, 2023 Happy Birthday USA!

Some of us may have great bosses who have closed their offices on Monday allowing their staff to enjoy a four day weekend.  No matter what our work plans are I look forward to the weekend and maybe a bar-b-que or 2 and expect/hope many are of you are planning, picnics and outings with family and friends. I hear the weather will be a bit iffy here in NYC with some scattered thunderstorms but I am looking forward to watching the fireworks displays on our beach.  Remember all that rain is really good for our gardens…

Veggie garden this morning
Veggie garden this morning

Most mornings it’s been really hazy on the beach, but somehow even a quick visit sets a great tone for the day…

Hazy sunrise this morning
Hazy sunrise this morning

The beach preservation construction is coming along well, these are the berm foundation concreate forms lined up for the next stretch starting on my beach block soon…

Beach construction continues
Beach construction continues

We have great sunrises here on the east coast; my daughter Jessie now on the west coast gets some beautiful sunsets…

Oceanside CA sunset
Oceanside CA sunset this week

I am still battling the bugs in the backyard, but getting so much better at it with technique tips from friends; I have incorporated scooping Spotted  Lantern Fly Nymphs into water bottles which I have added a small amount of vinegar and dish soap to.  Fingers crossed that with new growth we will harvest some figs this year…

Fig buds forming
Fig buds forming

We are Wishing you a fun and relaxing July 4th holiday. Thank you Veterans and all who serve past, present and future to keep us and our nation safe, free and prosperous.


It’s officially bar-b-q season, time to get together with family and friends.  We had out-of-town guests this week and are heading out to Michigan next week.  It’s certainly a lot of work to host even when meal prep can be so time consuming.  I realized that if I pretend to by my own sous chef by setting up bowls of the cut- up ingredients for the salads, grill items, side dishes and hors d’oeuvre platter we can “cook” together as we munch. Everyone is involved and having a great time and less work for the hosts.  Reminder for me:  I use recipes as a guide and my main quantity is “some”, but very often I forget to taste test before serving. This usually works out fine but sometimes…


 Tax Free and Taxable Fringe Benefits Can be a Valuable Tool for Employee Retention and Appreciation

Proper identification and reporting of fringe benefits enable employers to take applicable tax deductions and employees to receive tax free “income”.  Not all benefits are alike and depending on the circumstances may be taxable or partly taxable (includable or excludable for tax purposes) to the employer and/or employee.

Here is a link to the IRS video on taxable fringe benefits for employers.

Here is a link to the IRS Fringe Benefit Guide  – IRS Code Section 132

Transportation Fringe Benefits

  • Personal use of a company car
  • Parking spots
  • Transit cards
  • Use of a company aircraft even if there is a business trip involved somewhere

Working Condition Fringe Benefits

  • Health Insurance
  • Life Insurance
  • De Minimis Fringe Benefits
  • Employee Discounts
  • No additional cost services
  • Employee Achievement Awards for Length of Service and Safety-the changes under the new tax bill
  • Prizes and Awards—Cash and Noncash
  • Cell phones
  • Gift certificates and gift cards
  • Holiday gifts

Meals, Clothing, Housing and Education Fringe Benefits

  • The changes to employer provided relocation under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017
  • On-site lodging
  • Lodging for executives such as vacation condos
  • Providing meals for employees, what are the circumstances surrounding the meal
  • Educational assistance programs

Notes on Trusts/Estates and Gift Taxes from the Chinese American Society of Certified Public Accountants (CASCPA) Annual Symposium (held June21st)

Thank you  Robert Barnett, Esq, Gregory Matalon, Esq., and Erik Olson, Esq of Capell Barnett Matalon & Schoenfeld LLP for your great presentation on future focused planning


  • Careful planning of gifts to children and grandchildren will affect your lifetime gift and estate tax exemption
  • Grandparents looking to assist with medical and educational expenses of their grandchildren have options other than outright gifts, perfectly legal ways around Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax (GST)
  • Federal extensions to file individual income taxes automatically grant gift tax return extensions.  Those who file on time but need additional time to file their annual gift tax return must file IRS form 8892
  • The 2023 Annual gift tax exclusions has increased to $17,000 per donee
  • Lump sum gifts to 529 plans are eligible for multiple year annual exclusion as long as the correct election is made on the initial filing.
  • The gift splitting election between spouses may not be your best bet, plan before you check the box


Trusts may be an important and powerful tax planning and succession tool, but making proper elections and taking care with allocations is critical to gaining major benefits.

  • It is important to identify and define income and to consider the tax consequences of expense allocations.
  • Final year of trust or estate can a tax planning tool.  Beneficiaries may be able to “inherit stock losses and loss adjustments”. Don’t let the computer program decide; make sure box 11 on the K-1 is correct
  • Beware of the high taxes on trust income when it is not distributed to the beneficiaries annually.  The highest tax bracket is hit at just $14,450 of taxable income for trusts; the highest tax bracket is hit at $250,000 of taxable income on a married filing jointly tax return.
  • Careful drafting is akin to good planning, set your goals, get good sound legal and tax advice and clearly state intent and fiduciary discretion as warranted
  • For trusts required to distribute income for the exclusion, distributions within 65 days of year-end are considered timely
Photo op with the CBM&S team
Photo op with the CBM&S team

Amendments to the NYS Metropolitan Commuter Transportation Mobility Tax (MCTMT)

The department has issued updated webpages regarding recent legislative changes to the MCTMT imposed on certain employers engaging in business within the Metropolitan Commuter Transportation District (MCTD).  See Metropolitan commuter transportation mobility tax for the updated information.

Guidance regarding the legislative changes to the MCTMT imposed on certain self-employed individuals engaging in business within the MCTD will be announced at a later date.

The tax applies to you if:

  • you are required to withhold New York State income tax from wages; and
  • your payroll expense for covered employees in the Metropolitan Commuter Transportation District (MCTD) exceeds $312,500 in any calendar quarter.

For purposes of calculating the MCTMT, the MCTD is divided into two zones:

  • Zone 1 includes the counties of New York (Manhattan), Bronx, Kings (Brooklyn), Queens, and Richmond (Staten Island).
  • Zone 2 includes the counties of Rockland, Nassau, Suffolk, Orange, Putnam, Dutchess, and Westchester.


Powell, Semiannual Monetary Policy Report to the Congress

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell testified before the House Financial Services Committee last Wednesday, June 21, 2023. Read the Semiannual Monetary Policy Report to the Congress. During his congressional testimony Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell reiterated “it was likely there would be at least one more rate hike this year due to persistently high inflation in the economy’s service sector and the surprisingly tight job market.”

Google to Build 153-Acre Bay Area Neighborhood

Bay Area tech giant Google got the go-ahead to build a 153-acre mixed-use neighborhood just south of its headquarters in north Mountain View. Plans for the 30-year project, which will supplant the Google offices and parking lots currently in the area, include over 3 million square feet of office space and 7,000 residential units.

Top Forecaster Predicts the S&P 500 Will Return Just 2% a Year After Inflation Over the Next Decade

Based on its expectations for inflation and earnings, Research Affiliates expects the S&P 500 to deliver real returns of just 2% a year for the next decade—a tiny fraction of their annual returns over the past 10 years.

Companies Must Give People the Power to Control Their Own Data if They are to be Successful

Companies that succeed in harnessing the power of data will be the leaders of the next decade and will help enrich the lives of billions of people. But they will do so by allowing people to own and control their own data.


We sincerely hope that you and your family are well and remain well. If you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We are here for you.

If you need help with your accounting, want to create a tax minimization plan, want to discuss your business growth plan or your finances, are concerned about retirement goals or need to be held accountable for your 90 day action plan, contact us for a complimentary discovery session or an appointment to just get started

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