Weekly Update – September 23rd, 2022
It’s been the week of 100+ figs, some days I pick 5 or 6 and others 20 to 30, then a friend will stop by and find yet another ripe one and pop it in their mouth. My favorite way to eat them is split in quarters, sprinkled with feta cheese and then grilled; very easy, very delicious, very healthy, they can pass for dessert. It’s also been a week of great walks on the beach with several dolphin pods sightings.
My daily harvest…
Great beach walk days all week …
Wishing those who celebrate Rosh Hashanah a sweet new year, those who don’t, a great weekend.
WEEKLY TAKE AWAY
“Train your guests” or “Follow our house rules, or else”. Hosting guests, especially your kids, their pets and friends is a parent’s dream. When they leave which is worse, missing them or the loads of laundry? Raise your hand if the laundry and getting your house back in order is a nightmare for you too. I am so glad that we lay down the law and our guests know the rules about rinsing sandy feet, shaking out their towels and hosing off beach chairs when they return from the beach. We enjoyed our guests, washed the sheets and remade the beds, how do we convince them to return soon? I guess we just don’t complain about the laundry; glad I can vent a bit though!
TAX ISSUES/TAX PLANNING
Suffolk County Computer Networks Were Hacked Last Week
Although technology and software solutions has made our financial and accounting lives and data collection and storage more efficient these benefits come with risks and responsibilities. Just last week Suffolk County discovered its computer networks were hacked; the cybercriminals obtained personal information from documents they accessed. Accounting firms have long understood the need to protect client data and our computer systems; check out my blog post from August 2020 with several tips. In my February 2020 blog I highlight the benefit of duel factor authentication for safeguarding data.
The IRS is Extending Tax Deadlines for Hurricane Fiona Victims
The IRS is giving tax filing and payment reprieves to victims of Hurricane Fiona in Puerto Rico. Individuals and households affected by Hurricane Fiona that reside or have a business in all 78 municipalities in Puerto Rico qualify for this tax relief. The IRS postponed certain tax-filing and tax-payment deadlines for taxpayers who reside or have a business in the disaster area for deadlines falling on or after September 17, 2022, and before February 15, 2023, are postponed through February 15, 2023.
The February 15, 2023, deadline also applies to the quarterly estimated tax payments, normally due on January 17, 2023 and to the quarterly payroll and excise tax returns normally due on October 31, 2022 and January 31, 2023. Businesses with an original or extended due date also have the additional time, including calendar-year corporations whose 2021 extensions run out on October 17, 2022.
Work Opportunity Tax Credits Update
The Internal Revenue Service published updated information about the Work Opportunity Tax Credit to help employers deal with a tight labor market and after a scathing investigative report about how the longtime tax credit is being abused.
The updates, posted Monday by the IRS, include information on the pre-screening and certification process. To satisfy the requirement to pre-screen a job applicant, on or before the day a job offer is made, a pre-screening notice (Form 8850, Pre-Screening Notice and Certification Request for the Work Opportunity Credit) must be completed by the job applicant and the employer.
Why We Ask Our Clients to Demand Check Images with Their Bank Statements
Proactive behavior can cut down on research time when you need to answer a tax notice or document a business expense. In our practice we require limited access to client banking and credit card activity so we can monitor activity as it flows through our on-line real time accounting software and then access statements, charges and cancelled checks on our own. We have been able to quickly identify potential theft by scanning activity and identifying those transactions that just don’t look right, are out of sequence or are paying a new vender or questionable expense. Just this week Myriam noted a $5 charge which looked “fishy”. She alerted the client who was able to research the charge and deal with the issue. I commend her for not just thinking “it’s only $5” as we know that many times the thieves will test the system with a small transaction.
Social Security COLA Increase May Not Be As Large As Expected
Although analysts had forecast a nearly double-digit percentage increase in monthly Social Security benefits next year, it appears that the increase will be approximately 8.7% according to the Senior Citizen’s League.
Another Interest Rate Hike
The Federal Reserve is set to hike rates by another 0.75 percentage points at its meeting this week. CNBC breaks down how it could affect you here.
The changing Role of the CFO
While in the past the job of a Chief Financial Officer was mainly to track value, today’s professionals need to drive value – with tech-savviness and a simplified operations strategy, and by guiding their company through supply chain issues and volatile market conditions.
The Dollar May be About to Go Down in Value
Evercore ISI’s chief equity and quantitative strategist Julian Emmanuel breaks down why he thinks the Fed will drag the dollar lower based upon red flags he is identifying in industry.
Housing Market Continues to Slow
Rising interest rates and high inflation have forced a slowdown in the housing market. It is the ninth straight month that homebuilder sentiment has declined, and it is at its lowest point since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Financial Literacy Levels
A recent financial literacy study by the TIAA institute and the Global Financial Literacy Center showed that Gen Z scored the lowest in answering finance-related questions correctly at 43%. The combined Baby Boomer and Silent Generation group scored the highest even through they only answered 55% of questions correctly.
What Does a $2 Million Retirement Look Like in the USA?
The Wall Street Journal interviewed four retirees who saved enough for comfortable retirements – between $2 and $4. They shared insights about how they spend their time and money, what has given them joy or anxiety, and how their expectations of life in retirement measured up to their reality.
- IRS resources for stimulus payments:
- IRS information about the Advance Child Tax Credit Payments
- The best source for up-to-date and accurate health information is the Center for Disease Control (CDC)
- Our Covid-19 Resource Center with relevant blog posts, videos and prior weekly newsletters
- Payroll, HR and benefits company Gusto has put together An Employer’s Guide to Navigating the Coronavirus
- Accounting Today has a special page for articles on COVID-19
- Intuit QuickBooks has a dedicated page to help small businesses
- Entrepreneur put together a listing of free tech resources for remote work
- The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has warnings about COVID-related scams
- Fast Company has a listing of the best productivity apps for 2020
- The New York Times has an online newsletter on K-12 and higher education
- The Wall Street Journal has a collection of articles on education
- The Louvre has digitized 482,000 artworks from its collection
- PC Magazine explains how to carry your vaccination card on your phone
- How to create a strong password
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 all in this together!
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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