Successful AICPA CPEA Event Curacao

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Last week on April 05th, 2018 local United States Certified Public Accountants (U.S. CPAs) held a unique event in Avila Beach hotel – Curacao, Willemstad emphasizing the need for more local U.S. CPA’s in the Dutch Caribbean and Suriname including steps to strengthening their position within these regions. This was a unique event opened by the U.S. Consul General to Curacao Mrs. Margaret Hawthorne who emphasized the importance of a strong relationship between the U.S and our local economies. Curacao is in need for more U.S. investors who can embolden our small scaled economy. More “local” U.S. CPAs will build international Trust, Opportunity, Prosperity and will protect the public interest providing the same of level of trust expected by the largest U.S. investors.

Regulations such as the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), Anti-Money Laundering (AML), Counter Financing of Terrorism (CFT) and U.S. Corresponding Banking rules and regulations are primarily U.S. driven and can have a significant impact on local financial institutions. Further internationally U.S. CPAs are signing of on the world’s largest financial institutions and companies. More local accountants with the U.S. CPA designation could add substantial value to the economy and local markets.

In addition, this event was coupled to a seminar (8 CPE) regarding the new Revenue Recognition rules which will become effective in 2018. The Revenue Recognition session was led by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) Center for Plain English Accounting (CPEA). The AICPA is the world’s largest organization representing the accounting profession and visited Curacao for the first time. The speaker was Thomas J. Groskopf CPA, CVA, MBA – Technical Director for the AICPA’s Center for Plain English Accounting, past representative from the U.S. on the International Financial Reporting Standards’ (IFRS) Small- and Medium-sized Entity Implementation Group. This new Revenue Recognition standard is a converged standard between U.S. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (U.S. GAAP) and IFRS.

“This was an outstanding opportunity to obtain superior technical content knowledge and practical guidance for Accountants in the (Dutch) Caribbean, Suriname and South American region in a full-day on-site training session. We will continue having these sessions in 2018 and going forward. During this event it was also discussed what next steps will be taken to create a fair level playing field for local U.S. CPA designation and other designation holders eliminating unfair protectionism. We also honored 3 local finance professionals who passed all 4 sections of the U.S. CPA exam and there are much more professionals expected to pass in the remainder of 2018. Overall the event was a great success and a first step in the right direction towards strengthening the position of U.S. CPAs in the region” said Rocher Cyrus CPA, CGMA – Managing Director of Global International Management, Partner of Becker Professional Education and Confirmation.com Dutch Caribbean and Suriname. “We will continue to strongly advocate on behalf of the U.S. CPA profession within the region and deepen our relationship with all relevant stakeholders locally and internationally”.

If you want to participate in future events please click the following link: https://www.globalintmanagement.com/contact.php
You can also email us directly on info@globalintmanagement.com or call us on +13024496498 or +59998440057.

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Dutch Caribbean & Suriname In Need Of More Local Accountants

Local United States Certified Public Accountants (U.S. CPAs) started an initiative to strengthen their position on the Dutch Caribbean & Suriname. There is a need for more U.S. investors and U.S. related companies to invest in the Dutch Caribbean and Suriname in order to boost these local economies and to develop them sustainably. U.S. investors and U.S. Companies with significant funding resources are very skeptical to invest in foreign countries which do not provide the same level of trust, risk and comfort that they are used to. The total U.S. economy runs on U.S CPA’s and U.S. investors rely heavily on the trust that U.S. CPAs provide to the economy.

U.S CPAs are auditors of the world’s largest technological companies and financial institutions such as Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon, and Bank of America. They are at the forefront in performing rigorous research regarding Innovation, Education, Cybersecurity, and Thought Leadership while protecting the public interest. The American Institute for Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) is the world’s largest member organization representing the accounting profession in more than 143 countries. Worldwide there are over 650.000 active U.S. CPA’s in 173 countries strengthening the largest capital markets and delivering value to the global financial system.

Due to the need to attract more U.S. investors and to create and cultivate the right investment climate Global International Management, LLC started an initiative to strengthen the local economies of the Dutch Caribbean & Suriname by providing local accountants a unique opportunity to seek and obtain the aforementioned most sought and respected U.S. CPA designation powering Trust, Opportunity and Prosperity into our relatively small local economies. For example, new rules and regulations applicable to our local financial institutions such as the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) are U.S. driven and compliance by local financial institutions is extremely important to remain white listed. Additionally, many banks in our region are having difficulties finding or keeping a USD corresponding bank which is eminent in doing business with the U.S. and Internationally.

More “local” U.S. CPAs will drive a dynamic internationally known local audit and accounting profession that works every day to build trust, create opportunity and grow prosperity for the Dutch Caribbean & Suriname.

To kick off this initiative, the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants – Center of Plain English Accounting (AICPA’s CPEA) is heading to Curacao for the first time on April 5th 2018 for a full-day one-site seminar in Avila Beach Hotel to outline the latest accounting standard regarding “Revenue Recognition”. Additionally, the U.S. Embassy on Curacao is stimulating a fair level playing field for U.S. CPAs on the Dutch Caribbean & Suriname and the event will be opened by the U.S. Consul General in Curacao, Mrs. Margaret D. Hawthorne. “We are honored to have both the AICPA’s CPEA and U.S Consulate General Curacao’s support and welcome as many accountants on this event which will be the first step towards strengthening the position of our local U.S. CPAs here in the region” said Rocher Cyrus CPA, CGMA – Managing Director of Global International Management, LLC and authorized Partner of Becker Professional Education and Confirmation.com.

For more info on the upcoming event: AICPA’s CPEA comes to Curacao for the “New Revenue Recognition Standard (Part I) – Course (8 CPE). Location: Avila Beach Hotel, April 5th 2018 from 07.45am to 18.00pm. We will also honor our first 3 students who passed all 4 parts of the U.S. CPA Exam. Registration is required via info@globalintmanagement.com or via rcyrus@globalintmanagement.com. Please contact us for more info on the event, course, speaker bio via these email addresses and/or to register or click on the following link: https://globalintmanagement.com/wordpress/aicpa-cpea-seminar-curacao/

We call upon all U.S. CPAs in the region to subscribe for this event which will be the first step towards strengthening our position within the Dutch Caribbean and Suriname!

What to do when your Tax Return is late

Tuesday, April 17, 2018, was the tax deadline for most taxpayers to file their tax returns. If you haven’t filed a 2017 tax return yet, it’s not too late, and it may be easier than you think.

First, gather any information related to income and deductions for the tax years for which a return is required to be filed, then call the office.

If you’re owed money, then the sooner you file, the sooner you’ll get your refund. If you owe taxes, you should file and pay as soon as you can, which will stop the interest and penalties that you will owe.

If you owe money but can’t pay the IRS in full, you should pay as much as you can when you file your tax return to minimize penalties and interest. The IRS will work with taxpayers suffering financial hardship. If you continue to ignore your tax bill, the IRS may take collection action.

How to Make a Payment

There are several different ways to make a payment on your taxes. Payments can be made by credit card, electronic funds transfer, check, money order, cashier’s check, or cash. If you pay your federal taxes using a major credit card or debit card, there is no IRS fee for credit or debit card payments, but the processing companies charge a convenience fee or flat fee. It is important to review all your options; the interest rate on a loan or credit card may be lower than the combination of penalties and interest imposed by the Internal Revenue Code.

What to do if you Can’t Pay in Full

Taxpayers unable to pay all of the amount owed on a tax bill are encouraged to pay as much as possible. By paying as much as possible now, the amount of interest and penalties owed will be less than if you do not pay anything at all. Based on individual circumstances, a taxpayer could qualify for an extension of time to pay, an installment agreement, a temporary delay, or an offer in compromise. Please call if you have questions about any of these options.

For individuals, IRS Direct Pay is a fast and free way to pay directly from your checking or savings account. Taxpayers who need more time to pay can set up either a short-term payment extension or a monthly payment plan.

A short-term extension gives a taxpayer an additional 60 to 120 days to pay. No fee is charged, but the late-payment penalty plus interest will apply. Generally, taxpayers will pay less in penalties and interest than if the debt were repaid through an installment agreement over a longer period of time.

Most people can set up a payment plan using the Online Payment Agreement tool on IRS.gov. A monthly payment plan or installment agreement gives a taxpayer more time to pay. However, penalties and interest will continue to be charged on the unpaid portion of the debt throughout the duration of the installment agreement/payment plan. You should pay as much as possible before entering into an installment agreement.

Taxpayers who owe $50,000 or less in combined tax, penalties and interest can apply for and receive immediate notification of approval through an online, IRS web-based application. Balances over $50,000 require taxpayers to complete a financial statement to determine the monthly payment amount for an installment plan.

A user fee will also be charged if the installment agreement is approved. The fee (effective January 1, 2017) is normally $225 but is reduced to $107 if taxpayers agree to make their monthly payments electronically through electronic funds withdrawal. The fee is $43 for eligible low-and-moderate-income taxpayers.

Individual taxpayers who do not have a bank account or credit card and need to pay their tax bill using cash, are now able to make a payment at one or more than 7,000 7-Eleven stores nationwide. Individuals wishing to take advantage of this payment option should visit the IRS.gov payments page, select the cash option in the other ways you can pay section and follow the instructions.

What Happens If You Don’t File a Past Due Return

It’s important to understand the ramifications of not filing a past due return and the steps that the IRS will take. Taxpayers who continue to not file a required return and fail to respond to IRS requests for a return may be considered for a variety of enforcement actions–including substantial penalties and fees.

Need Help Filing your 2017 Tax Return?

If you haven’t filed a tax return yet, don’t delay. Call the office today to schedule an appointment as soon as possible.

Using a Car for Business: New Rules under TCJA

Many of the tax provisions under tax reform were favorable to small business owners including those relating to using a car for business. Here’s what you need to know.

1. Section 179 Expense Deduction

If you bought a new car in 2018 and use it more 50 percent for business use, you can take advantage of the Section 179 expense deduction when you file your 2018 tax return. Under Section 179 you can immediately deduct (rather than depreciating) the cost of certain property in the year it is placed in service. In 2018, the Section 179 expense deduction increases to a maximum deduction of $1 million of the first $2,500,000 million of qualifying equipment placed in service during the current tax year. It is indexed to inflation for tax years after 2018.

For sport utility vehicles (defined as four-wheeled passenger automobiles between 6,000 and 14,000 pounds), however, the maximum deduction is $25,000 (also indexed for inflation). Certain exceptions may apply, however such as a seating capacity of more than nine persons behind the driver’s seat. Vehicles weighing more than 14,000 pounds are typically considered “work vehicles” and would not be used for personal reasons. As such, there is no expense deduction limit.

2. Luxury Auto Depreciation Allowance

For luxury passenger automobiles placed in service after December 31, 2017, the amount of allowable depreciation increases to a maximum of $10,000. The deduction increases to $16,000 for the second year, then decreases to $9,600 for the third year and $5,760 for the fourth year and for years beyond. These dollar amounts are indexed for inflation. Deductions are based on a percentage of business use; i.e., a business owner whose business use of the vehicle is 100 percent can take a larger deduction than one whose business use of a car is only 50 percent.

3. Additional First-Year Bonus Depreciation for Passenger Vehicles

For passenger autos eligible for the additional bonus first-year depreciation, the maximum first-year depreciation allowance remains at $8,000. It applies to new and used (“new to you”) vehicles acquired and placed in service after September 27, 2017, and remains in effect for tax years through December 31, 2022. When combined with the increased depreciation allowance above, the deduction amounts to as much as $18,000.

4. 100 Percent First-Year Bonus Depreciation for Heavy Vehicles

For tax purposes, pickup trucks, vans, and SUVs whose gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) is more than 6,000 pounds are treated as transportation equipment instead of passenger vehicles. Heavy vehicles (new or used) placed into service after September 27, 2017, and before January 1, 2023, qualify for a 100 percent first-year bonus depreciation deduction as well, if business-related use exceeds 50 percent. These deductions are based on percentage of business use and vehicles used less than 50 percent for business are required to depreciate the vehicle cost over a period of six years.

5. Deductions Eliminated for Unreimbursed Expenses for Business use of a Car

Under tax reform miscellaneous itemized expenses were repealed. As such starting in 2018, if you are an employee who is required to use your own vehicle for business-related use and are not reimbursed for these expenses by your employer you are no longer able to claim a deduction for unreimbursed expenses for business use of a car on your tax return.

Questions?

If you have any questions about business use of a car, don’t hesitate to call the office.

Selling Your Small Business

Selling a small to medium-sized business is a complex venture, and many business owners are not aware of the tax consequences.

If you’re thinking about selling your business the first step is to consult a competent tax professional. You will need to make sure your financials in order, obtain an accurate business valuation to determine how much your business is worth (and what the listing price might be) and develop a tax planning strategy to minimize capital gains and other taxes to maximize your profits from the sale.

Accurate Financial Statements

The importance of preparing your business financials before listing your business for sale cannot be overstated. Whether you use a business broker or word of mouth, rest assured that potential buyers will scrutinize every aspect of your business. Not being able to quickly produce financial statements, current, and prior years’ balance sheets, profit and loss statements, tax returns, equipment lists, product inventories, and property appraisals and lease agreements may lead to loss of the sale.

Business Valuation

Many business owners have no idea what their business is worth; some may underestimate whereas others overestimate–sometimes significantly. Obtaining a third-party business valuation allows business owners to set a price that is realistic for potential buyers while achieving maximum value.

Tax Consequences of Selling

As a business owner you probably think of your business as a single entity sold as a lump sum. The IRS however, views a business as a collection of assets. Profit from the sale of these assets (i.e., your business) may be subject to short and long-term capital gains tax, depreciation recapture of Section 1245 and Section 1250 real property, and federal and state income taxes.

For IRS purposes each asset sold must be classified as capital assets, depreciable property used in the business, real property used in the business, goodwill, or property held for sale to customers, such as inventory or stock in trade. Assets are considered tangible (real estate, machinery, and inventory) or intangible (goodwill or trade name).

The gain (or loss) on each asset sold is figured separately. For instance, the sale of capital assets results in capital gain or loss whereas the sale of inventory results in ordinary income or loss, with each taxed accordingly.

Depreciable Property

Section 1231 gains and losses are the taxable gains and losses from Section 1231 transactions such as sales or exchanges of real property or depreciable personal property held longer than one year. Their treatment as ordinary or capital depends on whether you have a net gain or a net loss from all your Section 1231 transactions.

When you dispose of depreciable property (Section 1245 property or Section 1250 property) at a gain, you may have to recognize all or part of the gain as ordinary income under the depreciation recapture rules. Any remaining gain is a Section 1231 gain.

Business Structure

Your business structure (i.e., business entity) also affects the way your business is taxed when it is sold. Sole proprietorships, partnerships, and LLCs (Limited Liability Companies) are considered “pass-through” entities and each asset is sold separately. As such there is more flexibility when structuring a sale to benefit both the buyer and seller in terms of tax consequences.

C-corporations and S-corporations have different entity structures, and sale of assets and stock are subject to more complex regulations.

For example, when assets of a C-corporation are sold, the seller is taxed twice. The corporation pays tax on any gains realized when the assets are sold, and shareholders pay capital gains tax when the corporation is dissolved. However, when a C-corporation sells stock the seller only pays capital gains tax on the profit from the sale, which is generally at the long-term capital gains tax rate. S-corporations are taxed similarly to partnerships in that there is no double taxation when assets are sold. Income (or loss) flows through shareholders, who report it on their individual tax returns.

As you can see, selling a business involves complicated federal and state tax rules and regulations. If you’re thinking of selling your business soon, don’t hesitate to call the office and schedule a consultation with a tax and accounting professional.