ARE PROPERTY LOSSES FROM HURRICANES DEDUCTIBLE?
By Jennifer McNett, CPA
Manager, Tax Services Group

As residents in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico recover from a trio of deadly hurricanes and the humanitarian crisis has started to ease, people's thoughts have started to turn to practical matters. One question that has come up amongst those who own property in those regions is on the deductibility of losses due to hurricanes.

Hopefully they carried property insurance, including a hurricane policy, to guard against damage from natural disasters. There are still bound to be some property losses that are unreimbursed, due to deductibles or because they fall outside the specific terms of an insurance policy. Is there any tax relief available for these losses?

The short answer is yes -- but don't expect it to be a simple process, or receive a huge amount of relief. Here is an overview.

EMPLOYEE SPOTLIGHT: MARY FERGUSON
As a Manager in the Entrepreneurial Services department, Mary Ferguson has a wealth of experience helping clients with their internal accounting and bookkeeping needs. She is a QuickBooks Desktop and QuickBooks Online Certified Pro Advisor who helps businesses and organizations with the setup, installation and training of QuickBooks.

Mary also provides payroll processing, Family Office services, bookkeeping on loan services and financial statement review and analysis. She has a bachelor's degree in business and accounting from IUPUI, having grown up in Indianapolis and attended school here, including Forest Manor Middle School and Arlington High School (which will become a middle school next year).

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DOES YOUR BUSINESS HAVE ANY 'BROKEN WINDOWS?'
By Tom Sponsel, CPA/ABV, CFF
Managing Partner

You may have heard of the "broken windows" theory, but probably in connection with politics and law enforcement. Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani famously employed this philosophy in the 1990s to clean up his city.

The basic idea of broken windows, which was first introduced by George L. Kelling and James Q. Wilson in The Atlantic in 1982, is that if you let the little problems slip, like broken windows, vandalism and rampant graffiti, bigger problems eventually become insurmountable. Ignoring tiny errors or mistakes invites ambivalence to much larger problems!!

Some years later author Michael Levine adapted the theory to the business world in his book, Broken Windows, Broken Business: How the Smallest Remedies Reap the Biggest Rewards. His take was that if you let the little things degrade in your operation, particularly how you treat your customers, it will eventually impact the entire company.

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Lingenhoel, Sargent join firm
 
Sponsel CPA Group is pleased to welcome two new Staff accountants to the team. Abigail Lingenhoel will work in the Tax Services department, preparing individual, corporation, partnership, fiduciary and other tax returns. She has dual bachelor's degrees in Accounting and Management from Taylor University. Christopher Sargent will be part of the Audit and Assurance Services team, performing audits, reviews, compilations and agreed-upon procedures for a wide variety of clients. He is a graduate of Ball State University with bachelor's and master's degrees in Accounting. Both are currently in the process of taking the exams for their CPA certification. Welcome to them both!