2019 Year End Newsletter

With year end quickly approaching, here are some reminders and tax tips. If you have any questions regarding these topics or would like personalized assistance with tax planning or other matters, please do not hesitate to contact us !
For Businesses
Paid Family and Medical Leave Act (PFML)
As of October 1, 2019, both MA employees and employers were required to begin paying (equally) an additional payroll tax that is equivalent to 0.63 percent of the employee’s wages. This new payroll tax will entitle those who require the use of Family and Medical Leave to be eligible to get up to 12 weeks of paid family leave and up to 20 weeks of paid medical leave paid by the Commonwealth of Mass. Self employed businesses will not be subject, but may opt in. Benefits will be available beginning January 1, 2021.

For some time now, there has been a federal law in place which may lead to some confusion. The FMLA only provides unpaid leave.

For additional information please reference the MA DOR PFML Fact Sheet.
Automate Your Bookkeeping
We have great accounting solutions to bring your accounting department to the cloud. 

The benefits of going to the cloud include:
  • Automate processes that save time and money in the office
  • Eliminate routine data entry
  • Accessibility - anywhere, anytime productivity and flexibility
  • Increased collaboration with your accountant and staff
  • Better internal controls 
  • Save time and money by not processing paper
  • Business continuity - auto backup of cloud information 
  • Automatic software upgrades
  • Scalable and more efficient
  • Simplified PC, server and network maintenance
We have evaluated some amazing programs that will automate your accounting and save time in your office. If you are interested please contact us.
Do you have a WISP Policy?
A Massachusetts law went into effect on March 1 st , 2010, addressing protection of personal information, WISP (written information security policy). We feel it might be time to remind businesses of this law.

For any businesses that possess personal information about a Massachusetts resident . It requires that such individuals/business entities develop, implement, and maintain a comprehensive information security program that is written.

This law includes the following definition of personal information:   a Massachusetts resident's first name and last name or first initial and last name in combination with any one or more of the following data elements that relate to such resident:
(a) Social Security number;
(b) driver's license number or state-issued identification card number; or
(c) financial account number, or credit or debit card number, with or without any required security code,

For guidance on preparing a policy, please reference the links below:
Link to the actual regulations: 201 CMR 17.00

Compliance checklist: Compliance checklist

If you have a breach and you are located in Mass or it exposes Mass residents, please reference the rules:
Do you have cyber security insurance?

If you do possess personal information on residents of Massachusetts, you should probably have a cyber security insurance to protect the business if there were a breach. Regular insurance may not cover a security breach.
Tax Tips
Business Tax Planning :
  • The Section 1031 exchange for equipment or motor vehicles is no longer available.
  • Entertainment expenses are no longer deductible.
  • Bonus depreciation has been increased to 100% for both used and new equipment.
  • If you are able to hire your children, you may be able to pay them up to $12,000 federal income tax free. Please note, however, that you must have documentation of their hours and the tasks they performed.
  • Reduce owner's salary in order to maximize the 20% business deduction.
Personal Tax Planning Opportunities:
  • Maximize your retirement contributions. If you are over 50, you can put more away.
  • Maximize your charitable donations.
  • If you have investments, harvest tax losses.
  • Maximize your FSA through your company
  • Maximize on an HSA through your company or open your own HSA.
  • Make environmental improvements (solar or geothermal) to your primary residence.
Health Savings Accounts
Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) continue to be one of the best tax deductions as well as a great way to save for retirement. When contributions are made to HSAs, the contribution is considered pre-tax and as long as the money is used for medical expenses it remains tax free. Thereby giving you a completely tax free vehicle. A single person may contribute up to $3,500, while families can contribute up to $7,000, for 2019. (Additional $1,000 after 55 years old)
529 Plans
Contributions to 529 plans are now deductible in Massachusetts up to $2,000 for those who are married, filing jointly and $1,000 for all other individuals. To be eligible for this deduction, the taxpayer must be contributing to a Massachusetts plan.
Home Energy Improvements
Invest in the following items for a tax credit for up to 30% of the cost: solar water heating, solar electric, fuel cell property, small wind energy, and geothermal heat pump. Benefits remain in effect through 2021. Must be your primary residence to qualify.
IRS and Other Scams
Fraudulent activity remains a significant threat. Our firm takes security very seriously and we think you should as well. Fraudsters continue to refine their techniques and tax identity theft remains a significant concern. Beware if you: 
  • Receive a notice or letter from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) regarding a tax return, tax bill or income that doesn’t apply to you
  • Get an unsolicited email or another form of communication asking for your bank account number or other financial details or personal information
  • Receive a robocall insisting you must call back and settle your tax bill

Make sure you’re taking steps to keep your personal financial information safe. It is never safe to email personal information unless using encryption. Let us know if you have questions or concerns about how to go about this.  Contact us first.
Did you move? make sure to change your address on a change of address form with both the IRS and your state of filing. This also helps mitigate fraudulent filing on your behalf.
Quick Links
Use the below links to pay your estimated tax payments.

If you regularly scan documents to the portal, we have found that the following settings make the scan most legible:

DPI of 300
Black & White print
If you want to take pictures with your phone, this app converts the pages from JPG to a PDF. It is offered by Microsoft and available on all phones and tablets.

Download the latest Adobe Acrobat reader
Quickbooks Online App-
if you are not using the app in order to scan in receipts, you are missing out. After scanning in the receipts, you can categorize and the receipt is contained with your books for easy access.
Gannon CPA Portal Access
Contact Us
We are accepting new clients. The highest compliment a client can give us is the referral of a friend, family member, or a business associate.

If you have had a great experience with us, please consider recommending us. We would love a recommendation on LinkedIn !