What’s meant by a “clean” set of books and records? It simply means that a company’s financial records are up-to-date, accurate, and organized. While the nature and scope of a firm’s books and records may differ amongst companies and across an industry, the importance of adequately maintaining books and records are of equal importance.

All too often, business owners become complacent in maintaining their company’s financial records. Owners turn their energies to other aspects of the business, such as sales and operations, and struggle with finding the time for this imperative function. 

Why is this so important? While there are many reasons to dedicate the time and resources to maintaining a “clean” set of books and records, there are two main benefits. 

First, up-to-date and accurate financial records contain a lot of information about a company’s operations, such as profitability, cash flow, and receivables from customers, to name a few. Such information is necessary to successfully manage operations and make informed, knowledgeable business decisions. Second, a “clean” set of books and records can make a company more valuable and more attractive to prospective buyers. The condition of a company’s books and records are a direct reflection of the ongoing condition of a business. This is very similar to the curbside appeal of a piece of property or home.

Some other reasons to maintain a “clean” set of books and records include meeting tax filing requirements, assisting with business plans, and providing the ability to perform year-end tax planning to help plan for and potentially reduce income taxes. While maintaining a “clean” set of books and records may not be the most exciting aspect of running a business, the benefits far exceed the detriment of not doing so.

DiSanto, Priest & Co.’s experienced team of professionals can assist you in realizing the value of having a “clean” set of books and records and can help you achieve this goal. Call us at (401) 921-2000 or submit our contact form to get started. 

For tax periods beginning after December 31, 2022, Rhode Island businesses may be required to electronically file returns and remit tax payments, including quarterly estimates, extension payments, balances due and all other payments. If your business meets the larger business registrant definition below, this new mandate will apply to your business. “Larger business registrant” for the purposes of this mandate is defined as:

  1. A business whose combined annual liability for all taxes administered by the Division of Taxation is or exceeds $5,000; or
  2. A business whose annual gross income is over $100,000

The Division of Taxation encourages all taxpayers to utilize the Taxpayer Portal to remit taxes. New and first-time users of the Taxpayer Portal will need to request a PIN before activating a new account. PINs can be requested by phone at (401) 574-8484 or e-mail (taxportal@tax.ri.gov). Have the following information available when requesting a PIN: Name of the business, EIN, and address. The PIN will then be sent to the taxpayer via regular mail. The account will not be available for use until the PIN is received and the account validated, so please ensure ample time to guarantee no problems with activating the account before the deadline. PINs will not be e-mailed or provided by phone. 

For those taxpayers who do not receive a PIN and validate their account prior to a payment due date, a same-day guest service is available on the Portal. Please note, this will require several verification steps for security purposes and is not a permanent solution.

Instructional videos are available on the Division’s website to walk you through the process of creating an account.

More Information

If you have any questions on the above and how it applies to you, please call us at 401-921-2000, or reach us through email or complete our online contact form.

As part of the Inflation Reduction Act, Congress recently extended and expanded what was previously known as the Non-Business Energy Property Credit. The credit, now known as the Energy Efficient Home Improvement Credit, is intended to encourage investment in energy related home improvements such as energy efficiency improvements, residential energy property expenditures, and home energy audits. Prior to 2022, this credit was considered a lifetime credit. In other words, each year a 10% credit was allowed on qualifying expenses until the taxpayer reached a cumulative maximum amount of $500. This credit had originally expired as of December 31, 2021, but the Inflation Reduction Act extended it through the end of 2022.

Then, starting in 2023, the Inflation Reduction Act makes several substantial changes to the credit. The first is by removing the $500 lifetime cap limitation and replacing it with an annual limitation of $1,200. In addition, the former 10% credit percentage has been increased to a credit of 30% of qualifying expenses up to the $1,200 annual limitation. Qualifying expenses include water heaters, heat pumps, central air conditioners, hot water boilers, biomass stoves, oil furnaces, air sealing, cost of home energy audits, and electrical panels. There is an annual limit of $600 of credits with respect to residential energy property expenditures, windows and skylights, and $250 for any exterior door ($500 in total for all exterior doors). Also, the annual credit is increased to up to $2,000 for specified heat pumps and biomass stoves. Finally, roofs and advanced main air circulating fans are ineligible for the credit.

It is important to note that starting in 2025, reporting requirements mandate that manufacturers label, and taxpayers report, a product identification number associated with specified property items to receive the credit. These changes are expected to provide an incentive for taxpayers to lessen the high costs of energy and save in utility bills in addition to decreasing their overall tax liability.

If you have any questions on how you can utilize this credit or whether you qualify, give us a call at (401) 921-2000, or fill out our online contact us form.

The IRS has recently released the inflation-adjusted contribution limits, phase-out ranges, and income limits for various retirement-related items for the 2023 tax year as follows.

401(k), 403(b), most 457 plans, and the Thrift Savings Plan

The annual limitation on elective deferrals (contributions) for employees who participate in 401(k), 403(b), most 457 plans, and the federal government’s Thrift Savings Plan, as well as the catch-up contributions available to taxpayers aged 50 and over has been indexed for inflation to the following amounts:

  • Elective deferral limit has increased by $2,000 to $22,500, up from $20,500.
  • Catch-up contributions for taxpayers aged 50 and over increased by $1,000 to $7,500.

As a result of these changes, taxpayers aged 50 and over participating in these plans may contribute up to $30,000 in 2023.

SIMPLE Plans

The amount taxpayers can contribute to SIMPLE retirement accounts has increased by $1,500 to $15,500. The catch-up contribution limit for SIMPLE retirement accounts has increased from $3,000 to $3,500.

IRA’s

The maximum IRA contribution has increased from $6,000 to $6,500, with the catch-up contribution amount remaining at $1,000.

Taxpayers can deduct contributions to a traditional IRA if they meet certain conditions. If either the taxpayer or the taxpayer’s spouse were covered by a retirement plan at work during the year, the deduction may be reduced, or phased out depending on the taxpayer’s filing status and income. If neither the taxpayer nor their spouse is covered by a retirement plan at work, then the phase-out rules do not apply. The income limitations for deductible contributions to a traditional IRAs have been increased to the following amounts:

  • For single taxpayers who are covered by a workplace retirement plan, the income phase-out range is now $73,000 to $83,000, an increase of $5,000.
  • For married couples filing jointly, where the spouse who makes the IRA contribution is covered by a workplace retirement plan, the income phase-out range is now $116,000 to $136,000, an increase of $7,000.
  • For married couples filing jointly, where the spouse who makes the IRA contribution is not covered by a workplace retirement plan, the income phase-out range is now $218,000 to $228,000, an increase of $14,000.
  • For a married individual filing a separate return, the income phase-out range is not indexed for inflation and remains at $0 to $10,000.

The income phase-out range for taxpayers making contributions to a Roth IRA has also increased as a result of the annual cost-of-living adjustment:

  • For single and heads of household filers, the income phase-out range is now $138,000 to $153,000, an increase of $9,000.
  • For married couples filing jointly, the income phase-out range is $218,000 to $228,000, an increase of $14,000.
  • For married couples filing separately, the income phase-out range is not subject to the annual cost-of living adjustment and remains at $0 to $10,000.
Saver’s Credit (Retirement Savings Contribution Credit)

The 2023 income limit for the Saver’s Credit increased as follows:

  • For singles and married couples filing separately, the limitation has increased to $36,500.
  • For heads of household, the limitation has increase to $54,750.
  • For married taxpayers filing jointly, it has increased to $73,000.

If you have any questions, please reach out via email, give us a call at (401) 921-2000, or fill out our online contact us form.

 

The Internal Revenue Service has announced the increases in the annual gift tax exclusion and the lifetime estate and gift tax exemption for calendar year 2023.

The annual gift tax exclusion allows taxpayers to transfer gifts to unlimited donees without experiencing gift taxes up to a designated annual amount. The lifetime estate and gift tax exemption provides the limit for lifetime gifts as of the date of the gift or date of death before incurring a gift or estate tax liability.

For the 2023 tax year, the annual gift tax exclusion is increased by $1,000 to a total of $17,000. The exclusion covers gifts an individual makes to each donee per year. Married taxpayers can combine their gift tax exclusion as they can share their two annual exclusions. For example, married taxpayers with three children could potentially transfer $34,000 a year to each child or a total of $102,000 without incurring any gift taxes.

The annual gift tax exclusion is also an important consideration for estate planning purposes. Taxpayers can make gifts up to that amount before utilizing any of their lifetime estate and gift tax exemption. The value of any gifts in excess of the annual gift tax exclusion would then be subtracted from the lifetime exemption. As the lifetime exemption gets used over the taxpayer’s lifetime, the amount that can be excluded from the taxable estate upon death also decreases. For 2023, the lifetime exemption will increase by $860,000 to $12,920,000. The total available to a married couple will be $25,840,000 in 2023.

If you have any questions regarding estates, gifts, or any topics in this area, give us a call at (401)-921-2000 or fill out our online contact us form to get started.

Thanks to an obscure Massachusetts law passed back in 1986, Massachusetts taxpayers will be eligible to receive a tax refund starting November 1, 2022. Chapter 62F was a measure passed by Massachusetts residents in 1986 that required the state to refund a certain percentage of collected taxes if the state collected more taxes than what is considered the annual cap tied to wage and salary growth throughout the state. Triggered only once before in 1987, 2022 marks the second time this measure has been enacted in over thirty years.

For tax year 2021, the Commonwealth has collected an estimated $3 billion in excess tax revenue that will be distributed back to the taxpayers. The amount will be 14.035% of the taxpayer’s tax liability. Eligible taxpayers include resident and non-resident individuals as well as trusts and estates.

No action on the end of the taxpayer is required to receive the refund. If you are eligible, then you will receive the refund automatically either through check or direct deposit based upon your 2021 tax return. If you have not filed your 2021 tax year return, then you have until September 15th, 2023, to be eligible for the refund.

These refunds should be rolling out at the beginning of November for most taxpayers who filed before April 18th of 2022. If you filed on extension, your refund might be delayed compared to other taxpayers.

A quick and easy refund estimator is available at the Mass.gov website if you would like to see what you could receive with your refund.

More Information:

Mass.gov Refund Estimator & Chapter 62F Q&A: Chapter 62F Taxpayer Refunds | Mass.gov

If you have any questions on the above and how it applies to you, please call us at 401-921-2000, or reach us through email or complete our online contact form.

Experience & Education

  • Undergraduate degree with a concentration in accounting – Bryant University.
  • QuickBooks ProAdvisor 2017 – present

Professional

  • Member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA).
  • Member of the Rhode Island Society of Certified Public Accountants (RISCPA).

Community

  • Rhode Island Parent and Teachers Association

Years of Experience

  • 14+

Governor Dan McKee recently announced a new relief program aimed at providing some financial relief to Rhode Island families during these hard economic times. The 2022 Child Tax Rebates are a part of the State’s FY23 budget that was signed by the Governor in June, with the intention of building on the State’s economy and helping families who are in need. The new rebate payment will be $250 per qualifying child, up to a maximum of three children (max rebate of $750), that will be issued to eligible taxpayers as early as October 2022 based upon when the taxpayer(s) filed their 2021 RI Personal Income Tax return.

To qualify for this rebate, a 2021 Rhode Island Personal Income Tax return must have been filed on or before October 17, 2022, with an AGI limitation of $100,000 or less for taxpayers with a filing status of Single, Married Filing Separately, Head of Household, or Qualifying Widow/Widower, and an AGI limitation of $200,000 or less for those whose filing status was Married Filing Jointly. A qualifying child dependent must have been eighteen years of age or under as of December 31, 2021 to qualify for the rebate. Along with the above requirements, a taxpayer must be “domiciled” in the state of Rhode Island as per their 2021 RI-1040 or RI-1040NR to be eligible.

The 2022 Child Tax Rebate will be an automatic roll-out with no need to apply if a 2021 RI Personal Income Return has been filed for the year. If you filed by August 31, 2022, your rebate can be expected to be issued starting in October of 2022. Those on extension who file by October 17, 2022 will have their rebates issued starting in December 2022. The rebate will be mailed to your mailing address based upon your Rhode Island Personal Income return, with no direct deposit options available for these rebates. To check the status of your Child Tax Rebate, please use the tax.ri.gov website and enter your Social Security Number (SSN), your Federal Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) from Line 1, and your Filing Status. The rebate is expected to support close to 115,000 Rhode Island families across the state in the coming months.

More Information

If you have any questions, please reach out via email, give us a call at (401) 921-2000, or fill out our online contact us form.

With all the obstacles and challenges manufacturers are dealing with in their day-to-day operations, implementing artificial intelligence (AI) is an opportunity that could bring exponential benefits. Streamlining operations, driving growth, preventing defects/human error, and avoiding inefficiencies are a few of the potential advantages AI can bring to the industry.

Benefits of employing AI to enhance controls in monitoring output and equipment maintenance include decreases in scrap materials, less rework due to errors or ineffectiveness in the production line, and the visibility to employ continuous upkeep and supervision of machinery. Implementation of AI drives costs down while increasing margins and efficiency. 

AI also has advantages beyond the production line. Companies have applied AI capabilities to accounting and finance departments, resulting in greater accuracy in forecasting, more effective analysis of data and trends, and increased precision in the application of accounting estimates. The technology also has applications in the training and development of employees.

Since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, the implementation of AI in the manufacturing industry has only become more rapid. More than ever, manufacturers are facing more obstacles regarding workforce shortages, government shutdowns, and a host of unknowns still facing businesses each day. AI mitigates these concerns by managing risks and delivering results, all while optimizing costs.

Recent industry studies and surveys have documented the successes and advances AI has brought to industrial manufacturing thus far, the most key of which are driving growth and optimizing costs. Trends have shown that it’s not just the large players bringing AI into the arena; more and more small and middle-sized firms are looking at AI as an opportunity to stay competitive.

If you have any questions, please reach out via email, give us a call at (401) 921-2000, or fill out our online contact us form.

Are the Protections of P.L. 86-272 For Remote Sellers of Tangible Personal Property Dwindling?

P.L. 86-272 was enacted in 1959 to protect sellers of tangible personal property from the imposition of state income taxes outside of its home state. It was intended to be a temporary provision of the law; however, it remains unchanged for the sixty years since its enactment.

Although the law remains unamended, there have been multiple legal disputes over the years due to many key elements that lack clarity and terms that are not clearly defined. In an effort to assist taxpayers in achieving compliance with their application of P.L. 86-272 to their business activity, the Multistate Tax Commission (MTC) issued the original version of the Statement of Information Concerning Practices of Multistate Tax Commission and Signatory States Under Public Law 86-272 on July 11, 1986. The statement has been revised four times since then, with the latest revision being adopted on August 4, 2021.

Many sellers who are in the business of selling tangible personal property have relied on the protection of P.L. 86-272 (Public Law 86-272 – September 14, 1959) that prevents a state, outside of their home state, from imposing state income tax when the following conditions are met:

  • The only activity “within” a State by the taxpayer or their representative in the state, are for the solicitation of orders of tangible personal property.
  • Orders received are sent outside of the State for approval or rejection.
  • Approved orders are filled by shipment or delivery from a point outside the state.

The Statement of information Concerning Practices of Multistate Tax Commission and Supporting States Under Public Law 86-272 describes how states in agreement with the way they interpret the law would apply it to various activities that a business may have in said states. Included in the statement is a list of activities that are deemed to be protected under P.L. 86-272 and a list of those activities that are not protected under P.L. 86-272.

The most recent version adopted on August 4, 2021 was issued to revise the statement to address modern business activities including:

  • Telecommuting Employees:
    Revision of Section A of Article IV – Unprotected Activities: “Activities performed by an employee who telecommutes on a regular basis from within the state unless the activities constitute the solicitation of orders for sales of tangible personal property or are entirely ancillary to such solicitation.”
  • Business activities conducted via the internet
    Addition of Section C to Article IV“As a general rule, when a business interacts with a customer via the business’s website or app, the business engages in a business activity within the customer’s state. However, for the purpose of this Statement, when a business presents static text or photos on its website, that presentation does not in itself Constitute a business activity within those states where the business’s customers are located. “The Statement includes eleven (11) examples of scenarios between an internet seller and its customer where the orders are approved or rejected as well as the products are shipped from a point outside of the customer’s state. The examples given indicate whether internet activities are protected by P.L. 86-272 as being merely a solicitation of sales, an activity entirely ancillary to the sale, or whether the internet activity exceeds the protection afforded by P.L. 86-272.
  • Independent Contractors:
    Expansion of Article V pertaining to Independent Contractors to include: “Performance of unprotected activities by an independent contractor on behalf of a seller, such as performing warranty work or accepting returns of products, also removes the statutory protection.”
  • Foreign Commerce:
    P.L. 86-272 is only applied to “interstate commerce” as Congress does not have authority to regulate foreign commerce. Revision of the language in Section VII eliminates the language that says “This state will apply….” as it may be construed that Congress was attempting to protect business activities pertaining to foreign commerce.
  • Application of Joyce Rule:
    Article VII.E was deleted as the Statement is no longer taking a position on the sourcing of sales

If your business is one of the many that continues to look to the protection that P.L. 86-272 affords from being imposed state income taxes outside of your home state for the sale of personal tangible personal property, now is the time to re-examine the presumptions that have been made in the past. DiSanto, Priest & Co. can assist you in analyzing your business activities and determining any state compliance that needs to be addressed regarding the applicability of P.L. 86-272, as well as other areas of state tax nexus. Give us a call at (401)-921-2000, or fill out our online contact us form to get started.

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