May is here and that means most of you should be done with the craziness that is tax season. Well, not quite. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act brought with us some very important tax reform updates that businesses need to know about. As accounting reporters have dug into the new bill, they are revealing some important ramifications which we will cover in this newsletter. Also, we go over important white collar exemptions in our Payroll Update, why Arizonans should consider getting a voluntary travel I.D. if they intend to hop on a plane, and more!
Bookkeeper and the words derived from it (bookkeeping etc.) are the only words in the English language with 3 consecutive sets of double letters.
Market Update – MVD Urges Arizonans to get Voluntary Travel I.D.
Arizonans who plan to use their driver license or ID card to get through security checkpoints at U.S. airports and other restricted, federally-controlled facilities should take action to get an Arizona Voluntary Travel ID through the Arizona Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Division.
The Transportation Security Administration will provide MVD informational flyers at its airport checkpoints in Flagstaff, Phoenix Mesa-Gateway, Phoenix Sky Harbor, Tucson International and Yuma International. The flyers advise passengers that starting Oct.1, 2020, standard credentials won’t be accepted by the TSA.
Payroll Update – White Collar Exemptions
Bona fide administrative, executive, professional, and computer-related professional employees, as well as outside sales employees, are exempt “white collar” employees under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). This means they are not covered by the minimum wage, overtime, and certain recordkeeping requirements of the law. The tests for determining exempt status measure the actual duties and responsibilities of the employee, not the job title.
HR Update – How Experiential Interviewing Can Help You Hire Better Talent
Experiential interviewing has the potential to create win-win outcomes for employers and candidates alike. For employers, it’s an opportunity to observe candidates doing real work (rather than just talking about it.) For candidates, it’s an opportunity to showcase their skills and gain firsthand knowledge of what the job entails.
When Carrie Silvers (not her real name) interviewed for an HR assistant job with a large insurance company, the hiring team was initially skeptical about her relational skills.
“There were long pauses between sentences that made her seem socially awkward,” said Scott Wintrip, founder of The Wintrip Group, a Florida consulting firm and author of High Velocity Hiring: How to Hire Top Talent in an Instant (McGraw Hill Education, 2017).
Accounting Update – Tax Reform Updates from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act that Businesses Should Know
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, signed Dec. 22, 2017, changed some laws regarding depreciation deductions.
Businesses can take advantage of new depreciation laws to plan for capital purchases that can save on taxes.
A taxpayer may elect to expense the cost of any section 179 property and deduct it in the year the property is placed in service. The new law increased the maximum deduction from $500,000 to $1 million. It also increased the phase-out threshold from $2 million to $2.5 million.
The new law also expands the definition of section 179 property to allow the taxpayer to elect to include the following improvements made to nonresidential real property after the date when the property was first placed in service:
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