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Are you ready to catch up on some of the recently issued guidance and other information provided by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Department of Labor (DOL) and Social Security Administration (SSA) regarding employee benefit plan matters? The government regulators have been busy and we have been as well.

Although cyber criminality continues, it is clear that it is being monitored actively, forces are being marshaled against it, and — for the most part — computer users are not lulled into a false sense of security. That is why we prepare our Cyber Roundup each month – to ensure that our readers stay aware of the breadth and depth of cyber crime.

When it comes to pre-audit planning meetings, going through the motions won’t cut it. In order for annual audits to be accurate, productive – and meet compliance standards – committee members must be engaged from the get-go. Pre-audit planning meetings set the tone for the entire audit process and can be the difference between doing things right or putting your nonprofit organization at risk.

Aside from paying excise tax on net investment income, another important distinction between a private foundation and a public charity is that a private foundation is required to spend money. In this bulletin, we will walk you through the rule and calculations attributable to non-operating private foundations.

With the implementation of Statement No. 87 of the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB 87) — Leases — on the horizon, many state colleges and universities are assessing its impact and looking to implement procedures to identify all leases and contracts to which the new lease Statement will apply. Although the new standard is not effective until reporting periods beginning after December 15, 2019, many institutions are taking a campus-wide inventory of all contracts and leases in order to evaluate whether they meet the criteria of a lease as defined in the Statement.

On August 23, 2018, the IRS issued proposed regulations, effective after August 27, 2018, to block attempts by New York, New Jersey and Connecticut to allow taxpayers to try to circumvent the new $10,000 federal income tax cap on state and local tax (SALT) deductions.  
In this newsletter, we will summarize the position of various states with respect to the SALT deductions and the responding IRS proposed regulations.

The term “self-dealing” has been in the news more and more in recent months in connection with some high profile state attorney general investigations into various private foundations and other tax-exempt organizations. So, we hope this e-bulletin will serve as a reminder that: ”self-dealing” is any direct or indirect transaction between a private foundation and a disqualified person.

The Financial Standards Accounting Board (FASB) recently issued a proposed Accounting Standards Update (ASU or Update) (Topic 958) intended to modify the definition of the term collections. The amendment in the proposed ASU is intended to align the definition of the term collections as it appears in the Master Glossary of the FASB Accounting Standards Codification with the definition used in the American Alliance of Museums’ (AAM) Code of Ethics for Museums (the Code).

Are you looking for valuable tax write-offs? Well, for 2018, you may be in luck. There are some significant benefits that kick in as a result of the tax reform legislation signed into law last December. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) provides for two important incentives for business owners, both of which require tax planning and deep understanding as to how the law is being interpreted.

As you begin your year-end audit planning process, management can proactively streamline the audit process and reduce audit-related cost over-runs. When you undertake advanced planning procedures before the audit, you can save staff time accumulating audit documentation and fielding questions; reduce disruptions to your staff’s work process; and receive timely feedback from the independent auditors regarding internal control considerations and financial statement presentation and disclosures.

No doubt you have noticed some of the interesting “lingo” associated with the cyber world whether reported in Cyber Roundup or otherwise. Below are general meanings of some of the more noteworthy terms. Always amazing to see how common English words can be morphed into such descriptive cyber terminology.