Johanson & Yau

Accountants and advisors to Silicon Valley since 1979

Newsletter

December 2014

Penalty For Not Filing LLC Annual Information Statement

The California Secretary of State has been sending penalty notices to limited liability companies that have not filed Form LLC-12, Annual Statement of Information Return.

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December 2014

Inundated With Tax Clutter? Here's What You Can Toss

After you file your 2013 tax return, you can clear away some of the paper clutter from your files. But keep essential records that can protect you if the IRS decides to conduct an audit. Some documents will help you collect a future refund or assist you with filing next year’s return. Below is a summary of what documents to keep and how long to keep them.

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December 2014

IRA Rollover Court Case Contradicts Longstanding Interpretation

The tax code is complex and may not always make sense to taxpayers. Even tax professionals have difficulty interpreting the code at times. In one recent case decided this past January (2014), the U.S. Tax Court issued a ruling that contradicts a position long held by the IRS.

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December 2014

Protect Yourself Against The Latest Phone Scams

Phone scams are not new, but they are getting more sophisticated. Many people rejoiced when caller ID was introduced because it became easier to avoid unwanted calls, but it was only a matter of time until thieves developed ways to use caller ID like a Trojan Horse, enticing you to pick up the phone. They may mimic your bank or your credit card company or even a government agency like the IRS.

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December 2014

Scorecard Of Key Expired Tax Breaks

Several federal income tax breaks for individuals and businesses expired at the end of 2013. Although we're solidly into 2014, Congress has not yet extended many tax savings opportunities. Here's a summary of some noteworthy deductions and credits that won't be available or will be significantly reduced in 2014 unless Congress acts to extend them. Many of these tax breaks are now being discussed by the House Ways and Means Committee.

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December 2014

Firm News

November 2014 | Johanson & Yau was founded 35 years ago by Darrell Johanson and Tony Yau on November 1, 1979. At this momentous time, we pause to thank our founders and our amazing staff and loyal clients, representing some of the most dynamic businesses in Silicon Valley and across the San Francisco Bay Area.

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March 2014

Congress Allows Billions In Temporary Tax Breaks To Expire

In what has become an annual ritual, Congress once again allowed dozens of "temporary" tax breaks, credits and deductions to expire at the end of 2013. Some of these provisions are of key interest to individual and business taxpayers.

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March 2014

Expired Tax Breaks For Businesses

Businesses are no longer eligible for a long-standing tax break for increasing qualifying R&D expenditures (QREs), including wages, supplies, and certain consulting and contract research fees related to qualified research activities.

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March 2014

Exprired Tax Breaks For Individuals

In 2013, individuals had the option of claiming an itemized deduction for general state and local sales taxes instead of claiming an itemized deduction for state and local income taxes. This option was beneficial for taxpayers who live in states with no personal income taxes and taxpayers who pay only minimal state income taxes.

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March 2014

When To Apply For Social Security Benefits

With the demise of guaranteed pensions, and in light of the risks you face in managing your own retirement assets, maximizing Social Security becomes a critical part of retirement planning.

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March 2014

Firm News

Sheryl Hinshaw, CPA, Partner and Gina Pache, Small Business Services Accountant, recently joined several hundred runners and walkers on a rainy Sunday morning to participate in the Super Guadalupe River Run, which consisted of a 10K/5K and 1K kid's run.

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December 2013

Tax Season: Working With Your Tax Organizer & Other Reminders

Tax season is right around the corner. This is a great time of year to connect with us and work closely toward achieving your personal tax and financial planning goals. Please call our office to make an appointment with one of our professionals.

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December 2013

New Option For Deducting Home Office Expenses

The IRS has announced a simplified option that many owners of home-based businesses and some home-based workers can use to figure their deductions for the business use of their homes.

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December 2013

IRS Cracks Down On Tax ID Theft: Could You Be A Victim?

As taxpayers filed their returns in 2013, the IRS announced a national crackdown on identity theft schemes aiming to steal taxpayers' refunds. The tax agency expanded upon a program designed to help law enforcement contact victims, catch perpetrators, and resolve issues in a timely manner.

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December 2013

Firm News

Johanson & Yau held its annual holiday party At San Francisco’s iconic Sir Francis Drake Hotel. The retro “Mad Men” themed evening included a gourmet dinner, plenty of holiday cheer and an informal after-party at the Starlight Ballroom. Here’s to 2014 and hoping that yours is happy, safe and successful!

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September 2013

Delay In The Affordable Care Act Employer Mandate: An Opportunity To Regroup

The bombshell July 2 announcement came in the form of a blog post on the U.S. Treasury Department's website, accompanied by a statement from the White House. The employer "shared responsibility" or “pay or play” provision is being delayed one year, until 2015.

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September 2013

Tax Implications In The Supreme Court Defense Of Marriage Act (DOMA) Case

A recent Supreme Court decision now allows same-sex couples in states with same-sex marriage statutes to be treated as married for federal tax purposes.

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September 2013

IRS Is Conducting Fewer Individual Audits - But Examining More Businesses

The IRS released data showing that overall audits were down in fiscal 2012 to 1.03 percent of all tax returns filed, as compared with 1.11 percent the previous year.

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September 2013

Keeping Good Tax Records: A Case Study Of What Not To Do

The importance of keeping thorough and accurate records can't be emphasized enough. If you have incomplete or no records and get audited by the IRS, it can cost you valuable deductions.

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September 2013

Firm News

For the third time in as many years, Johanson & Yau Accountancy Corporation was recently named as one of the 2013 Best Accounting Firms for Women.

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February 2013

Individual Taxpayers | 2012 American Taxpayer Relief Act: Tax Breaks Extended, Alternative Minimum Tax Relief & Itemized Deduction Phase Outs

The recently enacted 2012 American Taxpayer Relief Act extends a host of important tax breaks for individuals and provides permanent relief to individual taxpayers from the alternative minimum tax (AMT). However, there are also caps for top earners regarding itemized deductions. Below is an overview of these key aspects of the law:

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February 2013

Leverage Life Insurance To Leave A Lifetime Legacy

Americans are charitable by nature. From religious organizations to universities to political groups to global foundations, Americans donated nearly $300 billion in 2011, according to the Giving USA 2012 Annual Report. While many Americans give on a monthly or annual basis, few have a comprehensive plan in place to leave lifetime legacy of their philanthropic endeavors.

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February 2013

Business Taxpayers | 2012 American Taxpayer Relief Taxpayer Relief Act: Accelerated Depreciation & Tax Break Extensions

The recently enacted 2012 American Taxpayer Relief Act extends a host of important tax breaks for businesses. Below is a brief overview of some key tax breaks that were extended by the new law.

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February 2013

10 Bad Money Habits To Break

Do bad money habits constrain your financial progress? Many people fall into the same financial behavior patterns year after year. If you sometimes succumb to these financial tendencies, now is as good a time as any to alter your behavior.

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February 2013

Firm News

Johanson & Yau recently celebrated the following employee anniversaries:

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October 2012

Recent Tax Law Developments

Most people find it difficult to keep track of the growing volume of complex and new tax developments. The following is a summary of the most important tax developments that have occurred in the past three months that may affect you, your family, your investments, and your livelihood.

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October 2012

Health Care Law Upheld By Supreme Court: Now What?

Earlier this summer, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of heath care reform legislation which will clear the way for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act (HCERA).

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October 2012

Five Questions To Ask Your Financial Advisor Today

Accepting personal responsibility for your financial goals is an important component of building a comprehensive financial plan. This means engaging your financial advisor in thorough discussions of your concerns and expectations regarding your financial future. To do this, investors must ask challenging questions. To get you started, we have put together a set of questions that incorporate some of today's biggest concerns.

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October 2012

Firm News

September 2012 | Johanson & Yau recently celebrated the following employee anniversaries:

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May 2012

Recent Tax Developments (1st Quarter 2012)

We have summarized some important tax developments that have occurred recently, which may affect you, your family and/or your investments:

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May 2012

Tax Planning For College

Parents with college-bound children are concerned with setting up a financial plan to fund future college costs. If your children are already college age, your goal is to pay for current or imminent college bills. These concerns require approaches that seek to take maximum advantage of tax benefits to minimize expenses.

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May 2012

Business Succession Planning For Small Business Owners

Much has been written about the demographic trends and macroeconomic factors that continue to affect succession planning for small business owners. Most of it can be boiled down to two key points. First, a great number of business owners are approaching retirement and looking for an exit plan. Second, the global financial crisis created a negative impact on many small businesses. As a result, succession planning is more challenging due to diminished profits and cash flow and a lack of credit availability to potential buyers. However, in many cases, business succession concerns are exasperated by two additional factors:

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May 2012

Firm News

May 2012 | For the second time in two years, Johanson & Yau Accountancy Corporation has been named as one of the ten best firms in the nation for women accountants by the American Society of Women Accountants and American Woman's Society of Certified Public Accountants.

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February 2012

Section 179 Election and Bonus Depreciation Extended

IRS Code Section 179 allows a taxpayer to fully expense qualified fixed asset purchases in the year they were placed in service. For 2010 and 2011 the maximum Section 179 deduction for federal purposes was $500,000 (California is only $25,000). This deduction begins to phase out dollar for dollar for total fixed assets placed in service greater than $2 million. These limits for 2012 and 2013 are as follows.

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February 2012

Local Transportation Costs

Local transportation refers to travel in which you are not away from your tax home (the city or general area in which your main place of business is located) long enough to require sleep or rest, and not reimbursed by your employer. Different rules apply if you are away from your tax home for significantly more than an ordinary work day and need sleep or rest in order to do your work.

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February 2012

Rebalancing Your Portfolio - Cornerstone Behavior of Wealth Building

As a long-term investor, you have created a wealth plan with the guidance of your financial advisor. That initial blueprint represents your unique needs, both now and in the future. The financial capacity to send your kids to college, enjoy a sustainable retirement income, live your dreams and leave your legacy, all depends on your ability to be emotionally and financially disciplined. An integral part of maintaining financial discipline is routine, systematic portfolio rebalancing.

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February 2012

Computer Software Costs

Do you buy or lease computer software for use in your business? Do you develop computer software for use in your business, or for sale or lease to others? Then you should be aware of the complex rules that apply to determine the tax treatment of the expenses of buying, leasing or developing computer software.

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February 2012

Firm News

January 2012 | Bridgette Cernan has joined Johanson & Yau as Staff Accountant.

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October 2011

Budget Control Act of 2011 Signed Into Law

After a bitter partisan battle, on August 2nd Congress passed and the President signed into law the "Budget Control Act of 2011."

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October 2011

Private Companies Need Modified Standards, Not Separate Rules

Private companies have long argued that U.S. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) are too expensive to apply and that the results are often of marginal benefit to end users.

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October 2011

Heard about long-term care, but not sure what it is?

Long-term care is necessary when any disease or injury keeps you from being self sufficient over a long period of time.

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October 2011

Firm News

September 2011 | For the third year in a row, Johanson & Yau was recently named as one of the 2011 Best Accounting Firms to Work for. The annual list of “Best Accounting Firms” was created by Accounting Today and Best Companies Group.

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June 2011

Employer Health Insurance Coverage Reporting

Under the Health Care Act, beginning January 1, 2011, an employer must disclose on each employee's annual Form W-2 the value of the employee's health insurance coverage sponsored by the employer. If an employee enrolls in employer-sponsored health insurance coverage under multiple plans, the employer must disclose the aggregate value of all such health coverage. Employers should also be aware of the following considerations:

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June 2011

Senate Bill Aims To Stem Pre-retirement 401(K) Withdrawals

Senator Herb Kohl (D-WI) and Mike Enzi (R-WY) recently introduced legislation to help ensure that retirement savings in defined contribution plans last throughout retirement.

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June 2011

2011 Foreign Bank Account Reporting Amnesty Program

For US persons who have foreign bank accounts, income or assets that have previously not been reported to the IRS, a new voluntary disclosure program, available through August 31 2011, provides an opportunity to come forward and disclose these items while paying fewer penalties and avoiding criminal prosecution.

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June 2011

Firm News

May 2011 | Jon A. D’Agostino, PHR recently graduated from Community Leadership San Jose. A recent transplant to the Bay Area, Jon is responsible for firm operations and human resources administration.

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February 2011

2010: The Financial Year In Review

2010 was a very nice year on Wall Street. At the closing bell on December 31, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was sitting just eight points beneath a two-year high recorded two days earlier. The S&P 500 finished up 12.78% for the year and the Dow, NASDAQ and S&P all posted double-digit yearly gains. The Dow finished 2010 at 11,577.51, the NASDAQ at 2,652.87 and the S&P at 1,257.64.

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February 2011

IRA Changes For 2011

What's new? Every year brings changes in tax law, and some of these revisions always seem to affect IRAs. Here is a look at some of the new wrinkles for 2011.

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February 2011

An Estate Planning Checklist

Estate planning is a task that people tend to put off, as any discussion of "the end" tends to be off-putting. However, those who pass away without their financial affairs in good order risk leaving their heirs some significant problems along with their legacies.

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February 2011

Regulations Eliminate Paper Payroll Tax Deposits

The IRS has issued temporary regulations requiring all federal tax deposits (such as employment tax, excise tax, and corporate income tax) to be made using the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS) beginning January 1, 2011.

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February 2011

Firm News

Johanson & Yau Recently Celebrated the following Employee Anniversaries:

  • Cheryl Cronkhite, CPA
    Senior Accountant, 10 years
  • Gorett Rosa, CPA
    Senior Accountant, 10 years
  • Lindsay Mahacek
    Staff Accountant, 5 years

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January 2011

New 1099 Rules

Beginning with payments made after December 31, 2010, with certain exceptions, taxpayers receiving income from rental real estate are considered to be in the trade or business of renting property, and subject to the same information reporting requirements as taxpayers in other trades or businesses. That is, if an owner of rental property makes a payment of at least $600 to a service provider (such as a plumber, electrician, accountant, etc.) during the tax year, the owner must file an information return with IRS and with the service provider. Typically, the payments will be reported on Form 1099-MISC.

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December 2010

Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation
Act of 2010

The recently enacted "Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010" is a sweeping tax package that includes, among many other items, an extension of the Bush-era tax cuts for two years, estate tax relief, a two-year "patch" of the alternative minimum tax (AMT), a two-percentage-point cut in employee-paid payroll taxes and in self-employment tax for 2011, new incentives to invest in machinery and equipment, and a host of retroactively resuscitated and extended tax breaks for individuals and businesses.

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November 2010

How Long Do You Have to Keep Your Statements?

A year? Seven years? It depends. You have probably heard that you should retain copies of your federal tax returns for 7 years. Is that true, or a myth?

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November 2010

New Consumer Protections in the Dodd-Frank Act

In addition to new incentives for whistleblowers in securities, accounting fraud and bribery allegations, the Dodd-Frank Act includes numerous provisions designed to provide greater protection to consumers.

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November 2010

Small Business Jobs Act Benefits More Than Just Small Businesses

The Small Business Jobs Act of 2010 (SBJA) was recently signed by President Obama, and it benefits more than just small businesses. It also provides tax-saving opportunities for larger businesses and individuals—including small-business investors, the self-employed and employees saving for retirement.

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November 2010

Firm News

  • David R. Davis, CPA Attends BKR International Annual Worldwide Meeting in Rome, Italy
  • Johanson & Yau Awarded Best Accounting Firms to Work For by Accounting Today
  • Johanson & Yau Announces New Hire and Employee Anniversaries

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