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Standards Updates - 2/24/15

Posted 1:00 PM by
 

Accounting Standards Update 2014-18
Business Combinations (Topic 805): Accounting for Identifiable Intangible Assets in a Business Combination

In its last Accounting Standards Update (ASU) for 2014, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) continued to provide alternatives for private companies with the Private Company Council (PCC) consensus, which describes an alternative that permits an entity to avoid separate recognition of certain intangible assets acquired in a business combination. ASU 2014-18 was issued in December 2014 to address concerns from users of private company financial statements indicating that the benefits of separate identification of certain intangible assets may not justify related costs.

A private company electing to apply the accounting alternative provided under ASU 2014-18 should no longer recognize customer-related intangible assets (unless they are capable of being sold or licensed independently from other assets of the business) or noncompete agreements separately from goodwill when accounting for a business combination. Thus, when elected, fewer intangible assets will be identified separately in the financial statements.

If this accounting alternative is elected, the entity must also adopt the private company alternative to amortize goodwill provided under ASU 2014-02, Intangibles—Goodwill and Other (Topic 350): Accounting for Goodwill. However, the accounting alternative described in ASU 2014-02 may be elected without applying ASU 2014-18.

The decision to elect the accounting alternative described in ASU 2014-18 must be made upon the occurrence of the first transaction within its scope in fiscal years beginning after Dec. 15, 2015. Early application is permitted for any financial statements not yet available for issuance.

 

Accounting Standards Update 2015-01
Income Statement - Extraordinary and Unusual Items (Subtopic 225-20): Simplifying Income Statement Presentation by Eliminating the Concept of Extraordinary Items
  

In January 2015, FASB issued ASU 2015-01 as part of its effort to reduce complexity in accounting standards. This update eliminates the concept of extraordinary items from accounting principles generally accepted in the United States (GAAP), thus simplifying income statement presentation requirements. Previously, entities were required to separately classify, present and disclose events and transactions meeting the criteria (both unusual in nature and infrequent of an occurrence) for extraordinary classification. ASU 2015-01 reduces complexity as preparers of financial statements will no longer need to assess events or transactions to determine whether they are or are not extraordinary items under GAAP.

Although the amendment eliminates the requirements for entities to consider if an event is extraordinary, there are presentation and disclosure requirements. Those events that are unusual in nature or occur infrequently, or both, are required to be presented as a separate component of income from continuing operations or disclosed in the notes to the financial statements.

The update is effective for fiscal years beginning after Dec. 15, 2015. The amendments may be applied prospectively or retrospectively for all prior periods presented. Early adoption is permitted.

 

Accounting Standards Update 2015-02
Consolidated (Topic 810): Amendments to the Consolidation Analysis
 

Stakeholders have expressed concerns to FASB that, in certain instances, GAAP would require a reporting entity to consolidate another entity, when the reporting entity does not have contractual rights providing the ability to act primarily on its own behalf, does not hold a majority of the entity’s voting rights, or is not exposed to a majority of the entity’s economic benefits or obligations, thus not providing useful information about the reporting entity’s results. To address those concerns, FASB previously issued an indefinite deferral for certain entities. ASU 2015-02, which was issued in February 2015, rescinds the deferral and makes changes to the consolidation guidance.

ASU 2015-02 affects reporting entities required to evaluate whether they consolidate certain legal entities and will require a reevaluation to determine what entities are consolidated. The ASU modifies the process used to evaluate whether limited partnerships and similar entities are variable interest entities (VIEs) or voting interest entities and affects the analysis performed by reporting entities regarding VIEs, particularly those with fee arrangements and related party relationships, and provides a scope exception for certain investment funds.

Limited Partnerships and Similar Legal Entities

Three main provisions of ASU 2015-02 affect limited partnerships and similar legal entities. The guidance adds a requirement that limited partnerships must provide partners with either substantive kick-out rights or substantive participating rights over the general partner to qualify as voting interest entities. The guidance also eliminates the presumption that a general partner should consolidate a limited partnership. Finally, for limited partnerships that do qualify as voting interest entities, a limited partner should consolidate when the partner has a controlling financial interest, which may be achieved through holding a limited partner interest that provides substantive kick-out rights.

Evaluating Fee Arrangements

Currently, six criteria are used to determine whether fees paid by an entity to a decision maker or service provider represent a variable interest in the entity. If the fees paid are determined to represent a variable interest, the reporting entity must evaluate whether the interest represents a controlling financial interest, and, if so, requires consolidation of the VIE. The update eliminates three of the six criteria used in this analysis. Additionally, the update specifies that some fees paid to a decision maker are excluded from the evaluation in determining whether the interest represents a controlling financial interest if the fees are both customary and commensurate with the level of effect required to provide the services.

Related Party Relationships

Under current GAAP, when no single party has a controlling financial interest in a VIE, interests held by a reporting entity’s related parties are treated as though they belong to the reporting entity when determining the primary beneficiary of the VIE. The ASU reduces this application by requiring that related party relationship first be considered indirectly on a proportionate basis, rather than in their entirety. After this assessment is performed the analysis is complete, except in two situations. The related party relationships would be considered in their entirety when entities under common control collectively have a controlling financial interest. If this is not applicable and substantially all the activities of the VIE are conducted on behalf of a single variable interest holder, excluding the decision maker, in the related party group, that single variable interest holder must consolidate the VIE.

Guidance related to situations in which power is shared between two or more related entities that hold variable interests in a VIE was not amended by this update.

The update is effective for public business entities for fiscal years beginning after Dec. 15, 2015, and all other entities for fiscal years beginning after Dec. 15, 2016. Early adoption is permitted. The amendments provided in the ASU may be applied using a modified retrospective approach by recording a cumulative-effect adjustment to equity as of the beginning of the fiscal year of adoption or applied retrospectively.

 

New Web Page Focused on Benefits of GAAP  

The Financial Accounting Foundation (FAF), which oversees the Financial Accounting Standards Board and Government Accounting Standards Board, has launched a new Web page that focuses on the importance of GAAP: www.accountingfoundation.org/gaap. The page explores the benefits of GAAP for all types of entities, public companies, state and local governments, private companies, and not-for-profits, describing GAAP as “the grammar and the punctuation” determining the language of financial reporting. The site provides a resource to all stakeholders of financial statements, particularly those not familiar with the benefits of GAAP.

About the Author
Amanda McGinity is a director in Katz, Sapper & Miller’s Audit and Assurance Services Department. Amanda advises clients on accounting, compliance, risk management, and internal control matters. Connect with her on LinkedIn.

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IRS Simplifies Small Taxpayer Compliance with Repair Regulations

Posted 9:12 PM by
With Revenue Procedure 2015-20, the IRS on Friday backed away from their mandatory requirement that all taxpayers apply the TPRs to prior years.
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Taxpayer Tips: Identity Theft and the IRS

Posted 6:05 PM by
The media is awash with stories of identity theft this tax season, and the stories are all the same: Someone calls stating that they are with the IRS, and they need personal information from you in order to process your tax payment. Or you receive an e-mail that appears to be from the IRS, requesting information to process your tax return. Find out how to protect yourself against these and other identity theft scams, and what to do if you have already been a victim.
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Indiana Updates Sales Tax Guidance for Public Transportation Exemption

Posted 7:47 PM by
The Indiana Department of Revenue recently announced changes to its policy regarding the sales tax exemption for companies engaged in public transportation. The policy change was announced via an updated Information Bulletin #12, effective December 2014. Information Bulletin #12 serves as an important policy document for transportation companies ranging from traditional motor carriers to captive companies that transport primarily for their parent companies.
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Potential Changes to Personal Property Tax Reporting for Manufacturers

Posted 7:03 PM by
Property taxes are getting a lot of attention in this year’s Indiana legislative session. KSM’s State and Local Tax Practice is tracking a handful of bills under consideration that could affect manufacturers specifically, including SB 436, which is a proposed reduction of the so-called 30% floor for personal property tax reporting.
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Affordable Care Act Updates

Posted 3:22 PM by
 

IRS offers relief of penalties associated with excess advance premium credit

The IRS has provided a procedure to help taxpayers avoid late payment penalties if they are unable to repay excess advance payments of the Affordable Care Act (ACA)'s premium credit for the 2014 tax year by the due date of their 2014 return. Taxpayers facing penalties for the underpayment of estimated taxes attributable to those excess payments can also get relief.

Taxpayers can qualify for these abatements if:

  1. They are otherwise current with their filing and payment obligations; and
  2. They report the amount of excess advance credit payments on their timely filed 2014 tax return, including extensions.

Taxpayers facing the late-payment penalty must also have a balance due for the 2014 tax year due to excess advance payments of the premium tax credit.

Taxpayers who are unable to repay the excess advance payments will receive a notice from the IRS in the mail. Taxpayers should write a letter to the address listed on the notice that contains the statement: “I am eligible for the relief granted under Notice 2015-9 because I received excess advance payment of the premium tax credit.”

To request an abatement of the underpayment of estimated tax penalty, taxpayers should check box A in Part II of Form 2210, complete page 1 of the form, and include the form with their return along with this statement: “Received excess advance payment of the premium tax credit.” Taxpayers do not need to complete any of the form’s other pages or calculate the penalty amount.

Individual Shared Responsibility Provision

Have you been wondering how the ACA will affect your 2014 tax return? For more than 100 million taxpayers the only additional step will be checking a box on Form 1040 indicating each member of their family had qualifying health coverage for the whole year. For those who had health coverage gaps or no coverage in 2014, however, it’s time to contact your tax professional.

For 2014, you may be exempt from the health coverage requirement if you meet certain criteria. Your tax professional can help you determine if you qualify for an exemption from the Individual Shared Responsibility provision.

It’s also important to correct the issue by enrolling in a qualifying health insurance program before the 2015 deadline. The open enrollment period for 2015 ends Feb. 15, and employers have until Feb. 2 to issue W-2s, so don’t wait until you receive your W-2 to talk with your tax professional or you could miss the deadline. The fee for not having health coverage is increasing from 1% of household income or $95 in 2014 to 2% of household income or $325 per person (maximum penalty per family is $975) in 2015.

Employers required to offer health plans or pay penalty

Originally, applicable large employers were required to comply with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) after Dec. 31, 2013, but the IRS has delayed the tax for all employers until this year, 2015. For employers with 100 or more full-time equivalent employees, affordable minimum essential coverage must be offered to at least 70% percent of full-time employees in 2015 in order to avoid a penalty. Mid-sized employers (50-99) have until Jan. 1, 2016, to comply with the employer mandate without facing any Section 4890H penalties.

An applicable large employer must determine whether to “pay or play” (i.e., whether to offer a plan or not). This article is not focused on a pay or play analysis; rather, it is centered on a different and distinct excise tax. This excise tax is assessed if any employer, whether required or not, offers a group plan that does not provide for minimum essential coverage. The excise tax is $100 per day per individual to whom the failure relates.

Non-integrated health reimbursement arrangements are not considered to provide minimum essential coverage

A common plan offered by employers is a health reimbursement arrangement (HRA). An HRA is an arrangement that is funded solely by an employer which reimburses an employee for medical care expenses. HRAs are generally considered to be group health plans under the Internal Revenue Code. An HRA on its own does not constitute minimum essential coverage under the ACA even if the HRA reimburses for outside plans that would normally constitute minimum essential coverage. An employer may, however, offer an HRA in combination with other coverage and satisfy the requirement to offer minimum essential coverage. This is known as an integrated HRA.

In order for an HRA to be integrated, it must only be available to employees who are covered by the primary group health plan that is provided by the employer and satisfies the annual dollar limit prohibition. A plan violates the annual dollar limit prohibition if the plan sets a maximum dollar amount allowed for covered benefits.

The IRS issued guidance in Notice 2013-54 that explains that an HRA cannot be used in conjunction with the individual marketplace to comply with the employer mandate. Since an HRA is considered a group health plan, this arrangement will run afoul of the annual dollar limit prohibition. Employers offering a group health plan must provide minimum essential coverage or the employer will be subject to an excise tax of $100 per day per individual to whom the failure relates.

Employers should seriously consider the consequences of failing to offer a group health plan that constitutes minimum essential coverage. Both small and large employers should confirm with their benefits advisor that the plan(s) offered provides minimum essential coverage. If an employer fails to offer a group health plan that encompasses all of the minimum essential coverage requirements, the employer is subject to an excise tax of $100 per day per individual to whom the failure relates. In other words, an employer can face a maximum of $36,500 each year per employee for failing to offer a compliant group health plan.

In addition to non-integrated HRAs, there are a plethora of other mandates that can trigger the $100 per day per individual to whom the failure relates:











If an employer offers a plan that is not complaint with these requirements, there may be steps that can be taken to avoid or reduce potential excise tax. Contact your KSM advisor to review your specific situation and determine any corrective actions that may need to be taken.

If you have any questions concerning how these updates affect your tax situation, please contact your KSM advisor.

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Five Things to Do Before a Sales Tax Audit

Posted 7:48 PM by
Sales and use tax audits can be painful, especially for small and mid-sized businesses. For the unprepared, these audits shed light on areas of noncompliance and, more often than not, end with an assessment. Here are five proactive tips to ease the pain before you receive the dreaded audit notification:
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Year-End Tax Planning: Top 10 Considerations

Posted 6:03 PM by
As 2014 draws to a close, there are many year-end tax-planning strategies that both businesses and individuals should consider. Read the top-10 list of such considerations, including updates on this week's "tax extenders" legislation, the recent changes included in the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, new repair regulations, and others.
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The Manufacturing Advisor: Tax Policy of Critical Concern to Manufacturers

Posted 2:25 PM by
Tax Policy of Critical Concern to Manufacturers: The 2014 Indiana Manufacturing Survey: Strong for Today, Concerned for Tomorrow was full of enlightening information for the Hoosier manufacturing industry, but one of the most striking pieces of information to come from the survey was this: When asked to select the most critical factor in terms of manufacturing cost and viability, property tax policy and corporate tax policy were rated extremely important by 66% of respondents, finishing . just a single percentage point behind regulatory issues and healthcare. And, in this day of 24/7 coverage of the Affordable Care Act, that’s saying something.
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The Advisor - Issue 2, 2014

Posted 10:50 PM by

In This Issue:

Managing Partner Message
It is always a pleasure to share some of the great happenings taking place at Katz, Sapper & Miller, none of which would be possible without the combination of talented, dedicated employees and wonderful clients. By David Resnick, CPA

Tax-Planning Pitfalls for Developers in Public-Private Partnerships
Public-private partnerships (P3) are a hot topic in real estate development. With many real estate developers and construction companies still experiencing a lack of liquidity coming out of the Great Recession, these cooperative agreements between government and private entities allow the building of many projects that would not happen otherwiseBy Chad Halstead, JD
 

2015 Hiring Outlook: The Year of the Contractor
It would be hard to argue the U.S. economy has not fared better in 2014 than 2013, and it certainly looks like that trend will continue into 2015. Like the economy, hiring and unemployment trends have also improved. By Mark Barnhart, CPC, CERS

Accounting Considerations with Tax Increment Financing
Among economic incentives, tax increment financing (TIF) is a common financial tool of local governments to spur growth. Essentially, TIF provides upfront funding of development efforts, which are repaid by the resulting higher incremental future tax revenues. By Matt Bishop, CPA, MBA

Amortization of Goodwill Is Back on the Table
Companies are finding opportunities for growth through acquisitions. Upon completing an acquisition, any unallocated acquisition price is presented on the balance sheet as “goodwill.” By Jason Patch, CPA

Weighing the Decision to Move to the Cloud
By now, everyone has heard about cloud computing and, likely, has at least considered use of the cloud for professional or personal needs. By Charlie Brandt

 

Katz, Sapper & Miller’s The Advisor is a bi-annual newsletter that focuses on business and tax solutions for today's entrepreneur.

 

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