Jerry Jones CPA
Wouldn’t it be nice to have a CPA that you deal directly with, that understands your business, that works in all 50 states and is there for you when you need him?
"For more than 30 years, I have relied on Jerry Jones to provide me with critical guidance for both investment decisions and tax strategies. His opinions have been crucial in helping me make the best possible business decisions, as well as providing me with sound advice regarding personal tax planning".
Steve Tillett

New Requirement Applies to Any Business Seeking a Tax ID Number

IRS offers data security tips

The Internal Revenue Service wants small business taxpayers and the self-employed to know that, starting May 13, an important change will affect the way it issues employer identification numbers, or EINs.

With identity theft on the rise in the business community, the agency also offered business taxpayers tips and resources for protecting their data from theft.  

National Small Business Week is May 5-11. For more than 50 years, the week has recognized the important contributions of America’s entrepreneurs and small business owners.

Securing Your Passwords and Physical Devices

Part of securing your passwords is understanding how they become compromised. Two of the most frequent ways passwords are compromised is through Brute-Force attacks and data breeches. In a Brute-Force attack, hackers are using a systematic plan to check all possibilities until the correct one is found. If a hacker knows that the site requires a minimum of 8 characters and requires the use of both alphabetical and numeric characters they will start with those parameters. This is not done by hand. They write programs to do the dirty work.

So how do you defeat attacks like this?  First don’t make it easy on the attacker. Never do the bare minimum.  If a site requires a minimum of an 8 character password with at least one number: abcdefg1 is not a good password.  Sure it meets the site’s requirements, but a Brute-Force attack will have that password in no time.  So how should you craft your password?  The best passwords are a minimum of 16 characters and include a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, as well as numbers, symbols and spaces.

Of course, there’s a problem with having strong passwords, they are impossible to remember.  Using a plugin like LastPass can help you safely store passwords, but what you should have enabled, on all of your logins that include the feature, is two-factor authentication.  Two-factor authentication will require you to also enter a code that’s sent to you, typically to you via text message, before allowing you access.  As you read that you may think to yourself, what a pain that extra step creates, but what you’re doing is preventing someone else to access you account.  Even if your bank password has been acquired through a Brute-Force attack or is part of one of the numerous database breeches, the moment your username and password are entered the hacker will be prompted with the send a code link.  Well what do they do send the code to you, so you know something is wrong, or just give up there?  Chances are they give up. 

Entertainment Expense is Gone in 2018

Yes…you read it correctly. There are a lot of benefits for the small business owner in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, but this isn’t one of them. It truly is a major blow to small and big business, and the cost of doing business just went up.

Here is a pretty good chart that explains the new rules for 2018. Basically, meals with clients, partners, etc as long as you substantiate the purpose of the meeting and who you met with. To be more specific, no boat, club, sky box, etc expenses!

Example. Tom is an insurance agent and small business consultant. He takes one of his clients golfing and out to lunch to give guidance on a business transaction and sell an insurance policy.

Write-off? Nope. Because the activity occurred in 2018, Tom gets no deduction and arguably the meal isn’t a write-off either.

First, all small businesses and entrepreneurs are affected; no one is exempt from this provision in the new tax law. Sole-proprietors, S-Corporations, LLCs and C-Corporations – all beware.

New tax law allows small businesses to expense more, expands bonus depreciation

The Internal Revenue Service today reminded small business taxpayers that changes to the tax law mean they can immediately expense more of the cost of certain business property. Many are now able to write off most depreciable assets in the year they are placed into service.

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), passed in December 2017, made tax law changes that will affect virtually every business and individual in 2018 and the years ahead. Among those for business owners are tax rate changes for pass-through entities, changes to the cash accounting method for some, limits on certain deductions and more.

Entertainment Expense is Gone in 2018

Yes…you read it correctly.  There are a lot of benefits for the small business owner in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, but this isn’t one of them. It truly is a major blow to small and big business, and the cost of doing business just went up.

       Example. Tom is an insurance agent and small business consultant. He takes one of his clients golfing and out to lunch to give guidance on a business transaction and sell an insurance policy.

       Write-off? Nope. Because the activity occurred in 2018, Tom gets no deduction and arguably the meal isn’t a write-off either.

First, all small businesses and entrepreneurs are affected; no one is exempt from this provision in the new tax law. Sole-proprietors, S-Corporations, LLCs and C-Corporations – all beware.

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