Tax talk: Local firms make presentation
Part of the new Catasauqua Municipal Complex was designed to host community functions, and the opportunity presented itself Jan. 16.
“We did not have any strict use definition, but this was a good offer,” borough Manager Eugene Goldfeder said.
Howard Lieberman, who has worked extensively with private businesses and public entities, offered to host the first meeting — a local conference on the recent tax law initiative, Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.
“It’s a relevant topic, and we can provide information to local business owners on the impact the new law might have,” Lieberman said.
Lieberman’s firm, Business & Community Financing Solutions, was joined by Kressler, Wolff and Miller Insurance in sponsoring the event, along with the Borough of Catasauqua.
The main presentation was conducted by GBB & Company LLP of Allentown. Robert Blizard, Jeffrey Ehrets and Diana Arndt made presentations and were available to answer questions. Todd Newcomer and Glenn Miller were also in attendance.
The key take-away from the detailed presentation was that the law has not yet been complicated by additional rules and clarifications.
“They have the law as it was passed and have rushed out some of the documents needed, like the withholding tables, but there will be more clarifications as the year progresses,” said Blizard, a partner with the firm.
GBB & Company is focused on accounting and tax law.
Opponents of the new changes criticized it as a giveaway to corporations, but in its early stages, the changes have been said to stimulate the economy and job growth. The money from the tax cut is reportedly being returned to working-class people and used to expand existing corporations.
A big question for small businesses is how to restructure a business to take advantage of the new tax rate. Under the old rules, many business owners elected to have their business taxes at their personal rate, intermingling personal and business income. The new plan taxes business income at a lower rate up to a certain amount. The change in structure could make it easier for business owners to track expenses. GBB made no recommendations on changing structure until the rules are better defined.
Diana Arndt, a CPA and manager, pointed out there are certain advantages for a C corporation, where the business entity stands on its own and an S corporation, where business income is passed to an individual’s tax return.
There are new bonus depreciation rules designed to encourage upgrading equipment and technology. The new rules allow depreciation on used equipment, and there are limits on business losses. Family Medical Leave is encouraged under the new plan.
“It was beneficial for me to see what some of the proposed changes are and understand what the goal is,” said Jane O’Malley, a partner at Coringrato Insurance Agency, Whitehall.
The meeting was more than just tax talk. Pies On Breakfast Bistro and Market provided a catered breakfast.