Doctor and Dentist Corner: An Ounce of Prevention

medical employeeLong-term, well trusted employees are an employer’s dream.  In the event that an employee is dishonest, good internal controls can keep that dream from becoming a nightmare.

For medical offices, there is a significant risk that employee dishonesty will lead to the diversion of collections with a corresponding record-keeping cover up.  To mitigate this risk, the person who opens the mail or collects funds should not have the ability to credit a patient’s account.  Additionally deposits should be made daily and collections should be posted to patient accounts based on the date received.  This allows an owner to reconcile patient funds received to deposits.  Of course, an owner must regularly perform this check, and it’s never a bad idea for the employees to know that this is done.

Regular online account statement review by the owner and the owner’s monthly review of statement transactions and cancelled checks may be an especially important internal control in a small practice where there aren’t enough employees for an adequate segregation of duties.  An alternative to online statement review would be for the owner to receive the unopened bank and credit card statements and review the hard copies for suspicious activity.  Another effective and important control is for the owner to perform regular reviews and approval of write-offs.

If you would like assistance in establishing or reviewing the effectiveness of your internal controls, please contact us.  In our next issue we will help you identify signs of potential problems resulting from employee dishonesty and suggest more ways to help you avoid them.

Article contributed by Terri Marakos, CPA

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels

Ask Your Accountant August 2019

questionsI inherited my mother’s IRA and I’m required to begin taking required minimum distributions (RMDs) this year.  Can I have the withdrawals transferred to a charity and not report them as income?

Taxpayers are allowed to donate up to $100,000 ($200,000 for a couple) of RMDs to charity in any year.  These are Qualified Charitable Deductions (QCD) but certain rules do apply.

  1. While the amount of the QCD is not considered taxable income, the payments to charity are not deductible contributions.
  2. The transfer must be made directly from the IRA to the charity before the RMD deadline for the year (usually December 31).
  3. You must be 70 ½ or older.
  4. The charity must be a qualified charity.  QCDs are not allowed to Donor Advised Funds, Private Foundations, split interest charitable trusts, or supporting organizations.

So, if you are 70 ½ or older and your charity qualifies, you can use your IRA RMD for a QCD!

Photo by geralt on Pixabay

Maureen Wild and Christmas in July

You all met Maureen Wild earlier this year when she wrote about the Capaldi Reynolds & Pelosi Team’s support of the American Heart Association and her personal connection to that cause.  This month she has made us aware of the Robert Wood Johnson campaign, Christmas in July, to bring toys and games to young cancer patients.  CRP is on board with that effort.

Maureen has been part of our Team for 29 years.  Her day job is managing our financial statement and audit quality review process, but around the holidays she finds us a worthy family to adopt and leads the effort to shop for, wrap, and deliver gifts and food for their celebration.  Come February she has us sending Valentines to the troops.

Maureen has one son and two grandchildren whom she adores.  She teaches Sunday school and is active in collecting clothing that will be sold to fund animal rescue and the treatment of animals in shelters.  She enjoys reading, day trips, and playing chicken foot for hours.  You might even find her at a yard or estate sale.  She is one busy lady with a very big heart.

In Memoriam: Therese M. Connell

Therese ConnellIt is with great sadness that we advise our readers of the passing of one of the firm’s partners Therese M. Connell, CPA (Tese) at the age of sixty five, after a lengthy illness.

When we think of and remember Tese in both her personal and professional life, the words that best describe her are “role model”.  Her commitment to honesty, integrity, fair dealing and client service combined with her passion for technical excellence made her not only a role model but a CPA’s CPA.  Tese was recognized throughout Southern New Jersey as an expert in the fields of estate planning, estate and trust taxation, gifting, and estate administration.  She routinely worked with area attorneys in the development and implementation of cutting edge estate planning and asset protection planning.

Tese was also a teacher and mentor who devoted countless hours to the education and training of the members of our firm, with her legacy being a group of professionals within our firm who are well prepared to serve our clients in her areas of specialization.

Please keep Tese and her family in your thoughts and prayers.

An Introduction to Cryptocurrency

cryptocurrencyDefining cryptocurrency can be difficult. Although precise definitions vary, the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) defines cryptocurrency and virtual currency as a digital representation of value that functions as a medium of exchange, a unit of account and/or a store of value. (IRS Notice 2014-21). In certain contexts, cryptocurrency operates like traditional coin and paper currency but it is not legal tender in the United States.
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Stress Relief: The Capaldi Reynolds & Pelosi soccer team!

This tax season the members of the Capaldi, Reynolds & Pelosi family got together to solve a problem.

How could a group of accountants, fresh off a long and grueling three months, come together to blow off some steam and have a good time?

The solution is probably not what you would have guessed.  Led by team members Kerry Strohmeier and Anthony Panetta, a group from within the firm set the ball in motion by forming the Firm’s first ever co-ed indoor soccer team.  The team plays at the Eurosport Center in Egg Harbor City and features members from partner to first-year staff, spouses, siblings, family, and friends.  This is a perfect match since a number of Firm members have high school and/or collegiate soccer experience.  Each Thursday the team gathers to spend time together outside of the office to play.

Come watch as we kick off our first of what we hope to be many seasons of friendly competition!

Is Your Nonprofit Governance Up to Date?

Like everything else in the world, concepts about governance in nonprofit organizations are evolving. In the US corporate world, The Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) represented an attempt to legislate some basic principles designed to protect the interests of stakeholders by directing that the Board is composed of individuals with suitable skills, promotes transparency and ethical behavior, and provides appropriate communication about organization structure and controls.
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Divorce and Retirement Plans

divorceRetirement plans are often one of the most valuable assets a couple acquires during a marriage. If a couple divorces and there is an agreement or judgment that requires all or a portion of the employee spouse’s retirement plan to be shared with the spouse or former spouse, the division is accomplished through a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO). The spouse or former spouse of the employee is often called an “alternate payee” for purposes of the QDRO. While state law governs the division of most marital assets, most employment related retirement plans are governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) and the Internal Revenue Code (Code). In general, ERISA and the Code prohibit a retirement plan participant from assigning a portion of his or her interest in the plan to another person.
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The New Jersey “Exit Tax”: a tax, or an inconvenience?

New Jersey Exit TaxI was giving a talk a few years ago to a group preparing to retire and they told me about a tax I had never heard of; the New Jersey “Exit Tax”.  The concept of a tax imposed just because of a change of domicile was new to me.  It turns out this is not a tax at all, but it is an inconvenience.

When a property is sold in New Jersey, a GIT/REP (Gross Income Tax Required Estimated Payment) Form is required to be recorded with the deed.  Resident taxpayers file a form GIT/REP-3 which claims exemption from withholding at the time of sale.  The myth of the Exit Tax arises when the former home is sold by a taxpayer who is leaving or has left New Jersey.  For most non-resident taxpayers, when the former home is sold either form GIT/REP-1 or GIT/REP-2 is required to be filed with the deed AND state income tax is required to be paid.  That required tax is either 10.75% of the net gain on the sale or 2% of the sales price, whichever is higher.  The state enacted this requirement in 2004 to insure that the taxes due on the sale of property by nonresidents could be collected. 
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The Very Basics of Blockchain

blockchain

Blockchain is the technology that makes Bitcoin possible and it has been around the edge of my consciousness since Bitcoin came on the scene about ten years ago, but I never really wanted to know more about what it is and how it works until the most recent lettuce recall when experts opined that Blockchain could have identified the source of the contamination and kept lettuce in our stores. How do we get from Bitcoin to lettuce with the same technology? I asked a lot of my very bright friends, many of whom are involved professionally with computers, and not one knew more than I did. So after a trip to the library (where only one book was helpful) and a few Google searches, Ihave a simplistic overview that I can share with you.
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