Fortner Bayens, P.C. Banking Letter - September 2018 Edition

2018 Independent Bank Compensation Survey (Coming Soon!)

30th Anniversary Edition!

We are compiling the 30th anniversary edition of our annual Independent Bank Compensation Survey.  Results will be available soon.  This survey will provide valuable compensation information, including:

  •  Your bank’s executive staff along with key operations, lending, IT and compliance positions.
  •  Average compensation levels for branch managers, teller, customer service and other positions.
  •  Directors’ compensation including both inside and outside directors.
  •  Information regarding bonus and benefit plans and health insurance programs.

Also, we will make available to you a set of Customized Survey Results.  These reports will include average and median values for banks comparable to your bank. All of our reports will be free of charge.

Once our survey is completed we will send you an email that will contain the links to these reports.

IRS Proposes Regulations in Response to SALT Workarounds Adopted by Some States

Joseph M. Press, CPA, CFE

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act limits the itemized deduction for state and local taxes (SALT) to $10,000 annually for taxpayers with a filing status of married filing jointly.  In response to the Act, some high-tax states have created workarounds that attempt to re-characterize payment of SALT as a charitable deduction by providing substantial tax credits for “donations” to certain “charities”.  The IRS has responded with proposed regulations.

To read more, click here.

New Opportunity Zone Investments

Mark J. Corey, CPA, JD

A new tax incentive, called Opportunity Zones, was added to the tax code as part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act passed in December of 2017. 

The Opportunity Zone is a new investment vehicle created by Congress in the most recent overhaul of the tax code.  The Opportunity Zone Funds are investments in targeted, designated low-income areas of the country where it is determined that resources should be directed to help with job creation and economic revitalization.

The investment of funds in these Opportunity Zones is eligible for significant tax incentives:

  •  Capital gain deferral
  • Potential reduction of gain through a basis adjustment
  • Potential permanent gain exclusion on the appreciation for the interest in a Qualified Opportunity Fund

To read more, click here

The Effect of the TCJA on Trusts and Estates 

Charles J. Garrison, CPA

Much has been published in recent months regarding the effects of the Tax Cut and Jobs Act of 2017 on individual, corporate and pass-through entities, but there are significant changes for Estates and Trusts as well.

To read more, click here

Treasury Finding: IRS Needs to Work More Closely with States            

David J. Bayens, CPA

In late August, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) issued a report.  The report was based on its study of the effectiveness of the IRS’s use of data and information received from state agencies to increase tax compliance by identifying nonfilers and underreporters.

The IRS collaborates with state agencies under the State Audit Report Program (SARP).  Under this program the governmental agencies share income tax data and findings.  TIGTA performed an audit of SARP functions using tax records from 2013 through 2016.

TIGTA had a number of critical findings, resulting in the conclusion that the IRS had dropped over 39,000 records of repeat nonfilers and/or high-income nonfilers.  The estimated amount of uncollected tax liabilities totaled $285 million.

To read more, click here

September Folk Feature - Wedding Bells

Kaitlyn B. Dowd

It’s time to embrace the glories of autumn: golden-leaved aspens, acorns and pumpkin-spiced flavored everything at Starbucks. For wedding planners, the fall season marks the end of peak wedding season and a hiatus from bridezillas, rowdy groomsmen and endless champagne flutes. This wedding season at FBLG, Marissa has been swamped with all her wedding plans. Not her own wedding, she is already happily married, but the weddings of her best friend, brother-in-law and older sister.

To read more, click here.