Financial Abuse of the Elderly

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

According to a recent article by the AICPA, it is estimated that one in ten elderly people in North America have been victims of financial abuse.  This abuse has resulted in more than $2.9 billion in yearly financial losses.  Due to the changing demographics in North America, elder financial abuse is expected to intensify in the coming years.  By the year 2031, one in four people living in North America will be over 65 years old and will control 70 percent of the wealth in North America.  “Crime of the 21st century,” the “silver tsunami” and “the perfect storm” are some of the terms used to describe elder fraud.  Elder financial abuse is a serious problem and is growing at an alarming rate. ¹  With increasing wealth and decreasing cognitive ability, aging Americans are ripe targets for financial abuse.  Read more...

Pease Limitation

Friday, May 26, 2017
The Pease Limitation was enacted in 1991 and is names after Donald Pease, former Representative of Ohio. Its purpose was to limit certain itemized deductions of high income earners. Once your Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) crosses a specified dollar threshold, certain itemized deductions are phased out.

These deductions include charitable contributions, mortgage interest, state and local taxes, property taxes, and other miscellaneous itemized deductions, such as unreimbursed employee expenses and tax preparation fees. Investment interest, medical expenses, and casualty, theft, or gambling losses are itemizes deductions that are not subject to the Pease Limitation.

For 2017, individuals with AGI over $262,500 and joint filers with AGI over $313,800 would trigger the itemized deduction limitation. The income thresholds of $261,500 and $313,800 are adjusted annually for inflation. The limitation will be the lesser of the 3 percent of the AGI over the income thresholds or 80 percent of the itemized deductions allowed for the year. Below is an example of the Pease Limitation calculation:

Not-For-Profit Organizations - What to Provide Your CPA

Friday, May 26, 2017
Most tax exempt organizations have an annual filing requirement with the Internal Revenue Service. The amount of information your tax preparer will need depends on the organization's filing responsibility. A tax exempt organization is required to file one of the three types of informational returns, using either Form 990-N, Form 990-EZ, or Form 990.

Form 990-N may be filed if the organization averages $50,000 or less in gross receipts in the prior three consecutive tax years. Items needed to file a 990-N, also known as an e-Postcard include the EIN (Employer Identification Number), the legal name and address of the tax-exempt organization, the name and address of the principal officer, a website address (if applicable). Once this information has been provided, the 990-N can be filed online.

Form 990-EZ, Short Form Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax, may be filed if the organization has gross receipts less than $200,000 and total assets less than $500,000. A 990-EZ requires more information than the 990-N. For this level of reporting, most preparers will provide a questionnaire that should be completed. Some important information that needs to be provided includes:

  • Financial statements for the organization's fiscal year end.
  • Details of the organization's three largest program services.
  • Name and title of officers, directors, and trustees. If any have reportable compensation, please include their W-2 or 1099-MISC statement, along with the average hours per week devoted to their titled position.
  • Contributions given to the organization, directly or indirectly, including money, securities, or any other type of property that totals $5,000 or more for the tax year. The client will need to provide the contributor's name and address.
Form 990, Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax, is filed if the organization has gross receipts greater than or equal to $200,000 or total assets greater than or equal to $500,000. To complete a 990, these larger tax-exempt organizations will need to provide all of the information mentioned for the 990-EZ, along with many more documents based on the organization's activities. A client's CPA will provide them with a questionnaire that is more in depth than the 990-EZ questionnaire. Based on the answers provided, the CPA may need additional information on fundraising, grants, investments, and more. Any questions the client may have should be directed to their CPA in order to make sure they complete the questionnaire thoroughly and correctly.

The 990-N, 990-EZ, and 990 have an original due date of the 15th day of the 5th month after the close of the client's tax year. For example, if the organization has a December 31st year end, its 2016 return would be due May 15, 2017. Only the 990-EZ and 990 can be extended for an additional 6 months from the initial filing deadline. For instance, if the organization's deadline was May 15, 2017, it would be able to be extended to November 15, 2017, if necessary. Failure to file the return on time will lead to daily penalties of $20 to $100, depending on the amount of the organization's gross receipts. Therefore, it is important that the client gets their information to the CPA in a timely manner.

In summary, the more complex your not-for-profit entity, the more information that is required to complete the appropriate version of Form 990. Providing the information to your CPA in a timely manner helps ensure that the board of directors will have a chance to review the 990 before filing the return and avoid assessment of penalties.

To learn more about Not-For-Profit Organization - What to Provide Your CPA, call Jennifer Hill at (318) 429-2048 or email For more information on the services available to you by Heard, McElroy & Vestal, LLC, call our Shreveport office at (318) 429-1525, our Monroe office at (318) 388-3108 or visit

REMINDER! For All New Businesses Or New Business Owners in 2016

Friday, March 03, 2017

QuickBooks Scam Alert

Wednesday, January 25, 2017


HMV in the Community - Northeast Louisiana Young Professionals

Monday, January 16, 2017

On January 10th at Restaurant Sage, Melissa Mitcham, a tax partner in our Monroe office, spoke to the Northeast Louisiana Young Professionals at their monthly meeting. The topic of discussion "Trump & Taxes - What's Going to Happen" focused on the proposed tax provisions under the Trump administration. While no new laws have been passed at this point, the purpose of the conversation was to give the public an idea of the impact these tax proposals could have on individuals and small businesses.  Read more...

HMV in the Community - Sci-Port: Louisiana's Discovery Science Center

Monday, January 16, 2017

I believe the holidays are a time spent for giving.  This holiday season, the Retirement Plan Services department was asked to give back to Sci-Port: Louisiana's Discovery Science Center. Led by our department's Partner-In-Charge and Sci-Port's Chairman of the Board, Dare Johnson, we happily accepted this opportunity to give back. The day was spent discovering our hidden talents as we painted a mural of the well-known and historic Centenary amphitheater in Sci-Port’s newest exhibit, POP! The Power of Play exhibit, features a fun, interactive and educational environment for children 8 years of age and under.   Read more...

Employee Benefit Plan Audits

Monday, January 16, 2017

Last year, the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) sent letters to Employee Benefit Plan Administrators informing them of the importance of hiring a qualified and experienced CPA firm. As the Plan Administrator, the DOL letter urged you to exercise care in selecting a CPA firm that possesses the requisite knowledge of plan audit requirements and expertise to perform the audit in accordance with professional auditing standards, and to consider the following factors in ascertaining the qualifications of a CPA firm to perform your plan’s audit: Read more...

Estimated Taxes

Monday, January 16, 2017

Some, but not all, taxpayers need to make estimated tax payments.  The IRS has a “pay as you go” system.  This means the IRS requires taxes to be paid either through withholding or estimated tax payments as you earn income, not just at the end of the year when you file a tax return.  Estimates are usually necessary when a taxpayer does not have enough withholding form their salary or retirement income.  In addition, taxpayers that receive other types of income such as interest, dividends, business income, capital gains, prizes, etc. may be required to make estimated tax payments. Read more...

Time For Action

Friday, January 06, 2017
Courtesy of the AICPA Insights