NC Tax Law Updates – NCACPA in Action

In North Carolina, the NCACPA is working to modernize and improve our state tax code. LBA Haynes Strand is proud to be a member of the NCACPA. This year they have made a few changes and have recently announced those changes. Take a look at what the NCACPA has been working on by CLICKING HERE!

If you have any questions on the law changes and how they may affect you, click the button below for a no-cost consultation.

NC Sales and Use Collections on Remote Sales

The North Carolina Department of Revenue issued directive SD-18-6 on 8/7/18 to interpret the North Carolina sales and use tax law as a result of the United States Supreme Court decision in South Dakota v Wayfair.

Remote Sales Subject to Tax

The rules are effective prospectively to sales after October 31, 2018 by remote sellers that do not have a physical presence in North Carolina.  This prospective treatment does not apply to sellers that have a physical presence or other obligation to collect and remit North Carolina sales and use tax.

Remote sellers having gross sales in excess of $100,000 sourced to North Carolina or 200 or more separate transactions in the previous or current calendar year are required to register, collect, and remit sales and use tax effective the later of November 1, 2018 or 60 days after the remote seller meets the threshold.  Remote sellers that do not meet the threshold may voluntarily register with the NCDOR and collect and remit sales and use tax.  Remote sellers may voluntarily begin collecting and remitting sales and use tax any time prior to November 1, 2018.

Engaged in business is defined, in part, as making a remote sale if one of the conditions in G,S, 105-164.8(b) is met, basically if they advertise or solicit business in NC in any way through the media, internet, or distribution of catalogs.

Remote sale is defined as “(a) sale of tangible personal property or digital property ordered by mail, by telephone, via the internet, or by another similar method to a purchaser who is in the State at the time the order is remitted, from a retailer who receives the order in another state and delivers the property or causes it to be delivered to a person in this state.  It is presumed that a resident of this State who remits an order was in this State at the time the order was remitted.”

Remote sellers can register completing an online application through the Streamlined Sales Tax Registration System.

NC House Budget Bill 117: Proposed Changes to Sales Tax, Corporate Tax, and More!

On Thursday June 11th, the North Carolina Senate version of the NC House Budget Bill (HB 117) was filed and included a number of changes from the original bill proposed by the NC House or Representatives. Among the changes are: lower personal income tax rates, a change in corporate taxes, a new formula for distributing sales tax revenue among counties, and a retooled jobs incentive program.

Remember, as of right now, all the changes are only proposed. You should, however, be aware of these changes and how they could affect you and/or your business.

New Sales Tax On Services:

The bill would broaden the sales tax base in order to help pay for new income tax cuts. Among the purchases facing sales taxes are: advertising, veterinary and pet care services, and repairs an maintenance work on personal property such as cars. Also this would mean that large non-profit organizations, such as hospitals, would lose a sales tax exemption.

Personal Income Tax Cuts:

The personal income tax rate would be cut from 5.75% to 5.5% beginning in 2016. The standard deduction would increase gradually over a four year period, meaning a married couple filing jointly wouldn’t owe taxes on the first $18,500 of income by 2020. A single person on the other hand wouldn’t owe taxes on the first $9,250 in income.

Corporate Taxes:

The bill proposes that over the next three years, the state would begin using the “single sales factor” formula for calculating corporate taxes. This means calculating the companies’ tax liability based entirely on sales instead of factoring in their payroll and property value.

Sales Tax Redistribution:

Included in the bill is a new distribution formula for allocating sales tax revenue among counties. Basically the state would distribute 20% of revenue based on where sales occur, and 80% would be based on the population of the county. This new version would allow counties to decide how to allocate revenue between their city and town governments.

Job Incentives:

The Job Development Investment Grant incentives would be capped under the new bill. This has been the state’s main job incentive program which has been out of money for months. The state could then offer up to $15 million each year and up to $30 million during a year in which the state lends a “high-yield project” bringing thousands of jobs.

Because House Bill 117 has already cleared the House, changes can no longer be made in public meetings. Instead members of the House can only approve the version passed by the Senate OR vote it down. In the event that it is voted down, legislators from both chambers would work out a compromise.

If you have strong feelings about this bill, you are encouraged to contact your senators. The Senate is expected to begin voting on this bill this week! To find contact info for your local representatives, please click here!

If you have questions about how budget bill 117 will affect you – reach out to LBA Haynes Strand today. Our team will be happy to walk you through the proposed changes and how they will affect you!

NC Charter Schools Accounting: ISIS Rebranded as LINQ

We received word that North Carolina Charter Schools will no longer be using an accounting software called “ISIS”.  The group in charge of the accounting software has unveiled a re-brand that will change the name to “LINQ”.  The official switch over will happen on January 29th – including new logos (already unveiled here!), branding, and a new website: www.thinklinq.com.

Curious to learn more about LINQ?

Charter Schools in North Carolina use an accounting software that will now be known as LINQ.  LINQ is designed and supported by a North Carolina company out of Wilmington called, Education Management Systems, Inc.  The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (DPI) actually supplies the software to the Charter School and the Charter School is then responsible for paying the quarterly support payment of $745.00.

The LINQ software accounting program is the Charter School’s primary method of communicating  financial information to DPI.  DPI requires month end reporting of all financial transactions and payroll within the first two business days following month end.  The LINQ software will create the following formatted files for DPI reporting: financial reporting, payroll files, orbit reporting files, and employer reports for Staff ID.

LBA Haynes Strand has a team that excels in using this software.  The functions will all be the same – and the transition from ISIS to LINQ will be seamless among our Charter School clients.  Keep an eye on www.thinklinq.com on Friday, January 29th for the big unveil!

Navigation Changes Made To QuickBooks Online

We all know change is hard!  With this in mind we wanted to provide a highlight of the recent changes made to the QuickBooks Online navigation.  Even though the changes may take some getting used to, this is one of the main benefits of QuickBooks Online….you constantly have access to the most up-to-date version of QBO available!  The changes include:

  • A few of the changes are strictly name changes. For example, your home page is now called the “Dashboard.” No other changes were made here and all information you previously saw on the home page is still available on your new dashboard.
  • “Banking” is now at the top of your left menu bar on every screen. This is the item you click to access the transaction import screen and is possibly the most used button in QuickBooks Online. With its new placement it will be easy to get to without hunting through the menu options.
  • “Accounting” is a new item in the left menu bar. This will be where you click to access the bank reconciliations as well as your Chart of Accounts.
  • The Reconciliation screens did see some updates as well. The changes made will make the reconciliation process more streamlined and easy to complete.

As you can see, the QuickBooks Online support team does value the feedback we give them so make sure to let them know what you like and don’t like, or what you feel could be made easier to use.  To read the full article on the updates please click here.  

Top 10 Mistakes in Mergers and Acquisitions

The merger and acquisition process can seem daunting to someone who has no experience and isn’t working with a broker. Over the years we have heard a number of horror stories and have compiled the following list of the top 10 mistakes in mergers and acquisitions:

Read more

Medicare and You – Things You Need To Know If You’re Turning 65

If you are turning age 65 soon, there are several things you should know about Medicare. You need to know if and when you should apply for Medicare and what your options are when you sign up for Medicare. You can find more information on the Medicare website at www.medicare.gov.   

When to sign up for Medicare coverage:

The initial enrollment period for all Medicare plans is the seven calendar month period starting three months before the month you turn 65.  If you sign up during the first three months of the enrollment period, Medicare will be effective on the first day of the month you turn 65.  If you enroll during the last four months, Medicare Part B will be effective one to three months following the month of enrollment.  There is a late enrollment penalty if you do not enroll in Medicare during the enrollment period.  This penalty is in the form of additional premium when you do enroll.

If you are age 65 and are covered under a group health plan from your or your spouse’s current employment, you may enroll in Medicare Part B at any time while covered.  You may also defer enrolling in Medicare Part B without paying a penalty.  If you defer enrolling, you have eight months after the earlier of the month employment ends or the group health coverage ends to enroll in Medicare Part B.  COBRA and retiree health coverage do not count as current employer coverage.

**You may switch plans each subsequent year from October 15 to December 7. 

Types of Medicare Plans:

Original: 

Original Medicare is comprised of Part A and Part B.  Medicare Part A is hospital insurance and covers inpatient hospital stays, care in a skilled nursing facility, hospice care, and some home health care.  There are no premiums for Part A.  Medicare Part B covers certain doctors’ services, outpatient care, medical supplies, and preventive services.  Premiums for Part B are due monthly and vary according to your income and when you sign up for Medicare.  If you are receiving Social Security benefits, you will automatically get Part A and Part B starting the first day of the month you turn 65 and premiums will be deducted from your benefit payments.  If you are not already receiving Social Security benefits, you need to sign up for Part A and Part B during the enrollment period.  You may sign up online at www.medicare.gov or at the local Social Security Administration office.  You will be billed for the Part B premiums. 

Part D: 

Medicare Part D is prescription drug coverage.  Parts A and B do not cover prescription drugs.  If you want prescription drug coverage, you can enroll in Medicare Part D online at www.medicare.gov. This website can give you the plans available to you in your geographical area and the premium costs of the various plans if you enter the prescriptions you are currently taking.  The premiums vary among different companies depending on your prescriptions. 

Advantage Plan (Part C):

A Medicare Advantage Plan, also known as Medicare Part C, is a plan that includes both Part A and Part B.  It may also include Part D if you want to and may include other benefits.  This is like an HMO or PPO.  Private insurance companies approved by Medicare provide the coverage.   In most plans, you need to use plan doctors, hospitals and other providers or you pay more or all of the costs.  You cannot have a Medigap policy if you are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage Plan and you may be limited in your ability to switch from a Medicare Advantage Plan to other plans.

Supplement Insurance (Medigap) policies:

You must be enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B.  Medigap policies are sold by private companies and help pay for costs not covered by Original Medicare, such as co-payments and deductibles.  It may cover other services not covered by Original Medicare, such as medical care when you travel outside the US.  You must pay the private insurance a monthly premium in addition to the Part B premium.  A Medigap policy only covers one person so both you and your spouse need your own separate plan.  Some companies may offer a discount on premiums if both spouses have policies through their company.  Medigap policies do not cover long-term care, vision or dental care, hearing aids, eyeglasses or private-duty nursing.  There are many types of Medigap plans and you will need to compare coverages and out of pocket costs before you enroll in one.

It may be helpful to enlist the aid of a professional or an investment counselor to help you determine the best fit for your particular situation. LBA Haynes Strand can help – set up your no-cost consultation.

Community Service

LBAHS Day 2019: Second Harvest Food Bank

Each year, our office doors close to provide employees with the opportunity to give back to a local organization. We call this “LBAHS Day.” This year, LBAHS Day took place at the Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina (SHFBM). This organization strives through education, advocacy, and partnerships to eliminate hunger. They do this by the solicitation and distribution of food throughout the Charlotte metro area.

Our LBAHS staff looks forward to this day each year. They jumped right in to help clean, organize, and sort donations throughout the warehouse. Kasey Mayfield, an associate, describes, “Despite being at different offices most days, we all got into an efficient rhythm while inspecting and sorting together. At one point, we had to organize the largest bin of canned goods I’ve ever seen. It started with five of us sorting but an assembly line formed and we knocked out the whole bin in around 30 minutes! Knowing there was a whole team of people there to give us help was an awesome feeling.”

Brandi Dunn, a senior associate, summarizes the day by saying,”It’s always fun to take a break from the office and able to help the community! I am glad our firm sees the value in this.”

To learn more about Second Harvest Food Bank and how you can help, click here!

In both 2017 and 2018, our team volunteered at Out of the Garden Project in Greensboro.

Winston-Salem Expansion

LBA Haynes Strand, PLLC is excited to announce that we are expanding our firm’s presence into the Winston-Salem market.

Winston-Salem is a continually developing city in the heart of the Piedmont-Triad and is currently experiencing the largest renovations and development the city has seen in over 15 years. According to Journal Now, recent estimates show the growth in Winston will continue to rise over the next few years and is expected to hit a population of 250,000 by the next census in 2020. We are excited about this expansion and believe our firm will fit in well with the Winston-Salem community.

If you are an individual or business owner in the Winston-Salem region and would like to schedule a no-cost consultation with an established certified public accounting firm, contact us. Our team is ready to work with you.

LBA Haynes Strand Wins Top Wealth Management Excellence Award

North Carolina CPA firm, LBA Haynes Strand, PLLC has been awarded the 2015 Top Wealth Management Excellence award from HK Financial Services (HKFS). LBA Haynes Strand earned this award by helping clients with strategic wealth management planning.

LBA Haynes Strand was founded on the belief that personal attention, trusted advice, and quality services are key elements to helping clients succeed. In order to further clients’ success, the Firm decided to designate HKFS as their preferred service provider of wealth management services.

This strategic partnership with HKFS provides independent and objective financial services to all clients. HK Financial Services is a Registered Investment Advisor, managing over $1.7 Billion for the clients of its 65+ CPA firms, while providing insurance, brokerage, and retirement planning for its CPA affiliate clients. LBA Haynes Strand is proud to be a part of this partnership.

To learn more, visit our Wealth Management page or contact any of our three office locations!

LBA Haynes Strand Volunteers To Fight Hunger in Our Community

Every year LBA Haynes Strand closes it’s doors for one day while the entire firm goes out into the community to help with a worthy cause. This year we were fortunate enough to team with Out of The Garden Project in Greensboro, NC. Out of The Garden Project is a food assistance program for families primarily in Guilford County.  Their mission is to partner with parents, teachers, friends, and organizations to provide food and hope for every child!  They supply a bag of food, including two meals, for a family of four (6-7 lbs) each Friday at 60+ schools in Guilford County, one school in Forsyth County and one school in Alamance County.  Overall they reach 1,750 families each week!  In addition, Out of The Garden Project provides 700 bookbags each week for the United Way of High Point.

Did You Know: Out of Guilford County Schools’ 73,000 students, 67% receive free or reduced price lunches and breakfasts?

This is one of the highest rates in the nation.  Greensboro and High Point were ranked #1 for food insecurity in the United States until July of 2016.  The area is currently ranked #9 in the nation for food insecurity.  Studies have shown that when students don’t eat on the weekend, it can take up to Wednesday of the next week after students have eaten for two days at school to begin to learn at the same rate as their peers who had access to nutrition during the weekend.

Out of The Garden Project – LBAHS Day 2017 on Biteable.

Our team had a great time packing meal bags, sorting food, cleaning the warehouse and handling many other tasks for Out of The Garden Project.  Dave Recchion, Principal in our Greensboro office had this to say, “It was a tremendous honor to work hand in hand with our team today in making a difference in our community.  We can all feel good about the impact that was made.  We take a lot for granted, and it is in moments like this where we can feel the pain of the less fortunate.  Every box, bag, and can that we touched will ensure that some people will get a meal for a day.  Thank you to Out of The Garden Project for allowing us to volunteer and make a real difference.”

To learn more about Out of The Garden Project and how you can help, CLICK HERE!

LBAHS Day 2018: Out of the Garden Project

“I firmly believe the greatest responsibility we have as a firm is to serve our clients, our people and our community. Working with the Out of the Garden Project is one of the most fulfilling efforts in our year.”- Dave Recchion, Office Managing Partner, LBAHS Greensboro Office.

This year, LBA Haynes Strand got the amazing opportunity to go back to the Out of the Garden Project (OOTGP) to help out for a second year. Our LBAHS Day is an annual community service day where we close our office doors and focus on giving back.

Why Out of the Garden?

The Greensboro and High Point area is ranked #9 in the nation for food insecurity. Over 48,000 students in this area receive reduced price or free breakfast and lunches at school. Many do not know where their next meal is coming from after school and on the weekends. This is how founders, Kristy and Don Milholin, got the idea to start the Out of the Garden Project. They noticed children experiencing food insecurity at their children’s elementary school and felt called to make a difference.

OOTGP started as a small weekend initiative supplying 10 bags to families in the Piedmont Triad area. It has grown into a program now supplying over 1250 bags of food each weekend and operating 22 mobile food pantries.

The LBAHS staff jumped right in – cleaning the warehouse, sorting donated food, and packing bags for families. The atmosphere was filled with love and support as each team member realized the impact they were making in this community.

We are fortunate to have played a small part in this company’s great mission, “to provide tangible signs of love so that no child goes to bed hungry.”- OOTGP

To learn more about Out of The Garden Project and how you can help, CLICK HERE! We were featured in News & Record– “Day of service project helps food program