Green Hasson Janks

Green Hasson Janks

#BeMore with Green Hasson Janks

    #BeMore to Perform at Your Highest Level: How Mental Toughness Leads to Better Performance

    By Megan Braverman (Principal, Berbay Marketing & PR) The time between “Busy Seasons” for accounting professionals is ideally a time of refocusing. Spending months concentrating on client needs and looming deadlines can put any professional in a tailspin. At Green Hasson Janks, we place a strong focus on health and wellness (both as a Firm niche area and for our employees) and believe that to #BeMore for clients we need to #BeMore for ourselves. As we know, accountants are not the only ones […]

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      How are Small Food and Beverage Companies Leading the Way to Sustainability?

      Excerpt from the 2017 Food and Beverage Whitepaper: The Future of Food: Meeting Consumer Demands with Sustainable Resources There is no doubt that smaller food and beverage companies are leading the way. Larger companies must make huge investments in developing a national product. Because of this economy of scale issue, larger companies have lagged, but are being pushed by consumers. “Traditional food and beverage companies are acquiring natural food brands, and a number of them are putting […]

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        #BEMORE: Work-Life Integration and the Life of Ironman

        Back in 2016, I was working with an executive coach (Alisa Finerman – check her out, she is amazing!) to develop certain leadership skills to help improve myself professionally. Immediately we started working on Gallup Certified Strengths coaching to focus on identifying and leveraging strengths for greater success. Three of my top five strengths were focus, competition and analytical skills. A basic overview of the process can be described as the ability to utilize one’s strengths in a mature […]

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          Might a Magic Solution to Livestock Emissions Have Been Found?

          According to the EPA, livestock emissions are a significant cause of greenhouse gas emissions. Agriculture contributes 24 percent of total emissions, compared to only 14 percent for transportation. Included in the agriculture number is cultivating the feed for animals and deforestation, but a significant portion of the emissions is methane from livestock. Methane is one of the worst types of greenhouse gases. Now, let’s be honest, the entire world isn’t going to go vegetarian anytime soon but […]

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            5 Things to Consider Before Bringing a Profits or Other Claim Against a Major Studio

            Author: Ronald Nessim (Principal, Bird, Marella, Boxer, Wolpert, Nessim, Drooks, Lincenberg, Rhow) 1) Pre-Litigation Audit As a litigator, I am often approached by the talent’s transactional lawyer and asked to evaluate the talent’s potential claims against a major studio. While many claims, e.g., vertical integration and first opportunity rights, are more contractual than accounting in nature, it almost always pays for the talent to do an audit of the participation statements and/or property in […]

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              Do You Know How Long it Takes $1 to go Through Your Operations Cycle?

              By: Rick Weis Providing audits to clients is what I’m trained to do. But what I also love to do is help my clients evaluate their effectiveness and efficiency to optimize success and future growth. Asking clients questions to diagnose where opportunities lie for improvement is also a critical part my job. If you asked management of most companies, they would tell you they look at and monitor the common key performance indicators (KPIs) such as inventory, accounts receivable and sometimes […]

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                Who Really Owns Art: Legal Guide to Art Collecting

                By: Christian Tom What laws govern the ownership of artistic work? There have been numerous cases brought to court in the past few decades regarding the subject of legal title of artwork. One of the most famous and public cases was the Republic of Austria v. Altmann, in which the plaintiff, Maria Altmann, argued that five paintings, painted by Austrian artist, Gustav Klimt, and housed in the Austrian State Gallery, were stolen by the Nazis during World War II, and legally belonged to her family. […]

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                  Do you Know How Much Your Inventory is Worth? Is Your Inventory Correctly Valued?

                  Asking if you know how much your inventory is worth or is it valued correctly might sound like a simple and insulting question. Of course you know the value as you approve the invoices, process the checks, however, if you manufacture your inventory, the valuation is not that simple. Even before determining whether you are appropriately valuing your inventory, you should make sure all expense categories are properly categorized between cost of goods sold (above the line) and selling, general and […]

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                    Ugly Food: A Beautiful Solution to Global Hunger

                    Food waste is a topic that has seemingly flown under the radar. In 2015, the value of food waste from homes, businesses, farms, and manufacturers in the U.S. alone was $218 billion. This does not take into consideration the resources wasted to produce the food, such as water, soil, labor, etc. Globally, some estimates suggest that roughly one-third of all food produced globally goes to waste. A major contributor to our food waste problem is waste that occurs before the food even reaches the […]

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                      Tax Considerations for Individuals Moving to the U.S.

                      Great news, you received an offer to work in the U.S. and advance your career. While you are preparing for your relocation to the U.S., here are some key tax areas to consider prior to your move. Tax Consultations It is extremely valuable to have a discussion with a qualified U.S. tax advisor prior to your move. We recommend asking your new U.S. employer if they cover the cost of an income tax consultation and if they can make an introduction to a U.S. tax advisor. When you schedule a time to […]

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                        President Signs Executive Order on Promoting Free Speech and Religious Liberty

                        On the heels of statements made earlier this year regarding the repeal of the Johnson Amendment, President Donald Trump today signed an executive order that allows churches and other religious organizations to become more active politically. It also provides regulatory relief for organizations that object, on religious grounds, to a provision of Affordable Care Act that mandate employers to provide certain health services. A link to this order can be found here. The Johnson Amendment, as part of […]

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                          Avoiding PFIC Status – Practical Considerations

                          Overview: One area where complexities of U.S. taxation is clearly demonstrated is the Passive Foreign Investment Company (“PFIC”) rules. These PFIC rules generally apply to U.S. investors in a foreign corporation where U.S. ownership is 50% or less. A PFIC is any foreign corporation if – 75 percent or more of the gross income of such corporation for the taxable year is passive, OR The average percent of assets held by such corporation during the taxable year which produce passive income or […]

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                            Are You Unknowingly Contributing To Food Waste Due To Label Confusion?

                            Do you really know what the difference is between “sell by,” “best by,” “use by” or any of the other similar labels that are stamped on food products? If you don’t, or if you think you do but might not actually know, you are not alone; it can be flat-out confusing and as a result, there is unnecessary food waste. I will admit, as I traverse through the aisles of the local grocery store, I will sift through the products to make sure I buy the one with the date furthest out noted on the package, […]

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                              Jest In Show

                              Hi, my name is Kyle, and I feel very uncomfortable writing in the first person. This is pretty ironic considering I spend my time outside of work talking in the first person onstage doing stand-up comedy. Yes, an accountant is doing stand-up comedy. It’s 2017. Things don’t have to make sense anymore. Recently, I have been able to blend my passion for comedy with another passion of mine; giving back to the community. I just so happen to work at a firm that supports these passions. Green Hasson […]

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                                Form 926 Filing Requirements – a Potential Trap for the Unwary Tax-Exempt Organization

                                By: Sunil Patel (Tax Supervising Senior) and Jason Booth (Tax Principal) Many tax-exempt organizations invest frequently in foreign alternative investments (e.g., hedge, private equity, real estate and venture capital funds). When investing into such funds, these tax-exempt organizations’ primary tax concern is generally to mitigate their risk of Unrelated Business Taxable Income (“UBTI”). Funds commonly avoid this UBTI issue for their tax-exempt organization investors by structuring funds so […]

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                                  Private Foundations and Self – Dealing

                                  Private foundations enjoy the benefit of being tax exempt but often face more restrictions and scrutiny than public charities. Green Hasson Janks Principal Lauren Haverlock takes an in-depth look at one of the most rigid restrictions for private foundations – self dealing. Click here to download our latest resource.

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                                    Certain Entities Now Subject to the Form 8938 Filing Requirements

                                    Co-Authors Sunil Patel and Jason Booth Internal Revenue Service Form 8938, Statement of Specified Foreign Financial Assets, has been one of the primary reporting mechanisms imposed directly on taxpayers under the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), which is designed to enhance tax reporting compliance with respect to certain foreign assets. Form 8938 is used to report foreign financial assets for certain taxpayers if the total value of all specified foreign assets is more than the […]

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                                      Innovation in Food and Beverage is Alive and Thriving!

                                      Last year I was lucky enough to attend the Food Bytes Summit in San Francisco hosted by Rabobank. Besides the great venue of a craft brewery and distillery, the energy in the room was electric. The goal of the summit is to provide a platform for innovative food startups to showcase their product and to help facilitate connections that would hopefully lead to seed funding. Prior to the event, companies submit their application to demo their product or service at the summit for judges and […]

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                                        Tax Cuts Are in the Air

                                        By Liubou Partnaya (Tax Senior Associate, Green Hasson Janks) With Donald Trump as President-elect, proposals presented during his campaign are brought to the forefront. Among his proposals are sweeping changes to our income tax laws. Here is a quick overview of individual and business tax reform positions. Major highlights for individual taxpayers include: Simplifying the tax code with three income tax brackets: 12 percent, 25 percent and 33 percent –instead of the current seven tax brackets […]

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                                          Lease Accounting Standards

                                          By Matt McWhirter After many years of waiting, the FASB has finally released ASC 842, bringing major changes to the world of accounting for leases. One of the main goals of the new lease accounting standards is to bridge the gap between GAAP and IFRS accounting for leases. While the new standard does not completely align the two accounting methods, the gap between the two has become much smaller. The first question asked by many is, “How much do these standards really change the way we account […]

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                                            FASB Issues New Guidance on Not-for-Profit Financial Reporting

                                            By: Margaret Karren The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) released an Accounting Standards Update (ASU) with the goal of simplifying and improving the not-for-profit reporting of net asset classifications, liquidity information, financial performance and cash flows. Net Asset Classes: Revised net asset classifications to two classes, net assets with donor restrictions and net assets without donor restrictions Enhanced disclosures for board designated net assets and net assets with […]

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                                              Nonprofit Compensation

                                              By: Blair Howard (Intern, Green Hasson Janks) and Lauren Haverlock (Principal, Green Hasson Janks) Managing executive compensation for the highest paid executives in any company can be difficult, but it becomes much more complex when discussing tax-exempt organizations. Not only must a nonprofit consider the effects of salary levels on the operating budget, the organization must strike a balance in paying salaries that are competitive in the market while being conservative enough to not attract […]

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                                                No Strings Attached: The Importance of Getting Unrestricted Funding

                                                By: Anthony Perez Return on investment (or ROI) is no doubt a key metric (and usually the only metric that matters) to business investors. As an outsider to a company, an investor hands over his surplus cash to the owners of that company in the hopes that he will get something greater in return. A little money and a lot of faith are involved in such transactions. Stock traders do it all the time. Investors in privately held companies do it, too. And so do donors and funders of nonprofits. But […]

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                                                  Charity Navigator

                                                  By: Diane Hernandez The record-setting stock market performance and increase in housing prices has enabled the United States economy to grow largely in recent years. This underlying trend, and an increase in a much larger diverse and intellectual population, has given rise to the financial health of philanthropists. Charity Navigator is currently one of the largest charity evaluators – with millions of donors utilizing its number-based system to assess thousands of nonprofit organizations. The […]

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                                                    The IRS’s International Focus

                                                    By: Jason Booth For years now an ongoing debate has taken place on Capitol Hill about U.S. international tax policy reform. member at 35 percent) as well as improving our worldwide tax system’s “competitiveness” (compared to nearly all other OECD members’ territorial tax system). However, the purpose of this article is to not discuss the latest in politics on Capitol Hill and how this election year could affect international tax reform (a completely separate topic), but to discuss another part […]

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                                                      What Is Natural Food?

                                                      You hear people talking more and more about how they are trying to eat healthy, whether it’s low fat, low carb, low calorie, non-GMO or organic, but what does it means when “all natural” is on the label? Merriam-Webster defines “natural” as existing in nature and not made or caused by people or not having any extra substances or chemicals added. On its website, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) defines the term “natural” to mean that nothing artificial or synthetic has been included or […]

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                                                        How Nonprofits can do More With Less

                                                        By: Justin Wedell (guest blogger, Nonprofit Empowerment Program, Cornerstone OnDemand Foundation) For anyone even tangentially involved in the world of nonprofits, doing more with less has probably been a common motif throughout your experience. To be fair, there’s nothing wrong with efficiency and pursuing less wasteful and more sustainable operations. However, there’s a point at which this ethos can start to produce diminishing returns — a point that has unfortunately become the norm […]

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                                                          Australia’s New “Netflix Tax”

                                                          By Jason Booth (Principal, Green Hasson Janks) Just days ago (Feb. 10, 2016), the Australian treasurer introduced draft legislation to ensure that the country’s goods and services tax (“GST”) would apply to digital products and other services provided to Australian consumers by foreign vendors in a way that is similar to how GST applies to Australian vendors providing equivalent products. This heavily discussed topic has been coined by the Australian media as the “Netflix Tax” What exactly is […]

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                                                            Auditing in China: Three Things to Keep In Mind

                                                            By: Shaun Hong The Chinese market for entertainment has grown exponentially over the last several years. With U.S. entertainment companies forming “co-production joint ventures” with various Chinese film production companies, the need for accuracy and completeness of foreign distribution becomes more significant. Based on my experience with profit participation auditing in China, here are three things to keep in mind: #1: Understand the Cultural Differences Understanding the cultural […]

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                                                              Encore Fellows to the Rescue for Nonprofits

                                                              By: Judy Bamberger (Guest Blogger, Encore Fellows Program Manager, Social Venture Partners) Over the next decade, the population over age 65 will increase dramatically from 10 percent to 25 percent. How can society take advantage of these extensive skills, knowledge and life experiences? In response, Social Venture Partners recently launched its Encore Fellows program in Los Angeles in partnership with Encore.org. Here at Social Venture Partners, we’re tapping the talent of people who are […]

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                                                                California Attorney General Puts the Heat on the Charitable Sector

                                                                By Lauren Haverlock In the middle of this unusually seasonable California winter, a little heat might be welcome. But we would probably prefer that it come from somewhere besides the California Attorney General. As of Jan. 1, 2016, the AG’s Office finalized amendments to regulations that clarify the specific actions they can undertake in enforcing the state’s charitable regulations. These charitable regulations, known as the Supervision of Trustees and Fundraisers for Charitable Purposes Act, […]

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                                                                  Five Secrets For Volunteer Success

                                                                  By: Karen Baker (Chief Service Officer, State of California and CaliforniaVolunteers) Volunteers are a great resource of additional people that can help a nonprofit fulfill its mission — they represent time, talent, and treasure. When I recently spoke at the Green Hasson Janks 2015 Nonprofit Conference, I described five “secrets” I’ve identified over my career in the nonprofit arena and working alongside such notable leaders as Bill and Hillary Clinton, Maria Shriver, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and […]

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                                                                    Need a Protein Alternative? Don’t Be Overwhelmed

                                                                    As more and more people look to limit their meat consumption for various reasons, there is always one pressing issue that people are faced with: how will I get my protein? While you can get protein from various non-meat sources such as nuts, seeds and beans (just to name a few), many people will also look to rely on alternative forms of protein such as protein powders or protein bars. Let’s say — whether it’s due to convenience, lifestyle or that your taste buds just don’t tingle from the […]

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                                                                      Brazilian Tax Incentives for Non-Brazilian Legal Entities

                                                                      By Mauricio Vedovato and João Paulo de Seixas Maia Krepel (guest bloggers from Lilla, Huck, Otranto, Camargo Advogados) Non-Brazilian legal entities might be entitled to use up to 70 percent of the Withholding Income Tax (WHT) due in Brazil to develop and/or co-produce Brazilian independent feature films, short films, documentaries, TV movies and TV series. Qualifying entities distribute films in Brazil and/or develop content related to TV shows, films, events (including sports events involving […]

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                                                                        From Innovation to Valuation: Crossing the Divide to Executive Leadership

                                                                        By Candace Crawford (CEO, Maverick Brands, maker of Coco Libre Coconut Water) A version of this article was delivered as the keynote address at the 2015 Green Hasson Janks Food and Beverage Forum held Sept. 29, 2015 at the Grammy Museum in downtown Los Angeles. Green Hasson Janks’ whitepaper Women in the Food and Beverage Industry should be everyone’s business. The stakes couldn’t be higher; as industries go, food and beverage has the broadest impact on everyday life. Who doesn’t eat and […]

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                                                                          Emerging Trends in Child Welfare

                                                                          By: Ritchie Geisel (Guest blogger, Bienvenidos Children’s Center) Southern California nonprofit social service agencies have faced many challenges in recent years, beginning with funding cuts resulting from the Great Recession and California’s budget crisis — many of which have yet to be restored. In addition, an increasingly onerous regulatory environment, with seemingly constant program and financial audits, as well as new HIPPA requirements and more restrictive contracts and grants, has […]

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                                                                            A Closer Look at the Branded Entertainment Industry

                                                                            By Jordan Yospe (Guest Blogger, Eisner Jaffe) I regularly speak with film and TV producers, managers, agents and other entertainment lawyers seeking to clarify some widely misunderstood concepts in the branded entertainment industry. I’d like to share some of what I’ve explained to them in the hopes of clearing up the most prevalent misconceptions: Product Placement Product placement was the only term I understood when I accidentally stumbled upon this space about 15 years ago. The other models […]

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                                                                              Tackling “the impact question”

                                                                              By Jennifer Shen (Partner and Co-Founder, Blue Garnet) How many times have you heard the word “impact” or “outcomes” this week? We’re betting quite a few — we’d even say they’re buzzwords of the year. In fact, at the recent 2015 Green Hasson Janks Nonprofit Conference, the discussion touched on these themes. We heard, “data is king and exceptional leaders are always looking 3-5 years out. Yup, though Panelists Fred Ali, Regina Birdsell, Pegine Grayson and Scott Pansky were addressing different […]

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                                                                                2015 Nonprofit Conference Overview

                                                                                By: Diane Hernandez (Associate, Green Hasson Janks) The Green Hasson Janks 2015 Nonprofit Conference was a huge success, thanks to the knowledge and insights shared by each of the panelists and guest speakers. The theme this year was “The nonprofit leaders’ journey from ordinary to extraordinary: Tell me something I don’t know.” Each speaker described their personal experiences within the nonprofit industry and gave the attendees strategic ideas to strengthen relationships with their […]

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                                                                                  Bipartisanship Over Taxes Does Exist!

                                                                                  By: Richard Ruvelson I am taking this opportunity to pass on information gleaned from the Nonprofit Law Prof blog dated July 13, 2015. It is reassuring to know that, even during contentious times at the beginning of a presidential-election campaign, bipartisanship still exists. This particular blog addressed the July report of the Senate Finance Committee’s Business Income Tax Bipartisan Tax Working Group Report (the Report). The blog addressed several issues in the report that directly affect […]

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                                                                                    The Effects of Mandatory Arbitration on Entertainment

                                                                                    By Ronald J. Nessim (guest blogger from Bird, Marella, Boxer, Wolpert, Nessim,Drooks, Lincenberg & Rhow) Historically, disputes between talent and the major studios were litigated in a public courtroom where the judge and jury had no inherent biases for or against talent or the studio. Increasingly, however, the major studios have increasingly required talent – as a condition of obtaining employment – to agree to arbitrate all disputes and that they do so before one particular arbitration […]

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                                                                                      FASB exposure draft – how to make a comment

                                                                                      By Margaret Karren On April 22 the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) issued an exposure draft which would significantly change the existing not-for-profit financial reporting model. Comments are due by August 20, 2015. I decided to try making a comment to see how the process worked. I went on to the FASB.org website; it took a couple of tries to get to the right place. Here is how: Click on the Projects tab at the top on the page Go to Exposure Documents At the end of the list is […]

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                                                                                        The Research and Development Tax Credit and Wineries

                                                                                        By: Helen Han (guest blogger from R&D Incentives Group) Another guest blogger, Kevin Zolriasatain from KBKG, recently wrote aboutR&D credits for the food and beverage industryfor this blog. Expanding on the topic, this post dives deeper into the R&D credits specifically for the wine industry. People familiar with the workings of wineries and vineyards know they need to keep evolving with the ever-changing consumer demands, economical constraints and environmental concerns to stay […]

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                                                                                          FASB Exposure

                                                                                          By Margaret Karren The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) has issued an exposure draft for the presentation of financial statements of not-for-profit entities. The comment period ends on August 20, 2015, public roundtables will occur in September and October 2015, and the FASB board re-deliberations would start in October 2015. The FASB states that this is probably two years away from implementation. The key elements of the proposal are aimed at improving information in the financial […]

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                                                                                            Sustainable Sourcing in Food and Beverage Businesses

                                                                                            A term you may have heard recently in the food and beverage industry is “sustainable sourcing.” According to the Institute of Grocery Distribution (IGD), stainable sourcing “ensures that, to the best of the food supply chain’s ability, products or goods purchased have no, or limited, negative impact on the communities and ecosystems they are sourced from.” As awareness of, and interest in, this attribute of the foods we consume grows, we’re seeing an increase in everything from companies using […]

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                                                                                              Form 990 Refresher: Can Donor Names Be Shielded From the IRS and The California Attorney General?

                                                                                              By: Richard Ruvelson (principal at Green Hasson Janks) For those who were able to attend the Green Hasson Janks Annual Nonprofit Accounting and Tax Update Workshop last week, you heard me talk about the Form 990, as well as other developments, and received a copy of this blog in your folder. For anyone who wasn’t able to attend the workshop, be sure to read below for a quick refresher. The Center for Competitive Politics (CCP), an advocacy group, suffered another setback in its bid to keep its […]

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                                                                                                R&D Tax Credit for the Food and Beverage Industry

                                                                                                By: Kevin Zolriasatain (guest blogger from KBKG) With the challenge of feeding an ever-growing population, food and beverage companies in the United States are forced to increase their research and development efforts to meet demand. In addition to providing more options, food and beverage manufacturers are fighting to keep up with trends in the market place which include the reduction in sodium, gluten-free choices, removing sugar and adding fruits and vegetables to their products. In this […]

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                                                                                                  5 Things to Keep in Mind When Assisting Your Clients in Hiring Domestic Help

                                                                                                  By: Gold MacIvor (guest blogger from Belle Maison Agency) As a business manager, your clients rely on you to advise them on a myriad of topics. One area where they may come to your for assistance is private staffing, which includes personal assistants, nannies, housekeepers, estate and house managers, chefs, chauffeurs and any other help they may require in their homes. We have compiled this list of five things to keep in mind when assisting your clients with their domestic staffing needs. 1. […]

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                                                                                                    Now Trending: Consumption for a Cause

                                                                                                    By: Rick Weis A trip to the grocery store used to be rather simple: you stroll down the aisles and pick up the items on your list…and many that aren’t. Maybe you had to decide between a few brands (your favorite or what is on sale). However, times have changed. Besides choosing between local and/or organic, you now have another decision to make: how socially conscious do you want to be with your purchase? Nowadays, the grocery store and what you purchase there can provide you the ability to help […]

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                                                                                                      How My Experience at the Riordan Leadership Institute Made Me a Better CPA

                                                                                                      By: Anthony Perez I’ve worked as an auditor for over seven years and have specialized in working with nonprofit organizations. I’ve moved up from a staff auditor who vouched checks and invoices to a senior auditor who reviewed a multitude of contracts and grants and now to a manager presenting some of our findings from the past year’s audit to client management and audit committees. In all this time, I primarily focused on the events and transactions that occurred in the past and focused less […]

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                                                                                                        Expo West, the Maiden Voyage

                                                                                                        By: Nidhi Sapra and Rick Weis Being the newest members of the Green Hasson Janks Food and Beverage team, we had yet to experience Expo West prior to the 2015 show. As a result, we had no idea of what we were in store for. The veteran team members tried to prepare us by giving us suggestions such as to rest and drink plenty of water before you arrive at the show and wear comfortable shoes. They warned us how big the show is and that no matter what you wear, your “dogs will be barking” after a […]

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                                                                                                          R&D Tax Credits Are There For the Taking

                                                                                                          By: Helen Han (guest blogger from R&D Incentives Group) Research and Development tax credits are often affiliated with companies within in the high-tech, biopharmaceutical and manufacturing industries; however one industry that frequently overlooks the R&D tax credit is the entertainment and media industry. First introduced in 1981, the R&D tax credit has been established as an economic stimulus for companies in a diverse range of industries that create new or improved products […]

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                                                                                                            What is a “Virtual Print Fee”?

                                                                                                            By: Jonathan Blinderman (guest blogger from Glaser Weil) Many profit participants have been noticing a new expense charged against films that receives theatrical releases: a “Virtual Print Fee” or “VPF,” leaving the participant confused as to what the charge is for. The following provides an explanation. With the development of commercial-grade digital projectors, theater owners offered significant resistance to the replacement of their existing film projectors. Film projectors are very […]

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                                                                                                              What is in my food? The “Explorer’s” Dilemma

                                                                                                              By: Nidhi Sapra Food is one of the most basic human needs. Some of the great migrations by our ancestors were driven by the need to find additional sources of food. The desire to find spices made Christopher Columbus set sail in 1400s. Hundreds of years later, the motivation to discover new food makes Anthony Bourdain hop from country to country. In the modern age, the food industry has become a complex network of activities such as farming, food processing, catering and supply. Unsatisfied […]

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                                                                                                                It’s Organic? Great. But is it Local?

                                                                                                                Did you know a “9” at the beginning of your produce sticker number denotes an organic product? A growing number of consumers are seeking out organic foods and are willing to pay the price for that ever-more present, “organic” label. Along with not wanting to ingest chemicals from conventionally grown foods, these consumers cite that organic farming methods are better for the environment. However, some ask, “How environmental is an organic product that has a supply chain that extends as far as […]

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                                                                                                                  Marketing Your Nonprofit to Donors Through Advocacy

                                                                                                                  By: Larry Kaplan, Nonprofit Consultant, Larry Kaplan Consulting Last month, I was featured in Green Hasson Janks' panel discussion on marketing your nonprofit to donors. Some of you might wonder why an advocacy specialist would be on a panel about marketing and fundraising. Simple – advocacy is a form of marketing that can improve your program delivery and boost your fundraising. Here’s why: Passionate leaders inspire all donors, and attract those supporters who care as much about systemic […]

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                                                                                                                    Social Media: How Nonprofits Can Better Engage Donors

                                                                                                                    By: Laurel Mintz, Founder & CEO, Elevate My Brand Social media is a necessary evil that is here to stay. There is no longer an argument that can be made especially for nonprofits that they can eschew this critical medium of communication with their staff, volunteers and donors. The million-dollar question then remains: how can nonprofits better engage their target audience using social media, and even more importantly, how can they measure the success of their social media campaigns? I’m […]

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                                                                                                                      Marketing 101 for Nonprofits

                                                                                                                      By: Laurel Mintz, Founder & CEO, Elevate My Brand As a nonprofit you wear many many hats. Some hats are organizational, some hats are fundraising. The one hat that is usually missing or terribly frayed is marketing. As discussed at Green Hasson Janks' December 2nd nonprofit workshop, marketing is the #1 thing that nonprofits can do to increase their visibility and profitability now and in the future. So why does this area often fall by the wayside? Usually it’s a lack of 2 things; 1) […]

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                                                                                                                        Marketing Best Practices for Nonprofit Organziations

                                                                                                                        By: Margaret Karren We had a lively panel discussion yesterday at our Green Hasson Janks Nonprofit Workshop on "Marketing Best Practices for Nonprofit Organizations." The panel was moderated by our own Director of Marketing Kari Schott. The panel discussed ideas and best practices around marketing strategy, branding, social media, advocacy and cause marketing. The key takeaways from our panelists were: Laurel Mintz of Elevate my Brand focused on websites and social media. She suggests that you […]

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                                                                                                                          Quarterly California Tax Legislative Update: July 2014 – September 2014

                                                                                                                          The purpose of this Quarterly California Tax Legislative Update is to provide our clients and prospective clients with timely and meaningful updates that affect both their personal income and business taxes. The 3rd quarter of 2014 saw an expansion of the California film and television tax credit as well as additional guidance on the application process for the new California Competes Credit. The State finally provided guidance on a confusing and complex topic, the taxation of out-of-state LLC […]

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                                                                                                                            California Supreme Court Victory for Retailers on Excess Sales Tax Reimbursement

                                                                                                                            On May 1, 2014, the California Supreme Court ruled 4-3 that state consumer protection laws do not provide recourse to customers on excess sales tax reimbursements. See Loeffler v. Target Corp., Cal. Sup. Ct. No S173972 (5/1/14). The issue at hand was whether customers could challenge sales tax determinations made by a retailer in Court based on state consumer protection laws, in particular the California Unfair Competition Law ("CUCL") and the Consumer Legal Remedies Act ("CLRA"). The California […]

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                                                                                                                              Quarterly California Tax Legislation Update: January 2014 – March 2014

                                                                                                                              The first quarter of 2014 was a relatively quiet time in California from a tax legislative perspective. The Franchise Tax Board ("FTB") upheld its position that pretty much all income in California should be treated as apportionable business income based on a Superior Court ruling that a merger termination fee is apportionable business income in California. The State finally dealt with the inability of companies to reduce or eliminate a Deferred Intercompany Stock Account ("DISA") by passing […]

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                                                                                                                                F.I.C.A. Refunds From Severance Payments

                                                                                                                                Our Tax Alert of Jan. 8, 2014 discussed potential refund claims to recover F.I.C.A taxes paid on severance payments made to former employees. The United States Supreme court issued a unanimous opinion on March 24, 2014 in which it determined that payments to laid off workers are subject to both social security and Medicare taxes. The Supreme Court, which sided with the government, held that the severance payments were related to individuals’ employment and were thus wages under the Federal […]

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                                                                                                                                  Be Suspicious of Any Calls Claiming to be from the “Internal Revenue Service”

                                                                                                                                  By: Jigna Mehta More than 20,000 taxpayers have been targeted recently by calls from fake Internal Revenue Service agents. Thousands of victims, nearly in every state, have lost a total of more than $1 million. According to J. Russell George, Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, the fake IRS agents call taxpayers claiming they owe taxes and demand immediate payment using a prepaid debit card or a wire transfer. Those who refuse are threatened with arrest, deportation, loss of a […]

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                                                                                                                                    Board Self-Assessment: Does Your Board Know Their Roles and Responsibilities?

                                                                                                                                    By: Margaret Karren A Board self-assessment is a great tool to use to help improve your Board members' understanding of their roles and responsibilities. Boards that do an assessment are rated as being more effective. A good time to do this is before retreats or strategic planning meetings. An assessment should be done at least every two years. Some sample questions to have on your assessment are: Rated from 1 (excellent) to 5 (poor) Do the Board members understand the organization’s mission? […]

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                                                                                                                                      Trying to Get Your Board to the Next Level?

                                                                                                                                      By: Margaret Karren I often hear Executive Directors say that they have board members who aren’t living up to their expectations or they are having trouble recruiting new members. If this sounds like your organization consider forming a Governance Committee. The core responsibilities of this committee are board development issues. Their responsibilities include: Director Recruitment Director Independence and Conflicts of Interest Education of the Board on their Responsibilities Term […]

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                                                                                                                                        Insights and Perspectives from a New Board Member

                                                                                                                                        By: Pratish Patel On Tuesday, February 18, I had the privilege of attending the workshop “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: The Path to a High-Performing Board,” which was hosted by my very own firm Green Hasson Janks. I am an Audit Associate at Green Hasson Janks and have been with the firm for just over a year now. In the past year, I have learned a lot and have had many unique opportunities both impacting my personal and professional life. Of these opportunities, I must say one of the most […]

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                                                                                                                                          Severance Wages May be Considered for F.I.C.A. Tax Refunds: The Quality Stores Court Case

                                                                                                                                          By: Richard Ruvelson If your organization or entity made severance payments to former employees in 2010, it may be wise to file a claim for refund of F.I.C.A. taxes with the Internal Revenue Service by April 15, 2014. The United States Supreme Court is hearing arguments this month on the question of whether payments made by employers under a severance plan were subject to F.I.C.A. taxes as wages. The United States Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals decided in U.S. v. Quality Stores, Inc., 693 F.3d […]

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                                                                                                                                            Too Much Partying: Tea and Otherwise

                                                                                                                                            By: Richard Ruvelson Former Commissioner of Internal Revenue Mark Everson met with a group of Green Hasson Janks clients and tax personnel on Wednesday August 7, 2013. Everson currently serves as the Vice Chairman of alliantgroup, a national tax consulting firm that works closely with businesses and accounting firms with respect to federal and state tax credits and incentives, as well as, providing tax controversy services. He was in Los Angeles visiting clients of alliantgroup. Everson, who […]

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                                                                                                                                              Quarterly California Tax Legislation Update: April 2013 – June 2013

                                                                                                                                              The purpose of this quarterly California Tax Legislative update is to provide our clients and prospective clients with timely and meaningful updates that affect both their personal income and business taxes. The 2nd Quarter of 2013 saw a proposed law change that could significantly impact the California tax posture of in-state businesses. The proposed law change, which was approved by the California State Assembly, will repeal the existing state wide enterprise zone program in favor of a […]

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                                                                                                                                                Fraud in the Nonprofit Sector

                                                                                                                                                By: Margaret Karren While attending the 2013 AICPA Not-for-Profit Industry Conference this past week in Washington D.C., I learned some interesting facts and statistics about employees committing fraud in the nonprofit sector. A typical fraud in a nonprofit organization is for $100,000. Billing fraud accounts for 24.9% of fraud cases. Billing schemes include unrecorded sales, understated sales and false discounts. Write-offs are a common way to cover up fraud. Make sure you have proper […]

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                                                                                                                                                  Buy More Cookies!

                                                                                                                                                  By: Margaret Karren Anna Maria Chavez from the Girl Scouts of the USA kicked off the Not-For-Profit Conference as the keynote speaker. Her topic "The Full Slate - The Economic Imperative of Leveraging the Full Potential of Women in the Modern Workforce". Ms. Chavez spoke of the great history and legacy of the Girl Scouts and the many changes they have made to ensure the future of the scouts. There are 59 million living alumni of the Girl Scouts. Studies have shown that the Girl Scout alumni out […]

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                                                                                                                                                    Quarterly California Tax Legislation Update: January 2013 – March 2013

                                                                                                                                                    The purpose of this quarterly California Tax Legislative update is to provide our clients and prospective clients with timely and meaningful tax legislative updates that will affect both their personal and businesses taxes. While the First Quarter of 2013 was considerably slower from a legislative perspective than the Fourth Quarter of 2012, California continued on its path of making the state considerably more difficult to live and operate in for both individuals and businesses. Taxpayer’s had […]

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                                                                                                                                                      Fuel Tax Credits and Refunds May Fuel Tanks of Tax-Exempt Organizations

                                                                                                                                                      By: Richard Ruvelson Many tax-exempt organizations are not aware of the fact that they may be entitled to claim credits for excise taxes paid for certain on-road and off-road vehicle use. For federal purposes, gasoline and aviation gasoline purchases may qualify for the credit. Ultimate purchasers of gasoline for uses including the following qualify: Off-highway business use; School bus use; Exclusive use by a nonprofit educational organization, and Exclusive use by an aircraft […]

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                                                                                                                                                        Proposed Tax Changes from the “Green Book”

                                                                                                                                                        The United States Treasury recently released the so-called "Green Book," which is the Administration's Fiscal Year 2014 Revenue Proposals. The Green Book is the President's wish-list of tax changes, and as usual, this year's wish-list is a cornucopia of tax proposals - past and present. The proposals include tax changes for businesses and individuals. This tax alert contains information on the proposed tax changes outlined in the Green Book that could affect the following areas: Proposed […]

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                                                                                                                                                          Voluntary Classification Settlement Program

                                                                                                                                                          By: Richard Ruvelson I wanted to expand upon a topic that I covered during our last Nonprofit Workshop, on February 19th. The IRS has expanded upon it’s Voluntary Classification Settlement Program (VCSP) for organizations wanting to reclassify workers as employees for future tax periods and has extended the deadline for the expanded eligibility for the program through June 30,2013. The VCSP was originally described in Announcement 2011-64 and was modified through Announcement 2012-45 (which […]

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                                                                                                                                                            California New Jobs Credit Still Here for the Taking

                                                                                                                                                            By Richard Ruvelson The California New Jobs Credit, initially effective for taxable years beginning after January 1, 2009 remains in effect and is available to tax-exempt employers with 20 or fewer employees. The $3,000 per qualified new employee credit is determined by comparing the number of qualified full-time employees for the taxable year being reported with the number of qualified full-time employees that were employed during the preceding taxable year. The credit is prorated on an […]

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                                                                                                                                                              “Makers: Women Who Make America”

                                                                                                                                                              By Margaret Karren Congratulations to Faye Washington of YWCA Greater Los Angeles. Ms. Washington was named as a Southern California Champion on the PBS airing of “Makers: Women Who Make America”. Check out this link to share in Ms. Washington’s vision and see her great accomplishment of the completion of the Los Angeles Job Corps Urban Campus: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6T-sarfY6G0 Green Hasson Janks is proud to have supported Ms. Washington and her vision.

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                                                                                                                                                                OMB Proposed Guidance

                                                                                                                                                                By: Margaret Karren After much talk during 2012, there is hope for reform of A-133 audits. The proposed changes will increase the efficiency and eliminate unnecessary requirements. OMB Proposed Guidance On January 31, 2013, the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) issued for a 90 day comment period, titled “Proposed OMB Uniform Guidance: Cost Principles, Audit, and Administrative Requirements for Federal Awards”. The guidance purposes broad revisions to OMB Circular A-133 including: A […]

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                                                                                                                                                                  Another Day, Another Bill Aimed at Cross-Border Tax Planning

                                                                                                                                                                  It is not uncommon for a client to inform us of an article that they have read, which was published in one of the well-known and reputable publications, about yet another profitable multinational corporation with no corresponding U.S. income tax obligation. Moreover, they want to know how can they set up their affairs to legally do the same. Once it is explained that deferral of tax also involves prohibition against repatriation of the cash to the U.S., the conversation often ends there. The […]

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                                                                                                                                                                    Form 990 Core Form Instructions Released

                                                                                                                                                                    By: Richard Ruvelson While many tax-exempt organizations have been concerned about the provisions of the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, there are some other tax “reporting” issues that I want to remind tax-exempt organizations to consider over the next few weeks. Form 990 Since the 2012 Form 990 instructions were released on the IRS website on February 1st, I thought that it would make sense to communicate all of the changes through the link below. I will address particular changes […]

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                                                                                                                                                                      American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 Not As Taxing to Charities As Feared?

                                                                                                                                                                      By: Richard Ruvelson Happy Super Bowl weekend! This is the inaugural issue of our Green Hasson Janks Nonprofit Tax Blog and I want to start out by saying how happy I am to be back in Southern California after 14 years and am enjoying the relatively warm weather. Although we had a cold spell recently, it’s still a lot warmer than the Twin Cities and I am enjoying my view of Catalina on the horizon. From my former office in Edina, Minnesota, I looked out upon the roof of a Macaroni Grill. […]

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                                                                                                                                                                        At the Cliff’s Edge

                                                                                                                                                                        Does tax policy change the way in which people behave economically? Could higher tax rates generate lower revenue to the government? This has been an age old tug of war amongst economists since the Kennedy administration proposed tax cuts in 1962, and the ushering in of the so called "Laffer Curve" by Professor Arthur Laffer when he argued against the 1974 tax increases. Today, with the U.S. mired in tax uncertainty, and with the general feeling that rates are on their way up, we have a couple […]

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                                                                                                                                                                          The Looming Cliff

                                                                                                                                                                          The newest idiom in the American political lexicon is the "fiscal cliff.” It is all but certain to become a catch-phrase for the next fiscal iceberg facing the supertanker known as the U.S. economy. The fiscal cliff refers to approximately $1.2 trillion in automatic spending cuts coupled with expiration of the Bush-era tax cuts and a payroll tax break. Absent an agreement between Congress and the Obama Administration to reduce deficits to a certain, pre-determined targets and a compromise on the […]

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                                                                                                                                                                            Benefits and Burdens of U.S. Citizenship

                                                                                                                                                                            The name of Eduardo Saverin recently appeared on the Federal Register list of U.S. citizens who have renounced their U.S. citizenship. Saverin who was born in Brazil and currently resides in Singapore is best known as a Facebook co-founder and a soon-to-be billionaire. The motivation for renouncing his citizenship was thought to be tax related since the planned Facebook initial public offering will provide its shareholders with ample liquidity. Americans who renounce their citizenship will […]

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                                                                                                                                                                              Closing an S Corporation employment tax “loophole?”

                                                                                                                                                                              Discussions regarding application of self-employment taxes to income passed through from S corporations have come and gone over the past few years. It appears that this issue is making a comeback. Income passed through from S corporations to their shareholders is not subject to self-employment tax even if these shareholders are actively engaged in the daily operation of the company. This is in direct contrast to income passed through to owners of un-incorporated entities. As a means to […]

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                                                                                                                                                                                The Big Apple

                                                                                                                                                                                On Monday, Apple announced that it is planning to pay a significant dividend to its shareholders for the first time since 1995. The dividend plan is being maneuvered through a maze of U.S. tax issues having to do with repatriating off-shore income. According to its latest regulatory filing, Apple is sitting on a cash hoard of nearly $98 billion. However, $64 billion of its estimated cash is held by Apple’s foreign subsidiaries that are not subject to U.S. income taxes. If Apple was to use the […]

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                                                                                                                                                                                  More Information Regarding the Administration’s Business Tax Reform Proposals

                                                                                                                                                                                  On February 22, the Treasury Department released “The President's Framework for Business Tax Reform.” The document outlines the Administration’s overall view of the tax system and its proposals for reform. The general view of the U.S. tax systems is that high corporate tax rate along with the existing corporate tax “loopholes” has made the system “uncompetitive relative to other countries, distorts business decision making, and slows economic growth.” The document also argues that the system is […]

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                                                                                                                                                                                    The IRS “Dirty Dozen”

                                                                                                                                                                                    On February 16, the IRS published its list of top 12 “tax scams” for 2012 dubbed the “Dirty Dozen.” “Taxpayers should be careful and avoid falling into a trap with the Dirty Dozen,” said IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman. “Scam artists will tempt people in-person, on-line and by e-mail with misleading promises about lost refunds and free money. Don’t be fooled by these scams.” Below is the list: 1. Identity Theft According to the agency, “the IRS is increasingly seeing identity thieves looking for […]

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                                                                                                                                                                                      Tax proposals in the fiscal 2013 budget

                                                                                                                                                                                      On Monday February 13, 2012, the Administration submitted its fiscal 2013 budget proposal to Congress. The budget proposal contains changes to spending and deficit projections. As is true with all budget proposals, it includes an outline of future tax proposals by the administration. Here are some of the highlights of the tax proposals: The administration is proposing a 30 percent minimum tax rate for households making more than $1 million a year. This is a variation of the so-called "Buffett […]

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                                                                                                                                                                                        House and Senate Conferees Debating Extension of Payroll Tax Cut and Bonus Depreciation

                                                                                                                                                                                        House and Senate conferees are in negotiations over a bill to extend the payroll tax cut and 100% percent bonus first-year depreciation through the end of 2012. Current law allows bonus first year depreciation equal to 100% of the cost of qualified property placed in service after Sept. 8, 2010 and before Jan. 1, 2012, and 50% of the cost of qualified property placed in service after Dec. 31, 2011 and before Jan. 1, 2013. The main point of contention amongst the conferees is the funding […]

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                                                                                                                                                                                          Administration’s Corporate Tax Reform Proposals

                                                                                                                                                                                          The White House followed up the State of the Union address by releasing a fact sheet named “Blueprint for an America Built to Last” which highlights the administration's proposals for corporate tax reform and support for domestic manufacturing. The corporate tax reform is structured as a framework of ideas that: forces companies to pay a minimum tax for overseas profits; making research and development credit permanent; and simplifying the tax code. The fact sheet also includes the […]

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                                                                                                                                                                                            Council on Jobs Supports Corporate Tax Rate Reduction

                                                                                                                                                                                            The Council on Jobs and Competitiveness recently issued a report supporting comprehensive corporate tax reform. The reform would include a reduction in the rate corporations pay in federal taxes. Its principal recommendation was for the U.S. to move from a system with a high tax rate and a narrow base to one with a lower rate and a broader base. The report noted that after Japan lowers its corporate tax rate in April 2012, the U.S. will have the highest corporate tax rate amongst OECD […]

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                                                                                                                                                                                              Offshore Tax Evasion – A Continuous Focus for the IRS

                                                                                                                                                                                              Earlier today, IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman addressed the 24th Annual Institute on Current Issues in International Taxation which is sponsored by the George Washington University School of Law and the IRS. As always, those of us who work in the "tax world" listen carefully to the comments made by the Commissioner in order to understand the direction in which the IRS is moving, areas of focus and concern. Almost the very first words by the Commissioner were "tax evasion" and of the two areas […]

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                                                                                                                                                                                                An Employer Can Be Liable for Unpaid Taxes of Their Employees

                                                                                                                                                                                                Employers who are tasked with complying with the U.S. tax system, already one of the world's most complicated and onerous, may now be looked upon as collection agents for the IRS. In a recently issued opinion (U.S. v. Heli USA Airways, Inc.), a district court determined that an employer is liable for an employee's unpaid taxes and penalties that IRS sought to collect via a third-party levy served on, but ignored by, the employer's chief financial officer. In the case, an employee of the […]

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                                                                                                                                                                                                  A Worldwide Study on Tax Compliance

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Paying Taxes 2012, an annual study by the World Bank, International Finance Corp. and PricewaterhouseCoopers, ranks 183 countries based on difficulty of compliance with business taxes. The study measures the tax systems by viewing a domestic company complying with the different tax laws in each economy. The study measures cost of compliance from the perspective of hours spent filling out forms, number of payments per year and overall tax rates. Some of the main findings of the study were as […]

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                                                                                                                                                                                                    IRS Commissioner Lobbying for a Simpler Tax Code

                                                                                                                                                                                                    In a recent speech at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, IRS commissioner Doug Shulman tried to make the case for tax simplification. In his prepared remarks he said “Most taxpayers want simplicity. They want to pay what they owe, understand what tax benefits they are entitled to, and not get tripped up by the system. However, today’s Tax Code is anything but simple. It is so complex that it makes it hard for taxpayers to plan and make out an annual budget as there can be unpredictable tax […]

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                                                                                                                                                                                                      Where there is smoke…

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Buried in the Tax Relief Act of 2010 was a provision that increased the lifetime gift tax exemption from $1 million to $5 million for each individual ($10 million for a married couple). This increase in exemption was provided for a period of two years and is slated to sunset on December 31, 2012. Congress is now in the midst of a gargantuan task of reducing the federal deficit by $1.3 trillion dollars over the next ten years. A congressional “super-committee” has been given the task of […]

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                                                                                                                                                                                                        New Disclosures for California Retailers and Manufacturers

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Retailers and manufacturers doing business in California, with annual gross receipts of more than $100 million will have new disclosures to contend with. Effective January 1, 2012, retailers and manufacturers must disclose their efforts to eliminate slavery and human trafficking from their supply chain. This disclosure is supposed to be made on company website. If the company does not have a website, the disclosure must be made within 30 days of such information being requested by a […]

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