News Article | February 15, 2017
ez1099 2016 software includes a variety of 1098 forms for customer accommodation. Halfpricesoft.com has included forms 1098, 1098C, 1098E, and 1098 for small to mid sized business owners and tax preparers to easily prepare, print, and mail or efile (advanced version only) forms with little to no accounting experience. “The latest ez1099 2016 version software is now available with multiple 1098 forms for printing accommodation.” Dr. Ge, founder of Halfpricesoft.com says. For further clarification on the the different types of 1098 forms included in the application: Form 1098 is a mortgage interest statement, 1098-C is for contributions of motor vehicles, boats and airplanes, 1098-E is a student loan interest statement and 1098-T is a tuition statement. A data import feature is available within the ez1099 2016 tax preparation software. In addition to this time saving feature, there are also many other ways to save time and money when using this innovative application. Features included are unlimited form printing capability, unlimited companies accepted, a quick start guide for easy setup, as well as no cost customer support. All of this together means great savings and ease of use for new and returning customers. ez1099 software also assists in compiling, printing and e-filing these other IRS forms: W2G, 1099-IOD, 1097BTC, 1098s (1098, 1098C, 1098E, 1098 T), 1099s (1099A, 1099B, 1099C, 1099CAP, 1099DIV, 1099G, 1099H, 1099INT, 1099LTC, 1099MISC, 1099OID, 1099PATR, 1099Q, 1099R, 1099S, 1099SA), 5498s(5498, 5498ESA, 5498SA), 8935, 3921, 3922, 1096. This 1099 tax form printing software can print recipient copies on white paper. Recipient forms can also be printed in PDF format (advanced version required) to deliver by e-mail. So Ez1099 software will undoubtedly save users money on preprinted forms and allows for quicker and more flexible filing. Since IRS does not certify substitute 1099 forms, customers should print IRS copy on red-ink printed form or they can generate the efile document that can be uploaded to IRS site. ez1099 is compatible with Windows 10, Windows 8.1, Windows NT, XP, Me, 2000, 2003, Vista system, 7, 8, and MAC machine installed with Virtual Machine or Parallels. The new import feature allows 1099 forms to process even quicker. The cost is only $79 per installation for the basic version of ez1099 Software and $139 per installation for the advanced version with bulk printing feature, import feature, PDF file creation and electronic filing capability, ez1099 is affordable for any size business. As always, customers are encouraged to download and try ez1099 without any risk, cost or obligation at http://halfpricesoft.com/1099-software-free-download.asp for evaluation and to ensure it meets or exceeds their needs before purchasing. The options featured in the latest version ez1099 software include but are not limited to: 1- ez1099 supports tax forms 1099s, 1098s, 5498s, W2G, 1097BTC, 8935, 3921, 3922 and 1096 2- ez1099 supports white paper printing for recipient copies 3- Saves valuable time by eliminating the usual extensive learning curve – ez1099 is designed to be simple and intuitive, allowing users to get started immediately 4- Quick data import feature 5- Supports compiling and saving form data for later use and modification 6- Supports unlimited accounts and unlimited recipients at no additional charge 7- Go green with optional PDF document converting and e-file (electronic filing) features 8- Prices start at $79 making ez1099 among the lowest priced, full-featured software available 9- No cost customer support with live chat, email and remote access 10- Fill tax data on pre-printed forms Halfpricesoft.com welcomes all customers to start the non-obligation free test drive today at http://www.halfpricesoft.com/1099_software.asp About halfpricesoft.com Ez1099 Software with Form 1099s printing and e-filing capability is developed and distributed by Halfpricesoft.com. Based in Louisville, Ky., the software firm is committed to developing financial software for small businesses that is affordable and easy to use. Additional software titles available from Halfpricesoft.com include ezPaycheck, ezAccounting, ez 1095 ACA Software, zW2, ezCheckPrinting, ezCheckPersonal, ezACH Deposit and ezTimeSheet software.
News Article | February 24, 2017
To be successful in business, it is imperative to have a grasp over financial health of the organization. Business consulting services have become a necessity in every business today. Whether it is a small or big organization, a business requires the support of experts in order to survive. Gone are those days when a business man would simply succeed without maintaining the business record. In the world of competition, business owners are running up and down to meet the needs and specifications of their clients. To help the businesses, many business consultancy firms have mushroomed over the last couple of decades. Moshe Pelberg CPA is one such company that has been providing quality business consultancy services in and around Baltimore, Lutherville, Owings Mills, Pikesville, Timonium & Towson, MD. The experts at the firm are knowledgeable and well versed in handling variety of tasks associated with business consulting. They business owners can now put their mind to rest. The company is well prepared to meet the challenges faced by their clients with regard to accounting and finance related issues. The expert business consultant in Baltimore and Pikesville MD will assist the clients in handling of the issues profitability. With years of experience and knowledge they gained by being in the industry, they can easily help the businesses in the most effective manner. The expert services include accounting software selection and implementation, audits, reviews, compilations, bookkeeping, business entity selection, buying or selling a business, estate and trust tax preparation, financial analysis, financial statements, IRS representation, management advisory services, notary public, payroll services, retirement planning, sales tax services, tax preparation & planning, and lot more. It is their client-centric approach, dedication, and passion of delivering the best services that together has made them different from the rest. They will thoroughly study the personal situation and tailor their advice accordingly. To learn more about the Accountant in Baltimore MD , feel free to call 410-963-1247 or fax 410-874-0159. You can also visit http://moshepelbergcpa.com/ Regardless of whether one is a business owner who wants to have a better grasp of his or her company’s financial health or an individual wishing to minimize your tax burden, Moshe will work with their clients to optimize their bottom line.
News Article | February 15, 2017
As advances in telecommunications technology continue to make it easier to dupe the unsuspecting American with phone scams, business processing outsourcing (BPO) fraud is increasingly causing anxiety among U.S. lawmakers, courts, businesses and agencies. According to a Louis-Harris survey, 92% of U.S. adults report having received a fraudulent telemarketing call.1 In fact, all told consumers may lose about $40 billion a year through telemarketing scams.1 Businesses must also beware when choosing the right BPO service for their company. In the U.S., enforcement of telecommunications fraud law has been difficult as many of these telemarketing scam calls are placed outside of the U.S.3 Using Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) technology, scammers are easily able to operate from anywhere and mask the origin of their calls.3 Recent raids in Mumbai, for instance, have uncovered a vast call center racket targeting over 366,000 Americans.2 Employees of this fake BPO company in India impersonated Internal Revenue Service (IRS) agents citing mistakes in their tax returns and threatening jail time if their demands for money were not met.2 Fraudulent calls from this BPO ring elicited $15.5 million from victims.2 Authorities believe the call centers in Mumbai may be just a small part of a huge international syndicate.2 “Telemarketing scams are a real concern for those in the BPO industry,” says Asad Khan, Founder of ePlanet Communications Inc, a global BPO provider. “BPO providers must offer as much transparency as possible to inspire confidence and ensure clients that their services are fair and reliable. To remain transparent, BPOs should provide the public with information about their organizational structure, commitment to the client, capabilities, investment areas and any other information that will not compromise security.” Ethical companies originally used BPO to cut costs and increase efficiency, but over time BPO has become a necessity to drive revenue, remain competitive, and effectively connect with consumers.5 Global Industry Analysts, Inc. reported that the BPO industry as a whole is expected to reach $220 billion by 2020. This is in part due to the pressures for businesses to increase their customer satisfaction.6 “Businesses who hire a BPO company to do their contact call centers, need to be able to maintain a certain level of trust knowing their customers are being treated fairly and professionally,” adds Khan. He mentions that when stories of BPO fraud begin circulating around the business world, the level of trust in legitimate BPO companies is tarnished and it ultimately effects the entire industry. Khan advised consumers, if a caller seems suspicious, the best practice is to hang up and file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). “Phone scams can be very sophisticated,” says Khan. “Workers are trained to speak with an American accent and are taught persuasion tactics. We need to be sure that instances of fraud are reported to the FTC, in order to reestablish the sense of security in the BPO industry.” ePlanet Communications is a well-established and trusted partner for businesses globally, rapidly emerging as a go-to resource within the U.S. and abroad. As the market for BPO services surges, Khan urges businesses to implement a complete turnkey solution for companies looking to create or extend their network. ePlanet Communications is a global business process outsourcing provider with extensive experience in call center operations, digital media solutions, and direct response solutions. By using its integrated channel management capabilities and highly-trained staff, ePlanet develops and deploys inbound and outbound customer support fully integrated with its clients’ marketing campaigns. Digital media solutions include website design, digital franchising, fully functioning eCommerce operations, and the creation of interactive, immersive and responsive social media campaigns across different platforms. ePlanet is also highly experienced in the area of direct response trial, consistently delivering improved customer satisfaction, increased customer retention, and better order value. To learn more about ePlanet and its capabilities, please visit http://www.eplanetcom.com. 1. Achneiderman, Eric T. "Telemarketing Fraud." New York State Office of the Attorney General. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Jan. 2017. 2. Lal, Neeta. "BPO Fraud in India on the Rise." Asia Sentinel. N.p., 28 Oct. 2016. Web. 10 Jan. 2017. 5. "Top 5 BPM Trends to Watch out for in 2017." Top 5 BPM Trends to Watch in 2017 - Moneycontrol.com. N.p., 10 Jan. 2017. Web. 12 Jan. 2017. 6. “Adoption of value added BPO services to drive gains in the business process outsourcing market, according to a new report by Global Industry Analysts, Inc.” Global Industry Analysts, Inc. Web.
News Article | February 22, 2017
For the millions of employees at US companies who have equity compensation and shares of their companies' stock, every tax-return season raises worries about errors that can lead to overpaid tax, underreported income, IRS penalties, or even an IRS audit. The 2017 tax season presents more than the usual potential for confusion, uncertainty, and expensive mistakes in IRS filings for taxpayers who have sold shares acquired from the following types of equity compensation: To help these employees and their tax advisors, the Tax Center at myStockOptions.com (https://www.mystockoptions.com) offers clear, reliable information, guidance, and illustrations explaining how to report 2016 stock sales on federal tax returns filed in 2017. (Although tax reform is likely to occur during 2017, it will not affect tax-return reporting of 2016 income.) Tax Center At myStockOptions.com: All The Tax-Return Answers Anyone who received income from equity compensation or sold shares in 2016 must understand the related reporting on IRS tax forms to avoid costly errors on tax returns. In the articles and FAQs of its Tax Center, myStockOptions.com provides trustworthy, easily understandable guidance that can help taxpayers and their tax-return preparers file accurate and error-free IRS tax returns. Examples and annotated forms in plain English show taxpayers and their advisors exactly how to report stock compensation and stock sales on tax returns. In a testament to its excellence and broad appeal, this award-winning content is not only used by individual taxpayers but also licensed as an educational resource by major financial institutions. The Tax Center has all the answers on the filing and reporting of tax returns that involve stock options, restricted stock, restricted stock units, performance shares, stock appreciation rights, and employee stock purchase plans. "The tax reporting for stock compensation is complex," emphasizes Bruce Brumberg, Editor-in-Chief of myStockOptions.com. "Even accountants and tax advisors sometimes make mistakes. Our goal is to help employees and their financial or tax advisors realize the full potential of equity compensation by educating them about tax rules and helping them prevent costly errors. The last thing taxpayers want is to pay too much tax or incur IRS penalties that take yet more money out of their pockets." Taxpayers Must Understand The Potentially Confusing Cost-Basis Reporting On IRS Form 1099-B In January or February, each brokerage firm sends IRS Form 1099-B, or the firm's equivalent substitute statement, to clients who sold shares during the tax year. The information on Form 1099-B is also reported to the IRS. The required stock-sale information on Form 1099-B was recently expanded and now includes not only the gross proceeds from stock sales but also their cost basis (sometimes called the tax basis), the date when the shares were acquired, and whether gains or losses were short-term or long-term. In general, cost-basis reporting is now more complex and vulnerable to errors. A diverse set of content at myStockOptions.com relates the background issues, explains how to understand Form 1099-B after selling shares from stock compensation or an ESPP, and shows how to avoid mistakes with the cost basis that can lead to the overpayment of taxes: Form 1099-B is essential for completing IRS Form 8949 and Schedule D, which taxpayers who sold shares during the tax year must submit with their IRS Form 1040 tax return. Form 8949 is where taxpayers list the details of each stock sale, using the information on Form 1099-B. Schedule D aggregates the column totals from Form 8949 to report total long-term and short-term capital gains and losses. "However," points out Mr. Brumberg, "the cost-basis information in Box 1e of Form 1099-B may be too low, or the box may be blank. This is because the rules for cost-basis reporting are somewhat counterintuitive. Also, no basis is reported for restricted stock or restricted stock units." Sound confusing? It is. Fortunately, myStockOptions.com is always here to help. In the Tax Center, the special section Reporting Company Stock Sales presents FAQs with clearly annotated diagrams of Form 8949 and Schedule D. Each FAQ explains and illustrates a different reporting situation involving stock options, restricted stock, restricted stock units, performance shares, employee stock purchase plans, or stock appreciation rights. Clear instructions and diagrams show how to complete the forms, whether the cost-basis information in Box 1e of Form 1099-B is accurate, too low, or omitted. In the Tax Center, articles on general tax-return topics include: Elsewhere on myStockOptions.com, a pair of articles explains IRS Form 3922 for employee stock purchase plans and IRS Form 3921 for incentive stock options. With annotated examples of the forms that translate IRS jargon into understandable language, these articles, along with detailed FAQs (for both ESPPs and ISOs), clarify what taxpayers need to understand about the information provided by the forms, which can help them better understand the complexities of ESPP or ISO taxation. The forms can help with tax-return reporting. They also give the IRS tools for catching errors on the tax returns of people who sold ESPP or ISO stock. myStockOptions.com Pro is a special membership for financial advisors, CPAs, and other professionals who have clients with stock compensation. MSO Pro gives advisors full access to the whole website and special features in the tools, where they can track and model stock grants for up to 25 clients. Access to the vast library of content at myStockOptions.com puts answers to tough client questions right at the fingertips of advisors, who can create PDFs of crucial content with their logo on it for distribution to clients. For more information, visit myStockOptions.com, email sales(at)mystockoptions(dot)com, or call 617-734-1979. All the content on myStockOptions.com is ideally suited for licensing by companies and stock plan providers for their stock plan participants. A customized version of the website's award-winning content can be seamlessly woven into companies' HR, benefits, and/or compensation portals. Accessible through any internet browser, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, licensed content from myStockOptions.com lets stock plan participants answer their own questions about their stock grants whenever they need to learn more—saving time for the stock plan staff and costs for the company. For more information, visit myStockOptions.com, email sales(at)mystockoptions(dot)com, or call 617-734-1979. With exclusive articles, 800+ FAQs, podcasts, videos, the Tax Center, interactive quizzes, the Learning Center with courses for CE credit, the Global Tax Guide, an extensive glossary, a smartphone app for iOS and Android devices, and dynamic patented tools, myStockOptions.com is the premier online resource of educational content and tools on stock options, restricted stock, restricted stock units, performance shares, stock appreciation rights, and employee stock purchase plans. myStockOptions.com is written and managed by leading experts in equity compensation, and is produced by a company with a long history of successful publications explaining complex legal and financial subjects in plain English. The accounting journal CPA Wealth Provider selected myStockOptions.com among companies "that have taken the lead through innovation, efficiency, initiative, or growth in the financial-planning area." The Specialized Information Publishers' Foundation honored MSO Pro with one of its Editorial Excellence Awards in the category of Best Interactive Content among niche publishers. The influential consumer magazine PC World has ranked myStockOptions.com among "the most useful sites ever" that "deliver top-notch information, support, and services." myStockOptions.com has also received extensive favorable coverage in the media, including BusinessWeek, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, and The Boston Globe, and on CNN, National Public Radio, PBS, Money.com, and MarketWatch.com. myStockOptions.com has a related site on nonqualified deferred compensation at http://www.myNQDC.com. The staff also created the successful insider trading prevention video series Think Twice, available at http://www.insidertradingvideos.com.
News Article | February 15, 2017
Many taxpayers lie awake at night worried that the IRS will seize their residence, cars, bank accounts, and wages. Instead of lying awake at night worrying about liens and levies, taxes, interest and penalties due the IRS, learn what steps can be taken to make IRS tax problems go away. Frank & Bryan Haarlander of Keystone Financial Solutions, P.C., have co-authored a book titled “How to Resolve Your IRS Tax Debt Problems.” The book summarizes how the IRS collection process works, and includes individual chapters on IRS liens and levies, installment agreements, offers in compromise, and how to get penalties forgiven. The authors, realizing the complexity of the Internal Revenue Code and IRS regulations, wanted to provide taxpayers who are considering representing themselves before the IRS an easy-to-read guide. In addition, if a taxpayer is vetting firms that offer tax representation services, this book will prove to be invaluable in determining the experience and expertise of the firms being considered. The authors are IRS tax resolution specialists who wrote the book to enable taxpayers to make an educated and informed decision as to how best resolve their IRS tax problems. Frank Haarlander stated “Unfortunately for the consumer, there have been a few firms in this industry that have taken advantage of taxpayers by promising to settle IRS debts for “pennies on the dollars”, collected significant fees, and taxpayers only discovered later that the amounts owed to the IRS actually increased. There are also firms that offer this service, but lack the experience and skills required to negotiate a favorable settlement with the IRS. Knowledge is power, and hopefully the readers of this book will avoid costly mistakes” Frank Haarlander is a CPA who has an MBA and a Masters in Tax degree. He is a member of the American Society of Tax Problem Solvers (ASTPS), PA Institute of CPAs, PA Society of Tax Professionals & Accountants, and the National Society of Accountants. Bryan Haarlander is an Enrolled Agent who is a member of the ASTPS and National Society of Tax Professionals. Founded in 2001, Keystone Financial Solutions, P.C. is a full-service CPA firm that specializes in providing innovative tax planning, tax preparation, and solving IRS tax problems. The company’s web site is Stop My Tax Problems and its telephone number is (610) 594-2601. The company offers a free 45-minute consultation to individuals and business owners who have IRS tax problems.
News Article | February 20, 2017
Tax season has arrived, as the Super Bowl recently reminded us: In the first half alone, two commercials encouraged viewers to trust computers to do our taxes, the first from H&R Block with its new partner Watson, and the second from TurboTax with its friendly talking tax bot. Machines won’t be able to automatically file taxes with the IRS for a few years. But do these commercials signal that robots can come close, requiring fewer human experts, mostly for sanity checks? Is another human profession on the verge of biting the dust? It sure seems that way. As my research shows, robots are best-suited to predictable tasks when the cost per error is low. As a task becomes less predictable and a robot makes more mistakes, the automation is worth it only if those mistakes don’t carry significant costs. For example, driverless cars make few errors, but those mistakes can be expensive and deadly. In contrast, most tax return decisions, especially the simpler ones, aren’t terribly risky, as they’re based on massive amounts of historical data on which the machine learns to anchor its decisions. Take the automobile analogy: Carmakers have gradually integrated more automation into sensing, braking, and acceleration decisions. Cars are taking over navigation with the expectation of that function becoming fully autonomous at some point. Similarly, humans are likely to get more and more comfortable with machines helping us with taxes. Eventually, many of us will probably trust them enough to compose the entire return for us to sign. More than 2 million people were employed as accountants, bookkeepers, and auditors in 2015. Until now, these types of information-oriented professions have resisted automation because they require managing unstructured data emanating from the real world, making judgments, and dealing with actual people. What’s different now, however, is that artificial intelligence’s perceptive capabilities have improved. Machines can now handle images, sounds, and text in a way that enables them to ingest and analyze data at high volume, without making costly mistakes. Between accounting professionals and truck drivers alone, about 4.5 million human jobs could be ceded to robots over the next few years. The larger question here is whether this is a harbinger for the future of other major human occupations, the top 10 of which account for roughly 25 million jobs in the United States. Will these new AI machines put other major human professions at risk as well? Will a robot replace me— teaching my class on data science? Somewhat ironic, but a potential reality. In the past when technologies have displaced laborious tasks, they’ve also made humans more productive and created new jobs that leveraged the novel capabilities of these technologies. Railroads created more opportunities to deliver goods to consumers, while computers created new kinds of office jobs involving the creation and use of information. But this time it could be different. Historically, machines have been designed to solve specific problems, but now they can now learn autonomously, improving their decision-making while interacting with the real world and collecting data through increasingly sophisticated sensory capabilities. When we get accustomed to accommodating the machines’ occasional mistakes, occupations that have been firmly human—like driving vehicles or preparing taxes—become robotic. This gets us to a larger, vexing question regarding employment. President Trump has promised to promote policies and create incentives to bring back jobs to the US. Even if he succeeds in bringing business back, the headwinds being created by AI do not mean that large numbers of jobs will be created in the process. If anything, the increasing comfort that humans have with accommodating the expanding capabilities of robots in our everyday lives might just make the creation of human employment that much more challenging going forward. It sure feels like robots are coming for many of our jobs, even mine.
News Article | February 23, 2017
--(BUSINESS WIRE)--What: This year’s 89th Academy Awards are just around the corner, and so are the luxurious Oscar “swag bags” that are provided to celebrities who are nominated for certain awards. Attention surrounding these swag bags has grown over the years due to the questionable and/or racy nature of some of the gifts, as well as a recent lawsuit against the creators of the lavish bags for trademark infringement. But one thing has remained the same – nothing in life is free, and neither are the Oscar swag bags given what recipients must pay in taxes. Why: Last year’s Oscar goodie bag was estimated at more than $200,000 of free merchandise and promotions. While the IRS put an end to the Academy issuing gift bags in 2006, the practice has continued by outside vendors who supply Oscar nominees with the bags. While celebrities may be tempted to accept the bags which are known for providing a range of jewelry, spa packages, cosmetic procedures and extravagant trips, they must remember that these gifts come with tax obligations. Who: Tax expert and movie buff Mark Luscombe, JD, LLM, CPA and Principal Federal Tax Analyst for Wolters Kluwer Tax & Accounting, is available for interviews and in-depth information about the tax implications of Oscar swag and other gifting that may be considered taxable income. Among the topics Mark can discuss: When: Mr. Luscombe is available for phone interviews to provide in-depth background and analysis on the taxes associated with Oscar swag and other gifts. Contact: To arrange interviews with Mark Luscombe or other federal and state tax experts from Wolters Kluwer Tax & Accounting on this or any other tax-related topics, please contact:
News Article | February 21, 2017
Scientists have struggled to trace the specific biology behind diabetes-associated heart disease risk or find ways to intervene. Now, researchers have hunted down a possible culprit -- a protein called IRS-1, which is crucial for the smooth muscle cells that make up veins and arteries.
News Article | March 2, 2017
The headquarters of machinery giant Caterpillar were raided by federal law enforcement authorities over possible tax fraud. (For more: How A Swiss Caterpillar Affiliate Led To Thursday's Raid) Authorities seized documents and electronic information that could escalate a grand jury investigation into the company's tax avoidance strategies by way of complex cash and equipment transfers between its U.S. and foreign subsidiaries. The raid pummeled Caterpillar's shares by over 4% and creates a legal headache for CEO James Umpleby, who replaced Doug Oberhelman at the beginning of 2017. This morning the U.S. Attorney's Office in the Central District of Illinois and three other federal agencies, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation office of inspector general, the Internal Revenue Service criminal investigation division and the Department of Commerce office of export enforcement, raided three Caterpillar offices. Those included Caterpillar's Peoria, Ill. corporate headquarters, its offices in neighboring East Peoria, and the company's 100-acre Morton, Ill. parts distribution center. "On March 2, 2017, law enforcement authorities entered three Peoria-area Caterpillar Inc. facilities, including the corporate headquarters, to execute a search and seizure warrant. The warrant is focused on the collection of documents and electronic information. Caterpillar is cooperating with law enforcement," the company said in a press release after the market close. "While the warrant is broadly drafted, we believe the execution of this search warrant is regarding, among other things, export filings that relate to the CSARL matter first disclosed in Caterpillar's Form 10-K filed on February 17, 2015, and updated in Caterpillar's most recent Form 10-K filed with the SEC on February 15, 2017," the company added. In addition, a search warrant allowing the raid indicated authorities were looking for end user information on Caterpillar exports and the company's "use of aliases" or other "efforts to thwart or avoid law enforcement scrutiny." Caterpillar shares, which have risen 35% over the past 12-months, fell by more than 4% and closed at $94.36. Two years ago, Caterpillar disclosed a grand jury subpoena from the U.S. Attorney in Central Illinois requesting documents pertaining to its movement of cash between its U.S. and foreign subsidiaries. The company furthermore received subpoenas requesting information on its purchases and resale of replacement equipment parts, and its dividend payments made between various foreign subsidiaries, including Switzerland-based Caterpillar SARL. In its most recent annual report, made on Feb. 15, Caterpillar said it was cooperating in these investigations and had not provisioned for any potential loss. "We currently believe that this matter will not have a material adverse effect on the Company’s consolidated results of operations, financial position or liquidity," Caterpillar stated. For years, Caterpillar's tax rate and its treatment of replacement parts sales has been the subject of scrutiny in Washington. The machinery company has been dogged by accusations of using sham transactions to shift profits to low tax jurisdictions like Switzerland where its tax rate is as low as 4%, saving billions. At year-end Caterpillar had $16 billion in undistributed profits held in its non-U.S. subsidiaries. It also had $5 billion in cash in those non-U.S. subsidiaries, both of which would be subject to significant taxes if repatriated. In 2014, a Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations hearing headed by Michigan Senator Carl Levin detailed a program Caterpillar designed in 1999 with the advice of auditor PricewaterhouseCoopers to use machinery parts sales to shift its profits to low-tax Switzerland. The Senate investigation concluded these sales cut Caterpillar's U.S. tax bill by $2.4 billion between 2000 and 2012. Caterpillar and PwC cooperated in the Senate probe. A year ago, an IRS Revenue Agent's Report (RAR) called for Caterpillar to face a proposed $2 billion in back-taxes and penalties resulting from its tax avoidance. The IRS deemed some Caterpillar transactions between subsidiaries as invalid based on doctrines of "substance-over-form" and "assignment of income," thus creating new taxable income. It also disallowed roughly $125 million of foreign tax credits from financing arrangement between subsidiaries. Caterpillar has been contesting these IRS findings. "We believe that the relevant transactions complied with applicable tax laws and did not violate judicial doctrines," the company said in its annual filing. Despite Caterpillar's assurances, government authorities chose to raid the company's offices, a highly uncommon maneuver in a cooperative investigation. "I was under the impression that raids were only done when the subject of the investigation was being intransigent," says Robert Willens, an independent tax expert. "It's hard to see why a simple, conventional transfer pricing dispute has escalated to this," he added. If Thursday's raid expands the government's Caterpillar investigation from 2007-2012 through 2016, it could roughly double Caterpillar's prospective tax liability, according to Jefferies analyst Stephen Volkmann. But Volkmann believes any liability could be years' from now and negotiated to a lower number. "We would anticipate Caterpillar to contest this claim as well, which would likely put any settlement well into the future. In addition, our experience is that tax settlements are generally for a fraction of the proposed liability," Volkmann said in a client note. Tax related liabilities would also have to be weighed against the potential benefits of tax reform. A week ago, former Caterpillar CEO Doug Oberhelman met with President Donald Trump alongside two dozen manufacturing CEOs to discuss policies such as tax reform, increased infrastructure spending and a loosening of regulations aimed at bolstering employment in the sector. "I love Caterpillar. I've been driving them for a long time," Trump said at the Feb. 23 meeting. For now, Caterpillar's recently appointed CEO Jim Umpleby is not feeling the love. Just two months on the job, he is managing the uncertainty of an escalating federal probe. In a Thursday letter to employees obtained by Forbes, Umpleby told Caterpillar employees he didn't have enough information to understand authorities' intent in the raid. "We were surprised by today's actions primarily because we have been so cooperative with the authorities in this investigation. We have acted in good faith and as a good corporate citizen. That will not change," Umpleby said. "We will continue to work toward a resolution of these matters, just as we did today." Umpleby added: "While we continue to work through this, I want you to remember: We are Caterpillar. We are an honorable company, with nearly a century of experience behind us and a strong future ahead."
News Article | February 21, 2017
OSHKOSH, Wis.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--In 2016, 767 non-profit organizations, schools, religious groups and charitable projects put promotional products to work, using $500 in-kind grants from the one by one grant program. In celebration of the program’s 10th anniversary, 4imprint doubled its commitment to this work, providing at least two $500 in-kind promotional products grants each business day. Of the 767 in-kind promotional products grants awarded in 2016, grants were given to 149 organizations in the 4th quarter. Among the 4th quarter recipients: “We continue to be impressed and amazed by what these organizations can accomplish with a little creativity and passion,” said Kevin Lyons-Tarr, CEO, 4imprint. “Their stories both inspire us and remind us that even a small gesture can have a significant impact when it’s paired with a powerful message about an important cause.” In addition to awarding 767 in-kind promotional products grants in 2016, 4imprint donated product samples to 2,133 organizations doing charitable work in the U.S. and Canada and to troops overseas. Any U.S. 501(c)(3) organization, registered Canadian charity, school or religious organization can submit applications a minimum of two months before the items are needed, allowing time for applications to be processed and products to be delivered in time for scheduled events. Apply online for the 2017 one by one program at onebyone.4imprint.com. About 4imprint’s one by one program one by one is the charitable giving program of 4imprint. Since 2006, 4imprint’s one by one program has supported nonprofits with IRS-approved 501(c)3 status or Canadian-registered charities, religious organizations and accredited schools. Over the program’s history, the promotional products retailer has awarded $2,487,000 in promotional products grants to nonprofit organizations. 4imprint is part of 4imprint Group plc, which is publicly traded on the London Stock Exchange. The Group serves hundreds of thousands of customers with promotional items throughout the United States, Canada, United Kingdom and Ireland. 4imprint offers corporate gifts, personalized gifts, custom T-shirts, promotional pens, travel mugs, tote bags, water bottles, Post-it® Notes, custom calendars, custom shirts and much more. For additional information, visit www.4imprint.com.