Articles & Alerts

Avoiding Unnecessary Contractor Risk and other Insights from the 2020 Construction Forecast

The construction industry has many risks that cannot be controlled, but many contractors are taking on more of it than necessary.  Construction Partners Michael Hochman and WIlliam Hughes explore the ways to mitigate the most common areas of contractor risk.

How Annual Trust Accountings Can Help Trustees Minimize Risk

It is in the best interest of trustees to take proactive measures to protect themselves against potential lawsuits and other liabilities. One of the most effective ways of accomplishing this is through annual trust accountings.

Tax Alert: Repeal of the Cadillac Tax and other ACA Changes

Among the many provisions included in the end-of-year federal budget bill were the eliminations of three excise taxes imposed in the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Tax Alert: NJ Softens the Blow of SALT Deduction Cap

Owners of New Jersey pass-through entities have a new way to get around the $10,000 cap on state and local tax (SALT) deductions imposed by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.

Sign-up for Revenue Recognition Resources for the Construction Industry

Grassi has partnered with CICPAC to provide construction companies with the resources they need to experience a smooth and effective transition to the new Revenue Recognition standard.

Nonprofit Alert: Transportation Benefit Tax Repealed

Nonprofits received a long-awaited win in the Taxpayer Certainty and Disaster Tax Relief Act of 2019 that included the repeal of the 21% tax on nonprofits for employer-provided transportation fringe benefits.

Phantom Stock: A Real Solution to One of the Biggest Problems in the Construction Industry

As the current labor shortage continues, it is time for construction executives to think outside the box and consider new ways to attract and retain key people. One of those vehicles is the concept of phantom stock, a unique method to engage key personnel and to vest them in the long-term profitability and health of the construction company.

Tax Alert: 179D Deduction Extended for Energy-Efficient Buildings

The Energy-Efficient Commercial Building Deduction (179D) was extended through 2020 when the president signed the year-end government spending bill on December 20, 2019. This valuable tax deduction of up to $1.80 per square foot is achieved through the installation of energy-efficient HVAC, building envelope and lighting assets.

Year-End Charitable Giving Strategies

With only a few days left in 2019, keep these tax-savings strategies in mind when planning your last-minute charitable contributions.

SECURE Act Signed into Law to Help Taxpayers Save More for Retirement

Last week, Congress passed some of the most significant retirement legislation in more than a decade. The SECURE (Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement) Act is designed to help Americans save more for retirement and to enable small employers to offer more retirement savings options.

IRS Delays Some New Partnership Tax Reporting Rules

S Corporations Not So Fortunate

The 2019 draft form 1065 imposed a heavy burden on partnerships to report additional partner-specific information. Recognizing that these changes would cause a hardship for most partnerships to adopt in their 2019 tax filings, the IRS is providing interim relief for partnerships, but not yet for S-Corporations.

Understanding the New Meal and Entertainment Expense Deduction

The M&E expense deduction changed dramatically with the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Here's what you need to know about what meals and entertainment are still deductible and how your expenses can qualify.

IRS Issues Final Regulations on Increased Estate Tax Exemption

The IRS has issued final regulations that protect gifts made under the TCJA's increased estate tax exemption from being “clawed back” into a taxpayer’s estate after the provision expires.

Revenue Recognition Resources for the Construction Industry

Grassi has partnered with CICPAC to provide construction companies with the resources they need to experience a smooth and effective transition to the new Revenue Recognition standard.

Qualified Opportunity Zones: A Family Office Perspective

Principal Shashi Singal outlines the unique advantages, strategies and risks that a family office should keep in mind when considering an investment in a Qualified Opportunity Fund.

A Review of "A Report on the Current State of the NYC Construction Industry"

Construction Accounting and Taxation magazine pointed to Grassi's 2019 construction industry survey findings to give readers a clear picture of the direction in which the industry is going and how leaders are feeling about these emerging trends.

Is an ESOP the Right Succession Plan for Your Construction Company?

Construction Partner Steven Goldstein outlines a recent case study that demonstrates the benefits, strategies and risks that companies should understand when considering an Employee Stock Option Plan.

The Sleeping Bears Awake, Grumpy - Bad News for Cryptocurrency

Victoria Pellegrino and Roger Lorence of Grassi's Financial Services were published in HFMWeek for their insights into the new hurdles regulators are introducing for the management of cryptocurrency.

Panel: Lack of Guidance Means Cannabis Industry Tax Planning Often Depends on Clients' Risk Tolerance

John Pellitteri, Cannabis Practice Leader, was featured in The Trusted Professional for his contributions to the Foundation for Accounting Education's 2019 Cannabis Conference panel.

What Every New York Business Needs to Know about Cybersecurity

Crain's New York Business asks Carl Oliveri, Grassi's NYC market leader, about the cybersecurity challenges and opportunities that exist for NYC businesses looking to protect their sensitive data against the latest digital threats.

Grassi Ranked among 30 Largest Accounting Firms by Crain's New York

Grassi was named one of the 30 largest accounting firms in the New York City Area by Crain's New York Business.

Union Trends, Compliance and Cybersecurity Top-of-Mind for New York Contractors

Carl Oliveri, Construction Practice Leader, was published in Construction Executive magazine for his insights into the trends revealed by Grassi’s 2019 Construction Industry Survey.

NJBIZ Manufacturing Panel Explores Hiring, Succession and Legal Issues

Robert Grote, Partner and Manufacturing & Distribution Practice Leader, was featured in NJBIZ for his contributions to the publication’s manufacturing panel discussion on September 24, 2019.

Crain's Names Two Grassi & Co. Principals as Notable Women in Accounting and Consulting

Crain's New York Business has named Elizabeth Gousse Ballotte and Sareena Malik Sawhney to its 2019 Notable Women in Accounting and Consulting list.

Some Contractors Don’t Give Themselves Enough Credit

If you are a specialty contractor responsible for functions such as plumbing, HVAC, electric or sheet metal work, or if you are a contractor that performs value engineering, you may be able to take advantage of some often-overlooked tax incentives.

Alert: DOL Expands Retirement Plan Options for Smaller Businesses

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has released a final rule which should make it easier for smaller businesses to provide retirement plans to their employees. According to the DOL, the rule will enable more small and midsize unrelated businesses to join forces in multiple employer plans (MEPs) that provide their employees a defined contribution plan such as a 401(k) plan or a SIMPLE IRA plan. Certain self-employed individuals also can participate in MEPs.

Warning to Americans Investing In Certain Canadian Cannabis Stocks That Have A U.S. Presence

You could be (up to) 33% worse off than compared with investing in U.S. stocks because of taxes! Learn the rules on minimizing the additional taxes before you invest.

Alert: Major News For Nonresident Real Estate Holders in the State of CT

In a ruling by the Department of Revenue Services for the State of Connecticut, new tax legislation was recently passed concerning nonresidents owning real estate in Connecticut.
 

CEO Athlete Toolkit to Soften the Blow of the TCJA of 2017

This past tax season was an especially demanding one as it was the first one under the new sweeping tax legislation, the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017,” which passed 12/22/2017—professional athletes and coaches felt its impact deeply.
 

Alert: IRS Removes Regulations on Advance Payments for Goods and Long-Term Contracts

On July 15, 2019, the IRS issued final regulations to remove existing regulations regarding advance payments for goods and long-term contracts. These final regulations apply for taxable years ending on or after July 15, 2019 and affect accrual method taxpayers who receive advance payments for goods, including those that may be inventoried.
 

Alert: The Minority and Women Owned Business Enterprise Program Extended!

On June 16, Governor Cuomo reauthorized the Minority and Women Owned Business Enterprises (MWBE) program, due to expire at the end of 2019, for five more years. The reauthorization of the law includes enhancements that will enable even more MWBEs to participate in and benefit from the program.     

Alert: The U.S. Supreme Court Ruled Today that States Cannot Tax Nonresident Trust Payments

Great news for Trusts and Trustees! The Supreme Court in North Carolina ruled today that the state violated the due process clause by taxing an out-of-state trust whose beneficiary was a NC resident— making that the only connection between the state and the trust.
 

Alert: IRS Wheels Out Additional Guidance on Company Cars

The IRS has updated the inflation-adjusted “luxury automobile” limits on certain deductions taxpayers can take for passenger automobiles — including light trucks and vans — used in their businesses. Revenue Procedure 2019-26 includes different limits for purchased automobiles that are and aren’t eligible for bonus first-year depreciation, as well as for leased automobiles.

IRS Updates Rules for Personal Use of Employer-Provided Vehicles

The IRS recently announced the inflation-adjusted maximum value of an employer-provided vehicle under the vehicle cents-per-mile rule and the fleet-average value rule. 

What a Contractor Should Know About the Gross Receipts Test

One of the positives that came out of The Tax Cuts and Job Act is the change in the small contractor’s exemption of Average Annual Gross Receipts (AAGR) test from $10,000,000 to $25,000,000. 

“Style Drift” a Big Problem for Fund Managers, Says SEC Investment Management Division (“SEC”)

It is standard practice for counsel drafting offering documents for investment funds, whether registered with the SEC or not, to describe the fund’s investment strategy.  Failure to describe the strategy would make the fund a type of “dark pool” (investing in a fund vehicle about which the investors are told nothing about what they are investing in).  

How Do Your Profits Erode?

While your inclination is to provide your best, there are certain types of customers who can literally drain your bottom line without you, or them, even realizing it.

Alert: Qualified Opportunity Zones - New Proposed Regulations

The second round of proposed regulations issued on April 17, 2019 provide additional guidance on some of the questions and issues that remained unclear after the initial round of proposed regulations that were issued in October 2018.

Alert: Change to New York State Estate Tax

On Friday April 12, 2019, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law the New York Fiscal Year 2020 Budget.  This budget bill includes changes to the NYS Estate Tax Provisions.

Is there a Labor Shortage or Can Your Project Managers Produce More?

Talk of labor shortages in the construction and A&E industries has been public over the last few years. Some say it is likely to continue in 2019 as companies continue to earn higher and higher revenues and maintain healthy and growing backlogs. 

SEC Discovers the Internet

The Division of Investment Management (the “Division”) of the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) has stringent requirements for companies that are registered investment advisers (or should be so registered) with respect to client assets.  These rules of long-standing are known as the “Custody Rule,” which provides that it is wrongful conduct for an adviser having custody of client assets to fail to follow the Custody Rule. 

Woman of Distinction

Annie Phillips of Grassi & Co. Hero.

If the Carolina Panthers Move HQ Out of Uptown What Does Charlotte Really Lose?

If the Carolina Panthers move their business operations and practice facilities to South Carolina, Charlotte might lose a little of the luster of being home to an NFL team’s headquarters. You might not spot Cam Newton on South Tryon scootering to practice anymore, either.

Your Company Has a Retirement Plan – Are You Meeting Your Fiduciary Responsibilities?

While you offer your employees defined contribution, defined benefit, health and welfare, or profit sharing plans, it is important to know that offering these plans also comes with responsibilities and risks for the sponsoring company and the trustees of the plans.  

Why Auditors’ Reports Are Likely To Get Longer And More Detailed

Auditors of public companies are required to follow standards set by the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (the “PCAOB”), created in the wake of the Financial Crisis to improve reporting standards for public companies.  

Alert: Validating Cyber Risks in the Cannabis Industry

With information gathered from assets in the underground (involved with the dark web) and conversations with federal authorities, investigations disclosed that, while there is no specific group actively targeting the cannabis industry, there are hackers focusing on three areas within the Seed to Sale lifecycle: research and extraction; growing; and consumption and retail operations.
 

Alert: How Meals and Snacks Are Valued For Employers Via TAM

On January 18, 2019, Technical Advice Memorandum (TAM) 201903017 was released concluding that an employer cannot treat free employee meals as excludable under Code Section 119 “convenience of the employer” test. 

Alert: What Partnerships and Limited Liability Companies Must Consider Now


Tax legislation enacted in 2015 changed the rules for how partnerships (including limited liability companies and any other entity classified as partnerships) respond to audits by the Internal Revenue Service.  

Push for Scam Techniques Increases

The end of January marks the beginning of the push for some known scam techniques, but there are also some new ones on the scene. Scammers are targeting organizations large and small, as well as individuals, attempting to steal money and/or information. Below are some of the more common scams that are being reported around the world.
 

Accounting Methods for Construction Contracts

Joseph Molloy, Principal of Tax Construction Services, explains the different accounting methods available for construction contracts and the unique tax benefits of each one.

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