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UPDATED: 3 Tips for Getting Noticed by Recruiters from a Distance

Posted by Jamie Gardner, Audit Manager on May 12, 2021 5:14:19 PM

Over the last year, the way we work has drastically changed due to the pandemic. From online classes to working remotely, we have all had to learn to be flexible and adaptive on a daily basis. As things begin to open up, Sweeney Conrad is thrilled to be welcoming our summer interns soon, as well as planning a virtual version of our summer leadership program, SC Summer Summit (for the second year in a row). We anticipate having our normal recruiting levels this fall, and we are attending as many online career fairs and college events as we can!

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Topics: Recruiting

SECURE Act 2.0 Seeks to Boost Retirement Savings

Posted by Wende Wadsworth, CPA on May 12, 2021 12:05:59 PM

Last October, new legislation titled Securing a Strong Retirement Act of 2020 was introduced in the House of Representatives. Commonly referred to as the SECURE Act 2.0, this legislation contains a number of provisions designed to increase retirement saving opportunities for Americans as well as ease plan administrative burdens for employers.

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Topics: Audit & Assurance, News

The Biden Administration Proposes Far-Reaching Tax Overhaul: Updates on the American Families Plan

Posted by Sweeney Conrad, PS on May 7, 2021 12:33:16 PM

President Biden recently announced his $1.8 trillion American Families Plan (AFP), the third step in his Build Back Better policy initiative. The announcement followed the previous releases of the proposed $2.3 trillion American Jobs Plan and the Made in America Tax Plan. These plans propose major investments in various domestic initiatives, such as expanded tax credits for families, offset with tax increases on high-income individual taxpayers and corporations.

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Topics: Tax, COVID-19

Washington State Capital Gains Tax - What We Know Now

Posted by Sweeney Conrad, PS on Apr 30, 2021 1:19:11 PM
On April 24, the Washington State legislature voted in favor of a new Washington State Capital Gain Excise Tax, by a narrow margin. The legislation is expected to be signed by Governor Inslee shortly. While challenges are anticipated, here is what we know now:
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Topics: Tax, News, High Net Worth

The American Families Plan: A Summary of Proposals

Posted by Marty Brown, Shareholder, Director of Tax Services on Apr 29, 2021 7:14:44 PM
President Biden’s proposals for individual taxpayers were outlined in an April 28 address to Congress and in an 18-page fact sheet released by the White House. The “American Families Plan” contains tax breaks for low- and middle-income taxpayers and tax increases on those “making over $400,000 per year.”

Here’s a summary of some of the proposals:

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Topics: Tax, News, COVID-19

What To Do If Your Spouse Doesn't Designate You as a Beneficiary of His or Her IRA

Posted by Melanie Abigania, CPA on Apr 26, 2021 4:33:55 PM

One advantage of inheriting an IRA from your spouse is that you’re entitled to transfer the funds to a spousal rollover IRA. The rollover IRA is treated as your own IRA for tax purposes, which means you need not begin taking required minimum distributions (RMDs) until you reach age 72. This differs from an IRA inherited from someone other than a spouse, when the entire IRA balance must be withdrawn within 10 years of the original owner’s death. (Note that different rules apply to IRAs inherited before January 1, 2020.)

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Topics: Estate Planning, High Net Worth

Corporate Mergers and Spinoffs: How Will Your Retirement Plan Be Effected?

Posted by Wende Wadsworth, CPA on Apr 21, 2021 5:13:25 PM

If your company is involved in a merger or spinoff, you’ll need to plan carefully for how your qualified retirement plan will be affected. Failure to plan ahead for the impact of a merger or spinoff on your plan could lead to unintended consequences.

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Topics: Retirement Reporter, Employee Benefit Plans

The Women Who Inspire Us: Celebrating Women's History Month

Posted by Sweeney Conrad, PS on Mar 29, 2021 4:53:22 PM

March is National Women's History Month! In celebration and in honor of the millions of amazing women impacting the world every day, we asked our team members: "Who is a woman who inspires you?" The following is a collection of the responses we received.

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Topics: Sweeney Conrad People

Do you need to file a gift tax return?

Posted by Melanie Abigania, CPA on Mar 27, 2021 4:35:07 PM

It’s tax-filing season and you’re likely focused on your income or business tax returns. But don’t forget about another type of return. In 2020, if you made substantial gifts of wealth to family members you may have to file a gift tax return.

Filing a Gift Tax Return

Generally, a federal gift tax return (Form 709) is required if you make gifts to or for someone during the year (with certain exceptions, such as gifts to U.S. citizen spouses) that exceed the annual gift tax exclusion ($15,000 per person for 2020 and 2021). While an unlimited amount can be gifted to a U.S. citizen spouse, there’s a separate exclusion for gifts to a noncitizen spouse ($157,000 for 2020 and $159,000 for 2021). Also, if you make gifts of future interests, even if they’re less than the annual exclusion amount, a gift tax return is required. Finally, if you split gifts with your spouse, regardless of amount, you must file a gift tax return.

The return is due by April 15 of the year after you make the gift, so the deadline for 2020 gifts is coming up soon. But you can extend the deadline to October 15 by filing for an extension. (The IRS announced that the federal income tax filing and payment due date has been extended from April 15, 2021, to May 17, 2021. However, the IRS didn’t specifically address the gift tax filing deadline. Additional IRS guidance is expected soon.)

Being required to file a form doesn’t necessarily mean you owe gift tax. You’ll owe tax only if you’ve already exhausted your lifetime gift and estate tax exemption ($11.58 million for 2020 and $11.7 million for 2021).


When a Return Isn’t Required

No gift tax return is required if you:

  • Paid qualifying educational or medical expenses on behalf of someone else directly to an educational institution or health care provider,
  • Made gifts of present interests that fell within the annual exclusion amount,
  • Made outright gifts to a spouse who’s a U.S. citizen, in any amount, including gifts to marital trusts that meet certain requirements, or
  • Made charitable gifts and aren’t otherwise required to file Form 709 — if a return is otherwise required, charitable gifts should also be reported.
If you transferred hard-to-value property, such as artwork or interests in a family-owned business, consider filing a gift tax return even if you’re not required to. Adequate disclosure of the transfer in a return triggers the statute of limitations, generally preventing the IRS from challenging your valuation more than three years after you file.
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Review Your Estate Plan in Light of the New Presidential Administration

Posted by Melanie Abigania, CPA on Mar 27, 2021 3:16:19 PM

As President Biden settles into his new role as President of the United States, you may be wondering how the federal estate tax may be affected.

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Topics: Estate Planning, High Net Worth

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