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Checklist: Meals and Entertainment Tax Deduction in 2019

Posted by Darren Reed on Oct 2, 2019 8:15:31 PM

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 brought about many tax changes, one of which is what and how much of your meals and entertainment expenses are deductible. At a high level, beginning in 2018, entertainment expenses are no longer deductible and the majority of meal expenses are now deductible at 50%.

We first wrote about these changes in this blog post a year ago- and the following checklist provides further clarification on the new rules.

Category Previous Deduction Deduction as of 2018
Entertainment: tickets for sporting events, theater, etc.; club expenses; golf course fees; hunting or fishing trips; etc. 50% 0%
Meals with clients where business is discussed 50% 50%
Meals with clients where business is not discussed (this is classified as entertainment) 50% 0%
Meals with employees where business is discussed 50% 50%
Meals with employees where business is not discussed (this is classified as entertainment) 50% 0%
Food and snacks provided for employees (not considered part of compensation) 100% 50%
Company picnics and parties 100% 100%
Meals for employees while they are on business travel 50% 50%
Meals and entertainment included in an employee's compensation package 100% 100%

Do you have questions on how to classify your meals and entertainment expenses? Contact Sweeney Conrad’s Senior Tax Associate Darren Reed at

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Topics: Tax

Washington Real Estate Excise Tax Increase

Posted by Melanie Abigania, CPA on May 9, 2019 12:04:56 AM

What you need to know...

On April 27, 2019, the Washington state legislature passed bill SB 5998, increasing Washington’s Real Estate Excise Tax (REET). The final version of the bill is expected to be signed by Governor Inslee shortly, and will go into effect January 1, 2020. Below is a summary of the current law and the changes you will see in 2020:

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Topics: Tax, News

Checklist: Preparing Your Documents for Tax Season

Posted by Tenly Krakoff on Jan 17, 2019 2:12:14 PM

It’s January and that means time to start thinking about those 2018 taxes! At this point, tax documents have probably started showing up in your mailbox.  While it may seem like there is plenty of time, the sooner and more organized you can make your documents, the smoother the process will be.

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Topics: Tax

Breaking News: Tax Reform 2.0

Posted by Thomas Jones on Sep 11, 2018 4:20:09 PM

Tax Reform 2.0 was unveiled Monday evening, Sept 10th, and includes three bills which build upon and make permanent changes made by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. The first bill, the Protecting Family and Small Business Tax Cuts Act of 2018 makes TCJA tax rates permanent, along with key deductions and the new Sec. 199A 20% Pass-Through Deduction.

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Topics: Sweeney Conrad News, Tax

How healthy is your business? The importance of Ratios and Benchmarking.

Posted by Dave Miniken on Sep 6, 2018 5:54:23 PM

Many people go to the doctor for a physical checkup every year or so to make sure they are in good health. If you are the owner of a small business, how do you gauge the “health” of your company?

One way is to keep an eye on several metrics that can help you monitor your company’s health in key areas. These metrics commonly take the form of financial ratios that can be compared against other businesses that are similar to yours, or against prior performance periods for your company- a process known as benchmarking.

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Topics: Advisory, Audit & Assurance, Tax

To Keep or Shred: How Long Should You Hold on to Your Documents?

Posted by Trevor Fennessy on Sep 5, 2018 1:25:34 PM

We all know the feeling… it’s time to clean the office and you’re sorting through stacks of documents, filing them away, shredding some, creating more piles… and the questions keep arising. Can I toss this? Is this something important to keep? I’ve been holding on to this for 3 years, surely it’s OK to let it go now?

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Topics: Advisory, Audit & Assurance, Tax

Qualified Opportunity Funds: New Opportunities for Deferring Gains

Posted by Thomas Jones on Aug 23, 2018 1:00:00 PM

While many changes created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act have grabbed the media limelight, not much attention has been given to a new tax benefit: Qualified Opportunity Funds. Beginning in 2018, a taxpayer can elect to reinvest proceeds from the sale of “any property” into a Qualified Opportunity Fund and defer the gain.

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Topics: Sweeney Conrad News, Tax

Sales Tax Changes: What the Overturn of the Quill Decision Means to Your Business

Posted by Duke Eide on Jul 30, 2018 8:13:14 PM


In 1992, the Supreme Court ruled in Quill that if a company doesn’t have a physical presence in a state, then the company is not required to collect sales tax for sales to consumers within that state (this was an affirmation of a previous Supreme Court ruling). In those days, the issue was mail order catalogs (Internet, what’s that?).

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Topics: Advisory, Sweeney Conrad News, Tax

Out-of-state Businesses Beware: Washington B&O

Posted by Emily Taibl on Jun 11, 2018 3:29:23 PM

Washington B&O tax - Seattle CPA Firm

by Thomas Jones

If you operate a business that has transactions in Washington State (even if you don't have a physical presence in the state), you may still be liable for B&O taxes.

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Topics: Tax

Guest Blog Post: Top 12 Things Financial Planners Look For on a Tax Return

Posted by Emily Taibl on May 22, 2018 6:29:22 PM

by Colleen Kroeger, CFA Highland Private Wealth Management

It’s likely that you will be receiving last year’s tax return from your accountant sometime soon. If you have a proactive financial advisor, they will likely ask for a copy so they can review to update your financial plan for the coming year. We sat down with Colleen Kroeger of Highland Private Wealth Management to find out what financial planners look for and why.

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Topics: Tax

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