June 28, 2016

Classifying Passive vs. Non-Passive Activities

Categorizing activities between passive or non-passive is not an easy task.  Many times, this could determine if a current income deduction is received or which tax rate should be applied.  In general, passive losses may only offset other passive activities income.  If you have too much passive income, you will be subject to the 3.8% Medicare Surtax.  When taxpayers do not have other passive income, an activity with a loss needs to be non-passive to receive a current deduction. One of seven tests must be met to qualify as a non-passive activity.

To get you started, here is an IRS listing of common passive and non-passive activities:

Passive Activities

Income and losses from the following activities are generally passive:

  • Equipment leasing
  • Rental real estate (with some exceptions)
  • Sole proprietorship or farm in which the taxpayer does not materially participate
  • Limited partnerships with some exceptions
  • Partnerships, S-Corporations, and limited liability companies in which the taxpayer does not materially participate

Non-passive Activities

Income and losses from the following activities are generally non-passive:

  • Salaries, wages, and 1099 commission income
  • Guaranteed payments
  • Interest and dividends
  • Stocks and bonds
  • Sale of undeveloped land or other investment property
  • Royalties derived in the ordinary course of business
  • Sole proprietorship or farm in which the taxpayer materially participates
  • Partnerships, S-Corporations, and limited liability companies in which the taxpayer materially participates
  • Generally trusts in which the fiduciary materially participates

If you find your situation is more complicated, make sure to contact an Anders advisor today.

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June 14, 2016

Assessing Your Health Care Practice’s Needs for Outsourcing

While every practice seems to have those employees that can seemingly “do it all,” it is likely there are still holes in the efficiency of your practice, particularly in the areas of information technology, revenue cycle management, and accounting.  If you are able to find employees that have the skills demanded in these specialized areas, it is likely they will demand premium salaries.  Fortunately, advancements in technology, cloud-based computing in particular, have made it easier than ever to obtain these specialized services on an outsourced basis. Evaluating operations can identify any weaknesses and better assess if outsourcing is a good solution for your practice.

Operational Assessment

Before you can decide if outsourcing is right for your practice, you must first identify the greatest opportunities to increase revenue and decrease costs. An operational assessment, which is a thorough review of all or part of your practice’s operations to identify areas needing improvement, is an important starting point, and can either be done by an outside consultant or internally.

Benchmarking

As part of the assessment, benchmarking, which is utilizing industry data to compare various aspects of your practice to your peers, can be very helpful. For example, via benchmarking, you can determine if you have employed the right number of people in the right areas, and whether you are paying market salaries. You can also see how your practice compares in the areas of provider productivity, revenue cycle, and overhead.

Identify Weaknesses

By evaluating practice operations, including human resources to determine whether your non-physician staff are working at the highest level warranted by their education and experience, in addition to the scope and efficiency of your information systems, you can identify areas of weakness. These can include billing and collections, patient satisfaction and/or access to care, employee satisfaction and/or productivity, compliance, and technology, as well as areas of opportunity, and establishing related goals.  Once the goals are identified, you can then consider whether or not outsourcing would be the most effective way to achieve them.

If you would like to assess whether your practice is performing as effectively and efficiently as possible, contact the Anders Health Care Group.

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