March 1, 2021

33rd Annual Hoops for Hope Tournament Supporting The Child Center

After an unprecedented 2020 with events canceled around the world, including the NCAA March Madness tournament, we’re excited to announce that our annual Hoops for Hope basketball pool is back for 2021!

What is Hoops for Hope?

Now in it’s 33rd year, Hoops for Hope has grown from a small office pool to a tournament that includes hundreds of the firm’s closest friends. This year, all entry donations will support our 2021 Charity of Choice: The Child Center.

Dan Mudd, a tax partner at Anders, serves on the board and as treasurer for The Child Center and nominated the organization for our 2021 Charity of Choice. The Child Center is a child advocacy center (CAC) serving children and families in Northeast Missouri. A comprehensive, coordinated approach is taken in response to allegations of child sexual and physical abuse occurring in a 14 county service area.

How do I participate?

Hoops for Hope has become one of the year’s largest fundraisers, with 100% of the proceeds going to The Child Center. We suggest a $10 donation per entry, or more if you are charitably inclined.

Step 1:

Donate online:
Visit the Child Center payment portal and:

  • Select whether you would like to purchase a bracket or a sponsorship.
  • If purchasing a bracket, it will ask how many brackets you would like to purchase.
  • The site will ask you to “sign in” via Facebook, email or Google to fill in name, address and phone number to make your payment.

OR

Donate by check:
Checks can be made payable to “The Child Center” and mailed to:
Craig Campbell
Anders CPAs + Advisors
800 Market Street, Suite 500
St. Louis, MO 63101

Step 2: Come back on Sunday, March 14th at 8:00 pm CST to make your picks!

Rules:

  1. Highest total points wins.
  2. TOP WINNERS will receive a prize.
  3. Limit 5 entries per player.
  4. Points awarded by round: R1=2, R2=3, R3=5, R4=7, R5=10 & R6=15
  5. No leapfrogging.
  6. Results will be posted on this website after each day’s games.

The top winning brackets will choose from a prize on the 2021 Hoops for Hope Prize Sheet.

We hope you’ll join in the fun and help us support a great cause in our 33rd annual Hoops for Hope tournament. Click here for tournament history, results and more.

Become a Sponsor

To have a little more fun and get local businesses involved, we created an Alley-Oop Triple-Double Bonus sponsorship, the sponsorship to end all sponsorships! For a minimum donation of $100 or a prize of equal value, a company or individual can get their logo displayed on our Hoops for Hope web page.  If you are interested in becoming a “sponsor” by donating a minimum of $100 or prize of equal value, please email Craig Campbell at ccampbell@anderscpa.com

Thank you to our 2021 Alley-Oop Triple-Double Bonus Sponsors!


NO PURCHASE NECESSARY.  No payment or donation required.  A payment or donation will not improve your chances of winning.  Tournament begins 3/19/21. Entries must be submitted by 10:59 a.m. CDT on 3/19/21.  Open to legal residents of the fifty (50) United States and the District of Columbia who are 18 years of age or older as of 3/19/21. Void where prohibited.  Sponsored by Anders Minkler Huber & Helm LLP.  For more information, see Official Rules.

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February 23, 2021

Working Remotely in Different States? Find out Where You Need to File Taxes

With many companies either extending their remote work timeline due to COVID-19 or permanently switching to a remote work structure, it’s important for employees to understand the various tax implications of working remotely. Some people are taking the opportunity to travel or move to other states while they can work from anywhere. But establishing presence in additional states could cause additional tax filing and withholding requirements employees should be aware of.

Understanding State Filing Requirements

Tax filing requirements vary from state to state. If you’re planning on working remotely from a different state for an extended period of time, it is best to investigate the state’s tax filing requirements. Generally, employees pay taxes based on where they work or earn income. Employees could be subject to additional non-resident income tax return filings depending on the state they’re in and whether they meet thresholds based on income generated or time spent there. So, while taxpayers may maintain their permanent home in one state and work remotely from a different state, depending on how long they work or how much income they earn in that different state will determine if they are required to file as a non-resident of said state.

California and New York State Tax Example

A California taxpayer decides to move from California back to New York to be near family while they are working remotely. The taxpayer signs a short-term lease and works remotely in New York for six months.

Assuming the taxpayer spent 184 days or more in New York, the taxpayer is now required to file a part-year resident return for both New York and California. New York requires taxpayers who spend 184 or more days in the state during the year to file in New York, whether or not the taxpayer maintained a permanent residence there.

Missouri and Illinois State Tax Example

An Illinois resident works remotely on a temporary basis from their home for a Missouri-based company. The employee does plan to go back into the Missouri office once COVID-19 is over.

Historically, the Illinois resident has worked and earned their wages in Missouri, so they were required to file a non-resident return in Missouri and pay the tax due there. Additionally, they would file an Illinois resident return as well, where they would have to calculate and pay tax due in Illinois. Please note, Illinois does allow for a credit for taxes paid to other states in their calculation of current year tax, so this helps avoid the double taxation between Missouri and Illinois.

Now in this example, the employee worked remotely from their home for a significant portion of the year. This means their work performed is in Illinois instead of Missouri which would lead us to believe that the income sourced to Illinois would not be subject to Missouri income tax. Unfortunately, Missouri currently has not provided clear guidance on this situation. It is believed that even though the Illinois resident performed services in Illinois, Missouri will still want that Illinois resident to file and pay tax as a Missouri non-resident since the change was on a temporary basis and due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Time will tell if this stance will hold true though.

Filing requirements vary by state, so it’s important to keep track of which states you have been working remotely in and for how long. Find out how working from home affects state taxes in Missouri and Illinois. If you have specific questions on a particular state filing requirements, contact an Anders advisor below.

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February 22, 2021

2021 Tax Pocket Guide

Access the 2021 Anders Tax Pocket Guide for this year’s corporate and individual tax rates, retirement plan contribution limits and more, including:

  • Estate tax and lifetime gift tax exemption increase to $11,700,000
  • AMT exemption increase
  • Standard deduction increase

View the 2021 Anders Tax Pocket Guide.

Contact an Anders advisor to learn how these rates affect you and your business.

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February 12, 2021

PPP with Paul and Dan Video Series

With new updates and legislation evolving quickly around the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), our CARES Act Research and Response Team has been focused on relaying information you need to know. Two of the team members, Paul C. Rhea and Daniel K. Schindler, are sharing the latest changes around PPP loans and the forgiveness process in their video series: PPP with Paul and Dan.

View each segment of the series below. Check out more CARES Act content in our COVID-19 Resource Center, or learn how we can help your business recover from COVID-19.

February 12, 2021
February 8, 2021

December 29, 2020

December 29, 2020

November 10, 2020

October 13, 2020

October 7, 2020

September 18, 2020

September 4, 2020

August 28, 2020

August 21, 2020

August 13, 2020

July 24, 2020

July 16, 2020

June 25, 2020
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February 9, 2021

Do I Qualify for the Home Office Deduction While Working from Home?

If you are like many Americans, the Coronavirus forced you to work from home for some or most of 2020. You may have had to purchase items to make your home more conducive to a work from home environment, including computers, printers, desks, basic office supplies, office chairs or even faster internet. With all of these additions to your home office, you may be wondering, “Can I deduct these expenses or take a home office credit on my 2020 tax return?”

The answer depends on if you are an employee or if you are self-employed.

Home Office Deduction for Employees

The 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act suspended the business use of home deduction from 2018 through 2025 for employees. Employees who receive a paycheck or a W-2 exclusively from an employer are not eligible for the deduction, even if they are currently working from home. Additionally, there is no deduction for unreimbursed work expenses.

This means you will not be able to deduct home office expenses or purchases that allow you to work from home, and you do not qualify for the home office deduction.

Home Office Deduction for Self-Employed Individuals

There are two parts of the equation for self-employed individuals: ordinary business expenses and a home office deduction. Ordinary business expenses can be taken on your return and are usually reported on a Schedule C. They include any ordinary and necessary expenses to conduct business.

The home office deduction is available to self-employed taxpayers, independent contractors and those involved with short-term contracts or freelance work.

How to Qualify for the Home Office Deduction

There are two basic requirements to qualify for the home office deduction:

  1. You must use a portion of the home exclusively for conducting business on a regular basis, and
  2. The home must be your principal place of business

“Exclusive use” means you must use a specific portion of the home only for business purposes, and for nothing else. A home office does not need to be a separate room or permanently partitioned portion of a room. Any “separately identifiable” area can serve as an office. For instance, a corner of a room with a desk and file cabinet could qualify as a home office.

According to the IRS, to claim the deduction, you must use part of your home for one of the following:

  • Exclusively and regularly as a principal place of business for a trade or business
  • Exclusively and regularly as a place where patients, clients or customers are met in the normal course of a trade or business
  • As a separate structure that is not attached to a home that is used exclusively and regularly in connection with a trade or business
  • On a regular basis for storage of inventory or product samples used in a trade or business of selling products at retail or wholesale
  • For rental use
  • As a daycare facility

The IRS, defines the term “home” as:

  • A house, apartment, condominium, mobile home, boat or similar property
  • A structure on the property, like an unattached garage, studio, barn or greenhouse
  • Not including any part of the taxpayer’s property used exclusively as a hotel, motel, inn or similar business

Qualified Expenses

Deductible expenses for business use of home normally include the business portion of real estate taxes, mortgage interest, rent, casualty losses, utilities, insurance, depreciation, maintenance and repairs. In general, a taxpayer may not deduct expenses for the parts of their home not used for business; for example, expenses for lawn care or painting a room not used for business.

Claiming the Home Office Deduction

You can use either the regular or simplified method to calculate the home office deduction. The IRS describes the regular and simplified methods as:

  • Using the regular method, qualifying taxpayers compute the business use of home deduction by dividing expenses of operating the home between personal and business use. Self-employed taxpayers filing IRS Schedule C, Profit or Loss from Business (Sole Proprietorship) first figure this deduction on Form 8829, Expenses for Business Use of Your Home.
  • Using the Simplified Option, qualifying taxpayers use a prescribed rate of $5 per square foot of the portion of the home used for business (up to a maximum of 300 square feet) to figure the business use of home deduction. A taxpayer claims the deduction directly on IRS Schedule C.

Contact an Anders advisor below to discuss the specific nuances of the home office deduction and if you qualify.

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February 5, 2021

Anders Ranks #4 on St. Louis’ Largest Accounting Firms

Moving up two spots from last year, Anders is ranked #4 on the St. Louis Business Journal’s largest accounting firms list by number of local CPAs. With 106 CPAs and 240 local employees as of January 2021, Anders is ranked #6 in St. Louis on total number of professionals.

View the largest St. Louis accounting firms ranked by CPAs.
View the largest St. Louis accounting firms ranked by local professionals.

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February 3, 2021

Anders Releases 2020 Community Impact Report

Giving back is part of our social responsibility and corporate culture at Anders, and we proudly support local charitable, civic, community and trade organizations. The Anders Community Impact Report takes an in-depth look at our commitment, connections and involvement in the community in the past year, individually and collectively as a firm.

2020 brought challenges unlike any other year. From business owners and not-for-profits doing all they could to keep their doors open and staff employed, to families transitioning to at-home learning and working, it was a year of constant change.

In 2020, Anders gave back to the community by:

  • Supporting 242 local organizations
  • Giving $191,000 in charitable sponsorships
  • Donating over $7,800 to our 2020 Charity of Choice
  • Offering over 100 timely insights in our COVID-19 Resource Center

Read more in the 2020 Anders Community Impact Report.


View our past Community Impact Reports:

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February 2, 2021

Updating Your W-4 Can Lead to Less Surprises Come Tax Season

Tax season is fast approaching, and for many individuals that means the anticipation of a tax refund check in their bank accounts. However, many people were shocked in 2019 when they discovered their refund amount was substantially lower or they even owed the IRS money.

The 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) significantly changed how the federal tax system works. These tax changes didn’t always work well with the traditional W-4 form, resulting in many people not having enough taxes withheld from their paychecks in 2018 to cover the taxes they owed.  As a result, there is a new version of the W-4 form for employees to use starting in 2020 which is intended to make withholding more accurate in conjunction with the TCJA.

What is a Form W-4?

For some, a W-4 was something filled out years ago when you started your first job and confusingly asked your parents if you were a “dependent” and never thought of again. In fact, a recent study by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) shows that 45% percent of Americans are unsure when the last time their withholdings were updated, and 11% of taxpayers had never heard of a W-4.

A W-4 is an IRS form employees are required to fill out so that an employer can withhold the correct federal income tax from their pay. Ultimately, the goal of proper withholding is that you neither owe nor are owed when filing your yearly tax return. Too little withholding can result in a substantial tax payment and possibly even penalty payments. Too much withholding results in a refund check, which may seem nice, but essentially you allowed the IRS to hold your money interest free—money that could have been possibly better spent staying current on bills, paying down debt or being invested.

What’s Changed on the W-4?

The old Form W-4 required employees to input the number of allowances they were claiming and any additional amount they wanted to be withheld. There were worksheets designed to assist employees in entering the proper number of allowances, but many found these to be complicated.

There are no more withholding allowances on the new Form W-4. Instead, employees provide their employer with the information needed to determine the amount of income tax to withhold and the employer takes it from there and does the necessary calculations. Employees will be asked to include items such as expected filing status, family income from other jobs, number of dependents and tax deductions they plan to take. This may mean the W-4 could possibly take a little longer to fill out because the necessary information will have to be collected.

Do I Have to Complete the New Form?

The short answer to this question is “no.” Existing employees are not required to complete a new Form W-4. If employees are happy with their current withholding, the old W-4 stays in effect indefinitely. However, if individuals want their withholding to be more accurate and aligned with current tax laws, they should fill out a new Form W-4. All new hires will have to complete the updated form, as should individuals with changes to their filing status.

Contact an Anders advisor below to discuss how recent changes in tax law, withholdings, and proper planning can help you achieve your tax and financial goals.

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January 29, 2021

Anders Named a 2021 Top Workplace in the U.S.

Anders CPAs + Advisors has earned the 2021 Top Workplaces USA award, issued by Energage. This is the inaugural year for Top Workplaces USA, built on the program’s 14-year history surveying more than 20 million employees across 54 markets for the regional Top Workplaces awards.

On a local level, Anders has been named to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s list of Top Workplaces several times and we are honored to be recognized as a Top Workplace nationally.

Top Workplaces USA offers national recognition for large organizations, those with more than 150 employees, and those that may have operations in multiple markets. Several thousand organizations from across the country were invited, and more than 1,100 participated in the Top Workplaces USA survey. Winners of the Top Workplaces USA list are chosen based solely on employee feedback gathered through an employee engagement survey, issued by Energage. Results are calculated by comparing the survey’s research-based statements, including 15 Culture Drivers that are proven to predict high performance against industry benchmarks.

“During this very challenging time, Top Workplaces has proven to be a beacon of light for organizations, as well as a sign of resiliency and strong business performance,” said Eric Rubino, Energage CEO. “When you give your employees a voice, you come together to navigate challenges and shape your path forward. Top Workplaces draw on real-time insights into what works best for their organization, so they can make informed decisions that have a positive impact on their people and their business.”

Learn more about Energage or the Top Workplaces program.

Interested in working for a Top Workplace? Check out the current openings at Anders.

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January 26, 2021

5 Ways to Kickstart Your Cybersecurity Efforts

Keeping your company protected from cyberthreats is important, but it’s hard to know where to get started. A personalized, comprehensive cybersecurity plan is recommended to stay ahead of cyberthreats, but there are several tactics and baby steps businesses can take to start building a defense. Below we dive into five low-cost and easy ways to improve your cybersecurity posture that can help you get started and prepare you for developing a robust cybersecurity strategy.

1. Implement Cisco OpenDNS Resolver

Avoid exposing your network to harmful sites and phishing strategies by implementing Cisco OpenDNS resolver. Organizations can use Cisco’s platform to prevent employees from accessing known malicious websites, block phishing sites and prevent virus and malware infections by using Cisco OpenDNS for DNS resolution.

2. Require Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)

MFA is a method for authentication that requires the user to provide two or more verification factors to gain access to a resource such as an application, online account or a VPN. MFA asks users to provide a password and another verification method, such as on a smart phone or using facial recognition. Office 365 users can easily implement this type of authentication for an added layer of security. Organizations should implement MFA to reduce the probability of an unauthorized login by 99%.

3. Complete a Dark Web Scan for Employees’ Authentication Information

The dark web is the hidden portion of internet sites only accessible by a specialized web browser. The dark web is used for keeping internet activity anonymous and private, which can aid in both legal and illegal applications. Ask your technology service provider for a dark web scan to see if any personal or business information is present on the dark web. Organizations would benefit from this report by learning how many network accounts are present on the dark web because those accounts could be used to provide a hacker a very quick and easy method to login to a network. Don’t have this service with your technology provider? Contact Anders Technology for a free dark web san.

4. Install an Antivirus

Free antivirus software is easy to find, but not comprehensive or secure enough for business use. Very popular free antivirus vendors have admitted to providing harvested user data to third parties. It’s always a better choice to implement a reputable, robust antivirus software that can more adequately perform security operations like anti-phishing, firewall, tune-up, VPN and web protection. The small fee you’ll pay is a valuable investment in your cybersecurity protection.

5. Complete Software Updates Regularly

Regularly updating your software and patches protects against vulnerabilities and exposed data. Make sure you’re performing consistent updates on Windows, Adobe and all other platforms used. If a vulnerability is made public in a major platform that has been eliminated with a patch, regular updates will ensure this patch is deployed and your data is safe.

These tactics are great ways to get started securing your network, but will only protect against the tip of the iceberg of cybersecurity attacks. Whether you’re looking for supplemental cybersecurity expertise to add to your team, or technology advisors to take care of it all for you, Anders Technology can help you implement cybersecurity best practices to protect you and your organization from evolving threats. Contact an Anders advisor to see how we can help you mitigate security risk and defend against a costly cyberattack.

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