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Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act of 2015

Late last week, Congress passed and the President signed the PATH Act of 2015.  Here are a few highlights: Business Tax Provisions: Permanent increase in IRC Section 179 deduction to $500,000. Deduction begins to phase-out when eligible property exceeds $2,000,000. Research and Development credit now permanent. 15-year straight-line depreciation for qualified retail improvements, qualified...

restaurant buildings and improvements, and qualified leasehold improvements. Exclusion of 100% gain on certain small business stock. Work opportunity tax credit extended through 2019. Bonus depreciation extended through 2019. Deduction for energy-efficient commercial buildings extended through 2016. The 2.3% medical device excise tax will not apply to sales during 2016 and 2017 Individual Tax Provisions: The... [read more]

Fringe Benefits and Changes in Capitalizing Assets

The end of 2015 is quickly approaching! We want to remind you of a few fringe benefit reporting requirements before the end of the year and to inform you of a favorable change to the de minimis safe harbor election for capitalizing assets. Prior to processing the fourth quarter payroll tax returns and preparing...

2015 Form W-2s, you need to calculate taxable fringe benefits. These benefits should be added to wages for the year. Examples of a few of the more common benefits are personal tax preparation fees paid by the corporation or LLC, personal use of Company car, and group term life insurance coverage over $50,000. S Corps have... [read more]

21st Century Taxis – Is Uber Driving for You?

It’s Friday night and all of your “couples” friends are on double dates or home watching HGTV.  So what are you supposed to do?  You’re single, ready to mingle, have a smart phone and, let’s be honest, you’re ready to get down to business.  So you open up that app you downloaded last weekend...

after you had two too many.  You know the one: Uber.  But this time, instead of getting a foggy ride home, you can make a few bucks. Uber claims drivers can make $19 per hour—but don’t quit your day job just yet.  Your pay won’t have federal taxes withheld, so you’ll need to set aside some... [read more]

GRBJ Highlight: Benchmarking the finance department

How efficient is your accounting and finance department? Benchmarking is often used to compare operating results against industry peers to isolate areas for improvement, but what about your accounting and finance department — how are they doing compared to their peers? The Financial Executives Research Foundation (FERF) and Robert Half have released their 2015...

benchmark report providing useful metrics to help answer this question. The benchmarks, based on the survey of 1,400 companies in the United States and Canada from various industries, may validate your current practices or lead you to begin the process toward a more efficient and effective finance department. One interesting topic covered by the report was a... [read more]

When it Comes to Success, You Have to E.A.R.N. I.T.!

“Your level of success will seldom exceed your level of personal development.” – Jim Rohn We all strive for success in the workplace.  However, some of us may feel that opportunities are passing us over.  Why might this be? Chances are that the answer is staring us in the mirror. This is why I...

created a mantra.  The following reflects daily steps to take in order to accomplish your goals.  These steps help to improve the biggest factor of personal success: yourself.  It is not easy; you have to E.A.R.N. I.T! E.A.R.N. I.T.- Exercise In the short term, working out increases blood flow and oxygen to the most important part... [read more]

HIRING Seasonal Tax Preparer

Baker Holtz, an award-winning CPA firm in Downtown Grand Rapids, is adding a highly motivated, experienced seasonal tax preparer to our close-knit, collaborative team.  Baker Holtz is unique – we don’t track and bill time spent serving our clients.  Through constant communication with our clients, we work to discover their objectives and discuss the...

value of our services with them.  This mindset allows our associates to eliminate the stress that comes with timesheets and focus instead on meeting the needs of our clients. Requirements: Full-time 40 hours per week beginning February 1 – April 15 Excellent communication skills both written and oral A demonstrated ability to work independently, prioritize and... [read more]

HIRING Part-time Seasonal Administrative Assistant

Part-time Seasonal Administrative Assistant Downtown Grand Rapids CPA firm is seeking an experienced seasonal administrative assistant.  Skills and qualifications for this position include strong organizational skills and demonstrated ability with MS Office Suite.  The ideal candidate will excel in the areas of customer service, written and verbal communication and attention to detail.  Minimum 2...

years’ experience in a professional office environment is required.  Qualified applicants please e-mail cover letter and resume to For more about the Baker Holtz work environment, see our Careers page. No phone calls please.    

RECAP: The 2015 Baker Holtz Charity Golf Outing

 TEAM – Together Everyone Achieves More Area Businesses Tee-Off to Support a Wonderful Local Cause Ryan Holtz of Baker Holtz CPAs and Advisors delivering a check to Tom Merchant and Kristyn Sterk of Ele’s Place Grand Rapids. The weather was warm and bright two weeks ago when twenty-six teams arrived at Boulder Creek Golf Club in Belmont,...

MI.  Made up of professionals and amateurs alike, these golfers weren’t only enjoying the sunny day – they were also supporting a wonderful cause: Ele’s Place Grand Rapids! After the success of Baker Holtz’s first Charity Golf Outing last year (despite the gale-force rain!), we knew we wanted to repeat the event.  And when the time... [read more]

1031 Exchange – The Basics

The IRS allows taxpayers to defer the payment of Federal taxes on any gain associated with the exchange of property provided the properties are “like-kind” in nature.  These transactions are commonly referred to as “Like-Kind Exchanges” and are governed by Internal Revenue Code Section 1031.  If structured properly, the gain that would have been...

taxed if the transaction was treated as a sale is deferred and potentially taxed when the replacement property is sold in the future.  Below are a few ways to help navigate the requirements as well as planning tips on how to maximize the benefits of this provision. A properly structured 1031 exchange has three separate requirements:... [read more]

GRBJ Highlight: Define Your Success

The staff at Baker Holtz contribute regularly to the Grand Rapids Business Journal blog.  In this article, managing partner Ryan Holtz discusses success and what it means for different people. We are rapidly approaching the end of another year. Was it successful? How will you make next year more successful? More importantly, how do...

you define success? These are questions that we don’t spend enough time addressing. There are a lot of articles and books out there that claim they have the universal definition of success. I’ve learned that everyone’s definition is different, and the one constant is that success is very personal and unique. When talking to “successful” entrepreneurs,... [read more]

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