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    Important Industry News & Helpful Tips

Welcome to GJM, Maggie

The GJM family has grown in 2019, with a number of new staff members joining the firm. That includes Tax Associate Maggie Kelly, who spent time at GJM during her internship. Here’s a Q&A that offers you the chance to get to know Maggie a bit better as she settles in at the firm.

Describe your role at GJM – Performing individual, business, and nonprofit returns.

When did you start employment at GJM – September 2019.

Why did you choose the accounting industry – In my freshman year of college, I learned that accounting is the language of business. Since then, I knew accounting would be an important part of my life regardless of what business route I pursued. The more accounting classes I took, the more interested I became in the methodology, problem solving, and interpersonal communication that take place in the field.

Why did you specifically decide that GJM was a good fit for you? The culture was so welcoming, and the people here are excited and positive, even during busy season! This was so different than previous accounting firms I had interacted with, and immediately grabbed my attention.

Are you from the Toledo area originally? If not, where are you from? I am a born and raised Toledoan!

What do you like about living in Northwest Ohio? My family lives here, and most of the people from the Toledo area are really proud of the improvements Toledo has made.

Where did you go to school? The University of Toledo

Would you like to share any info on family, pets, etc.? I have a mini-goldendoodle, Bowie, named after one of my favorite musicians, David Bowie.

How do you like to spend your free time? I like to look for lucky stones and sea glass at Lake Erie whenever I have the time.

Are you involved in any community organizations, do any volunteer work? Is there a particular cause you feel strongly about? If so, why? I volunteer at St. Paul’s Community Center in Toledo which focuses on helping those in need and providing skills and nourishment to those in the Toledo community.

Favorite song or music? I love anything 80s, but my favorite song is Under Pressure by David Bowie.

Favorite book or movie? My favorite movie is 50 First Dates.

What is something people may be surprised to find out about you? I have an identical twin sister, and we are also mirrored twins. That means if we stood in front of eachother it would be like looking in a mirror. For example, one of us is left-handed, the other is right-handed.

Anything else you’d like to add? I’m ecstatic to be back!

Welcome News for Contractors

By the very nature of the construction industry, contracting businesses constantly move to new job sites, often criss-crossing the state of Ohio. That can get complicated when it comes to tax filing. But, not so much anymore. This video explains in simple terms what's different.

Gilmore Jasion Mahler CPA Mary Jo Pitzen is a member of the firm's Construction Specialist Team. She provides general business consulting and strategic tax planning to many of the firm's contracting clients.

Established in 1996, Gilmore Jasion Mahler, LTD (GJM) is the largest public accounting firm in Northwest Ohio, with offices in Maumee and Findlay. Locally owned, GJM offers cloud-based accounting and provides comprehensive services including assurance, business advisory, tax, risk advisory, healthcare management and outsourced accounting. The Firm's professionals specialize in industries including construction & real estate, healthcare, manufacturing & distribution and utilities.

The Easy Way to Avoid the Gift Tax

A financial gift can be a big help, but its important to know the tax impact. When does the gift tax apply, what is it, and who pays it?

GJM CPA Charlie Heid tackled the topic in his monthly appearance on WTOL Your Day. 

The gift tax is a tax on money or property that one living person gives to another. Probably the most important thing to know when it comes to the gift tax is the dollar figure $15,000. For 2019 that’s the annual exclusion amount… in other words that’s the amount of money you can gift to a single recipient without having to report the gift. If you stay at or below that threshold, you’re not required to file a gift tax form 709 to the IRS. If you go over that $15,000 you need to file a form and you’re eating into your annual lifetime exemption.

That annual exclusion is per recipient. So, say for example that you have three kids, and they are all buying their first homes this year, you could gift each one of them $15,000 to help with their down payments without incurring the gift tax or having to file the form.

The gift tax applies if you’re gifting to your children or any other family members or friends. But there’s an exception: your spouse.  

Here’s where the gift tax doesn’t apply:

  • A financial gift to your spouse
  • If you’re paying tuition or medical expenses directly to a hospital or school for another person
  • A gift to a political organization for its use
  • A gift to charity

The person who is doing the gifting is the one to assume the tax impact, if there is one. The recipient of the gift doesn’t owe any tax.

Good tax planning strategies can help you avoid paying the gift tax. First and foremost, don’t go over that $15,000 limit in gifting to any one person during the tax year.

If you’re married, you can essentially double the amount you can gift to $30,000 with no tax impact… because one $15,000 gift could come from you and another $15,000 gift could come from your spouse.

Another strategy is to spread the gift out over a couple of tax years. For example, if you want to give your daughter $25,000 at the holidays, you can do it in two separate checks… one in December for $15,000 and then another check after the New Year for $10,000 for a total of $25,000. That way the gifts will apply to different tax years. 

If you exceed the $15,000 limit in one tax year, you would have to file a gift tax return, or a Form 709 to the IRS, but more than likely you won’t have to pay any gift tax because we all have a lifetime exemption we can “eat into” before having to pay any tax. $11.4 million is the lifetime exemption for 2019. That’s the amount of value in money and property that each US citizen can give away during their lifetime. 

CPA Charlie Heid is a partner specializing in tax services who joined Gilmore Jasion Mahler in 2002. He serves clients across many industries, with a focus on manufacturing & distribution. Charlie appears monthly on WTOL-TV to discuss tax and money issues.

Established in 1996, Gilmore Jasion Mahler, LTD (GJM) is the largest public accounting firm in Northwest Ohio, with offices in Maumee and Findlay. Locally owned, GJM offers cloud-based accounting and provides comprehensive services including assurance, business advisory, tax, risk advisory, healthcare management and outsourced accounting. The Firm’s professionals specialize in industries including construction & real estate, healthcare, manufacturing & distribution and utilities.

Business & Succession Planning

You've worked hard to build your business, but there is a critical piece you can't ignore. What happens once you retire? Thinking you have an idea of how it will go isn't the same as coming up with an official strategic plan for the future. Experts say most business owners know how important it is to have a succession plan, but few actually have one in place. Gilmore Jasion Mahler partner Deanna Hall says she is having this important discussion right now with many of her clients.

 

Deanna Hall is a tax partner with Gilmore Jasion Mahler who advises many businesses on tax strategy and other critical business decisions. Her area of specialty is manufacturing & distribution.

Established in 1996, Gilmore Jasion Mahler, LTD (GJM) is the largest public accounting firm in Northwest Ohio, with offices in Maumee and Findlay. Locally owned, GJM offers cloud-based accounting and provides comprehensive services including assurance, business advisory, tax, risk advisory, healthcare management and outsourced accounting. The Firm's professionals specialize in industries including construction & real estate, healthcare, manufacturing & distribution and utilities.

Get More Out of Your Health Savings Account

Health Savings AccountMillions of Americans use a health savings account, or HSA, to save for medical costs. But, are you getting the most out of your HSA? Gilmore Jasion Mahler CPA Charlie Heid recently tackled the topic in his monthly appearance on WTOL-TV.

The HSA or health savings account is a way to save money for medical expenses for people who have health coverage through a high deductible health plan.

You can pay for things like:

  • Doctor’s visits & copays
  • Surgery
  • Dental work
  • Flu shots

Unlike a flexible spending account, or FSA, which some people may get confused with an HSA, the HSA balance rolls over from year to year, and if you change jobs you can take your HSA with you.

Health savings accounts are referred to as a triple-tax free way to save… and here’s what that means:

  1. Your money goes into the account before its taxed
  2. It grows in the account tax deferred
  3. You can withdraw the money tax-free to pay for medical expenses

But there’s another benefit of the HSA that many people may not be aware of: when you turn 65 the HSA works like a traditional IRA. At 65 and older you can take money out and use it for whatever you want (not just medical expenses), though you would have to pay taxes on it when you do. But, you can still use that money tax-free for medical expenses in retirement.

There are some limits to what you can put into an HSA on an annual basis. They’ve actually gone up a bit in 2019 from 2018. A single person can put in up to $3,500 a year and a family can put in up to $7,000 per year.

If you’re 55 or older you can put in an extra $1,000 as a so-called catch-up contribution. That’s to help people who are nearing retirement age who feel they haven’t saved enough.

HSAs can be a powerful tool in saving for retirement. They can actually be invested in mutual funds to grow even further. If you do automatic payroll deduction for your HSA, unlike your 401(k) or IRA, that money isn’t subject to a federal income tax known as FICA, or the Federal Insurance Contributions Act, which goes toward Social Security and Medicare.

If you invest your HSA balance, be aware that some organizations can charge pretty big fees and some also have a required minimum balance before you’re allowed to invest.  

Some other things to keep in mind:

  • If you do invest your HSA, be sure to consult an expert so that you invest wisely
  • You can change the amount of your HSA contribution whenever you want, as long as you don’t go over the annual contribution limit
  • You need to keep receipts so that, if need be, you can prove that the medical expenses meet IRS requirements
  • Finally, other people can contribute to your health savings account. You can contribute separately from your payroll deduction. Your employer, family members or anyone else can also contribute as long as you stay below the annual contribution limit

CPA Charlie Heid is a partner specializing in tax services. He has been with Gilmore Jasion Mahler for 17 years and appears monthly on WTOL 11 Your Day to cover tax and money topics.

Established in 1996, Gilmore Jasion Mahler, LTD (GJM) is the largest public accounting firm in Northwest Ohio, with offices in Maumee and Findlay. Locally owned, GJM offers cloud-based accounting and provides comprehensive services including assurance, business advisory, tax, risk advisory, healthcare management and outsourced accounting. The Firm’s professionals specialize in industries including construction & real estate, healthcare, manufacturing & distribution and utilities.