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Ghosting scams may keep your loved ones from resting in peace

February 12, 2020

It’s bad enough that the living have to worry about identity theft. But criminals also exploit the deceased with “ghosting” schemes. These thieves steal the identities of those who’ve died to open credit card and service accounts and obtain loans and tax refunds. Here’s how to prevent fraudsters from taking advantage of your family.

Window of...

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5 best practices when investigating an employee complaint

January 27, 2020

“All complaints will be swiftly and thoroughly investigated.” No doubt this sentence, or something similar, appears in your company’s employee handbook. Unfortunately, there will likely be a time when you’ll have to put those words into action. Whether an employee alleges discrimination or harassment, or reports a coworker for theft or fraud, you’ll need to...

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Has fraud corrupted your supply contracts?

January 14, 2020

If your business solicits bids for goods or service contracts, there’s a risk that employees will solicit or accept kickbacks to favor certain vendors. Or, they might steer a bid to a vendor based on their personal ties to the company’s owner or employees. Here’s how to prevent this unethical — if not illegal — behavior from corrupting your business’s...

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Contemplating fraud litigation? Not without a CPA

January 7, 2020

You may already know how CPAs can help businesses uncover and prevent fraud. But what about when a fraud incident leads to civil litigation? An experienced CPA can help your legal team collect and summarize complex financial documents and reconstruct lost or stolen records. CPAs can also serve as expert witnesses in court.

From investigator to expert witness

As a fraud...

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Defrauded? Prioritize evidence preservation

December 19, 2019

You may suspect that an employee has stolen from your company. But without evidence of a crime, you’ll have a hard time pursuing prosecution. So if you discover a fraud, first call your attorney. Then take immediate steps to preserve the evidence.

Safeguard paper documents

Place any hard documents related to the possible fraud in a safe location that’s accessible...

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Watch out for these 5 business service scams

December 14, 2019

Preventing fraud from costing your company can sometimes seem like a game of whack-a-mole: Squash one scheme and another one pops up. Business service scams are particularly abundant. Fraud perpetrators know that business owners don’t always have time to verify the identities of salespeople or service reps and the legitimacy of their claims.

Your best defense is to refuse to pay...

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What lenders look for in a succession plan

December 10, 2019

Business owners are urged to create succession plans for the good of their families and their employees. But there’s someone else who holds a key interest in the longevity of your company: Your lender.

If you want to maintain a clear path to acquiring the working capital your business may need after you’ve stepped down, it’s important to keep your lender apprised of...

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Bad romance: Your online “match” may be a fraudster

December 1, 2019

According to various estimates, approximately 25% to 30% of online dating accounts involve scammers. Therefore, if you maintain a dating platform account, you need to know that a significant portion of accounts — including possible “matches” that contact you — belong to fraud perpetrators. Here’s something else you should know: The dating app provider may be...

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Forget cybercrime — “creepers” are an old-school threat to your business

November 14, 2019

If you devote all your business’s security resources to fending off hackers and other cybercriminals, you may be unlocking the door, literally, to more basic types of theft. “Creepers” are criminals who gain access to offices or other physical facilities via unlocked doors and social engineering tactics. Once in, they steal proprietary information, inventory, computers...

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At the very least, update the financials in your business plan

November 4, 2019

Every new company should launch with a business plan and keep it updated. Generally, such a plan will comprise six sections: executive summary, business description, industry and marketing analysis, management team description, implementation plan, and financials. Now, ideally, you would comprehensively update each section every year. But if the size, shape and objectives of your company...

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Accelerate depreciation deductions with a cost segregation study

October 28, 2019

Is your business depreciating over a 30-year period the entire cost of constructing the building that houses your operation? If so, you should consider a cost segregation study. It may allow you to accelerate depreciation deductions on certain items, thereby reducing taxes and boosting cash flow. And under current law, the potential benefits of a cost segregation study are now even greater...

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Understanding and controlling the unemployment tax costs of your business

October 23, 2019


As an employer, you must pay federal unemployment (FUTA) tax on amounts up to $7,000 paid to each employee as wages during the calendar year. The rate of tax imposed is 6% but can be reduced by a credit (described below). Most employers end up paying an effective FUTA tax rate of 0.6%. An employer taxed at a 6% rate would pay FUTA tax of $420 for each employee who earned at least $7,000...

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Understanding and controlling the unemployment tax costs of your business

October 15, 2019

As an employer, you must pay federal unemployment (FUTA) tax on amounts up to $7,000 paid to each employee as wages during the calendar year. The rate of tax imposed is 6% but can be reduced by a credit (described below). Most employers end up paying an effective FUTA tax rate of 0.6%. An employer taxed at a 6% rate would pay FUTA tax of $420 for each employee who earned at least $7,000 per...

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How to treat your business website costs for tax purposes

October 2, 2019

These days, most businesses need a website to remain competitive. It’s an easy decision to set one up and maintain it. But determining the proper tax treatment for the costs involved in developing a website isn’t so easy.

That’s because the IRS hasn’t released any official guidance on these costs yet. Consequently, you must apply existing guidance on other...

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Why affinity fraud is particularly heinous

October 2, 2019

Affinity fraud — where perpetrators exploit connections of race, religion, age, politics and profession — is one of the cruelest forms of criminal deception. Fraudsters often belong to the groups they target and, in addition to stealing money, weaken the bonds within communities.

Affects individuals and businesses

Affinity fraud targets individuals. But it can also...

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How dirty money can sully real estate transactions

September 23, 2019

Money laundering is the process by which criminals transform their ill-gotten gains into legitimate-looking funds. It’s widespread and wide-reaching, making it a significant corrupting influence on financial systems, governments and certain professionals.

Criminals use many different types of businesses to “wash” their dirty money, but some are more useful than...

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Health care fraud still stings Americans

September 3, 2019

Even if you haven’t heard much about it lately, know this: Health care fraud is alive and well in the United States. Here’s a roundup of recent stats, law enforcement initiatives, common fraud schemes and how you can help prevent these crimes. 

Just the facts

During fiscal year (FY) 2018, the Health Care Fraud and Abuse Control Program (a government initiative...

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Should you elect S corporation status?

August 26, 2019

Operating a business as an S corporation may provide many advantages, including limited liability for owners and no double taxation (at least at the federal level). Self-employed people may also be able to lower their exposure to Social Security and Medicare taxes if they structure their businesses as S corps for federal tax purposes. But not all businesses are eligible — and with...

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Pump-and-dump schemes: Don’t believe the hype

August 19, 2019

When the value of a stock skyrockets, its investors may think they’ve hit the jackpot. But if the stock in question is part of a “pump-and-dump” scheme, investors may, in fact, lose their shirts. Here’s how to avoid getting taken by this type of investment fraud.

A penny for your stocks

In the typical pump-and-dump scam, a fraud perpetrator buys shares...

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What to do if your business receives a “no-match” letter

August 12, 2019

In the past few months, many businesses and employers nationwide have received “no-match” letters from the Social Security Administration (SSA). The purpose of these letters is to alert employers if there’s a discrepancy between the agency’s files and data reported on W-2 forms, which are given to employees and filed with the IRS. Specifically, they point out that an...

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To be effective, you can’t fight fraud passively

August 7, 2019

When it comes to reducing fraud loss and duration, active detection methods (such as surprise audits or data monitoring) are far more effective than passive methods (such as confessions or notification by police). This was a major finding of the latest Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) Report to the Nations: 2018 Global Study on Occupational Fraud and...

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Why your phone may be a fraud risk

August 1, 2019

As more people use mobile phones, more fraud perpetrators target these devices. According to Javelin Strategy & Research, between 2017 and 2018 the number of fraudulent mobile-phone accounts opened grew by 78%. Schemes in which thieves open a phone account in your name and use it to access your bank account, sign up for credit cards and gain access to personal information are only some of...

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Businesses can utilize the same information IRS auditors use to examine tax returns

July 29, 2019

The IRS uses Audit Techniques Guides (ATGs) to help IRS examiners get ready for audits. Your business can use the same guides to gain insight into what the IRS is looking for in terms of compliance with tax laws and regulations.

Many ATGs target specific industries or businesses, such as construction, aerospace, art galleries, child care providers and veterinary medicine. Others...

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It’s a good time to buy business equipment and other depreciable property

July 15, 2019

There’s good news about the Section 179 depreciation deduction for business property. The election has long provided a tax windfall to businesses, enabling them to claim immediate deductions for qualified assets, instead of taking depreciation deductions over time. And it was increased and expanded by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA).

Even better, the Sec. 179 deduction...

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The greatest corporate espionage risk is internal

July 12, 2019

It’s a federal crime to steal trade secrets, but that doesn’t stop thieves from successfully making off with billions of dollars in intellectual property (IP) annually. Companies may work hard to prevent outsiders from infiltrating their organizations, yet the greater danger is generally internal. Here’s how to identify your business’s corporate espionage...

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M&A transactions: Avoid surprises from the IRS

July 8, 2019

If you’re considering buying or selling a business — or you’re in the process of a merger or acquisition — it’s important that both parties report the transaction to the IRS in the same way. Otherwise, you may increase your chances of being audited.

If a sale involves business assets (as opposed to stock or ownership interests), the buyer and the seller...

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A refresher on major tax law changes for small-business owners

July 1, 2019

The dawning of 2019 means the 2018 income tax filing season will soon be upon us. After year end, it’s generally too late to take action to reduce 2018 taxes. Business owners may, therefore, want to shift their focus to assessing whether they’ll likely owe taxes or get a refund when they file their returns this spring, so they can plan accordingly.

With the biggest tax law...

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Which entity is most suitable for your new or existing business?

June 24, 2019

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) has changed the landscape for business taxpayers. That’s because the law introduced a flat 21% federal income tax rate for C corporations. Under prior law, profitable C corporations paid up to 35%.

The TCJA also cut individual income tax rates, which apply to sole proprietorships and pass-through entities, including partnerships, S corporations,...

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2019 Q3 tax calendar: Key deadlines for businesses and other employers

June 19, 2019

Here are some of the key tax-related deadlines affecting businesses and other employers during the third quarter of 2019. Keep in mind that this list isn’t all-inclusive, so there may be additional deadlines that apply to you. Contact us to ensure you’re meeting all applicable deadlines and to learn more about the filing requirements.

July 31

Report income tax...

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Employers: Be aware (or beware) of a harsh payroll tax penalty

June 11, 2019

If federal income tax and employment taxes (including Social Security) are withheld from employees’ paychecks and not handed over to the IRS, a harsh penalty can be imposed. To make matters worse, the penalty can be assessed personally against a “responsible individual.”

If a business makes payroll tax payments late, there are escalating penalties. And if...

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When employees aren’t on your side

May 30, 2019

One of the governing principles of the employee/employer relationship is that employees have a fiduciary duty to act in their employer’s interests. An employee’s undisclosed conflict of interest can be a serious breach of this duty. In fact, when conflicts of interest exist, companies often suffer financial consequences.

Ignorance isn’t bliss

Here’s a...

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A refresher on major tax law changes for small-business owners

May 28, 2019

The dawning of 2019 means the 2018 income tax filing season will soon be upon us. After year end, it’s generally too late to take action to reduce 2018 taxes. Business owners may, therefore, want to shift their focus to assessing whether they’ll likely owe taxes or get a refund when they file their returns this spring, so they can plan accordingly.

With the biggest tax law...

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Consider a Roth 401(k) plan — and make sure employees use it

May 27, 2019

Roth 401(k) accounts have been around for 13 years now. Studies show that more employers are offering them each year. A recent study by the Plan Sponsor Council of America (PSCA) found that Roth 401(k)s are now available at 70% of employer plans, up from 55.6% of plans in 2016.

However, despite the prevalence of employers offering Roth 401(k)s, most employees aren’t choosing to...

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What type of expenses can be written off by your business

May 25, 2019


If you read the Internal Revenue Code (and you probably don’t want to!), you may be surprised to find that most business deductions aren’t specifically listed. It doesn’t explicitly state that you can deduct office supplies and certain other expenses.

Some expenses are detailed in the tax code, but the general rule is contained in the first sentence of Section...

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Hire your children this summer: Everyone Wins

May 21, 2019

 If you’re a business owner and you hire your children (or grandchildren) this summer, you can obtain tax breaks and other nontax benefits. The kids can gain on-the-job experience, save for college and learn how to manage money. And you may be able to:

Shift your high-taxed income into tax-free or low-taxed income,
Realize payroll tax savings (depending on the...

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5 ways to prevent fraud in your law firm

May 15, 2019

 Because they foster a collegial, trusting environment, law firms can be more vulnerable to fraud than many other types of businesses. Enforcing internal controls may simply seem unnecessary in an office of professionals dedicated to the law. Unfortunately, occupational thieves can take advantage of such complacency.

A law firm’s accounting department — payroll and...

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Fraud fact: Crooks prefer cash

May 10, 2019

It should come as no surprise that cash is the most popular target of fraud perpetrators. After all, once stolen, cash itself is virtually untraceable. But that doesn’t mean forensic accounting professionals can’t unearth cash fraud schemes — and the crooks behind them.

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Our New Website!

March 1, 2019

Thomas Perry Davis, LLC is excited to announce the recent launch of our firm’s new website. We’ve been working very hard to enhance our website and give our firm a fresh look. We’ve also continued to research and identify the latest and greatest technologies to improve the services we provide and ensure we continue to meet your needs.

Take a moment to look around our...

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