Your nonprofit may have an internal controls gap

The typical defrauded not-for-profit loses $75,000 per fraud incident, according to the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners. And that doesn’t account for the negative publicity and subsequent lost donations and support that often follow fraud. Although no preventive measure is 100% effective, strong internal controls can greatly reduce the risk that a crooked staffer or outside criminal will find gaps in your fortress.

Want to find out what IRS auditors know about your business industry?

In order to prepare for a business audit, an IRS examiner generally does research about the specific industry and issues on the taxpayer’s return. Examiners may use IRS “Audit Techniques Guides (ATGs).” A little-known secret is that these guides are available to the public on the IRS website. In other words, 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. 

Put some muscle behind your nonprofit’s capacity-building effort

Economic instability caused by the pandemic may have your nonprofit scrambling to find funding. But just as important is making internal adjustments that build your nonprofit’s capacity to fulfill its long-term mission. However, you may want to tweak the standard capacity-building process.

ABLE accounts may help disabled or blind family members

There may be a tax-advantaged way for people to save for the needs of family members with disabilities — without having them lose eligibility for government benefits to which they’re entitled. It can be done though an Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) account, which is a tax-free account that can be used for disability-related expenses.

Reaping the benefits of cause marketing

Starbucks, Nike, Pepsi, Uber and scores of other major companies regularly use cause marketing to burnish their image and reach customers. The not-for-profit organizations that partner with these companies can reap multiple benefits, including financial support and raised awareness of their mission. Cause marketing can take many forms, so it’s important to find both the partner and form that match your nonprofit.

Possible tax consequences of guaranteeing a loan to your corporation

What if you decide to, or are asked to, guarantee a loan to your corporation? Before agreeing to act as a guarantor, endorser or indemnitor of a debt obligation of your closely held corporation, be aware of the possible tax consequences. If your corporation defaults on the loan and you’re required to pay principal or interest under the guarantee agreement, you don’t want to be blindsided.

Scholarships are usually tax free but they may result in taxable income

If your child is fortunate enough to be awarded a scholarship, you may wonder about the tax implications. Fortunately, scholarships (and fellowships) are generally tax free for students at elementary, middle and high schools, as well as those attending college, graduate school or accredited vocational schools. It doesn’t matter if the scholarship makes a direct payment to the individual or reduces tuition.