Category: News

Convincing Reasons to Hire a CPA to Better Manage Your Company’s Finances


When you are busy running your company each day, you sometimes do not have a lot of time to take care of your books. The everyday tasks that go on in your business demand your attention and at the end of the day, you may be in no mood to balance your books.

Neglecting them leaves you in the proverbial dark about how much money you have coming in and going out of your business. By hiring an accountant who specializes in audit services in Madison, WI, you can have your books organized and updated without having to devote time to this job yourself.

Figuring Out Where Money Goes

If it seems that you are always short on cash at the end of the week or month, you have to figure out where it is going. When you hire professionals who provide audit services in Madison, WI, you can have an objective third-party accountant come in and discover what you are spending your money on the most.

The accountant can also uncover incidences of fraud that could potentially rob your business of thousands of dollars each month. With this third party vendor help, you can better control your expenditures, figure out if your spending is out of budget, and cut back on expenses that are robbing you of your cash flow.

Tax Prep Services

The federal government requires you to pay your taxes on a quarterly basis. Your accountant can fill out and submit the proper returns for you. He or she will tell you what your tax bill is so that you can write a check and mail it to the IRS.

A professional accountant who specializes in audit services in Madison, WI, can help you manage your business’s finances. You can outsource tasks like your bookkeeping, manage your expenses, and filing your taxes each quarter.

Why Is It Important to Hire an Accountant?

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If you are a small business owner, especially if you are a recent startup, you may be reluctant to hire an accountant to handle your finances. You may consider it an unnecessary expense, thinking that your company is too small to require the services of a business accountant. However, poor financial management and cash flow problems are among the top reasons cited for entrepreneurial failures. The number of businesses that fail within the first 18 months of operation is 80 percent. Far from being an unnecessary expenditure, it may well be that professional financial services represent an indispensable asset to your company.

Here are some of the top reasons why hiring an accountant is important.

1. Avoid Regulatory Burdens

Regulatory burdens refer to the many filing deadlines that the IRS requires business owners to meet, as well as the penalties and fines imposed for not meeting them. The majority of small business owners cite regulatory tax burdens as one of the biggest challenges to running a company. Accounting professionals can handle these challenges for you and make running your company a little easier.

2. Concentrate on Your Business

You likely started your company because you have a passion. Unfortunately, the day-to-day realities of owning a business may prevent you from focusing on the passion that drives your company. Handing these concerns over to a financial professional allows you to concentrate on the work you set out to do in the first place.

3. Save Money

With an understanding of the ever-changing tax laws, an accountant can help you maximize your deductions and limit the amount of your tax liability. Therefore, the amount you spend on hiring an accounting professional may be outweighed by the savings on your taxes.

You may think that it is cheaper to hire an in-house financial professional than outsource to a business accountant. More often, the opposite is true. When you hire a professional CPA firm, you only pay for the services you receive, whereas if you hire in-house financial staff, you need to pay their salaries plus overhead costs like on-boarding, benefits, payroll taxes, etc.

4. Prevent Fraud

If you’re a small startup, you probably can’t afford a large financial staff, meaning that you may only be able to hire one or two professionals. This puts you at higher risk for fraud due to the lack of separation of duties. CPA firms have experienced business accountants dividing tasks and checking up on one another’s work, meaning the risk of fraud is decreased.

A business accountant is something you shouldn’t try to do without. Contact us at KMA to learn more about accounting services available to owners of companies large and small.

4 Reasons Your Business Can’t Do Without a CFO

outsourced CFO Services Madison WI

Money management is key to keeping your business afloat. If you have zero cost control measures in place, though, or don’t know how to process and handle your company’s financial information, that will impact your revenue. Here’s why you should outsource CFO Services in Madison WI to handle these tasks for you.

Complex transactions

When you run a business and it’s likely that you’ll find yourself dealing with complex financial transactions, then you need help. These transactions will require someone with a higher level of experience and knowledge. Also, if you are going to deal with customers and suppliers as well as banks, shareholders or government regulators, then it’s going to be in your organization’s best interests to hire financial experts at KMA for assistance.

Strategy and decisions

You need to access and monitor the financial performance of your business. That’s going to help you determine a lot of important information that can help you run your business better. For instance, you’ll find out what’s costing you money and where you can save. If you have zero knowledge and experience in this area, then hire financial pros. By paying for CFO Services in Madison WI, you have pros to assess the financial condition of your organization. The data they’ll acquire for you will help you make decisions that impact your budget and revenue as well help you achieve your sales goals.

Financial forecasts

Secure the help of an experienced CFO to help you prepare financial forecasts that you’ll distribute to your shareholders. If you’re looking for potential lenders for funding, then you’ll need to provide these forecasts as well. A CFO can help you put together the documents you need so you can make your shareholders happy or have greater chances of getting your loan application approved.

New activities investment

Your CFO can help you choose activities that you can invest in to generate leads and drive business growth. Whether those plans include expanding your business, using better marketing approaches to boost traffic to your site and more, you can discuss the situation with your CFO expert and find the right solution to your problems.

Get the right person onboard. Hire someone to handle the responsibilities of a CFO for your business. Whether you need help in collecting the accounting data you need or you require financial forecasts of your company, qualified financial experts can help.

5 Reasons for a Business to Make Financial Projections

Financial Projections Madison WI

The process of making financial projections is vital to the health of your business. Reviewing the relevant details to come up with an accurate forecast of upcoming income and expenditures helps you stay on track.

1. Seeing the Big Picture

Before you can start making projections, you will need to gather all the relevant data and review it. This gives you an opportunity to take a step back from the details of managing day-to-day operations and get a wider view of how your business is doing. As a bonus, you will have your records organized and on hand for tax preparation.

2. Setting Metrics for Success

Going through the accounting data helps you see what metrics correlate with getting closer to your organizational goals. Identifying key performance indicators allows you to develop a detailed plan for achieving business objectives.

3. Assessing the Situation

The information you get as you work on your projections lets you take stock of your company’s current status. Is your business on track to meeting goals? Is there consistent underperformance in certain areas? Issues that may otherwise fly under the radar come to light and can be addressed.

4. Handling Future Problems

As you draw up your financial projections, you will also understand potential problems that will likely arise. You can then figure out solutions to these problems and integrate them into your planning. Thus, projections are an important factor that helps steer company strategy.

5. Fine-tuning Strategy

Assessing your company’s current and future financial health has strategic implications. Your projections allow you to see likely outcomes based on current performance. Do these outcomes match your goals? If not, this is an opportunity to strategize a course adjustment for your company.

At KMA, our professionals are available to assist with financial projections, accounting services and more. Learn more about how we can support your business growth by contacting us online or calling (608) 664-1040.

When Should a Startup Hire an Accountant?

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Establishing a startup is an exciting venture. Some of the world’s best innovations have originated from small grassroots teams with a clear vision and dedication. For all of the drive and ambition your startup might have, though, you need to ensure that your bookkeeping is in order, too. Many great companies have been threatened by a failure to keep accounting in order and manage financial record keeping. As a startup, then, when should you hire a professional accountant? The answer is different for every company, but there are a few important factors to take into account when determining the right time to hire an accountant.

Handle Financial Events Appropriately

As your startup is growing out of its incubation phase and revenue continues growing, the stakes of dealing with accounting will continue getting higher. Handling your own accounting internally may be a manageable task when you’re still seeking clients and building your brand, but at a certain point, investing in a professional becomes a necessity. The following financial events are good moments to consider on-boarding an accountant for your startup:

  • Filing a tax return: You will eventually have to file a tax return for your company, and it’s unwise to do so without help from a professional accountant. Even the smallest error on a return can prompt an audit from the IRS, and this is a process you certainly don’t want your new startup to undergo. Trust your company’s tax return to the expertise of an accountant.
  • Establishing a business plan: Once you’ve solidified the general brand, product, and services you intend your startup to focus on, you should write a detailed business plan to give your ideas a trajectory. This is a task that an accountant should be involved in, too, so that you are budgeting funds and projecting profits as effectively as possible.
  • General advising: Keeping an accountant on retainer is often helpful for startups and entrepreneurs venturing into the marketplace for the first time. An accountant can provide general advising and guidance to help you stay on track fiscally.

Enlist Help From a Professional Accountant

As a startup, your success is dependent on the ability to sustain your ideas with solid business practices. Solid business practices demand professional guidance when dealing with fiscal issues, bookkeeping, and any other concern of accounting. Equip your startup to be successful by enlisting help from a professional accounting firm that will help your business grow. Behind every successful startup is a effective team, and every effective business team needs an accountant.

Sidestep Over These Hiring Mistakes When You Look for Tax Preparers

Landing in hot water with the IRS is going to put your business in a bit of a bind. If you want to ward off disasters of this kind, then get help. Look for a firm that handles tax preparation in Madison WI. With expert guidance and help, you can file and pay your taxes with ease.

Before you hire tax services in Madison WI, make sure you avoid the following hiring mistakes.

Being cheap

You want to save on costs. That’s great. But doing so at the expense of finding the right professional is going to put your business in trouble. Don’t take that risk. Instead of looking for the cheapest person to get the job done, start looking for reputable companies that can deliver the solution you need.

Zero credentials

Before you pick a tax service firm, you’ll want to confirm the company’s qualifications and credentials. Check the Better Business Bureau. Is there a ton of complaints against the firm? Then that’s more than enough of a warning for you.

Late start

Tax season doesn’t change. It’s the same time every year. That means you’ve got all the rest of the year to start looking for capable and competent as well as trustworthy tax preparers to help you. If you fail to find the right tax advisor because you ran out of time, then that’s not an acceptable excuse. Start looking for a tax professional way before the deadline. That way, when the time comes, you’ll be ready.

No experience

Don’t take chances with your taxes. A mistake could cost you a lot. That’s why hiring a professional is a must. Don’t let a neighbor’s friend or a contact who dabbles in taxes do all the decisions for you. Find a pro with considerable experience to assist you through the process.

Forgetting about the future

When you pay taxes, you’ll want to keep the bigger picture in mind. Hiring a professional and seasoned CPA can help you since you have someone who can advise you on your decisions. If you plan on filing to turn your organization into a sole-proprietorship business, then your CPA can advise you on the best way to go about it. He can simplify the process so you’ll have a better sense of what’s going to happen, what you can expect and if it’s the right move for you.

Get the right people on board your team. For tax preparation in Madison WI, contact the KMA Accounts and Advisors today.

What Is Outsourced Payroll?

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If you’re used to cashing checks rather than handing them out to employees, you may not be terribly familiar with outsourced payroll. Thankfully, KMA is here to help you have a better understanding of payroll services.

The Steps

When you outsource payrolling, the company will set up its software with you, entering all employee data. For each pay period, the accounting provider will access each employee’s time card data, adding new employees when necessary. All hours worked will be confirmed and designated either “paid” or “unpaid.” Pre- and post-tax deductions will be taken into account, and your employees will receive their pay. Depending on your preferences, pay can be made with direct deposits, pay cards or through physical checks mailed to employees or your business.

Additionally, a provider can pay your business insurance company or vendors for you, giving you one less task to take care of. You should also make sure all taxes and insurance payments related to payroll are handled by the provider.

Reasons to Consider Outsourcing

There’s plenty of software available that allows you to take care of your own commercial accounting tasks. That said, there’s no guarantee the program operates according to the latest tax regulations and laws; you may very well find yourself on the receiving end of a penalty or fine. You also may not be prepared for the time commitment involved with handling payroll. We understand that you want to do everything you can to save money while operating your business, but you could cost yourself more than you realize by choosing to take on this task by yourself. Leave the job to the pros who do this for a living.

There’s no doubt that it’s great for business owners to understand the basics of business accounting, but the fact remains that it’s best to turn to experts. For more info on outsourced payroll services, contact us.


On Friday, December 15, a joint conference committee comprised of House and Senate members released an agreed-upon version of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (the “Act”). The Act provides the most comprehensive update to the tax code since 1986 and includes a number of provisions of particular interest to our private clients.

The Act now goes before the full House and Senate for a vote the week of December 18, 2017, but is widely expected to pass as a result of some last-minute negotiations to secure a projected unanimous GOP vote in the Senate.

As was previously proposed in the earlier Senate bill, individual tax reform is temporary. Unless noted, the provisions discussed below would go into effect on January 1, 2018, and expire on December 31, 2025.

Ordinary Income Tax Rates
The conference agreement replaces the existing tax rate structure, choosing the seven-rate structure previously proposed by the Senate. However, the agreement changed the Senate’s breakpoints for the higher marginal rates and lowered the top marginal tax rate to 37 percent. Further, the agreement does not adopt the House’s proposal to phase out the 12-percent bracket for high income taxpayers.

Long-term Capital Gains and Qualified Dividends
Long-term capital gains and qualified dividends tax rates remain largely unchanged from present law and apply the following rates based on the taxpayer’s taxable income:
Tax Rate Married Filing Jointly and Surviving Spouses Single Head of Household Married Filing Separately Estates & Trusts
0% $0 – $77,200 $0 – $38,600 $0 – $51,700 $0 – $38,600 $0 – $2,600
15% $77,200 – $479,000 $38,600 – $425,800 $51,700 – $452,400 $38,600 – $239,500 $2,600 – $12,700
20% Over $479,000 Over $425,800 Over $452,400 Over $239,500 Over $12,700

Kiddie Tax
The conference agreement calls for a child’s earned income to be taxed at the rates applied to single filers and a child’s net unearned income to generally be taxed at ordinary income and preferential (i.e. capital gains) rates applied to estates and trusts. Accordingly, a child’s income would no longer be taxed at the parents’ rate.

Inflation Adjustments
The breakpoints for the ordinary income, long-term capital gains, and qualified dividends tax brackets would be adjusted in future years for inflation. However, inflation would be measured using the Chained Consumer Price Index (C-CPI), which generally provides a slower inflationary adjustment than the current Consumer Price Index (CPI) measurement. This measurement of inflation is applied for all individual tax inflation adjustments permitted in the Act and would be permanent, not expiring in 2025 with the other individual provisions.

Standard Deduction and Personal Exemptions
The conference agreement increases the standard deduction beginning in 2018 to $24,000 for joint filers, $18,000 head-of-household filers, and $12,000 for all other individual filers. The deduction would be indexed for inflation in future years. The additional standard deduction for the elderly and the blind was retained; the House had previously proposed to repeal the additional deduction.

Further, the conference agreement suspends the deduction for personal exemptions through 2025. The conference agreement, however, retains the $100 and $300 exemptions for complex and simple trusts, respectively, and a $4,150 exemption for qualified disability trusts which is to be adjusted for inflation in future years. The House had previously proposed to repeal the exemption for qualified disability trusts.

Child Tax Credit
The Child Tax Credit would be increased to $2,000 per qualifying child, with up to $1,400 being fully refundable. A qualifying child is a dependent child who is under age 17. The Credit would begin to phase out for joint filers with adjusted gross income exceeding $400,000 and other filers with adjusted gross income exceeding $200,000.

An additional $500 non-refundable credit may be available for other dependents, provided however, that such additional credit is only available to non-citizen dependents if they are a resident of the United States.

Currently, the Child Tax Credit is $1,000 per qualifying child and is nonrefundable. The Child Tax Credit currently phases out for joint filers with adjusted gross income exceeding $110,000.

Adjustments to Income (“Above-the-Line” Deductions)
Moving Expenses
The conference agreement suspends through 2025, the deduction for moving expenses except in the case of a member of the U.S. military who moves pursuant to a military order. Currently, individuals may take an above-the-line deduction for certain unreimbursed moving expenses incurred by reason of relocating for work.

For any divorce or separation agreements entered into after December 31, 2018, the deduction for alimony or separate maintenance payments is repealed. Recipients of alimony or separate maintenance payments will no longer be required to include the alimony payments in their gross income. Under the new provisions, alimony or separate maintenance payments will be treated similar to child support, in that they are not accounted for in the tax system (no deduction and no inclusion). Existing alimony and separate maintenance agreements are grandfathered in as are any modifications to existing agreements unless, however, the parties to a modification expressly provide that the new rules should apply to the modified agreement.

Prenuptial agreements are not grandfathered in and taxpayers may wish to revisit those agreements in light of these new provisions.

Itemized Deductions
Medical Expense
The medical expense deduction threshold would be temporarily lowered to permit a deduction against both the regular tax and alternative minimum tax (AMT) for medical expenses in excess of 7.5-percent of adjusted gross income for all taxpayers itemizing deductions in 2017 and 2018. Currently, the 7.5-percent adjusted gross income threshold is only available for taxpayers over age 65 (younger taxpayers have a 10-percent adjusted gross income threshold) and all taxpayers have a 10-percent of adjusted gross income threshold for AMT purposes.

The sum of the itemized deductions for state and local real property taxes, state and local personal property taxes, and state and local income or sales taxes may not exceed $10,000 ($5,000 for married individuals filing separate returns). The deduction for foreign real property taxes is suspended through 2025. The $10,000 limitation does not apply to foreign income taxes paid or taxes paid or accrued in carrying on a trade or business.

Further, the agreement provides an anti-abuse provision to prevent a deduction in 2017 on the prepayment of state and local income taxes attributable to future years.

Home Mortgage Interest
The itemized deduction for mortgage interest has been reduced to only permit the deduction of interest on acquisition indebtedness not exceeding $750,000 ($375,000 for married filing separate taxpayers) on the taxpayer’s primary or second home. The interest deduction for home equity indebtedness is suspended.

Currently, taxpayers can take a combined acquisition and home equity indebtedness interest expense deduction on $1,100,000 of debt. Debt incurred on or before December 15, 2017, is grandfathered in and subject to the current limitations. Further, taxpayers who entered into a written binding contract before December 15, 2017, to close on the purchase of a principal residence before January 1, 2018, and who purchases such residence before April 1, 2018, are also eligible for the current higher limitations.

Charitable Contributions
The conference agreement makes three modifications to current charitable contribution rules. First, the agreement increases the percentage limitation for cash contributions to public charities from 50-percent of adjusted gross income to 60-percent of adjusted gross income.

Second, the agreement denies a charitable deduction for payments made in exchange for college athletic event seating rights. Currently, taxpayers may deduct 80 percent of amounts paid to an eligible college despite receiving tickets to a collegiate athletic event provided a charitable deduction would have otherwise been allowed had the taxpayer not received event tickets in return.

Finally, the agreement repeals the substantiation exception for certain contributions reported by the charitable organization. Currently, taxpayers are not required to obtain a contemporaneous written acknowledgement of contributions in excess of $250 if the donee organization reports the donation on their return.

The conference agreement failed to adopt the House proposal that the charitable standard mileage rate be adjusted for inflation.

Casualty Losses
The deduction for personal casualty losses is suspended through 2025 except in the case of losses attributable to a Federally declared disaster; provided, however, that taxpayers with a personal casualty loss gain for any taxable year during the suspension period may continue to deduct personal casualty losses not attributable to a Federally declared disaster in an amount equal to no more than the personal casualty loss gain.

Further, the conference agreement contains special casualty loss relief for taxpayers who suffered losses in certain 2016 disasters. Primarily, taxpayers affected by such disasters may be able to take up to a $100,000 disaster distribution from their retirement plan. In addition, casualty losses resulting from such disasters would be deductible if they exceed $500, without application of the 10 percent of adjusted gross income threshold. Such losses may be claimed even by taxpayers who elect the standard deduction.

Miscellaneous Itemized Deductions Subject to the 2 percent Floor
All miscellaneous itemized deductions subject to the 2% adjusted gross income floor have been suspended. This includes the miscellaneous itemized deductions for investment fees and expenses, tax preparation fees, and unreimbursed employee business expenses among others.

Overall Limitation on Itemized Deductions
The overall limitation on itemized deductions enacted in 1990, often called the “Pease limitation” (named after former Congressman Donald Pease) has been repealed through 2025.

Other Provisions
529 Plans
The conference agreement expands the definition of qualified higher education expenses that may be paid from a 529 account to include up to $10,000 of expenses for tuition at an elementary or secondary public, private, or religious school, and certain expenses in connection with a homeschool.

Individual Mandate
The shared responsibility payment for individuals failing to maintain minimum essential health insurance coverage has been reduced to $0 beginning after December 31, 2018.

Like-Kind Exchanges
Beginning after December 31, 2017, nonrecognition of gain from like-kind exchanges would be limited to real property not held primarily for sale. Transitional relief is provided for exchanges where property was either disposed of or received in an exchange on or before December 31, 2017.

Electing Small Business Trusts (ESBTs)
ESBTs are eligible S corporation shareholders and are currently permitted to only have as beneficiaries, individuals or entities that would otherwise be eligible to own S corporation stock directly. A nonresident alien individual is currently an impermissible S corporation shareholder and as such, an impermissible current beneficiary of an ESBT. The conference agreement permits nonresident alien individuals to be a potential current beneficiary of an ESBT.

Further, ESBTs are currently permitted to take a charitable contribution deduction in accordance with the contribution deduction rules of trusts. Unlike individuals, trusts do not have a limitation on their contribution deduction and are prohibited from carrying forward excess contributions. The conference agreement calls for ESBTs to determine their charitable deduction going forward in accordance with the rules applicable to individuals. Accordingly, ESBTs would be subject to the charitable deduction percentage limitations and carryforward provisions that individuals are.

Individual Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT)
The individual alternative minimum tax (AMT) has been retained. However, the exemption amounts have been temporarily increased to $109,400 for joint filers and $70,300 for single filers. The current exemptions are $83,800 and $53,900 for joint and single filers, respectively. The House bill had originally proposed the repeal of the individual AMT. The exemption phase-out thresholds would also be increased to $1,000,000 for joint filers and $500,000 for single filers. The phase-out threshold for estates and trusts would be unchanged. The exemptions and phase-out thresholds are indexed for inflation after 2018.

Estate and Gift Taxes
The lifetime exemption for estate and gift taxes is increased to $10,000,000 as of 2011 (and adjusted forward from there for inflation). As a result, taxpayers making gifts, and the estates of decedents dying in 2018 would have a roughly $11,000,000 basic exclusion amount. The estate, gift, and generation-skipping transfer taxes are not repealed; the House bill would have repealed estate and generation-skipping transfer taxes.

Deduction for Qualified Business Income of Pass-Thru Entities
The conference agreement permits an individual taxpayer, whether they choose to take the standard deduction or to itemize, to deduct 20-percent of their “combined qualified business income” from a partnership, S corporation, or sole proprietorship, subject to a wage limitation that is phased in for joint taxpayers with taxable income exceeding $315,000 and other taxpayers with taxable income exceeding $157,500.

“Combined qualified business income” includes the taxpayer’s qualified trade or business income, qualified real estate investment trust (REIT) dividends and qualified publicly traded partnership income.

Specified service trades and businesses are generally not eligible for the deduction. However, there are exceptions to permit the deduction for engineering and architecture businesses, and small specified service trades and business. Small specified service trades and business begin to phase out of the deduction for joint taxpayers with taxable income exceeding $315,000 and other taxpayers with taxable income exceeding $157,500; joint taxpayers completely phase out of the deduction with $415,000 of taxable income, other taxpayers completely phase out at $207,500 of taxable income.

Estates and trusts are eligible for the 20-percent deduction. The previous Senate proposal would have excluded estates and trusts from eligibility.

Business Losses and Net Operating Losses
Business losses would only be permitted in the current year to the extent they don’t exceed the sum of taxpayer’s gross income and, for joint filers, $500,000 ($250,000 for all other taxpayers). Excess business losses would be disallowed and instead added to the taxpayer’s net operating loss (NOL) carryforward. Currently, suspended passive activity losses are allowed in full upon the taxable disposition of the passive activity.

The conference agreement amends the non-corporate NOL rules to limit deducible NOL carryforwards to the lesser of the carryforward amount or 90-percent (80-percent beginning in 2023) of taxable income determined without regard to the NOL deduction. Taxpayers would no longer be permitted to carryback their net operating losses to the previous two taxable years.

Senate budget reconciliation rules resulted in the expiration of most of the individual provisions, including the pass-thru deduction, after 2025 in order to ensure that the new 21-percent corporate rate could be made permanent.

The change to the C-CPI as the measure of inflation is a permanent change that will ultimately result in a tax increase once the individual provisions of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act expire.

The pass-thru deduction attempts to make the tax rates of pass-thru entities not unusually disparate to the new lower corporate rate. As a result, businesses likely won’t rush to reorganize as corporations in the short-term. However, the anti-abuse provisions in the pass-thru deduction computation and the permanence of the lower corporate rate may prove to make corporations a more attractive form of entity long-term.

Notably, the conference agreement did not include the Senate proposal to require the basis of specified securities be determined on a first-in, first-out basis is not included in the conference report. The Senate had sought to prevent taxpayers from specifically identifying the lot sold in the sale of specified securities. Further, the compromise did not include any amendments to the current residence gain exclusion provisions. Both the House and Senate had proposed changing the use and ownership test to five of the previous eight years and the House had further proposed a phase out of the exclusion for high income taxpayers.

The increase in the estate and gift exemption ensures that fewer taxpayers will be subject to the estate tax. Moreover, the failure of the committee to agree to a repeal of the estate and GST taxes ensures that our traditional estate and gift planning techniques remain relevant for high-net-worth families.