Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Doeren Mayhew Hosted Charity Event Benefiting Lighthouse of Oakland County

TROY, MICH. – Doeren Mayhew, a Michigan-based certified public accounting and advisory firm with locations in Troy and Houston, recently hosted an event, “Donuts for Dresses”, to benefit Lighthouse of Oakland County’s CareerDress program. 

“Donuts for Dresses” hosted at the Birmingham Country Club on November 14, brought together local business women to support the non-profit organization’s CareerDress program through a networking clothing drive. Each woman attending the event graciously donated wardrobe items including clothes, shoes, jewelry and purses. 

For nearly 10 years, Lighthouse of Oakland County has assisted thousands of local women join the work force through this program. Providing all of the necessary wardrobe garments for an interview, CareerDress helps 40 to 50 women monthly enter their interviews with confidence and style. 

“The Doeren Mayhew Women’s Initiative Committee strives to promote the advancement of women in the workplace, both internally and externally. Working with CareerDress perfectly aligns with our mission and we are honored to help support their dedication to the community,” says Lisa White, Doeren Mayhew Women’s Initiative Committee co-chair. “We are extremely grateful to all of the attendees for helping us gather hundreds of pieces of clothing, shoes and jewelry to donate to CareerDress this week,” added White.  

“Lighthouse is delighted to have the continued support from the great folks at Doeren Mayhew for our CareerDress program. The donations they collect will help the women we serve secure good paying jobs and a brighter future for themselves and their families,” says John Ziraldo, president and CEO of Lighthouse of Oakland County. 

About CareerDress 
Since 2002, CareerDress has assisted over 3,000 hopeful Oakland County women in need looking to enter the work force. Experienced volunteers style and completely outfit women with interview clothing, shoes, undergarments and a matching hand bag, giving them the confidence they need to succeed. Please visit for more information. 

About Doeren Mayhew 
Founded in 1932, Doeren Mayhew is a leading group of CPAs and trusted advisors who go beyond traditional accounting to help mid-sized businesses grow and prosper. With CPAs in Troy, Michigan, and Houston, Texas, Doeren Mayhew serves industries such as non-profits, manufacturing, construction, financial institutions, health care, service, retail/restaurant, wholesalers/distribution with a full range of accounting, audit, tax, merger and acquisition, and business advisory services. Combining a deeply rooted history with a progressive mindset, the firm offers insight into the business, oversight to ensure best practices and foresight for what’s ahead. Please visit for more information.

Self-employed? Set up a retirement plan by Dec. 31!

If you’re self-employed, you may be able to set up a retirement plan that allows you to make much larger contributions than you could make as an employee. Plus, if you set up one of the following plans by Dec. 31, 2012, you can make deductible 2012 contributions until the 2013 due date of your tax return:

1. Profit-sharing plan. This allows discretionary contributions and flexibility in plan design. The 2012 contribution limit is $50,000 ($55,000 for taxpayers age 50 and older).

2. Defined benefit plan. This plan sets a future pension benefit and then actuarially calculates the contributions needed to attain that benefit. So you may be able to contribute more to a defined benefit plan than to a profit-sharing plan. The maximum future annual benefit toward which 2012 contributions can be made is generally $200,000.

Various caveats and limits apply, so contact us for details while there’s still time to set up a plan for 2012.

Contact Doeren Mayhew for more information. 

Thursday, November 22, 2012

2013 Social Security Wage Base & COLA Increases

The Social Security Administration has announced that the wage base for computing Social Security tax will be $113,700 for 2013 (an increase from $110,100 in 2012). Additionally, cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) increases have been released for Social Security benefits.

Wage Base Increases

The Social Security wage base is the maximum amount of wages (or self-employment earnings) on which Social Security tax (or self-employment tax) is collected. The increase for 2013 represents a 3.27 percent rise from 2012. Reflecting the new wage base, the tax rates and the maximum tax amounts will be as follows:
* Does not include basic Medicare tax or the new 0.9 percent additional Medicare tax on high earners.

Cost of Living Adjustments

Social Security and Social Security Income (SSI) beneficiaries will receive a COLA based on the annual increase in the Consumer Price Index. For 2013, this increase will be 1.7 percent.
For example, for all retired workers, the estimated average monthly Social Security benefit amount payable starting in January 2013 will be $1,261 (an increase from $1,240 before computing the 1.7 percent COLA).

Retirement Earnings Test

An individual under full retirement age may have $1 in Social Security benefits withheld for every $2 earned above an exempt amount. For 2013, the annual exempt amount will be $15,120, up from $14,640 in 2012.
Contact Doeren Mayhew for assistance in understanding how the increased Social Security wage base, COLA increases, and increased earnings test exempt amount may affect your overall tax planning.

Save more tax with donations of appreciated stock

Publicly traded stock and other securities you’ve held more than one year are long-term capital gains property, which can make one of the best charitable gifts. Why? Because you can deduct the current fair market value and avoid the capital gains tax you’d pay if you sold the property.

Donations of long-term capital gains property are subject to tighter deduction limits — 30% of adjusted gross income (AGI) for gifts to public charities, 20% for gifts to nonoperating private foundations. In certain, although limited, circumstances it may be better to deduct your tax basis (generally the amount paid for the stock) rather than the fair market value, because it allows you to take advantage of the higher AGI limits that apply to donations of cash and ordinary-income property (such as stock held one year or less).

Don’t donate stock that’s worth less than your basis. Instead, sell the stock so you can deduct the loss and then donate the cash proceeds to charity.

Contact Doeren Mayhew, a Michigan CPA firm, for more information.