Major Lease Accounting Change

The Financial Accounting Standard Board (FASB)’s lease accounting standard change, Accounting Standards Update (ASU) 2016-02, Leases (Topic 842), presents dramatic changes to the balance sheets of lessees.  The ASU affects all companies and other organizations that lease assets such as real property, airplanes, and manufacturing equipment.

The standard is effective for US Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) public companies for fiscal years, and interim periods within those fiscal years, beginning after December 15, 2018. For private companies (i.e., those not meeting the FASB’s definition of a public business entity), the standard is effective for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2019 and interim periods beginning the following year. Early adoption is permitted. The new standard must be adopted using a modified retrospective transition, and provides for certain practical expedients. Transition will require application of the new guidance at the beginning of the earliest comparative period presented. Early application will be permitted for all organizations.

Under the new guidance, a lessee will be required to recognize assets and liabilities for leases with lease terms of more than 12 months. Consistent with current GAAP, the recognition, measurement, and presentation of expenses and cash flows arising from a lease by a lessee primarily will depend on its classification as a finance or operating lease. However, unlike current GAAP—which requires only capital leases to be recognized on the balance sheet—the new ASU will require both types of leases to be recognized on the balance sheet.

For leases with a term of 12 months or less, a lessee is permitted to make an accounting policy election by class of underlying asset not to recognize lease assets and lease liabilities. If a lessee makes this election, it should recognize lease expense for such leases generally on a straight-line basis over the lease term.

The ASU also will require disclosures to help investors and other financial statement users better understand the amount, timing, and uncertainty of cash flows arising from leases. These disclosures include qualitative and quantitative requirements, providing additional information about the amounts recorded in the financial statements.

The accounting by organizations that own the assets leased by the lessee—also known as lessor accounting—will remain largely unchanged from current GAAP. However, the ASU contains some targeted improvements that are intended to align, where necessary, lessor accounting with the lessee accounting model and with the updated revenue recognition guidance issued in 2014.

Please contact us if you have any questions on how these changes affect your company.

New York State Paid Family Leave

Dean Carter, Patagonia VP and Head of HR – One of the major exponents of the #LeadOnLeave movement

As of January 1, 2018, most employees who work in New York State for private employers are eligible to take Paid Family Leave.

New York’s Paid Family Leave provides job-protected, paid time off so you can:

– bond with a newly born, adopted or fostered child;

– care for a close relative with a serious health condition; or

– assist loved ones when a family member is deployed abroad on active military service.

Employees can continue health insurance while on leave and are guaranteed the same or a comparable job after the leave ends.

Businesses play an important role in implementing Paid Family Leave.

Insurance coverage for Paid Family Leave benefits generally will be added to an employer’s existing disability benefits policy. Paid Family Leave coverage is funded by employee payroll contributions.

Through Paid Family Leave, employers may increase recruitment and retention as eligible employees are guaranteed:

– paid time off for 8 weeks in 2018, increasing to 12 weeks by 2021;

– job protection upon return from Paid Family Leave; and

– continuation of health insurance while out on Paid Family Leave.


Employers’ Responsibilities

– Ensure your company has Paid Family Leave coverage

Most private employers with one or more employees are required to obtain Paid Family Leave insurance. Contact your broker or insurer for information about available policies as well as options for paying your premium (e.g., whether it can be paid semi-annually, annually, or annually on a retrospective basis).

This insurance is generally added to an existing disability insurance policy.

– Inform your employees about Paid Family Leave

Update appropriate written materials distributed to your employees, such as employee handbooks, to include Paid Family Leave information.

If you do not have a handbook, provide written guidance to employees concerning their Paid Family Leave benefits.

– Prepare for employee payroll contributions

Update your payroll processes to collect the employee contributions that pay for this insurance.

It is strongly recommended you notify employees before withholding any contributions.

– Inform ineligible employees about waivers

Identify employees who will not meet the time-worked requirement for and offer them the option to waive coverage.

– Post an employee notice

Your insurance carrier will provide you with a notice to employees (Form PFL-120) stating that you have Paid Family Leave insurance.

Post and maintain this notice in plain view, similar to how the signage for workers’ compensation and disability insurance is displayed.

Attached you can find additional information:


As originally published on:

Final Republican Tax Bill – The Details

Corporate Income Tax

  • Flat tax rate of 21% effective January 1, 2018
  • 100% deduction for qualified property through 2022, then phased down over 5 years.
  • Interest expense deduction limited to 30% of adjusted taxable income if average receipts are greater than $25 Million
  • Alternative minimum tax would be repealed
  • The two-year carryback and 20-year carryforward periods would be eliminated, allowing the NOL to be carried forward indefinitely. The NOL deduction would be limited to 80% of the taxable income.


Business Income tax of Sale-Proprietors, S Corporation, & Partnerships

Deduction equal to 20% of their allocable share of business income

Limitations for S-Corp equal to the lesser of:

  1. 20% of allocable share of business income, or
  2. 50% of share of the W-2 wages of the S-Corp.

Limitations for Real Estate Partnerships equal to the lesser of:

  1. 20% of net income, or
  2. 25% of W-2 wages plus 2.5% of allocable share of the unadjusted basis of the building.


Individual Income Tax

Tax brackets would remain at 7, but the rates would be lower for most brackets including

Rate Single Married filing jointly
10% Up to $9,525 Up to $19,050
12% $9,525–$38.7K $19,050–$77.4K
22% $38.7K–$82.5K $77.4K–$165K
24% $82.5K–$157.5K $165K–$315K
32% $157.5K–$200K $315K–$400K
35% $200K–$500K $400K–$600K
37% Over $500K Over $600K


Standard deduction increases to $12,000 for individuals, $18,000 for head of household and $24,000 for married couples filing jointly.

Personal exemptions will be eliminated.

State and local Tax deduction can be combined with property taxes to reach and not to exceed a total amount of $10,000.

Mortgage Interest can be deducted on the interest paid on the first $750,000 of mortgage debt for a first and second home. No home line of equity can be deducted.

Medical expenses above 7.5 percent of a taxpayer’s adjusted gross income can be deducted for 2017 and 2018; 10% thereafter.

Charitable Contributions still allowed

Other miscellaneous itemized deductions Eliminated

Student Loan Interest can continue to be deducted up to $2,500.

Alimony for divorce or separation instruments executed after December 31, 2018, will no longer be deductible by the payer, nor will it be includible in income of the payee.