January is the known for its cold days, but when it comes to tax season, things are just heating up.
That’s especially true with the tax reform that was voted into law in December. At Nicholas and Jones and
Nicholas, Jones & Company, PLC have received questions galore from their customers about what the reform means for them.
“I think we have certainly had a lot of questions about that,” partner David Jones said. “We are still digesting it ourselves. The last two of three weeks of December was pretty involved. When we plan like that (year-end tax planning) it was the end of the year for 2017 but we also look at 2018 and 2019. How is that going to affect what we do on those years, not knowing what the rules are going to be?”
Jones said that the last nine days of the year, the group was cautious to give out advice because of the rules changes coming in 2018.
“Simplification is not a word I’d use for it,” Jones said. “I think it will help certain folks. I think some folks are more going to break even. We still haven’t quite got a feel for reduction in itemized deductions. Real estate taxes and personal property taxes limit on those now. They also removed the miscellaneous deductions completely.”
Partner Richard Colvin said that navigating the information that has been released through the media has also been difficult.
“The media put the big blips out there, your standard reduction doubles but I never heard about the two percent miscellaneous deductions going away,” Colvin said.
Those deductions impact people who file itemized reports, leading many to question if they should just file a standard deduction.
“Some will go to standard deduction, if you’re filing married joint that’s $24,000,” Jones said. “You lose your personal exemptions.”
It all leads to a time of uncertaintly until more information can be discovered.
“Rates were reduced somewhat, whether that’s a good enough offset, we’re not sure until we are able to run some scenarios,” Jones said.
The reform sent shockwaves throughout their clients as they received many calls asking what they should do.
“When it came out, I got a lot of phone calls about wanting to go to a corporation,” Colvin said.
“It really does affect everybody,” Jones said. “Either through higher standard deductions, or if you have children there are potential higher child tax credits.”
Real estate interest, state income tax and personal property taxes can still be deducted, but only up to $10,000.
About Nicholas, Jones & Company
Nicholas, Jones & Company, PLC (NJC), a certified public accounting firm in Culpeper, started in 1973 as Young, Nicholas, Mills and Company(YNM) in Harrisonburg, with Jack Nicholas as one of its founding partners. On Sept. 1, 1975, YNM opened its Culpeper office, and in 1985, Jones joined the firm. Jones became a partner in 1997 and the firm became Young, Nicholas, Branner & Phillips, LLP (YNBP). Nicholas and Jones established NJC as an independent firm in January 2012. In January 2016, Jack Nicholas retired and Richard Colvin became a partner of the firm.
The firm is celebrating its sixth anniversary and Jones notes they’ve grown every year.
The staff has increased from nine to 13, including four CPAs, two enrolled agents, four accountants, one bookkeeper and two administrative personnel.
“We’ve grown every year, from the transfer over in 2012,” Jones said. “We’ve grown organically, we also purchased a couple small practices. We’ve taken on some staff that had various connections in the community.”
Bookkeeping has grown, as more companies want Nicholas & Jones to be able to have their information throughout the year.
“Nationwide our industry is changing somewhat, with the advent of technology,” Jones said. “We’re trying to keep up with it and stay a step ahead if we can. We’re changing our bookkeeping services, that has increased. That’s one of the areas in the industry across the country is becoming a larger part of CPA firms.”
NJC is a full-service CPA firm, providing services to individuals, small and large businesses in a wide range of industries, not-for-profit organizations, trusts and estates. Tax services include income tax planning and preparation, payroll services, and other business tax issues. NJC offers financial statement preparations as well as audits, reviews and compilations, court accountings for trusts and estates, and bookkeeping services to clients. Business consulting and planning as well as accounting software assistance are also key services offered by the knowledgeable members of the NJC team.
The company works with man nonprofits in the community and gives back to several charities.
“We’ve been pretty active with a lot of nonprofits,” Jones said. “We’re involved with helping start the Powell WEllness center. It’s very important to us because for a lot of our clients it’s what they do. This community is important to us so we want to give back as much as we can. Culpeper is one of the most generous communities.”