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Microchip credit card reader, EMVDoes your business accept credit cards? You may already know of the recent update to a new style of cards embedded with microchips. This new technology, also known as EMV (for Europay, MasterCard, Visa), makes credit card fraud more difficult. Your business is not required to move to the new technology to process these cards. But you should be aware that as of October 1, 2015, your business is responsible for some fraudulent transactions that were previously covered by the cardholder's bank. 

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Young employee enrolling in 401k plan

Many employers with long-established 401(k) plans hesitate to add automatic enrollment. (Under an “auto-enroll” feature, eligible participants automatically join the plan unless they affirmatively elect otherwise.) Employers’ hesitation may arise from unfamiliarity or just a reluctance to rock the boat. Yet there are several good reasons to “bother” with auto-enroll:

Broader participation. First and foremost, many statistical studies over the years have shown that auto-enroll boosts plan participation. This, in turn, increases a 401(k)’s value to both your organization and its staff. It can also improve retention — especially if you match contributions.

Boosted productivity. Higher participation means more employees are funding their retirements. Therefore, they’re more likely to retire rather than stay on the job indefinitely to pay living expenses. A dynamic workforce tends to be more productive than a stagnant one.

Better bargaining. The greater the participation rate and dollars in the plan, the more leverage employers have to negotiate with service providers. So auto-enroll can simply lead to a better 401(k).

Converting to auto-enroll does entail some work. You’ll need to adopt a written plan document, arrange a trust for the plan’s assets, potentially upgrade your recordkeeping system and formally give notice to employees about the change. Interested? Please let us know how we can help you further consider auto-enroll and undertake the process of adding it to your 401(k).

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Family business succession planning meeting. Father, son and daughter business people.

It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking about a succession plan as being about only two people: you and your successor. But a truly graceful passing of the baton to the next leader hinges on total staff buy-in — or, at least, acceptance. Getting managers and key employees involved in the planning can help you garner that buy-in and, ultimately, ensure a successful transition.

Remember: Misinformation, rumors, threats about quitting or refusals to support the new boss are often inevitable in a succession. To help keep potential sources of conflict in check, identify stakeholders who may have strong concerns about the next leader or the succession planning process itself. Then work out problems with them early on. You may want to start with the easiest of the bunch and work your way up to the individual who appears most dead-set in his or her opposition.

In reality, a succession plan isn’t just a plan — it’s actions as well. Please contact us for help devising the best approach and executing it every step of the way.

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Business man doing year-end tax planning for depreciation

Year-end tax planning for businesses often focuses on acquiring equipment, machinery, vehicles or other qualifying assets to take advantage of enhanced depreciation tax breaks. Unfortunately, two “classic” depreciation breaks expired on December 31, 2014:

1. Enhanced Section 179 expensing election. Before 2015, Sec. 179 permitted companies to immediately deduct, rather than depreciate, up to $500,000 in qualified new or used assets. The deduction was phased out, on a dollar-for-dollar basis, to the extent qualified asset purchases for the year exceeded $2 million. Because Congress hasn’t extended the enhanced election beyond 2014, these limits have dropped to only $25,000 and $200,000, respectively.

2. 50% bonus depreciation. This provision allowed businesses to claim an additional first-year depreciation deduction equal to 50% of qualified asset costs. Bonus depreciation generally was available for new (not used) tangible assets with a recovery period of 20 years or less, as well as for off-the-shelf software. Currently, it’s unavailable for 2015 (with limited exceptions).

Lawmakers may restore these breaks retroactively to the beginning of 2015. If they do, quick action may be needed to take maximum advantage. Qualifying assets will have to be purchased and placed in service by December 31. Please check back with us for the latest details.


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Join Jim Selsor on Wednesday, November 4 for a discussion about transitioning family-owned businesses to the next generation.  To register, please visit

We are proud to recognize our dedicated staff and announce the following accomplishments and promotions. 

Diane Urban CPA  has been promoted to Manager.

Diane Urban started her career at Gunnip in 2005 and is in our Accounting & Auditing and Entrepreneurial Services departments. She enjoys working closely with individuals, business owners, and their advisors.  She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from the University of Delaware, and is a Quickbooks Certified ProAdvisor.  In 2014, Diane was selected by the Delaware Business Times as a “40 Under 40” award recipient.

John Mraz CPA and Alex Masciantonio have been promoted to Supervisor.

John Mraz is a lifelong resident of Wilmington and graduate of the University of Delaware.  John has been at Gunnip & Company since 2007, serving in the firm’s Special Purpose Entity and Tax divisions before joining the Audit Department in 2012.

Alex Masciantonio received a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting from West Chester University. He earned a Masters of Tax in 2014 from the Florida Atlanta University. Alex celebrated his fourth anniversary with the firm in January and works in the firm’s Tax department.

Jackie Doody, Amy Henretty, Josh Hyman and Oliver Reid have each been promoted to Senior Accountant.

Jackie Doody is a Senior Accountant in our Accounting & Auditing and Entrepreneurial Services departments and specializes in audits of employee benefit plans Small Business Accounting. Jackie received a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting from the University of Delaware in 2012 and her CPA license in 2014.

Amy Henretty is a Senior Accountant in our Tax department. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting from the University of Delaware and is currently attending Villanova working towards a Masters in Taxation. She received her CPA license in 2014.  She will celebrate her second anniversary with the firm in June.  She currently resides in Wilmington, DE.

Josh Hyman received a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting from the University of Delaware and will celebrate his first anniversary in October.  Josh started as an intern with the firm in the summer of 2012 and returned to Gunnip in 2014.  He is currently working on his CPA designation, and works in the firm's Accounting & Assurance department.

Oliver Reid was promoted to Senior Staff Accountant.  Oliver worked as an intern with the firm while attending West Chester University and started full time after graduating in 2013.  He recently passed all four portions of the uniform certified public accountant exam and received his CPA designation this August.


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Gunnip & Company CPAs is pleased to announce Lynn Ritter is newly certified as an Accredited Estate Planner® (AEP®) designee by the National Association of Estate Planners & Councils (NAEPC).  Lynn is a Tax Manager at Gunnip & Company.

The Accredited Estate Planner® (AEP®) designation is a graduate level specialization in estate planning, obtained in addition to already recognized professional credentials within the various disciplines of estate planning.  The AEP® designation is available to attorneys (JD), Chartered Life Underwriters® (CLU®), Certified Public Accountants (CPA), Certified Financial Planners™ (CFP®), Chartered Financial Consultants® (ChFC®), and Certified Trust and Financial Advisors (CTFA). It is awarded by the National Association of Estate Planners & Councils to recognize estate planning professionals who meet stringent requirements of experience, knowledge, education, professional reputation, and character.  An AEP® designee must embrace the team concept of estate planning and adhere to the NAEPC Code of Ethics, as well as participate in a yearly renewal and recertification process.

The NAEPC is a national organization of professional estate planners and affiliated local estate planning councils focused on establishing and monitoring the highest professional and educational standards.  NAEPC fosters public awareness of the quality services rendered by professionals who meet these standards.  NAEPC builds a team approach involving cross-professional disciplines to better serve the public’s need for estate planning.

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October 15 Tax Deadline  Delaware CPA Firm


Time's almost up if you requested a six-month extension to file your 2014 federal income tax return. October 15 is the final date for filing your 2014 return; the IRS generally does not give filing extensions beyond that date.

October 15 is also the deadline for undoing a 2014 conversion of a traditional IRA to a Roth IRA. If you converted your traditional IRA to a Roth last year, you can switch it back to a regular IRA without penalty if you do so by October 15.

Want to know more? Contact our office. 

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Delaware CPA AdvisorsIt’s tough for anyone who runs a business to remain completely objective. You have so much invested (time, energy, money), and you’re so close to so many minute details, that a sizable amount of subjectivity is bound to enter into everything you do. It’s for this very reason that many companies — and not just public ones — turn to boards of directors. In a private business, the board simply serves in an advisory capacity.

The purpose of an outside advisory board is to provide objective insight, fresh advice, business wisdom and expert counsel on many important matters without getting involved in day-to-day management. Some areas where a board can be especially helpful include:

  • Technological advancements,
  • Product development,
  • Financing alternatives,
  • Entering new markets,
  • Internal growth,
  • Expansion planning,
  • Mergers and acquisitions, and
  • Succession planning.

An advisory board can also help increase professionalism and accountability within your business and provide greater credibility with stakeholders. And for closely held businesses that are considering going public, board members who’ve been through the process can be invaluable.

Are you curious as to what an advisory board for your company might look like? Please give us a call. We can help you build a board and determine what areas of focus it should take on.

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If you or a member of your family is off to college this fall, you may be eligible for the American Opportunity Tax Credit. Eligible students may take this credit for the first four years of higher education. The credit can be up to $2,500 annually. Expenses that qualify for the credit include tuition, fees, and related expenses. Forty percent of the credit is refundable, meaning you may be able to get up to $1,000 of the credit as a refund even if you don't owe any taxes. 


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