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Educating the Community on Tax Issues at the IACCGH’s Annual Tax Seminar


From left: IACCGH President Swapan Dhairyawan, CPAs Mahesh Desai, Kershaw Khumbatta, Robert Brown, Rimple Mashruwala, Tupil Narasimhan, Moderator Ajit Thakur. Photo: Bijay Dixit

From left: IACCGH President Swapan Dhairyawan, CPAs Mahesh Desai, Kershaw Khumbatta, Robert Brown, Rimple Mashruwala, Tupil Narasimhan, Moderator Ajit Thakur. Photo: Bijay Dixit

By Manu Shah

HOUSTON: IACCGH’s Annual Tax Seminar, a Chamber outreach program designed to educate the community on tax issues, attracted over 130 members of the community on February 11, at India House. Executive Director Jagdip Ahluwalia described the event as part of the Chamber’s efforts “to empower the community with the right knowledge.”

This year, with the support of Shell, IACCGH will focus on educating small businesses affected by Harvey on how and where to look for relief. The LiftFund, which provides low cost (even 0%) loans of up to $25000 to such businesses, was presented at the seminar and will continue to partner with the Chamber in this initiative.

President Swapan Dhairyawan, a renowned CPA himself, thanked the distinguished panel of 4 CPAs’ and Keynote Speaker Robert J. Brown, Senior Director of Audit Support Services, Harris County Appraisal District for volunteering their time on a Sunday afternoon. He emphasized the Chamber’s commitment of bringing “value to the community” through such events.

CPA and Past IACCGH President Ajit Thakur moderated the presentations and drew attention to the revisions in the U.S. tax code for both individuals and corporations.

Robert Brown, Audit Support Director, HCAD, highlighted the types of Real Property Exemptions and Business Personal Property exemptions. Owning a business requires reporting of personal property used in the business to your County appraisal district by filling a rendition form.

Describing the new law provisions as “perhaps the biggest legislative topic” coming out of Washington D.C, CPA Rimple Mashruwala focused on the business tax changes in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act where starting 2018, business entities will be able to take advantage of a 20% deduction on “Qualified Business Income.” Pass through business will only be taxed on 80% of their pass through business and this is claimed on the taxpayer’s individual tax return.

CPA Kershaw Khumbatta covered Entity planning after 2018 emphasizing the importance of choosing the right legal structure for a new business and outlined the provisions in Hurricane Harvey Disaster Relief which has established the Safe Harbor method for calculating potential loss.

CPA Mahesh Desai highlighted Forms 114 and 8938 that must be filed by taxpayers holding more than $10,000 in an overseas account. The OVPD and the SDOP are two other IRS schemes to voluntarily disclose foreign accounts. He stated that US Citizens/NRIs/OCI card holders are not eligible to obtain the Aadhaar card but can have a PAN card for Indian Income Tax reporting purposes.

CPA Tupil Narasimhan reinforced the new tax cuts applicable to businesses such as a flat 21% tax cut for Corporations. This effectively amounts to a 40% reduction in tax expense. Non corporate taxpayers can avail a 20% deduction of qualified business income from certain pass through businesses.

The seminar concluded with a Q & A session.
President Dhairyawan gave the closing remarks and stated that the Chamber intends to conduct several such informative tax seminars at various community places during the year due to the New Tax & Jobs Cut Act 2017 which has prominent changes that will affect taxpayers significantly.

Disclaimer: The IACCGH tax seminar is for advisory purposes only

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