**The content in this blog was updated on June 29, 2021, to reflect the updates to the Child Tax Credit.
Attention parents who are taxpayers! (That should be all of you, ha-ha). The recent changes to the 2021 child tax credit are something you should understand. Yes, the tax credit will help struggling families. However, for families that do not need extra financial support, your action is required to opt-out. If you don’t (said in our best Liam Neeson voice), your 2022 tax return and refund may be way out of whack.
Families will start seeing these automatic monthly credit amount payments for half of the Child Tax Credit (CTC) from the IRS as soon as July 15, 2021. When you file your 2021 income tax return, you will claim the other half.
We know there are lots of questions and scratching your head moments when it comes to the CTC and opt-out so we broke down the most important things you need to know now.
Quick Facts on the CTC:
Next steps to take
Check your mail. The IRS is mailing out notices to those they think should receive the Advance Child Tax Credit payments. Don’t worry if you are eligible or owed the credit, you will receive it when you file your 2021 tax return.
Opt-out. Visit this link directly [click here] to the IRS website to unenroll from receiving these tax credit payments.
Record payments received. You will need to know for your tax return next year how much you received from these advanced payments if you are receiving them. Don’t assume that the IRS will keep track of this for you. Contact your tax professional for more advice on how to proceed with the next best step for you. And as always, if you have questions, our friendly tax team is available to help at (321) 233-3311 and firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is the 2021 Child Tax Credit?
Under the new American Rescue Plan, the child tax credit amounts have increased from $2,000 per child to $3,000 per every child between the ages of 6 and 17, and $3,600 for every child under the age of 6. If you have a dependent who is 18 years old, you can receive a $500 payment for them [this includes dependents ages 19 to 24 who are currently full-time college students].
Who gets it?
If you normally receive the child tax credit on your 1040, you'll be automatically opted into an advanced payment of the credit for quarterly payments. Every taxpayer with a child on their 2019/2020 taxes, will start getting tax money. Once the credit amount is determined, 50 percent of the amount will be paid in advance payments from July to December 2021. The remaining 50 percent will be claimed as a credit on the taxpayer’s 2021 tax return.
2021 Child Tax Credit Calculator
Are you wondering how this new tax credit will affect you? Use this handy tax credit calculator to find out. Note: you will need information from your 2019 tax return.
Need more help?
Our team at Blue Fox is up to speed on the latest tax law changes, and there are many. As you can imagine, tax preparation has never been more complex or intricate than it is this year.
OUR TOP PICKS: News and Resources for Social Enterprise Organizations and Social Entrepreneurs
If you’re like us, your daily inbox is jam-packed with newsletters and educational opportunities from like-minded social impact leaders. These spectacular humans work around the clock to foster positive change in their communities. Then, somehow, find time to share their story. We tip our hat to them! Here are just a handful of our favorite resources this month:
Thanks for stopping by to explore our picks for social enterprise news this month! If you’re interested in hearing more from us, subscribe to our newsletter today!
Our philosophy at Blue Fox is that social impact organizations will thrive if they pay as much attention to financial management as they do fundraising, events, and marketing. There are so many resources (conferences, webinars, ebooks, and consultants) in the “fun areas” of nonprofit management but not as many focused on nonprofit organizational growth through financial stewardship. Insert Blue Fox! We are that resource and are here to support your organization’s back office.
We know nonprofits meet regularly, some even monthly, with boards or finance committees to review the financial state of the organization. We’ve been in those meetings and we understand that financial literacy does not always span the entire boardroom. In fact, many new executive directors struggle to pinpoint exactly what financial information to discuss with board members. Side note: Our team can help with that!
But for now, we want to share a helpful article from our friends at Intuit Quickbooks. Per their advice, here are three financial reporting items your organization should keep a keen eye on.
1. Restricted vs. unrestricted funds. Instead of looking at funds as one big pool of money, there needs to be a designation between restricted (money that comes from designated giving) and unrestricted cash. A simplified way to decipher between the two types of funds is to create a P&L statement and balance sheet in three columns. The first column lists out the net assets without donor restrictions; the second column lists net assets with donor restrictions, and the third column is the total.
Pro tip: Use the location feature in QuickBooks to set this up and simplify reporting.
2. Revenue model structure. Reviewing your nonprofit’s revenue model monthly allows for adjustments to be made when funding is a little wonky. The next time you review your revenue model structure look for total income earned, total contributed income, then track what percentage of funds are coming from which area. Identify if there is too much funding from one revenue stream and then decide if income should be diversified.
3. True program cost. Now, this might seem more like an annual process activity but for nonprofit organizations where cash flow is tight and decisions need to be made about cutting programs, a true program cost needs a monthly review. [Learn more about the importance of cash flow for nonprofits.]
If you have any questions about the financial status of your nonprofit or about any of these reporting items before your next board meeting, feel free to give us a call at (321) 233-3311 or email us at email@example.com. We’ll get you sorted! Then you can focus on what really matters: your mission and serving your community.
Recently, QuickBooks surveyed 1,068 small business owners on the economic effects of the Covid-19 pandemic and their strategies to stay afloat. Roughly 88% of respondents said their business operations have been affected by the health crisis. It’s clear that business owners are focused on survival, putting growth strategy on the back burner.
Is it far-fetched to talk about growth as the pandemic lingers on?
The QuickBooks team doesn't think so. In this article, they offer three top growth strategies to consider, even now.
1. Keep sight of the big picture.
When you’re stuck in the day-to-day operations of your business, it can be tough to focus on a long-term growth strategy. This study found that small businesses are spending 31 hours a week the day-to-day, not allowing them to look at the bigger picture.
Of course, the dream is to spend time working on strategy, customers, and innovation. However, leaders are being pulled into e payroll, sales, human resources, marketing, customer service, and bookkeeping.
[Hey, we know of a really cool company that can help with two of those operations.]
2. Don’t be afraid to delegate.
Del-e-gate… it could be so nice! Leaders, it’s time to be honest about your strengths and weaknesses. Ask yourself, “Would I hire myself to do this job?” If the answer is no, delegate to an expert and focus on where your strengths lie.
98% of the business owners surveyed said they would prefer to focus more time on business growth or nurturing there a competitive advantage. Maybe you can relate to one or all of these but the three ways business owners surveyed prefer to spend their time are by developing business strategies, making a direct impact on customers, and innovating products and services.
3. Trust the experts.
Almost half of the business owners surveyed (45%) reported the top benefit of taking a step back would be less stress, and if they were able to outsource or delegate some of their work, within just 30 days, they would be less stressed. Pick your growth strategy and take a step back to prioritize the future over everyday tasks.
Just in case you need a good reason (or 10), here’s why you should outsource your accounting.
We know the past (almost year) for small businesses and nonprofits has been full of ups and downs. As your organization continues to recover, don’t lose sight of your vision and mission, And don’t lose hope; things will get better.
To read more insightful data from this survey, you can find it here.
If you’re looking to outsource any of your small business, nonprofit or social impact organization’s back-office operations, feel free to give us a call at (321) 233-3311 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. And bonus, our team of foxtastic bookkeepers are certified QuickBook ProAdvisors.
The core of Blue Fox’s philosophy is the synergy between technology and humanity – that’s why our tagline is Agile Accounting for Impact. We serve our clients with the best solutions and virtual tools to run their nonprofit organization’s back office with efficiency and excellence.
We listen to the nonprofit buzz every day and understand that tax compliance is a major pain point for many organizations. Queue a new #foxtastic partnership with Avalara.
The team at Avalara lives and breathes tax compliance so your nonprofit can sit back and relax without having to be a tax expert in every state [especially with donors living all over]. Even better, their platform automates the major steps of tax compliance — all in the cloud.
There are so many misconceptions about tax compliance in the nonprofit space. Here are three major areas of confusion:
So, why did our team at Blue Fox partner with Avalara? That’s simple: their services take care of nonprofits by limiting tax risk and building efficiency through automation and integration with Quickbooks.
If you’re interested in learning more, let us introduce you to the tax experts at Avalara. Send us an email at email@example.com email.
Want to learn more about who benefits from sales tax automation and how it can save time and money? Check out the free guide below with answers to your most important sales tax automation questions.
We are partnering up with our friend Cathy Allen, The Board Doctor, to share a free Wellness Test for nonprofit board members.
Have you ever been at a flea market or street fair and come across the booth run by the local health department? They are offering free tests: blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol, BMI calculation, etc. This kind of screening does not catch every malady, but it can detect some of the most common health-related issues. It also comes with a brochure or two about the signs and symptoms of trouble ahead and how to know when to consult a doctor.
That is the thinking behind The Board Doctor's Wellness Test with 10 questions designed to provide a snapshot of how well a nonprofit board of directors is functioning in its governance role. It is offered free through The Board Doctor's website and comes with an optional complimentary debrief phone call or video chat to review results and plan potential next steps the board can take as it seeks to get better.
The Wellness Test includes two questions on legal compliance, three questions on the board's role and responsibilities, three questions on board structure, and two questions on fiduciary responsibility. The responses are then automatically scored and emailed to the test taker, along with some explanatory information. Test takers are also able to schedule their optional free debrief meeting. (Note: participants are NOT put into a sales funnel. We figure you'll find us when and if you need us, so we have no need to spam people.)
Take Me There! [Click here]
Another reason to take The Board Doctor's Wellness Test: you can help advance knowledge of the nonprofit sector. Throughout 2021 we are gathering data (anonymously and confidentially) for use as part of a research study comparing the governance practices of some kinds of nonprofits with other kinds of nonprofits.
At the end of the ten Wellness Test questions are three optional questions that will help us categorize different types of nonprofit organizations. Results will be available next year, along with benchmarking for future takers of the Wellness Test.
Those ready to undertake a more thorough exam are encouraged to explore The Board Doctor's Annual Checkup: A Board Governance Self-Assessment, a paid service that can involve the entire board, comes with or without a boardroom presentation of results, and includes exclusive access to The Board Doctor's Patient Portal, with curated resources and information about each of the Checkup's 100 items. Want to just talk it through? Set up a free initial consultation.
So, when it is time to find out for sure whether your board is on the right track or needs to make some adjustments, The Board Doctor is here for you!
To learn more, visit The Board Doctor’s website or email Cathy at Cathy@TheBoardDoctor.org.
At Blue Fox, we are committed to sharing valuable resources to our friends and clients in the nonprofit, social impact and small business sector. As an Intuit QuickBooks affiliate, we wanted to share some insightful, on-demand educational videos from the 7th annual QuickBooks Connect Conference. Thousands of small business owners and accountants from around the world tuned in to connect, learn more and hear the latest insights from industry experts to help propel their organization.
We wanted to highlight some of our favorite breakout sessions in case you have some free time to check them out.
1. When competition becomes collaboration: How to build your community | QuickBooks Connect 2020
In this 40 minute recorded video, Misty Megia shares three strategies she uses to help companies build communities and turn “competitors” into collaborators.
2. QuickBooks Money: Control your cash flow | QuickBooks Connect 2020
Rania Succar, Senior VP for Quickbooks Money Platform, Intuit, shares a high-level overview in this 6 minute video.
[Also, our brilliant CEO Chantal Sheehan at Blue Fox shared an awesome overview about cash flow and 12 ways to steward your organization with revenue and expenses - it’s a must read!.]
3. How to RISE and thrive in times of change
Change is challenging which we all learned first-hand in 2020. Joyel Crawford explains an action planning tool that can help organizations increase productivity amidst any changing circumstances.
4. Helping clients weather the storm
In a 50 minute recorded session, Geni Whitehouse, CPA.CITP, CSPM talks tools and processes to help accountants standardize their advisory services and client support .
There’s a wealth of valuable content on-demand through QuickBooks Connect and we hope you find some great takeaways to help your organization. Fun fact: We are a proud Intuit Quickbooks affiliate and ProAdvisor.
As always, our team is happy to answer questions and help your organization navigate current financial challenges. Give us a call at (321) 233-3311 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you’re like us, your daily inbox is jam-packed with newsletters and educational opportunities from like-minded social impact leaders. These spectacular humans work around the clock to foster positive change in their communities. Then, somehow, find time to share their story with fellow nonprofit enthusiasts. We tip our hat to them!
Here are just a handful of our favorite nonprofit resources this month:
(Online Class) Be an Effective Board Member (Required to Create Free Account)
(eBook) 10 Ways to Diversify Your Nonprofit’s Fundraising Efforts and Raise More
(Article) Trends in 2021 Corporate Partnerships and CSR
(Webinars) Bloomerang’s Upcoming Webinar Series
(Article) 32 Nonprofit Leaders Who Will Impact the World in 2021
Thanks for stopping by to read our picks for top nonprofit news this month! If you’re interested in hearing more from us, subscribe to our newsletter today!
About Blue Fox: Our team provides customized, boutique financial and back office services for social impact organizations. Services range from standard bookkeeping and payroll services, to coaching and consulting, to comprehensive virtual CFO services. Our mission is to disrupt the traditional accounting model through technology, innovation, and a radically client-focused approach that truly empowers nonprofits and social enterprises. For more information call (321) 233-3311, email email@example.com, and visit www.YourBlueFox.com.
Love is in the air!
Here is our favorite love story ... about two of our best friends in the nonprofit world. Their names are Fundraising and Finance.
Our friend Finance is not so sexy :) But he is intelligent, organized and precise.
Fundraising is way hotter than Finance. She’s exciting, inspiring, and passion-driven. And everyone loves to focus their attention on her.
When you invite Fundraising to dinner, Finance has to come along. (The good news is, Finance always picks up the tab. Ha!) Fundraising will make your heart melt with the stories she tells and her big energy and hope. But at dinner Finance will talk about cash flow, budgeting, operating reserves, and payroll expenses. You know, all the pesky little details that actually matter. Who invited that person? Sheesh! We know. Finance isn’t sexy, but Fundraising without Finance is just short-sighted.
At first, they seem like an unlikely couple but Fundraising and Finance are intimates. Their nonprofit home is a happy, efficient, sustainable, and well-funded place to be.
Like all couples, they can struggle. But when they work together with open continuous communication and feedback, they are an unstoppable team.
That, our friends, is a nonprofit love story.
Q: So, what’s the moral of the story?
A: To build nonprofit sustainability, your finance and fundraising teams must collaborate closely and communicate on a continuous basis.
[Read: What Fuels Nonprofit Sustainability]
Financial stewardship builds sustainable organizations. But many nonprofit leaders are more versed in fundraising, marketing and events. That’s why Blue Fox exists – to organize, empower and educate nonprofit leaders on all thing’s financial management. We’ve got your back!
Tax-Free Is the Way to Be! The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 Extends Employment Tuition Repayment Assistance Through 2025
Here’s a tax legislation win-win!
If you have student loans, your employer now has the opportunity to provide repayment assistance through 2025 tax-free. Let’s say that again: tax-free!
An article published by SHRM explains: “The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (CAA), signed into law by President Donald Trump on Dec. 27 extends for five years COVID-19 relief that allows employer-provided student loan repayment as a tax-free benefit to employees under Section 127 of the Internal Revenue Code. Through 2025, employers can continue to make contributions of up to $5,250 per employee annually toward eligible education expenses, like tuition or student loan assistance, without raising the employee's gross taxable income.”
SHRM calculates that only 8% of employers provide loan assistance. This legislation aims to improve that number to make a dent in our nation’s student loan debt crisis.
Chatrane Birbal, vice president for public policy at SHRM said, "This benefit will provide some relief to employees who are currently repaying student loan debt and also gives employers more flexibility in the design of benefit offerings for recruitment and retention purposes."
Let’s spread the word and keep our fingers crossed that more employers recognize the win-win benefits of offering tuition repayment assistance now, through 2025 and beyond.
Welcome to the Blue Fox Blog! A fairly entertaining source of info and news related to our company, nonprofits, social sector trends, and, of course, accounting. Enjoy!
40+ Ideas to Light a Fundraising Fire Under Your Nonprofit Board Members
Why Outsource Your Nonprofit Accounting to Blue Fox? Ask One of Our Newest Clients
Client CASE STUDY: One of The Most Financially Sustainable Nonprofit Orgs We Know
Blue Fox + Bill.com = Clean Audits & Happy Clients
What Fuels Financial Sustainability?
The Magical Nonprofit Financial Ratio Matrix
Dear COVID-19, I'm Breaking Up With You
The Latest COVID-19 Resources for Nonprofits
10 Reasons to Outsource Your Nonprofit Accounting
6 Step Guide To Build Donor Trust
Our Favorite Resources for Nonprofit Fundraisers
3 Vital Resources for Nonprofit Start-ups
2020 Nonprofit Trend: The Virtual CFO
How to Make Your Nonprofit Recession-Proof
What Nonprofits Need to Know About the New Overtime Ruling
Double-entry Accounting Made Easy - Essential Desktop Guide, Free Download
Blue Fox CEO Named
As Keynote Speaker for Nonprofit Hub's Cause Camp 2020
5 Steps to Solving Complex Workflow Problems
The Hidden Cost of Wearing Too Many Hats
The Key to Workplace Success - Investments in Professional Development
Accounts Payable Made Easy - The Marriage of Bill.com and QuickBooks Online
Nonprofits - It's Time to Automate Your Back Office
How to Engage Your Board of Directors in Financial Conversations
How to Join the Social Enterprise Movement
Kindness Leads to More Profit & Productivity
Don’t Ignore This Nonprofit Management Advice
Building Blocks for A More Just, Equitable, and Inclusive Work Environment
QB Tip of the Month: How to Use Classes for Painless Grant Writing
Nonprofit Leaders - Talk Finance and Empower Your Staff
When to Hire An Accountant for Your Social Impact Org
Why Outsource Your Accounting?
That Time I Went to Cause Camp
Impact Investments in Yourself
Are You Paying Too Much for Payroll?
Financial Dashboards - Capture Attention, Create Conversations, Drive Results!
Don't Let FinTech Scare You - Our Top 4 Back Office Tech
The Wonderful World of Micro-Donating!
The Case for Kindness in Business
How Nonprofits Build Donor Trust: Be Transparent
5 New Year’s Resolutions for Sustainable Nonprofits
Why We’re on a Mission to Help Conservation Organizations
Money Matters - So Why Aren’t More Nonprofits Talking About It?
Tips to Get You A Clean Audit Every Year
Blue Fox Teams Up With Bloomerang to Develop Nonprofit Resources
Blue Fox Earns Better Business Bureau Accreditation
Blue Fox Launches Protected By Logo
Blue Fox - The Origin Story