Tom Breedlove Acting Committee Chair for British American Business Group

Tom Breedlove, a Principal in the firm and International Business Expert, is a committee chair for the British American Business Group’s (“BABG”) Trade Committee.  The committee’s primary focus is a target marketing initiative responsible for identifying and procuring new members for the BABG.    Tom leads the marketing and business development effort for HLB Gross Collins, P.C. and believes these skills will be an asset to the BABG with their membership recruiting efforts.

As an expert in international business, Tom actively engages in many international organizations in order to continually connect with these markets and keep abreast of the many facets involved in doing business on a global scale. Through his involvement in such organizations, Tom has positioned himself as a key player in many international markets. By sharing his expertise with organizations that focus on international opportunities, Tom is able to continually expand his knowledge base, as well as his visibility in the international markets.


Tom Breedlove Attended Global Impact Awards

Tom Breedlove, a Principal of the firm and international business expert, recently attended the Metro Atlanta Chamber’s inaugural Global Impact Awards.  The luncheon, held at the Intercontinental Buckhead Hotel, honored winners in four categories including Foreign Investment, International Trade and Business Development, International Organization, and Service Provider.    Tom’s hopes to submit nominees from his client base and professional network for these prestigious awards for 2010.
Tom serves many clients doing business internationally.  He has extensive international expertise in dealing with issues that affect foreign operations including:
  • International Financial Reporting Standards
  • International tax planning.
  • Tax planning and savings strategies for inbound and outbound transactions.
  • Developing transfer pricing strategies and earnings stripping calculations.
  • Advising foreign exchange issues.

He is active in many international business organizations including the The Global Commerce Council of the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, The British American  Business Group Trade Committee, The Netherlands-American Chamber of Commerce, and the Georgia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

HLB Gross Collins Winner of 2009 Client Advisor Award

HLB Gross Collins P.C. is proud to be named the winner of the 2009 Client Advisor Award in the Mid-sized Firm Category.

In its fourth year, the Client Advisor Awards recognizes those companies who have demonstrated a world-class approach to the relationship between professional service firms and their clients. Nominess are evaluated based on their excellence in 5 areas – collaboration, creativity, content and value orientation, capability and credibility.

HLB Gross Collins, P.C. helps businesses and individuals increase and preserve their financial net worth. Serving clients both locally and around the globe, the firm offers tax services, auditing and assurance services, business consulting services, valuation services, personal financial planning and international services such as transfer pricing, export tax incentives, income tax treaties and tax planning.


Winning this award is an honor and a goal we strive to attain each year. Such recognition is an indication that we, as a firm, are consistently meeting and exceeding our commitment to excellence in client relations. We believe that our continued commitment to personalized relationships and services, and the steps we take to achieve this, are a catalyst for earning the valuable distinction as a recipient of the 2009 Client Advisor Awards.

CCA winner

Proposed Regulations Encourage Automatic 401(k) Contributions

The Pension Protection Act of 2006 (PPA) provided several changes to current 401(k) rules. Perhaps
the most beneficial is the automatic enrollment feature. Effective for plan years beginning on or after January
1, 2008, employees are automatically enrolled in the employer’s 401(k), 403(b) or 457 plans unless they opt
out. The PPA preempts many states’ laws that preclude automatic enrollment.
Proposed regulations also include a designed-based safe harbor for qualified automatic contribution
arrangements (QACA). Plan arrangements that qualify as QACA will be considered to have satisfied the
actual deferral percentage and actual contribution tests that otherwise apply to employee elective deferrals
and employer matching contributions. Generally, these plans will be exempt from the top-heavy rules, which
prevent owners and other key employees from disproportionately benefiting from the plan. Employers with a
QACA can choose to provide matching or non-elective contributions. Employees fully vest in any employer
contribution after only two years of service.

Each qualified employee under a QACA must receive a safe harbor notice “within a reasonable period
before each plan year” that explains:
• the employee’s right to elect not to have elective contributions made on their behalf, or to elect to
have contributions made at a different percentage or amount
• how automatic contributions made will be invested without any employee investment decisions

The proposed regulations also provide that a plan participant may withdraw certain default elective
deferrals within 90 days of the first deferral to the eligible automatic contribution arrangement without the
distribution being subject to the normal 10% early withdrawal tax, another great feature.
If you have questions, please contact your HLB Gross Collins, P.C. advisor.

What is 409A and How Does it Affect You

The IRS has changed the rules governing deferred compensation. Internal Revenue Code (IRC) Section 409A sets more stringent guidelines for private companies when issuing stock options and other forms of non-qualified deferred compensation. Deferred compensation is compensation that promises the benefit in one year and pays the benefit in another year.
Section 409A was added to the IRC by section 885 of the American Jobs Creation Act of 2004. Section 409A generally provides that unless certain requirements are met, amounts deferred under a nonqualified deferred compensation plan for all taxable years are currently includible in gross income.
For companies that issue stock options with a strike price less than the fair market value of the underlying stock, employees who receive the stock options can be subjected to additional tax, interest, and penalties. It is important for companies to obtain a qualified independent fair market value appraisal when issuing stock options.
The deadline for compliance was December 31, 2008. If a plan fails to comply with Section 409A, compensation deferred under the plan for that taxable year and all preceding taxable years is immediately includible in taxable income. In addition, the amount included in income is subject to a 20% excise tax plus an interest penalty. The taxes and penalties are imposed on each participant who is affected by the company’s failure to comply.

Section 409A does not apply to certain types of plans, such as qualified retirement plans, certain severance plans, and stock options that do not provide for deferral of compensation.

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