News and Updates

News and Events

Aug 13 2019

FASB Delays Effective Date of New Lease Standard

On July 17, 2019, Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) approved a proposal to defer the effective date of the new lease standard, under FASB Codification 842, for one more year for nonpublic entities. The new effective date for the standard will be for periods beginning after December 15, 2020. Please keep in mind that this is a proposal; however, once FASB approves proposals, there are only administrative issues before it beco..
Aug 13 2019

Coming January 2021 for 2020 Tax Year

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) just released a draft version of Form 1099-NEC. This form will be used to report non-employee compensation (NEC) beginning with the filing of 2020 information returns. The form was last used by the IRS in 1982. The re-birth of this form will enable the reporting for amounts paid as non-employee compensation to be reported and filed by January 31 deadline versus on the Form 1099-MISC. The c..
Jul 30 2019

Welcome to the MSA Team Sara-Kelly!

Sara-Kelly Hawes recently joined our team as a Staff Accountant. She received her Master’s Degree in Accounting from UNC Chapel Hill. Prior to coming to MSA, Sara-Kelly worked as an intern and gained exposure to For Profit auditing and investment accounting. When not studying for the CPA exams, Sara-Kelly spends her free time running, hiking, spending time with family and reading any book she can find and is always looking for recommendations! She ..
Jul 30 2019

Is it a Business or a Hobby?

As tax season approaches, it is important to know the different ways an individual can create a source of income. One of the questions tax accountants ponder is whether or not self-employment income is considered business income or just a hobby. Here are a few ways to determine whether or not someone’s income is for a hobby or not. For more information on this topic, click here (https://..
Aug 5 2019

Congratulations are in Order

We would like to take a moment to recognize Michael Edwards' recent promotion to Senior Manager. Michael Edwards, CPA, joined the firm in November 2012. His concentration is in privately held companies, nonprofit organizations and employee benefit plans. Michael graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in Accounting and a Masters of Science in Accounting from Appalachian..
Jul 30 2019

Good Tax Planning Includes Good Recordkeeping

With 2019 quickly passing us by, now is the time to start tax planning. One of the first and important steps to tax planning is recordkeeping. The IRS has some great tips to help you improve your recordkeeping skills so that when tax time rolls around you will be less stressed and more prepared. Click here (
Jul 16 2019

These Summertime IRS Tax Tips Will Help You to Have a Sunnier Tax Season

Did you know that some common summer activities might qualify for tax credits or deductions? Maybe you got married, sent children to a summer day camp, or had a part-time or summer job, make sure you file a tax return to get a refund for the taxes that were withheld. Click here ( to read the complete article. Source: Internal Revenue Service (IRS) ..
Jul 16 2019

America's Breakthrough Coach, Brian Biro, Teaches MSA How to SHAPE the Future

America’s Breakthrough Coach, Brian Biro, was the guest speaker for our summer MSA Retreat that was held on Friday, July 12. Brian is a world-class motivational speaker whose high-energy presentation taught us what a breakthrough leader does: 1) shapes the future, 2) energizes and engages team, and, 3) builds people, teams and relationships. Thanks to his great training and cheering from our MSA team, we broke many boards at the end of the morning, even though there were many of us wh..
Jul 2 2019

Welcome to the MSA Team

Our new Staff Accountant, Maria Gray, has lived in the Hickory area most of her life. She recently graduated from Western Carolina University (WCU) with a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting. Maria is currently studying for the Graduate Management Admissions Test to pursue a Master’s Degree in Accounting. During her years at WCU, she worked at an accounting and tax services office. When not at work, you will find Maria and her dog enjoying the outdoors - hiking, swimming, kayak..
Jul 2 2019

NCDOR Requires 4% Withholdings on ITIN Contractors

Contractors beware, especially those in the construction industry! North Carolina statues GS 105‐163.1 and GS 105‐163.3 requires income tax to be withheld at the rate of 4% from payments of more than $1,500 paid during a calendar year to nonresident individuals or nonresident entities for personal services performed in North Carolina in connection with a performance, an entertainment or athletic event, a speech, or the creation of a film, radio, or television program. Additionally, NC requi..
Jun 18 2019

MSA is Honored to Receive 2019 Best Employers Award!

This year's winners of Best Employers in North Carolina 2019 were just released and Martin Starnes & Associates, CPAs, P.A. (MSA) is honored to be named as one of the top employers in the entire state in the category of small to medium-sized companies. MSA was chosen based on workplace policies, practices, philosophy, systems, and demographics, and selected by Best Companies Group. Two things our firm does that helps us to stand o..
Jun 18 2019

Tips for Teens with Summer Jobs

School is out and now some teenagers are working a summer job. If it is their first job, they may be in for a little surprise when they see the taxes that are withheld from their check! The link below contains some tax tips that will be helpful to you and your teen. Click here to learn more about tax withholdings. (
Jun 18 2019

Have You Started Your Fitness Journey?

As part of MSA's wellness focus, employees were recently provided the opportunity to enjoy a healthy lunch from Jason’s Deli and learn about the benefits of “Beginning a Fitness Journey.” Lala Kozischek, Corporate Wellness Director, YMCA of Catawba Valley, encouraged us to think about the health benefits of joining the YMCA to begin our own personal journey to health and wellness. Many times, we put our busy schedule..
Jun 18 2019

MSA Helps Students Learn About Budgeting

On June 4, 2019, employees of Martin Starnes and Associates, CPAs, P.A. (MSA) led a game of Making Cents in several of Ms. Reep’s classes at Clyde Campbell Elementary School. Making Cents is a game derived to teach students about budgeting and making sure their money lasts. The students were given a variety of career choices. Salary, savings, and taxes were given to them based off of what career they chose. Students were then able to make their own choices of transportation,..
Jun 5 2019

Third Time's a Charm!

Congratulations to MSA employee, Tracie Dagenhart, and her family for winning the Grand Finale in Season 29 of America’s Funniest Home Videos (AFV)! Tracie filmed her son, Colby, on August 2, 2018 after having his wisdom teeth removed while he was still feeling loopy from the procedure. In the video, Colby thinks their Shih Tzu, Izzy, is a raccoon sitting on their sofa. Little did they know this video would win them AFV’s $10,000 prize, $100,000 prize and, most ..
Jun 5 2019

MSA Lunch and Learn - Eat Healthy While Supporting Local Farmers

MSA employees enjoyed a wonderful, healthy lunch prepared by April Vigardt and Delane Mitchell from the Catawba County North Carolina Cooperative Extension. After an educational presentation of how to use healthy produce from local farmers when preparing our meals, we were treated to sample this delicious food! These gals prepared a lunch of zucchini fritters (one with pork sausage and one without), beet, cucumber and celery relish and spri..
Jun 5 2019

Welcome to the MSA Team!

Our new Staff Accountant, Beau Hildebrand, lives in Connelly Springs, North Carolina. He earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting from Wingate University and plans to pursue a Master’s Degree in the near future. Beau enjoys being outside riding dirt bikes, fishing, and hiking, along with playing video games and reading. He is active in his church, Grace Baptist Church in Morganton, where he is very involved with the youth program. You can also find Beau at theme parks, ex..
Jun 4 2019

Do You Need a "Paycheck Checkup?"

Are you a two-income family, have multiple jobs, or will be working an additional job this summer? If so, you will want to perform a "Paycheck Checkup" to help determine if you are withholding the correct amount of tax. The Internal Revenue Service has a useful Withholding Calculator to help you. Click here (
May 21 2019

Out and About in the Community

Once again, MSA employees were out giving back to their community. On Friday, May 10, 2019, at Glen Hilton Park in Hickory, they helped with a beautification project by spreading mulch on the playground area for the children of Catawba County and neighboring counties. Everyone enjoyed being outside in the beautiful weather working together for such a good and wonderful cause. MSA looks forward to every opportunity to give back to the community and can't wait for the next one. ..
May 21 2019

Valuable Tax Tips to Consider When Selling Your Home

The end of the school year is quickly approaching. This is a time when many families may be considering selling their home to upgrade to a nicer or larger home, or moving to another location. If this is your situation this year, do we have some great tax tips for you to consider! Click here (
May 7 2019

MSA Welcomes New Accounting Technician

GW Orsell lives in the Hickory area and joins our team as an Accounting Technician. GW recently worked at Timber Wolf Forest Products as an Accounting Associate. He received his Associates Degree in Accounting from Catawba Valley Community College.  He and his wife, Amanda, like spending time with their three rescue dogs. They also enjoy activities at their church, Cornerstone Missionary Baptist Church in Boone, North Carolina. You can find GW at the kickboxing gym, fishing, trave..
May 7 2019

Welcome to the MSA Team

Our new Staff Accountant, Shanon Stanbury, has lived in the Hickory area most of her life. She received her degree in Interdisciplinary Studies focusing on Accounting and Health Sciences from Liberty University and just recently received her Masters of Business Administration at Western Governor’s University. Before working in public accounting, Shanon worked in small service and manufacturing businesses. Her most recent role was for a larger, local furniture company a..
May 7 2019

Deadlines for Submitting EEO-1 Pay Data

Employers with more than 100 employees are required to collect and file pay data reports from their workforce with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Employer Information Reports (EEO-1) for Component 1 data must be filed by May 31, 2019. Based on a recent ruling by Judge, Tanya S. Chutkan, employers should also begin collecting two additional years of pay information for calendar years 2017 and 2018. EEO-1 Component 2 data should be submitted by Septe..
Apr 23 2019

Filing an FBAR

Do you have a foreign reporting requirement? Since 1970, anyone who has a financial interest, or signature authority, in one or more bank or investment accounts, in another country that exceeds $10,000, is required to file a Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR). This report is required even if the account, or accounts, do not produce income. While this report is due by April 15, if you have not notified us that you need to file an FBAR, you still have time to be in compliance..
Apr 23 2019

Employees Participate in LRU 5K to Stay Fit During Tax Season

As a way to relieve stress and stay fit during the busy tax season, Martin Starnes & Associates, CPAs, P.A. (MSA) sponsored its employees and family members in the 4th Annual Lenoir-Rhyne University (LRU) 5K Run/Walk on Saturday, April 6, 2019, presented by LRU and the City of Hickory. MSA encourages and supports its employees in many ways to help them ‘do life’ while still working, and this race was no exception! Running and walking the event was a reward in itself..
Apr 9 2019

Maintaining Corporate Status with Corporate Minutes

All corporations should keep minutes of their meetings throughout the year, but at a minimum once a year in order to protect their corporate structure and for planning purposes, both for the corporation's business and tax planning scenarios. One of the primary business reasons for making sure that the corporation is conducting business as a separate legal entity is to keep the individuals from being liable for corporate actions. Often referred to as "piercing the ..
Mar 26 2019

Have You Filed Your 2018 North Carolina Annual Report?

This is a friendly reminder that on January 1, 2018, the North Carolina Annual Reports ( filing process was changed. The State of North Carolina now requires that all reports be filed directly with the Secretary of State. The annual reports can no longer be part of the income tax filing process. Please click on the link above to read information concerning this change. Your report can be filed by visiting htt..
Mar 22 2019

MSA Employees Attend Future of Catawba County Summit

A group of Martin Starnes & Associates, CPAs, P.A. employees attended the Future of Catawba County Summit hosted by the Catawba County Chamber of Commerce on March 21, 2019. The half-day summit began with a delicious breakfast followed by many networking opportunities and multiple informative presentations. Jeff Terrell, Chief Wealth Market Strategist at BB&T, started the morning by providing an excellent session on the national economic situation and covered where we have bee..
Mar 12 2019

IRS Kicks Off Annual Dirty Dozen List of Tax Scams

Did you know the IRS has a "Dirty Dozen" list of tax scams? Unfortunately, as a taxpayer, we need to always be on guard for the emails, text messages and phone calls from imposters who are trying to steal our identity and personal tax information. To read more about this important information, please click here (
Mar 12 2019

New Tax Law - Is It In My Best Interest To Consider An Extension?

As tax season is now in full swing, the tax team at Martin Starnes & Associates, CPAs, P.A. (MSA) is preparing for its most ambitious season in years. As one national expert described it, 'It is most likely going to be the most difficult tax season since the 1986 Tax Act, maybe worse.' (See the article in the link below regarding the impact this new law and other recent events have had on the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).) Although MSA employees have spent many hours in training and re..
Feb 12 2019

Welcome to the MSA Team

Jonas Watts, a native of Taylorsville, is a new Staff Accountant. He recently graduated from Brevard College in North Carolina, where he completed his bachelor's degree in Business and Organization Leadership. Jonas worked at the Brevard and Cashiers locations of Symington & Associates his last two years of college. Jonas recently relocated back to the Taylorsville area where he attends Lebanon Baptist Church. In his free time, you will find him with friends working out, playin..
Feb 12 2019

Congratulations Are In Order!

Martin Starnes & Associates, CPAs, P.A. would like to take a moment to recognize some of our outstanding employees who have been promoted! Cassie Wilson, CPA, has been promoted from Audit Senior Accountant to Audit Manager. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in Accounting from Appalachian State University. She received her Master of Accountancy from Gardner-Webb University. Cassie joined the firm in March 2012. Her concentration at the firm is ..
Feb 12 2019

Treasury, IRS Issue Final Regulations and Other Guidance

The Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) have recently issued final regulations, guidance and have put into service the new qualified business income (QBI) deduction, representing a potential 20% tax deduction. If you are filing a sole proprietorship, partnership, S corporation, trust or estate return you will want to read here (
Jan 31 2019

MSA Management on Local Radio Show

Frank Williams, Partner, and Jeremy Fortner, Tax Manager, were guests of local radio host, Hal Row, of WHKY on Wednesday, January 30 where they discussed major tax developments. Please click on the link below to hear the show. ( Courtesy of Hal Row and WHKY..
Jan 29 2019

IRS Waives Penalty for Many Whose Tax Withholding and Estimated Tax Payments Fell Short in 2018

Did you fall short on paying your 2018 federal income tax withholding and estimated tax payments? The Internal Revenue Service recently announced that if you paid at least 85 percent of your total tax liability during the year, they will be waiving the penalty. Click here (
Jan 29 2019

Top Issues for G400 Firms Ensuring a Bright Future

In December, members from the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and North Carolina Association of Certified Public Accountants (NCACPA) visited MSA to gain information about our firm as we are in the top 400 firms (G400) in the country based on the number of CPAs on staff. At this informative meeting, the speakers discussed top issues facing G400 firms. In many aspects of life, it’s essential to have a thorough understanding of where a person or entity has come..
Jan 15 2019

North Carolina Waives Electronic Filing Requirement

The State of North Carolina announced on January 11, 2019, that the Secretary of Revenue has elected to automatically waive the $200 penalty for failure to file Forms W-2, certain Forms 1099 and Form NC-3 in the electronic format originally prescribed in October of 2018. As a result, the Department of Revenue will not impose the penalty on forms that are not filed electronically. The Department of Revenue became aware that the electronic filing of 1099 and NC-3 forms was not being suppor..
Jan 15 2019

January 31 Filing Deadline Reminder

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Jan 15 2019

MSA Family on America's Funniest Videos

MSA employee, Tracie Dagenhart, and her family continued their winning streak in Season 29 of America’s Funniest Videos (AFV). Tracie filmed her son, Colby, on August 2nd, after having his wisdom teeth removed while he was still feeling “loopy” from the procedure and mistaking the family dog, Izzy, for a raccoon. After posting the hilarious video on Facebook, family and friends strongly encouraged her to send it in to AFV. Soon AFV contacted her about flying to Los Ang..
Jan 3 2019

United Way Fair Share Donor Winner

And the lucky winner of a new car from Paramount Automotive was - Susan Estes (, a teacher at Conover School. Susan participated in the Catawba County United Way's annual Fair Share Donor car giveaway program! MSA employees, Frank Williams and Mia Snipes, (see picture) assisted in the monthly drawings that picked the finalists for the big event. Click here (http://ccunite..
Dec 4 2018

Filing Deadline for Wage Statements and Independent Contractor Forms

The deadline for wage statements and independent contractor forms is January 31, 2019. Employers are reminded to file their copies of these forms with the Social Security Administration by the end of January. For full article click here (
Dec 4 2018

Tips to Protect Your Data When Shopping Online

Tis the season for online shopping! Take the necessary steps to protect yourself when shopping online. From the convenience of making purchases at your fingertips and next-day delivery to getting great deals on everything on your list, and more, online shopping has grown in popularity for our busy schedules. Click here (
Nov 5 2018

MSA Participates in Walk to End Alzheimer's

The Alzheimer’s Association provides care and assistance to all those facing Alzheimer’s disease, including family members and caregivers. It drives research toward treatment, prevention, and ultimately, a cure; and works to ensure federal policy reflects the urgency of the Alzheimer’s epidemic. The Alzheimer’s Association website states the following facts about the disease: More than 5 million Americans are currently living with Alzheimer’s disease. ..
Oct 23 2018

Amber McGhinnis Selected as "40 Under 40" Honoree

Amber McGhinnis was recently selected as one of the 2018 "40 Under 40" by CPA Practice Advisor magazine. The accounting profession is as dynamic and vital to the success of America’s small businesses as ever, which is why MSA is excited to announce this award for Amber. The top 40 Under 40 honorees are among the best of the best in the accounting profession. Please join us in congratulating Amber among a diverse group of professionals. They are the voices of today shaping the..
Oct 23 2018

New Employer Tax Credit for Paid Family and Medical Leave Announced

On September 24, 2018, the IRS announced that eligible employers who provide paid family and medical leave to their employees may qualify for a new business credit for tax years 2018 and 2019. In determining whether an employee is a qualifying employee in 2018, the employee must not have had compensation from the employer of more than $72,000 in 2017. Second, the policy must provide at least two weeks of annual paid family and medical leave for each full-time qualifying employee and at ..
Oct 9 2018

MSA Welcomes New Accounting Technician!

Amanda Linder is a native of Catawba County, where she and her family attend Crown Center Church. She received her Associates of Science in Accounting at Catawba Valley Community College. While in college, Amanda was a member of Phi Theta Kappa, the Student Leadership Academy, and the Accounting Club, where she served as Secretary. She and her children are actively involved with the North Carolina 4-H program of Catawba County; Amanda is also the Vice President of the Catawba County Leader..
Oct 9 2018

Welcome to the MSA Team

Noelle Perry currently resides with her parents and two brothers in Hickory. She graduated from Lenoir-Rhyne with a Bachelor of Arts in Accounting and received her Master of Accountancy from Western Carolina University, Asheville. Noelle is an active member of St. Luke’s United Methodist Church in Hickory. In her spare time, she enjoys music, domestic travel, practicing the guitar, and spending time with her family, friends, and pets. Noelle is looking forward to advancing in her..
Oct 9 2018

The Children are ACCOUNTING on Us!

We are excited to share that the photo our firm submitted for the annual CPA Day of Service contest was once again chosen as the Most Creative Photo! Thank you to our team for their creative suggestion, all who participated in the winning photo, and the families who brought their adorable children in for that added touch of cuteness. Thanks to everyone who made this year's CPA Day of Service a success by donating money or items that will benefit the Children's Advocacy Protection Center of ..
Oct 9 2018

IRS Warns of Scams Related to Natural Disasters

Where there is a natural disaster, unfortunately, there are also scammers. Please be aware of these people, especially after the recent storm, Hurricane Florence. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) wants to caution you of these dishonest people who may be calling claiming to represent a charity that does not exist and requesting your money. For more information about what to be on the lookout for, click here (
Sep 25 2018

MSA Collects Items for Local Charity

The Martin Starnes and Associates, CPAs., P.A. team was excited to deliver items from the wish list of the Children’s Advocacy Protection Center of Catawba County on Friday, September 21, 2018. These items consisted of writing journals, coloring books along with crayons and colored pencils, puzzle books, and stickers; the protection center uses these items to help the children communicate their feelings without always having to verbally express themselves. We also brought in diape..
Sep 25 2018

Revised Government Auditing Standards Issued by the GAO

The United States Government Accountability Office (GAO) revised the standards created to provide a framework for high-quality governmental audits. To read more about changes to the Yellow Book, click here (
Sep 25 2018

Major Changes to Form W-4 Pushed Back Until 2020 Tax Year

On June 5, 2018, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued a draft Form W-4, Employee's Withholding Allowance Certificate. This new form was to take into account the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA) that was approved by Congress on December 22, 2017, eliminating personal exemptions. After much criticism regarding the complexity of this form, the Treasury Department announced on September 20, 2018, that the IRS will not be implementing the new Form W-4 until the 2020 tax year. Click ..
Sep 11 2018

CPA Day of Service - We Need Your Help

This year Martin Starnes and Associates, CPAs, P.A. is partnering with Children's Advocacy & Protection Center of Catawba County for our CPA Day of Service. We will be collecting donations at our office locations through the third week of September. Below is a wish list of items that are used. These items are essential in helping to put the families at ease when they come into the center for assistance during a difficult time in their lives. We also appreciate monetary donations, if you ..
Sep 11 2018

Things to Remember if You Filed an Extention

October 15 is right around the corner for those of you that filed an extension for your 2017 1040 Income Tax Return. Click here (
Aug 28 2018

Meet Our Partners - Maurice Capps

Maurice Capps brought over 40 years of experience in assisting organizations in the areas of accounting, auditing, taxation and management consulting when his firm joined Martin Starnes & Associates, CPAs, P.A. through a merger in 2014. He worked at Thomas V. Bumbarger & Company in Hickory for six years before founding Capps, Foster & Company in 1972. Maurice has experience with a variety of organizations from start-up businesses to large privately-held companies. His areas of ex..
Aug 28 2018

Another Successful Peer Review in the Books!

Martin Starnes & Associates, CPAs, P.A. is proud to announce the completion of another successful peer review! The firm received a rating of pass for their system of quality control for the accounting and auditing practice in effect for the year ended December 31, 2017. The review team concluded that the firm complies with the stringent quality control standards set by the AICPA, the national professional organization of Certified Public Accountants. This peer review was conducted ..
Aug 14 2018

MSA Welcomes Accounting Technicians!

Jessica Franklin was born in Virginia Beach, VA, but relocated to Granite Falls 12 years ago. She has an Associate’s Degree in Accounting from CVCC and will be continuing towards her Bachelor’s in the fall through Fayetteville State University’s online degree completion program. When Jessica is not at work, she enjoys spending time with her husband, Keith, and two Labradors. She is excited to be joining our firm and hopes her on-the-job training will aid her in her edu..
Aug 14 2018

Welcome to the MSA Team!

Our new Senior Accountant, Justin Allen, hails from Hickory, NC but over the last ten years he has been around the state living in Boone, Wilmington and Greensboro. He is excited to be back home! Justin received his BSBA in Accounting while attending Appalachian State University and his MS – Accountancy at the University of North Carolina – Wilmington. He has worked in public accounting for the past five years specializing in not-for-profit, employee benefits plan, construction a..
Aug 14 2018

IRS Issues Proposed Regulation on New 20 Percent Deduction for Passthrough Businesses

You may be eligible for a new deduction when filing your 2018 tax return as part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. Section 199A of this legislation provides a 20% deduction for qualified business income from a proprietorship, partnership, S corporation, trust or estate. Some limitations will apply. Read more here ( to find out if you qualify...
Aug 2 2018

Welcome to the MSA Team

Courtney Scott moved to Mooresville from her hometown Youngsville, North Carolina. She recently graduated from Western Carolina University with a BSBA in Accounting. While attending the university, Courtney received multiple scholarships. As an avid animal lover, Courtney worked for a Veterinarian and is an advocate for animal rights. She has spent numerous hours volunteering for rescue missions and is looking for new missions to serve in the Charlotte area. At home, Courtney has a lab..
Aug 2 2018

Meet Our Partners

Brian F. Gantt received his Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from The University of North Carolina at Charlotte in 2000. At that time, he established his professional career with Martin Starnes & Associates, CPAs, P.A., spending approximately six years working in the areas of tax and governmental audits. During 2007, Brian accepted a position at a firm located in his hometown of Statesville and since that date he has worked primarily in the areas of corporate and individual tax, ..
Aug 2 2018

Facts About How the IRS Communicates with Taxpayers

Are you one of the many people who have received a phone call from someone telling you that you owe taxes, and you need to pay them now or else? These types of calls have caused a panic with many individuals over the last couple of years. The link below has updated information from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) that may answer some of your questions about these scams and will educate you in case you are one of the unfortunate taxpayers to receive one of these unpleasant calls. Learn..
Jul 17 2018

MSA Gets the Gold!!!

Martin Starnes & Associates, CPAs, P.A. (MSA) has been recognized for our wellness standards in the workplace and was presented the Gold WellBusiness award at a recent recognition luncheon, moving up from the Bronze level! The WellBusiness Advisory Council identifies companies in Catawba County who are committed to worksite wellness practices and policies that help prevent cancer. Companies meeting evidence-based worksite wellness standards in the areas of tobacco, physical activity, nut..
Jul 17 2018

What Social Security Strategy is Best for Your Retirement?

Have you considered what social security strategy will best suit you in retirement? These important questions are related to social security planning: 1) when should I plan to begin drawing my social security, and, 2) should I delay my social security benefit past full retirement age? To read more about these questions and answers, click here ( Source: Journal of Accountancy ..
Jul 17 2018

Erica Brown is the Recipient of "Taking it to the Max" Award!

Congratulations to Erica Brown who was recently awarded the 2018 “Taking It to the Max” award at the North Carolina Association of Certified Public Accountants' (NCACPA) annual business meeting held on June 21, 2018 in Raleigh, NC. This award recognizes a former Young CPA Cabinet member who characterizes engagement and continues to contribute to the profession and the NCACPA after completion of their cabinet service. The “Taking It to the Max” award was initi..
Jul 3 2018

Lorrie Eaton is Awarded Business Valuation Credential

Our own Lorrie Eaton has been awarded the Accredited in Business Valuation Credential by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. Click here ( to read more about this exciting and well-deserved accomplishment. Source: Hickory Daily Record..
Jul 3 2018

MSA Employee Find Her Biological Family

On Jennie Cheek's 69th birthday, she wrote an email to her biological mother to share her excitement that her great-granddaughter had graduated college, with honors, 70 years after she had graduated from college. Her mother did not respond to her email. Some of you may know Jennie as she is one of the Bookkeepers at our Hickory office. To read the entire story, you can click here ( Source:..
Jul 3 2018

Tax Implications of South Dakota v. Wayfair, Inc.

On June 21, 2018, the Supreme Court issued its much anticipated opinion in the landmark case of South Dakota v. Wayfair, Inc., fundamentally changing the sales tax landscape in the United States. Due to the change in buying patterns to the internet and away from brick and mortar businesses over the last decade, there has been a growing discontent among the states that they are losing significant sales tax revenue. Thus, enters this recent decision. This case could and most likely will lead t..
Jun 19 2018

Meet Partners - Paula Hodges

Paula Hodges has over 26 years of accounting experience. She has been with Martin Starnes and Associates, CPAs, P.A., since 1999 and became an Audit Partner in 2011; Paula specializes in governmental audits. Paula has the following achievements: Member of the Special Review Committee of the Government Finance Officers Association’s Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting Program; Speaker at the North Carolina Gover..
Jun 19 2018

IRS Issues Draft Form W-4 for 2019

On June 5, 2018, the IRS issued a draft Form W-4, Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate. The new W-4 is a two-page condensed version that takes into account the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA). Under the TCJA, which was approved by Congress on December 22, 2017, personal exemptions were eliminated. The IRS has warned taxpayers that this a draft form and changes will be made, if needed, and a final form will be released later in the summer. Taxpayers not wishing to provide t..
Jun 6 2018

Meet Our Partners - Vickie Martin

We would like to introduce our President, Vickie Martin, who has over 30 years of accounting and tax consulting experience serving closely-held companies, family businesses, non-profit organizations, and individuals. Vickie founded Martin Starnes & Associates, CPAs, P.A. (MSA) in 1987. As a result of her leadership abilities and her passion for the financial field, the firm has grown to become a leader in tax and audit services. MSA has offices in Hickory, Taylorsville and Stat..
Jun 6 2018

Do You Need to Amend Your Tax Return?

Did you find something on your tax return that needs to be updated after it had been filed? Maybe your number of dependents changed or your income wasn't reported with the correct amount? Click on the link below to read more about filing an amended tax return. To Read Full Article Click Here (
May 24 2018

In the Spotlight

Congratulations to our own Chris Aronis who has successfully completed a Master of Business Administration degree, with a concentration in accounting at Fitchburg State University! He completed his undergraduate at North Carolina State University. Chris has assisted with audit exams and two tax seasons while at Martin Starnes & Associates, CPAs, P.A. When he isn't working, you can find him exercising, playing sports, and spending time with family and friends. Chri..
May 24 2018

Did You Miss the April Tax Filing Deadline?

Did life get busy and you missed the April filing deadline for your 2017 income taxes? If you owe taxes, you should file your return as soon as possible as the late-filing penalty on unpaid taxes adds up quickly. If you are due a refund, there is no penalty for filing a late return. Click on the link below to read tips on how you can complete this filing process. Read Full Article Here (
May 22 2018

MSA Attends the 14th Annual "Wake-Up Call Breakfast"

The Council on Adolescents of Catawba County recently hosted the 14th Annual “Wake-Up Call Breakfast” a fundraiser at the Catawba Country Club in Newton. The event featured a breakfast, an overview of programs offered and the winner of the Jo Ann Spees Youth Advocacy award. This year’s winner was Ms. Molly Rice, a Theatre Arts teacher at St. Stephens High School. The proceeds from the event will benefit Council on Adolescents’ prevention programs. Linda Lambert, fro..
May 8 2018

Thank You For Stopping By!

Thank you to everyone who brought by their items for shredding and enjoyed a some lunch! We were able to shred approximately 2,500 pounds of paper. Thanks again for making this a success and to Summit Credit Union, Enterprise Car Sales and Kit Cagle - Lincoln Financial for helping to sponsor this event!..
May 8 2018

We Made The List!

This year's winners of Best Employers in North Carolina 2018 were just released and Martin Starnes & Associates, CPAs, P.A. (MSA) is honored to be one of the only 27 named in the entire state in the category of small to medium-sized companies. MSA was chosen based on workplace policies, practices, philosophy, systems, and demographics, and selected by Best Companies Group. We are so proud to stand out from the crowd. For full article from Business NC click here (http://r20.rs6..
Apr 24 2018

How Long Should I Keep Financial Records

Are you confused as to what financial records to keep and how long you should retain them? Please click the link below for more guidance. Click here for Business Recordkeeping Information (
Apr 24 2018

Free Shred Day!

To shred or not to shred - a question we are often asked from our clients. Prior to the Shred Day event, hosted at Martin Starnes & Associates, CPAs, P.A., Thursday May 3, here are some guidelines regarding document retention: What to Keep Taxpayers should keep records supporting items of income, deduction, or credit as shown on a tax return until the period of limitations for that tax return runs out – usually three to seven years. Examples of reco..
Apr 10 2018

What is Emancipation Day?

Why do you have a few extra days to file your 2017 return? You may have asked your tax professional and learned it was Emancipation Day in Washington, D.C. What exactly is Emancipation Day? Emancipation Day is a holiday marking the anniversary of an act of Congress that provided for the emancipation of people held as slaves in the District of Columbia. On April 16, 1862, President Abraham Lincoln signed legislation that abolished slavery in the capital city of the United St..
Apr 10 2018

Free Shred Day!

Are you drowning in paper clutter? Take some time to clean out those old tax returns and other confidential paperwork and bring it to our office to dispose of for free! Open to the Public Thursday - May 3 ..
Apr 10 2018

Changes to the North Carolina Annual Report Filing Process

The North Carolina Annual Reports filing process has changed effective January 1, 2018. The State of North Carolina now requires that all reports be filed directly with the Secretary of State. The annual reports can no longer be a part of the income tax filing process. Annual reports are due no later than the 15th day of the fourth month following year-end. If your business operates on a calendar year-end, the annual report is due April 15, 2018. All Limited Liability Companies (LLCs) m..
Mar 27 2018

Updated Withholding Calculator Now Available

Wondering how the new tax laws might impact you and if you are withholding enough from your paycheck? Use the Internal Revenue Service's newly revised withholding calculator for a quick and easy way to make this determination. Just click on this link -
Mar 27 2018

2018 Catawba County Summit Recap

On Thursday, March 22, the Catawba County Chamber of Commerce held the Future of Catawba County Summit. The agenda of the half-day summit was filled with an abundance of information about the current state of Catawba County and what is to come in the future. The event was a great way to network with community leaders, politicians, educators, and business professionals and to share in one or two words their commitment to crafting the future of Catawba County. Please click this link bel..
Mar 13 2018

Filing an Extension Might be Good for You

The April 17th tax filing deadline is fast approaching. Instead of rushing to file your return by the first due date, you should consider the option to file for an automatic six-month extension. There are many reasons an extension can be helpful or necessary. Many taxpayers fear that extending their return will be a red flag for audits, but the truth is that millions are processed every year with no greater risk. In fact, there can actually be some important advantages for opting to extend ..
Mar 13 2018

Amber McGhinnis Graduates from Catawba County Chamber of Commerce Leadership Program

Amber McGhinnis, Senior Audit Manager at Martin Starnes & Associates, CPAs, P.A. (MSA), recently became a graduate of the 43rd class of the Leadership Catawba program offered by the Catawba County Chamber of Commerce. Leadership Catawba is a 6-month program designed to help individuals who have demonstrated leadership potential to become more effective and influential leaders and to get them more involved in the community. This year's program kicked off in August 2017 with a full ..
Feb 27 2018

MSA Employees Attend Annual Catawba County Chamber of Commerce Shareholder and Investor Luncheon

A group of Martin Starnes & Associates, CPAs, P.A. employees attended the Annual Shareholders and Investors Luncheon earlier this month hosted by the Catawba County Chamber of Commerce. Chamber President, Lindsay Keisler, spoke to the theme of this meeting, Return on Impact. She shared that "investing in the business community is investing in people." Eight speakers, all with diverse backgrounds and interests, spoke about their experiences and shared how they have benefitted from C..
Feb 14 2018

MSA Employees Attend Annual Winter Retreat

Martin Starnes & Associates CPAs, P.A. held their annual company-wide retreat on Friday, February 2. The day was filled with many activities, including a presentation from the world-renowned author and keynote speaker, Clifton Lambreth, and the afternoon with team building. Click on the link below to check out all of the fun pictures of the event. To view photos of the event, please visit
Feb 14 2018

Tax Return Due Dates

The filing deadline to submit 2017 tax returns is April 17, 2018. April 15 falls on a Sunday in 2018, which would normally result in a move to the following Monday (April 16, 2018); however, Emancipation Day falls on Monday, April 16 this year. Since this is a legal holiday in the District of Columbia, the tax filing deadline will be pushed ahead for all individual taxpayers to Tuesday, April 17, 2018...
Jan 30 2018

First Fifteen Results

We just completed our first year of First Fifteen, our corporate reading program. The stats are tallied, and we are delighted to share our results! From late January through the end of December 2017, our employees completed 127 books and 18,550 pages - an amazing outcome on their part! This reading program was designed to create a positive avenue for our employees to grow both professionally and personally, and wow, what an impact it has made! The books often spark numerous conv..
Jan 11 2018

ACA Deadline Extended

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has extended the due date for distributing the 2017 health coverage information forms to employees until March 2nd, 2018. Employers and insurers are encouraged to provide the forms to individuals as soon as possible, but no later than March 2, 2018. Individuals who file their 2017 federal income tax returns before receiving their 1095-B and 1095-C forms will not be required to amend their income tax returns once they receive their forms; however, their..
Nov 30 2017

Hickory Christmas Parade 2017

On November 17, 2017, employees of Martin Starnes & Associates CPAs, P.A. had the honor of joining the Fallen Heroes Ministry from Sandy Ridge Baptist Church in the Hickory Christmas Parade. The Fallen Heroes Ministry honors our men and women in all branches of service who paid the ultimate price for our freedom. During the parade, we carried 228 posters of North Carolina residents who have given their lives in war for the sake of our freedom. While walking in the parade, some ..
Oct 31 2017

MSA Participates in Walk to End Alzheimer’s

For the third year in a row, Martin Starnes & Associates CPAs, P.A. employees and their family members participated in the Hickory Walk to End Alzheimer’s. This event is held annually in more than 600 communities nationwide and took place on October 28, 2017, at L.P. Frans Stadium in Hickory. The Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s is the largest event to raise awareness and funding for Alzheimer’s care, support, and research. The Alzheimer..
Sep 18 2017

Travel & Entertainment Expense Tips

T&E expenses are by far one of the largest expenses in a company's budget. Although most companies would like to adopt best-practice procedures, it can be difficult to know where to begin. Effectively managing these expenses will make it easier for employees to understand the expectations of what is acceptable, and will aid in streamlining the company's cash flow. Below, we have compiled a few tips on what to include in your process. Simple Works - Everyone is more likely to remem..
Aug 14 2014

First Fifteen

On January 30, 2017, Martin Starnes & Associates, CPAs, P.A. (MSA) rolled out a reading program for employees called the First Fifteen. This program, which was researched and tested with accounting firms and other businesses throughout the country over the last five years, has shown to have made a huge impact on the participants both professionally and personally. At MSA, the program works as follows: The firm provides a library of non-fictional books including; self-help o..
Aug 1 2017

Don't Make These Entrepreneur Accounting Mistakes!

Entrepreneurs generally have no problems when it comes to developing new ideas to get their business going. Unfortunately, studies show that about 90 percent of these start-ups fail within the first five years. As a small business, you may think you are safe from making big financial mistakes, but in fact, the smaller your business is, the more important your financials are to that success. We have put together a list of a few of the most common accounting mistakes entrepren..
Jul 18 2017

Tax Updates

Last month, on June 30th, 2017, the North Carolina General Assembly passed the budget bill along with several other tax bills. Some of the most notable changes affected corporate and individual income tax rates, franchise tax calculations, standard deduction amounts, as well as other items discussed below. Various corporate tax credit changes were also passed. Corporate income tax rates have dropped from 5% to 3% over the last several years. The General Assembly continued this tr..
Jun 20 2017

Now Is The Time To Outsource!

Healthcare, transportation, banking institutions, retail and manufacturing firms, just to mention a few, are turning to outsourced bookkeeping and related services. The most commonly outsourced services within accounting are: payroll accounting, accounts payable, and accounts receivable; however, there are many more offerings available. See the list below: AP/AR management Credit card processing Expense reimbursement Sales and use tax reporting Payroll processi..
Jun 19 2017

MSA Attends The 13th Annual “Wake-Up Call Breakfast"

The Council on Adolescents of Catawba County recently hosted the 13th Annual “Wake-Up Call Breakfast”, a fundraiser at the Catawba Country Club in Newton. The event featured a breakfast, an overview of programs offered and the winner of this year’s JoAnn Spees Youth Advocacy Award, Mrs. Alice Averitt-Sanzone of Hickory Career & Arts Magnet High School. The proceeds from the event will benefit Council on Adolescents’ prevention programs. Linda Lambert, from Martin..
May 15 2017

Tax Reform Priorities

Late last month President Trump’s tax plan was released. Trump has stated his major goals for the Tax Reform are to grow the economy and create jobs. In short, provide relief to American families, specifically middle class, and to lower the business tax rate significantly. How this will affect Individuals The plan consists of lowering the current 7 tax brackets to only 3 at the following percentages: 10%, 25% and 35%. It has not yet been determined at what income levels those..

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730 13th Avenue Drive, SE
Hickory, NC 28602
Tel: 828.327.2727
Fax: 828.328.2324
13 South Center Street
Taylorsville, NC 28681
Tel: 828.632.9025
Fax: 828.632.9085

Toll Free: 800.948.0585