If Robots Replace People, Should They Be Paying Taxes?

Robot car plantby William E. Rogers MBA, CFP, EA

The capability of artificial intelligence has reached a point that it is no longer a question of if robots will replace people, but a matter of when. Highly automated factory floors, driverless cars, and computerized medical diagnoses all exist today. In the not too distant future it is plausible that a large percentage of highly skilled jobs will be performed by robots. In the fields of engineering, finance, and scientific research computers have already surpassed the ability to process data in a far superior manner than the brightest humans on the planet. [Read more…]

Can I Claim My Airbnb Rental as a Hotel?

A young couple run on the sandy beach toward the house in the late afternoon light.

by William E. Rogers MBA, CFP, EA

Vacation rentals are nothing new. For centuries travelers have opted to stay in private residences over hotels for a variety of reasons. It’s quite common here in Southern California with the lure of our local beaches and mountains for property owners to rent out their properties on a transient basis. Vacationers have long used the Internet to search for available properties by visiting sites like Craigslist or VRBO.com (Vacation Rentals by Owner). The emergence of Airbnb over the last few years has taken the industry to a whole another level. In fact, Airbnb has gained such large scale prominence that its nightly occupancy rates rival many major hotel chains. In 2015, 155 million guests stayed in Airbnb hosted properties that is 22% more than Hilton Worldwide.[i] Unlike other aspects of the sharing economy, long established tax rules do exist for vacation rentals. [Read more…]


ascend shipping containersBy William E. Rogers MBA, CFP, EA

Over the past few weeks, I’ve had numerous clients ask me about how they might be impacted by the border adjustment tax. In fact, so many have expressed concern that they’re already seeking advice on how to avoid being impacted, even though nothing has been enacted into law. For those of you whom are unfamiliar with the subject, the border adjustment tax is currently a proposal, not law. The idea is derived from the House Republican’s Ways and Means Committee tax reform blueprint, “A Better Way”.[i] One of the central themes in the House GOP blueprint is to shift the taxation of goods and services from a “worldwide” to a “territorial” based system. Proponents of the plan believe that it would dramatically improve U.S. competitiveness because companies would no longer be forced to keep cash trapped overseas for fear of those funds being taxed upon repatriation. In other words, under a territorial system all earnings from overseas would be exempt from tax. [Read more…]


aba-tax-reformBy William E. Rogers, MBA, CFP, EA

In the remaining weeks of this election, we are going to hear a lot of back and forth debate over who has a better tax plan. For years, there have been promises by both Republican and Democratic lawmakers to reform our tax code. I’m not sure if many of you recall that in 2010 there was a bi-partisan commission convened by President Obama, “Simpson Bowles” to draft a proposal on reforming our tax code. What happened? The Commission presented its report to Congress, but they refused to do anything. [Read more…]



Everyone needs a solid estate plan to distribute assets according to their wishes and benefit their heirs. But this necessity is especially keen for business owners, many of whom have spent years working hard to build up the values of their companies.

If you can relate to this statement, one effective way to reduce estate taxes is to limit the amount of appreciation in your estate — and your company may provide just the ticket for doing so. [Read more…]


human-automationWritten by William E. Rogers MBA, CFP, EA

This is not something out of a science fiction movie, or requires any stretch of the imagination. Every day, every week, and every month that goes by from now until some point in the not so distant future, a new technology is being launched that automates a task once performed by a human. Many of us marvel over all the cool things that our gadgets can do for us. But, have we ever wondered what the world will be like if we suddenly find ourselves one day competing for our jobs against a robot? [Read more…]


robots welding in an automobile factory

Written by William E. Rogers MBA, CFP, EA

As the election season heats up, you are probably going to hear a lot of discussion about trade policy. Although there is no question that millions of American workers have been displaced by globalization; I personally feel that this is the wrong issue to focus on. Why, because the offshoring of jobs and the ensuing hollowing out of small town America have taken place over thirty years. I believe that it is extremely dishonest to tell voters that we are going to magically bring our jobs back by simply renegotiating trade deals. The reality is the global economy doesn’t work that way. We are only lying to ourselves by not recognizing the fact that the genie has left the bottle, and there’s no putting him back in. Whether we like it or not, we have to come to the stark realization that jobs that have been lost to global trade are not coming back. [Read more…]



Many companies reach a point in their development where they have to make an important decision: Innovate themselves or acquire a competitor? Of course, it isn’t always an either/or decision. Nonetheless, business owners should consider the pluses and minuses of both approaches.

Innovating to grow

Innovation is a broad term that encompasses many strategies — all of which are intended to help the company achieve goals such as boosting profits, improving cash flow, or diversifying products or services. Common strategies are: [Read more…]


ABA_logoSmThank you for joining us on the new website ASCENDBusinessAdvisory.com. The purpose of the website is to serve as an objective resource when it comes to business, accounting, taxes, accounting automation, and most every aspect of your back office operations. The website will continue to grow in the areas of business resources, blog posts and guest blog posts in the months ahead. [Read more…]