• Are your employees ignoring their 401(k)s?

    For many businesses, offering employees a 401(k) plan is no longer an option — it’s a competitive necessity. But employees often grow so accustomed to having a 401(k) that they don’t pay much attention to it. It’s in your best interest as a business owner to buck this trend. Keeping your employees engaged with their 401(k)s will increase the likelihood…

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  • Careful tax planning required for incentive stock options

    Incentive stock options (ISOs) are a popular form of compensation for executives and other employees of corporations. They allow you to buy company stock in the future at a fixed price equal to or greater than the stock’s fair market value on the ISO grant date. If the stock appreciates, you can buy shares at a price below what they’re…

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  • Beware the Ides of March — if you own a pass-through entity

    Shakespeare’s words don’t apply just to Julius Caesar; they also apply to calendar-year partnerships, S corporations and limited liability companies (LLCs) treated as partnerships or S corporations for tax purposes. Why? The Ides of March, more commonly known as March 15, is the federal income tax filing deadline for these “pass-through” entities. Not-so-ancient history Until the 2016 tax year, the…

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  • The home office deduction: Actual expenses vs. the simplified method

    If you run your business from your home or perform certain functions at home that are related to your business, you might be able to claim a home office deduction against your business income on your 2018 income tax return. There are now two methods for claiming this deduction: the actual expenses method and the simplified method. Basics of the…

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  • Some of your deductions may be smaller (or nonexistent) when you file your 2018 tax return

    While the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) reduces most income tax rates and expands some tax breaks, it limits or eliminates several itemized deductions that have been valuable to many individual taxpayers. Here are five deductions you may see shrink or disappear when you file your 2018 income tax return: 1. State and local tax deduction. For 2018 through…

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  • Best practices when filing a business interruption claim

    Many companies, especially those that operate in areas prone to natural disasters, should consider business interruption insurance. Unlike a commercial property policy, which may cover certain repairs of damaged property, this coverage generally provides the cash flow to cover revenues lost and expenses incurred while normal operations are suspended because of an applicable event. But be warned: Business interruption insurance…

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  • When are LLC members subject to self-employment tax?

    Limited liability company (LLC) members commonly claim that their distributive shares of LLC income — after deducting compensation for services in the form of guaranteed payments — aren’t subject to self-employment (SE) tax. But the IRS has been cracking down on LLC members it claims have underreported SE income, with some success in court. SE tax background Self-employment income is…

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  • Financial statements tell your business’s story, inside and out

    Ask many entrepreneurs and small business owners to show you their financial statements and they’ll likely open a laptop and show you their bookkeeping software. Although tracking financial transactions is critical, spreadsheets aren’t financial statements. In short, financial statements are detailed and carefully organized reports about the financial activities and overall position of a business. As any company evolves, it…

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  • Why you shouldn’t wait to file your 2018 income tax return

    The IRS opened the 2018 income tax return filing season on January 28. Even if you typically don’t file until much closer to the April 15 deadline, this year consider filing as soon as you can. Why? You can potentially protect yourself from tax identity theft — and reap other benefits, too. What is tax identity theft? In a tax…

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  • Refine your strategic plan with SWOT

    With the year underway, your business probably has a strategic plan in place for the months ahead. Or maybe you’ve created a general outline but haven’t quite put the finishing touches on it yet. In either case, there’s a time-tested approach to refining your strategic plan that you should consider: a SWOT analysis. Let’s take a closer look at what…

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