• IRA charitable donations are an alternative to taxable required distributions

    Are you charitably minded and have a significant amount of money in an IRA? If you’re age 70½ or older, and don’t need the money from required minimum distributions, you may benefit by giving these amounts to charity. IRA distribution basics A popular way to transfer IRA assets to charity is through a tax provision that allows IRA owners who…

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  • A shadow board could shed light on your company’s best future

    In many industries, market conditions move fast. Businesses that don’t have their ears to the ground can quickly get left behind. That’s just one reason why some of today’s savviest companies are establishing so-called “shadow” (or “mirror”) boards composed of younger, nonexecutive employees who are on the front lines of changing tastes and lifestyles. Generational change Millennials — people who…

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  • At the very least, update the financials in your business plan

    Every new company should launch with a business plan and keep it updated. Generally, such a plan will comprise six sections: executive summary, business description, industry and marketing analysis, management team description, implementation plan, and financials. Now, ideally, you would comprehensively update each section every year. But if the size, shape and objectives of your company haven’t changed all that…

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  • Selling securities by year end? Avoid the wash sale rule

    If you’re planning to sell assets at a loss to offset gains that have been realized during the year, it’s important to be aware of the “wash sale” rule. How the rule works Under this rule, if you sell stock or securities for a loss and buy substantially identical stock or securities back within the 30-day period before or after…

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  • Accelerate depreciation deductions with a cost segregation study

    Is your business depreciating over a 30-year period the entire cost of constructing the building that houses your operation? If so, you should consider a cost segregation study. It may allow you to accelerate depreciation deductions on certain items, thereby reducing taxes and boosting cash flow. And under current law, the potential benefits of a cost segregation study are now…

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  • Setting up a Health Savings Account for your small business

    Given the escalating cost of employee health care benefits, your business may be interested in providing some of these benefits through an employer-sponsored Health Savings Account (HSA). For eligible individuals, HSAs offer a tax-advantaged way to set aside funds (or have their employers do so) to meet future medical needs. Here are the key tax benefits: Contributions that participants make…

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  • 6 ways to ensure your marketing plan drives sales

    “Love and marriage,” goes the old song: “…You can’t have one without the other.” This also holds true for sales and marketing. Even the best of sales staffs will struggle if not supported by a well-researched and carefully executed marketing plan. Here are six ways to ensure your marketing plan is likely to drive strong sales: 1. Keep customers aware…

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  • Watch out for tax-related scams

    “Thousands of people have lost millions of dollars and their personal information to tax scams,” according to the IRS. Criminals can contact victims through regular mail, telephone calls and email messages. Here are just two of the scams the tax agency has seen in recent months. Fake property liens. A tax bill is sent from a fictional government agency in…

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  • The chances of an IRS audit are low, but business owners should be prepared

    Many business owners ask: How can I avoid an IRS audit? The good news is that the odds against being audited are in your favor. In fiscal year 2018, the IRS audited approximately 0.6% of individuals. Businesses, large corporations and high-income individuals are more likely to be audited but, overall, audit rates are historically low. There’s no 100% guarantee that…

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  • Does your team know the profitability game plan?

    Autumn brings falling leaves and … the gridiron. Football teams — from high school to pro — are trying to put as many wins on the board as possible to make this season a special one. For business owners, sports can highlight important lessons about profitability. One in particular is that you and your coaches must learn from your mistakes…

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