• It’s a good time to check your withholding and make changes, if necessary

    Due to the massive changes in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), the 2019 filing season resulted in surprises. Some filers who have gotten a refund in past years wound up owing money. The IRS reports that the number of refunds paid this year is down from last year — and the average refund is lower. As of May…

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  • Hire your children this summer: Everyone wins

    If you’re a business owner and you hire your children (or grandchildren) this summer, you can obtain tax breaks and other nontax benefits. The kids can gain on-the-job experience, save for college and learn how to manage money. And you may be able to: • Shift your high-taxed income into tax-free or low-taxed income, • Realize payroll tax savings (depending…

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  • The simple truth about annual performance reviews

    There are many ways for employers to conduct annual performance reviews. So many, in fact, that owners of small to midsize businesses may find the prospect of implementing a state-of-the-art review process overwhelming. The simple truth is that smaller companies may not need to exert a lot of effort on a complex approach. Sometimes a simple conversation between supervisor and…

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  • Selling your home? Consider these tax implications

    Spring and summer are the optimum seasons for selling a home. And interest rates are currently attractive, so buyers may be out in full force in your area. Freddie Mac reports that the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate was 4.14% during the week of May 2, 2019, while the 15-year mortgage rate was 3.6%. This is down 0.41 and 0.43%,…

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  • Consider a Roth 401(k) plan — and make sure employees use it

    Roth 401(k) accounts have been around for 13 years now. Studies show that more employers are offering them each year. A recent study by the Plan Sponsor Council of America (PSCA) found that Roth 401(k)s are now available at 70% of employer plans, up from 55.6% of plans in 2016. However, despite the prevalence of employers offering Roth 401(k)s, most…

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  • Buy vs. lease: Business equipment edition

    Life presents us with many choices: paper or plastic, chocolate or vanilla, regular or decaf. For businesses, a common conundrum is buy or lease. You’ve probably faced this decision when considering office space or a location for your company’s production facilities. But the buy vs. lease quandary also comes into play with equipment. Pride of ownership Some business owners approach…

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  • What type of expenses can’t be written off by your business?

    If you read the Internal Revenue Code (and you probably don’t want to!), you may be surprised to find that most business deductions aren’t specifically listed. It doesn’t explicitly state that you can deduct office supplies and certain other expenses. Some expenses are detailed in the tax code, but the general rule is contained in the first sentence of Section…

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  • Prepare for the worst with a business turnaround strategy

    Many businesses have a life cycle that, as life cycles tend to do, concludes with a period of decline and failure. Often, the demise of a company is driven by internal factors — such as weak financial oversight, lack of management consensus or one-person rule. External factors typically contribute, as well. These may include disruptive competitors; local, national or global…

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  • Casualty loss deductions: You can claim one only for a federally declared disaster

    Unforeseen disasters happen all the time and they may cause damage to your home or personal property. Before the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, eligible casualty loss victims could claim a deduction on their tax returns. But there are new restrictions that make these deductions much more difficult to take. What’s considered a casualty for tax purposes? It’s a sudden,…

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  • Should your health care plan be more future-focused?

    The pace of health care cost inflation has remained moderate over the past year or so, and employers are trying to keep it that way. In response, many businesses aren’t seeking immediate cost-cutting measures or asking employees to shoulder more of the burden. Rather, they’re looking to “future-focused” health care plan features to encourage healthful behaviors. This was a major…

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