• A nonworking spouse can still have an IRA

    It’s often difficult for married couples to save as much as they need for retirement when one spouse doesn’t work outside the home — perhaps so that spouse can take care of children or elderly parents. In general, an IRA contribution is allowed only if a taxpayer has compensation. However, an exception involves a “spousal” IRA. It allows a contribution…

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  • Does your company have an emergency succession plan?

    For business owners, succession planning is ideally a long-term project. You want to begin laying out a smooth ownership transition, and perhaps grooming a successor, years in advance. And you shouldn’t officially hand over the reins until many minute details have been checked and rechecked. But it doesn’t always work out this way. As the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has made…

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  • Student loan interest: Can you deduct it on your tax return?

    The economic impact of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is unprecedented and many taxpayers with student loans have been hard hit. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act contains some assistance to borrowers with federal student loans. Notably, federal loans were automatically placed in an administrative forbearance, which allows borrowers to temporarily stop making monthly payments. This payment suspension…

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  • IRS releases 2021 amounts for Health Savings Accounts

    The IRS recently released the 2021 inflation-adjusted amounts for Health Savings Accounts (HSAs).  HSA basics An HSA is a trust created or organized exclusively for the purpose of paying the “qualified medical expenses” of an “account beneficiary.” An HSA can only be established for the benefit of an “eligible individual” who is covered under a “high deductible health plan.” In…

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  • Business meal deductions: The current rules amid proposed changes

    Restaurants and entertainment venues have been hard hit by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. One of the tax breaks that President Trump has proposed to help them is an increase in the amount that can be deducted for business meals and entertainment. It’s unclear whether Congress would go along with enhanced business meal and entertainment deductions. But in the meantime,…

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  • Attuning your social media strategy to the pandemic

    Social media for business: Your time has come. That’s not to say it wasn’t important before but, during the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, connecting with customers and prospects via a popular platform is essential to maintaining visibility, building goodwill and perhaps even generating a bit of revenue. What’s challenging is that the social media strategy you deployed before the crisis…

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  • Fortunate enough to get a PPP loan? Forgiven expenses aren’t deductible

    The IRS has issued guidance clarifying that certain deductions aren’t allowed if a business has received a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan. Specifically, an expense isn’t deductible if both: The payment of the expense results in forgiveness of a loan made under the PPP, and The income associated with the forgiveness is excluded from gross income under the Coronavirus Aid,…

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  • Subchapter V: A silver lining for small businesses mulling bankruptcy

    Many small businesses continue to struggle in the wake of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Some have already closed their doors and are liquidating assets. Others, however, may have a relatively less onerous option: bankruptcy. Although bankruptcy obviously isn’t an optimal outcome for any small company, there may be a silver lining: A new bankruptcy law — coupled with an under-the-radar…

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  • The CARES Act liberalizes net operating losses

    The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act eliminates some of the tax-revenue-generating provisions included in a previous tax law. Here’s a look at how the rules for claiming certain tax losses have been modified to provide businesses with relief from the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis. NOL deductions Basically, you may be able to benefit by carrying a net…

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  • Hiring independent contractors? Make sure they’re properly classified

    As a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis, your business may be using independent contractors to keep costs low. But you should be careful that these workers are properly classified for federal tax purposes. If the IRS reclassifies them as employees, it can be an expensive mistake. The question of whether a worker is an independent contractor or an employee…

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