• Take advantage of a “stepped-up basis” when you inherit property

    If you’re planning your estate, or you’ve recently inherited assets, you may be unsure of the “cost” (or “basis”) for tax purposes. Fair market value rules Under the fair market value basis rules (also known as the “step-up and step-down” rules), an heir receives a basis in inherited property equal to its date-of-death value. So, for example, if your grandfather…

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  • Even if no money changes hands, bartering is a taxable transaction

    During the COVID-19 pandemic, many small businesses are strapped for cash. They may find it beneficial to barter for goods and services instead of paying cash for them. If your business gets involved in bartering, remember that the fair market value of goods that you receive in bartering is taxable income. And if you exchange services with another business, the…

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  • Does your business have a unique selling proposition?

    Many business owners — particularly those who own smaller companies — spend so much time trying to eliminate weaknesses that they never fully capitalize on their strengths. One way to do so is to identify and explicate your unique selling proposition (USP). Give it some thought In a nutshell, a USP states why customers should buy your product or service…

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  • Conduct a “paycheck checkup” to make sure your withholding is adequate

    Did you recently file your federal tax return and were surprised to find you owed money? You might want to change your withholding so that this doesn’t happen next year. You might even want to do that if you got a big refund. Receiving a tax refund essentially means you’re giving the government an interest-free loan. Withholding changes In 2018,…

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  • Businesses: Get ready for the new Form 1099-NEC

    There’s a new IRS form for business taxpayers that pay or receive nonemployee compensation. Beginning with tax year 2020, payers must complete Form 1099-NEC, Nonemployee Compensation, to report any payment of $600 or more to a payee. Why the new form? Prior to 2020, Form 1099-MISC was filed to report payments totaling at least $600 in a calendar year for…

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  • 6 key IT questions to ask in the new normal

    The sudden shutdown of the economy in March because of the COVID-19 pandemic forced many businesses to rely more heavily on technology. Some companies fared better than others. Many businesses that had been taking an informal approach to IT strategy discovered their systems weren’t as robust and scalable as they’d hoped. Some may have lost ground competitively as fires were…

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  • What qualifies as a “coronavirus-related distribution” from a retirement plan?

    As you may have heard, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act allows “qualified” people to take certain “coronavirus-related distributions” from their retirement plans without paying tax. So how do you qualify? In other words, what’s a coronavirus-related distribution? Early distribution basics In general, if you withdraw money from an IRA or eligible retirement plan before you reach…

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  • Launching a business? How to treat start-up expenses on your tax return

    While the COVID-19 crisis has devastated many existing businesses, the pandemic has also created opportunities for entrepreneurs to launch new businesses. For example, some businesses are being launched online to provide products and services to people staying at home. Entrepreneurs often don’t know that many expenses incurred by start-ups can’t be currently deducted. You should be aware that the way…

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  • Some people are required to return Economic Impact Payments that were sent erroneously

    The IRS and the U.S. Treasury had disbursed 160.4 million Economic Impact Payments (EIPs) as of May 31, 2020, according to a new report. These are the payments being sent to eligible individuals in response to the economic threats caused by COVID-19. The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) reports that $269.3 billion of EIPs have already been sent through a…

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  • Assessing productivity as you cope with the pandemic

    The COVID-19 crisis is affecting not only the way many businesses operate, but also how they assess productivity. How can you tell whether you’re getting enough done when so much has changed? There’s no easy, one-size-fits-all answer, but business owners should ask the question so you can adjust expectations and objectives accordingly. Impact of remote work Heading into the crisis,…

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