• The “kiddie tax” hurts families more than ever

    Years ago, Congress enacted the “kiddie tax” rules to prevent parents and grandparents in high tax brackets from shifting income (especially from investments) to children in lower tax brackets. And while the tax caused some families pain in the past, it has gotten worse today. That’s because the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) made changes to the kiddie tax…

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  • Take a closer look at home office deductions

    Working from home has its perks. Not only can you skip the commute, but you also might be eligible to deduct home office expenses on your tax return. Deductions for these expenses can save you a bundle, if you meet the tax law qualifications. Under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, employees can no longer claim the home office deduction.…

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  • Run your strategic-planning meetings like they really matter

    Many businesses struggle to turn abstract strategic-planning ideas into concrete, actionable plans. One reason why is simple: ineffective meetings. The ideas are there, lurking in the minds of management and key employees, but the process for hashing them out just doesn’t work. Here are a few ways to run your strategic-planning meetings like they really matter — which, of course,…

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  • The “nanny tax” must be paid for more than just nannies

    You may have heard of the “nanny tax.” But even if you don’t employ a nanny, it may apply to you. Hiring a housekeeper, gardener or other household employee (who isn’t an independent contractor) may make you liable for federal income and other taxes. You may also have state tax obligations. If you employ a household worker, you aren’t required…

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  • Businesses can utilize the same information IRS auditors use to examine tax returns

    The IRS uses Audit Techniques Guides (ATGs) to help IRS examiners get ready for audits. Your business can use the same guides to gain insight into what the IRS is looking for in terms of compliance with tax laws and regulations. Many ATGs target specific industries or businesses, such as construction, aerospace, art galleries, child care providers and veterinary medicine.…

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  • Summer: A good time to review your investments

    You may have heard about a proposal in Washington to cut the taxes paid on investments by indexing capital gains to inflation. Under the proposal, the purchase price of assets would be adjusted so that no tax is paid on the appreciation due to inflation. While the fate of such a proposal is unknown, the long-term capital gains tax rate…

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  • It’s a good time to buy business equipment and other depreciable property

    There’s good news about the Section 179 depreciation deduction for business property. The election has long provided a tax windfall to businesses, enabling them to claim immediate deductions for qualified assets, instead of taking depreciation deductions over time. And it was increased and expanded by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA). Even better, the Sec. 179 deduction isn’t the…

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  • Is your accounting software living up to the hype?

    Accounting software typically sells itself as much more than simple spreadsheet or ledger. The products tend to pride themselves on being comprehensive accounting information systems — depending on the price point, of course. So, is your accounting software living up to the hype? If not, there are a couple of relatively simple steps you can take to improve matters. Train…

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  • M&A transactions: Avoid surprises from the IRS

    If you’re considering buying or selling a business — or you’re in the process of a merger or acquisition — it’s important that both parties report the transaction to the IRS in the same way. Otherwise, you may increase your chances of being audited. If a sale involves business assets (as opposed to stock or ownership interests), the buyer and…

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  • Grading the performance of your company’s retirement plan

    Imagine giving your company’s retirement plan a report card. Would it earn straight A’s in preparing your participants for their golden years? Or is it more of a C student who could really use some extra help after school? Benchmarking can tell you. Mind the basics More than likely, you already use certain criteria to benchmark your plan’s performance using…

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