• Are scholarships tax-free or taxable?

    COVID-19 is changing the landscape for many schools this fall. But many children and young adults are going back, even if it’s just for online learning, and some parents will be facing tuition bills. If your child has been awarded a scholarship, that’s cause for celebration! But be aware that there may be tax implications. Scholarships (and fellowships) are generally…

    Read More
  • Why do partners sometimes report more income on tax returns than they receive in cash?

    If you’re a partner in a business, you may have come across a situation that gave you pause. In a given year, you may be taxed on more partnership income than was distributed to you from the partnership in which you’re a partner. Why is this? The answer lies in the way partnerships and partners are taxed. Unlike regular corporations,…

    Read More
  • Reopening concepts: What business owners should consider

    A widely circulated article about the COVID-19 pandemic, written by author Tomas Pueyo in March, described efforts to cope with the crisis as “the hammer and the dance.” The hammer was the abrupt shutdown of most businesses and institutions; the dance is the slow reopening of them — figuratively tiptoeing out to see whether day-to-day life can return to some…

    Read More
  • 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…

    Read More
  • 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…

    Read More
  • 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…

    Read More
  • 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,…

    Read More
  • 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…

    Read More
  • 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…

    Read More
  • 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…

    Read More