Newsletter Archive

Estimated Tax Payments — An Overview

Are you on track for making your estimated tax payments for the 2017 tax year? Here is what you need to know.

A legal structure for Your Business

Entrepreneurs should take the time to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of choosing a particular legal structure for their business. Here are some options to consider.

Tax Help for Caregivers

Are you caring for an elderly or disabled family member? The tax tips that follow may provide a little relief at tax time.

Deduct the Expenses of Moving Away for a New Job

You are ready to start a new phase in your life — a new job in a new place far from your current home. And the good news is that you may be able to deduct the cost of moving your family and your possessions to your new home.

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Tuition Tax Credits

College expenses are on the rise. The College Board reports that the average cost of a college education, including room and board, has risen faster than the inflation rate in recent years, topping $20,000 for public four-year institutions and $45,000 for private colleges for the 2016-2017 academic year.*

Penalty Pointers

If you’re saving for retirement in a qualified plan sponsored by your employer, such as a 401(k), or in a traditional individual retirement account (IRA), you need to remember that the IRS generally imposes a 10% penalty on any withdrawals you make before you turn age 59½.* This penalty is in addition to any income taxes due on the withdrawal. However, there are several exceptions that may apply.**

Managing Employee Absenteeism

Employee absenteeism can be costly to your company — perhaps as much as 22% of payroll, according to one study.* How might you manage employee attendance without running afoul of federal and state laws?

What Income Is Not Taxable?

Many taxpayers assume the IRS taxes any and every form of income. While most types of income are taxable, some are not. Here’s a look at some forms of income that are generally not subject to federal income tax:

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Employee or Independent Contractor?

An important issue for employers is whether their workers are employees or independent contractors. The worker’s status determines whether the employer must withhold income and FICA (Social Security and Medicare) taxes, pay the employer’s portion of FICA taxes, and pay federal unemployment taxes. Additionally, an employer’s misclassification of workers can cause it to incur stiff penalties.

Simple Ways To Keep Your Best Customers

It’s generally much easier to keep an existing customer than it is to win a new one. It’s also less expensive. Returning customers help build successful, sustainable businesses. What makes customers keep coming back? What strategies can business owners use to retain customers? Product and price, while important, are not the only factors that drive customer loyalty. Here are some strategies you can use to build repeat business.

Is There a Tax-smart Way?

As the owner of a C corporation, you may be aware of a potential double taxation issue: the corporation pays taxes on its profits and, if those profits are distributed to the owners as dividends, the owners are subject to income taxation. Because dividends are not tax deductible to the corporation, profits are essentially taxed twice.

Conflicting Visions

Couples don’t always see eye to eye when it comes to finances. Unfortunately, these differences can create tension in a relationship. What strategies can couples use to reduce conflicts over money and help them make the most of their financial resources? Here are some time-tested strategies.

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Midyear Financial Checkup

Midyear is a good time to review your personal finances to see where you stand. A net worth calculation in particular can help you keep track of your progress and help you identify areas where you might be falling behind in your personal goals.

Should You Have a Living Trust?

If you have acquired significant assets over time, you may wonder if you need a living trust in addition to your will. The reality is that a living trust can be a useful planning tool. However, you should be certain that you understand what it can and can’t accomplish before you decide to make one part of your estate plan.

If They Give You Lemons...

Yelp, Trip Advisor, and numerous other websites allow customers to rate, rave about, or criticize a business’s services or products. Lots of consumers use other social media sites such as Facebook to share their experiences with stores, restaurants, and other service providers. Positive consumer reviews can help a business, but it may only take a few negative ones to harm a business. What can you do when a customer blasts your business via social media? Think about turning lemons into lemonade. Try turning the criticism into an opportunity to win back your customer and improve your business.

Give Your 401(k) a Raise

Have you thought about giving your retirement plan a raise? You can contribute as much as $18,000 to your 401(k) plan account (plus an additional pretax contribution of up to $6,000 if you attain age 50 by the end of the plan year) for 2017. Here’s a look at the potential growth of a single $18,000 contribution using different investment return assumptions:

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