Newsletter Archive

A Different Type of Audit
Auditing your human resources, whether you have a department devoted to it or not, can help protect you, your employees and your business while identifying solutions that can make your company stronger.

Safe Harbor
The IRS has provided guidance on a safe harbor method for determining depreciation deductions for passenger automobiles acquired and put into service after September 27, 2017 that qualify for the 100% additional first-year depreciation deduction.

5 Reasons Why Estate Planning Matters
Ask the average person if estate planning is necessary and you will likely hear this answer: “That’s only for the rich.” This is not true. At some level, estate planning is necessary for almost everyone, regardless of income or amount of assets. Let’s count the areas of your life estate planning affects:

June 2019 Client Profile
Spencer has run a successful restaurant for more than five years, but is now reaching a crossroad. He wants a bigger space for his business to grow, but he can’t afford the prices in his current neighborhood. Should he relocate?

Audits For Private Companies
Publicly traded companies are used to undergoing financial audits — it’s a requirement for most of them - but privately held companies can generally keep their finances private. However, lenders and some insurance companies may require you to have an audit performed. And, in any event, an audit can help owners pinpoint problem areas and identify solutions that can improve their company’s prospects.

Benefits of an Insurance Audit
A financial audit isn’t the only type of helpful review. Individuals can conduct their own insurance review, taking a comprehensive look at the financial protection they need in various areas of their lives.

June 2019 Question and Answer
Let's talk qualified business deductions and student loan interest deductions.

June 2019 Short Bits
Let's take a quick look at some key U.S. economy metrics.

Read More

Retirement Revised
If you have unsuccessfully tried to ignore the flood of warnings about how much healthcare, long term care and increased longevity will cost in retirement, you have company. While you shouldn’t ignore any information that can help you prepare, you need to examine the aspects of retirement that are most likely to affect your savings. Here are some common warnings, and ways you might want to respond to fit your situation.

Next Up: Generation Z
The first of the youngest group of workers — Generation Z — is making its way into the workplace. How will they differ from previous generations and what should employers know to communicate best with them, whether about company culture or employee benefits? If you have a business you hope to take far into the future, you should get to know Gen Z.

May 2019 Client Profile
Lisa has a special-needs adult child and wants to ensure the child has the money necessary for care after she is no longer here to provide it herself. Can a specialneeds trust help, and how does she get one started?

Filling the Gaps
If you’re like most business owners, you offer vacation time to your employees. And if your employees are like most workers, they’ll take some time off during the summer when the kids are out of school and the weather is nice. For many business owners, temporary workers help fill the gaps during this time. If your business is considering a temporary staffing solution, consider this:

Advice from the Master
Legendary mutual fund pioneer John Bogle died in January, but his legacy lives on. The inventor of the first mutual index fund more than 40 years ago, Bogle was a huge believer in the power of numbers and low investing costs. His beliefs are as valid today as they were decades ago. Here are three pieces of wisdom that still apply:

May 2019 Question and Answer
Let's discuss disability income insurance, and filing for FAFSA.

May 2019 Short Bits
Let's take a quick look at some statistics from the Bureau of Labor (BLS).

Passing Through
The IRS issued final regulations and more guidance for the new qualified business income (QBI) deduction available to some business owners. Also known as the pass-through deduction, this benefit allows many sole proprietors and owners of partnerships, S corporations, trusts and estates and some real estate investment trusts to deduct up to 20% of their QBI on their tax returns.

Read More

Last-Minute Tax Breaks
If you haven’t filed your 2018 tax return yet, double-check it to make sure you’ve taken every tax break you can. New tax rules are in effect, so you may find deductions you overlooked.

Avoid This!
If you don’t want to experience an IRS audit of your tax returns, you can reduce your chances by doing the following:

Too Much of a Good Thing
Like all good things, investing requires moderation. For example, owning too many shares of your company’s publicly traded stock in your 401(k) plan can hurt your retirement income prospects. Enron employees learned this painful truth in the early 2000s when the company’s stock, in which many of them were heavily invested, became worthless.

April 2019 Client Profile
Rafael wants to offer employees his company’s public stock as one of the investments in his firm’s employer-sponsored 401(k) plan. He heard there are limits to how much company stock employees can buy, but I told him there weren’t. Who’s right?

Reducing Seasonal Business Risks
Many businesses, from farms and ski resorts to surf shops and landscapers, depend on seasonal employees to keep them successful. Seasonal businesses come with added risks because they don’t have the entire year to make up for a bad month or two.

Your Business May Owe Sales Tax
A handful of court decisions have sided with states that want to levy sales taxes on online purchases from companies located outside their states. Retailers who operate in more than one state may want to reexamine their tax practices in order to comply with each state’s tax laws.

April 2019 Q and A
Let's talk about finances as a married couple, and insurance coverage needs for a seasonal business.

April 2019 Short Bits
The IRS announced it will generally waive an underpayment penalty for taxpayers who come up short on their withholding or estimated tax payments, but paid at least 85% of their total tax liability for 2018.

Read More

A Taxing Situation
Starting your first business as a self-employed individual may be exciting, but it can also be taxing. To make the best of it, you’ll need to understand and attend to your tax obligations.

Home Sweet Home
You could be eligible to deduct some costs of your home for business — if you follow strict rules.

Selling Your Home
If you sell your home and don’t buy another one, and you make a large profit on the sale, you could owe federal capital gains taxes on your profit.

March 2019 Client Profile
Marilyn owns a business with 20 employees. For the past five years, she has awarded cash gifts to her employees of the month, but she is concerned that the new tax law will adversely affect her and her rewarded employees. What should she do?

Turbo-Charge Retirement Savings
If you aren’t saving enough for the future, the simplest way to increase your retirement plan balance is to increase contributions by 1%. If you’re considering deferring 3% of a $50,000 salary, you would contribute $1,500 annually. Over 20 years at 6% compounded daily, your 3% contribution, which is $125 monthly, would have grown from zero to $57,994.74.

Choosing the Right Retirement Plan
If you own a business, you’ll need to explore the variety of employer provided retirement plans before choosing one. Some allow participants to make contributions that are deductible from taxable income, timely during this tax season. Here’s a summary of some of them:

March 2019 Q and A
Let's discuss life insurance beneficiaries, and deducting investment losses.

March 2019 Short Bits
CONSUMER EXPECTATIONS MIXED. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Center for Microeconomic Data conducts a monthly survey of consumer expectations for the future.

Read More