Tips on how to develop hard working and motivated employeees.
In the 21st century, Professional Selling Skills (PSS) are an essential, non-negotiable business fundamental. Here are three keys.
If your small business is bankable and you need a loan, you'd go to a bank. But if you aren't and are considering online alternatives, be sure you fully understand the requirements of those.
In today’s tightening job market, to attract and retain the best employees, small businesses need to offer not only competitive pay, but also appealing fringe benefits. Benefits that are tax-free are especially attractive to employees. Let’s take a quick look at some popular options. Insurance Businesses can provide their employees with various types of insurance on a tax-free basis. Here are so[...]
As we approach the end of the year, it’s a good idea to review your business’s expenses for deductibility. At the same time, consider whether your business would benefit from accelerating certain expenses into this year. Be sure to evaluate the impact of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), which reduces or eliminates many deductions. In some cases, it may be necessary or desirable to change your ex[...]
You’ve spent years building your company and now are ready to move on to something else, whether launching a new business, taking advantage of another career opportunity or retiring. Whatever your plans, you want to get the return from your business that you’ve earned from all of the time and money you’ve put into it. That means not only getting a good price, but also minimizing the tax hit on t[...]
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) didn’t change the federal tax credit for “increasing research activities,” but several TCJA provisions have an indirect impact on the credit. As a result, the research credit may be available to some businesses for the first time. AMT reform Previously, corporations subject to alternative minimum tax (AMT) couldn’t offset the research credit against their AMT lia[...]
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) has enhanced two depreciation-related breaks that are popular year-end tax planning tools for businesses. To take advantage of these breaks, you must purchase qualifying assets and place them in service by the end of the tax year. That means there’s still time to reduce your 2018 tax liability with these breaks, but you need to act soon. Section 179 expensing S[...]
If most of your money is tied up in your business, retirement can be a challenge. So if you haven’t already set up a tax-advantaged retirement plan, consider doing so this year. There’s still time to set one up and make contributions that will be deductible on your 2018 tax return! More benefits Not only are contributions tax deductible, but retirement plan funds can grow tax-deferred. If you mi[...]
Is your sales process getting off-balance? Sometimes it can be hard to tell. Fluctuations in the economy, changes in customer interest and dips in demand may cause slowdowns that are beyond your control. But if the numbers keep dropping and you’re not sure why, you may need to double-check the structural soundness of how you sell your company’s products or services. Here are four pillars of a soli[...]
When a business is launched, its owners typically welcome every customer through the door with a sigh of relief. But after the company has established itself, those same owners might start looking at their buying constituency a little more critically. If your business has reached this point, regularly assessing your customer base is indeed an important strategic planning activity. One way to appr[...]
Business owners are constantly bombarded with terminology and buzzwords. Although you probably feel a need to keep up with the latest trends, you also may find that many of these ideas induce more anxiety than relief. One example is change management. This term is used to describe the philosophies and processes an organization uses to manage change. Putting change management into practice in your [...]
Protecting your company through the purchase of various forms of insurance is a risk-management necessity. But just because you must buy coverage doesn’t mean you can’t manage the cost of doing so. Obviously, the safer your workplace, the less likely you’ll incur costly claims and high workers’ compensation premiums. There are, however, bigger-picture issues that you can confront to also lessen [...]
For several years now, cloud computing has been touted as the perfect way for companies large and small to meet their software and data storage needs. But, when it comes to choosing and deploying a solution, one size doesn’t fit all.
Here are some of the key tax-related deadlines affecting businesses and other employers during the second quarter of 2018. Keep in mind that this list isn’t all-inclusive, so there may be additional deadlines that apply to you. Contact us to ensure you’re meeting all applicable deadlines and to learn more about the filing requirements. April 2 Electronically file 2017 Form 1096, Form 1098, Form [...]
When a company’s deductible expenses exceed its income, generally a net operating loss (NOL) occurs. If when filing your 2017 income tax return you found that your business had an NOL, there is an upside: tax benefits. But beware — the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) makes some significant changes to the tax treatment of NOLs. Pre-TCJA law Under pre-TCJA law, when a business incurs an NOL, the loss[...]
Over the last several years, virtual currency has become increasingly popular. Bitcoin is the most widely recognized form of virtual currency, also commonly referred to as digital, electronic or crypto currency. While most smaller businesses aren’t yet accepting bitcoin or other virtual currency payments from their customers, more and more larger businesses are. And the trend may trickle down to[...]
When you think about recent tax law changes and your business, you’re probably thinking about the new 20% pass-through deduction for qualified business income or the enhancements to depreciation-related breaks. Or you may be contemplating the reduction or elimination of certain business expense deductions. But there are also a couple of recent tax law changes that you need to be aware of if your b[...]
and Jobs Act (TCJA) created a flat 21% federal income tax rate for C corporations. Under prior law, C corporations were taxed at rates as high as 35%. The TCJA also reduced individual income tax rates, which apply to sole proprietorships and pass-through entities, including partnerships, S corporations, and, typically, limited liability comp[...]
You’ve probably heard about the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision allowing state and local governments to impose sales taxes on more out-of-state online sales. The ruling in South Dakota v. Wayfair, Inc. is welcome news for brick-and-mortar retailers, who felt previous rulings gave an unfair advantage to their online competitors. And state and local governments are pleased to potentially be able [...]
For small businesses, managing payroll can be one of the most arduous tasks. Adding to the burden earlier this year was adjusting income tax withholding based on the new tables issued by the IRS. (Those tables account for changes under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.) But it’s crucial not only to withhold the appropriate taxes — including both income tax and employment taxes — but also to remit them on[...]
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) provides a valuable new tax break to noncorporate owners of pass-through entities: a deduction for a portion of qualified business income (QBI). The deduction generally applies to income from sole proprietorships, partnerships, S corporations and, typically, limited liability companies (LLCs). It can equal as much as 20% of QBI. But once taxable income exceeds $315[...]
Meal, vehicle and travel expenses are common deductions for businesses. But if you don’t properly document these expenses, you could find your deductions denied by the IRS. A critical requirement Subject to various rules and limits, business meal (generally 50%), vehicle and travel expenses may be deductible, whether you pay for the expenses directly or reimburse employees for them. Deductibili[...]
Under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, employees can no longer claim the home office deduction. If, however, you run a business from your home or are otherwise self-employed and use part of your home for business purposes, the home office deduction may still be available to you. Home-related expenses Homeowners know that they can claim itemized deductions for property tax and mortgage interest on thei[...]
One of the biggest concerns for family business owners is succession planning — transferring ownership and control of the company to the next generation. Often, the best time tax-wise to start transferring ownership is long before the owner is ready to give up control of the business. A family limited partnership (FLP) can help owners enjoy the tax benefits of gradually transferring ownership yet[...]
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) liberalized the eligibility rules for using the cash method of accounting, making this method — which is simpler than the accrual method — available to more businesses. Now the IRS has provided procedures a small business taxpayer can use to obtain automatic consent to change its method of accounting under the TCJA. If you have the option to use either accounting m[...]
The S corporation business structure offers many advantages, including limited liability for owners and no double taxation (at least at the federal level). But not all businesses are eligible - and, with the new 21% flat income tax rate that now applies to C corporations, S corps may not be quite as attractive as they once were. Tax comparison The primary reason for electing S status is the com[...]
If your small business doesn’t offer its employees a retirement plan, you may want to consider a SIMPLE IRA. Offering a retirement plan can provide your business with valuable tax deductions and help you attract and retain employees. For a variety of reasons, a SIMPLE IRA can be a particularly appealing option for small businesses. The deadline for setting one up for this year is October 1, 2018. [...]
Classifying a worker as an independent contractor frees a business from payroll tax liability and allows it to forgo providing overtime pay, unemployment compensation and other employee benefits. It also frees the business from responsibility for withholding income taxes and the worker’s share of payroll taxes. For these reasons, the federal government views misclassifying a bona fide employee as[...]
Here are some of the key tax-related deadlines affecting businesses and other employers during the fourth quarter of 2018. Keep in mind that this list isn’t all-inclusive, so there may be additional deadlines that apply to you. Contact us to ensure you’re meeting all applicable deadlines and to learn more about the filing requirements. October 15 If a calendar-year C corporation that filed an a[...]
Does your business reimburse employees’ work-related travel expenses? If you do, you know that it can help you attract and retain employees. If you don’t, you might want to start, because changes under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) make such reimbursements even more attractive to employees. Travel reimbursements also come with tax benefits, but only if you follow a method that passes muster wit[...]
Tax identity theft may seem like a problem only for individual taxpayers. But, according to the IRS, increasingly businesses are also becoming victims. And identity thieves have become more sophisticated, knowing filing practices, the tax code and the best ways to get valuable data. How it works In tax identity theft, a taxpayer’s identifying information (such as Social Security number) is used[...]
Businesses that acquire, construct or substantially improve a building — or did so in previous years — should consider a cost segregation study. It may allow you to accelerate depreciation deductions, thus reducing taxes and boosting cash flow. And the potential benefits are now even greater due to enhancements to certain depreciation-related breaks under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA). Real pr[...]
Some business owners — particularly those who founded their companies — may find it hard to give up control to a successor. Maybe you just can’t identify the right person internally to fill your shoes. While retirement isn’t in your immediate future, you know you must eventually step down. One potential solution is to find an outside buyer for your company and undertake a long-term deal to gradua[...]
Every year is a journey for a business. You begin with a set of objectives for the months ahead, probably encounter a few bumps along the way and, hopefully, reach your destination with some success and a few lessons learned. The middle of the year is the perfect time to stop for a breather. A midyear review can help you and your management team determine which objectives are still “meetable” and[...]
Funny thing about customers: They can keep you in business — but they can also put you out of it. The latter circumstance often arises when a company overly relies on a few customers that abuse their credit to the point where the company’s cash flow is dramatically impacted. To guard against this, you need to diligently assess every customer’s creditworthiness before getting too deeply involved. [...]
By and large, today’s employees expect employers to offer a tax-advantaged retirement plan. A 401(k) is an obvious choice to consider, but you may not be aware that there are a variety of types to choose from. Let’s check out some of the most popular options: Traditional. Employees contribute on a pretax basis, with the employer matching all or a percentage of their contributions if it so chooses[...]
On one level, every company’s inventory is a carefully curated collection of inanimate objects ready for sale. But, on another, it can be a confounding, slippery and unpredictable creature that can shrink too small or grow too big — despite your best efforts to keep it contained. If your inventory has been getting the better of you lately, don’t give up on showing it who’s boss. Check your math [...]
Technology is tricky. Much of today’s software is engineered so well that it will perform adequately for years. But new and better features are being created all the time. And if you’re not getting as much out of your financial data as your competitors are, you could be at a disadvantage. For these reasons, it can be hard to decide when to upgrade your company’s accounting software. Here are thre[...]
When business use of websites began, getting noticed was the name of the game. Remember pop-up ads? Text scrolling up the screen? How about those mesmerizing rotating banners? Yes, there were — and remain — a variety of comical and some would say annoying ways to get visitors’ attention. Nowadays, most Internet users are savvy enough not to be impressed by flashy graphics. They tend to want simpl[...]
Strategic planning is key to ensuring every company’s long-term viability, and goal setting is an indispensable step toward fulfilling those plans. Unfortunately, businesses often don’t accomplish their overall strategic plans because they’re unable to fully reach the various goals necessary to get there. If this scenario sounds all too familiar, trace your goals back to their origin. Those that [...]
In an increasingly global economy, keeping a close eye on your supply chain is imperative. Even if your company operates only locally or nationally, your suppliers could be affected by wider economic conditions and developments. So, make sure you’re regularly assessing where weak links in your supply chain may lie. 3 common risks Every business faces a variety of risks. Three of the most common [...]
As a business grows, one of many challenges it faces is identifying a competitive yet manageable compensation structure. After all, offer too little and you likely won’t have much success in hiring. Offer too much and you may compromise cash flow and profitability. But the challenge doesn’t end there. Once you have a feasible compensation structure in place, your organization must then set its co[...]
IT consultants are many things — experts in their field, champions of the workaround and, generally, the “people persons” of the tech field. But they’re not magicians who, with the wave of a smartphone, can solve any dilemma you throw at them. Here are six ways to get more value from your company’s next IT consulting relationship: 1. Spell out your needs. Define your desired outcome in as much de[...]
Late summer and early fall, when so many families have members returning to educational facilities of all shapes and sizes, is also a good time for businesses to creatively step up their business development efforts, whether it’s launching new marketing initiatives, developing future employees or simply generating goodwill in the community. Here are a few examples that might inspire you. Becoming [...]
If you’ve done any research into employee benefits for your business recently, you may have come across a bit of alphabet soup in the form of “HSA + HDHP.” Although perhaps initially confusing, this formula represents an increasingly popular model for health care benefits — that is, offering a Health Savings Account (HSA) coupled with, as required by law, a high-deductible health plan (HDHP). Req[...]
Every business with more than one owner needs a buy-sell agreement to handle both expected and unexpected ownership changes. When creating or updating yours, be sure you’re prepared for the valuation issues that will come into play. Issues, what issues? Emotions tend to run high when owners face a “triggering event” that activates the buy-sell. Such events include the death of an owner, the div[...]
Most business owners want to grow their companies. And one surefire sign of growth is when ownership believes the company can expand its operations to a second location. If your business has reached this point, or is nearing it, both congratulations and caution are in order. You’ve clearly done a great job with growth, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re ready to expand. Here are a few point [...]
You’ve no doubt heard the old business cliché “cash is king.” And it’s true: A company in a strong cash position stands a much better chance of obtaining the financing it needs, attracting outside investors or simply executing its own strategic plans. One way to ensure that there’s always a king in the castle, so to speak, is to maintain a cash reserve. Granted, setting aside a substantial amount[...]
Like many business owners, you probably created a business plan when you launched your company. But, as is also often the case, you may not have looked at it much since then. Now that fall has arrived and year end is coming soon, why not dig it out? Reviewing and revising a business plan can be a great way to plan for the year ahead. 6 sections to scrutinize Comprehensive business plans traditio[...]
It’s easy to understand why more and more businesses are taking a “bring your own device” (BYOD) approach to the smartphones, tablets and laptops many employees rely on to do their jobs. BYOD can boost employee efficiency and satisfaction, often while reducing a company’s IT costs. But the approach isn’t without risk for both you and your staff. So, it’s highly advisable to create a strong formal [...]
With bonus depreciation, a business can recover the costs of depreciable property more quickly by claiming additional first-year depreciation for qualified assets. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), signed into law in December, enhances bonus depreciation.
Many businesses train employees how to do their jobs and only their jobs. But amazing things can happen when you also teach staff members to actively involve themselves in a profitability process — that is, an ongoing, idea-generating system aimed at adding value to your company’s bottom line.
Tax credits reduce tax liability dollar-for-dollar, potentially making them more valuable than deductions
Along with tax rate reductions and a new deduction for pass-through qualified business income
While many provisions of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) will save businesses tax
Natural disasters and other calamities can affect any company at any time.
Every company, big or small, should have a mission statement. Heres why
Has your small business procrastinated in setting up a retirement plan?
The recently passed tax reform bill, commonly referred to as the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act”
Although the drop of the corporate tax rate from a top rate of 35% to a flat rate of 21% may be...
As a business owner, you know that it’s easy to spend nearly every working hour on the multitude of day-to-day tasks and crises that never seem to end. It’s essential to your company’s survival, however, to find time for strategic planning.
On October 12, an executive order was signed that, among other things, seeks to expand Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs).
Projecting your business income and expenses for this year next can allow you to a time
Many businesses are hosting holiday parties for employees this time of year.
Updated travel per diem rates go into effect October 1.
One way to reduce your 2017 tax bill is to buy a business vehicle before year end.
Does your small business engage in qualified research activities?
Two valuable depreciation-related tax breaks can potentially reduce your 2017 taxes
If your business is a limited liability company (LLC) or a limited liability partnership (LLP)
It’s a safe bet that state tax authorities will let you know if you haven’t paid enough sales and use taxes
Currently, a valuable income tax deduction related to real estate is for depreciation
Come tax time, owner-employees face a variety of distinctive tax planning challenges
It can be difficult in the current job market for students and recent graduates to find summer or full-time jobs.
At this time of year, it’s common for businesses to make thank-you gifts to customers
With the possibility that tax law changes could go into effect next year
Business owners may not be able to set aside as much as they’d like in tax-advantaged retirement plans.
Here are some of the key tax-related deadlines affecting businesses and other employers during the first quarter of 2018.
With Veterans Day on November 11, it’s an especially good time to think about the sacrifices
If you own a profitable, unincorporated business with your spouse, you probably find the high self-employment (SE) tax bills burdensome.
Any business owner developing a succession plan should rightfully assume that regular business valuations are a must.
It’s that time of year, business owners
Many people scoff at New Year’s resolutions. It’s no mystery why
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