Blog

The holiday season is a great time for businesses to show their appreciation for employees and customers by giving them gifts or hosting holiday parties. Before you begin shopping or sending out invitations, though, it’s a good idea to find out whether the expense is tax deductible and whether it’s taxable to the recipient. Here’s a brief review of the rules. Gifts to customers When you make gifts to customers,...

Read more
November 27, 2018

Will you be age 50 or older on December 31? Are you still working? Are you already contributing to your 401(k) plan or Savings Incentive Match Plan for Employees (SIMPLE) up to the regular annual limit? Then you may want to make “catch-up” contributions by the end of the year. Increasing your retirement plan contributions can be particularly advantageous if your itemized deductions for 2018 will be smaller than in...

Read more
November 26, 2018

Estate planning typically focuses on what happens to your children and your assets when you die. But it’s equally important to have a plan for making critical financial and medical decisions if you’re unable to make those decisions yourself. A crucial component of this plan is the power of attorney (POA) ? specifically, a nonspringing POA. POA defined A POA is a document under which you, as “principal,” authorize a...

Read more
November 26, 2018

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 might be...

Read more
November 20, 2018

As we approach the end of 2018, it’s a good idea to review the mutual fund holdings in your taxable accounts and take steps to avoid potential tax traps. Here are some tips. Avoid surprise capital gains Unlike with stocks, you can’t avoid capital gains on mutual funds simply by holding on to the shares. Near the end of the year, funds typically distribute all or most of their net...

Read more
November 20, 2018

An IRA is a popular vehicle to save for retirement, and it can also be a powerful estate planning tool. Some people designate a trust as beneficiary of their IRAs, but is that a good idea? The answer: possibly. IRA benefits The benefit of an IRA is that your contributions can grow and compound on a tax-deferred basis for many years. The longer you leave the funds in the IRA,...

Read more
November 20, 2018

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 Sec. 179 expensing...

Read more
November 10, 2018

If you’re an executive or other key employee, your employer may offer you a nonqualified deferred compensation (NQDC) plan. As the name suggests, NQDC plans pay employees in the future for services currently performed. The plans allow deferral of the income tax associated with the compensation.   But to receive this attractive tax treatment, NQDC plans must meet many requirements. One is that employees must make the deferral election before...

Read more
November 10, 2018

Your estate plan shouldn’t be a static document. It needs to change as your life changes. Year end is the perfect time to check whether any life events have taken place in the past 12 months or so that affect your estate plan. And the plan should be reviewed periodically anyway to ensure that it still meets your main objectives and is up to date. When revisions might be needed...

Read more
November 10, 2018

Many employers offer coverage to employees’ domestic partners under their health care plans. If your organization does so, you need to determine what rights domestic partners have regarding COBRA insurance. General principles One common question for employers is whether terminated employees may elect to continue COBRA coverage for their domestic partners. The answer is yes; a terminated employee who elects to continue health plan coverage under COBRA may also elect...

Read more
November 10, 2018