New tax law gives pass-through businesses a valuable deduction

Owners of “pass-through” businesses may see some major (albeit temporary) relief under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) in the form of a new deduction for a portion of qualified business income (QBI). For tax years beginning after Dec. 31, 2017, and before Jan. 1, 2026, owners of entities such as sole proprietorships, partnerships,…

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The TCJA temporarily expands bonus depreciation

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) significantly enhances bonus depreciation. You might even be able to benefit when you file your 2017 tax return. Generally, for qualified property placed in service between Sept. 28, 2017, and Dec. 31, 2022, the first-year bonus depreciation percentage increases to 100%. In addition, the 100% deduction is allowed…

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Find time for strategic planning

Every business owner must find time for strategic planning. Failing to do so can leave you working blindly, in danger of crisis or even ruin because of unforeseen developments. Some experts say a CEO should spend only 50% of his or her time on daily operations, with the other half going to strategizing. But the…

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7 steps to choosing a successor for your family business

Many family businesses don’t survive to a third generation. To give your company a fighting chance, carefully choose a successor. Don’t assume your son or daughter is the only candidate. Work with objective outsiders to identify potential successors. Let these individuals work in various capacities for your company, giving each a fair shot at rising…

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Q1 tax calendar: Key deadlines for businesses and other employers

Here are a few key tax-related deadlines for businesses during Q1 of 2018. JAN. 31: File 2017 Forms W-2 with the Social Security Administration and provide copies to employees, and provide copies of 2017 Forms 1099-MISC to recipients. FEB. 28: File 2017 Forms 1099-MISC if paper filing. (Forms 1099-MISC reporting nonemployee compensation in Box 7…

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Get smart: How AI can help your business

Artificial intelligence (AI) can help just about any business “get smart.” AI generally refers to technology capable of performing tasks that previously required human intelligence, such as image perception, voice recognition and problem solving. Integrating it into a CRM system helps you better understand buyers and generate sales leads. Using AI to assist customer service…

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Cutting costs when you’ve gone over budget

If your company is over budget at year end, it’s a bit of a disappointment, to say the least. But don’t lose hope. You can still cut costs to either improve this year’s numbers or perhaps next year’s. Reassess your staffing levels to see if you can reorganize and eliminate underperforming positions. Also, review your…

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Could an FSA offer the benefits flexibility you need?

When shopping for employee benefits to offer, many companies seek options that are flexible. One has that word built right into its name: the Flexible Spending Account (FSA). Employees can use a health care FSA to pay for qualifying medical costs with pretax dollars, and employers don’t have to establish a high-deductible health plan to…

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4 tips on making your marketing emails a blast

No business owner wants to send out spam, but you can still make your marketing emails a blast. Start with a catchy subject line that clearly conveys your message. Next, write a headline that differs from the subject line but drives readers’ interest. Keep the body short and simple; tell customers why they should buy.…

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Minimize inventory, services to make your financials shine

The strength of your business financials, both now and in the future, is important. One fundamental way of making your cash flow statement shine is to minimize inventory so you have just enough to fulfill demand. Taking stock of, and perhaps cutting back on, excess inventory reduces costs and makes tracking easier. (Up-to-date software helps,…

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Who should own your life insurance policy?

If you own life insurance policies at your death, the proceeds will be included in your estate. The way around this problem is to not own the policies when you die. Ownership by your children can be a good option when your primary goal is to pass wealth to them. Proceeds aren’t subject to estate…

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