Should you elect S corporation status?

Operating a business as an S corporation may provide advantages, including limited liability and no double taxation (at least at the federal level). Self-employed people may also be able to lower their exposure to Social Security and Medicare taxes. But not all businesses are eligible and, with tax law changes, S corps may not be…

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What to do if your business receives a “no-match” letter

In recent months, many businesses and employers have received “no-match” letters from the Social Security Administration (SSA). These letters alert employers if employees’ names and Social Security numbers (SSNs) don’t match the data reported on W-2 forms, which are given to employees and filed with the IRS. If you receive a no-match letter, check to…

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Run your strategic-planning meetings like they really matter

Many businesses struggle to turn abstract strategic planning ideas into concrete, actionable plans. One reason is simple: ineffective meetings. A good way to get started running better ones is to involve everyone in the agenda-setting process. Also, encourage meeting leaders to speak with conviction and express positivity (if not passion) for the subject matter. To…

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M&A transactions: Avoid surprises from the IRS

If you’re in the process of a merger or acquisition, it’s important that both parties report the transaction to the IRS in the same way. Otherwise, you could increase your chances of being audited. If a sale involves business assets (as opposed to stock or ownership interests), the buyer and the seller must generally report…

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Grading the performance of your company’s retirement plan

Imagine giving your retirement plan a report card. Is it a straight-A student or could it use some help after school? Many plan sponsors track common metrics such as benchmarked fees, participation rates and average deferral rates. But don’t stop there. A sometimes-overlooked measure is average account balance size. Knowing your plan’s asset growth rate…

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Put a number on your midyear performance with the right KPIs

It’s the middle of the calendar year. How are things going? You can answer specifically by choosing and calculating key performance indicators (KPIs). For example, the current ratio indicator helps you assess your cash flow by dividing current assets by current liabilities. But KPIs aren’t limited to widely used ratios. You can make up your…

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Hiring this summer? You may qualify for a valuable tax credit

If you hire from certain “targeted groups” and get proper certification, you can claim the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) on your 2019 tax return. You can claim it for eligible workers whose employment begins before January 1, 2020. Targeted groups include qualified veterans, eligible summer youth, the long-term unemployed, ex-felons and certain government assistance…

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Employers: Be aware (or beware) of a harsh payroll tax penalty

If payroll taxes withheld from employees’ paychecks aren’t remitted to the IRS, a severe tax penalty can be personally imposed on “responsible” individuals. The IRS can assess a penalty of 100% of the unpaid tax amount on shareholders, owners, directors, officers, employees and others. The Trust Fund Recovery Penalty (or “100% Penalty”) is assessed when…

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Build long-term relationships with CRM software

Customer relationship management software can help you build long-term relationships with those most likely to buy your products or services. These solutions are generally designed to gather and organize customer data and then integrate it with other systems and platforms (including social media). The right product can help you track leads, forecast and track sales,…

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Buy vs. lease: Business equipment edition

Life presents us with many choices. A common conundrum for business owners is whether to buy or lease their companies’ equipment. Some still take pride in owning their assets. If you do, work to pass along this dedication to employees. Also, consider enhanced tax breaks under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act for purchasing. Meanwhile,…

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How entrepreneurs must treat expenses on their tax returns

Have you recently started a new business or are you contemplating starting one? Keep in mind that not all start-up expenses can be deducted on your federal tax return right away. Some expenses probably must be amortized over time. You might be able to make an election to deduct up to $5,000 currently, but the…

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