Now’s the time to review your business expenses

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 you’d benefit from accelerating certain expenses into this year. There’s no master list of deductible business expenses in the Internal Revenue Code (IRC). Some deductions are expressly authorized or excluded,…

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Tax-free fringe benefits help small businesses and their employees

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. Those that are tax-free are especially attractive to employees. Examples include many types of insurance (health, disability, long-term care, life) and assistance plans (dependent care, adoption and educational), subject…

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2 ways to transfer a family business

If a family-owned business is your main source of wealth, it’s critical to plan for the transition of ownership in your estate plan. One option if estate tax isn’t a concern is an estate defective trust. It’s designed so that your beneficiaries are the owners for income tax purposes, which will result in lower “familywide”…

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Are you ready to expand to a second location?

Are you thinking about expanding your business to a second location? If so, make sure your company is truly ready. First ask whether you can duplicate the success of your current location at another one. Also look into how an expansion might create conflicts between the two locations. Explore the financial aspects, too. How will…

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3 reasons you should continue making lifetime gifts

The TCJA doubled the lifetime gift and estate tax exemption this year to an inflation-adjusted $11.18 million. But it can still pay to make lifetime gifts. First, gifting removes future appreciation from the estate, saving estate tax for taxpayers with very large estates. Second, the higher exemption isn’t permanent, so taxpayers who don’t have to…

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Protect your peace of mind with a trust protector

Do you need a trust protector? Maybe, if you aren’t completely confident the trustee will carry out your wishes. A trustee manages the trust on a day-to-day basis, while the protector oversees the trustee and weighs in on critical decisions, such as investment transactions involving large dollar amounts. Although it’s tempting to provide a protector…

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Is there a weak link in your supply chain?

Every company should watch out for weak links in its supply chain. Examples include: 1) legal risks; a supplier could be embroiled in a lawsuit or violation, 2) political risks; a supplier may operate in a politically unstable region (even nationally), and 3) transportation risks; weather or other disasters could compromise a supplier’s shipping routes.…

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3 keys to a successful accounting system upgrade

Today’s accounting software can perform adequately for years, but improved features are being created all the time. Here are three key considerations to help you decide when to upgrade: 1) Your users’ tech savvy needs to align with the system’s level of sophistication. 2) Costs matter: Set a firm budget and focus on only needed…

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Finding a 401(k) that’s right for your business

Ready to offer a 401(k) plan? Know your options: Traditional 401(k)s let employees contribute pretax dollars and give employers the option of matching contributions. But rigorous testing rules apply. Roth 401(k)s allow employees to contribute after-tax dollars and take tax-free withdrawals (subject to limitations). Safe harbor 401(k)s avoid strict testing but require certain employer contributions.…

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