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Blog

August 18, 2017

Put your audit in reverse to save sales and use tax

Posted By Michael Garofalo in Blog, The JGS Advisor
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It’s a safe bet that state tax authorities will let you know if you haven’t paid enough sales and use taxes, but what are the odds that you’ll be notified if you’ve paid too much? The chances are slim —   Read More


August 16, 2017

Beware the GST tax when transferring assets to grandchildren

Posted By Michael Garofalo in Blog, The JGS Advisor
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As you plan your estate, don’t overlook the generation-skipping transfer (GST) tax. Despite a generous $5.49 million GST tax exemption, complexities surrounding its allocation can create several tax traps for the unwary.

GST basics

The GST tax is a flat, 40%   Read More


August 14, 2017

Will Congress revive expired tax breaks?

Posted By Michael Garofalo in Blog, The JGS Advisor
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Most of the talk about possible tax legislation this year has focused on either wide-sweeping tax reform or taxes that are part of the Affordable Care Act. But there are a few other potential tax developments for individuals to keep   Read More


August 11, 2017

Material participation key to deducting LLC and LLP losses

Posted By Michael Garofalo in Blog, The JGS Advisor
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If your business is a limited liability company (LLC) or a limited liability partnership (LLP), you know that these structures offer liability protection and flexibility as well as tax advantages. But they once also had a significant tax disadvantage:   Read More


August 10, 2017

Use a noncharitable purpose trust to achieve a variety of goals

Posted By Michael Garofalo in Blog, The JGS Advisor
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Generally, trusts must have one or more human beneficiaries, but there’s an exception for certain “purpose” trusts. One type of purpose trust that you may be familiar with is the charitable trust. But don’t overlook the noncharitable purpose (NCP) trust   Read More


August 09, 2017

4 tough questions to ask before expanding to a new location

Posted By Michael Garofalo in Blog, The JGS Advisor
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Is business going so well that you’re thinking about adding another location? If this is the case, congratulations! But before you start planning the ribbon-cutting ceremony, take a step back and ask yourself some tough questions about whether a new   Read More


August 07, 2017

A refresher on the ACA’s tax penalty on individuals without health insurance

Posted By Michael Garofalo in Blog, The JGS Advisor
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Now that Affordable Care Act (ACA) repeal and replacement efforts appear to have collapsed, at least for the time being, it’s a good time for a refresher on the tax penalty the ACA imposes on individuals who fail to have   Read More


August 03, 2017

6 ways to control your unemployment tax costs

Posted By Michael Garofalo in Blog, The JGS Advisor
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Unemployment tax rates for employers vary from state to state. Your unemployment tax bill may be influenced by the number of former employees who’ve filed unemployment claims with the state, your current number of employees and your business’s age. Typically,   Read More


August 02, 2017

Don’t overlook tax apportionment when planning your estate

Posted By Michael Garofalo in Blog, The JGS Advisor
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If you expect your estate to have a significant estate tax liability at your death, be sure to include a well-thought-out tax apportionment clause in your will or revocable trust. An apportionment clause specifies how the estate tax burden will   Read More


August 01, 2017

Listening to your customers by tracking lost sales

Posted By Michael Garofalo in Blog, The JGS Advisor
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“Sorry, we don’t carry that item.” Or perhaps, “No, that’s not part of our service package.” How many times a year do your salespeople utter these words or ones like them? The specific number is critical because, if you don’t   Read More


July 31, 2017

3 midyear tax planning strategies for individuals

Posted By Michael Garofalo in Blog, The JGS Advisor
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In the quest to reduce your tax bill, year end planning can only go so far. Tax-saving strategies take time to implement, so review your options now. Here are three strategies that can be more effective if you begin executing   Read More


July 27, 2017

ESOPs offer businesses tax and other benefits

Posted By Michael Garofalo in Blog, The JGS Advisor
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With an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP), employee participants take part ownership of the business through a retirement savings arrangement. Meanwhile, the business and its existing owner(s) can benefit from some potential tax breaks, an extra-motivated workforce and potentially a   Read More


July 24, 2017

The stretch IRA: A simple yet powerful estate planning tool

Posted By Michael Garofalo in Blog, The JGS Advisor
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The IRA’s value as a retirement planning tool is well known: IRA assets compound on a tax-deferred (or, in the case of a Roth IRA, tax-free) basis, which can help build a more substantial nest egg. But if you don’t   Read More


July 20, 2017

Does your business have too much cash?

Posted By Michael Garofalo in Blog, The JGS Advisor
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From the time a business opens its doors, the owner is told “cash is king.” It may seem to follow that having a very large amount of cash could never be a bad thing. But, the truth is, a company   Read More


July 19, 2017

Nonqualified stock options demand tax planning attention

Posted By Michael Garofalo in Blog, The JGS Advisor
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Your compensation may take several forms, including salary, fringe benefits and bonuses. If you work for a corporation, you might also receive stock-based compensation, such as stock options. These come in two varieties: nonqualified (NQSOs) and incentive (ISOs). With both   Read More


July 18, 2017

ABLE accounts can benefit loved ones with special needs

Posted By Michael Garofalo in Blog, The JGS Advisor
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For families with disabled loved ones who are potentially eligible for means-tested government benefits such as Medicaid or Supplemental Security Income (SSI), estate planning can be a challenge. On the one hand, you want to provide the most comfortable life   Read More


July 17, 2017

Make sure your company is prepared for any disaster

Posted By Michael Garofalo in Blog, The JGS Advisor
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What could stop your company from operating for a day, a month or a year? A flood or fire? Perhaps a key supplier shuts down temporarily or permanently. Or maybe a hacker or technical problem crashes your website or you   Read More


July 13, 2017

Own a vacation home? Adjusting rental vs. personal use might save taxes

Posted By Michael Garofalo in Blog, The JGS Advisor
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Now that we’ve hit midsummer, if you own a vacation home that you both rent out and use personally, it’s a good time to review the potential tax consequences:

If you rent it out for less than 15 days:  Read More


July 12, 2017

All fringe benefits aren’t created equal for tax purposes

Posted By Michael Garofalo in Blog, The JGS Advisor
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According to IRS Publication 5137, Fringe Benefit Guide, a fringe benefit is “a form of pay (including property, services, cash or cash equivalent), in addition to stated pay, for the performance of services.” But the tax treatment of a   Read More


July 11, 2017

Fine-tuning your company’s compensation strategy

Posted By Michael Garofalo in Blog, The JGS Advisor
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As a business evolves, so must its compensation strategy. Hopefully, your company is growing — perhaps adding employees or promoting staff members who are key to your success. But other things can spur the need to fine-tune your compensation strategy   Read More


July 10, 2017

IRS simplifies procedure for obtaining extension to make portability election

Posted By Michael Garofalo in Blog, The JGS Advisor
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Last month, the IRS issued a Revenue Procedure that allows certain estates to make a late portability election without first filing a ruling request. Portability is a tax law provision that permits a surviving spouse to take advantage of the   Read More


July 07, 2017

Keep real estate separate from your business’s corporate assets to save tax

Posted By Michael Garofalo in Blog, The JGS Advisor
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It’s common for a business to own not only typical business assets, such as equipment, inventory and furnishings, but also the building where the business operates — and possibly other real estate as well. There can, however, be negative consequences   Read More


July 06, 2017

Why business owners should regularly upgrade their accounting software

Posted By Michael Garofalo in Blog, The JGS Advisor
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Many business owners buy accounting software and, even if the installation goes well, eventually grow frustrated when they don’t get the return on investment they’d expected. There’s a simple reason for this: Stuff changes.

Technological improvements are occurring at a   Read More


July 05, 2017

Summer is a good time to start your 2017 tax planning and organize your tax records

Posted By Michael Garofalo in Blog, The JGS Advisor
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You may be tempted to forget all about taxes during summertime, when “the livin’ is easy,” as the Gershwin song goes. But if you start your tax planning now, you may avoid an unpleasant tax surprise when you file next   Read More


July 03, 2017

Are you familiar with fraudulent transfer laws?

Posted By Michael Garofalo in Blog, The JGS Advisor
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A primary goal of your estate plan is to transfer wealth to your family according to your wishes and at the lowest possible tax cost. However, if you have creditors, be aware of fraudulent transfer laws. In a nutshell, if   Read More


July 01, 2017

3 breaks for business charitable donations you may not know about

Posted By Michael Garofalo in Blog, The JGS Advisor
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Donating to charity is more than good business citizenship; it can also save tax. Here are three lesser-known federal income tax breaks for charitable donations by businesses.

  1. Food donations

Charitable write-offs for donated food (such as by restaurants and grocery   Read More


June 30, 2017

Claiming a federal tax deduction for moving costs

Posted By Michael Garofalo in Blog, The JGS Advisor
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Summer is a popular time to move, whether it’s so the kids don’t have to change schools mid-school-year, to avoid having to move in bad weather or simply because it can be an easier time to sell a home. Unfortunately,   Read More


June 29, 2017

Leaving specific assets to specific heirs is an estate planning no-no

Posted By Michael Garofalo in Blog, The JGS Advisor
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Planning your estate around specific assets is risky and, in most cases, should be avoided. If you leave specific assets — such as a home, a car or stock — to specific people, you could end up inadvertently disinheriting someone.  Read More


June 28, 2017

Seasonal business? Optimize your operating cycle

Posted By Michael Garofalo in Blog, The JGS Advisor
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Every business has some degree of ups and downs during the year. But cash flow fluctuations are much more intense for seasonal businesses. So, if your company defines itself as such, it’s important to optimize your operating cycle to anticipate   Read More


June 27, 2017

Are income taxes taking a bite out of your trusts?

Posted By Michael Garofalo in Blog, The JGS Advisor
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If your estate plan includes one or more trusts, review them in light of income taxes. For trusts, the income threshold is very low for triggering the:

  • Top income tax rate of 39.6%,
  • Top long-term capital gains rate of 20%,
  Read More
June 24, 2017

2017 Q3 tax calendar: Key deadlines for businesses and other employers

Posted By Michael Garofalo in Blog, The JGS Advisor
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Here are some of the key tax-related deadlines affecting businesses and other employers during the second quarter of 2017. Keep in mind that this list isn’t all-inclusive, so there may be additional deadlines that apply to you. Contact us to   Read More


June 23, 2017

Tax highlights from the 2017 and 2018 New York state budget

Posted By Michael Garofalo in Blog, The JGS Advisor
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The Cuomo administration rolled out the 2017 / 2018 state budget in early April. Here are a few of the most important highlights to know according to Rob Tannini, CPA at Judelson, Giordano & Siegel.

  • For years 2018 through 2024,
  Read More
June 21, 2017

Gov. Cuomo announces policy for paid family leave

Posted By Michael Garofalo in Blog, The JGS Advisor
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Update: More detailed information about exceptions and eligibility was added to this article on July 29, 2017.

The Cuomo administration has announced its plan for paid family leave, which will take effect on January 1, 2018 and continue to be   Read More


June 21, 2017

You don’t have to take business insurance costs sitting down

Posted By Michael Garofalo in Blog, The JGS Advisor
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Adequate insurance coverage is, in many cases, a legal requirement for a business. Even if it’s not for your company, proper coverage remains a risk management imperative. But that doesn’t mean you have to take high insurance costs sitting down.  Read More


June 20, 2017

Dot the “i’s” and cross the “t’s” on loans between your business and its owners

Posted By Michael Garofalo in Blog, The JGS Advisor
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It’s common for closely held businesses to transfer money into and out of the company, often in the form of a loan. However, the IRS looks closely at such transactions: Are they truly loans, or actually compensation, distributions or contributions   Read More


June 19, 2017

Is now the time for a charitable lead trust?

Posted By Michael Garofalo in Blog, The JGS Advisor
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Families who wish to give to charity while minimizing gift and estate taxes should consider a charitable lead trust (CLT). These trusts are most effective in a low-interest-rate environment, so conditions for taking advantage of a CLT currently are favorable.   Read More


June 14, 2017

Pay attention to the details when selling investments

Posted By Michael Garofalo in Blog, The JGS Advisor
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The tax consequences of the sale of an investment, as well as your net return, can be affected by a variety of factors. You’re probably focused on factors such as how much you paid for the investment vs. how much   Read More


June 12, 2017

Videotaping your will signing may not produce the desired outcome

Posted By Michael Garofalo in Blog, The JGS Advisor
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Some people make video recordings of their will signings in an effort to create evidence that they possess the requisite testamentary capacity. For some, this strategy may help stave off a will contest. But in most cases, the risk that   Read More


June 08, 2017

Business owners: Put your successor in a position to succeed

Posted By Michael Garofalo in Blog, The JGS Advisor
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When it comes time to transition your role as business owner to someone else, you’ll face many changes. One of them is becoming a mentor. As such, you’ll have to communicate clearly, show some patience and have a clear conception   Read More


June 06, 2017

Coverdell ESAs: The tax-advantaged way to fund elementary and secondary school costs

Posted By Michael Garofalo in Blog, The JGS Advisor
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With school letting out you might be focused on summer plans for your children (or grandchildren). But the end of the school year is also a good time to think about Coverdell Education Savings Accounts (ESAs) — especially if the   Read More


June 02, 2017

Are your retirement savings secure from creditors?

Posted By Michael Garofalo in Blog, The JGS Advisor
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A primary goal of estate planning is asset protection. After all, no matter how well your estate plan is designed, it won’t do much good if you wind up with no wealth to share with your family.

If you have   Read More


June 01, 2017

Donating a vehicle might not provide the tax deduction you expect

Posted By Michael Garofalo in Blog, The JGS Advisor
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All charitable donations aren’t created equal — some provide larger deductions than others. And it isn’t necessarily just how much or even what you donate that matters. How the charity uses your donation might also affect your deduction.

Take vehicle   Read More


May 31, 2017

Consider the tax consequences before making an employee a partner

Posted By Michael Garofalo in Blog, The JGS Advisor
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In today’s competitive environment, offering employees an equity interest in your business can be a powerful tool for attracting, retaining and motivating quality talent. If your business is organized as a partnership, however, there are some tax traps you should   Read More


May 30, 2017

Could stronger governance benefit your business?

Posted By Michael Garofalo in Blog, The JGS Advisor
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Every company has at least one owner. And, in many cases, there exists leadership down through the organizational chart. But not every business has strong governance.

In a nutshell, governance is the set of rules, practices and processes by   Read More


May 26, 2017

A family bank professionalizes intrafamily lending

Posted By Michael Garofalo in Blog, The JGS Advisor
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If you’re interested in lending money to your children or other family members, consider establishing a “family bank.” These entities enhance the benefits of intrafamily loans, while minimizing unintended consequences.

Upsides and downsides of intrafamily lending

Lending can be an   Read More


May 25, 2017

Business owners: When it comes to IRS audits, be prepared

Posted By Michael Garofalo in Blog, The JGS Advisor
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If you recently filed your 2016 income tax return (rather than filing for an extension) you may now be wondering whether it’s likely that your business could be audited by the IRS based on your filing. Here’s what every business   Read More


May 24, 2017

A “back door” Roth IRA can benefit higher-income taxpayers

Posted By Michael Garofalo in Blog, The JGS Advisor
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A potential downside of tax-deferred saving through a traditional retirement plan is that you’ll have to pay taxes when you make withdrawals at retirement. Roth plans, on the other hand, allow tax-free distributions; the tradeoff is that contributions to these   Read More


May 23, 2017

It’s a matter of principle — and trust — when using a principle trust

Posted By Michael Garofalo in Blog, The JGS Advisor
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For many, an important estate planning goal is to encourage their children or other heirs to lead responsible, productive lives. One tool for achieving this goal is a principle trust.

By providing your trustee with guiding values and principles (rather   Read More


May 22, 2017

It may be time for your company to create a strategic IT plan

Posted By Michael Garofalo in Blog, The JGS Advisor
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Many companies take an ad hoc approach to technology. If you’re among them, it’s understandable; you probably had to automate some tasks before others, your tech needs have likely evolved over time, and technology itself is always changing.

Unfortunately, all   Read More


May 17, 2017

Real estate investor vs. professional: Why it matters

Posted By Michael Garofalo in Blog, The JGS Advisor
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Income and losses from investment real estate or rental property are passive by definition — unless you’re a real estate professional. Why does this matter? Passive income may be subject to the 3.8% net investment income tax (NIIT), and passive   Read More


May 15, 2017

Hire your children to save taxes for your business and your family

Posted By Michael Garofalo in Blog, The JGS Advisor
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It can be difficult in the current job market for students and recent graduates to find summer or full-time jobs. If you’re a business owner with children in this situation, you may be able to provide them with valuable experience   Read More


May 11, 2017

Prepaid funeral plans may not provide peace of mind

Posted By Michael Garofalo in Blog, The JGS Advisor
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The cost of a funeral has increased steadily during the past two decades. In fact, once all funeral-related costs are factored in, the typical traditional funeral service will cost an average family $8,000 to $10,000.

To relieve their families of the   Read More


May 10, 2017

Looking for concentration risks in your supply chain

Posted By Michael Garofalo in Blog, The JGS Advisor
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Concentration risks are a threat to your supply chain. These occur when a company relies on a customer or supplier for 10% or more of its revenue or materials, or on several customers or suppliers located in the same geographic   Read More


May 08, 2017

Operating across state lines presents tax risks — or possibly rewards

Posted By Michael Garofalo in Blog, The JGS Advisor
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It’s a smaller business world after all. With the ease and popularity of e-commerce, as well as the incredible efficiency of many supply chains, companies of all sorts are finding it easier than ever to widen their markets. Doing so   Read More


May 05, 2017

Worried about challenges to your estate plan? Make it no contest

Posted By Michael Garofalo in Blog, The JGS Advisor
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Estate planning is all about protecting your family and ensuring that your wealth is distributed according to your wishes. So the idea that someone might challenge your estate plan can be disconcerting. One strategy for protecting your plan is to   Read More


May 04, 2017

3 hot spots to look for your successor

Posted By Michael Garofalo in Blog, The JGS Advisor
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Picking someone to lead your company after you step down is probably among the hardest aspects of retiring (or otherwise moving on). Sure, there are some business owners who have a ready-made successor waiting in the wings at a moment’s   Read More


May 03, 2017

Turning next year’s tax refund into cash in your pocket now

Posted By Michael Garofalo in Blog, The JGS Advisor
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Each year, millions of taxpayers claim an income tax refund. To be sure, receiving a payment from the IRS for a few thousand dollars can be a pleasant influx of cash. But it means you were essentially giving the government   Read More


May 01, 2017

Enhance benefits’ perceived value with strong communication

Posted By Michael Garofalo in Blog, The JGS Advisor
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Providing a strong package of benefits is a competitive imperative in today’s business world. Like many employers, you’ve probably worked hard to put together a solid menu of offerings to your staff. Unfortunately, many employees don’t perceive the full value   Read More


April 28, 2017

Administration’s 2017 Tax Reform Outline

Posted By Brian Powers in Blog, The JGS Advisor
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An Alert to our Valued Clients

President Trump has unveiled a tax reform outline – the “2017 Tax Reform for Economic Growth and American Jobs.”  The outline calls for dramatic tax cuts and simplification: lower individual tax rates under a

  Read More
April 27, 2017

Asset valuations and your estate plan go hand in hand

Posted By Michael Garofalo in Blog, The JGS Advisor
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If your estate plan calls for making non-cash gifts in trust or outright to beneficiaries, you need to know the values of those gifts and disclose them to the IRS on a gift tax return. For substantial gifts of non-cash   Read More


April 26, 2017

Do you know the tax implications of your C corp.’s buy-sell agreement?

Posted By Michael Garofalo in Blog, The JGS Advisor
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Private companies with more than one owner should have a buy-sell agreement to spell out how ownership shares will change hands should an owner depart. For businesses structured as C corporations, the agreements also have significant tax implications that are   Read More


April 25, 2017

How can you take customer service to the next level?

Posted By Michael Garofalo in Blog, The JGS Advisor
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Just about every business intends to provide world-class customer service. And though many claim their customer service is exceptional, very few can back up that assertion. After all, once a company has established a baseline level of success in interacting   Read More


April 24, 2017

Life insurance and an estate plan may not always mix well

Posted By Michael Garofalo in Blog, The JGS Advisor
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A life insurance policy can be an important part of an estate plan. The tax benefits are twofold: The policy can provide a source of wealth for your family income-tax-free, and it can supply funds to pay estate taxes and   Read More


April 19, 2017

Individual tax calendar: Key deadlines for the remainder of 2017

Posted By Michael Garofalo in Blog, The JGS Advisor
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While April 15 (April 18 this year) is the main tax deadline on most individual taxpayers’ minds, there are others through the rest of the year that are important to be aware of. To help you make sure you don’t   Read More


April 18, 2017

Bartering may be cash-free, but it’s not tax-free

Posted By Michael Garofalo in Blog, The JGS Advisor
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Bartering might seem like something that happened only in ancient times, but the practice is still common today. And the general definition remains the same: the exchange of goods and services without the exchange of money. Because no cash changes   Read More


April 17, 2017

What are the most tax-advantaged ways to reimburse employees’ education expenses?

Posted By Michael Garofalo in Blog, The JGS Advisor
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Reimbursing employees for education expenses can both strengthen the capabilities of your staff and help you retain them. In addition, you and your employees may be able to save valuable tax dollars. But you have to follow IRS rules. Here   Read More


April 15, 2017

Acquaint yourself with the Roth IRA as an estate planning tool

Posted By Michael Garofalo in Blog, The JGS Advisor
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A Roth IRA can be a valuable estate planning tool, offering the opportunity for tax-free growth as long as it exists and requiring no distributions during your life, thus allowing you to pass on a greater amount of wealth to   Read More


April 11, 2017

A timely postmark on your tax return may not be enough to avoid late-filing penalties

Posted By Michael Garofalo in Blog, The JGS Advisor
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Because of a weekend and a Washington, D.C., holiday, the 2016 tax return filing deadline for individual taxpayers is Tuesday, April 18. The IRS considers a paper return that’s due April 18 to be timely filed if it’s postmarked by   Read More


April 10, 2017

Be aware of the ins and outs of holding joint title to property

Posted By Michael Garofalo in Blog, The JGS Advisor
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Owning assets jointly with one or more children or other heirs is a common estate planning “shortcut.” But like many shortcuts, it can produce unintended — and costly — consequences.

Advantages

There are two potential advantages to joint ownership: convenience   Read More


April 07, 2017

Matchmaker, matchmaker: Choosing the right lender

Posted By Michael Garofalo in Blog, The JGS Advisor
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It’s easy to think of lenders as doing your company a favor. But business financing relationships are just that: relationships. Yes, a lender has the working capital you need to grow. But a stable, successful business represents an enormously beneficial   Read More


April 06, 2017

A refresher on tax-related ACA provisions affecting businesses

Posted By Michael Garofalo in Blog, The JGS Advisor
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Now that the bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has been withdrawn and it’s uncertain whether there will be any other health care reform legislation this year, it’s a good time to review some of the   Read More


April 05, 2017

Will your favorite charity accept your donation?

Posted By Michael Garofalo in Blog, The JGS Advisor
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If your estate plan includes charitable donations, be sure to discuss any planned gifts with the intended recipients before you finalize your plan. This is particularly important for donations that place restrictions on the charity’s use of the gift, as   Read More


April 03, 2017

Consider key person insurance as a succession plan safeguard

Posted By Michael Garofalo in Blog, The JGS Advisor
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In business, and in life, among the most important ways to manage risk is through insurance. For certain types of companies — particularly start-ups and small businesses — one major threat is the sudden loss of an owner or hard-to-replace   Read More


March 31, 2017

Victims of a disaster, fire or theft may be able to claim a casualty loss deduction

Posted By Michael Garofalo in Blog, The JGS Advisor
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If you suffered damage to your home or personal property last year, you may be able to deduct these “casualty” losses on your 2016 federal income tax return. A casualty is a sudden, unexpected or unusual event, such as a   Read More


March 30, 2017

2017 Q2 tax calendar: Key deadlines for businesses and other employers

Posted By Michael Garofalo in Blog, The JGS Advisor
Tags:

Here are some of the key tax-related deadlines affecting businesses and other employers during the second quarter of 2017. Keep in mind that this list isn’t all-inclusive, so there may be additional deadlines that apply to you. Contact us to   Read More


March 29, 2017

Direct tuition payments benefit your grandchild and your estate plan

Posted By Michael Garofalo in Blog, The JGS Advisor
Tags:

Grandparents often want to play a role in financing their grandchildren’s education. If you’re one of them, it’s important to consider the impact that different financing options will have on your estate plan.

Make direct tuition payments

A simple but   Read More


March 24, 2017

Offer plan loans? Be sure to set a reasonable interest rate

Posted By Michael Garofalo in Blog, The JGS Advisor
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Like many businesses, yours may allow retirement plan participants to take out loans from their accounts. Such loans are governed by many IRS and Department of Labor (DOL) rules and regulations. So if your company offers plan loans, your plan   Read More


March 23, 2017

Who can — and who should — take the American Opportunity credit?

Posted By Michael Garofalo in Blog, The JGS Advisor
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If you have a child in college, you may be eligible to claim the American Opportunity credit on your 2016 income tax return. If, however, your income is too high, you won’t qualify for the credit — but your child   Read More


March 22, 2017

Make sure the IRS won’t consider your business to be a “hobby”

Posted By Michael Garofalo in Blog, The JGS Advisor
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If you run a business “on the side” and derive most of your income from another source (whether from another business you own, employment or investments), you may face a peculiar risk: Under certain circumstances, this on-the-side business might not   Read More


March 21, 2017

2016 IRA contributions — it’s not too late!

Posted By Michael Garofalo in Blog, The JGS Advisor
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Yes, there’s still time to make 2016 contributions to your IRA. The deadline for such contributions is April 18, 2017. If the contribution is deductible, it will lower your 2016 tax bill. But even if it isn’t, making a 2016   Read More


March 16, 2017

Getting your money’s worth out of a company retreat

Posted By Michael Garofalo in Blog, The JGS Advisor
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Company retreats can cost enormous amounts of time and money. Are they worth it? Sometimes. Large-scale get-togethers can involve considerable out-of-pocket costs. And if the retreat is poorly planned or executed, participants’ wasted time is the biggest expense.

But a   Read More


March 13, 2017

The Section 1031 exchange: Why it’s such a great tax planning tool

Posted By Michael Garofalo in Blog, The JGS Advisor
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Like many business owners, you might also own highly appreciated business or investment real estate. Fortunately, there’s an effective tax planning strategy at your disposal: the Section 1031 “like kind” exchange. It can help you defer capital gains tax on   Read More


March 09, 2017

Keep family matters out of the public eye by avoiding probate

Posted By Michael Garofalo in Blog, The JGS Advisor
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Although probate can be time consuming and expensive, perhaps its biggest downside is that it’s public — anyone who’s interested can find out what assets you owned and how they’re being distributed after your death. The public nature of probate   Read More


March 08, 2017

When an elderly parent might qualify as your dependent

Posted By Michael Garofalo in Blog, The JGS Advisor
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It’s not uncommon for adult children to help support their aging parents. If you’re in this position, you might qualify for the adult-dependent exemption. It allows eligible taxpayers to deduct up to $4,050 for each adult dependent claimed on their   Read More


March 07, 2017

Filing deadline rapidly approaching for flow-through entities

Posted By Michael Garofalo in Blog, The JGS Advisor
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The federal income tax filing deadline for calendar-year partnerships, S corporations and limited liability companies (LLCs) treated as partnerships or S corporations for tax purposes is March 15. While this deadline is nothing new for S corporation returns, it’s earlier   Read More


March 06, 2017

Don’t make hunches — crunch the numbers

Posted By Michael Garofalo in Blog, The JGS Advisor
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Some business owners make major decisions by relying on gut instinct. But investments made on a “hunch” often fall short of management’s expectations.

In the broadest sense, you’re really trying to answer a simple question: If my company buys a   Read More


March 02, 2017

When it comes to charitable deductions, all donations aren’t created equal

Posted By Michael Garofalo in Blog, The JGS Advisor
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As you file your 2016 income tax return and plan your charitable giving for 2017, it’s important to keep in mind the available deduction. It can vary significantly depending on a variety of factors.

What you give

Other than the   Read More


March 01, 2017

Tangible property safe harbors help maximize deductions

Posted By Michael Garofalo in Blog, The JGS Advisor
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If last year your business made repairs to tangible property, such as buildings, machinery, equipment or vehicles, you may be eligible for a valuable deduction on your 2016 income tax return. But you must make sure they were truly “repairs,”   Read More


February 28, 2017

Use an ILIT as a wealth preserver

Posted By Michael Garofalo in Blog, The JGS Advisor
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If you’re concerned about your family’s financial well-being after you’re gone, life insurance can provide peace of mind. Going a step further and setting up an irrevocable life insurance trust (ILIT) to hold the policy offers additional estate planning benefits.  Read More


February 27, 2017

What can a valuation expert do for your succession plan?

Posted By Michael Garofalo in Blog, The JGS Advisor
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Most business owners spend a lifetime building their business. And when it comes to succession, they face the difficult decision of whether to sell, dissolve or transfer the business to family members (or a nonfamily successor).

Many complicated issues are   Read More


February 23, 2017

Can the WOTC save tax for your business?

Posted By Michael Garofalo in Blog, The JGS Advisor
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Employers that hire individuals who are members of a “target group” may be eligible for the Work Opportunity tax credit (WOTC). If you made qualifying hires in 2016 and obtained proper certification, you can claim the WOTC on your 2016   Read More


February 22, 2017

Deduct all of the mileage you’re entitled to — but not more

Posted By Michael Garofalo in Blog, The JGS Advisor
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Rather than keeping track of the actual cost of operating a vehicle, employees and self-employed taxpayers can use a standard mileage rate to compute their deduction related to using a vehicle for business. But you might also be able to   Read More


February 20, 2017

Are you leaving your IRA to someone other than your spouse?

Posted By Michael Garofalo in Blog, The JGS Advisor
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An IRA can be a powerful wealth-building tool, offering tax-deferred growth (tax-free in the case of a Roth IRA), asset protection and other benefits. But if you leave an IRA to your children — or to someone else other than   Read More


February 17, 2017

An EAP can keep your top players on the floor

Posted By Michael Garofalo in Blog, The JGS Advisor
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A good basketball team is at its best when its top players are on the floor. Similarly, a company is the most productive, efficient and innovative when its best employees are in the right positions, doing great work.

Unfortunately, it’s   Read More


February 16, 2017

Do you need to file a 2016 gift tax return by April 18?

Posted By Michael Garofalo in Blog, The JGS Advisor
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Last year you may have made significant gifts to your children, grandchildren or other heirs as part of your estate planning strategy. Or perhaps you just wanted to provide loved ones with some helpful financial support. Regardless of the reason   Read More


February 15, 2017

SEPs: A powerful retroactive tax planning tool

Posted By Michael Garofalo in Blog, The JGS Advisor
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Simplified Employee Pensions (SEPs) are sometimes regarded as the “no-brainer” first choice for high-income small-business owners who don’t currently have tax-advantaged retirement plans set up for themselves. Why? Unlike other types of retirement plans, a SEP is easy to establish   Read More


February 14, 2017

2016 charitable deductions: Substantiate them or lose them

Posted By Michael Garofalo in Blog, The JGS Advisor
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Sharing your wealth with a favorite charity can benefit those in need and reduce your taxable estate. In addition, your donations can ease your income tax liability. But you must meet IRS substantiation requirements. If you fail to do so,   Read More


February 13, 2017

Envision your advisory board before you form it

Posted By Michael Garofalo in Blog, The JGS Advisor
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Many companies reach a point in their development where they could benefit from an advisory board. It’s all too easy in today’s complex business world to get caught up in an “echo chamber” of ideas and perspectives that only originate   Read More


February 10, 2017

What you need to know about the tax treatment of ISOs

Posted By Michael Garofalo in Blog, The JGS Advisor
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Incentive stock options allow you to buy company stock in the future at a fixed price equal to or greater than the stock’s fair market value on the grant date. If the stock appreciates, you can buy shares at a   Read More


February 09, 2017

2016 higher-education breaks can save your family taxes

Posted By Michael Garofalo in Blog, The JGS Advisor
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Was a college student in your family last year? Or were you a student yourself? You may be eligible for some valuable tax breaks on your 2016 return. To max out your higher education breaks, you need to see which   Read More