Any business owner developing a succession plan should rightfully assume that regular business valuations are a must. When envisioning the valuation process, you’re likely to focus on its end result: a reasonable, defensible value estimate of your business as of Read More
In today’s rough-and-tumble world of mergers and acquisitions (M&As), buyers need to get to know business sellers and their executives, test their representations about asset condition and financial performance, and screen for common fraud schemes. Here’s why.
Whose side are Read More
Various limits apply to most tax deductions, and one type of limit is a “floor,” which means expenses are deductible only if they exceed that floor (typically a specific percentage of your income). One example is the medical expense deduction. Read More
Here are some of the key tax-related deadlines affecting businesses and other employers during the fourth 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
One health care arrangement that has been soaring in popularity in recent years has been the pairing of a high-deductible health plan (HDHP) with a Health Savings Account (HSA). The good news is that not only does an HSA provide Read More
FOR RELEASE ON OCTOBER 3, 2017
In the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, news outlets picked up on an unfortunate story: Many charitable donations fail to reach their intended recipients in a timely manner, or at all – and some gifts Read More
Are you the founder of your company? If so, congratulations — you’ve created something truly amazing! And it’s more than understandable that you’d want to protect your legacy: the company you created.
But, as time goes on, it becomes increasingly Read More
One important step to both reducing taxes and saving for retirement is to contribute to a tax-advantaged retirement plan. If your employer offers a 401(k) plan, contributing to that is likely your best first step.
If you’re not already contributing Read More
Updated travel per diem rates go into effect October 1. To simplify recordkeeping, they can be used for reimbursement of ordinary and normal business expenses incurred while employees travel away from home.
Per diem advantages
As long as employees properly Read More
Charitable giving is a key part of estate planning for many people. If you’re among them and own valuable works of art, they may be ideal candidates for charitable donations during your life.
Generally, it’s advantageous to donate appreciated property Read More
“We love our customers!” Every business owner says it. But all customers aren’t created equal, and it’s in your strategic interest to know which customers are really strengthening your bottom line and by how much.
Sorting out the data
If Read More
For many people today, income tax planning offers far greater tax-saving opportunities than gift and estate tax planning. A record-high gift and estate tax exemption — currently $5.49 million ($10.98 million for married couples) — means that fewer people are subject to Read More
With kids back in school, it’s a good time for parents (and grandparents) to think about college funding. One option, which can be especially beneficial if the children in question still have many years until they’ll be starting their higher Read More
If you acquire a company, your to-do list will be long, which means you can’t devote all of your time to the deal’s potential tax implications. However, if you neglect tax issues during the negotiation process, the negative consequences can Read More
Charitable giving allows you to help an organization you care about and, in most cases, enjoy a valuable income tax deduction. If you’re considering a large gift, a noncash donation such as appreciated real estate can provide additional benefits. For Read More
From the baseball field to the boardroom, statistical analysis has changed various industries nationwide. With proper preparation and guidance, business owners can have at their fingertips a wealth of stats-based insight into how their companies are performing — far beyond Read More
If a substantial portion of your wealth is tied up in a family or closely held business, you may be concerned that your estate will lack sufficient liquid assets to pay federal estate taxes. If that’s the case, your heirs Read More
If your estate plan includes a revocable trust — also known as a “living” trust — it’s critical to ensure that the trust is properly funded. Revocable trusts offer significant benefits, including asset management (in the event you become incapacitated) Read More
You’ve probably heard the term and wondered whether it could happen to your company. Maybe it already has. We’re referring to “digital disruption” — when new technologies and business models affect the value proposition of existing goods and services.
Perhaps Read More
When businesses provide meals to their employees, generally their deduction is limited to 50%. But there are exceptions. One is if the meal qualifies as a de minimis fringe benefit under the Internal Revenue Code.
A recent U.S. Tax Court Read More
At back-to-school time, much of the focus is on the students returning to the classroom — and on their parents buying them school supplies, backpacks, clothes, etc., for the new school year. But let’s not forget about the teachers. It’s Read More
Converting a traditional IRA to a Roth IRA can provide tax-free growth and the ability to withdraw funds tax-free in retirement. But what if you convert a traditional IRA — subject to income taxes on all earnings and deductible contributions Read More
If your business offers health insurance benefits to employees, there’s a good chance you’ve seen a climb in premium costs in recent years — perhaps a dramatic one. To meet the challenge of rising costs, some employers are opting for Read More
Estate planning typically focuses on what happens to your assets when you die. But it’s equally important (some might say more important) to have a plan for making critical financial and medical decisions if you’re unable to make those decisions Read More
August is back-to-school time across the country. Whether the school buses are already rumbling down your block, or will be soon, the start of the school year brings marketing opportunities for savvy business owners. Here are some examples of ways Read More
Among the taxes that are being considered for repeal as part of tax reform legislation is the estate tax. This tax applies to transfers of wealth at death, hence why it’s commonly referred to as the “death tax.” Its sibling, Read More
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
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.
The GST tax is a flat, 40% Read More
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
“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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
Charitable write-offs for donated food (such as by restaurants and grocery Read More
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
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
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
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:
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
There are two potential advantages to joint ownership: convenience Read More
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
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
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
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
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