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Blog

December 11, 2017

Should you buy a business vehicle before year end?

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

One way to reduce your 2017 tax bill is to buy a business vehicle before year end. But don’t make a purchase without first looking at what your 2017 deduction would be and whether tax reform legislation could affect the   Read More


December 08, 2017

How to maximize deductions for business real estate

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

Currently, a valuable income tax deduction related to real estate is for depreciation, but the depreciation period for such property is long and land itself isn’t depreciable. Whether real estate is occupied by your business or rented out, here’s how   Read More


December 05, 2017

4 ways to get (and keep) your business data in order

Posted By Michael Garofalo in Blog, The JGS Advisor
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With so much data flying around these days, it’s easy for a company of any size to get overwhelmed. If something important falls through the cracks, say a contract renewal or outstanding bill, your financial standing and reputation could suffer.   Read More


December 01, 2017

A Crummey trust can preserve the annual gift tax exclusion

Posted By Michael Garofalo in Blog, The JGS Advisor
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Traditionally, taxpayers have looked for ways to make the most of the $14,000 annual gift tax exclusion, and using a Crummey trust is one way to do that. But with the federal gift and estate tax exemption currently at an   Read More


November 30, 2017

Thorough due diligence can protect your acquisition from fraud

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

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


November 28, 2017

Accelerate your retirement savings with a cash balance plan

Posted By Michael Garofalo in Blog, The JGS Advisor
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Business owners may not be able to set aside as much as they’d like in tax-advantaged retirement plans. Typically, they’re older and more highly compensated than their employees, but restrictions on contributions to 401(k) and profit-sharing plans can hamper retirement-planning   Read More


November 21, 2017

Getting around the $25 deduction limit for business gifts

Posted By Michael Garofalo in Blog, The JGS Advisor
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At this time of year, it’s common for businesses to make thank-you gifts to customers, clients, employees and other business entities and associates. Unfortunately, the tax rules limit the deduction for business gifts to $25 per person per year, a   Read More


November 20, 2017

Critical connection: How costs impact pricing

Posted By Michael Garofalo in Blog, The JGS Advisor
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As we head toward year end, your company may be reviewing its business strategy for 2017 or devising plans for 2018. As you do so, be sure to give some attention to the prices you’re asking for your existing products   Read More


November 16, 2017

Update your estate plan to reflect your second marriage

Posted By Michael Garofalo in Blog, The JGS Advisor
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If you’re in a second marriage or planning another trip down the aisle, it’s vital to review and revise (if necessary) your estate plan. You probably want to provide for your current spouse and not inadvertently benefit your former spouse.   Read More


November 15, 2017

Why you may want to accelerate your property tax payment into 2017

Posted By Michael Garofalo in Blog, The JGS Advisor
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Accelerating deductible expenses, such as property tax on your home, into the current year typically is a good idea. Why? It will defer tax, which usually is beneficial. Prepaying property tax may be especially beneficial this year, because proposed tax   Read More


November 13, 2017

Investors: Beware of the wash sale rule

Posted By Michael Garofalo in Blog, The JGS Advisor
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A tried-and-true tax-saving strategy for investors is to sell assets at a loss to offset gains that have been realized during the year. So if you’ve cashed in some big gains this year, consider looking for unrealized losses in your   Read More


November 09, 2017

Tax law uncertainty requires an estate plan that can roll with the changes

Posted By Michael Garofalo in Blog, The JGS Advisor
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Events of the last decade have taught us that taxes are anything but certain. Case in point: Congress is mulling abolishing gift and estate taxes as part of tax reform. So how can people who hope to still have long   Read More


November 08, 2017

Fortifying your business with enterprise risk management

Posted By Michael Garofalo in Blog, The JGS Advisor
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Hundreds of years ago, prosperous towns managed the various risks of foreign invaders, thieves and wild animals by fortifying their entire communities with walls and towers. Today’s business owners can take a similar approach with enterprise risk management (ERM).

Assessing   Read More


November 07, 2017

2017 might be your last chance to hire veterans and claim a tax credit

Posted By Michael Garofalo in Blog, The JGS Advisor
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With Veterans Day on November 11, it’s an especially good time to think about the sacrifices veterans have made for us and how we can support them. One way businesses can support veterans is to hire them. The Work Opportunity   Read More


October 31, 2017

Minimize inventory, services to make your financials shine

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

Your business financials — where they stand currently and where they might be going next year — are incredibly important. Obviously, sales and expenses play enormous roles in the strength of your position. But a fundamental and often-overlooked way of   Read More


October 30, 2017

A dynasty trust keeps on giving long into the future

Posted By Michael Garofalo in Blog, The JGS Advisor
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With a properly executed estate plan, your wealth can be enjoyed by your children and even their children. But did you know that by using a dynasty trust you can extend the estate tax benefits for several generations, and perhaps   Read More


October 26, 2017

Bridging the divide with a mezzanine loan

Posted By Michael Garofalo in Blog, The JGS Advisor
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In their efforts to grow and succeed, many companies eventually reach the edge of a precipice. Across the divide lies a big step forward — perhaps the acquisition of a competitor or the purchase of a new property — but,   Read More


October 24, 2017

Two ways spouse-owned businesses can reduce their self-employment tax bill

Posted By Michael Garofalo in Blog, The JGS Advisor
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If you own a profitable, unincorporated business with your spouse, you probably find the high self-employment (SE) tax bills burdensome. An unincorporated business in which both spouses are active is typically treated by the IRS as a partnership owned 50/50   Read More


October 19, 2017

Valuation often affects succession plans in hard-to-see ways

Posted By Michael Garofalo in Blog, The JGS Advisor
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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


October 16, 2017

Thorough due diligence can protect your acquisition from fraud

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

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


October 12, 2017

“Bunching” medical expenses will be a tax-smart strategy for many in 2017

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

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


October 11, 2017

2017 Q4 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 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


October 04, 2017

ABCs of HSAs: How an HSA can benefit your estate plan

Posted By Michael Garofalo in Blog, The JGS Advisor
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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


October 03, 2017

Philanthropy seminar to answer the question: “How can I maximize the impact of my charitable giving?”

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

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


September 27, 2017

Don’t let “founder’s syndrome” impede your succession plan

Posted By Michael Garofalo in Blog, The JGS Advisor
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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


September 25, 2017

Why you should boost your 401(k) contribution rate between now and year end

Posted By Michael Garofalo in Blog, The JGS Advisor
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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


September 21, 2017

Should your business use per diem rates for travel reimbursement?

Posted By Michael Garofalo in Blog, The JGS Advisor
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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


September 20, 2017

Charitable giving pièce de résistance: Artwork donations

Posted By Michael Garofalo in Blog, The JGS Advisor
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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


September 19, 2017

How profitable are your customers?

Posted By Michael Garofalo in Blog, The JGS Advisor
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“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


September 18, 2017

Tax basis planning worth a look if estate taxes aren’t a threat

Posted By Michael Garofalo in Blog, The JGS Advisor
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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


September 16, 2017

Save more for college through the tax advantages of a 529 savings plan

Posted By Michael Garofalo in Blog, The JGS Advisor
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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


September 15, 2017

Tax planning critical when buying a business

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

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


September 14, 2017

Watch out for potential tax pitfalls of donating real estate to charity

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

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


September 13, 2017

Find the right path forward with KPIs

Posted By Michael Garofalo in Blog, The JGS Advisor
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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


September 11, 2017

Estate tax relief for family businesses is available … in the form of a deferral

Posted By Michael Garofalo in Blog, The JGS Advisor
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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


September 08, 2017

Have you properly funded your revocable trust?

Posted By Michael Garofalo in Blog, The JGS Advisor
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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


September 07, 2017

5 ways to dance through digital disruption

Posted By Michael Garofalo in Blog, The JGS Advisor
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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


September 06, 2017

Larger deduction might be available to businesses providing meals to their employees

Posted By Michael Garofalo in Blog, The JGS Advisor
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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


August 31, 2017

The ABCs of the tax deduction for educator expenses

Posted By Michael Garofalo in Blog, The JGS Advisor
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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


August 30, 2017

Yes, you can undo a Roth IRA conversion

Posted By Michael Garofalo in Blog, The JGS Advisor
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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


August 29, 2017

Could captive insurance reduce health care costs and save your business taxes?

Posted By Michael Garofalo in Blog, The JGS Advisor
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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


August 28, 2017

Powers of attorney: Springing vs. nonspringing

Posted By Michael Garofalo in Blog, The JGS Advisor
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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 23, 2017

Back-to-school marketing ideas for savvy business owners

Posted By Michael Garofalo in Blog, The JGS Advisor
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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


August 21, 2017

How to determine if you need to worry about estate taxes

Posted By Michael Garofalo in Blog, The JGS Advisor
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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


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
Tags:

“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
Tags:

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
Tags:

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
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


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
Tags:

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
Tags:

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