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Estate Planning Isn’t Just For The Rich and Famous

Nearly everyone should consider updating his or her estate plan. This is smart advice even if you’re not currently exposed to the federal estate tax. Year end can be a convenient time to reflect on major life changes and plan for the future, including devising strategies to minimize taxes.

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Technology May Help Solve Your Staffing Needs

When you think of “crowdsourcing,” you probably think about people trying to raise money for a charitable purpose from friends, acquaintances and like-minded people on the Internet. But in the world of recruiting, crowdsourcing has now caught on in a big way.  

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Spotlight on M&A: Why Buyers Love Asset Purchase Deals

Are you thinking about buying a business? How you structure the deal will affect the taxes owed by the buyer (you) and the seller (the other party).

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) brought sweeping changes to the federal income tax rules for businesses, including some changes that affect the taxation of mergers and acquisitions. Here’s why many buyers are choosing to buy the assets of the target business, rather than its ownership interests, under current law — and why you may need to act fast to take advantage of breaks offered by the TCJA.

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New Overtime Pay Rules Finalized for 2020

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has issued the long-anticipated final version of its overtime eligibility rules. The changes will take effect on January 1, 2020. As a result, the DOL estimates that 1.3 million workers will be newly eligible for overtime pay. Are any of them on your payroll? Read on to find out.

What’s Changing?

The basic change that takes effect next year is that employees, even if their jobs can be properly classified as executive, administrative or professional, are still eligible for overtime pay unless they earn at least $684 per week. That’s the equivalent of a $35,568 annual salary. The previous “white-collar” employee threshold, set in 2004, was $455 per week or $23,660 per year. Read more

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Beware of a 100% Personal Liability Penalty

A “100% penalty” can be assessed against a responsible person when federal income tax and/or federal employment taxes are withheld from employee paychecks but aren’t handed over to the government.

This Trust Fund Recovery Penalty got its informal “100% penalty” moniker from the fact that the entire unpaid amount can be assessed against a responsible person (or several responsible persons). The purpose of the penalty is to collect withheld but unpaid federal taxes from individuals who had control over an employer’s finances.

Often, operating a business as a corporation protects the individual owner from personal liability for some corporate debts. In cases of unpaid payroll taxes, however, the corporate shield or corporate veil is “pierced” and the IRS looks past the corporation to the responsible person to pay the debt. Read more

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New Bankruptcy Relief Coming Soon

Is your small business struggling to make ends meet? Some relief may be on the way for distressed business owners. The Small Business Reorganization Act of 2019 will make it faster and less expensive to benefit from a Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The legislation was signed into law in August, and it goes into effect on February 19, 2020. Here’s what you need to know.

Basics of Bankruptcy Reorganization

Chapter 11 of the bankruptcy code allows a business to reorganize its debt. It may be advantageous to make a liquidation filing under Chapter 7, where assets are auctioned off or sold piecemeal, often leaving creditors with little or nothing. Or a business may not qualify under the threshold for Chapter 13.

Although technically available to both businesses and individuals, Chapter 11 is most often used by . It currently applies to debts of less than $2,725,625. Typically, a Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceeding offers protection of business assets while restructuring the following types of debts:

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Six Education Tax Breaks On The Books

It costs a pretty penny to send a child to college or private school these days. But at least the federal tax code may provide some relief, within certain limits.

Can you take advantage of one or more of the six following education-related tax breaks?

  1. American Opportunity Tax Credit (AOTC). The tax law provides a maximum $2,500 credit for qualified expenses of each qualified student in your family. For example, if you have three kids in school at the same time, you may take a maximum credit of $7,500 in that year. Also, under a recent law change, the AOTC now applies to the first four years of a student’s college education, instead of just two.

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Three Ways To Get Tax Breaks For Home Improvements

Are you planning to make substantial renovations to your home? You may be adding a deck or patio, finishing a basement or attic or installing a pool. Despite some changes in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) that may discourage homeowners, you can still realize generous tax benefits for home improvements.

Here are three ways. Read more

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Understanding IRS Audit Guidance

IRS examiners usually do their homework before meeting with taxpayers and their professional representatives. This includes reviewing any relevant Audit Techniques Guides (ATGs) that typically focus on a specific industry or audit-prone business transaction.

Though designed to help IRS examiners prepare for audits, ATGs are available to the public. So, small business taxpayers can review them, too — and gain valuable insights into issues that might surface during audits. Read more

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New Overtime Pay Rules Finalized For 2020

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has issued the long-anticipated final version of its overtime eligibility rules. The changes will take effect on January 1, 2020. As a result, the DOL estimates that 1.3 million workers will be newly eligible for overtime pay. Are any of them on your payroll? Read on to find out. Read more