Savor Business Entertainment Tax Breaks

August 8, 2017

You can have a good time and still deduct part of the cost when you entertain business clients or customers.

Entertainment Tax

Know the guidelines of what qualifies for a business entertainment tax deduction.

The tax law generally permits you to deduct 50 percent of the cost of meals and entertainment that are either “directly related to” your business or “associated with” your business. For example, if you conduct business in your conference room while you serve lunch, the meal qualifies as entertainment that is directly related to your business. A more common situation is deducting entertainment that is associated with your business. To meet this tax test, you must hold a substantial and bona fide business discussion preceding or following the entertainment.

So, if you wrap up a business deal at 5 p.m. and then take the clients out to dinner, the cost is deductible within the allowable limits.

Keep in mind that you do not have to show that income or other business benefits actually resulted from an entertainment expense.

Here are few other guidelines:

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Understand Your Social Security Retirement Benefits

August 3, 2017
Social Security Retirement

Understand your Social Security Retirement Benefits

For years, people have questioned the viability of the Social Security system going forward. In July, the Social Security Board of Trustees released its annual report on the long-term financial status of the Social Security Trust Funds.

The report projects that the combined asset reserves of the Old-Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance (OASDI) Trust Funds will become depleted in 2034, unless Congress takes action to reverse the situation.

In general, people approaching retirement age often have other questions about benefits they may be eligible to receive from the Social Security Administration (SSA). Here are common concerns regarding the Social Security system.

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Is 2017 The Year Things Change For The Property Industry?

August 1, 2017

By Ian Shapiro

Technology Innovations Property Industry

Technology innovations are set to help the property industry move forward in 2017.

Technology has been a disruptive force in most industries and sectors over recent years. But in the real estate and construction (REC) sector, widespread adoption of new technologies has lagged somewhat. Indeed, the adoption of technology in property – or ‘PropTech’ – has fallen a little short of its anticipated take-up. For example, in the U.S., the construction industry is several years behind many other industries with regards to technology with many companies still using manual systems for project planning and management. That’s why construction remains far behind in reaping the benefits of advanced data and analytics, drones, automation and robotics.

However, 2017 is set to be the year the floodgates open for PropTech in the global REC sector, and we’ve looked at some key technologies you should be keeping an eye on in the industry this year.

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Beware of a 100% Personal Liability Penalty

July 27, 2017

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.Personal Liability Penality

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.

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Relief from Student Loan Debt: What Are the Tax Implications?

July 25, 2017
Student Loan

Be aware of the tax implication of student loan relief.

Today’s college students often leave school with an overwhelming amount of debt. In some cases, student loans are discharged (also known as being cancelled or forgiven). In other cases, these loans are paid off by an employer. Both actions have tax consequences for the student loan borrowers. We’ll explain the tax implications, but first, let’s cover some necessary background information.

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Brace Your Business for Disaster Scams

July 18, 2017

Construction work in the wake of a disaster is a prime target for scams. Be cautious in selecting your construction firm.

Few things in life are certain, but when disaster strikes, the number of fraud incidents will probably skyrocket. In the wake of a hurricane, tornado, flood, fire, earthquake or other unexpected catastrophe, fraudulent operators are always quick to surface. Often, however, they carry warning signs to alert savvy business owners.

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Know the Rules for Amending a Federal Income Tax Return

July 13, 2017

What should you do if you discover an error on a previously filed individual tax return? For example, you might have missed some tax-saving deductions and credits on your 2016 personal federal income tax return that you filed in February. Or you might have recently discovered that you failed to claim some legitimate tax breaks on your 2015 return that you filed last year. Here are the rules for filing an amended return.

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Why Job Costing Is Important

July 11, 2017

Every construction company, regardless of whether they are a general contractor, subcontractor, or something in between, must be able to win and complete jobs efficiently. Business owners and project managers need information to accurately bid and estimate projects, schedule upcoming jobs, and more. And while the job schedule relies on several factors, the most important factor is proper job costing.  Proper job costing leads to better profitability, project estimating, management decisions, and timely financial reporting.

While some project managers rely solely on experience, the most successful project managers know how to best utilize the job schedule.  The job schedule tells the story of construction projects at a point in time by providing a summary of all contracts the company has in process or has completed  on a contract by contract basis. 

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Achieve Sustainable Cost Cutting At Your Organization

July 6, 2017

Taking costs out of a business can be deceptively easy to do — at least initially. Cutting low-hanging fruit such as providing coffee in break rooms, consulting services, laying off temporary employees or removing a layer of management can result in considerable savings. However, these savings are often not sustainable. Slowly but surely, decisions will be made by front line employees and managers alike that add costs back into the business. Within short order, many companies find themselves back in the exact same place they were before the costs were cut; only now employee morale has suffered and there is a general resistance or apathy to cost cutting throughout the organization.

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