Business ID Theft: Is Your Data at Risk?

The IRS and state tax authorities have made significant strides in curbing individual identity theft over the last two years. IRS Focuses on Preventing Business ID Theft "The IRS, state tax agencies and the tax community have worked hard to turn the tide against tax-related identity theft. We're making progress in protecting individuals but we still have more work to do," said IRS Continue Reading

Put your audit in reverse to save sales and use tax

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 — so slim that many businesses use reverse audits to find overpayments so they can seek refunds. Take all of your exemptions In most states, businesses are exempt from sales tax on equipment used Continue Reading

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. What's My FRA? Your full retirement age (FRA) depends on the year in which you were born. Year of Birth Full Retirement Age 1937 or Continue Reading

Do You Have a Deductible Business Loss or a Nondeductible Hobby Loss?

There's a fine line between businesses and hobbies under the federal tax code. If you engage in an unincorporated sideline — such as a marketing director by day and an artist on the nights and weekends — you may think of that side activity as a business and hope to deduct any losses on your personal tax return. But the IRS may disagree and reclassify the money-losing activity as a Continue Reading

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

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 “minimum essential” health insurance coverage for any month of the year. This requirement is commonly called the “individual mandate.” Penalty exemptions Before we review how Continue Reading

Is Your Company’s Vacation and Holiday Policy Working as Planned?

Presumably you have a holiday and vacation policy already in place. But what if it's not working well for your company or your employees? For example, if it's vague, you may have to make decisions on the spot when an employee asks for days off at a time that is inconvenient for you and possibly for other members of your team. That can result in hard feelings if you have to say no, or extra work Continue Reading

3 midyear tax planning strategies for individuals

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 them midyear: 1. Consider your bracket The top income tax rate is 39.6% for taxpayers with taxable income over $418,400 (singles), $444,550 (heads of households) and Continue Reading

Health Savings Account Limits for 2018

With Health Savings Accounts (HSAs), individuals and businesses buy less expensive health insurance policies with high deductibles. Contributions to the accounts are made on a pre-tax basis. The money can accumulate year after year tax free, and be withdrawn tax free to pay for a variety of medical expenses such as doctor visits, prescriptions, chiropractic care and premiums for long-term-care Continue Reading

Should Your Company Offer Paid Parental Leave?

Organizations that advocate for paid parental leave recognize that for most employers, the decision of whether to offer that benefit will be rooted in economics. In a competitive environment, it's a rare employer that can afford to add to personnel costs without a bottom line-based rationale. The motivation of employers in California, New Jersey, Rhode Island, New York and the District of Continue Reading

Unlock the Biggest Possible Deduction for a Home Office

The IRS recently issued a reminder about claiming the home office deduction. In particular, it explained a simplified method that offers a time-saving option. But many taxpayers who maintain a home office fare better tax-wise by deducting expenses under the regular method. Others may not be eligible to deduct any home office expenses. Here's why. Regular and Exclusive Use Most home-related Continue Reading