Accelerate your retirement savings with a cash balance plan

| Tax Briefs

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 efforts. One solution may be a cash balance plan.   Defined benefit plan with a twist   The two most popular qualified retirement plans — 401(k) and profit-sharing plans — are defined contribution plans. These Read more [...]

Retirement savings opportunity for the self-employed

| Tax Briefs

Did you know that if you’re self-employed you may be able to set up a retirement plan that allows you to contribute much more than you can contribute to an IRA or even an employer-sponsored 401(k)? There’s still time to set up such a plan for 2017, and it generally isn’t hard to do. So whether you’re a “full-time” independent contractor or you’re employed but earn some self-employment income on the side, consider setting up one of the following types of retirement plans this year.   Profit-sharing Read more [...]

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

| Business Briefs

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. Here are four ways to get — and keep — your business data in order: Simplify, simplify, simplify. Look at your data in broad categories and see whether and how you can simplify things. Sometimes refiling documents under basic designations such Read more [...]

President Trump and key lawmakers reveal tax reform plan

| Tax Briefs

The Trump Administration and select members of Congress have released a "unified framework" for tax reform that they’ve been working on during the last three months. The document provides more detail of what elements they are considering for reform, but it still leaves many specifics to be worked out by the tax-writing committees (i.e., the House Ways and Means Committee and the Senate Finance Committee). Yesterday, October 19, 2017, the Senate voted for a blueprint budget that will likely be Read more [...]

Substantiating Business Expenses & Deductions in Audits

| Business Miscellaneous, Tax Briefs

Substantiating business expenses is a common problem for many businesses going through an audit with either the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) or their State Department of Revenue. You are probably like most business people. You don’t get up in the morning excited about keeping your tax records. But if you want to be in business and not suffer when the IRS audits your tax returns, you need to keep tax records. This takes a little time and requires some knowledge. Substantiating business expenses Read more [...]

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

| Tax Briefs

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.   Because it can be difficult to exceed the floor, a common strategy is to “bunch” deductible medical expenses into a particular year where possible. If tax reform legislation is signed into law, it might be especially beneficial to bunch deductible Read more [...]

2017 Q4 tax calendar: Key deadlines for businesses and other employers

| Tax Briefs

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 ensure you’re meeting all applicable deadlines and to learn more about the filing requirements. October 16 If a calendar-year C corporation that filed an automatic six-month extension: File a 2016 income tax return (Form 1120) and pay any tax, Read more [...]

Critical connection: How costs impact pricing

| Business Briefs

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 and services, as well as those you plan to launch in the near future. The cost of production is a logical starting point. After all, if your prices don’t exceed costs over the long run, your business will fail. This critical connection demands regular re-evaluation. Reconsider Read more [...]

Bridging the divide with a mezzanine loan

| Business Briefs

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, financially, there’s no way across. The money is just not there. One way to bridge that divide is with a mezzanine loan. These instruments (also known as junior liens and second liens) can bridge financing shortfalls — so long as you meet certain qualifications and can Read more [...]