Tax-free fringe benefits help small businesses and their employees

| Tax Briefs

In today’s tightening job market, to attract and retain the best employees, small businesses need to offer not only competitive pay, but also appealing fringe benefits. Benefits that are tax-free are especially attractive to employees. Let’s take a quick look at some popular options. Insurance Businesses can provide their employees with various types of insurance on a tax-free basis. Here are some of the most common: Health insurance. If you maintain a health care plan for employees, Read more [...]

Does prepaying property taxes make sense anymore?

| Tax Briefs

Prepaying property taxes related to the current year but due the following year has long been one of the most popular and effective year-end tax-planning strategies. But does it still make sense in 2018? The answer, for some people, is yes — accelerating this expense will increase their itemized deductions, reducing their tax bills. But for many, particularly those in high-tax states, changes made by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) eliminate the benefits. What’s changed? The TCJA made Read more [...]

Estimates vs. actuals: Was your 2018 budget reasonable?

| Business Briefs

As the year winds down, business owners can be thankful for the gift of perspective (among other things, we hope). Assuming you created a budget for the calendar year, you should now be able to accurately assess that budget by comparing its estimates to actual results. Your objective is to determine whether your budget was reasonable, and, if not, how to adjust it to be more accurate for 2019. Identify notable changes Your estimates, like those of many companies, probably start with historical Read more [...]

Catch-up retirement plan contributions can be particularly advantageous post-TCJA

| Tax Briefs

Will you be age 50 or older on December 31? Are you still working? Are you already contributing to your 401(k) plan or Savings Incentive Match Plan for Employees (SIMPLE) up to the regular annual limit? Then you may want to make “catch-up” contributions by the end of the year. Increasing your retirement plan contributions can be particularly advantageous if your itemized deductions for 2018 will be smaller than in the past because of changes under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA). Catching Read more [...]

Buy business assets before year-end to reduce your 2018 tax liability

| Tax Briefs

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) has enhanced two depreciation-related breaks that are popular year-end tax planning tools for businesses. To take advantage of these breaks, you must purchase qualifying assets and place them in service by the end of the tax year. That means there’s still time to reduce your 2018 tax liability with these breaks, but you need to act soon.   Section 179 expensing   Sec. 179 expensing is valuable because it allows businesses to deduct up to 100% of the cost Read more [...]

Could “bunching” medical expenses into 2018 save you tax?

| Tax Briefs

Some of your medical expenses may be tax deductible, but only if you itemize deductions and have enough expenses to exceed the applicable floor for deductibility. With proper planning, you may be able to time controllable medical expenses to your tax advantage. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) could make bunching such expenses into 2018 beneficial for some taxpayers. At the same time, certain taxpayers who’ve benefited from the deduction in previous years might no longer benefit because of the Read more [...]

The Crystal Client Spotlight Shines on the Central Indiana Chapter of NECA

| Client Spotlight

Did you know that in the state of Indiana, there is no license required to become an electrician or an electrical contractor?  Literally, anyone…anyone at all, can call himself an electrician and wire your home, your work, even your kid’s school.  Thankfully, there are organizations like the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) that are comprised of contractors who care enough to hold their employees and themselves to the highest standards of safety, efficiency, and professionalism, Read more [...]

Shared space: What to consider before teaming up

| Business Miscellaneous

By Chris Mennel, CPA     Nonprofits nationwide are increasingly considering shared workspace arrangements to lower rising facility costs. These arrangements are particularly appealing in areas where nonprofits are being priced out of the real estate market and to those determined to cut operating costs. Options to choose from The term “shared space” refers to workspaces shared by small businesses, freelancers, consultants, start-ups and others. Depending on their needs, tenants can pay Read more [...]

Year end tax planning for 2018 in the wake of tax reform 2.0

| Tax Briefs

By Lou Ann Taylor, CPA     On September 28, House lawmakers passed the third and final portion of Tax Reform 2.0 despite the high probability that the Senate will not hold a vote on it because it doesn’t seem to have the votes needed to pass. This comes as planning strategies are being considered for year-end tax savings for 2018 by applying the new tax provisions in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA). Tax Reform 2.0 is actually a collection of three bills. The Protecting Family and Read more [...]

Donate appreciated stock for twice the tax benefits

| Tax Briefs

A tried-and-true year-end tax strategy is to make charitable donations. As long as you itemize and your gift qualifies, you can claim a charitable deduction. But did you know that you can enjoy an additional tax benefit if you donate long-term appreciated stock instead of cash? 2 benefits from 1 gift Appreciated publicly-traded stock you’ve held more than one year is long-term capital gains property. If you donate it to a qualified charity, you may be able to enjoy two tax benefits: If Read more [...]