Entrepreneurs: What can you deduct and when?

| Tax Briefs

By Bennie the Bean Counter     Starting a new business is an exciting time. But before you even open the doors, you generally have to spend a lot of money. You may have to train workers and pay for rent, utilities, marketing and more. Entrepreneurs are often unaware that many expenses incurred by start-ups can’t be deducted right away. How expenses are handled on your tax return When planning a new enterprise, remember these three key points: Start-up costs include those incurred Read more [...]

Making your case for a business loan

| Business Briefs, News

By Bennie the Bean Counter     From afar, the commercial lending process may appear comical. On one side of the desk you have the lenders, who want to manage their risk by loaning money to only successful business owners. On the other side of the desk, you have the business owners — many of whom believe they can’t truly become successful until they get the money! To avoid this disconnect, you have to approach business financing as a partnership rather than a provider-customer relationship. Read more [...]

Were you required to take a retirement plan distribution in 2015?

| Alerding Alerts

Who must take a distribution? Starting at age 70½, owners of most types of retirement plans must begin making withdrawals, also known as required minimum distributions (RMDs), from their accounts. Those plans affected include IRAs, SEP IRAs, SIMPLE IRAs and Rollover IRAs.  This rule also applies to everyone who has inherited a plan as a beneficiary.  However, there is no RMD requirement for Roth IRAs during the lifetime of the original owner. When must you take your first distribution? You Read more [...]

4 facts about the Section 199 tax deduction

| Tax Briefs

By Bennie the Bean Counter       The Section 199 deduction is often overlooked by business owners, perhaps because they’re not sure what it is. You may see it referred to as "the domestic production deduction," or the "domestic production activities deduction" or "the manufacturers' deduction." Here are four more facts about this potentially valuable tax break: 1. It’s a weighty percentage The deduction is worth as much as 9% of the lesser of qualified production activities income Read more [...]

Could your business become an identity-theft victim?

| Business Briefs, Business Miscellaneous

(Part 1 of 3 in the business identity theft series) Individual identity theft has received a lot of press in recent years, but what about the theft of a business’ identity? Business identity theft is proving to be easier and more lucrative than stealing a consumer’s identity. In 2014, JP Morgan Chase acknowledged a massive data breach that affected 76 million households and 7 million small businesses. Business theft occurs when criminals pose as owners or employees to obtain cash, credit Read more [...]

Two benefits-related tax credits just for small businesses

| Tax Briefs

By Bennie the Bean Counter     Tax credits reduce tax liability dollar-for-dollar, making them particularly valuable. Two valuable credits are especially for small businesses that offer certain employee benefits. Can you claim one — or both — of them on your 2015 return? Retirement plan credit Small employers (generally those with 100 or fewer employees) that create a retirement plan may be eligible for a $500 credit per year for three years. The credit is limited to 50% of qualified Read more [...]

FASB Issues New Lease Standard

| Alerding Alerts, Business Miscellaneous

On February 26, 2016, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) issued Accounting Standards Update (ASU) No. 2016-02 – Leases.  This landmark standard will change the entire financial reporting landscape for entities that are a-party to Operating Lease Agreements as lessees. The new standard will require entities to record a “Right-of-Use” asset and an Operating Lease Liability at the time the Lease is entered into or when this accounting standard is adopted.  The Right-to-Use asset Read more [...]

What’s your charitable donation deduction?

| Tax Briefs

By Bennie the Bean Counter       When it comes to deducting charitable gifts, all donations are not created equal. As you file your 2015 return and plan your charitable giving for 2016, it’s important to keep in mind the available deduction: Cash. This includes not just actual cash but gifts made by check, credit card or payroll deduction. You may deduct 100%. Ordinary-income property. Examples include stocks and bonds held one year or less, inventory, and property subject to depreciation Read more [...]