Is your business committed to its cost-control regimen?

| Business Briefs

At the beginning of the year, many people decide they’re going to get in the best shape of their lives. Similarly, many business owners declare that they intend to cut costs and operate at peak efficiency going forward. But, like keeping up an exercise routine, controlling costs takes an ongoing effort. You need to not only review expenses now, but also commit yourself to doing so regularly. Here are some key points to keep in mind. Choosing where to slim down A good cost-control plan Read more [...]

Bridge over troubled waters

| News

By Linda DeTar     So you’re driving through a stop sign when another car runs through the sign at 50 miles-per-hour and hits you squarely on the side.  Unfortunately, you don’t survive the accident.  You’ve got a last will and testament, but it doesn’t provide details of your household, investments, login passwords, funeral wishes or other personal effects.  And now your loved ones must step in and try to locate everything and resolve all issues. Even if you survived this accident, Read more [...]

Identify all of your company’s retirement plan fiduciaries

| Business Briefs

Your company probably offers its employees a retirement plan. If so, can you identify all of your plan fiduciaries? From a risk management perspective, it’s critical for business owners to know who has fiduciary status — and the associated liability. Here are some common, though in some cases overlooked, plan fiduciaries: Named fiduciaries. The Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) requires a plan to have named fiduciaries. The plan document identifies the corporate entity or individual Read more [...]

Indiana Identity Protection Program for 2017 tax season

| Alerding Alerts, Tax Briefs

Notice from the Dept. of Revenue The Indiana Department of Revenue again will implement the Identity Protection Program for the 2017 tax season. This program is designed to not only stop fraud, but to deter fraud in the state of Indiana. Since its inception in 2014, the Identity Protection Program has stopped more than $100 million in fraudulent refund attempts. Security Features To prevent taxpayers’ refunds from being stolen, the department will use the automated identity verification Read more [...]

Deduction for state and local sales tax benefits some, but not all, taxpayers

| Tax Briefs

The break allowing taxpayers to take an itemized deduction for state and local sales taxes in lieu of state and local income taxes was made “permanent” a little over a year ago. This break can be valuable to those residing in states with no or low income taxes or who purchase major items, such as a car or boat. Your 2016 tax return How do you determine whether you can save more by deducting sales tax on your 2016 return? Compare your potential deduction for state and local income tax to Read more [...]

4 principles of competitive intelligence

| Business Briefs

We live and work in the information age. The opportunity to gather knowledge about your company’s competitors and industry as a whole has never been easier. This practice — commonly known as “competitive intelligence” — can help you maintain responsiveness in the marketplace while avoid being left behind as innovation surges forward. Before you dive into competitive intelligence, however, it’s important to establish a formal policy governing your efforts. (If you’ve already gotten Read more [...]

Few changes to retirement plan contribution limits for 2017

| Tax Briefs

Retirement plan contribution limits are indexed for inflation, but with inflation remaining low, most of the limits remain unchanged for 2017. The only limit that has increased from the 2016 level is for contributions to defined contribution plans, which has gone up by $1,000. Type of limit 2017 limit Elective deferrals to 401(k), 403(b), 457(b)(2) and 457(c)(1) plans $18,000 Contributions to defined contribution plans $54,000 Contributions to SIMPLEs $12,500 Contributions Read more [...]

Help prevent tax identity theft by filing early

| Tax Briefs

If you’re like many Americans, you might not start thinking about filing your tax return until close to this year’s April 18 deadline. You might even want to file for an extension so you don’t have to send your return to the IRS until October 16. But there’s another date you should keep in mind: January 23. That’s the date the IRS will begin accepting 2016 returns, and filing as close to that date as possible could protect you from tax identity theft. Why early filing helps In Read more [...]

2017 Q1 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 first quarter of 2017. Keep in mind that this list isn’t all-inclusive, so there may be additional deadlines that apply to you. January 31 File 2016 Forms W-2, “Wage and Tax Statement,” with the Social Security Administration and provide copies to your employees. File 2016 Forms 1099-MISC, “Miscellaneous Income,” reporting nonemployee compensation payments in Box 7 with the IRS, and Read more [...]

Has your organization set a New Year’s resolution?

| Business Miscellaneous

By Chris Mennel and Natalie Hopkins   It’s that time of year - time to set workout goals and lose those bad habits that the holidays helped create.  We all know New Year’s resolutions serve as a way to challenge us as individuals, but perhaps that should be extended into our organizations as we move into 2017. Let’s explore three areas that are easy to bypass when running organizations on a day-to-day basis, but could be instrumental steps for success in 2017. Setting donor goals Many Read more [...]