Can you deduct home office expenses?

| Tax Briefs

Working from home has become commonplace. But just because you have a home office space doesn’t mean you can deduct expenses associated with it. And for 2018, even fewer taxpayers will be eligible for a home office deduction. Changes under the TCJA For employees, home office expenses are a miscellaneous itemized deduction. For 2017, this means you’ll enjoy a tax benefit only if these expenses plus your other miscellaneous itemized expenses (such as unreimbursed work-related travel, certain Read more [...]

401(k) retirement plan contribution limit increases for 2018; most other limits are stagnant

| Tax Briefs

Retirement plan contribution limits are indexed for inflation, but with inflation remaining low, most of the limits remain unchanged for 2018. But one piece of good news for taxpayers who’re already maxing out their contributions is that the 401(k) limit has gone up by $500. The only other limit that has increased from the 2017 level is for contributions to defined contribution plans, which has gone up by $1,000. Type of limit 2018 limit Elective deferrals to 401(k), 403(b), Read more [...]

7 steps to choosing a successor for your family business

| Business Briefs, Business Miscellaneous

There’s an old saying regarding family-owned businesses: “Shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves in three generations.” It means the first-generation owner started in shirtsleeves and built the company up from nothing but, by the third generation, the would-be owner is back in shirtsleeves with nothing because the business failed or was sold. Although you can’t guarantee your company will buck this trend, you can take extra care when choosing a successor to give your family business a fighting chance. Read more [...]

Don’t be a victim of tax identity theft – File your 2017 return early

| Tax Briefs

The IRS has just announced that it will begin accepting 2017 income tax returns on January 29. You may be more concerned about the April 17 filing deadline or even the extended deadline of October 15 (if you file for an extension by April 17). After all, why go through the hassle of filing your return earlier than you have to?   But it can be a good idea to file as close to January 29 as possible. Doing so helps protect you from tax identity theft.   All-too-common scam   Here’s why early Read more [...]

The TCJA temporarily expands bonus depreciation

| Tax Briefs

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) enhances some tax breaks for businesses while reducing or eliminating others. One break it enhances — temporarily — is bonus depreciation. While most TCJA provisions go into effect for the 2018 tax year, you might be able to benefit from the bonus depreciation enhancements when you file your 2017 tax return.   Pre-TCJA bonus depreciation   Under pre-TCJA law, for qualified new assets that your business placed in service in 2017, you can claim a 50% first-year Read more [...]

Tax Cuts and Jobs Act: key provisions affecting nonprofits

| 2017 Tax Reform Updates

After many months of deliberation, on Dec. 20, 2017 Congress completed passage of the largest federal tax reform law in more than 30 years. Commonly called the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act” (TCJA), the new law means substantial changes for nonprofit organizations. Despite the bill’s nearly 1100 pages, this article contains a brief overview of some of the most significant provisions impacting nonprofits. Except where noted, these changes are effective for tax years beginning after Dec. 31, 2017 and before Jan. 1, 2026. Read more [...]

Document Document Document your ESOP

| Business Miscellaneous

By Mike Staton, CPA     It is no secret that the Department of Labor (DOL) has a negative view of Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs). Why? Because ESOPS are inherently not diversified in the stock that is owned by the participant/owners – primarily employer securities.  And the individuals selling the stock are the same individuals sponsoring the plan, engaging the trustees and involved in hiring the valuation firm that will ultimately determine the price paid for the shares. The DOL Read more [...]