Unexpected retirement plan disqualification can trigger serious tax problems

It’s not unusual for the IRS to conduct audits of qualified employee benefit plans, including 401(k)s. Plan sponsors are expected to stay in compliance with numerous, frequently changing federal laws and regulations. For example, have you identified all employees eligible for your 401(k) plan and given them the opportunity to make deferral elections? Are employee […]

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Choosing a funding method for your buy-sell agreement

Anyone who owns a closely held business with at least one other partner needs to take certain steps to guard against business disruption. If one partner departs suddenly, or becomes disabled or dies, serious confusion and conflicts can ensue. Among the most important steps is to create a buy-sell agreement, which stipulates precisely how ownership […]

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QSB stock offers 2 valuable tax benefits

By investing in qualified small business (QSB) stock, you can diversify your portfolio and enjoy two valuable tax benefits: 1. Tax-free gain rollovers. If within 60 days of selling QSB stock you buy other QSB stock with the proceeds, you can defer the tax on your gain until you dispose of the new stock. The […]

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Entrepreneurs: What can you deduct and when?

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 […]

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Filing for an extension isn’t without perils

Yes, the federal income tax filing deadline is slightly later than usual this year — April 18 — but it’s now nearly upon us. So, if you haven’t filed your return yet, you may be thinking about an extension. Extension deadlines Filing for an extension allows you to delay filing your return until the applicable extension […]

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Extension means businesses can take bonus depreciation on their 2015 returns – but should they?

Bonus depreciation allows businesses to recover the costs of depreciable property more quickly by claiming additional first-year depreciation for qualified assets. The Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015 (the PATH Act) extended 50% bonus depreciation through 2017. The break had expired December 31, 2014, for most assets. So the PATH Act may give […]

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Tips for deducting losses from a disaster, fire or theft

If you suffer damage to your home or personal property, you may be able to deduct these “casualty” losses on your federal income tax return. A casualty is a sudden, unexpected or unusual event, such as a natural disaster (hurricane, tornado, flood, earthquake, etc.), fire, accident, theft or vandalism. A casualty loss doesn’t include losses […]

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What’s your charitable donation deduction?

Charitable Contributions

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 […]

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How to max out education-related tax breaks

If there was a college student in your family last year, you may be eligible for some valuable tax breaks on your 2015 return. To max out your education-related breaks, you need to see which ones you’re eligible for and then claim the one(s) that will provide the greatest benefit. In most cases you can […]

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Deduct home office expenses — if you’re eligible

Deduct home office expenses — if you’re eligible Today it’s becoming more common to work from home. But just because you have a home office space doesn’t mean you can deduct expenses associated with it. Eligibility requirements If you’re an employee, your use of your home office must be for your employer’s convenience, not just […]

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