30
Dec

How social security benefits are taxed

Are you wondering if your social security retirement, survivor, and disability benefits will be subject to federal income tax on your 2016 return? Generally, when these benefits are taxed is determined by your “provisional income.” Provisional income (PI) is the product of a formula used for no other purpose than...
22
Dec

Avoid hiring mistakes in your start-up

Staffing errors can spell disaster for your start-up. Here are three to watch out for. Staffing the firm with friends and family. While this strategy may work in some circumstances, hiring pals and relatives often spells trouble. For one thing, friends and family members often expect – even subconsciously –...
19
Dec

Don’t include the IRS on your gift list

Suppose a relative gives you an expensive painting. Several years later, your relative dies and you decide to sell the painting. Your accountant says you’ll owe capital gain tax on the sale, and asks for your basis in order to reduce the amount on which you’ll pay tax. What’s your...
1
Dec

Downtime is not wasted time

Does a suggestion to boost productivity with time off sound counterintuitive? Research has shown that giving workers – and perhaps yourself, as a business owner – time off to recuperate from work demands can be energizing. Here are three ways your business can benefit. Health and customer service benefits. When...
29
Nov

Higher self-employment taxes coming in 2017

Did you know the national average wage index went up? You might have missed the news, but it’s likely you will notice one impact: higher self-employment taxes. How are the two related? The index is used to calculate the social security wage base, which is the amount of income subject...
22
Nov

Teach your kids that credit cards are useful but not free

While credit cards can be very useful financial tools, the borrowed money is not “free.” Here are two opportunities to share that lesson with your kids. When choosing a card. Show your kids the entire credit card lifecycle. Explain that when evaluating credit cards, a comparison of benefits is crucial....
10
Nov

Prepare in advance for required IRA distributions

Once you reach age 70½, the required minimum distribution (RMD) rules say you have to withdraw at least a minimum amount from your retirement plans each year. Since the withdrawals are considered ordinary income, planning in advance can help you prepare for the impact on your federal income tax return....
7
Nov

Ready to start year-end planning? Focus on the big picture

Some tax-cutting strategies make good financial sense. Others are simply bad ideas, often because tax considerations are allowed to override basic economics. Here’s one example of the tax tail wagging the economic dog. Let’s say that you operate an unincorporated consulting business. You want an additional tax write-off, so you...
4
Oct

Your business, your salary

As the owner of your business, you are the decider of salaries for your staff. That’s true for your own salary too. While there is no one-size-fits-all formula for determining how much to pay yourself, here are two factors to consider. Regularly review and update your firm’s cash flow projections...
30
Sep

How to be a successful saver

How much money did you save last year? If your savings fell short of your goals, don’t give up. You can still take charge of your financial future. Here are tips to become a successful saver. Set goals. Give your saving a purpose. Do you want to accumulate an emergency...