28
Sep

Beware of bogus charities

Times of crisis, when others are suffering and you want to help most, is also when heartless fraudsters tend to strike. If you’re planning a donation, watch for these signs that a charity isn’t on the up-and-up. The fly-by-night charity. Every legitimate charitable association had a start date, and some...
22
Sep

Get the maximum benefit from a casualty loss deduction

Violent weather can wreak emotional and financial havoc. If your home, vehicle, or other personal property is damaged or destroyed by a sudden, unexpected casualty, an itemized tax deduction may help ease the financial burden. In most cases, you claim a casualty loss in the taxable year the calamity strikes....
29
Aug

Watch out for these early warning signs from credit customers

Once you have extended credit to a customer, you have a stake in continuing the relationship even if you suspect trouble is brewing. You don’t want to crack down on a good customer too hard too soon; yet you don’t want to be “taken” by a debtor who has become...
24
Aug

Designate beneficiaries to avoid unintended consequences

After your death, the disposition of retirement accounts, life insurance policies, annuities, and accounts at financial institutions are governed by beneficiary designations. If those designations are outdated, unspecific, or wrong, your assets may not be distributed the way you would like. Here are items to consider. Be specific and stay...
22
Aug

Returning home as an adult

Are you thinking of returning to your childhood home to live with your parents? Although heading home after graduation or a divorce may feel like a setback, a temporary return to living with your parents can present opportunities to improve your financial situation. For example, living with your parents means...
15
Aug

Work-related education costs may be deductible

Are you going to school this fall to earn an advanced degree or to brush up on your work skills? If so, you might be able to deduct what you pay for tuition, books, and other supplies. If you’re self-employed or working for someone else, you may be able to...
15
Jul

Improve productivity with happy employees

Happy employees can have a positive impact on your operations, customer support, and profit level. Here are suggestions for keeping your workforce upbeat. Lead by example. Demonstrate the personal discipline and commitment you hope to instill in your workers by showing up every day with a positive attitude. Emphasize the...
11
Jul

When disaster strikes, will your business be prepared?

Disaster preparedness involves answering the question: How would a disaster affect your business? If you’re not sure, it’s time to start planning. Here’s a quick look at how you can prepare beforehand, and what relief might be available afterward. BEFORE DISASTER STRIKES Identify key issues. Bring together managers of key...
6
Jul

Summer day care expenses can add up to a tax credit

Did you know that you can claim a federal income tax credit when you pay someone to care for your kids while you’re at work or school? The Child and Dependent Care Credit is valuable because it reduces the amount of tax you owe dollar-for-dollar. Here’s an overview of the...