• New option for unused funds in a 529 college savings plan

    With the high cost of college, many parents begin saving with 529 plans when their children are babies. Contributions to these plans aren’t tax deductible, but they grow tax deferred. Earnings used to pay qualified education expenses can be withdrawn tax-free. However, earnings used for other purposes may be subject to income tax plus a 10% penalty. What if you have a substantial balance in [...]

    Published On: March 4, 2024Categories: Featured, Individual Tax
  • If you didn’t contribute to an IRA last year, there’s still time

    If you’re gathering documents to file your 2023 tax return and you’re concerned that your tax bill may be higher than you’d like, there might still be an opportunity to lower it. If you qualify, you can make a deductible contribution to a traditional IRA right up until the April 15, 2024, filing date and benefit from the tax savings on your 2023 return. Who [...]

    Published On: March 1, 2024Categories: Featured, Individual Tax
  • Tax-wise ways to take cash from your corporation while avoiding dividend treatment

    If you want to withdraw cash from your closely held corporation at a low tax cost, the easiest way is to distribute cash as a dividend. However, a dividend distribution isn’t tax efficient since it’s taxable to you to the extent of your corporation’s “earnings and profits,” but it’s not deductible by the corporation. 5 different approaches Thankfully, there are some alternative methods that may [...]

    Published On: February 29, 2024Categories: Featured, Small Business Tax
  • 6 ways nonprofit retirement plans are changing

    Some provisions of 2022’s SECURE Act 2.0 (a follow-up to the SECURE Act of 2019) have been in force for over a year — including several that affect 403(b) retirement plans. If your not-for-profit offers staffers a 403(b) plan, you likely made some minor changes in 2023 and may have made more significant ones on January 1, 2024. A few additional provisions are scheduled to become effective [...]

    Published On: February 28, 2024Categories: Featured, Not for Profit
  • Internal hiring can help fill your nonprofit’s open job positions

      In January 2024, the U.S. economy added 353,000 new jobs. At a current rate of 3.7%, the unemployment rate has remained lower than 4% for two years. Although that’s generally great news for jobseekers and the economy, it tends to make the task of hiring not-for-profit staffers challenging. So why not look internally? Promoting existing employees generally is less expensive than extern al hiring and [...]

    Published On: February 27, 2024Categories: Featured, Not for Profit
  • Auditing revenue recognition

      The top line of an income statement for a for-profit business is revenue (or sales). Reporting this line item correctly is critical to producing accurate financial statements. Under U.S. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), revenue is recognized when it’s earned. With accrual-basis accounting, that typically happens when goods or services are delivered to the customer, not necessarily when cash is collected from the customer. [...]

    Published On: February 26, 2024Categories: Business, Featured
  • Taking your spouse on a business trip? Can you write off the costs?

      A recent report shows that post-pandemic global business travel is going strong. The market reached $665.3 billion in 2022 and is estimated to hit $928.4 billion by 2030, according to a report from Research and Markets. If you own your own company and travel for business, you may wonder whether you can deduct the costs of having your spouse accompany you on trips. Is your spouse [...]

    Published On: February 23, 2024Categories: Featured, Small Business Tax
  • What’s the best accounting method route for business tax purposes?

      Businesses basically have two accounting methods to figure their taxable income: cash and accrual. Many businesses have a choice of which method to use for tax purposes. The cash method often provides significant tax benefits for eligible businesses, though some may be better off using the accrual method. Thus, it may be prudent for your business to evaluate its method to ensure that it’s [...]

    Published On: February 22, 2024Categories: Featured, Small Business Tax
  • Liquidity overload: Why having too much cash may be bad for business

      In today’s uncertain marketplace, many businesses are stashing operating cash in their bank accounts, even though they might not have imminent plans to deploy their reserves. However, excessive “rainy day” funds could be an inefficient use of capital. Here’s a systematic approach to help estimate reasonable cash reserves and maximize your company’s return on long-term financial positions. What’s the harm in stockpiling cash? An [...]

    Published On: February 21, 2024Categories: Business, Featured
  • Get ready for the 2023 gift tax return deadline

      Did you make large gifts to your children, grandchildren or others last year? If so, it’s important to determine if you’re required to file a 2023 gift tax return. In some cases, it might be beneficial to file one — even if it’s not required. Who must file? The annual gift tax exclusion has increased in 2024 to $18,000 but was $17,000 for 2023. [...]

    Published On: February 20, 2024Categories: Featured, Individual Tax
  • Update on IRS efforts to combat questionable Employee Retention Tax Credit claims

      The Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC) was introduced back when COVID-19 temporarily closed many businesses. The credit provided cash that helped enable struggling businesses to retain employees. Even though the ERTC expired for most employers at the end of the third quarter of 2021, it could still be claimed on amended returns after that. According to the IRS, it began receiving a deluge of [...]

    Published On: February 20, 2024Categories: Featured, Small Business Tax
  • Encouraging charitable donors to include you in their estate plans

      Even if current donations are your not-for-profit’s bread and butter, you can’t afford to neglect planned, legacy or deferred gifts. These gifts, generally made through wills and living trusts, often are much larger. Your employees don’t need to be directly involved when donors establish gifts through their estate plans. But your development staff should know how the process works and how to encourage such [...]

    Published On: February 14, 2024Categories: Featured, Not for Profit
  • 9 tax considerations if you’re starting a business as a sole proprietor

      When launching a small business, many entrepreneurs start out as sole proprietors. If you’re launching a venture as a sole proprietorship, you need to understand the tax issues involved. Here are nine considerations: 1. You may qualify for the pass-through deduction. To the extent your business generates qualified business income, you’re currently eligible to claim the 20% pass-through deduction, subject to limitations. The deduction [...]

    Published On: February 14, 2024Categories: Business, Featured
  • Should your business offer the new emergency savings accounts to employees?

      As part of the SECURE 2.0 law, there’s a new benefit option for employees facing emergencies. It’s called a pension-linked emergency savings account (PLESA) and the provision authorizing it became effective for plan years beginning January 1, 2024. The IRS recently released guidance about the accounts (in Notice 2024-22) and the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) published some frequently asked questions to help employers, [...]

    Published On: February 13, 2024Categories: Featured, Small Business Tax