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Thursday, 23 March 2017

Who can — and who should — take the American Opportunity credit?

Written by Thomson Reuters

If you have a child in college, you may be eligible to claim the American Opportunity credit on your 2016 income tax return. If, however, your income is too high, you won’t qualify for the credit — but your child might. There’s one potential downside: If your dependent child claims the credit, you must forgo your dependency exemption for him or her. And the child can’t take the exemption...

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Spring cleaning your finances

Written by Forefield, Inc.

The arrival of spring often signifies a time of renewal, a reminder to dust off the cobwebs and get rid of the dirt and grime that have built up throughout the winter season. And while most spring cleaning projects are likely focused on your home, you could take this time to evaluate and clean up your personal finances as well. Examine your budget ... and stick with it A budget is the centerpiece of any good personal financial plan...

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Converting retirement savings to retirement income

Written by Forefield, Inc.

You've been saving diligently for years, and now it's time to think about how to convert the money in your traditional 401(k)s (or similar workplace savings plans) into retirement income. But hold on, not so fast. You may need to take a few steps first. Evaluate your needs If you haven't done so, estimate how much income you'll need to meet your desired lifestyle in retirement...

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Navigating the uncertain estate-planning terrain

Written by Steve Armstrong, J.D. LLM; Craig Mathiesen, CPA, MST, CTFA; Cathy Shoemaker, CPA MBA/MST

Start planning for the changing emphasis in estate planning President Donald Trump has a great deal of influence over a wide range of legislative matters, including the federal estate and income tax. One of his campaign promises was a repeal of the estate tax. The current structure provides that any person can transfer $5.49 million to their heirs in 2017 and pay no federal estate or gift tax ($10...

Monday, 13 March 2017

Mobile workforce payroll tax: Staying compliant

Written by Michael Bannasch, CPA, MST

According to the Global Business Travel Association, nearly 500 million business trips were taken in the United States during 2015. This figure represents an all-time high, and the forecasts are for continued increases in business travel. The growth in business travel is in spite of the advances in technology that allow, for instance, CPAs to log in to their clients’ accounting systems remotely, architects to share complex blueprints with colleagues in the cloud, and salespersons to present their pitches to prospects thousands of miles away via Skype or FaceTime. With all this travel, and with advances in technology in the hands of taxing jurisdictions, the issue of multi-jurisdictional payroll tax compliance has never been more critical...

Thursday, 09 March 2017

Four myths about managing your debt

Written by Thomson Reuters

Debt is a reality for many Americans. Median household debt was estimated at $2,300 as of May 2016, according to consumer information provider ValuePenguin. And debt isn’t limited to those earning lower incomes; households with a net worth of $500,000 and over had an estimated $8,139 in credit card debt, per the same source. Underestimating or ignoring your obligations can delay or even prevent you from accomplishing many financial goals...

Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Tangible property safe harbors help maximize deductions

Written by Thomson Reuters

If last year your business made repairs to tangible property, such as buildings, machinery, equipment or vehicles, you may be eligible for a valuable deduction on your 2016 income tax return. But you must make sure they were truly “repairs,” and not actually “improvements.”Why? Costs incurred to improve tangible property must be depreciated over a period of years...

Monday, 27 February 2017

Must ALEs file Forms 1095-C for foreign employees?

Written by Thomson Reuters

Note to readers: As of this writing, efforts are underway in Washington to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Both the Republican-majority House and Senate have approved a resolution to begin repeal proceedings, while President Trump has issued an Executive Order calling for the law’s “prompt repeal.” Please bear this in mind as you read the article below, and consult your benefits advisor for the latest developments. Question: We’re an applicable large employer (ALE) under the Affordable Care Act (ACA)...

Monday, 27 February 2017

Agencies provide additional guidance on HRA integration

Written by Thomson Reuters

Note to readers: As of this writing, efforts are underway in Washington to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Both the Republican-majority House and Senate have approved a resolution to begin repeal proceedings, while President Trump has issued an Executive Order calling for the law’s “prompt repeal.” Please bear this in mind as you read the article below, and consult your benefits advisor for the latest developments. A Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA) generally must be integrated with a qualifying non-HRA group health plan to satisfy the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA’s) annual limit prohibition and preventive services mandate...

Monday, 27 February 2017

Improve health care spending by disrupting status quo approaches

Written by Thomson Reuters

As of this writing, the Trump administration and Republicans in Congress continue to grapple with how to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Meanwhile, private sector analysts are busy offering their own ideas on how employers can manage health care costs more effectively. A recent report by the American Health Policy Institute and VBID Health focuses on how to reduce wasteful spending. The report, entitled Using Data-Driven Disruption to Reduce Wasteful Healthcare Spending, concludes that about 20% of health care expenditures by the 35 companies studied are wasteful...

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