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Business Wisdom

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Ensuring your year-end donations are tax deductible

Written by Thomson Reuters

Many people make donations at the end of the year. To be deductible on your 2017 return, a charitable donation must be made by December 31, 2017. According to the IRS, a donation generally is “made” at the time of its “unconditional delivery.” But what does this mean?..

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Market Outlook -- December 2017

Written by Frank Germack III, CFA

Economy The labor market continues to be strong point of the U.S. economy. With the unemployment rate at 4...

Tuesday, 05 December 2017

Risk Report -- December 2017

Written by Bill Kowalski

Is it a holiday deal or a scam? | You can’t touch online merchandise, so distinguishing knock-offs from originals, and deals from scams requires some savvy. Here are some tips to keep you safe this holiday season: Deals – don’t click on unsolicited links to online deals, even if it seems to be from a friend. Fraudsters often send deceptive emails that appear to be from people in your contact list, so make sure the emails you’re receiving are coming from a reliable source...

Monday, 04 December 2017

IRS releases 2018 COLAs for various health care benefits

Written by Thomson Reuters

In October, the IRS released the 2018 cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) for a wide variety of tax-related limits applicable to various health care benefits. Here are some of the highlights: Health Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs). For 2018, the dollar limit on employee salary reduction contributions to health FSAs will be $2,650, up from $2,600. Qualified small employer health reimbursement arrangements (QSEHRAs)...

Monday, 04 December 2017

Make next year even better by establishing a culture of health

Written by Thomson Reuters

About a decade ago, the New England Journal of Medicine published a landmark study that identified a social dimension to the spread of obesity. The study found, among other things, that a person’s chances of becoming obese increase by 57% if he or she has a friend who also becomes obese. Many, if not most, employees have co-workers they consider friends. So, in turn, a workplace’s “culture of health” — defined as a culture that supports or neglects healthy living — can have a major impact on workers’ well-being...

Monday, 04 December 2017

Does a midyear deductible change require an SBC update?

Written by Thomson Reuters

Question: Our company sponsors a self-insured major medical plan subject to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA). We’re considering amending our plan midyear to increase the amount of the deductible, with no other changes in the plan terms. Are we required to update our summary of benefits and coverage (SBC) for this change or otherwise provide notice? Answer: Yes, increasing the deductible under your plan would constitute a “material modification” that would trigger a notice requirement under ERISA...

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Property tax: A fixed expense?

Written by Paul Bach and Sam Hodges, CPA, CGMA

Many businesses categorize property taxes as an operational fixed expense. And although property taxes have the propensity to be time related, there is more to them than just a yearly due date. Did you know that you have the authority to challenge excessive property values and reduce the amount of your fixed expense? Here are a few tips to help you ensure you are paying the correct amount of property tax liability...

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

M&A transactions: Five tips for retaining and engaging executives and key employees

Written by Heidi Bolger, CPA/ABV, CM&AA, CGMA and Mary Van Skiver, CPA, MBA, PHR, CEPA

Whether you’re selling your business, acquiring a business, or merging with another company, retaining and engaging executives and other employees is a critical strategic move for a successful transaction. Here are five tips for motivating your key people, encouraging a high level of retention and engagement, and preserving the value of your business. 1. Communicate...

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Do you know where your business is?

Written by Michael Bannasch, CPA, MST

Where is your business located? This question may seem straightforward, but when it comes to state and local taxes, answers — and borders — can start to blur. Consider the following scenario: A debt collection agency located in Michigan was seeking to grow and willing to find that opportunity anywhere in the U.S...

Monday, 20 November 2017

Year-end strategies to reduce your tax liability

Written by Ryan Sullivan, CFP, AIFA and Joe Zaiter, AIF, AAMS

Paying taxes is inevitable — whether you’re retired or currently employed. Regardless of what you do for a living, there are ways to reduce your tax burden for the current year. You may be thinking, “How? The year is coming to a close!..

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