Category Archives: Tax Tips

Accountable plans are a win-win business idea

Are you looking for a way to give your employees a tax-free benefit that is also tax-deductible for your business? Consider an accountable plan. These arrangements let you reimburse your employees for expenses incurred on behalf of your company, such as driving to the post office or office supply store. With a properly administered plan, you can deduct the reimbursements… (more…)

For business profitability, understand the law of the vital few

How well do you know your customers? Which ones are the most profitable? Which ones take most of your time? Finding the answers to these questions can be worthwhile, because you may discover that the 80-20 rule, also known as the law of the vital few, applies to your business. The rule is a shorthand way of saying 80% of… (more…)

Get automated help to understand Affordable Care Act penalties

The Taxpayer Advocate Service website has an automated tool to help you understand how the employer penalties put in place by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) apply to your business. The “estimator” will help you determine how many full-time employees you have, whether you’re an applicable large employer, and what responsibilities your business has under ACA rules. Contact us at… (more…)

Form 5500 due date is approaching

August 1, 2016, is the deadline for filing Form 5500 for retirement or employee benefit plans on a calendar year. (The usual due date of July 31, 2016, is a Sunday.) There are two updates to be aware of. First, Form 5500 includes new compliance questions that plan sponsors can skip when completing the form. Second, if you’re required to… (more…)

Is your child ready for a summer job?

If your child is planning to work this summer, make sure you know the tax basics. Tax returns. Assuming no other sources of income, your child will be able to earn up to $6,300 in 2016 before a federal income tax return has to be filed. However, if income tax is withheld from paychecks, your child will have to file… (more…)

Income changes? Check your advance payments of the premium tax credit

Did you choose to reduce your monthly health insurance premium by having advance payments of your federal income tax credit sent to your insurance company?  If you’re getting married this summer, having a baby, or changing jobs, you need to estimate the impact of those events on the advance payments.  Otherwise you may end up with a surprise in the… (more…)

Will hiring seasonal workers make you subject to Affordable Care Act penalties?

Generally, having 50 or more employees means you need to provide health insurance or pay a penalty. But what happens when you hire workers who perform labor or services on a seasonal basis – for instance, just for the summer? In this case, the law provides an exception, based on the number of employees you have, and how many are… (more…)

Student debt: It pays to consider the alternatives first

Will someone in your family be heading off to college soon? Before you take out student loans to pay tuition and other expenses, consider the results of a recent survey conducted for the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. The survey found that more than 80% of those surveyed said they made financial or personal sacrifices to pay back student… (more…)

Follow these suggestions for better pricing decisions

The prices you set for your products and services affect every aspect of your business, including long-term viability, short-term profits, market share, and customer loyalty. While the guidebook or financial guru who can provide the perfect answer to this important decision doesn’t exist, tried-and-true principles can help. Here are three suggestions to arrive at reasonable pricing for your market and… (more…)

Keep track of summer rental income

Are you thinking of signing up with one of those websites that link travelers to property owners with space to spare? If you plan to offer for rent all or part of your main home, establishing sound recordkeeping procedures from day one is a good idea. In addition to a bookkeeping system to track the income and expenses related to… (more…)

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