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Management

Are You Coordinating Your Income Tax Planning With Your Estate Plan?

Are You Coordinating Your Income Tax Planning With Your Estate Plan?

Until recently, estate planning strategies typically focused on minimizing federal gift and estate taxes, such as by giving away assets during life to reduce the taxable estate. Today, however, the focus has moved toward income taxes, making the coordination of income tax planning and estate planning more important. Why the change? Since 2001, the federal exemption has grown from $675,000 to $5.45 million, this change means fewer people have to worry about gift and estate tax liability. Additionally, the top gift and estate tax rate has decreased from 55% to 40%, while the top individual...

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Are You Timing Business Income And Expenses To Your Tax Advantage?

Are You Timing Business Income And Expenses To Your Tax Advantage?

Generally speaking, it’s always better to defer tax. One way is through controlling when your business recognizes income and incurs deductible expenses. Here are two timing strategies that can help businesses do this: Defer income to next year. If your business uses the cash method of accounting, you can defer billing for your products or services. Or, if you use the accrual method, you can delay shipping products or delivering services. Accelerate deductible expenses into the current year. If you’re a cash-basis taxpayer, you may make a state estimated tax payment before Dec. 31, so you can...

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Help Retain Employees With Tax-free Fringe Benefits

Help Retain Employees With Tax-free Fringe Benefits

One of the ways your business can find and keep valuable employees is to offer an attractive compensation package. Fringe benefits are an important incentive — especially those that are tax-free. Here’s a rundown of some common perks and their tax implications. Medical coverage. If you maintain a health care plan for employees, coverage under the plan isn’t taxable to them. Employee contributions are excluded from income if pretax coverage is elected under a cafeteria plan. Otherwise, such amounts are included in their wages, but are deductible on a limited basis as itemized deductions....

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Tax-smart Options For Your Old Retirement Plan When You Change Jobs

Tax-smart Options For Your Old Retirement Plan When You Change Jobs

When you change jobs you have a lot to think about. It’s easy for your 401(k) or other employer-sponsored retirement plan to get lost in the shuffle. But to keep building tax-deferred savings, it’s important to make an informed decision about your old plan. First and foremost, don’t take a lump-sum distribution from your old employer’s retirement plan. It generally will be taxable and, if you’re under age 59½, subject to a 10% early-withdrawal penalty. Here are three tax-smart alternatives: Stay put. You may be able to leave your money in your old plan. But if you’ll be participating in your...

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Prepaid Tuition Vs. College Savings: Which Type Of 529 Plan Is Better?

Prepaid Tuition Vs. College Savings: Which Type Of 529 Plan Is Better?

Section 529 plans provide a tax-advantaged way to help pay for college expenses. Here are just a few of the benefits: Although contributions aren’t deductible for federal purposes, plan assets can grow tax-deferred. Some states offer tax incentives for contributing in the form of deductions or credits. The plans usually offer high contribution limits, and there are no income limits for contributing. Prepaid tuition plans With this type of 529 plan, if your contract is for four years of tuition, tuition is guaranteed regardless of its cost at the time the beneficiary actually attends the...

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Businesses Can Also Be Disrupted By Tax Identity Theft

Businesses Can Also Be Disrupted By Tax Identity Theft

A lot of attention is paid to individual tax identity theft — when a taxpayer’s personal information (including Social Security number) is used to fraudulently obtain a refund or commit other crimes. But businesses can be victims of tax identity theft too. Significant consequences Business tax identity theft occurs when a criminal uses the identifying information of a business, without permission, to obtain tax benefits or to enable identity theft schemes to be perpetrated on individuals. An identity thief could use an Employer Identification Number (EIN) and file a fraudulent business tax...

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