24August
2017
Earnings for All Seasons

While nature offers four seasons, Wall Street offers only one, four times a year. It’s called “earnings season,”? and it can move the markets. So what is earnings season and why is it important? Earnings season is the month of the year that follows each calendar quarter-end month (January, April, July and October) in which many public companies release quarterly earnings reports. Other public companies report earnings at other times during the year, but many are on the calendar year that ends December 31. Reported Earnings To understand the importance of earnings, we need to remember that the value of…

24August
2017
Anticipate Future Possibilities with a Shareholders Agreement

A shareholders agreement drafted for a privately held company details the rights and obligations of the shareholders. It not only provides guiding principles for running the business today, it lays out the ground rules of what to do if one of the shareholders dies, becomes disabled — or one party wants to dissolve the business. In other words, it can resolve issues in the future that you may not even anticipate now.             Caution: There are online shareholders agreement templates that can be filled in. But there is no one-size-fits-all shareholders agreement that is applicable…

24August
2017
A Potentially Large Responsibility: Taxes After Someone Dies

The death of a loved one is always difficult but it can be even more challenging if you are the one who must handle all the resulting tax responsibilities. There are a couple different ways you can assume the required duties: You may be named as the executor of the decedent’s estate under his or her will. In the absence of a will, you could be appointed as the administrator by the probate court. Either way, the duties are essentially the same, so for purposes of this article, we’ll call the person with the responsibility the executor. What must be…

10August
2017
Avoid Unhappy Returns

Every day, retailers across the country issue refunds to customers. The reasons range from a bad fit to the wrong color to a changed mind. The transactions are generally simple — the customers get money or a credit card refund and the store gets merchandise that it needs to resell. But too often, the transactions turn out to involve refund fraud, a crime that, according to one study, cost 15 surveyed retailers more than $450 million. Retail refund fraud takes many forms. In some cases, people return merchandise they never bought from your store. In other cases, employees steal items…

10August
2017
Disability Insurance: Do You Have Enough?

If you receive group disability insurance from your company, you may think you have enough coverage to protect yourself in the event of a long-term sickness or injury. But take a closer look. One of the unfortunate facts of life is that people are sometimes stricken by a disability that prevents them from working. Even if health insurance covers the medical bills, there isn’t always enough money to cover the mortgage, utility bills and daily living expenses. That’s where a disability insurance policy comes in. If your ability to earn a living is impaired on or off the job, the…

10August
2017
Fringe Benefits for a Family Partnership or LLC

A special set of federal income tax rules applies to fringe benefits provided by a partnership to its partners in exchange for their services to the business. The same set of rules also generally applies to multi-member LLCs (meaning LLCs with more than one owner), because they are generally treated as partnerships for federal tax purposes. With that background in mind, here is a brief summary of the tax treatment of fringe benefits provided by your family partnership to its partners or your family LLC to its members. Fringes Treated as Taxable Guaranteed Payments The cost of providing the following…