27December
2018
Eight Ways to Prevent Expense Account Fraud

Your employees may be cheating your company by turning in bogus expense reports. While each of these transactions may be small, they can add up to a bundle. Not only does expense account abuse erode profits, it creates an environment in which employees think they can get away with stealing — and perhaps move on to more lucrative fraudulent schemes. In addition, poor expense account reporting can jeopardize your company’s tax deductions for employee reimbursements if you ever get audited by the IRS.  For all these reasons, your company should have strict expense account policies. Here are eight specific suggestions: Create…

27December
2018
Gauging a Stock’s Risk

Stocks are primarily affected by two types of risk — market risk and nonmarket risk. Nonmarket risk, also called specific risk, is the risk that events specific to a company or its industry will adversely affect a stock’s price. Market risk is the risk that a stock’s price will be affected by overall stock market movements. Nonmarket risk can be reduced through diversification. By owning several different stocks in different industries whose stock prices have shown little correlation to each other, you reduce the risk that nonmarket factors will adversely affect your total portfolio.   From the SEC “All investments…

27December
2018
Trim Compensation Expenses

For many businesses, payroll is the single largest expense. Just the basics of wages and salaries add up significantly. But it doesn’t stop there. Your payroll costs are increased by about 24% when you add in vacations, FICA contributions, as well as unemployment, workers’ compensation, health insurance and other fringe benefits. And then there’s overtime — an expense that’s often difficult to control. If these costs aren’t closely monitored and controlled, your company could lose its competitive edge or, in a worst-case scenario, become unprofitable. Here’s a list of suggestions that can help you cut some costs while still adequately…

13December
2018
Tap into the Power of a Grantor Trust

The U.S. survived the worst recession since the Great Depression. But believe it or not, there is a silver lining: this tough economy has driven applicable federal rates (AFRs) to rock bottom levels. Each month, the IRS provides these prescribed rates for federal income tax purposes. AFRs are used to calculate the value of remainder and annuity interests and ensure that a debt transaction will not have below-market interest. So, what do these low AFRs mean for you? It means now is the perfect time to tap into the power of grantor trusts. Read on to learn about a few winning…

13December
2018
Tax Law Changes Affecting Partnerships, LLCs and Their Owners

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) brought many modifications to the tax laws that affect partnerships, limited liability companies (LLCs), and their owners. Here’s a look at the key changes. Technical Termination Rule Repealed Under prior law, a partnership (or LLC treated as a partnership for tax purposes) was considered to terminate for federal income tax purposes if, within a 12-month period, there was a sale or exchange of 50% or more of the partnership’s (LLC’s) capital and profits interests. This “technical termination rule” was generally unfavorable because: It could require you to file two short-period partnership tax returns…

13December
2018
Prenuptial Agreements as an Estate Planning Tool

Prenuptial agreements and domestic law vary from one state to another but nearly every state has laws that prevent one spouse from entirely disinheriting the other. However, with a prenuptial agreement, one spouse can waive his or her right to the other spouse’s estate. What if you are already re-married and didn’t sign a prenuptial agreement? You may be able to sign a post-nuptial agreement to accomplish the same goals. Consult with your attorney Let’s say you are getting married and have children from a previous marriage. Your spouse-to-be also has children and is financially secure. You may want to…