Year-End Bonuses Shouldn’t Break the Bank

Rewarding employees at the end of the year can brighten up their holidays and set the stage for your company to enjoy a good start to 2019. Some forethought and careful communications can avoid problems. A key first step is to check your company’s financial condition. Year-end bonuses can boost morale, but you shouldn’t pay out more than your company can afford. On the other hand, if your business is doing well, some holiday generosity might help it do even better. Spread the Word Once…

Power of Attorney – Your Trusted Agent

Most people realize the importance of a will to help direct the transfer of assets after death. During your lifetime, you also may want to have a power of attorney (POA) for convenience and asset protection. The person who creates a POA is known as the principal. In the POA, an agent (known as the attorney-in-fact) is given the authority to act on the principal’s behalf. POAs come in different forms with different purposes. General POA A general or regular POA gives the agent the…

Throwing SALT Into The Property-Tax Wound

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) of 2017 sharply raised the standard deduction and placed limits on itemized deductions. In particular, no more than $10,000 can be deducted in state and local tax (SALT) payments on a single or joint tax return. As a result, most people will take the standard deduction now and get no tax benefit from their property tax payments. Even those who itemize may get little or no tax benefit from their property tax payments if they also have ample…

Year-End Retirement Planning

A major feature of the TCJA is the reduction of income tax rates owed by individuals. For example, married couples filing jointly for 2018 may have taxable income up to $77,400 and remain in the 12% bracket, up to $165,000 and stay in the 22% bracket, and up to $315,000 and stay in the 24% bracket. For single filers, the taxable income numbers are exactly 50% of those in the last sentence. Keep in mind that the numbers are for taxable income after all deductions…

Year-End Business Tax Planning

Under the TCJA, equipment expensing permitted by Section 179 of the tax code was expanded. In 2018, your business can take a first-year deduction of up to $1 million worth of equipment purchases. You might buy, say, $400,000 worth of equipment and deduct $400,000 from your company’s profits this year. Without the Section 179 tax break, that $400,000 tax deduction would be spread over multiple years. New and used equipment that is bought or leased can qualify for first-year expensing. The equipment must be placed…