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Survive Financial Stress with These 3 Mindset Changers

Survive Financial Stress with These 3 Mindset Changers

Because financial stress is a normal part of life for most people, learning to cope with money worries is important — vital, in fact — for maintaining positive relationships, job productivity, and personal health. If you’re dealing with excessive anxiety about your finances, consider implementing the following three policies: Move forward and control what you can. If you’ve been laid off…

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Do You Have Misclassified Workers?

Do You Have Misclassified Workers?

Independent contractor and employee —Do you know the difference between the two classifications? As you prepare your third-quarter 2018 payroll reports, take time to review the status of your workers to help you stay away from misclassification issues down the road. Knowing the difference is crucial Often, figuring out if a worker should be classified as an independent contractor or…

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3 Natural Disaster Prep Tax Tips

3 Natural Disaster Prep Tax Tips

The storms and wildfires during the last year are a good reminder that one of the best ways to manage the aftermath of a natural disaster is to plan ahead. If you live in a natural disaster high-risk area, you can take steps to alleviate tax and financial issues post-disaster by following these tips: Check your homeowners or renters insurance…

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2018 Tax Highlights – What You Need to Know

2018 Tax Highlights – What You Need to Know

2018 is filled with more dramatic tax changes than we’ve faced in over 20 years! Here’s a quick video that goes through the highlights and remember, you can always reach out to use to schedule a meeting if you want to go over these changes and how they affect you and your business specifically. Business Accounting Systems, P.C.: Client Videos

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Schooling Your Children on Money Matters

Schooling Your Children on Money Matters

Teaching your child about money and finances is easiest when you start early. Here’s a quick review of what you should teach your children at each age if you want them to become financially competent adults: Preschool Identify coins and bills, and learn what each is worth. Understand that you can’t buy everything (choices are necessary). Save money in a…

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Make sure you’ve got a plan for your RMDs

Make sure you’ve got a plan for your RMDs

After all the advice you’ve received about saving for retirement, taking money out of your traditional IRAs and other qualified retirement plans may feel strange. Yet once you reach 70½, the required minimum distribution (RMD) rules say you have to do just that. Under these rules, you must withdraw at least a minimum amount from your retirement plans each year.…

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Your child wants to start a business. Now what?

Your child wants to start a business. Now what?

Has your child asked for your help with starting a business? If the answer’s yes, chances are you may not know where to start. Since the failure rate for new businesses is high, it would be supportive for you to do whatever you can to increase your child’s chances of success. That includes considering the following: Find out what groundwork…

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College and Credit Cards: A Good Mix?

College and Credit Cards: A Good Mix?

If you’ve gone back and forth about whether or not it’s a good idea to send your child to college with a credit card, you aren’t alone. Opinions are divided, both among parents and financial advisors. The outcome depends on the kids and the parents. On one hand, there’s a potential that everyone will benefit. If your child uses the…

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3 Debt-Destroying Habits Everyone Should Follow

3 Debt-Destroying Habits Everyone Should Follow

Staying out of debt is simple, but it’s not easy. It requires resilience — forgoing impulsive purchases in exchange for long-term financial freedom. Personal debt can be categorized as necessary or unnecessary. Necessary debt can generally be linked to assets such as your home mortgage, a basic car for getting to work, or a college degree. Unnecessary debt, on the…

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How to Get Your Customers to Pay Up

How to Get Your Customers to Pay Up

Your customer is satisfied — but a month has gone by, and your invoice is still outstanding. You’d like to work with the customer in the future. So how do you get your money without losing the customer? Here are two strategies that may help: Make it a habit to clearly and promptly communicate with your customers. On the day…

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5 questions to ask before starting a home-based business

A lot of people consider self-employment because they’ve lost their seemingly stable jobs in the corporate world. Others just dream of making it on their own. As online marketing becomes easier and more accessible, and employees discover the advantages of telecommuting, home-based work alternatives are becoming increasingly attractive. If running a business out of your home sounds good to you,…

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Want a profitable business? Focus on customer service

Even with the best of intentions, many companies talk up customer service but don’t actually deliver. In order to really provide great customer service, every employee needs to be tuned in to how he or she can contribute to keep customers coming back again and again. This ultimately affects the net profit of any business. Customer service includes every element…

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Audit-proof your shareholder loan

If you’re a business owner and your company lends you money, you’ll enter it in the books as a shareholder loan. However, if your return is audited, the IRS will scrutinize the loan to see whether it is really disguised wages or a dividend taxable to you as income. Knowing what the IRS might look at may be useful when…

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6 ways to avoid credit card catastrophes

6 ways to avoid credit card catastrophes

Credit cards should be a convenient short-term way to pay, not a source of regular spending. Unfortunately, some people have a hard time staying true to this concept. Instead of paying off the entire balance due on the card each month, they let it grow and pay only the minimum amounts. If this sounds all too familiar, it’s time to…

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Considering divorce? Think about your tax filing status

Considering divorce? Think about your tax filing status

The advantage of filing a joint tax return is well known — couples generally save money when compared with filing separately. However, there is at least one potential disadvantage. Both spouses are liable for the entire income tax bill, including interest and penalties, even if one earned most or all of the income. The joint-filing downfall This issue most commonly…

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Why a business appraisal may be your best friend

Why a business appraisal may be your best friend

For many business owners, business appraisals can provide vital planning information and help mitigate risk. Consider what it may be able to do for you: Establish a verifiable value for your business. This can show whether assets have appreciated at a reasonable rate. If not, you may need to adjust your firm’s strategy. Create documentation to support new financing. Lenders…

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How to get your marriage off to a good financial start

How to get your marriage off to a good financial start

Wedding season is upon us! Did you know couples often enter into marriage without ever having had a discussion about financial issues? As a result, they find themselves frequently arguing about money. If you are planning a wedding, here are some steps you can take to get your marriage off to a good financial start: Determine your financial compatibility. Take…

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How to Make the Most of Your Tax Refund

Are you receiving a tax refund this year? No doubt you’ve already heard about why you shouldn’t be giving the government an interest-free loan. Maybe you’ve decided to revise your withholding or estimated tax payments to reduce the amount of next year’s refund. Either way, you have options. Financial planning means creating effective strategies that work for you. The more…

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3 Reasons Why Your Child Should (or shouldn’t) Have Life Insurance

3 Reasons Why Your Child Should (or shouldn’t) Have Life Insurance

When determining whether or not to carry life insurance on your children, you’ll find that people have a variety of opinions. Here’s a look at some of the most common considerations for and against life insurance policies on children: Financial security. Traditionally, you take out life insurance to provide for the financial security of dependents. The policy should include funds to…

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Emergency Funds: Why They’re Worth It

Emergency Funds: Why They’re Worth It

Emergency funds can be helpful for everyone. Any unexpected hit to your finances, and unanticipated illness or a natural disaster might all be reasons you may need money right away. What is an emergency fund? An emergency fund is designed to keep your life intact during temporary setbacks and to help you avoid unnecessary debt. That means things like car…

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Is Walking Away from Sunk Costs the Best Option?

Is Walking Away from Sunk Costs the Best Option?

Emotions make us human. They can also cause us to make rash decisions. Business owners and managers often let emotions dominate the decision-making process. This is especially true when choices are based on “sunk costs.” Why sunk costs can lead to trouble Broadly defined, sunk costs are past expenses that are irrelevant to current decisions. For example, many firms hire…

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Payroll Fraud – Is your business susceptible?

Payroll Fraud – Is your business susceptible?

Unless a small business owner handles all aspects of computing and paying payroll, there is room for fraud. Even if your company has only a few employees — it does not guarantee your funds will be safe.   How payroll fraud happens Perhaps one of the easiest payroll fraud techniques is the overpayment of withholding or payroll taxes. Your bookkeeper…

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Nanny Tax – Ignorance isn’t a good excuse

Nanny Tax – Ignorance isn’t a good excuse

As you review your filing requirements for 2018, make sure you don’t overlook the nanny tax related to household employees. If you have a housekeeper or any other household employee, you could be liable to pay state and federal payroll taxes.   How to know if you must pay the nanny tax First, you’ll need to determine whether you have…

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Tax-Time Review

Tax-Time Review

Now is the perfect time to review your financial affairs. You have to gather information to prepare your tax return at this time. Why not take one more step and do something positive for the wellbeing of your wallet?   The following suggestions will help you with your financial review:   Talk to your family. You should factor in the…

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Is it time to update your beneficiary list?

Is it time to update your beneficiary list?

It’s not uncommon to lose track of your beneficiaries, including which accounts have them, and who you designated. However, it is important to keep them current. Make your beneficiary designations a priority When you designate a beneficiary for an account, that person inherits the assets in the account, regardless of what your will says. That’s why updating your will periodically…

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Your Business’ Annual Health Check

Your Business’ Annual Health Check

Business owners and managers spend most of their time monitoring operations and dealing with everyday problems. But just as an annual checkup from your doctor helps monitor and manage your personal health, an annual checkup can do the same for your business. Here are seven checkup tasks that you should make time to do every year. These are important for…

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5 Year-End Tax Tips

5 Year-End Tax Tips

The clock is ticking down to 2018 … but you still have a few weeks left to make some last-minute tax moves. Take a look at these five tips and save a little more this year. Check the amount of 2017 tax you have prepaid through withholding and quarterly estimates ASAP. If you’ve underpaid, consider increasing your withholding before year-end.…

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The holidays: A time for mistletoe and … fraud?

The holidays: A time for mistletoe and … fraud?

It’s not surprising that identity thieves and con artists love the holidays. More shoppers, more deals and more buying motivation makes the season rife with opportunities to steal. But you don’t have to let the holiday spirit cloud your shopping safety judgment.   Here are a few tips to avoid fraud, whether you’re shopping online or at your local mall:…

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Keep Your Kids Occupied During the Upcoming Holiday Break Teach Them These 4 Smart Money Lessons

Keep Your Kids Occupied During the Upcoming Holiday Break Teach Them These 4 Smart Money Lessons

Personal finance is often learned through experience. Fortunately, you can give your kids a hand-up on their journey to becoming financially responsible adults. Preschoolers and teenagers obviously have different financial concerns and abilities. But there are a few basic lessons that all children should learn by the time they enter college or start a career: Money = choices. Teach your…

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Savvy Generosity: Do it the right way

Savvy Generosity: Do it the right way

Giving on a yearly basis could trim both your estate and income taxes. First, there’s the annual exclusion for gifts. Currently, you can give $14,000 annually to any number of recipients without paying federal gift tax. Married couples can double this amount by gift-splitting – a gift of $28,000 from one spouse is treated as if it came half from…

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Tax Reform: What You Need to Know

Tax Reform: What You Need to Know

There is now a ton of media chatter about the recently introduced federal tax reform package being passed around in Washington, D.C. While it’s still early in the process, here are some of the key elements of the current proposal. For individuals: Individual tax rate brackets trimmed to three rates of 12, 25 and 35 percent, down from the current…

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Conquer your financial clutter

Conquer your financial clutter

Financial records are notorious for being messy. Bills, paycheck stubs, tax returns and bank statements have a way of getting tucked into random places. Luckily, there are a few pretty painless ways to organize your important documents.   Put all your financial records in one dedicated spot To ensure that bills are paid on time, bank statements are reconciled and…

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Employee meals: 50 or 100 percent deductible?

Employee meals: 50 or 100 percent deductible?

Everyone loves a free meal – especially employees. However, your business tax return will be affected differently depending on the circumstances of the mealtime experience.   While you can generally deduct only half the cost of meals related to your business activities, the tax code includes specific exceptions that allow a deduction of 100 percent of what you spend on…

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Employer company stock: risky or worth it?

Employer company stock: risky or worth it?

Employees often have too much of their employer’s company stock in their 401(k) or other retirement plan. That’s because employees tend to feel like they know their companies best. Here’s the problem: they may be overlooking the risks of having too much of an investment in any one company.   Here are some of the risks of loading up on…

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4 smart ways to cut business costs

4 smart ways to cut business costs

Keeping costs under control is crucial in today’s challenging business environment. Without a doubt, one of the quickest ways for a business to cut costs is through staff reduction. But cutting jobs is not always the best cost-cutting strategy. Drastic job cuts can lead to a vicious cycle of reduced productivity, followed by even slower growth and decreased profitability. Replacing…

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Your Receipts are Important: Save Them!

Your Receipts are Important: Save Them!

When it comes to taking qualified deductions on your federal tax return, three things must happen: Recognize that an expense might be deductible on your tax return. Keep a record of the expense in an organized fashion. Obtain the proper (and timely) documentation to support your deduction.   This might be obvious to most people, but here are some typical…

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Tips On Tip Reporting

Tips On Tip Reporting

If you are like millions of taxpayers who work in the service industry, you may receive tips. The tax code is clear; if you receive tips you must report them as income. Some employers have systems to make this easy, while others do not. Here are some suggestions: Think 1-2-3 Proper tip reporting has three components. 1. Keeping a daily…

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How To Cut Car Maintenance Costs

How To Cut Car Maintenance Costs

Insurance, fuel, loan interest, maintenance, repairs, depreciation – all the expenses associated with owning and driving an automobile can take a huge bite out of your family budget. Some of these are sunk costs. Because the money is already spent – the down payment to purchase your car, for example – such costs are irrelevant when budgeting for the future.…

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Do A Business Valuation When You’re Ready To Sell Your Company

Do A Business Valuation When You’re Ready To Sell Your Company

Well before you’re ready to sell your company, you’ll want to determine its fair market value as a starting point for negotiations. Of course, obtaining a reasonably precise value for your business is often a complicated and time-consuming task. Accurate appraisals must weigh a variety of factors and incorporate numerous assumptions. The more precise the underlying numbers and suppositions, the…

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Four Tips For Building An Emergency Fund

Planning for business emergencies is like buying insurance: you pay into an account and hope you’ll never have to use it. But life happens. Equipment breaks down. Electrical problems occur. Employees leave. Having money in the bank to cover those unexpected expenses can reduce stress and keep you from relying on credit cards and loans to keep your business afloat.…

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Five Home Office Deduction Mistakes

If you operate a business out of your home, you may be able to deduct a wide variety of expenses. These may include part of your rent or mortgage costs, insurance, utilities, repairs, maintenance, and cleaning costs related to the space you use. It can be a tricky area of the tax code that’s full of pitfalls for the unwary.…

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Get to Know These Tax-Saving Terms

Get to Know These Tax-Saving Terms

As you begin to think about scheduling your midyear tax planning appointment, refresh your memory on the meanings of terms that can save you money. Here are three. Exclusion. Exclusions are items that would generally be included on your return, but are specifically excluded by a tax law provision. For example, gifts and inheritances you receive are excluded from your income…

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Five Reasons to Incorporate Your Business

Five Reasons to Incorporate Your Business

Most new businesses start with no thought about legal structure. In the eyes of the IRS, the default structure is a “sole proprietor,” in which your business profits are taxed on your personal tax return. This can serve you well to start, but there are several reasons you may want to consider incorporating as your business grows. To protect your…

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Don’t Underestimate the Power of Curb Appeal

Don’t Underestimate the Power of Curb Appeal

Curb appeal is often talked about when selling a residential home, however, it applies just as frequently to the commercial building or space. If you want to improve the market value, curb appeal matters. Locations with great curb appeal usually command higher prices and spend less time on the market. Luckily there are simple, inexpensive ways to help your building…

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How to Build Your Business Credit

How to Build Your Business Credit

Whether your firm has been operating for years, or you decided over last night’s coffee to start a new venture, you’re sure to face the need for business credit. Entrepreneurs often ask friends and family to invest in their start-up businesses, and many draw on personal funds to launch new firms. But to address ongoing business needs – such as…

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Disability Insurance – What You Need to Know

Disability Insurance – What You Need to Know

Say “insurance” to most people and auto, health, home, and life are the variants that spring to mind. But what if an illness or accident were to deprive you of your income? Even a temporary setback could create havoc with your financial affairs. Statistics show your chances of being disabled for three months or longer between ages 35 and 65…

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Considering Paying for Your Child’s College Education?

Should you pay for your child’s college education? Or should your child find the financing? There are compelling arguments for both sides, but ultimately, your family needs to do what’s best for your financial situation. Most families find that a combination of both works the best. Parents should pay. Arguments in favor of shelling out your hard-earned cash for a…

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Tax Filing Responsibilities of Estate Executors

Your role as an executor or personal administrator of an estate involves a number of responsibilities. Did you know that part of your responsibility involves making sure the necessary tax returns are filed? And there might be more of those than you expect. Here’s an overview: Personal income tax. You may need to file a federal income tax return for…

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Could the Coverdell ESA be the right fund for you?

As we approach graduation season, we have education costs on the brain! You’re probably familiar with 529 college savings plans. Named for Section 529 of the Internal Revenue Code, they’re also known as qualified tuition programs, and they offer tax benefits when you save for college expenses. But are you aware of a lesser-known cousin, established under Section 530 of…

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What you should do when the IRS contacts you

After you file your tax return, the last thing you want to see is a notice from the IRS questioning your return. Some IRS notices involve very minor changes, like a correction to a Social Security number. Some are for serious changes that could involve a lot of money, such as a billing for more taxes, interest, or penalties due…

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Find the best employees to contribute to your company

Turnover is an often overlooked cost of doing business. Sometimes it can run as high as 25% of salary and benefits. One way to reduce this cost is to hire wisely. It’s an oft-quoted cliché that employees are a company’s most valuable assets. Try generating revenue with unmotivated or unskilled employees, and you’ll soon discover that the cliché rings true.…

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2 Smart Tax Ideas for Your Refund

Are you looking forward to your tax refund? By now you know how much you’ll be getting and approximately when the cash will land in your bank account. The only question is, what’s the best way to put the money to work for you? Here are two tax-smart ideas. Tax Refund Tip #1 Fund your IRA. Depending on your income,…

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That’s Taxable?!?!

Have you ever wondered about the taxability of funds or services you receive? There are many areas in the tax code that cause confusion regarding what’s taxable. These are some of the most common. Alimony. Alimony is taxable to the person who receives it and deductible to the person who pays it. Special rules apply. Make sure you have proper…

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Building Customer Loyalty – A Few Basics

Studies have shown that businesses often spend five to six times more to attract a new customer than to keep an existing one. Over the long term, those dollars add up. In fact, a company’s ability to care for its customers often determines its survivability in the marketplace. Make customers happy and they’ll stick with you; disappoint them and they’ll…

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Tax Tips for Newlyweds

It’s the start of wedding season! If you are approaching your wedding date (congratulations!), the tax implications of marriage are probably not the first thing on your mind. But paying a little attention to it now can save time and even money later. Here are a few tips to help those who are about to embark on a new life…

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How to Prevent Identity Theft From Affecting You

The IRS has made great strides in protecting taxpayers from identity thieves, but you must still be diligent to protect your information. Identity thieves can steal a taxpayer’s personal information and use it to file a tax return claiming a refund under the taxpayer’s name. Then when the taxpayer actually files a return, the IRS won’t accept it and notifies…

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