Promote From Within Successfully: A Management Cookbook

Promoting non-supervisory employees to management roles can be a morale-booster for the promoted employee, and for others. Seeing a fellow employee move up the ladder gives coworkers reason to expect that, someday, they could rise to that level as well. Also, homegrown talent can be more economical, both by avoiding recruitment costs and because the initial compensation requirements of a promoted Continue Reading

Self-Employment Tax Reduction Strategies for Spouse-Owned Businesses

If you own a profitable, unincorporated business with your spouse, you're probably fed up with high self-employment (SE) tax bills. Self-Employment Tax Basics For 2016, the maximum 15.3% self-employment (SE) tax rate hits the first $118,500 of net SE income. For 2017, the 15.3% rate hits the first $127,200 of net SE income. It includes 12.4% for the Social Security tax component and 2.9% Continue Reading

A Fresh Look at Incentive Compensation

Bonuses: They're not just for senior executives anymore. Many companies now offer performance-based incentives to rank-and-file personnel, too. But serious problems can occur when these incentives are too strong, poorly designed or insufficiently monitored. For example, in a widely reported recent case, a large national bank set aggressive sales goals that came with financial rewards. To meet Continue Reading

Separation Agreements May Provide Peace of Mind

Having an employee sign a separation agreement upon ending the employment relationship amounts to a form of insurance that he or she will not later take legal action against your company, based on the termination. Whether a separation was friendly (for example, due only to a reorganization or downsizing), or unfriendly, an agreement could prove worthwhile. Suppose your company downsized. After Continue Reading

Consider Section 179 Deductions for Real Estate Expenses

The Section 179 deduction for qualified real property expenses was made permanent under the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act of 2015. However, claiming this deduction isn't a no-brainer. Here are the pros and cons. Section 179 Deductions: The Basics The Sec. 179 deduction allows you to write off qualified expenses in the year the related business asset or property is placed Continue Reading

Seniors: Consider These Tax Breaks When Filing for 2016

Are you an "experienced" taxpayer? Here are a couple of age-based tax breaks that seniors shouldn't overlook when filing their 2016 returns. Claim Your Rightful Medical Expense Deductions If you're 65 years of age or older, you may have fallen into the habit of automatically claiming the standard deduction instead of itemizing your deductions. Taking the standard deduction is often the Continue Reading

Remember RMDs this Tax Season

Did you know that, once you turn age 70½, you must start taking mandatory annual withdrawals from your traditional IRAs, including any simplified employee pension (SEP) accounts and SIMPLE IRAs that you set up as a small business owner? Beyond Your IRAs Different rules and conditions may apply to RMDs from inherited accounts and your qualified employer-sponsored retirement plans, Continue Reading

How S Corporations Can Save on Federal Employment Taxes

If you own an unincorporated small business, you may be getting fed up with high self-employment (SE) tax bills. One way to lower your SE tax liability is to convert your business to an S corporation. SE Tax Basics Sole proprietorship income as well as partnership income that flows through to partners (except certain limited partners) is subject to SE tax. These rules also apply to Continue Reading

Leverage Benefits to Recruit and Retain Talent

It's a lot more efficient to retain good employees than to find and hire new ones. The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) recently asked its members how they are adapting their employee benefit programs to avoid losing quality workers. Two-thirds of respondents in the study represent employers with fewer than 500 employees. SHRM's "Strategic Benefits" study set the stage by asking Continue Reading

10 Important Tax-Related Developments for 2016

Several significant tax developments happened last year that may affect federal income tax returns that individual and business taxpayers file in 2017. Here's a quick look at 10 key changes that you should be aware of during this tax season. Uncertain Fate of Tax Extenders In 2016, Congress adjourned without addressing numerous temporary tax provisions that were set to expire at the end Continue Reading