Under-performing Employees May Be Salvageable

It's easy to spot under performance, but correcting it is a different matter. The fact is, effectively managing your workforce, especially problem employees, just doesn't come naturally to most people. Here's some guidance to potentially help turn around an employee who is missing the performance mark. Tackling the Problem When an employee is under performing, begin the performance Continue Reading

Maximize the Effectiveness of Your Workplace Safety Programs

"No person should ever have to be injured, become ill, or die for a paycheck," says the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the agency which enforces the requirement that workplaces be safe and healthful. OSHA administers the Occupational Safety and Health Act, which focuses on rules, inspection regimes, and penalties for failing to uphold those standards. But often that focus Continue Reading

Turning next year’s tax refund into cash in your pocket now

Each year, millions of taxpayers claim an income tax refund. To be sure, receiving a payment from the IRS for a few thousand dollars can be a pleasant influx of cash. But it means you were essentially giving the government an interest-free loan for close to a year, which isn’t the best use of your money. Fortunately, there is a way to begin collecting your 2017 refund now: You can review the Continue Reading

Establishing Residency for State Tax Purposes

Have you been contemplating moving to another state with lower taxes? Your move could lower your state tax bill, but you want to make sure to establish that the new state is your place of legal residency (also known as your "domicile") for state tax purposes. Otherwise, the old state could come after you for taxes after you've moved. In the worst-case scenario, your new state could expect to get Continue Reading

The Ins and Outs of Deducting Legal Expenses

Legal expenses incurred by individuals are typically not currently deductible under the federal income tax rules. Instead, they're most often treated as either personal outlays (which are nondeductible) or as part of the cost of acquiring an asset, such as real estate. When Can You Claim a Nonbusiness Deduction for Legal Expenses? As stated in the main article, an individual's legal Continue Reading

Do you know the tax implications of your C corp.’s buy-sell agreement?

Private companies with more than one owner should have a buy-sell agreement to spell out how ownership shares will change hands should an owner depart. For businesses structured as C corporations, the agreements also have significant tax implications that are important to understand. Buy-sell basics A buy-sell agreement sets up parameters for the transfer of ownership interests following stated Continue Reading

Tax Court Interprets Exceptions to the PAL Rules for Rental Properties

Real estate owners who rent their properties often incur tax losses due to depreciation write-offs and other allowable deductions. However, the ability to deduct those losses might be postponed indefinitely by the passive activity loss (PAL) rules. In general, these rules limit deductions for rental property PALs to the amount of income that you have from other passive activities — or until you Continue Reading

Individual tax calendar: Key deadlines for the remainder of 2017

While April 15 (April 18 this year) is the main tax deadline on most individual taxpayers’ minds, there are others through the rest of the year that are important to be aware of. To help you make sure you don’t miss any important 2017 deadlines, here’s a look at when some key tax-related forms, payments and other actions are due. Keep in mind that this list isn’t all-inclusive, so there may be Continue Reading

Recent Developments May Affect Passive Investors with Losses

Do you materially participate in a business or rental activity — or are you just a passive investor who isn't directly involved in a project's day-to-day operations? The IRS has prescribed seven tests to help individuals classify income, gains and losses from activities as passive or nonpassive. (See "PAL Basics" below.) PAL Basics The IRS rules on passive activity losses (PALs) can Continue Reading

How to Reduce Your Workforce Without Committing Age Discrimination

As employers generally know, employees age 40 and over represent one of the "protected classes," given special priority in employment discrimination cases. You are no doubt aware of the U.S. Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, not to mention state and local laws that are sometimes even tougher than federal.  You also need to be mindful of these two laws: Continue Reading