April 1, 2019
3 Tax Woes and How to Survive Them thumbnail

3 Tax Woes and How to Survive Them

The tax deadline is roughly two weeks away. But if you’re going to be late in filing, can’t pay all of what you owe or have the fear that you might be audited, don’t panic. We’ve got you covered with some smart ways to handle these three, potentially scary scenarios. Late Filing Of course, if you owe, make every effort to file as soon as possible to avoid penalties and interest. But the good news is, if you’re owed a refund, there’s no penalty for filing late. More good news: For those who qualify, Free File is still available on IRS.gov through Oct. 15 to prepare and file returns electronically. There’s more: If you have a history of paying on […]
April 1, 2019
How 3D Printing Can Enhance Your Business thumbnail

How 3D Printing Can Enhance Your Business

There will likely always be a need for a traditional paper printer, but there’s also a growing case that 3D printers may one day become commonplace in the average small business office. Consider the way that desktop publishing became mainstreamed, allowing small business owners to create their own marketing materials. New 3D printers offer a similar advantage by producing physical objects customized with your message. 3D printing places complex manufacturing techniques and machinery right at your desktop. As the technology grows less sophisticated and less expensive, we will see more small businesses taking advantage of it. A desktop 3D printer can create objects of up to 5.5-inches-by-5.5-inches-by-5.5-inches in size, on a platform built within the device, in a variety of […]
April 1, 2019
Trump Tax Law Makes Now the Perfect Time for the Roth Conversion Retirement Trick thumbnail

Trump Tax Law Makes Now the Perfect Time for the Roth Conversion Retirement Trick

Converting a traditional IRA to a Roth IRA takes some fortitude and faith in the future numbers because this change can accelerate your tax bill. The current market and tax rate cuts from President Trump’s plan, however, are creating an environment ripe for conversions and making the move much more palatable. Together, these two factors are essentially creating new groups of taxpayers for whom a conversion makes good sense. IRA Basics Revisited Contributing to a traditional IRA gets you a tax deduction now, at the time of your contribution and allows your money to grow tax free. You’ll also need to begin withdrawing your annual required minimum distributions (RMDs) once you hit age 70½, with whatever you take out taxed […]
April 1, 2019
What is the Forecast for Job Creation in 2019? thumbnail

What is the Forecast for Job Creation in 2019?

According to a March 12, 2019 publication of the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ TED: The Economics Daily, the February employment report did not report show a lot of jobs for the U.S. economy. Based on the report and averaging all sectors, only 20,000 jobs were gained during February 2019. Looking deeper at the individual sectors, the picture is more varied. “Professional and business services gained ” 42,000 jobs during February. Similarly, “wholesale trade employment” maintained it’s positive gains of 11,000 jobs during the same time-frame. However, the construction industry saw a loss of 31,000 jobs during February, despite gaining 53,000 jobs during in January 2019. Other sectors, such as retail, mining and the government, saw limited movement in job gains […]
April 1, 2019
How to Determine a Business' Health by its Net Profit Margin thumbnail

How to Determine a Business’ Health by its Net Profit Margin

When it comes to figuring out a company’s net profit margin, this calculation gives a business and its financial officers a much better picture of the company’s profitability. Defining Net Profit Margin Net profit margin determines the percentage of revenue that ends up as profit after expenses are accounted for. Represented as a percentage, it’s calculated by taking the company’s net profit and dividing it by the entire revenue. Looking at the Formula Itself When it comes to calculating the net profit, it goes beyond the gross margin calculation, which only factors in the “cost of goods sold” – or how much the input materials and direct labor cost the company to produce saleable goods. Determining net profit includes factoring […]
April 1, 2019
Elderly Caregiver Facts and Figures thumbnail

Elderly Caregiver Facts and Figures

These days, people who live to age 65 can expect to live at least another 20 years. That means many are likely to require some form of assisted caregiving. According to aging experts, the following guidelines describe characteristics of those most likely to need long-term care: Age – Risk increases as people get older Gender – Women are at higher risk because they tend to live longer than men Marital status – Single people are less likely to have family resources and will therefore need to pay for caregivers Lifestyle – People who do not eat a healthy diet and exercise are more likely to have debilitating health conditions Family history – People with compromised genetics are at higher risk […]
April 1, 2019
Blocking Emergency Funds, Protecting Land, Withdrawing Troops, Spying on Russia thumbnail

Blocking Emergency Funds, Protecting Land, Withdrawing Troops, Spying on Russia

Relating to a national emergency declared by the President on Feb. 15 (H.J.Res. 46) – This resolution was an effort to block the national emergency declared by President Trump for the purpose of using funds previously allocated for other initiatives to build a border wall along the southern border shared with Mexico. The resolution, which was introduced on Feb. 22 by Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX), represents the first ever Congressional challenge to the 1976 National Emergencies Act. The initiative passed in both the House and the Senate but was then vetoed by the President on March 15. John D. Dingell Jr. Conservation, Management and Recreation Act (S. 47) – This bill (renamed from Natural Resources Management Act) sets forth provisions […]
March 1, 2019
8 Good Things to do with Your Tax Refund thumbnail

8 Good Things to do with Your Tax Refund

Getting a tax refund is always a great feeling. But what should you do with it? While the first thing you might be tempted to do is spend it on a splurge for yourself, here are a few other things you might want to consider. Start an Emergency Fund. If you don’t have one, this kind of account is critical. If you already have one, add to it. Online savings accounts that are interest bearing or money market accounts are your best bets. You can’t control the future, which is why being prepared is your best defense. Pay Off Debt. Whether it’s a credit card, student loan or car loan, paying on – or eliminating – the account with the […]
March 1, 2019
New Electronic Business Tools For 2019 thumbnail

New Electronic Business Tools For 2019

The 2019 Consumer Electronics annual tech convention in Las Vegas showcased popular new options for business owners looking to boost employee productivity. Check out some of this year’s favorites. Laptops Dell Latitude 7400 2-in-1 The new Dell Latitude includes two innovative security features – a fingerprint reader and a contactless smart card reader. The 14-inch laptop combines an infrared camera with Windows Hello facial recognition software to unlock the device as a familiar user approaches. The new feature, called ExpressSign-In, also automatically locks the laptop when the user steps away. However, users might be even more impressed by its new long-life battery – up to 24 hours on a single charge. HP EliteBook x360 830 G5 The new HP EliteBook […]
March 1, 2019
Winners and Losers of the Tax Bill thumbnail

Winners and Losers of the Tax Bill

In 2018 when President Trump and the Republican Congress rewrote the tax code, everyone knew there would be winners and losers. Exactly how this will play out is just starting to be seen – it closes loopholes while opening others and takes away some perks while creating new ones. Let’s see who the winners and losers really are by looking at the results of the tax law now and over time. Winners and Losers Will Change Over Time Almost all taxpayers get some type of tax cut; for example, the Tax Policy Center estimates that only about five percent of families will face an increased tax obligation in 2019. This sounds great! Initially, measured as a percentage of their total […]
March 1, 2019
Understanding Targeted Longer-Term Refinancing Operations thumbnail

Understanding Targeted Longer-Term Refinancing Operations

With speculation of a third round of Targeted Longer-Term Refinancing Operations (TLTROs), understanding how they’ve been implemented and how they’ve performed is essential to see just how this program might be extended. According to the European Central Bank, TLTROs “are Euro system operations that provide financing to credit institutions for periods of up to four years.” Their purpose, according to the ECB, is to help European countries’ banks provide more lending to all segments of the economy. TLTRO Origins As a reaction to the sovereign debt crisis, the ECB created the TLTRO program to help increase liquidity and reduce the chances of European sovereign debt defaults. One notable takeaway of the proposal for TLTRO III is to base the interest rate […]
March 1, 2019
How to Create Cash Flow Projections and Profit & Loss Statements thumbnail

How to Create Cash Flow Projections and Profit & Loss Statements

When it comes to making cash flow projections, we’re all aware that it’s not an exact science. One of the main difficulties about accurately projecting cash flow has to do with timing. Examples include factoring in overhead such as payroll; lease or tax payments on the building; using credit to make purchases or for future investment to grow the business; and when payment is collected from clients. Understanding Cash Flow Projection One important reason that many business owners create a cash flow projection is to include it in their business plan when they approach an investor or bank for a loan. Detailing a company’s cash flow projection consists of three parts: positive, negative or break-even results going forward. The first […]
March 1, 2019
8 Strategies To Reduce Market Exposure thumbnail

8 Strategies To Reduce Market Exposure

Over a 10-day period in December 2018, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) dropped by more than 350 points six different times. It then experienced its largest increase on record – a 1,000-point gain in one day. This dramatic volatility fueled speculation that we are on track for a long overdue market correction in the near future. Most investment advisors discourage long-term investors from engaging in market timing, which is the strategy of buying and selling based on market movement. The general consensus is that no one can accurately predict upswings and downturns, and history shows that staying invested over the long haul is generally the best strategy. However, there are scenarios in which investors might wish to reconsider their […]
March 1, 2019
A Final Budget Bill, Military Support in the Middle East and Campaign Finance Reform thumbnail

A Final Budget Bill, Military Support in the Middle East and Campaign Finance Reform

Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2019 (H.J.Res. 31) – This is the budget appropriations bill that was finally agreed upon in order to avoid a second government shutdown in February. The bill authorizes funding for government agencies through the end of the fiscal year (Sept. 30, 2019). Among its hundreds of provisions, the bill appropriates the following: $1.375 billion to build a physical barrier along 55 miles of the southern border in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas $415 million for humanitarian relief for medical care, transportation, food and clothing at the southern border $12 billion for federal disaster relief $3.16 billion for agricultural research $3.64 billion for rural development $3.3 billion for highway and bridge rehabilitation and construction This legislation was […]
February 1, 2019
5 Tips for First-Time Tax Filers thumbnail

5 Tips for First-Time Tax Filers

Filing taxes for the first time can be overwhelming. But if you have the right tools and advice before you start, it won’t be. Here are a few critical things to know before you begin, which will make the seemingly daunting process much easier. Start Prepping Early Even though the deadline to file a tax return is April 15, you’ll want to start as soon as you can. You’ll need time to gather all of your important documents like a W-2 from each employer and, if you’re a contractor, your 1099 forms. If you have a full-time job and worked freelance on the side, you’ll need both. The good news is that the forms show how much you made in […]
February 1, 2019
Automated Workflow Tools thumbnail

Automated Workflow Tools

We often read about how technological advances such as artificial intelligence will someday be used for customer-facing jobs – even eliminating the human touch. However, small firms that rely on trust and personal relationships are not likely to benefit from these innovations. Nonetheless, technology – when used effectively – can enhance a firm’s efficiency and free up resources so that more human time is spent on customer interaction. Used in combination, technology and personal relationships can improve a company’s bottom line. One of the best ways to use technology is to enhance current processes. Over the past two decades, many firms have begun tracking their client and prospective client interactions via spreadsheets and data software. These days, automated workflow tools […]
February 1, 2019
When Is A Loan Not A Loan? thumbnail

When Is A Loan Not A Loan?

With the sweeping new tax legislation in 2018 capturing everyone’s attention, other changes have taken a back seat. There were several Tax Court cases in 2018 that rendered important decisions impacting how things work – one of which was Povolny Group, Inc. v. Commissioner, T.C. Memo 2018-37. The Povolny Group decision centers on a common issue where an individual uses his corporation like a personal pocketbook, transferring money in and out without any formality. Facts of the Case James Povolny joined his spouses’ company (LLC) as a minority owner. Later in 2002, he went out and started his own real-estate brokerage firm, the Povolny Group (PG), as a 100 percent owner. At one point, PG won the bid to build a […]
February 1, 2019
How Will Domestic and Global Policy Impact Oil Prices in 2019? thumbnail

How Will Domestic and Global Policy Impact Oil Prices in 2019?

With the Federal Reserve raising rates in 2018 and speculation of doing so again in 2019, combined with projected oil production cuts by Russia and Saudi Arabia, it is likely that these and other global events will impact world energy markets in 2019. Looking at how international markets have priced crude oil in 2018’s fourth quarter, there’s a lot to speculate on where prices will go in 2019. During the final quarter of 2018, oil prices hit a 48-month high of $86 per barrel. Yet, by the end of December, the price of a barrel of oil lost almost one-third of its value, settling under $50 per barrel. Since the global economy is so volatile and is forecast to continue […]
February 1, 2019
How Businesses Can Effectively Manage Seasonal Sales thumbnail

How Businesses Can Effectively Manage Seasonal Sales

When it comes to businesses dealing with seasonal sales, making payroll and other financial obligations can be stressful on budgets. However, one way to deal with fluctuating sales and cash flow problems is to see if invoice factoring is appropriate to meet year-round needs. Invoice Factoring One way for businesses dependent on seasonal sales is to have better financial predictability and available resources, as the Journal of Accountancy explains. Businesses can accomplish this by selling their accounts receivables through factoring. Companies looking to increase cash flow during the slow sales season can benefit by selling their accounts receivable to a third-party business called a factor. When a company sells its invoices through the factoring process, it can collect much faster […]
February 1, 2019
New Proposals for Government Programs thumbnail

New Proposals for Government Programs

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act delivered a wealth of benefits for taxpayers at every income level, but none more so than for the very rich. The net result of huge tax breaks for both high-income and corporate taxpayers is that the government now has much reduced tax revenues coming in to help pay for government programs. It comes as no surprise then that prior to the November 2018 midterm elections, Republican leaders in Congress were calling for cuts to government “entitlement” programs, such as Medicare and Social Security. While the word “entitlement” has adopted a negative connotation, it is an accurate description of these programs. In other words, workers pay into the Medicare and Social Security systems through an […]
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