Focus

Showing 81–96 of 321 results

  • A delicate matter – Lending money to family and friends

    August / September 2017
    Newsletter: Focus

    Price: $225.00, Subscriber Price: $157.50

    Word count: 434

    Abstract: When making loans to friends or family members, it’s important for individuals to keep in mind some caveats to limit the risk, both to their bank accounts and to their relationships with the borrowers. This article lists some of these caveats, such as putting the terms of the loan in writing and insisting repayments be made via a method that can be tracked. The article notes that it’s also a good idea to be aware of potential tax implications.

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  • Secret to success: Fostering innovation

    August / September 2017
    Newsletter: Focus

    Price: $225.00, Subscriber Price: $157.50

    Word count: 654

    Abstract: One way to ensure a company’s sustained profitability and growth is to make innovation a priority. In an April 2017 survey, two-thirds of those business owners who experimented with new business practices to provide their customers with additional goods or services say they’re doing well. This article discusses how business owners can encourage innovation, including holding brainstorming sessions and working across departments. The article notes that these practices and others can ensure companies remain flexible and responsive to changing conditions and market demands.

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  • Nightmare scenario – Are you liable for fraudulent credit card debt?

    August / September 2017
    Newsletter: Focus

    Price: $225.00, Subscriber Price: $157.50

    Word count: 696

    Abstract: Taking a few simple steps can help cut the risk that credit cards will be used without permission or the owner’s knowledge — and can lessen the likelihood that they’ll be liable for any charges unauthorized users make. This article explains the policies that guide credit and debit card agreements, and how individuals can reduce the risk that they’ll become victims of fraud.

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  • Apply the research tax credit against payroll tax

    August / September 2017
    Newsletter: Focus

    Price: $225.00, Subscriber Price: $157.50

    Word count: 844

    Abstract: The rules have changed regarding the ability of small businesses that engage in research and development (R&D) to use the research tax credit. The change stems from the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act, which was enacted in 2015. This article discusses how eligible businesses can take advantage of this valuable credit, according to the IRS guidance (Notice 2017-23). A sidebar shows what businesses must do to claim the research and development credit.

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  • Get to know required minimum distributions

    June / July 2017
    Newsletter: Focus

    Price: $225.00, Subscriber Price: $157.50

    Word count: 426

    Abstract: The government requires owners of many retirement accounts to take required minimum distributions (RMDs) by April 1 of the year after they turn 70½. This article provides some guidance on the rules for RMDs, including how they’re typically calculated. The article notes that owners of retirement accounts who fail to take the appropriate RMDs can face penalties of 50% of the amount that wasn’t withdrawn, but should have been.

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  • Deter deadbeat debtors: What are the red flags?

    June / July 2017
    Newsletter: Focus

    Price: $225.00, Subscriber Price: $157.50

    Word count: 674

    Abstract: Customers or clients who are slow to pay — or who don’t pay at all — can cause a business’s bottom line to go south in a hurry. This article explains some warning signs that business owners should be aware of to help prevent delinquent or missing payments, and lists steps owners can take, such as asking for a retainer or deposit up front before starting a project. The article also suggests that it’s a good idea to be polite, but assertive, if it becomes necessary to pursue missing payments.

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  • The ins and outs of naming a trustee

    June / July 2017
    Newsletter: Focus

    Price: $225.00, Subscriber Price: $157.50

    Word count: 584

    Abstract: When naming a trustee for a trust holding assets for a beneficiary or beneficiaries, it’s vital to make the right choice, because the trustee role carries significant legal responsibilities. Often the choice is between a person, such as a trusted friend or family member, or a financial institution. This article details a trustee’s responsibilities and discusses the qualities — and qualifications — a trustee must have. The article points out that, because of the sensitive responsibilities assumed and the length of time over which some trusts extend, many legal and financial professionals recommend engaging a corporate trustee, such as a bank or financial institution.

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  • Ready, set — grow!

    June / July 2017
    Newsletter: Focus

    Price: $225.00, Subscriber Price: $157.50

    Word count: 853

    Abstract: It’s one thing for business owners to expect to grow their companies. But it’s another thing entirely to get from here to there. This article provides some commonsense guidelines to help owners achieve their growth goals, including developing a growth strategy, implementing solid processes and controls, and staying current with the latest technology. The article points out that, without ongoing strategic planning and communication, it’s easy to miss changes that might prompt necessary modifications to the company’s business practices. A sidebar notes the importance of fostering solid relationships with lenders and investors.

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  • The ins and outs of W-2 phishing scams

    April / May 2017
    Newsletter: Focus

    Price: $225.00, Subscriber Price: $157.50

    Word count: 414

    Abstract: In a traditional phishing scam, a criminal tricks someone into providing confidential information, and then uses it to steal money or the victim’s identity. The W-2 phishing scam is just one variation. This brief article describes how a W-2 phishing scam works and explains how businesses can take steps to reduce their risk. The article points out that education is key, so it’s important to inform all employees — particularly those in areas that handle sensitive data — of the scams.

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  • What are the tax implications of hiring household help?

    April / May 2017
    Newsletter: Focus

    Price: $225.00, Subscriber Price: $157.50

    Word count: 684

    Abstract: When hiring household help, it’s important to stay on top of the relevant tax and reporting obligations to ensure things continue to run without a hitch. This article explains some of the basic tax-related responsibilities associated with household workers, such as the need to record employees’ names, addresses, Social Security numbers, and cash and noncash wages paid to them and the obligation to retain this information for at least four years after the due date of the tax return.

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  • Be prepared for long-term care

    April / May 2017
    Newsletter: Focus

    Price: $225.00, Subscriber Price: $157.50

    Word count: 774

    Abstract: Although the need for long-term care (LTC) may be far in the future for many of us, it’s never too soon to plan for it. This article describes the benefits of LTC insurance and defines some common terminology, such as the “benefit trigger” and the “elimination period.” The article notes that the decision of whether to buy LTC insurance depends on a variety of factors, including net worth and estate planning goals.

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  • 7 tactics for boosting your bottom line

    April / May 2017
    Newsletter: Focus

    Price: $225.00, Subscriber Price: $157.50

    Word count: 868

    Abstract: Sales growth and expense control requires continual creative and critical thinking. Both management and employees need to question how things are done, look for ways to improve, and implement the changes likely to improve operations. Management needs to have a handle on the current sales breakdown between product lines and customer segments and the expenses making up the bulk of costs. This article provides seven strategies to help increase sales and decrease costs, including partnering with other sellers and leveraging social media. A sidebar notes that expanding the company’s product or service lines can bring in more revenue.

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  • How to limit risk when personally guaranteeing a business loan

    February / March 2017
    Newsletter: Focus

    Price: $225.00, Subscriber Price: $157.50

    Word count: 449

    Abstract: What happens when a business requires money, but the financial institution requires a personal guarantee before it will lend any? Signing a personal guarantee isn’t a step to take lightly — it may allow the lender to go after personal assets if the business goes south. This article looks at some steps owners can take to mitigate the risk, including negotiating a guarantee that’s for some percentage of the loan amount and asking that the amount guaranteed drop as timely repayments are made.

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  • An IRS audit isn’t the end of the world

    February / March 2017
    Newsletter: Focus

    Price: $225.00, Subscriber Price: $157.50

    Word count: 638

    Abstract: Most Americans dread getting word that the IRS intends to audit their tax returns. Though it’s unlikely most of us ever will, it’s good to be aware of steps to take to reduce the difficulties and make the process go more smoothly, such as gathering the information needed to respond appropriately, including invoices, canceled checks and receipts (as well as the tax return for the year(s) in question), and making duplicates of any documents you’ll need to provide the IRS.

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  • Get the lowdown on Roth 401(k) plans

    February / March 2017
    Newsletter: Focus

    Price: $225.00, Subscriber Price: $157.50

    Word count: 633

    Abstract: A Roth 401(k) plan shares features with both traditional 401(k) plans and Roth IRAs. This article looks at some of the plan’s specific features and how such a plan can benefit some employees, especially if they’re high-income earners and if they’re concerned that their tax rate may be higher in retirement. While the ability to contribute to a Roth IRA is reduced or even eliminated if a taxpayer’s income exceeds certain amounts, no such limits apply to Roth 401(k)s.

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  • Simplify, simplify, simplify – Increase in the de minimis safe harbor for tangible property helps small businesses

    February / March 2017
    Newsletter: Focus

    Price: $225.00, Subscriber Price: $157.50

    Word count: 855

    Abstract: In late 2015, IRS Notice 2015-82 increased the de minimis safe harbor for deducting (rather than capitalizing) the amounts paid to acquire, produce or improve tangible property. The increase is from $500 to $2,500 per item for small businesses that don’t have “applicable financial statements.” This article explains the new notice’s benefits and requirements, suggesting that businesses that don’t have applicable financial statements will want to revisit their policies for capitalizing purchases of tangible property, in light of the new rule. A sidebar notes that, for businesses with applicable financial statements, the safe harbor remains unchanged.

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