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Tax-free fringe benefits help small businesses and their employees
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Tax-free fringe benefits help small businesses and their employees

In today’s tightening job market, to attract and retain the best employees, small businesses need to offer not only competitive pay, but also appealing fringe benefits. Those that are tax-free are especially attractive to employees. Examples include many types of insurance (health, disability, long-term care, life) and assistance plans (dependent care, adoption and educational), subject to certain limits. The tax treatment of some benefits, such...

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10 Oct 2018
A strong BYOD policy combines convenience with security
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A strong BYOD policy combines convenience with security

Many companies now take a “bring your own device” (BYOD) approach to technology to boost efficiency while reducing IT costs. But BYOD comes with risks. Sensitive company data becomes much less secure when networks are accessible via personal devices that could be stolen, lost or hacked. Meanwhile, employees may worry about loss of privacy and whether you might wipe everything off their devices. A strong...

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05 Oct 2018
2 ways to transfer a family business
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2 ways to transfer a family business

If a family-owned business is your main source of wealth, it’s critical to plan for the transition of ownership in your estate plan. One option if estate tax isn’t a concern is an estate defective trust. It’s designed so that your beneficiaries are the owners for income tax purposes, which will result in lower “familywide” taxes if your beneficiaries are in a lower tax bracket....

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25 Sep 2018
Keeping a king in the castle with a well-maintained cash reserve
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Keeping a king in the castle with a well-maintained cash reserve

They say cash is king. Well, one way to ensure there’s always a king in the castle is to maintain a cash reserve. But what’s the optimal amount? There’s no simple answer. Your bank’s liquidity covenants are a good place to start. To take it further, identify various liquidity metrics and compare them to industry benchmarks. Believe it or not, many companies suffer from hoarding...

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21 Sep 2018
Are you ready to expand to a second location?
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Are you ready to expand to a second location?

Are you thinking about expanding your business to a second location? If so, make sure your company is truly ready. First ask whether you can duplicate the success of your current location at another one. Also look into how an expansion might create conflicts between the two locations. Explore the financial aspects, too. How will you fund the expansion? Can your cash flow keep up...

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12 Sep 2018
3 reasons you should continue making lifetime gifts
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3 reasons you should continue making lifetime gifts

The TCJA doubled the lifetime gift and estate tax exemption this year to an inflation-adjusted $11.18 million. But it can still pay to make lifetime gifts. First, gifting removes future appreciation from the estate, saving estate tax for taxpayers with very large estates. Second, the higher exemption isn’t permanent, so taxpayers who don’t have to worry about estate tax now might have to when the...

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28 Aug 2018
At your own risk: The pitfalls of DIY estate planning
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At your own risk: The pitfalls of DIY estate planning

There’s no law that says you can’t prepare your own estate plan. It’s easy to do so, thanks to an abundance of online services that automate the creation of a will. But unless your estate is small and your plan is exceedingly simple, the pitfalls of DIY estate planning can be many. A common mistake is to neglect the formalities associated with the execution of...

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21 Aug 2018
Protect your peace of mind with a trust protector
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Protect your peace of mind with a trust protector

Do you need a trust protector? Maybe, if you aren’t completely confident the trustee will carry out your wishes. A trustee manages the trust on a day-to-day basis, while the protector oversees the trustee and weighs in on critical decisions, such as investment transactions involving large dollar amounts. Although it’s tempting to provide a protector with a broad range of powers, this can hamper the...

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14 Aug 2018
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