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Could an FSA offer the benefits flexibility you need?
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Could an FSA offer the benefits flexibility you need?

When shopping for employee benefits to offer, many companies seek options that are flexible. One has that word built right into its name: the Flexible Spending Account (FSA). Employees can use a health care FSA to pay for qualifying medical costs with pretax dollars, and employers don’t have to establish a high-deductible health plan to offer one. The catch? Participants generally must forfeit any unused...

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16 Nov 2017
4 tips on making your marketing emails a blast
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4 tips on making your marketing emails a blast

No business owner wants to send out spam, but you can still make your marketing emails a blast. Start with a catchy subject line that clearly conveys your message. Next, write a headline that differs from the subject line but drives readers’ interest. Keep the body short and simple; tell customers why they should buy. Finally, close with a call to action that includes a...

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10 Nov 2017
A charitable remainder trust can provide a multitude of benefits
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A charitable remainder trust can provide a multitude of benefits

If you’re charitably inclined but concerned about having sufficient income to meet your needs, a charitable remainder trust (CRT) may be the answer. In a nutshell, you contribute stock or other assets to an irrevocable trust that provides you with an income stream for life or for a set term. At the term’s end, the remaining trust assets are distributed to one or more charities...

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27 Oct 2017
Minimize inventory, services to make your financials shine
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Minimize inventory, services to make your financials shine

The strength of your business financials, both now and in the future, is important. One fundamental way of making your cash flow statement shine is to minimize inventory so you have just enough to fulfill demand. Taking stock of, and perhaps cutting back on, excess inventory reduces costs and makes tracking easier. (Up-to-date software helps, too.) Service businesses can apply a similar approach. Check into...

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27 Oct 2017
Who should own your life insurance policy?
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Who should own your life insurance policy?

If you own life insurance policies at your death, the proceeds will be included in your estate. The way around this problem is to not own the policies when you die. Ownership by your children can be a good option when your primary goal is to pass wealth to them. Proceeds aren’t subject to estate tax on your or your spouse’s death, and your children...

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18 Oct 2017
Valuation often affects succession plans in hard-to-see ways
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Valuation often affects succession plans in hard-to-see ways

Regular valuations are a must for every business owner developing a succession plan. But the valuation process can involve a variety of hard-to-see issues. For example, it can be tempting to minimize a business’s value to reduce possible estate tax liability in the future, but this can raise a red flag with the IRS. Also, if you have heirs not involved in the business, an...

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18 Oct 2017
Are your retirement savings secure from creditors?
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Are your retirement savings secure from creditors?

A primary goal of estate planning is asset protection. If you have significant assets in IRAs and other retirement plans, it’s important to understand the extent to which those assets are protected against creditors’ claims. For example, the asset protection available for IRAs depends in part on whether the owner is involved in bankruptcy proceedings. In a bankruptcy context, creditor protection is governed by federal...

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04 Oct 2017
Choosing the best way to reimburse employee travel expenses
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Choosing the best way to reimburse employee travel expenses

Reimbursing employee travel expenses can provide tax benefits to both your business and the employee. Your business can deduct the reimbursements (subject to a 50% limit for meals and entertainment), and they’re excluded from the employee’s taxable income. But the expenses must be legitimate and the reimbursements must comply with IRS rules, generally by using either the per diem method or an accountable plan. Whether...

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01 Oct 2017
You don’t have to take business insurance costs sitting down
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You don’t have to take business insurance costs sitting down

Insurance is a risk management imperative for businesses. But owners don’t have to take high coverage costs sitting down. Stay on top of facilities maintenance and constantly strive to improve worker safety. For example, have an electrician ensure circuits aren’t close to overloading, and regularly test all fire prevention systems. Check high-traffic areas for slip-and-fall risks and eliminate clutter. You might even want to request...

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25 Sep 2017
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