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Use the proper tools to fix a broken trust
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Use the proper tools to fix a broken trust

A trust that works fine when it’s established may no longer achieve its original goals if your family circumstances or tax laws change. Or a drafting mistake may produce an undesirable result. One option is to modify the trust. This remedy may be available, through court proceedings, if unanticipated circumstances require changes in order to achieve the trust’s purposes. Another is reformation, which allows you...

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05 Jun 2018
Putting your child on your business’s payroll for the summer may make more tax sense than ever
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Putting your child on your business’s payroll for the summer may make more tax sense than ever

For business owners with kids in high school or college, hiring them for the summer can provide many benefits. One is tax savings. By shifting business income to a child as wages for services performed, you can turn high-taxed income into tax-free or low-taxed income. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act’s near doubling of the standard deduction means your child can shelter more income from...

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31 May 2018
If charitable giving is part of your estate plan, consider a donor-advised fund
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If charitable giving is part of your estate plan, consider a donor-advised fund

Did you know you can exercise some control over your charitable endeavors using a donor-advised fund (DAF)? As the name implies, recommendations are integral to a DAF. First, you contribute to a fund typically managed by an independent sponsoring organization. The minimum contribution generally is $5,000. In exchange for handling the management of the fund, the financial institution usually charges an administrative fee based on...

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24 May 2018
The TCJA changes some rules for deducting pass-through business losses
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The TCJA changes some rules for deducting pass-through business losses

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act restricts the losses that owners of pass-through entities (including sole proprietors) can currently deduct. For tax years beginning in 2018 through 2025, an “excess business loss” can’t be deducted in the current year. This is the excess of your aggregate business deductions for the tax year over the sum of 1) your aggregate business income and gains for the...

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22 May 2018
Preserve wealth for yourself and your heirs using asset protection strategies
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Preserve wealth for yourself and your heirs using asset protection strategies

If you wish to protect your assets while retaining some control over them, consider an irrevocable trust. Transferring assets to such a trust generally places them beyond your creditors’ reach. And by including a “spendthrift” provision, you can also protect the assets against claims by your beneficiaries’ creditors. A spendthrift provision prohibits your beneficiaries from selling or assigning their interests in the trust, either voluntarily...

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15 May 2018
Cost control takes a total team effort
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Cost control takes a total team effort

They say you’ve got to spend money to make money. But that doesn’t mean business owners should accept high operational costs. Cost control is a formal management technique through which you evaluate operations and isolate activities with excessive expenses. It forces you to ask tough questions about the efficiency of your business, how much you’re paying for supplies or materials, and whether technological upgrades are...

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10 May 2018
Making the right choice about your office space
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Making the right choice about your office space

Many companies must eventually decide whether to renew a lease, move on to a different one or buy new (or pre-existing) space. Buying commercial property is a big step. It offers prestige, control and tax advantages, but also comes with high costs, maintenance obligations and the daunting prospect of selling if things don’t work out. Leasing is usually less expensive, leaves property management to someone...

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03 May 2018
Say, just how competitive is your business anyway?
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Say, just how competitive is your business anyway?

To be successful, a business must be competitive. Is yours? Here are some ways to assess this: First, examine your operating environment. Anything from severe weather to a sudden change in buying trends could affect competitiveness. Next, identify important tangible and intangible resources. Technological obsolescence, for example, could change everything. Then look at the strength of your leadership team. Flagging employee morale could leave you...

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26 Apr 2018
Manage health benefits costs with a multipronged approach
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Manage health benefits costs with a multipronged approach

For business owners, it may seem impossible to control health care benefits costs. The trick is taking a multipronged approach. For example, don’t rely on vendor-provided communications: Actively interact with employees. Use metrics to analyze benefits utilization and identify utilization gaps where you may be losing money. Engage an outside expert to conduct an ROI study of your plan. Also, audit claims payments and pharmacy...

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19 Apr 2018
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