3 midyear tax planning strategies for business

Tax reform has been a major topic of discussion in Washington, but it’s still unclear exactly what such legislation will include and whether it will be signed into law this year. However, the last major tax legislation that was signed into law — back in December of 2015 — still has a significant impact on tax planning for businesses. Let’s look at three midyear tax strategies inspired by the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act: 1. Buy equipment. The PATH Act preserved both the generous limits for the Section 179 expensing election and the availability of bonus depreciation. These

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Own a vacation home? Adjusting rental vs. personal use might save taxes

Now that we’ve hit midsummer, if you own a vacation home that you both rent out and use personally, it’s a good time to review the potential tax consequences: If you rent it out for less than 15 days: You don’t have to report the income. But expenses associated with the rental (such as advertising and cleaning) won’t be deductible. If you rent it out for 15 days or more: You must report the income. But what expenses you can deduct depends on how the home is classified for tax purposes, based on the amount of personal vs. rental use:

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A family bank professionalizes intrafamily lending

If you’re interested in lending money to your children or other family members, consider establishing a “family bank.” These entities enhance the benefits of intrafamily loans, while minimizing unintended consequences. Upsides and downsides of intrafamily lending Lending can be an effective way to provide your family financial assistance without triggering unwanted gift taxes. So long as a loan is structured in a manner similar to an arm’s-length loan between unrelated parties, it won’t be treated as a taxable gift. This means, among other things: Documenting the loan with a promissory note, Charging interest at or above the applicable federal rate,

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What To Do About Bonds and Rising Interest Rates

Last week CNBC wrote a great article on how to handle a bond portfolio during times of rising interest rates. Because of the inverse relationship between bond prices and interest rates (bond prices fall when interest rates increase), bonds, especially long-term bonds and many bond mutual funds, are set to have historically low performance over the coming years. Featured in the article is one of our partners, Matthew B. Boersen. Click here for the story.  

4 Big Mistakes in Retirement Planning: Inadequate Savings

Retirement planning can be a complicated and difficult process. There are many moving pieces involved in putting together the retirement puzzle. Even once a plan is formed, any number of life events may come along to completely change your situation. In light of this, we wanted to start a series of posts covering some common mistakes people make in planning for retirement. The first mistake we will cover in the series is an inadequate saving strategy. In the last few decades, the retirement landscape has changed. Traditional retirement fund vehicles such as defined benefit pensions are quickly becoming less and

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HSA vs IRA for Retirement Savings

Using an HSA as another way to save for retirement is something we have been recommended for several years. While HSAs should never fully replace other retirement savings, the truth is, much of a future retirees’ spending will be on healthcare expenses. While the comparison to employer matched 401(k)s will always be situational, many times depending on the match formula used by the employer, HSAs will almost always be a good secondary savings vehicle. For those savings for a successful retirement, rules of thumb recommend savings of 12% or more. If you consider an employee who receives a 50% match

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