The CBD Blog

Find peer advice, partner insights, and industry updates – all here in the CBD blog, ‘At The Helm’! With contributions from our entire team, we blog about the things that interest you.

Minimizing Your Risk of Cyber Breach

Proactive business owners worry about the risk of cyber breaches. And for good reason: Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Mary Jo White just named cyber threats as the biggest systematic risk facing the financial markets and U.S. economy. Here’s some advice to help businesses lower their risk of future cyber breaches.

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B Corps: To Be or Not to Be?

If your company wants to be seen as a leader in corporate responsibility, consider applying to become a certified “B Corp.” It’s a prestigious rating awarded by B Lab, a not-for-profit organization. So far, more than 1,000 companies from 33 countries in over 60 industries have met B Lab’s rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency.

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Warning: Many Consumers Think Targeted Online Ads Are Creepy

Have you ever visited an e-commerce or social media site and been surprised that the ads sometimes mirror your recent Internet searches and purchases? Some online retailers data mine consumers’ online research and shopping habits. Then, they customize their ads to meet consumers’ potential real-time needs. But a recent study shows that this type of marketing strategy can sometimes backfire. Here’s why.

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Tax Deadline Reminder: FBARs Due by June 30

June 30, 2015, is the deadline for filing a Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR) if you meet certain requirements. Failing to comply can result in penalties under the Bank Secrecy Act. Here are the details, as well as recent recommendations by the National Taxpayer Advocate for simplified reporting of foreign accounts.

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Do You Keep Adequate Records for Charitable Contributions?

Charitable contributions of used property provide more than the satisfaction of de-cluttering your home and the warm feeling that accompanies giving to a worthy cause. They can also lower your tax bill, if you follow the strict substantiation rules set forth by the IRS. A recent U.S. Tax Court cases shows how failure to retain detailed records for donations can be a costly mistake.

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Test Your Small Business Finance IQ

The federal government has named April “National Financial Capability Month” in an effort to make Americans more financially literate. Although 40 percent of U.S. small business owners consider themselves to be financially illiterate, 81 percent still handle their own business finances, according to a 2014 Intuit study. Test your financial literacy with this nine-question quiz — some of the answers might surprise you.

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Tax Paperwork and Other Records: What to Keep, What to Toss

Over the years, tax and other paper records can begin to mount. Many individuals and companies keep records longer than necessary, just in case the IRS, state tax authorities or another regulatory body inquires about a course of action. Here are some record retention guidelines to prevent your home or office from looking as if it belongs on an episode of one of those TV shows about hoarding.

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How to Tap into the Millennial Market

What does it take to get “Millennials” to buy your company’s products and services? The Millennial generation — which includes people born from approximately 1980 to 2000 — tends to be self-expressive, open-minded, educated, technology-savvy and budget conscious. It’s also the most ethnically diverse generation in U.S. history. Here’s how business owners can get in the Millennial mindset.

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Safeguard Your Personal Information Against Online Surveillance

The Internet has revolutionized our lives. It facilitates transactions and the transmission of information. But with opportunities come risks. In today’s Web-based world, it’s critical to know the contents of your “digital dossier” and take steps to minimize the risks that various forms of online surveillance pose to your personal and financial security.

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Welcome Aboard!

CBD would like to officially welcome you to our new blog, CBD at the Helm! It will be a collaborative effort between everyone at our firm and we’d love to hear feedback from you, our clients and friends, at any time! We’ll be posting everything from periodic tax/audit updates to significant changes in Washington to …

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S Corps and Partnerships: Beware of Failure-to-File Penalties

The S corporation is a popular business structure that’s available only to privately held businesses. A recent Tax Court case reminds taxpayers that there’s a steep penalty for S corps (and partnerships) that fail to file timely federal tax returns, even if there’s no taxable income to report. A sidebar also reviews the qualifications for switching from C to S corporation status.

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The IRS Simplifies Repair Regulations for Small Businesses

Good news! It recently became easier for small businesses to take advantage of the final repair regulations. Here’s some background on what the repair regs address and how the IRS has reduced some of the red tape for qualifying small businesses. Before you file your 2014 business return, review your company’s fixed asset capitalization policies for potential tax savings opportunities.

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Small Business Reprieve on Health Premium Reimbursement Plans

Good news from the IRS: Small businesses have been granted a temporary reprieve if they’ve been paying employees the cost of buying their own health coverage. A few months ago that arrangement was deemed unacceptable and, therefore, subject to hefty penalties. Here’s what you must do by June 30 to avoid penalties, as well as information about recent changes to the small business health care tax credit.

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Industries that Could Be Booming as the Baby Boomers Age

Baby Boomers currently represent about a quarter of the U.S. population, but they control 70 percent of the nation’s disposable income. In this article, we discuss consumer market trends brought on by this demographic and some industries that stand to benefit as the boomers age. We also highlight iconic Baby Boomers and popular relocation destinations for empty nesters wanting to downsize their homes.

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Tax Day Countdown: Reduce Your Tax Bill with Retirement Accounts

The IRS has already issued 54.2 million tax refunds, averaging nearly $3,000 each. Unfortunately, many taxpayers face the reverse situation. If you owe taxes for 2014, you still may be able to reduce your bill by contributing to an IRA or SEP before the April 15 deadline. Here are the basic rules, deadlines and strategies. We’ll also tell you how to open and fund a myRA account, the Treasury’s new Roth-IRA variant.

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