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.

The ABCs of Higher Education Tax Breaks

School planning seems to start earlier every year. As you begin to shop for dorm supplies and other necessities, here’s some important information about tax breaks for higher education costs, along with some of the rules and restrictions that apply under the new tax law. We’ll also explain how the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act eliminates deductions for job-related education costs incurred by employees.

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New Law Makes Education-Savings Tools More Flexible

Getting an education for your children or grandchildren can be expensive. Fortunately, various tax-advantaged savings options can help lower out-of-pocket costs. Here’s an overview of two tax-smart savings tools Section 529 plans and Coverdell Education Savings Accounts as well as information about tax-favored ABLE accounts that help families pay for qualified disability expenses.

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Effects of the Tax Law Vary Based on Major Life Events

What stage of life are you in? The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act affects everyone a little differently, depending on their specific circumstances. Here are provisions of the law that may be relevant if you are at various milestones, including marriage, new kids, divorce, new homes, death and even business start-ups.

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Is an Association Health Plan Right for Your Company?

The availability of a new health plan option is soon to become a reality for small businesses. Last October, the Trump Administration set in motion the development of “association health plans” as an alternative for employers to provide health insurance to their workers. Whether individual employers will see this as good news or bad news depends on their current situations. Here’s an overview.

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IRS Encourages Taxpayers to Check Withholding

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is a game changer for many U.S. households. Most people will owe less tax under the new law but some people will owe more. Many taxpayers are unsure whether their current 2018 withholding and estimated quarterly payments will be sufficient. Here’s an overview of the provisions that might affect your withholding and scenarios that might require a “paycheck checkup.”

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Sales Tax: Supreme Court Ruling Affects Retailers and Consumers

On June 21, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a ruling overturning a 1992 precedent that had barred states from requiring online retailers without a “physical presence” there to collect sales taxes. The ruling is expected to hurt online retailers and help brick-and-mortar stores. Going forward, this decision will present numerous challenges to businesses of all sizes that sell products online.

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Tax Reform: What’s Changing for Individuals?

A new set of rules will apply when you file your 2018 tax return next spring, thanks to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. The changes for individual taxpayers are sweeping, but most expire at the end of 2025. Unfortunately, many people are unclear about what’s changing and how it might affect their tax obligations. Here’s a list of 30 major tax issues to consider as you plan for the 2018 tax year.

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Will States Conform to the New Tax Rules?

Federal tax laws traditionally serve as the basis for many state tax laws. This year, in light of major federal tax reforms, some state legislators face a tough question: Which provisions of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act should we conform to and which should we decouple from? Here are some key provisions of the new law that must be addressed and how each change might affect your state tax bill.

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New Tax Benefits of Hiring Your Kid

For years, there have been federal tax incentives for business owners to hire their children (or grandchildren) over the summer or during the school year. But the deal has gotten even sweeter under the recent tax law. Here, we discuss the tax breaks that are available for hiring your kids, along with a strategy to give your kid a sizable nest egg in retirement and a life lesson about planning for the future.

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Supreme Court Spotlights Employee Status: Exempt or Not?

Knowing whether to classify employees as exempt or nonexempt is crucial to running a business. It’s a problem that has long plagued employers. A recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling may have made it easier for employers to have confidence that they’re properly classifying workers as exempt or nonexempt but as always, the devil is in the details.

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Know the Rules Before Checking Employee Medical Records

Health-related scenarios often include those in which employees request legally sanctioned time off. Federal laws, such as the Family Medical Leave Act, spell out what employers can and can’t do to validate these leave requests. It can be a minefield and it’s easy to cross a murky line, however, and land in court. This article provides some guidance on avoiding that outcome.

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Should Your Business Be a C Corporation or a Pass-Through Entity?

Choosing a business structure isn’t a cut-and-dried issue. What’s right depends on various factors, including whether you expect your venture to 1) be profitable, 2) distribute or retain income, 3) acquire assets that are likely to appreciate, and 4) pay shareholder-employee salaries. The new deduction for qualified business income also factors into your decision. Here are key issues that may affect entity choice.

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New Study Reveals Costs, Means and Ways to Stop Fraud

How much money does your business or not-for-profit organization lose to fraud each year? The median fraud loss fell from $150,000 to $130,000 over the last two years, according to the 2018 Report to the Nations on Occupational Fraud and Abuse. But that’s still more than many small organizations can afford to lose. Here’s how you can use this study’s findings to help safeguard against thieves.

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Self-Audit Program May Help Employers Correct Wage Errors

When paying employees, has your company inadvertently violated the Fair Labor Standards Act? Are you certain you know which of your employees are exempt from overtime pay? Even with the best of intentions, mistakes happen. To help employers answer these questions, the Department of Labor is providing a way for them to come clean and avoid penalties. Here’s the deal.

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FAQs about Deducting Interest on Home Loans under the New Tax Law

Are you confused about the new tax law provisions that relate to itemized deductions for qualified residence interest? Most taxpayers with mortgages that existed on or before December 15, 2018, will be grandfathered in under the old rules. But new limits may apply to home loans taken out after the cutoff date. Here’s what you should know to avoid surprises when filing your federal tax return next year.

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