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.

Could Medicare Premiums Lower Your Taxes?

Medicare health insurance options can be confusing, and the premiums can be more expensive than you might think. This article explains how Medicare coverage works and how some people may be able to lower their tax bills by deducting Medicare health insurance premiums and other qualifying medical expenses.

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Warning: E-Scooters May Pose Risks to Your Business and Its Employees

If you live or work in a city, you’ve probably seen electric scooters quietly gliding around in recent months. Unfortunately, this new technology-driven mode of transportation can pose risks to unwary employers. Here are some issues related to using so-called “e-scooters” for business purposes, along with a way to safeguard your business and its employees from the negative side effects.

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2018 Income Tax Withholdings: Too Much, Too Little or Just Right?

Many individuals still aren’t familiar with all the changes under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. So, they don’t know whether their 2018 withholding and estimated quarterly payments will be sufficient. Here’s an overview of the provisions that might affect your tax situation, along with recent queries to the IRS about possible penalty relief for those who didn’t pay enough to the IRS for the 2018 tax year.

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Should You Switch Your Business to C Corporation Status?

Based on prior tax law, many businesses chose to operate as sole proprietorships and pass-through entities, including partnerships, LLCs and S corporations, to help lower their taxes. Now some business owners are rethinking their business structures under the current tax law. But before you switch, it’s important to learn about the potential pitfalls of operating as a C corporation.

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Important Tax Figures for 2019

Every year, the dollar amounts allowed for various federal tax benefits are subject to change based on inflation adjustments and legislation. Here are some important tax figures for 2019, compared with 2018, including the estate tax exemption, Social Security wage base, qualified retirement plan and IRA contribution limits, driving deductions, allowable business write-off amounts and more.

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Balance Your Right to Monitor Communications with EmployeesÂ’ Privacy Rights

Employers try to respect their employees’ privacy rights but they also don’t want to be taken advantage of or risk losing sensitive data. That’s why a growing number of companies are implementing policies to monitor employees’ communications at work, including their emails and Internet activity on company-owned computers. Here are some ideas to help you implement a policy that’s fair but effective.

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Dealing with Child Support Withholding Orders

If you handle payroll or human resources long enough, chances are you’ll encounter an income withholding order for delinquent child support. Perhaps you’re already familiar with the process. If not, you’ll need some guidance on how to address the issue and what your reporting requirements are. Here’s a quick briefing.

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Revenue Recognition: Private Companies Prepare for New Rules

At this time of year, many companies are concerned about tax-saving strategies. But there’s more to consider this year end. New accounting rules for recognizing revenue go into effect in 2019 for private companies. Be aware, however, that updating your systems and personnel will likely take more time and effort than you expect.

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DOL Pitches Auto-Portability Program to Preserve Retirement Savings

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) is seeking comments on a proposed “auto-portability” program. Under the proposal, an employee’s 401(k) savings would be moved to an IRA if employment (or the plan) is terminated. Those funds would then automatically transfer to a new employer’s 401(k) plan when the employee finds a new job. Here are the details.

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Overview of Real Estate Depreciation Changes

Real estate investors have reason to celebrate in the upcoming tax season: The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act significantly expanded the first-year tax breaks for bonus depreciation and Section 179 deductions. But Congress may need to fix one intended change before it can benefit investors. And there are some pitfalls to consider before taking advantage of first-year depreciation breaks for real estate.

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Estate Tax Planning Tips for Single People

Estate planning tips are often geared toward married couples. Although many of the same principles apply to single people, singles may need to give their estate plans extra attention to maximize how much they can transfer to loved ones tax-free during their lifetimes and beyond. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act expands those opportunities through 2025.

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Disability Discrimination Claims May Be Teachable Moments

There’s a law that’s far from new. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) has been on the books for decades, since 1990. Yet the primary federal agency that enforces the ADA never seems to run out of alleged violations of this law to pursue. A pair of recent cases illuminate key features of the ADA that may benefit employers that have grown a little foggy on just what it requires.

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Estate Tax Planning Tips for Married Couples

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act significantly increased the unified federal estate and gift tax exemption and the generation-skipping transfer tax exemption. As a result, fewer estates will be subject to the 40% estate and gift tax rate. But for many people, there are still good reasons to draft or review their estate plan before year end. Here are some proactive planning moves for married people to consider.

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Tax Cheer for Holiday Gifts to Employees

Many business owners give gifts and achievement awards to show their appreciation for employee contributions throughout the year. But some gifts could trigger unexpected adverse tax consequences. Here’s what you need to know before making year-end gifts to employees, customers and other business contacts, including how the rules have been clarified under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

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4 Year-End Strategies to Lower Your Personal Tax Bill

Have you thought about your personal tax situation for 2018? In addition to reviewing the adequacy of your payroll withholdings and estimated tax payments, there’s still time to employ some tax-savvy moves that could potentially decrease this year’s tax bill. Tax reform legislation has changed the rules of the game, so it’s important to discuss end-of-year strategies with your tax advisor as soon as possible.

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IRS Ups the Ante on Retirement Contributions

Did you know that you will be able to contribute more to your 401(k), IRA and other types of qualified retirement accounts in 2019? The IRS recently published annual cost-of-living adjustments to these accounts. Many limits have increased, including the amount you’re allowed to contribute to a traditional IRA account, which last increased in 2013. Here’s what you should know.

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Are You Eligible for the New Dependent Credit and HOH Filing Status?

The IRS recently clarified who’s eligible for the new $500 tax credit for dependents who aren’t qualifying children under age 17, as well as how much income those individuals can earn each year without negating the credit. The income test is also relevant if you’re unmarried and want to use the beneficial head of household (HOH) filing status. Here are the details.

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Small Employers: Should You Jump on the MEP Bandwagon?

Congress and the U.S. Department of Labor are working on rules that would make it easier for small employers to join multiple employer plans (MEPs). These defined contribution plans are designed to help American workers save for retirement. MEPs are expected to lower administrative costs, but do they offer the simplicity that employers want? Here are some issues to consider.

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