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.

When to Update Your Estate Plan

Are your estate planning documents collecting dust? Many people who take the time to create a detailed estate plan fail to follow up on a regular basis to reflect changes in their family situation or asset portfolios, relocations across state lines and new tax laws. Estate planning is an ongoing chore even for people with estates valued below the temporarily expanded unified estate and gift tax exemption.

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How to Benefit from the Rising Average Age of American Workers

Have you thought about how you’ll keep your company’s workforce strong and growing to meet its future demands? Don’t count on an endless supply of skilled young employees fresh out of college. Statistics indicate that this age group is a shrinking talent pool. But a “hidden” source of productive talent may be right under your nose.

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IRS Announces Changes for Personal Use of Employer-Provided Vehicles

The use of a company car is a popular perk for employees at some companies. But under tax law, this benefit isn’t completely free to employees. Essentially, the personal use of a company car is treated as a taxable noncash fringe benefit, subject to income tax withholding by the employer. The IRS just released a relevant figure for 2019 used in calculating the benefit.

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Sticker Shock: How Much Does a College Degree Cost?

A recent study reports that most parents and students have no idea how much college actually costs. The key reason is that most families focus on the sticker price of college tuition, without factoring in grants, scholarships and tax benefits that lower out-of-pocket costs. Any way you look at it, college is a major investment. Here’s how much you can realistically expect to spend, along with tips for lowering the overall cost.

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Contingency Planning for Small Business Owners

Summer is the season for company picnics and golf outings. But it can also bring costly unplanned disasters. Business continuity and disaster recovery planning should be an ongoing process. Even if your business has a plan in place, it might be outdated or missing critical elements. It’s also wise to review your options for claiming business casualty losses under today’s tax rules, so you’re prepared if disaster strikes.

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5 Financial Tips for New College Graduates

Getting a college degree requires discipline and hard work. But new graduates still have a lot of work ahead of them as they enter the workforce and establish their financial independence. Here’s some sage advice to help young people follow a budget, establish credit, save for retirement, evaluate housing and transportation options, and avoid becoming victims of identity theft.

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How Can Small Business Owners Reduce Social Security and Medicare Taxes?

Self-employment tax can be a big expense for small businesses. But S corporations have a tax advantage over unincorporated business entities: They pay federal employment tax only on salaries paid to employees and shareholder-employees, not on cash distributions to shareholders or income that passes through to the shareholders’ tax returns. Here’s how operating as an S corporation can be an effective tax-saving strategy, along with some potential downsides.

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Exploring the Cashless Movement in Retail

Retailers have seen a significant decrease in customers who pay with cash over the last decade and that trend is expected to continue. Some businesses have even stopped accepting cash at all. Here are the reasons for the declining popularity of cash as a form of payment, considerations for businesses who are contemplating going cashless in the future and recent legislative moves to block this trend.

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Does Your Company Allow Vaping on the Job?

All your efforts to establish a healthy work environment for your employees could be vaporized with one false move, if you turn a blind eye to vaping (using e-cigarettes) on the job. Or at least that’s the worry of some employers and regulators today. Not everyone is knowledgeable about vaping, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have strong opinions. Before you set a policy that affects your workforce, take a look at some of the issues involved.

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Records Retention Guidelines to Remember during Spring Cleaning

Spring has finally sprung! Before you start cleaning out your personal or business files, review these guidelines. On the one hand, excess clutter takes up space in your home, office or hard drive and it could lead to stolen identities if not properly disposed of. But, if you purge too soon, you might not be able to file an amended return or defend against inquiries by the IRS and state tax agencies.

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EEOC Spotlights Disability Discrimination Claims

Is your company in compliance with the federal and state laws that protect disabled employees and job applicants from discrimination? Many violations happen because employers are unaware of the rules and the scope of the protections. Here are three recent EEOC cases that show how even unintentional violations can lead to disability discrimination claims and steep penalties.

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Electric Vehicle Tax Credit: You Can Still Save Greenbacks for Going Green

Buyers of new plug-in electric or hybrid vehicles may be eligible for a federal income tax credit of up to $7,500, along with other cost-saving benefits depending on where they live in the United States. But beware: Some electric and hybrid vehicles now qualify for only a partial credit due to a phaseout rule. If you wait too long, the credits for those vehicles will be completely phased out. Here are the details.

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How to Prepare for the Probable Demise of LIBOR

Do you have adjustable-rate loans or other financial arrangements that are based on the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR)? This traditional reference rate’s days may be numbered. Here’s the reason for LIBOR’s probable demise and a possible alternative that’s based on real-world transactions, rather than on voluntary submissions by banks.

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Defeating Age Discrimination in the Workplace

More than a half century after the passage of an important law aimed at eliminating workplace age discrimination, many employers still find themselves facing allegations of this type of violation. Whether the discrimination is intentional or unplanned, the result can be draining for all parties. Here’s a primer on how to avoid running afoul of laws that protect workers from being shut out of the job market based only on age.

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It’s Not Too Late for Some Business Owners to Lower Their 2018 Taxes

Even though last year is long over, there are still tax-saving opportunities for business owners to consider for the 2018 tax year, including the new QBI deduction for pass-through entities, expanded first-year depreciation deductions for qualifying assets, favorable accounting method changes, and more. Here’s what you should know to file (or extend) with confidence this tax season.

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Hiring Minors to Work at Your Company? Know the Rules

If your company is planning to hire teenage job seekers for seasonal or year-round work, that could be a win-win situation. The teens get valuable job experience and, of course, income. And you benefit from the youth and enthusiasm they bring. If the workers are under age 18, however, be aware that you must adhere to various child labor laws. Here’s what you need to know.

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If Adopted, Overtime Pay Rules May Expand to More Employees

Newly proposed Department of Labor regulations, if finalized as written, will mean roughly 1.3 million workers who are currently treated as exempt will become eligible for overtime pay, beginning next year. Another provision sets a higher threshold for “highly compensated employee” status, potentially impacting another 200,000 workers. Here’s what it means.

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5 Last-Minute Ideas to Lower Your 2018 Taxes

Tax Day is right around the corner. Every year, thousands of people delay filing their taxes until the last minute or they file an extension. That’s especially true now, as taxpayers try to decipher what’s changed under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Fortunately, there may be a few simple strategies that many individuals can still use to lower last year’s tax liability even though 2018 ended months ago.

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