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.

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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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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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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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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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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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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Can You Have Too Much Tax Deferral?

Deferring income is a conventional tax planning strategy for businesses and individuals alike. It’s especially effective when your tax bracket is expected to remain the same or decrease in future years. But under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, deferring too much income might be inadvisable. Here’s why it’s important to think twice before you defer income under today’s tax law.

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5 Ways to Boost Deductions for Charitable Giving

Are you feeling generous? The holiday season is a popular time to donate to charities. But many people are uncertain about whether they’ll be allowed to deduct charitable contributions on their 2018 federal income tax return. This article reviews the provisions of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act that may affect charitable giving and provides strategies to maximize the tax benefits.

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7 Year-End Tax Planning Moves for Small Businesses

What can small business owners do before year end to lower their tax bills? That question is top of mind every autumn, but the answers may be less familiar (and possibly more complicated) under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. This article updates some tried-and-true tax strategies to account for the tax law changes that went into effect this year.

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Tax Savings from Cost Segregation Studies Add Up for Businesses

A cost segregation study can help substantially reduce your company’s tax bill, if you purchased real estate to rent out or use in business. Thanks to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, more generous bonus depreciation and Section 179 deduction rules may allow significant first-year depreciation deductions for land improvements and contents of buildings. Here are the details.

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Free Credit Freezes and Fraud Alerts Are Here!

Has a credit reporting agency ever charged you a fee to “freeze” your accounts after a security breach? It sounds like double jeopardy, right? Fortunately, a new law no longer allows this to happen. Here’s how you can take advantage of the new consumer-protection rules that recently took effect under the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act.

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IRS Issues Guidance Deducting Meals Bought During Entertainment

As a small business owner, can you deduct for federal income tax purposes the costs of taking a customer or business contact out to a baseball game and buying hot dogs and drinks? The IRS just issued guidance answering that question. This article explains how these types of entertainment and meal expenses have changed under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

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Reporting Income from Vacation Home Rentals under Today’s Tax Rules

Many people own vacation homes that they use for both personal and rental purposes. This article explains how to report income and expenses under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act for properties that are rented out but also used a great deal of time by owners and their family and friends. Different rules apply to properties that are rented out with minimal personal use.

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Employers: IRS Updates Business Travel Per Diems

Itemized deductions for unreimbursed business expenses are disallowed for employees from 2018 through 2025. So, formal expense reimbursement policies and procedures may be a necessary evil under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Employers can simplify the process by paying travel per diems instead of requiring employees to submit receipts for actual travel expenses. Here are details.

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Tax Law Allows Employees to Defer Income from Equity-Based Pay

Restricted stock, stock options and other forms of equity-based compensation can help private companies attract and retain skilled workers. Now, thanks to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the deal is even sweeter, because qualified employees may be able to defer the tax hit from these awards for up to five years. This article explains how this election works and what’s required to qualify.

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