14 Oct 2019 | The Sun-Times | Lane Keeter
If you are a business owner, for your own good as well as the health of the business, a properly drafted buy-sell agreement is a wise tool to have in place. This is especially true if there are multiple owners involved in the business. Just as important as having one to begin with is the need to periodically review and revise the agreement to adapt to changing conditions and needs. A buy-sell agreement legally confers ...
30 Sep 2019 | The Sun-Times | Lane Keeter
Let's face it; insurance is complicated! Have you ever known anyone that just sits down and reads a policy word for word, including the small print? Thank goodness for seasoned, trustworthy insurance professionals, right? Still, if you are a business owner, some basic knowledge about insurance products and what needs you might have (that you may not even realize you have) is valuable information for your business management toolbox before you go shopping for insurance, ...
16 Sep 2019 | Andrew Crumpton
Renting a house to family or friends at a discount is commendable, but it can come with some stiff tax consequences if you're not careful. This article is not meant to discourage people from doing favors for others, but before you do, there are a few things you should know. The first thing to understand is the way expenses must be divided. If a rental is held out for rental all 365 days per year, ...
21 Aug 2019 | The Sun-Times | Lane Keeter
Two weeks ago, I wrote about the benefits of hiring your children to work for your business. In keeping with the kiddo theme, today I want to tackle issues regarding the so-called "kiddie tax". My reason for doing so is that a major change was enacted to the tax rate structure of the kiddie tax in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA). To provide some back story, many years ago Congress put the kiddie ...
7 Aug 2019 | The Sun-Times | Lane Keeter
With summer in full swing, many kids are working or looking for summer work. If you have a business and have kids, there can be valuable benefits in hiring them to work for you; benefits both to them and you! Summer jobs are a great way to teach financial responsibility and encourage children to save for college or retirement (yes, I said retirement), all the while giving them much desired spending money. Hiring your own ...
24 Jul 2019 | The Sun-Times | Lane Keeter
Naturally, when you file a tax return for a business, you want to find and take all the tax deductions you can. Businesses that take the corporate form of operations are no different. But not everything paid out of business coffers results in a tax deduction. While this article addresses corporations specifically in a few areas, there are also some general principles presented here that are applicable to most any type of business, whether incorporated ...
10 Jul 2019 | The Sun-Times | Lane Keeter
In my last column two weeks ago, I discussed the hit to the charitable contribution deduction from recent tax reform. In doing so, I briefly touched on the use of a qualified charitable distribution (QCD) to minimize that impact and maximize tax savings, with the promise to dig into this planning tool deeper this time. Basically, it works like this; if you are age 70Ω or older, you can make donations directly to charity out ...
27 Jun 2019 | The Sun-Times | Lane Keeter
The tax man gives and the tax man takes away. Or, more accurately said, Congress does so. Certainly, this is true as it pertains to charitable giving and the effect on same of the tax reform occurring in recent times. Here is a look at some of the provisions of the Tax Cut and Jobs Act (TCJA) and how they affect those with charitable intentions from a tax standpoint. Perhaps the change that potentially affects ...
11 Jun 2019 | The Sun-Times | Lane Keeter
You may never have thought of it like this, but in some ways, a family is much like a team in sports. On a successful team, teammates have clear identifiable goals, a plan to achieve those goals, and all ideally are working and pulling in the same direction to that end. Successful families are the same. This is true with regard to the values a family holds dear and certainly is true with regard to ...
22 May 2019 | The Sun-Times | Lane Keeter
Most business owners want to know how they can deduct vehicle costs against their business income. As they should, since when a car or truck is legitimately used for business purposes, the costs associated with that use is a deductible ordinary and necessary business expense, including potential depreciation deductions. The problem is, while they want the benefit of the deduction, most do NOT want to follow the strict rules for substantiating such expense and commonly ...
8 May 2019 | The Sun-Times | Lane Keeter
If you are in business, you may have heard the 2017 tax reform law scuttlebutt about a new deduction called the qualified business income deduction (or 199A deduction). This provision allows up to a 20% deduction of qualified business income (QBI) from pass-through entities such as partnerships and S corporations (but not C corporations), as well as for the self-employed, from 2018 through 2025. Needless to say, a potential 20% deduction is substantial, so there ...
24 Apr 2019 | The Sun-Times | Lane Keeter
Just a few weeks back, the IRS announced that refunds on early tax returns that had been filed through February 15 were running an average of $2,640, or about 16 percent smaller than the same time in 2018. This was contrary to what many were expecting, since they thought that under tax reform that kicked in last year, they were getting a tax cut and refunds would actually be larger. Oh, the weeping and gnashing ...
10 Apr 2019 | The Sun-Times | Lane Keeter
As it does every year during filing season, the IRS released its annual list of the Dirty Dozen tax scams, updated for the 2019 filing season. It is probably not a big surprise that for the third year in a row, one of the top scams is phishing attempts. Phone scams also continue to be huge, with the fiends making threatening phone calls to innocent taxpayers. Without further ado, here is the IRS's list of ...
27 Mar 2019 | The Sun-Times | Lane Keeter
Have you gotten caught up in the KonMari craze (i.e, "Tidying Up with Marie Kondo" on Netflix)? Anyone else feels just a tad bit inadequate after watching that show? In case you aren't aware of the show, in each episode, so-called organizing expert Marie Kondo helps clients clear out clutter in their lives with her KonMari method. Watching what happens is enough to make even the most ardent neat freak feel like a slob! But ...
13 Mar 2019 | The Sun-Times | Lane Keeter
Pretty much everyone who is even aware that "tax reform" occurred with the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) at the end of 2017 probably knows that it reduced most tax rates and expanded a few other tax benefits. But many seem to not know (or have forgotten) that TCJA also limited, if not eliminated, a number of itemized deductions that have been big tax savers for many individual taxpayers. Here are ...