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  • Has the TCJA Lowered Your Taxes?

    The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) was intended to lower taxes and, in turn, stimulate the economy. Two years later, people are asking whether the TCJA has met these goals. One recent study shows that 65% of individuals paid less taxes in 2018 (the first year the TCJA took effect) than in 2017. But only 40% of Americans believe they got a tax cut. This article explains this perception gap and provides examples of tax reform's winners and losers.

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  • Phantom Stock Could Help Grow Your Business for the Long Term

    It can be a winning strategy for you and your business to recognize and encourage key managers who think like owners. If you can get them pulling even harder in the same direction as you are, your company's value could grow exponentially over the long term. But what kind of incentive does it take to get that level of buy-in from employees? You could give them actual equity in the form of corporate stock, but doing so could bring more headaches than it's worth. That's where a "phantom" stock plan comes in. Here's how they work.

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  • Is Your Family Medical Leave Policy Up-to-Date?

    Is there no end to Family and Medical Leave Act compliance questions? Apparently, the decades since the law's enactment isn't enough time to deal with them all. Here are a few that have been recently addressed by the Department of Labor. Even if they don't precisely match a leave request scenario you're facing, they could give you some valuable clues or prepare you for the future.

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  • Age-Related Tax and Financial Planning Milestones

    Birthdays should be celebratory, not stressful. But some ages come with tax and financial consequences that require your attention. From birth to old age, you can't beat Father Time. But you and your loved can plan for these milestones with the help of a tax professional.

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  • The TCJA effect: Qualified residence interest

    The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) made a significant impact on the deductibility of various types of interest expense for individuals. One area affected is qualified residence interest. This article reviews the TCJA's effect on this type of interest. A sidebar looks at the law's impact on investment interest.

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  • 10 Tax Elections to Save Money on Your 2019 Return

    The deadline for you to file your 2019 individual federal income tax return is April 15, 2020. With that deadline fast approaching, you may be searching for ways to lower your personal income tax liability. Fortunately, there's still time to consider making one (or more) of these tax-saving elections on your 2019 return.

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  • Deducting Medical Expenses for 2019 and Beyond

    What are the rules for deducting medical expenses on your personal tax return? First, you must itemize deductions, rather than take the standard deduction. Second, you must exceed the current percentage-of-AGI threshold. Finally, your expenses must qualify as "medical care" under current tax law. Here's what you need to know to benefit from this tax break in 2019 and beyond.

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  • Considering a Business Relocation?

    Could it be that your business is operating under conditions that have been getting more challenging for years, but at a slow-enough pace that you aren't fully aware of it? If you take a fresh look at your situation and find the answer is "yes," it may be time to consider pulling up stakes. Here's some food for thought on a corporate relocation.

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  • Congress Approves New Disaster-Area Tax Relief

    The federal government declared numerous disasters between January 1, 2018, and January 19, 2020, including earthquakes, hurricanes, wildfires, tornados, flooding and snowstorms. But there may be a silver lining for victims: New tax legislation passed at the end of 2019 provides additional relief for qualifying individual and small business taxpayers.

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  • Important Tax Figures for 2020

    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 2020, compared with 2019, 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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  • Stretch IRAs Lose Potency under the SECURE Act

    The Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act aims to help Americans save more for retirement. But an unfavorable change included in the new law involves stricter rules for postdeath required minimum distributions for nonspouse IRA beneficiaries. This provision will sharply curtail the effectiveness of so-called "stretch IRAs" for those beneficiaries and damage some carefully constructed estate plans.

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  • What Employers Should Know About the SECURE Act

    The Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act, which was signed into law in December 2019, made important changes to the tax laws that affect employers offering retirement benefits. It increases the credit for small employer plan start-up costs, provides a new small employer credit for plans that add an automatic enrollment feature, expands 401(k) plan eligibility for certain long-term part-time employees and extends the deadline for adopting a new plan.

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  • SECURE Act Affects Retirement and Tax Planning for Individuals

    The Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act is part of a larger federal spending package enacted in December 2019. This new law contains several key provisions that could affect you. These include removal of the age restriction on traditional IRA contributions, a new start date for IRA and retirement plan required minimum distributions (RMDs), and changes to the kiddie tax rules.

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