Emil Estafanous

ABLE accounts may help disabled or blind family members

There may be a tax-advantaged way for people to save for the needs of family members with disabilities — without having them lose eligibility for government benefits to which they’re entitled. It can be done though an Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) account, which is a tax-free account that can be used for disability-related expenses. Who is eligible? ABLE accounts can be created by eligible individuals to support themselves,… Read More »ABLE accounts may help disabled or blind family members

IRS additional guidance addresses COBRA assistance under ARPA

In Notice 2021-46, the IRS recently issued additional guidance on the COBRA premium assistance provisions of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). Under the ARPA, a 100% COBRA premium subsidy and additional COBRA enrollment rights are available to certain assistance eligible individuals (AEIs) during the period beginning on April 1, 2021, and ending on September 30, 2021 (the Subsidy Period). If your business is required to offer COBRA coverage, it’s… Read More »IRS additional guidance addresses COBRA assistance under ARPA

Large cash transactions with your business must be reported to the IRS

If your business receives large amounts of cash or cash equivalents, you may be required to report these transactions to the IRS. What are the requirements? Each person who, in the course of operating a trade or business, receives more than $10,000 in cash in one transaction (or two or more related transactions), must file Form 8300. What is considered a “related transaction?” Any transactions conducted in a 24-hour period.… Read More »Large cash transactions with your business must be reported to the IRS

Scholarships are usually tax free but they may result in taxable income

If your child is fortunate enough to be awarded a scholarship, you may wonder about the tax implications. Fortunately, scholarships (and fellowships) are generally tax free for students at elementary, middle and high schools, as well as those attending college, graduate school or accredited vocational schools. It doesn’t matter if the scholarship makes a direct payment to the individual or reduces tuition. Requirements for tax-free treatment However, scholarships are not… Read More »Scholarships are usually tax free but they may result in taxable income

Is your business underusing its accounting software?

Someone might have once told you that human beings use only 10% of our brains. The implication is that we have vast, untapped stores of cerebral power waiting to be discovered. In truth, this is a myth widely debunked by neurologists. What you may be underusing, as a business owner, is your accounting software. Much like the operating systems on our smartphones and computers, today’s accounting solutions contain a multitude… Read More »Is your business underusing its accounting software?

Is an LLC the right choice for your small business?

Perhaps you operate your small business as a sole proprietorship and want to form a limited liability company (LLC) to protect your assets. Or maybe you are launching a new business and want to know your options for setting it up. Here are the basics of operating as an LLC and why it might be appropriate for your business. An LLC is somewhat of a hybrid entity because it can… Read More »Is an LLC the right choice for your small business?

5 possible tax aspects of a parent moving into a nursing home

If you have a parent entering a nursing home, you may not be thinking about taxes. But there are a number of possible tax implications. Here are five. 1. Long-term medical care The costs of qualified long-term care, including nursing home care, are deductible as medical expenses to the extent they, along with other medical expenses, exceed 7.5% of adjusted gross income (AGI). Qualified long-term care services are necessary diagnostic,… Read More »5 possible tax aspects of a parent moving into a nursing home

DEI programs are good for business

Many businesses are spending more time and resources on supporting the well-being of their employees. This includes recognizing and addressing issues related to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI). A thoughtfully designed DEI program can do more than just head off potential conflicts and disruptions among coworkers; it can help you attract good job candidates, retain your best employees and create a more engaged, productive workforce. Strategic objectives Essentially, DEI programs… Read More »DEI programs are good for business

The deductibility of corporate expenses covered by officers or shareholders

Do you play a major role in a closely held corporation and sometimes spend money on corporate expenses personally? These costs may wind up being nondeductible both by an officer and the corporation unless proper steps are taken. This issue is more likely to arise in connection with a financially troubled corporation. Deductible vs. nondeductible expenses In general, you can’t deduct an expense you incur on behalf of your corporation,… Read More »The deductibility of corporate expenses covered by officers or shareholders

You may have loads of student debt, but it may be hard to deduct the interest

More than 43 million student borrowers are in debt with an average of $39,351 each, according to the research group EducationData.org. If you have student loan debt, you may wonder if you can deduct the interest you pay. The answer is yes, subject to certain limits. However, the deduction is phased out if your adjusted gross income exceeds certain levels — and they aren’t as high as the income levels… Read More »You may have loads of student debt, but it may be hard to deduct the interest

Get serious about your strategic planning meetings

Most business owners would likely agree that strategic planning is important. Yet many companies rarely engage in active measures to gather and discuss strategy. Sometimes strategic planning is tacked on to a meeting about something else; other times it occurs only at the annual company retreat when employees may feel out of their element and perhaps not be fully focused. Businesses should take strategic planning seriously. One way to do… Read More »Get serious about your strategic planning meetings

Getting a new business off the ground: How start-up expenses are handled on your tax return

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, government officials are seeing a large increase in the number of new businesses being launched. From June 2020 through June 2021, the U.S. Census Bureau reports that business applications are up 18.6%. The Bureau measures this by the number of businesses applying for an Employer Identification Number. Entrepreneurs often don’t know that many of the expenses incurred by start-ups can’t be currently deducted. You should be… Read More »Getting a new business off the ground: How start-up expenses are handled on your tax return