The U.S. economy is still a far cry from where it was before the COVID-19 pandemic hit about a year ago. Nonetheless, as vaccination efforts continue to ramp up, many experts expect stronger jobs growth and more robust economic activity in the months ahead. No matter what your business does, you don’t want your sales staff hamstrung by overly complicated procedures as they strive to seize opportunities in the presumably… Read More »5 ways to streamline and energize your sales process
When the Small Business Administration (SBA) launched the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) last year, the program’s stated objective was “to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll.” However, according to federal officials, the recently issued second round of funding has distributed only a small percentage of the $15 billion set aside for small businesses and low- to moderate-income “first-draw” borrowers. In late February, the… Read More »PPP adjusted to prioritize very small businesses
During the COVID-19 pandemic, many people are working from home. If you’re self-employed and run your business from your home or perform certain functions there, you might be able to claim deductions for home office expenses against your business income. There are two methods for claiming this tax break: the actual expenses method and the simplified method. Who qualifies? In general, you qualify for home office deductions if part of… Read More »If you run a business from home, you could qualify for home office deductions
If you’re approaching retirement, you probably want to ensure the money you’ve saved in retirement plans lasts as long as possible. If so, be aware that a law was recently enacted that makes significant changes to retirement accounts. The SECURE Act, which was signed into law in late 2019, made a number of changes of interest to those nearing retirement. You can keep making traditional IRA contributions if you’re still… Read More »Retiring soon? Recent law changes may have an impact on your retirement savings
If your business sponsors a 401(k) plan, you might someday consider adding designated Roth contributions. Here are some factors to explore when deciding whether such a feature would make sense for your company and its employees. Key differences Roth contributions differ from other elective deferrals in two key tax respects. First, they’re irrevocably designated to be made on an after-tax basis, rather than pretax. Second, if all applicable requirements are… Read More »Should your business add Roth contributions to its 401(k)?
Merger and acquisition activity in many industries slowed during 2020 due to COVID-19. But analysts expect it to improve in 2021 as the country comes out of the pandemic. If you are considering buying or selling another business, it’s important to understand the tax implications. Two ways to arrange a deal Under current tax law, a transaction can basically be structured in two ways: 1. Stock (or ownership interest). A… Read More »What are the tax implications of buying or selling a business?
If you’re getting ready to file your 2020 tax return, and your tax bill is higher than you’d like, there might still be an opportunity to lower it. If you qualify, you can make a deductible contribution to a traditional IRA right up until the April 15, 2021 filing date and benefit from the tax savings on your 2020 return. Who is eligible? You can make a deductible contribution to… Read More »Didn’t contribute to an IRA last year? There still may be time
The events of the past year have taught business owners many important lessons. One of them is that, when a crisis hits, customers turn on their computers and look to their phones. According to one analysis of U.S. Department of Commerce data, consumers spent $347.26 billion online with U.S. retailers in the first half of 2020 — that’s a 30.1% increase from the same period in 2019. Although online spending moderated… Read More »Building customers’ trust in your website
A number of tax-related limits that affect businesses are annually indexed for inflation, and many have increased for 2021. Some stayed the same due to low inflation. And the deduction for business meals has doubled for this year after a new law was enacted at the end of 2020. Here’s a rundown of those that may be important to you and your business. Social Security tax The amount of employees’… Read More »Many tax amounts affecting businesses have increased for 2021
If you’re like many Americans, letters from your favorite charities may be appearing in your mailbox acknowledging your 2020 donations. But what happens if you haven’t received such a letter — can you still claim a deduction for the gift on your 2020 income tax return? It depends. What is required To support a charitable deduction, you need to comply with IRS substantiation requirements. This generally includes obtaining a contemporaneous… Read More »Did you make donations in 2020? There’s still time to get substantiation
Using a strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) analysis to frame an important business decision is a long-standing recommended practice. But don’t overlook other, broader uses that could serve your company well. Performance factors A SWOT analysis starts by spotlighting internal strengths and weaknesses that affect business performance. Strengths are competitive advantages or core competencies that generate value (and revenue), such as a strong sales force or exceptional quality. Conversely,… Read More »The many uses of a SWOT analysis
Many people are more concerned about their 2020 tax bills right now than they are about their 2021 tax situations. That’s understandable because your 2020 individual tax return is due to be filed in less than three months (unless you file an extension). However, it’s a good idea to acquaint yourself with tax amounts that may have changed for 2021. Below are some Q&As about tax amounts for this year.… Read More »2021 individual taxes: Answers to your questions about limits