fed govt

The 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (H.R. 1)

The 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was signed into law on December 22, 2017.  The linked publication highlights the key changes and planning opportunities of individuals and businesses: CCH House-GOP-Tax-Cuts-Job-Act.

Chortek’s tax department is analyzing the impact of the tax law changes for our individual and business clients. We will expeditiously be developing strategies as additional clarification is published on the intricacies of the tax bill.

In the meantime, do not hesitate to reach out to our tax team with your questions.

See also “Why you may want to accelerate your property tax payment into 2017

 

 

Property Tax sign

Why you may want to accelerate your property tax payment into 2017

Accelerating deductible expenses, such as property tax on your home, into the current year typically is a good idea. Why? It will defer tax, which usually is beneficial. Prepaying property tax may be especially beneficial this year, because proposed tax legislation might reduce or eliminate the benefit of the property tax deduction beginning in 2018.

Proposed changes

The initial version of the House tax bill would cap the property tax deduction for individuals at $10,000. The initial version of the Senate tax bill would eliminate the property tax deduction for individuals altogether. Read More >

Woman looking at 100-dollar bills

Is it time to rethink your holiday bonuses?

Many employers feel obligated to hand out holiday bonuses. If you’ve been distributing such checks for years, without regard to merit or longevity, maybe it’s time to rethink this practice.

Merit-based rewards

Citing economic uncertainties or philosophical changes, some employers have done away with holiday bonuses altogether. This is an option, of course, but a better one may be to replace your across-the-board holiday bonuses with a merit-based program that rewards those who deserve extra recognition. Read More >

writing with a pencil

The Write Stuff: A Letter of Instructions

When you draft an estate plan, the centerpiece is your will or living trust. Such a document determines who gets what, where, when and how, as well as tying up the loose ends of your estate. A valid will or living trust can be supplemented by other legally binding documents, such as trusts (or additional trusts), powers of attorney and health care directives.

But there’s still a place at the table for a document that has absolutely no legal authority: a “letter of instructions” to your heirs. This informal letter can provide valuable guidance and act as a road map to the rest of your estate. Read More >

retirement plan 7

Are your retirement plan documents in complete agreement?

Pop quiz! What are the two legal documents that govern your company’s qualified retirement plan? It may not be a question that keeps you up at night, but it’s one that can trip up employers that sponsor such a plan.

The answer, of course, is: 1) an underlying plan document (UPD) and a summary plan description (SPD). But here’s an even scarier question — what if these two documents don’t completely agree with each other? Read More >

Tax Break for Hiring Veterans

2017 might be your last chance to hire veterans and claim a tax credit

With Veterans Day on November 11, it’s an especially good time to think about the sacrifices veterans have made for us and how we can support them. One way businesses can support veterans is to hire them. The Work Opportunity tax credit (WOTC) can help businesses do just that, but it may not be available for hires made after this year.

As released by the Ways and Means Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives on November 2, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act would eliminate the WOTC for hires after December 31, 2017. So you may want to consider hiring qualifying veterans before year end. Read More >

Glass office buildings with fall colors

How to maximize deductions for business real estate

Currently, a valuable income tax deduction related to real estate is for depreciation, but the depreciation period for such property is long and land itself isn’t depreciable. Whether real estate is occupied by your business or rented out, here’s how you can maximize your deductions: Read More >

Man climbing wooden steps

Business owners: Put your successor in a position to succeed

When it comes time to transition your role as business owner to someone else, you’ll face many changes. One of them is becoming a mentor. As such, you’ll have to communicate clearly, show some patience and have a clear conception of what you want to accomplish before stepping down. Here are some tips on putting your successor in a position to succeed: Read More >

erp updates

Waiting to Update Your ERP? It’ll Cost You!

STAY AHEAD OF THE CURVE ~UPDATE YOUR ERP

Check out the interesting research by Aberdeen | Content Spotlight. The research shows why you should keep your software updated; from why companies don’t have an ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) system to issues related to not having an ERP system. The research brief addresses key reason’s to replace an ERP system, including why your business should update your ERP. It also shows the interesting resulting improvements by just upgrading supporting emerging technologies.

ERP UPDATES KEYS TO SUCCESS

I don’t know that any of these are surprises but more of a confirmation that technology can be key to your company success. Keeping current can keep you ahead of your competition. Keeping current can keep your customers happy, while increasing efficiency and profitability in your operations.

Download the free research brief

Register for the live webinar, Staying Ahead of the Curve by Aberdeen | Epicor, on October 31st. 1:00 PM CST

 

protecting identity

Are You The Half Of The Population At Risk?

Equifax Hack

It has been widely reported that key identity information for nearly half of the US population has been leaked in a hack of Equifax, one of the three largest credit bureaus.  Information leaked includes names, social security numbers, birth dates and addresses. Those are primary identification information components of applying for credit, and will no doubt put all victims at elevated risk of fraud against their identity and credit history.

Protecting Identity

Standard best practices for protecting your identity apply directly to this situation.  Only the final recommendation (security freeze) would be special action to consider in light of this unfortunate leak at Equifax: Read More >