Tax Tip of the week

May 20, 2019

Landlords: Review the new 199A safe harbor rule

Owners of pass-through entities (S corporations, partnerships and limited liability companies) and sole proprietors can benefit from a new deduction under Section 199A of the tax code. And now the IRS has issued new final regulations providing greater clarity that includes a safe harbor rule for rental real estate activities.

Why it matters to landlords

Generally, the deduction is equal to 20 percent of your qualified business income (QBI) for the year, including your net income from an active trade or business. However, the deduction is phased out based on income levels and whether or not you're a taxpayer in a specified service trade or business (SSTB), such as an accountant, doctor or lawyer. Other limits based on wages of non-SSTB taxpayers may apply.

Don't let price increases deter existing customers

Escalating outlays and flatlined revenue can force a business to the emergency room, figuratively speaking. If the cost of materials, loans and labor soars, drastic steps may be needed. Sometimes you can avoid price increases by slashing production costs, renegotiating leases, changing suppliers or eliminating unprofitable products.

But it's a balancing act. If you begin to charge more, even loyal customers may balk. Some may flee to competitors. Social media may bristle with negative reviews. When price increases become necessary, it's crucial to keep existing customers coming back. Consider following these suggestions:

Avoid these 3 homeowner's insurance mistakes

Looking for a way to tackle insomnia? Read your homeowner's insurance policy. Kidding aside, it's worth the effort. As many families have learned the hard way, failing to evaluate policy details can lead to unanticipated expenses when disaster strikes.

Sweat the fine print, especially if you're a first-time homebuyer, and don't make these three blunders:

Previous Tax Tips of the Week

January 28, 2019

Use your tax refund for an IRA contribution

You may already know that contributions to a traditional IRA may be deductible on your personal tax return (subject to certain limits). You're allowed to deduct a contribution on your 2018 return that is made as late as April 15.

But are you aware that you can use this year's tax refund to make your IRA contribution for the 2018 tax year?

Previous Business Tips of the Month

January 2019

6 tips to cut business costs in 2019

Early in the year is a perfect time to reassess your business, including organizational structure, policies, marketing and more. Reviewing company costs can also pay huge dividends throughout the year if you can create an expense-cutting plan and stick to it. Here are a few ideas for reducing costs with your bottom line in mind:

Previous Business Tips of the Month

December 2018

How not to lose your best employees
In today's tight labor market, finding and retaining top talent can be daunting. Ideally, you'll discover and hire workers who fit your company culture, sign on to its mission, and stick around for the long haul. But retaining your "best and brightest" can be a balancing act. Here are five suggestions:

Previous Financial Tips of the Month

January 2019

3 investment blunders everyone should avoid

Whether you're a seasoned investor or new to the game, you'll want to make a conscious effort to avoid these three common investment mistakes:

Previous Financial Tips of the Month

December 2018

Taking out a loan? Answer 3 questions first
For many Americans, debt has become a way of life. A recent LendingTree analysis of the latest Federal Reserve data showed that total U.S. consumer debt is on track to exceed $4 trillion this year. The analysis showed Americans collectively owe more than 26 percent of their monthly income on consumer debt, including car loans, credit card accounts and student or personal loans.