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Rooted in success since 1948, TWRU CPAs & Financial Advisors have been offering solid financial advice and guidance to individuals and businesses for over seventy years. Today, we provide select clientele independent, professional financial planning and investment advisory services, along with traditional accounting and other reporting services.

A review of significant TCJA provisions affecting small businesses

  Now that small businesses and their owners have filed their 2017 income tax returns (or filed for an extension), it’s a good time to review some of the provisions of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) that may significantly impact their taxes for 2018 and beyond. Generally, the changes apply to tax years beginning after December 31, 2017, and are permanent, unless otherwise noted. Corporate taxation Replacement of graduated corporate rates ranging from 15% to 35% with a flat corporate rate of 21% Replacement of the flat personal...

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Manage health benefits costs with a multipronged approach

  Many companies offer health care benefits to help ensure employee wellness and compete for better job candidates. And the Affordable Care Act has been using both carrots and sticks (depending on employer size) to encourage businesses to offer health coverage. If you sponsor a health care plan, you know this is no small investment. It may seem next to impossible to control rising plan costs, which are subject to a variety of factors beyond your control. But the truth is, all business owners can control at least a portion...

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Accounting for pledges isn’t as simple as it might seem

  When a donor promises to make a contribution at a later date, your not-for-profit likely welcomes it. But such pledges can come with complicated accounting issues. Conditional vs. unconditional Let’s say a donor makes a pledge in April 2018 to contribute $10,000 in January 2019. You generally will create a pledge receivable and recognize the revenue for the April 2018 financial period. When the payment is received in January 2019, you’ll apply it to the receivable. No new revenue will result in January because the revenue already was recorded....

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4 estate planning techniques for blended families

Today, it’s not unusual for a family to include children from prior marriages. These “blended” families can create estate planning complications that may lead to challenges in the courts after your death. Fortunately, you can reduce the chances of family squabbles by using estate planning techniques designed to preserve wealth for your heirs in the manner you want, with a minimum of estate tax erosion, if any. Here are four examples: 1. Will. Your will generally determines who gets what, when, where and how. It may be combined with “inter...

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Taking it to the streets: 7 marketing strategies to consider

  With such intense focus on digital marketing these days, business owners can overlook the fact that there are actual, physical places to interact with the buying public. Now that spring is here and summer is on the way, it’s a good time to rediscover the possibilities of “street marketing.” Here are seven strategies to consider: 1. Set up a booth at an outdoor festival or public event. Give out product samples or brochures to inform potential customers about your company. You might also hand out small souvenirs, such as...

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Get ready for the new lease standard

  A new accounting rule for reporting leases goes into effect in 2019 for public companies. Although private companies have been granted a one-year reprieve, no business should wait until the last minute to start the implementation process. Some recently revised guidance is intended to ease implementation. Here’s an overview of what’s changing. Old rules, new rules Under the existing rules, companies must record lease obligations on their balance sheets only if the arrangements are considered financing transactions. Few arrangements get recorded, because accounting rules give companies leeway to arrange...

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Personal exemptions and standard deductions and tax credits, oh my!

Under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), individual income tax rates generally go down for 2018 through 2025. But that doesn’t necessarily mean your income tax liability will go down. The TCJA also makes a lot of changes to tax breaks for individuals, reducing or eliminating some while expanding others. The total impact of all of these changes is what will ultimately determine whether you see reduced taxes. One interrelated group of changes affecting many taxpayers are those to personal exemptions, standard deductions and the child credit. Personal exemptions...

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Can you deduct home office expenses?

Working from home has become commonplace. But just because you have a home office space doesn’t mean you can deduct expenses associated with it. And for 2018, even fewer taxpayers will be eligible for a home office deduction. Changes under the TCJA For employees, home office expenses are a miscellaneous itemized deduction. For 2017, this means you’ll enjoy a tax benefit only if these expenses plus your other miscellaneous itemized expenses (such as unreimbursed work-related travel, certain professional fees and investment expenses) exceed 2% of your adjusted gross income. For...

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State and local sales tax deduction remains, but subject to a new limit

Individual taxpayers who itemize their deductions can deduct either state and local income taxes or state and local sales taxes. The ability to deduct state and local taxes — including income or sales taxes, as well as property taxes — had been on the tax reform chopping block, but it ultimately survived. However, for 2018 through 2025, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act imposes a new limit on the state and local tax deduction. Will you benefit from the sales tax deduction on your 2017 or 2018 tax return? Your...

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Families with college students may save tax on their 2017 returns with one of these breaks

  Whether you had a child in college (or graduate school) last year or were a student yourself, you may be eligible for some valuable tax breaks on your 2017 return. One such break that had expired December 31, 2016, was just extended under the recently passed Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018: the tuition and fees deduction. But a couple of tax credits are also available. Tax credits can be especially valuable because they reduce taxes dollar-for-dollar; deductions reduce only the amount of income that’s taxed. Higher education breaks 101...

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