Monthly Archives: April 2013

Tax elections give you choices

Choices. They’re everywhere. In tax law, choices are called elections, and they can have consequences for your current return, as well as prior and future year returns.

You may not even think of some tax choices as elections, such as deciding to file jointly or separately, using the standard deduction instead of itemizing, or filing for an extension of time to submit your return. Continue reading

AMT rules become permanent

Perhaps you’ve heard about the permanent patch for the alternative minimum tax (AMT), which was part of the new tax legislation that became law in January. The change eliminates the need for the annual wait for Congress to “fix” the AMT exemption, and means less uncertainty going forward. If you’re wondering how the new rules will affect your 2012 federal income tax return, here are the details. Continue reading

Give your graduate some financial lessons

It’s unfortunate, but many schools — including institutions of higher learning — spend little time educating their charges about the fundamentals of personal finance. Some kids view credit cards and loans as pipelines to free cash. Some never learn to balance a checkbook. Others consider saving for the future as a drag on today’s fun and a waste of perfectly good pizza money. All too many make poor choices in their twenties and thirties, then look back with regret from the vantage point of middle age, wishing they had saved more and spent less. Continue reading

Safeguards for reducing employee theft

The U.S. Commerce Department estimates that American companies lose $20 billion to $40 billion  annually to employee theft. It’s a huge problem, and small retail businesses tend to suffer disproportionately. Why? Smaller firms often operate on razor-thin profit margins. As a result, when employees misappropriate assets or “cook the books” at a small company — especially over long periods — the impact can be devastating.

Fortunately, employee theft can be prevented or minimized — even at a small retail firm — by implementing the following common sense safeguards: Continue reading