E-ssentials Bulletin

E-ssentials Bulletin

General Business, Management & HR Issues

A satisfied customer is good: A loyal one is better
A satisfied customer will come back to your business if the price is right. A loyal customer comes back regardless of the price. How do you make more of your customers loyal customers? Here are six places to start.

Ten tips to improve your bottom line
The difference between a profitable business and a unprofitable one can lie in the little things. Here are 10 areas that you should consider looking into to see if you can improve them. You might be surprised at how a few changes can impact your bottom line.

Three key mistakes management often makes
For their companies to succeed, business owners must develop the ability to identify potential problems as early as possible. Unfortunately, as is shown by the number of businesses that fail each year, many companies don't detect or correct problems early enough. Here are three basic mistakes management often makes.

Wealth Advice, Retirement & Estate Planning

Don't miss deductions for higher education
Many tax deductions are available for higher education for you and your dependents. These include the American Opportunity Credit, the Lifetime Learning Credit, tuition and fees deduction, student loan interest deduction and savings plan. Planning is the key to maximizing your education dollar.

Is a relative hitting you up for a loan?
The economy has been tough for the past several years. Some of your friends or family members may be continuing to struggle financially. If they turn to you for a loan, is it a good idea to lend them money? If so, what should you consider and how should you carry out the transaction?

New Roth in-plan rollover guidance
New guidance has been provided by the IRS on rollovers within a retirement plan to designated Roth accounts in the same plan in-plan Roth rollovers. All contributions are after tax in a Roth IRA. But amounts held in a Roth IRA that are withdrawn as a qualified distribution are not taxable or subject to the 10-percent early withdrawal penalty.

Washington Tax Update

IRS looks at rollovers differently now

How the IRS interprets the "one rollover per year" rule when referring to IRA tax-free rollovers, changes beginning on Jan. 1, 2015. Previously, the IRS has said that the one-year waiting period applies separately to each of your IRAs. The Tax Court has interpreted the rule differently. And now the IRS has announced that it will follow the court's interpretation.

How same-sex marriage ruling applies to retirement plans

The IRS has recently provided guidance to businesses operating tax-qualified retirement plans for applying the U.S. Supreme Court's decision affecting same-sex married couples. Retirement plans are required to reflect the court's decision as of June 26, 2013.

Court: What counts is material participation

A federal district court in California has applied the passive activity loss rules to deny a deduction to a real estate professional for losses from rental real estate activities.

Foreign accounts must report electronically by June 30

Taxpayers with foreign accounts whose aggregate value exceeded $10,000 at any time during 2013 must file a new form electronically with the U.S. Treasury Department by June 30, according to the IRS.

Maybe Iowa built a time machine

What does a state legislature do after collecting $20 million or $30 million by mistake? Do they give it back - or change the law? That was the conundrum facing the Iowa state legislature after a law the legislators passed in 2008 accidentally repealed the state's tax on heavy equipment purchases.

The technical information here is necessarily brief. No final conclusion on these topics should be drawn without further review and consultation. Please be advised that, based on current IRS rules and standards, the information contained herein is not intended to be used, nor can it be used, for the avoidance of any tax penalty assessed by the IRS.

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