E-ssentials Bulletin

E-ssentials Bulletin

General Business, Management & HR Issues

Which college majors translate into the highest-paying jobs?
New studies by Payscale.com measure the salaries the college graduates can expect according to their majors. Which majors bring the biggest salaries in later life, and which bring the lowest? There are definite trends. And which college graduates feel the most underemployed?

Buy/sell agreements: Don't be without one
A buy-sell agreement is one of the most important legal documents a closely held or family business can hold. Business owners should have a well-drafted buy-sell agreement in the event of death or disability of the owner or the owner's wish to sell or transfer interest in the company.

New ownership? How to quell employee fears
Fear is the No. 1 emotion felt by employees faced with a merger, acquisition or change in leadership. Suspicion or mistrust runs a close second. Management can't retreat behind a veil of silence. They must have open lines of communication with employees to earn their trust.

Wealth Advice, Retirement & Estate Planning

Is investing in art or antiques for you?
Most people who buy art and antiques do it for fun or enjoyment. Only about 10 percent of buyers are hoping to make a profit. Extra costs are involved, art and antiques are not as liquid as stocks and bonds, and tax treatment of profits is not as favorable. And special expertise is needed to make it profitable. Still, does this type of investing interest you?

Study: Wealthy more concerned about poor than politics
The wealthy are more concerned about the less fortunate than some cynics might think, according to a recent study. Two-thirds say they are concerned about economic inequality and donate to causes that focus on poverty and hunger. In contrast, less than one-third donated to a political cause.

Avoiding probate: How a revocable trust helps
A last will and testament estate plan will provide the essential details of who will inherit your property, when and how they will inherit it and who will be put in charge of settling your final affairs. A revocable living trust covers these important points, but avoids the probate process. Here are the pros and cons of each.

Washington Tax Update

Using standard mileage rate has limitations

You have a choice between using the business standard mileage rate or actual expenses when calculating the fixed and operating costs of an automobile. Once you select a method, you must use that method for the entire tax year. But there are some limitations on the eligibility to use the business standard mileage rate.

Applying repair regulations simplified for small businesses

Just in time for small business owners' 2014 tax returns, a procedure for easier compliance with final tangible property repair regulations was announced by the IRS last week. The simplified procedure is now available starting with the 2014 income tax return, which taxpayers or their tax professionals are currently preparing.

Citizen of a U.S. state can't avoid federal income tax

A number of states - as many as 20, stretching from New Jersey to Oregon to Texas - have citizens who would like to assert their independence from the federal government. John Trowbridge Jr. found out the hard way that living in Texas means he is a U.S. citizen and is subject to U.S. tax laws.

State and local sales taxes deductible when itemizing

You have a choice between deducting state and local sales taxes or state and local income taxes. A prudent tax planner would obviously choose the larger of the two deductions. The option to deduct state and local sales taxes benefits the residents of Alaska, Florida, Nevada, South Dakota, Texas, Washington and Wyoming. These states don't impose a state income tax.

The technical information here is necessarily brief. No final conclusion on these topics should be drawn without further review and consultation.

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