E-ssentials Bulletin

E-ssentials Bulletin

General Business, Management & HR Issues

How fighting ageism can help your business
Like other forms of discrimination, ageism is based on stereotypes and assumptions, most of them negative. Age is a false measure of employee value. Instead, choose your employees based on the qualities, talents and commitment they bring to your company, regardless of birth date.

How to run a meeting on a controversial subject
Every now and then, a business meeting will be scheduled that is expected to be contentious. What strategies can be used to make the meeting as productive as possible while addressing controversial or inflammatory subjects? Here are some tips.

Seven ways to improve employee evaluations
There are many issues that affect evaluations, from the communication styles of the manager and employee to the degree of knowledge the manager has of the job being evaluated. Here are seven steps to improving the evaluations process at your company.

Wealth Advice, Retirement & Estate Planning

Millionaires holding more cash than before recession
Many Americans haven't recovered from being burned in the stock market plunge of the late 2000s. Over half of the multimillionaires polled in a recent study currently are holding one-tenth of their fortune in cash, and intend to keep it there. And two in 10 millionaires have 25 percent of their portfolios in cash.

Renting vs. buying: What do older Americans do?
As Americans get older, are they more likely to buy or rent? The answer might surprise you. At age 50, 73 percent of Americans own their own homes. But by age 65, that number has increased to more than 81 percent, according to a new study by the Employee Benefit Research Institute.

Don't leave your loved ones without a will
This may be surprising, but more than 40 percent of aging Baby Boomers don't have a will. The reasons they give: They don't have enough assets, the cost of preparing a will is too expensive or they're just plain procrastinating. But what happens if you die intestate - without a will?

Washington Tax Update

Beneficiary spouses face important IRA decisions

Most husbands and wives name their spouse as the primary beneficiary of their IRA. What does a surviving spouse need to consider as the beneficiary? Like any other beneficiary of a decedent's IRA, a surviving spouse can receive a distribution as a beneficiary. But a surviving spouse who is the sole beneficiary of the decedent's IRA has two additional favorable options that are not available to other beneficiaries.

Technical termination doesn't end amortization

A new partnership formed because of a "technical termination" must continue amortizing any startup and organizational expenses over the remaining portion of the amortization period adopted by the terminating partnership, according to final regulations issued by the IRS.

A loan should look like a loan

A business owner who advanced funds to a new employee was not entitled to deduct as a business bad debt either the funds that he knowingly advanced or the funds that the employee misappropriated from the business, the Tax Court determined recently.

Something missing? Shortened numbers safeguard identity

Final IRS regulations make permanent, and expand the scope of, proposed regulations that allow the use of truncated, or shortened, taxpayer identification numbers on payee statements and certain other documents. A truncated taxpayer identification number displays only the last four digits of a taxpayer identifying number and uses asterisks or X's for the first five digits.

Tax debate: No small potatoes?

For Zack Brown, Danger is his middle name. Really! Apparently his name is Zack Danger Brown. So who is Zack Brown? He is an online pseudo-celebrity on a site called Kickstarter. In exchange for money provided by strangers, Brown will make a potato salad. What is really fascinating about this story is the debate that has been stirred up in the financial press as to whether the $50,000 or more (less expenses such as potatoes and Kickstarter's fee) that Brown is expected to receive will be subject to income tax under the general theory of "income from whatever source derived."

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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