E-ssentials Bulletin

E-ssentials Bulletin

General Business, Management & HR Issues

Are you capturing the knowledge of retiring workers?
Baby Boomers have begun to retire in record numbers. When they leave your company, will they take with them years of accumulated knowledge and know-how? Or do you have processes in place to capture that knowledge and pass it on to employees of the future?

Whistleblowers: IRS clarifies informant rewards
Informants have been turning in tax cheats since the 1800s. But the program became formalized in 2006 when the IRS Whistleblower Office was created and awards became less discretionary. The IRS recently clarified more information about the rewards. How much do informants receive for turning in those who cheat on their taxes?

Ever wish you could take that email back?
Most people have hit the send button and later wished they could take their email back. It's bad enough in your personal life, but when a mistake happens at work, the consequences can be serious. Here are some major email gaffes as well as some guidelines to better email etiquette for the modern age.

Wealth Advice, Retirement & Estate Planning

Would your estate benefit from a gifting strategy?
A comprehensive gifting plan can greatly reduce the size of the donor's estate and minimize future estate tax liability. Gifting also allows the donor to make gifts to heirs and see how those gifts are used and enjoyed. This can be a very fulfilling experience for many donors.

Inherit an IRA from your spouse? The rules
What does a surviving spouse need to consider as the beneficiary of an IRA? Like any other IRA beneficiary, 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 options.

Are the wealthy making good executor choices?
Only one in four of the nation's highest net worth individuals considered the health or longevity of the person they named as executor of their estate, according to a new study. Most also didn't give much consideration to the health, emotional state, time availability or mental health of the person they appointed executor.

Washington Tax Update

Travel expenses: Maximize your tax deductions

Travel expenses are tax deductible when you're away on business. As long as the trip is primarily business in nature, a tax planning element is available. You can spend some of your time for pleasure or personal purposes and still deduct most of your travel expenses.

Tax Court: Taxpayer unsuccessful 'wheeler-dealer'

Gerald Wayne Wheeler and the IRS seemed to be playing a game of "Who's the True Earner?" - and Wheeler lost. The U.S. Tax Court recently settled sales proceeds, inventory basis, rental payment and income questions raised by the IRS in Gerald Wayne Wheeler v. Commissioner, U.S. Tax Court, T.C. Memo 2014-204.

Income from investing tax-exempt income is still taxable

Douglas and Renitta Lundy are a married couple who failed to distinguish between disability payments that are excludable from income and the income that such payments may produce when they are invested.

Taxpayers must meet criteria for student loan interest deductions

Taxpayers may deduct from their gross income certain interest they pay on a qualified education loan, according to Section 221 of the Internal Revenue Code. This deduction is known as an "above the line" deduction because it is a deduction on page one of your tax return. You do not have to file a Schedule A and itemize your deductions to claim this one.

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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