E-ssentials Bulletin

E-ssentials Bulletin

General Business, Management & HR Issues

Next up in the workplace: Generation Z
If you're just starting to learn how to work best with members of the Millennial generation, brace yourself. A whole new generation is starting to enter the workforce. Generation Z has a whole different set of expectations and workplace behaviors. Within five years, they'll hold 20 percent of the jobs.

Is your business tuned in to changes in U.S. population?
The makeup of the population of the United States is changing - and it's changing quickly. Businesses large and small need to be aware of those changes to help them stay a step ahead of the competition in the future as far as inventory, design, potential expansion, advertising appeals and other commercial strategies.

Difficulty finding capital still hampers growth
In 2015, small business credit is again a key factor hampering growth and expansion. Businesses at all stages cite lack of credit availability as a top concern. While there is some encouraging news, approval rates for loans are less than half at small banks and credit unions.

Wealth Advice, Retirement & Estate Planning

Retirees who planned happiest in retirement
Overall, 87 percent of 1,000 retired Baby Boomers surveyed by Ameriprise Financial, Inc., are "very satisfied" with the decision to retire when they did. Nearly half of recent retirees feel they estimated their retirement savings accurately, and 28 percent more say they will actually need less than they saved.

Semi-retirement on rise for many reasons
More people are semi-retiring these days - or want to semi-retire when they reach the age. One in five Americans reaching retirement age opts to continue working, but fewer hours, while nearly half of younger working Americans plan to semi-retire before fully retiring, according to a new study.

Approach crowdfunding investments with caution
Crowdfunding is a method of funding ventures that helps small and medium-sized businesses raise capital while spreading risk among numerous investors who are risking relatively small amounts. If the business is successful, there could be a high return to investors. But it should be approached cautiously because so many business ventures fail.

Washington Tax Update

American Opportunity Tax Credit: What expenses qualify?

Qualified education expenses under the American Opportunity Tax Credit are basically tuition, fees and course materials. The tuition must be paid to an eligible educational institution.

Frivolous return nets big fine

The U.S. Tax Court recently upheld the IRS's frivolous return position, costing a taxpayer $10,000 in fines. The taxpayer failed to file tax returns for 2005, even though he admitted that he had received compensation. He claimed the compensation did not constitute "wages" and therefore it was not taxable income.

Tenant's rent - skips landlord - goes directly to IRS

The U.S. Tax Court settled a case in July between a landlord and a tenant who wasn't paying rent - and the court came down on the side of the tenant.

Hobby expenses deductible to extent of hobby income

Most people are probably familiar with the general tax rule about hobbies: You can deduct expenses only to the extent that you have income from the hobby. This rule applies to individuals, S corporations, partnerships, estates and trusts.

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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