E-ssentials Bulletin

E-ssentials Bulletin

General Business, Management & HR Issues

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.

Be sure to carefully document auto expenses
If you are audited and don't have strong enough substantiation for your auto expenses, the IRS will likely deny your entire deduction - even if it is obvious that you used your vehicle for business purposes. The Tax Court made that very clear in a case this summer.

How to lower tax on business stock sales
With an increased capital gain tax rate of 20 percent for tax years 2013 and after, small-business owners should be aware of a provision that eliminates one-half or more of capital gains recognized on the sale of their corporate business.

Wealth Advice, Retirement & Estate Planning

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.

More renounce U.S. citizenship as tax laws toughen
All we seem to hear about these days is how many people want to move into the United States. So, it may come as a surprise to learn that more Americans than ever want to move out. Last year, 3,000 people gave up their American citizenship, more than triple the number in 2012 - many for tax reasons.

Social Security: Baby Boomers can rest easier
Baby Boomers looking forward to retirement can stop worrying that there won't be enough money in the Social Security fund to cover their checks, according to the new annual report of the U.S. Treasury. But the disability insurance fund is depleting quickly, and legislation will be needed soon to fund it.

Washington Tax Update

Donate property - Claim a tax deduction?

With tax season 2014 fast approaching, a few tips regarding donating property seem in order. Specifically, clothing, household items and cars are the most common items donated to qualified organizations.

Last-minute IRA contribution OK with proper request

The date of an irrevocable letter of authorization that an individual sent to a financial services company should be considered the date of the contribution to his retirement account, the IRS determined in a recent private letter ruling. This situation involved a taxpayer who sent his financial services company a letter of authorization instructing the company to transfer funds from one of the taxpayer's nonretirement accounts to an IRA.

Taxpayers learn hard lesson about filing deadlines

File your tax returns in a timely manner, or your filing status may be determined for you - by the IRS. That's the lesson Donald Thomas Salzer and his wife learned the hard way.

More medical expenses needed to meet deduction threshold

There was a major change to the threshold percentage regarding the medical expense deduction in 2013. Starting in tax year 2013, your medical expenses now must exceed 10 percent of your adjusted gross income for you to receive any tax benefit from those expenses. The rate prior to the change in 2013 was 7.5 percent.

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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