E-ssentials Bulletin

E-ssentials Bulletin

General Business, Management & HR Issues

Ten tips to improve your bottom line
The difference between a profitable business and a unprofitable one can lie in the little things. Here are 10 areas that you should consider looking into to see if you can improve them. You might be surprised at how a few changes can impact your bottom line.

Three key mistakes management often makes
For their companies to succeed, business owners must develop the ability to identify potential problems as early as possible. Unfortunately, as is shown by the number of businesses that fail each year, many companies don't detect or correct problems early enough. Here are three basic mistakes management often makes.

When are Americans happiest and most stressed?
Some days of the year are happier than others ... and some bring Americans stress. Gallup does a daily poll of thousands of American adults to find out just what days bring us joy and which bring us stress. Some you would expect. Others not so much. The famous research group also offers some tips for reducing stress at work.

Wealth Advice, Retirement & Estate Planning

Is a relative hitting you up for a loan?
The economy has been tough for the past several years. Some of your friends or family members may be continuing to struggle financially. If they turn to you for a loan, is it a good idea to lend them money? If so, what should you consider and how should you carry out the transaction?

New Roth in-plan rollover guidance
New guidance has been provided by the IRS on rollovers within a retirement plan to designated Roth accounts in the same plan in-plan Roth rollovers. All contributions are after tax in a Roth IRA. But amounts held in a Roth IRA that are withdrawn as a qualified distribution are not taxable or subject to the 10-percent early withdrawal penalty.

MyRA: How the new IRA works
If you listened to the State of the Union address in January, you heard President Obama unveil a new type of retirement savings plan called a "myRA." A MyRA is a savings vehicle designed to serve people whose employers do not provide access to a retirement plan. How exactly does it work?

Washington Tax Update

Time is money if IRS holds your refund

The IRS is holding almost $760 million in unclaimed refunds relating to calendar year 2010 alone, and the clock is ticking. Someone who is owed a refund for 2010 and has yet to file a tax return generally has only until April 15, 2014, to file.

Virtual currency can mean real taxes

The IRS has provided guidance in the form of frequently asked questions on the tax treatment of virtual currency, such as Bitcoin. It is treated as property for U.S. federal tax purposes.

Can a trust be a 'real estate professional'?

The Tax Court has determined that a trust that owned real estate properties and engaged in other real estate activities qualified for the exception to the passive activity loss rules for real estate professionals. The issue in the case was whether a trust can qualify as a real estate professional.

Final answer? Severance payments can be taxed

The U.S. Supreme Court has issued the final word on the taxation of severance payments. In a unanimous decision, the Supreme Court - reversing the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals - has held that severance payments made to involuntarily terminated employees and not tied to the receipt of state unemployment insurance are subject to tax under the Federal Insurance Contributions Act.

Unionized college athletes: Taxes? What taxes?

The sports world has been abuzz with the news that the National Labor Relations Board ruled in favor of football players at Northwestern University, giving the players the right to form a union. Most of the chatter is about the effects such a move could have on college sports. The tax world is also talking about the questions raised by this development.

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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