E-ssentials Bulletin

E-ssentials Bulletin

General Business, Management & HR Issues

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.

HSAs vs. HRAs: Differences may affect employee health
As an employer, you must make important decisions about employee healthcare coverage. Among the many options are health savings accounts and health reimbursement arrangements. Do you know the difference between an HSA and an HRA? Which would be best to offer your employees?


Wealth Advice, Retirement & Estate Planning

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.

Investing in bonds: How it differs from stocks
How does investing in bonds differ from investing in stocks? The corporation or government entity that issued the bond is borrowing from you, promising to pay you back at a certain date and to pay interest. You are taking the risk that you may not be paid back. There are many other differences as well.


Washington Tax Update

Getting married? Divorced? Could affect premium tax credit

If you're getting married - or divorced - and you or your spouse is insured through the Health Insurance Marketplace, you need to inform the Marketplace of your change of status.

Disability insurance funds depleting: Won’t cover payments by 2016

Social Security has two funds: one for "old age and survivors" and the other for disability insurance. The retirement fund is going strong and is funded through 2033, according to the recently released annual report of the U.S. Treasury. But the disability insurance fund is depleting quickly.

Supermarket giant loses Tax Court challenge

The Giant Eagle supermarket and gas station chain wanted to claim a tax deduction for unredeemed discounts issued through its "Fuelperks!"campaign. But the huge supermarket took a nose dive in a recent case before the Tax Court.

A more realistic version of the 'Taxpayer Bill of Rights'

Several years ago, the IRS issued its "Taxpayer Bill of Rights." These spell out the minimum standard of service that you should expect from your dealings with the IRS. Now a taxpayer has written more specific rights for taxpayers.


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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