Motivation. It’s a relatively simple word, but encouraging it among your employees can be a challenge. Maybe that’s because, fundamentally, enthusiasm must come from within. It’s not something you can implant in someone externally. For this reason, employers sometimes need to get back to the basics of employee motivation to identify the right ways to inspire their workforces. Maslow’s hierarchy Every employee has needs. Some just want to do a good job and go home happy. Others want to earn as much money as possible. Determining what will drive each person may boil down to figuring out what makes him or her tick as a human being. Psychologist Abraham Maslow developed a “hierarchy of needs” for humanity. Those needs, as they apply to the workplace, are: Physiological: Being able to earn enough to acquire food, shelter, clothing and other survival necessities is usually an employee’s most basic need. Safety: Having a secure and non-threatening work environment, safe equipment and job security is the next most basic need. Social: Once physiological and safety needs are met, employees typically are looking to fulfill higher-level needs. The first of these is generally positive relationships with managers and coworkers and feeling like part of […] Read More
The dawning of 2019 means the 2018 income tax filing season will soon be upon us. After year end, it’s generally too late to take action to reduce 2018 taxes. Business owners may, therefore, want to shift their focus to assessing whether they’ll likely owe taxes or get a refund when they file their returns this spring, so they can plan accordingly. With the biggest tax law changes in decades — under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) — generally going into effect beginning in 2018, most businesses and their owners will be significantly impacted. So, refreshing yourself on the major changes is a good idea. Taxation of pass-through entities These changes generally affect owners of S corporations, partnerships and limited liability companies (LLCs) treated as partnerships, as well as sole proprietors: Drops of individual income tax rates ranging from 0 to 4 percentage points (depending on the bracket) to 10%, 12%, 22%, 24%, 32%, 35% and 37% A new 20% qualified business income deduction for eligible owners (the Section 199A deduction) Changes to many other tax breaks for individuals that will impact owners’ overall tax liability Taxation of corporations These changes generally affect C corporations, personal service corporations […] Read More
Retirement plan contribution limits are indexed for inflation, and many have gone up for 2019, giving you opportunities to increase your retirement savings: Elective deferrals to 401(k), 403(b), 457(b)(2) and 457(c)(1) plans: $19,000 (up from $18,500) Contributions to defined contribution plans: $56,000 (up from $55,000) Contributions to SIMPLEs: $13,000 (up from $12,500) Contributions to IRAs: $6,000 (up from $5,500) One exception is catch-up contributions for taxpayers age 50 or older, which remain at the same levels as for 2018: Catch-up contributions to 401(k), 403(b), 457(b)(2) and 457(c)(1) plans: $6,000 Catch-up contributions to SIMPLEs: $3,000 Catch-up contributions to IRAs: $1,000 Keep in mind that additional factors may affect how much you’re allowed to contribute (or how much your employer can contribute on your behalf). For example, income-based limits may reduce or eliminate your ability to make Roth IRA contributions or to make deductible traditional IRA contributions. For more on how to make the most of your tax-advantaged retirement-saving opportunities in 2019, please contact us. © 2018 Read More
Tax planning is a year-round activity, but there are still some year-end strategies you can use to lower your 2018 tax bill. Here are six last-minute tax moves business owners should consider: Postpone invoices. If your business uses the cash method of accounting, and it would benefit from deferring income to next year, wait until early 2019 to send invoices. Accrual-basis businesses can defer recognition of certain advance payments for products to be delivered or services to be provided next year. Prepay expenses. A cash-basis business may be able to reduce its 2018 taxes by prepaying certain expenses — such as lease payments, insurance premiums, utility bills, office supplies, and taxes — before the end of the year. Many expenses can be deducted up to 12 months in advance. Buy equipment. Take advantage of 100% bonus depreciation and Section 179 expensing to deduct the full cost of qualifying equipment or other fixed assets. Under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, bonus depreciation, like Sec. 179 expensing, is now available for both new and used assets. Keep in mind that, to deduct the expense on your 2018 return, the assets must be placed in service — not just purchased — by the […] Read More
With the dawn of 2019 on the near horizon, here’s a quick list of tax and financial to-dos you should address before 2018 ends: Check your FSA balance. If you have a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) for health care expenses, you need to incur qualifying expenses by December 31 to use up these funds or you’ll potentially lose them. (Some plans allow you to carry over up to $500 to the following year or give you a 2-1/2-month grace period to incur qualifying expenses.) Use expiring FSA funds to pay for eyeglasses, dental work or eligible drugs or health products. Max out tax-advantaged savings. Reduce your 2018 income by contributing to traditional IRAs, employer-sponsored retirement plans or Health Savings Accounts to the extent you’re eligible. (Certain vehicles, including traditional and SEP IRAs, allow you to deduct contributions on your 2018 return if they’re made by April 15, 2019.) Take RMDs. If you’ve reached age 70-1/2, you generally must take required minimum distributions (RMDs) from IRAs or qualified employer-sponsored retirement plans before the end of the year to avoid a 50% penalty. If you turned 70½ this year, you have until April 1, 2019, to take your first RMD. But keep […] Read More
Investors, lenders and other stakeholders have been vocal in recent years about pushing companies to provide more information in their financial reports about cybersecurity. Could your company do a better job disclosing cyberrisks and recent hacks? Most public companies could do better, according to recent testimony during congressional hearings by Jay Clayton, Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Here are ways his agency is attempting to “refresh” the disclosure guidance. Updating the guidance The SEC doesn’t expect to overhaul its Disclosure Guidance: Topic No. 2, Cybersecurity. Rather, it plans to consider whether important information about cybersecurity should be disclosed to stakeholders within the context of the existing rules. For example, companies may need to beef up their management’s discussion and analysis (MD&A) and footnote disclosures to reflect potential cyberrisks and material financial implications of data breaches. The current guidance on cybersecurity, which was published in 2011, doesn’t include a specific requirement for companies to disclose computer system intrusions. The SEC’s effort to update the guidance comes amid concerns that more public companies have been experiencing attacks to their computer systems, but their disclosures haven’t been timely or informative enough. Changes in the works Regulators in the SEC don’t […] Read More
Tyler, Simms & St. Sauveur, CPAs, P.C.
Phone: +1 (603) 653-0044