Five Steps to Prepare for a Business Sale

How to improve your position If you are a successful business owner, you should prepare for the day when you hand over the reins—perhaps to a younger family member—or sell the business outright. In the event you are predisposed to sell, you could be leaving some money on the table if you do not put
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Tax Pros and Cons of Municipal Bonds

Balanced view of investment tax aspects Municipal bonds (often called “munis” for short) may be attractive to high-income taxpayers, but there are a number of potential tax drawbacks as well. Here is a brief look from both sides of the fence. Tax Pros of Munis First, and most important, the interest income is exempt from
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Four Top Retirement Plans for Self-employeds

Weigh all retirement plan options At one time, pension plans and other qualified retirement plans were usually offered only by larger companies, but now, many small companies have caught up. In fact, if you are self-employed with just one or two employees—or maybe just yourself—you still have plenty of retirement plan options at your disposal.
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Entering a Roth Through the Back Door

Is this retirement strategy right for you? The door to Roth IRAs is closed to some high-income taxpayers because of annual limits imposed on contributions. But you may be able to use a “back-door” method that is perfectly legal. This technique may help you preserve more assets for your eventual retirement. Background: With a Roth IRA,
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Promote Better Health in the Workplace

Wellness programs may offer benefits Take notice of these statistics: According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than one-third (36.5%) of U.S. adults are considered obese. In 2008, the estimated annual medical cost of obesity in the United States was $147 billion U.S. dollars, while the medical costs for obese people
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How to Safeguard Your Computer Network

Steps for improving security measures Would you ask a salesperson to hold onto your wallet or pocketbook while you go shopping in their store? Of course not. Yet, in effect, some small-business owners are doing virtually the same thing with their computer networks when they conduct business online. It is almost like giving hackers a
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Study the Two Education Tax Credits

If your child is going back to college this fall, you may be in line for either one of two higher-education credits: 1. American Opportunity Tax Credit (AOTC): The maximum $2,500 AOTC may be claimed for each student in the family. It is available for up to four years of study. 2. Lifetime Learning Credit (LLC): The
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What’s the Tax Payoff from Gambling?

Losses may offset annual winnings Do you enjoy the thrill of gambling? Whether you end up winning or losing, it is important to understand the main tax rules related to your gambling activities. Otherwise, you may end up owing considerably more tax than you normally would have to pay. Background: On the federal level, gambling winnings
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Seven Midyear Strategies in Vogue

Popular ideas for individuals and businesses While the climate for tax reform remains uncertain, individual taxpayers and small-business owners are advised to act based on the current laws of the land, unless there is a definite change. Keeping that in mind, here are seven ideas to consider as we head into summer. 1. Harvest capital gains
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Tax Window for Vacation Homes

Perhaps you own a vacation home that you and your family use personally. Key tax break: There is a unique tax window of opportunity for short-term rentals. If the rental for the year lasts 14 days or less, you do not have to report any income or expenses on your tax return. For example, say you
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