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Texas Payday Law, Part 1: Is Your Exempt Staff Truly Exempt?

  • 10 February 2015
  • Author: Cari Holbrook
  • Number of views: 1818
  • 0 Comments
Texas Payday Law, Part 1: Is Your Exempt Staff Truly Exempt?
Let’s say today the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) decided to investigate whether your exempt and nonexempt employees are being compensated fairly. Do you think you’d pass the test? Before you answer, consider this: Even the major accounting firms routinely run into problems classifying their own employees (see this latest ruling regarding entry-level associates).

Special Notice on ACA Changes to 2014 Tax Preparation

  • 28 January 2015
  • Author: Cari Holbrook
  • Number of views: 1545
  • 0 Comments
Special Notice on ACA Changes to 2014 Tax Preparation
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) affects all 2014 individual tax returns. In order to prepare your return, your tax preparer will likely need additional information this year

Four Important Estate Tax Rules for 2015

  • 27 January 2015
  • Author: Cari Holbrook
  • Number of views: 1686
  • 0 Comments
Four Important Estate Tax Rules for 2015

What’s the single best way to reduce estate tax in 2015? Don’t die. Aside from that, the following points are a few things you should know about leaving your hard-earned assets to loved ones this year. If it’s been a while since you’ve updated your estate plan (or you have yet to create one), pay attention to some big changes that have occurred in recent years.

Married in Texas: File Jointly or Separately?

  • 13 January 2015
  • Author: Cari Holbrook
  • Number of views: 5185
  • 0 Comments
Married in Texas:  File Jointly or Separately?

In Texas, determining whether married couples should file jointly or separately on federal income taxes can be fairly simple. Texas is a community property state, which means the earnings of each married spouse are considered “joint” by default. So, in most cases, filing jointly is the obvious path. But are there exceptions? Of course!



Early Tax Refund? Don't Count On It.

  • 16 December 2014
  • Author: Cari Holbrook
  • Number of views: 1685
  • 0 Comments
Early Tax Refund?  Don't Count On It.

You may have recently seen a viral news story claiming the IRS will be delaying refunds for the 2014 tax filing season until after October 15, 2015. That specific claim is false (it was posted on a fake news site).  But if you’re holding out hope for an early refund, don’t hold your breath. The reasons are, well, complicated.

Qualified Settlement Fund: Nirvana for Plaintiffs and Their Attorneys!

  • 10 December 2014
  • Author: Cari Holbrook
  • Number of views: 0
  • 0 Comments
Qualified Settlement Fund:  Nirvana for Plaintiffs and Their Attorneys!
A Qualified Settlement Fund ("QSF") is a powerful tax vehicle used to control the taxability of legal settlements. Properly done, an attorney can use a QSF to defer receipt and subsequent taxation of legal settlements or awards. 

How to Pay Seasonal Employees (and the IRS)

  • 9 December 2014
  • Author: Cari Holbrook
  • Number of views: 1664
  • 0 Comments
How to Pay Seasonal Employees (and the IRS)

It’s that wonderful time of year when many family-owned businesses add temporary staff. And, it seems, this year more than ever. According to global consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas, 2014 holiday hiring was off to a great start with the most nationwide October job gains ever recorded. With such a surge, it may be tempting to cut a few corners when it comes to hiring seasonal staff. But, make no mistake, the IRS is watching. Ask yourself the following questions in order to stay out of trouble:

Tax Deductions and Business Travel: A Refresher

  • 18 November 2014
  • Author: Cari Holbrook
  • Number of views: 1821
  • 0 Comments
Tax Deductions and Business Travel:  A Refresher

When reimbursing employees for work travel, business owners have a couple different options from which to choose. Keeping a detailed report for reimbursement on exact expenses is one way. But another, more simplified way is to use per diem rates. A per diem rate is a fixed reimbursement amount per day for lodging, meals and incidentals. The IRS does not treat per diem payments as wages. Therefore the payments are non-taxable as long as the payment is equal to or less than the federal per diem rate. 

Claiming a Business Bad Debt

  • 11 November 2014
  • Author: Cari Holbrook
  • Number of views: 1644
  • 0 Comments
Claiming a Business Bad Debt
Running a family business requires management of the occasional debt. Once money is owed to you that cannot be paid, “regular debt” turns into “bad debt.” Writing off bad debt isn’t pleasant but, thankfully, the  Tax Code allows  you a deduction  for it. Bad debts closely tied to running your business may be deducted on a business income tax return, as long as they fall within certain guidelines.

Health Reimbursement Arrangements: Tax Savings for Employers and Employees

  • 28 October 2014
  • Author: Cari Holbrook
  • Number of views: 1484
  • 0 Comments
Health Reimbursement Arrangements:  Tax Savings for Employers and Employees

Don’t allow new legislation to scare you away from providing a Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA) for employees.  As long as employees are also enrolled in other primary group coverage that complies with the Affordable Care Act, HRAs can offer tremendous cost—and tax—savings with other benefits for both employees and employers. Here’s why:

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