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You may suspect that an employee has stolen from your company. But without evidence of a crime, you’ll have a hard time pursuing prosecution. If you discover fraud, first call your attorney, then take steps to preserve the evidence. Paper documents should be handled as little as possible and stored in a safe location. So […]

A hand holds out a hourglass

You may still have time to reduce your federal tax liability by taking certain steps. For example, contribute the maximum to your retirement plans by year end, including traditional IRAs and SEP plans. Another idea: If you make your Jan. 2020 payment this month, you can deduct the interest portion on your 2019 tax return […]

Man on the phone at a computer reviewing document

Is your not-for-profit thinking about merging or restructuring? Recently, the IRS made the process easier for some organizations. Under previous IRS rules, nonprofits were required to file new exemption applications when they made certain changes to their structure. Each change was seen as creating a new legal entity that needed an exemption application. Under Revenue […]

Business partners shaking hands with one of them holding fingers crossed behind back.

Fraud suspicions are hard enough to investigate if you’re a business owner and call the shots. But what if you’re a limited partner (LP) in a business where a general partner (GP) is possibly engaged in mismanagement, self-dealing or fraud? For example, a GP may control or own another company that provides goods or services […]

An Individual Income Tax Return form

When you file your tax return, you do so with one of five filing statuses. It’s possible that more than one status will apply. The box checked on your return generally depends in part on whether you’re unmarried or married on December 31. Here are the filing statuses: Single, married filing jointly, married filing separately, […]

Foreman control loading Containers box from Cargo freight ship

Fraud routinely targets import and export activity, and individual businesses suffer. Your company might, for example, lose money if a seller ships substandard goods or it could get fleeced if it turns out that a shipment doesn’t exist. Part of the problem lies in the document letters of credit (DLC) system that enables banks to […]

Notebook with pros and cons list for Roth 401(k) and Traditional 401(k)

Does your employer offer a 401(k) or Roth 401(k) plan? Contributing to it is a taxwise way to build a nest egg. If you’re not already socking away the maximum allowed, consider increasing your contribution between now and year end. With a 401(k), an employee elects to have a certain amount of pay deferred and […]

high angle view of young woman in rubber gloves cleaning office table

“Creepers” are thieves who gain access to a company’s office or other physical facilities via unlocked doors and social engineering tactics. Once in, they steal proprietary information, inventory, computers and personal property, or gather information that makes it easier to hack your network. To prevent creepers from robbing your business, install security cameras, keep doors […]

Form 1099-MISC

A month after the new year begins, your business may be required to comply with rules to report amounts paid to independent contractors, vendors and others. You may have to send 1099-MISC forms to those whom you pay nonemployee compensation, as well as file copies with the IRS. This task can be time consuming and […]

100% Penalty stamp on a white background

Managing payroll is a laborious task for small businesses. But it’s critical to withhold the right amount of taxes from employees and pay them over to the federal government on time. If you don’t, you could be hit with the Trust Fund Recovery Penalty, also known as the 100% penalty. It applies to the Social […]

A women presenting a clipboard of data charts

To fulfill their fiduciary duties, your not-for-profit’s board needs information. You don’t want to bog them down with superfluous reading material. But there are three general types of information you should share. The first is financial, including copies of your Form 990, audit results and quarterly financial reports with income and expense information. The second […]

Trust written on a piece of paper ripped in half

Estate planning advisors recommend that you periodically revisit your estate plan because of changing circumstances. An irrevocable trust that works fine when it’s established may no longer achieve its original goals if your family circumstances change or new tax laws go into effect. If you have one or more trusts in need of repair, you […]

Elderly woman sitting at the table counting money in her wallet.

Every year, thousands of seniors are financially exploited by family members, caregivers and others. But you can help put a stop to elder fraud. Pay attention if a senior seems afraid of his or her guardian or if a caregiver prevents a charge from speaking for him- or herself. And be suspicious if the elder […]

A last will and testament on a table

Estate planning is often associated with the division of your assets, and this is certainly a key component. It’s typically accomplished, for the most part, by drafting a will, which is the foundation of an estate plan. With a valid will, you determine who gets what. It can cover everything from the securities in your […]

A women looking at stocks on a computer

If you’re planning to sell assets at a loss to offset gains that have been realized during the year, it’s important to be aware of the “wash sale” rule. Under this rule, if you sell stock or securities for a loss and buy substantially identical stock or securities back within the 30-day period before or […]

Blueprints and a hard hat with the words Cost Segregation Study

Is your business depreciating over 30 years the entire cost of constructing the building that houses your operation? If so, consider a cost segregation study. It may allow you to accelerate depreciation deductions on certain items, thereby reducing taxes and boosting cash flow. And under current law, the potential benefits are now even greater than […]

Numbers on a colorful background

Benford’s Law is a long-standing statistical precept that remains as relevant in fighting fraud as ever. The premise is that, in sets of random data, multidigit numbers beginning with 1, 2 or 3 are more likely to occur than those starting with 4 through 9. But crooks don’t necessarily know this. When manipulating financial data, […]

Paper with Self-Directed IRA written on it

Traditional and Roth IRAs can be powerful estate planning tools. With a “self-directed” IRA, you may be able to amp up the benefits of these tools by enabling them to hold nontraditional investments that offer potentially greater returns. Self-directed IRAs offer the same estate planning benefits as traditional IRAs, but they allow you to transfer […]