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4 steps to improving your company’s sales

Most salespeople would tell you that there are few better feelings in life than closing a deal. This is because guiding a customer through the sales process and coming out the other side with dollars committed isn’t a matter of blind luck. It’s a craft — based on equal parts data mining, psychology, intuition and other skills. Many sales staffs have been under unprecedented pressure this year. The COVID-19 pandemic triggered changes to the economy that made many buyers cut back on spending. Now that the economy is slowly recovering, sales opportunities may be improving. Here are four steps your... Read More

The easiest way to survive an IRS audit is to get ready in advance

IRS audit rates are historically low, according to the latest data, but that’s little consolation if your return is among those selected to be examined. But with proper preparation and planning, you should fare well. In fiscal year 2019, the IRS audited approximately 0.4% of individuals. Businesses, large corporations and high-income individuals are more likely to be audited but, overall, all types of audits are being conducted less frequently than they were a decade ago. There’s no 100% guarantee that you won’t be picked for an audit, because some tax returns are chosen randomly. However, the best way to survive... Read More

Tax implications of working from home and collecting unemployment

COVID-19 has changed our lives in many ways, and some of the changes have tax implications. Here is basic information about two common situations. 1. Working from home. Many employees have been told not to come into their workplaces due to the pandemic. If you’re an employee who “telecommutes” — that is, you work at home, and communicate with your employer mainly by telephone, videoconferencing, email, etc. — you should know about the strict rules that govern whether you can deduct your home office expenses. Unfortunately, employee home office expenses aren’t currently deductible, even if your employer requires you to... Read More

Can you deduct seller-paid points?

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) reports that existing home sales and prices are up nationwide, compared with last year. One of the reasons is the pandemic: “With the sizable shift in remote work, current homeowners are looking for larger homes…” according to NAR’s Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. If you’re buying a home, or you just bought one, you may wonder if you can deduct mortgage points paid on your behalf by the seller. Yes, you can, subject to some important limitations described below. Points are upfront fees charged by a mortgage lender, expressed as a... Read More

The President’s action to defer payroll taxes: What does it mean for your business?

On August 8, President Trump signed four executive actions, including a Presidential Memorandum to defer the employee’s portion of Social Security taxes for some people. These actions were taken in an effort to offer more relief due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The action only defers the taxes, which means they’ll have to be paid in the future. However, the action directs the U.S. Treasury Secretary to “explore avenues, including legislation, to eliminate the obligation to pay the taxes deferred pursuant to the implementation of this memorandum.” Legislative history On March 18, 2020, President Trump signed into law the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.... Read More

Raise Hell: Help Lawmakers Make PPP Expenses Tax Deductible

As you read this, it’s likely that your lawmakers are working on the next Payroll Protection Program (PPP) package. And hopefully, in this next package they will include a provision that allows you to deduct business expenses that you pay with your PPP money. Let’s explain. In the CARES Act, Congress said:For purposes of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, any amount which (but for this subsection) would be includible in gross income of the eligible recipient by reason of forgiveness described in subsection (b) shall be excluded from gross income.From what we know, lawmakers thought this meant that the PPP loan... Read More
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