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A New Look at SECURE Act 2.0 Issues

The SECURE Act 2.0, part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023, introduces new provisions that aim to enhance retirement savings. One significant provision pertains to auto-enrollment in new 401(k) plans. Under this provision, all eligible hires must enroll at a minimum pretax rate of 3%, with an annual auto-escalation of 1% until the salary reduction reaches a minimum of 10% and a maximum of 15%. The goal is to incentivize participation in retirement savings accounts.

These provisions will come into effect primarily in 2024 or 2025, allowing ample time to develop and implement them. Employers will have the discretion to offer employees the choice of contribution level, but the default contribution level will be set at 3% pretax for those who do not specify otherwise. These details apply to new retirement savings plans established after December 31, 2024.

Moreover, the SECURE Act 2.0 enhances catch-up contributions, allowing individuals over the age of 50 to contribute more towards their retirement savings plans as they near retirement age. Currently, people aged 50 to 59 can make catch-up contributions of up to $7,500 per person. However, individuals aged 60 to 63 will be able to make catch-up contributions of either $10,000 or 150% of the regular catch-up contribution value for 2024. Notably, high-income earners (those making over $145,000 annually) must contribute required Roth catch-up contributions on a post-tax basis.

These changes will apply to all plans that offer catch-up contributions, effective from tax years following December 31. Additionally, the SECURE Act 2.0 introduces various other modifications related to emergency savings accounts (ESAs).

From 2024 onwards, under specific circumstances, participants will have access to ESA funds without facing early withdrawal penalties or fees. Each year, emergency savings withdrawals up to $1,000 can be made and must be repaid within three years. The withdrawals are available on a post-tax basis, and any matching contributions from employers are allocated to the employee’s 401(k) account, not their ESA.

ESAs can be auto-enrolled at a rate of 3% with contributions capped at $2,500. Eligibility for ESAs is limited to non-highly compensated employees, allowing them four fee-free withdrawals per year, with a maximum of one per month. Regular contributions and the account balance do not impact the emergency withdrawal option. Employees have the choice to cash out their ESAs or merge the funds with Roth 401(k) accounts and IRAs.

Due to the complex infrastructure needed, implementing this provision is anticipated to be challenging. While the effective date is targeted for 2024, it may require further extension. Familiarizing yourself with these provisions ahead of time is crucial, as they involve intricate details. Additionally, there are other provisions to become acquainted with, including the Saver’s Match provision, which will replace the current Saver’s Credit in 2027. This provision is designed for lower-income individuals, offering a government-funded match of 50% up to $2,000 per person, resulting in income increases of $41,000 to $71,000 for those filing jointly.

Remember, these are just the initial details! Consult qualified legal advice for comprehensive understanding.

Monster Bear Market Rallies: Analyzing Their Validity and Implications

After an initial surge of enthusiasm, buyers often reconsider the legitimacy of rallies. Are there significant changes in external conditions to warrant such a powerful movement? Additionally, the psychology of investment funds reinforces these surges. Many funds are either restricted from taking short positions or from holding cash beyond a certain level. Moreover, some succumb to peer pressure, joining the herd on the same bandwagon, knowing they can simply keep up.

However, it is essential to recognize that the fate of a bear market rally hinges on two paramount factors. Firstly, bear markets do not dissipate until investors wave the metaphorical white flag of capitulation. This signifies a collective detestation towards stocks, sometimes adopting a generational mindset. Secondly, a substantial policy shift is typically indicative of a reversal. In historical episodes such as 1932, 2003, and 2009, the introduction of stimulative monetary and fiscal policies marked the end of vicious bear declines.

The potential trajectory of such a process may manifest in three progressive waves. Initially, the Federal Reserve may increase interest rates to rein in rampant inflation, inadvertently leading to a recession due to tighter monetary policies. Consequently, some critical event might trigger a painful credit crunch. The Federal Reserve might step in and lower interest rates, signifying a significant policy shift. However, it is worth noting that if the Federal Reserve somehow manages to avert a recession, the bear market may retreat – but this remains a substantial “if.”

Moreover, during an upswing, investors typically seek confirmation from trading patterns to determine an inflection point. Heavy volume signifies conviction, while the breadth of the movement and the percentage of participating stocks are also important considerations. However, patience is crucial as a genuine new bull market is typically defined as a sustained 20% gain from the cycle low. Therefore, a short-lived reprieve of a few days or weeks may not hold much significance.

Reflecting on the past, market historians possess a wealth of data concerning the behavior of bear market rallies. Bull progressions tend to follow a methodical and steady path, while bear trends often exhibit more volatile and choppy movements. Notably, over the past 35 years, some of the most violent rallies occurred in 1987, 2002, 2008, and 2009 – all during severe sell-offs.

By scrutinizing the structure and factors influencing bear market rallies, market participants can gain better insights into their validity and potential implications.

Since its launch in 1971, the Nasdaq index has experienced 26 sessions where it added over 6%. Remarkably, 77% of these instances occurred during bear downturns, which is three times more frequent than across all market periods. Additionally, taking a look at the S&P numbers, we can analyze the frequency of powerful bear rallies during various periods.

From 1929-1931, there were five rallies of over 20%. Similarly, during 1937-1938, 2000-2002, and 2007-2009, there were four rallies of over 10% each. It is worth noting that many of these upturns lasted only in weeks rather than months or quarters. For example, during the tech crash, the four significant rallies lasted between two weeks and two and a half months. The decimating housing crash also witnessed four comebacks, each persisting from one to two months.

However, we must acknowledge the current economic climate. As of late 2022, the Federal Reserve was still hiking rates into an inverted yield curve, with short-term rates exceeding longer-term rates. This atypical rate relationship has the potential to slow economic activity as banks cut back on lending. Therefore, it is crucial to ask ourselves tough questions about the prevailing conditions:

– Is inflation still high?

– Is corporate capital spending slowing?

– Are profit margins shrinking or expanding?

– Are growth expectations realistic?

If you are uncertain about whether market upswings are a reliable signal for investment, it may be prudent to have a conversation with your financial adviser.

 

Required Minimum Distribution Rules

When making minimum distributions from a retirement account, the required minimum distribution (RMD) is the lowest amount of money that must be withdrawn annually once the account owner reaches the age limit. Although you have the option to withdraw more than the minimum, keep in mind that these withdrawals will be considered taxable income.

Exceptions to this rule include money that was already taxed before being deposited into the retirement account, as well as money that can be withdrawn tax-free, such as qualified distributions from Roth accounts. Examples of retirement accounts that fall under these exceptions include traditional individual retirement accounts (IRAs), 401(k)s, 403(b) accounts, 457(b) plans, and profit-sharing plans.

Determining the value of the RMD depends on the balance of the account at the end of the previous calendar year, regardless of the year in question. To provide clarity, the IRS’s Uniform Lifetime Table defines a distribution period.

It’s important to note that changes have been implemented due to the SECURE Act. Individuals who turned 70 years old on or after July 1, 2019, can delay withdrawals until they turn 72. However, this provision does not apply to Roth IRAs, as account owners are not required to withdraw funds, even in the event of their passing. (Please be aware that the new RMD age is 73 if you turn 72 after Dec. 31, 2022.)

If the sole beneficiary of a retirement account is the account owner’s spouse and the spouse is at least 10 years younger, a separate table from the Uniform Lifetime Table must be used to calculate the RMD. Rest assured, there are predefined worksheets available to assist in this calculation.

There are three main methods to calculate the RMD: the Uniform Lifetime Table, Table I: Single Life Expectancy, and Table II: Joint Life and Last Survivor Expectancy.

The Uniform Lifetime Table is an important tool for determining required minimum distributions (RMDs) for different situations.

Table I: Single Life Expectancy can be utilized by unmarried IRA owners who wish to calculate their own withdrawals. It is also applicable to married IRA owners with spouses who are no more than 10 years their junior. Additionally, IRA owners who are married to individuals who are not the sole beneficiaries of their spouse’s IRA can make use of this table.

Table II: Joint Life and Last Survivor Expectancy is designed for married IRA owners whose spouses are both the sole beneficiaries of the IRA and are more than 10 years younger than the IRA owner.

Failing to take RMDs can result in an excise tax equal to 50% of the undistributed amount. Upon the account owner’s death, the RMD must be taken within the year, and the subsequent RMD value depends on the identity and status of the account’s designated beneficiary.

For inherited IRAs, designated beneficiaries should calculate their RMDs using the Single Life Expectancy table, which factors in age. The account balance is divided by the life expectancy factor to determine the first RMD, with one year subtracted from the life expectancy for each subsequent year.

The beginning date for the first RMD depends on the type of IRA. For IRAs, including simplified employee pension plans and SIMPLE IRAs, it is April 1 of the year following the calendar year in which the individual turns 70 1/2 years old, if born prior to July 1, 1949. Otherwise, the beginning date is April 1 of the year after turning 72 years old, if the birthday is after June 30, 1949.

When it comes to 401(k)s, profit-sharing plans, and 403(b) plans, there are specific rules to follow. To determine your required minimum distribution (RMD) start date, consider the following circumstances:

– If you turned 72 years old, you must withdraw the first RMD as of the first day of the April that follows the calendar year.

– If you turned 70 1/2 years old and your birthday precedes July 1, 1949, you also need to take an RMD.

– If you retired and your plan permits distribution, you have to take an RMD.

– However, if you own 5% or more of the business sponsoring your IRA plan, you must begin withdrawing by April 1 of the following year if you turned 70 1/2 years old or 72 years old (if born after June 30th, 1949).

It is crucial to be aware of your RMD start date. From that year onwards, including the year of your start date, you must withdraw your RMD by December 31st.

This means you need to track two required distribution dates. The first is April 1st for the withdrawal you must make when you turn either 70 1/2 years old or 72 years old (if born after June 30th, 1949). The second is December 31st, which is when you make an additional withdrawal.

By understanding these rules, you will be equipped to handle RMDs and other aspects of your IRA. If you need further assistance, it is always recommended to consult a tax professional.

Understanding Federal Workplace Anti-Discrimination Rules

In the United States, it is illegal to discriminate against employees or job applicants based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, age, or disability. This article provides an overview of federal workplace anti-discrimination rules, highlighting prohibited discriminatory actions and key laws that enforce compliance.

Prohibited Discriminatory Actions:

  1. Unlawful Employment Decisions: Employment decisions, including hiring and promotion, cannot be based on factors like marital status or political affiliation. Retaliation against employees or applicants who report wrongdoings or make complaints is also prohibited.

The Civil Service Reform Act of 1978 (CSRA):

The CSRA is a crucial federal law that ensures fair employment practices:

– Upheld and enforced by two agencies: the Office of Special Counsel and the Merit Systems Protection Board.

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC):

The EEOC is responsible for enforcing laws protecting job applicants and employees from workplace discrimination:

– Prohibited factors include race, color, religion, national origin, age, disability, genetics, gender identity, sexual orientation, and pregnancy status.

– Ensures equal opportunities and prevents discriminatory practices in the workplace.

Additional Examples of Illegal Workplace Discrimination:

  1. Retaliation: It is illegal to retaliate against individuals who file discrimination charges or participate in discrimination investigations.
  2. Unintentional Disparate Impact: Even if employment policies appear neutral, they may still disproportionately affect certain groups. Compliance with federal laws is crucial to avoid unintentional discriminatory practices.

Adhering to federal workplace anti-discrimination rules is essential for employers. By understanding these rules and ensuring compliance, businesses can create inclusive work environments that respect the rights and dignity of all employees.

In order to maintain compliance with employment laws, it is important to understand several key aspects. Creating job advertisements that favor certain groups while discouraging others is against the law. Similarly, making hiring decisions influenced by stereotypes or assumptions about specific characteristics is also incorrect. Discrimination in all aspects of employment, such as job referrals, task assignments, promotions, pay, benefits, disciplinary actions, and termination, is strictly prohibited.

When providing employment references, it is crucial to remain unbiased and base evaluations solely on candidates’ merits rather than personal identifying factors like race, age, or nationality. Issues of discrimination should be approached diligently and seriously.

Harassing individuals based on race, gender, ethnicity, religion, disability, or age is completely unacceptable and prohibited by federal law. Retaliation against those who report discriminatory practices is also prohibited. Every aspect of employment must be free from discrimination, no matter how minor.

During the hiring process, it is crucial to avoid asking candidates about personal characteristics that are protected, such as height, weight, race, or sex, unless there is a legitimate business-related reason for doing so.

The words and phrases we use hold weight and significance, so it is important to utilize culturally sensitive language. Actively avoiding practices that perpetuate harm or offense toward certain groups, replacing harmful language and practices with inclusive options, and eliminating discriminatory policies are essential steps to fostering a workplace that is respectful, fair, and inclusive for all employees.

Taxable and Nontaxable Income: A Comprehensive Guide

In general, income is taxable unless it is specifically exempted by law. Thus, it must be reported and subject to taxation. On the other hand, nontaxable income may still need to be reported on your tax return.

Constructively received income:

Even if you haven’t cashed a valid check received before the end of a certain tax year, it is still considered income constructively received in that year, thus making it taxable. For example, if the check was mailed to you but you weren’t available to receive it, you must still include it in your income for the year it arrived, even if it was the last day of the tax year.

However, if the check was mailed in a way that restricted access to the funds before the end of the tax year, it would be counted as income for the following year. Similarly, income received by your agent is also considered income constructively received in the year of its receipt. If a third party receives income on your behalf, it must be included in your income for the year the third party receives it.

Compensation for future services:

In most cases, compensation for future services is counted as income in the year it is received. However, if you use an accrual method of accounting, taxation of prepaid income received for the next tax year is deferred, and the payments are included as income earned when you perform the services.

Now, let’s delve into other forms of income and their tax implications as outlined by the IRS.

Employee compensation:

All compensation received for personal services, including fringe benefits and stock options, must be included in your gross income. The payment amount can be found on your W-2 form. If you provide childcare services in any location (child’s home, your own home, or elsewhere), you must include the payment as income. If you’re not an employee, report the payments on Schedule C, Profit or Loss from Business. Childcare regulations apply when babysitting for relatives or neighborhood children on a regular or occasional basis.

Fringe benefits:

Fringe benefits are generally treated as compensation unless you pay fair market value or they are excluded by law. If you have a noncompete agreement and haven’t yet provided services, treat them as if they have been performed. Even if you give the benefit to someone else, you are still considered to have received it. Fringe benefits can be received by a partner, director, or independent contractor.

Partnership Income:

Partnership income is not subject to taxation. However, partners receive their respective shares of income, gains, losses, deductions, and credits. Even if the income is not distributed, partners must report their share on their tax returns. Losses are limited to the adjusted basis of the partnership interest at the end of the year in which the losses occurred.

S Corporations:

S corporations do not pay taxes on income as it is passed through to shareholders. Income, losses, deductions, and credits are passed through based on the shareholders’ stock ownership. Nevertheless, shareholders are still required to report these items on their tax returns. Form 1120-S should be used to present the corporation’s results and items affecting shareholders’ tax returns.

PTET Changes the Rules:

Additionally, it is important to note that some states have a pass-through entity tax (PTET) which can impact the situation. PTET is a state or local tax on entities classified as pass-through entities for federal purposes. The IRS has clarified that the payment of PTET to domestic jurisdictions is deductible when computing the entity’s nonseparately stated income or loss. It is not considered in applying the cap to individual partners or shareholders. The rules regarding PTET are complex, so it is advisable to consult a tax advisor to determine if PTET can be beneficial for your circumstances.

Royalties:

Income from royalties obtained from copyrights, patents, and oil, gas, and mineral properties is taxable. Royalties should be reported in Part 1 of Schedule E, Supplemental Income and Loss. If you are self-employed, report income and expenses on Schedule C. Further details can be found in Publication 525, Taxable and Nontaxable Income.

Virtual Currencies:

Tax liability can arise from dealing with virtual currencies, whether through sales, exchanges, purchases of goods or services, or investments. These transactions should be included in your income at their fair market value at the time of receipt. For more information, refer to Tax Topic 420.

If you build it, employees will come

What is your company’s identity? The company’s overall brand is a statement of its core values that are directed at the public, as well as all stakeholders including clients, customers, strategic partners and investors. Employer branding targets both job seekers and current employees. It focuses on your current workforce and potential hires in order to understand how they really view your company.

Employer brand is a way to communicate all aspects of employee experience, including work/life balance, social values and hiring. You are trying to determine your unique employee value proposition, putting aside buzzwords. Employers who establish a strong brand have an intangible resource that they can leverage.

A value proposition that is complete

Each organization should take a look at itself and see what it can do to improve. What are the unique features that make your company stand out, aside from its pay, and what makes it an attractive place to work? Why should an employee choose to work with you instead of another company?

You want to be the employer of first choice. You will then be able to create excitement and differentiate yourself from generic brands. You will need to consider every possible touchpoint. You can use the following marketing tools to reach out to current and future employees:

  • Job descriptions.
  • Career pages on websites
  • Social media profiles.
  • Materials for On-boarding
  • Acceptance and rejection letters for jobs
  • Performance evaluations are a great way to evaluate your performance.
  • Newsletters are a good example of internal communications.

Lists like these can be used to create a strong employer brand that should be promoted constantly. Human resources is responsible for the employer brand. However, other departments, such as the C-suite, line managers, and marketing, also work together to shape the identity of a company.

When management approves benefits for employees, HR is responsible for implementing them and creating marketing materials to promote them. The brand should reflect the corporate culture, workplace and reputation of an employer.

How do you build it

First, you need to determine what your company stands for inside and outside of the organization. Websites like Glassdoor and LinkedIn provide an outsider’s perspective. Surveys of employees and candidates for jobs can provide additional insights. It is also useful to dig deeper into workshops, as culture is subjective and nuanced.

Prepare a list with questions to ask and topics for discussion, such as:

  • What makes us unique?
  • Do we offer unique or unusual benefits?
  • Do we treat our employees well? Could we do better?
  • Where can we promote our business?
  • How can people learn about our company?
  • What are the best channels to use for promoting our brand?
  • Can we measure results?

It is now time to implement the action plan and give substance to your ideas. The first best practice for employer branding success is to keep your employees satisfied and loyal. Negative stories can easily go viral in today’s social media environment, eroding the hard work elsewhere. You can also boost your brand by:

  • Transparency and feedback are important when interacting with potential new employees.
  • Support some worthy causes, preferably ones that are related to your industry.
  • Use social media to educate your staff and keep them active. Post images and videos of your workplaces, group gatherings, testimonials, and blogs.
  • Organize and take part in public events which can leave a lasting impression.
  • Use committed employees to promote your brand.

All these areas should be measured and monitored, with a focus on cost per hires and satisfaction surveys.

Employer Branding Wins

Cost savings and increased productivity are two benefits of a good brand. To avoid turnover, the war for talent can be fierce. So aim to retain and attract the best candidates. The extra points you gain from having a good, solid reputation, along with the money you spend on salaries and benefits will help to level the playing field against larger organizations. The wider the pool of candidates, the faster you can hire.

Send a message that you excel in the following areas:

  • Training and Development
  • Leadership and collaboration.
  • Quality of goods or services
  • Stimulating the work environment and workplace.

Certain companies have earned a reputation as being great places to work. This is due to their compensation, career opportunities, or innovative cultures. You should join this club.

 

Will the hybrid work schedule be here to stay?

The hybrid experiment is gaining traction. Gallup’s research showed that by 2023, the number of U.S. employees who worked exclusively remotely had stabilized at 28%, while 20% were on-site, and 52% were working in a blended arrangement. The overall economy, the labor market and the impact of recession will determine whether these proportions continue.

The Best of Both

The basic models for hybrid work can be easily understood:

  • Shifts – the entire team works remotely for the remainder of the week.
  • Split teams – some people can work remotely and others on site.
  • Flexible – Employees can choose the location they want to work.

Most hybrid employers have experimented with weekly configurations that include three days at the office and then two days away. Although three days at the office are seen as a good balance, there are many different patterns. Harvard Business School’s research, for example, recommended only one day in the office!

Different employees have different preferences. However, it is important to note that executives are more likely to want to work in offices full-time than workers. All employees have different preferences, but they are not based on seniority. Gallup conducted a survey of 8,090 respondents in 2022 to assess the pros and cons for hybrid arrangements.

Findings demonstrated that there are many benefits.

  • Improved work-life balance.
  • Time is better spent.
  • You can choose where to work and when.
  • Productivity is higher.
  • Reduced fatigue, burnout and stress.
  • Coordination, collaboration and communication between departments will be easier.

Stanford University found that hybrid employees are more productive away from noisy offices, they reduce commute time and costs, they gain self-esteem and their managers trust them.

The availability of a wider talent pool and the cost savings in space (rent, utilities and supplies) and materials (supplies, food and other materials) are appreciated by employers.

The respondents also cited notable challenges. The respondents cited a lack in access to equipment and resources, as well as a separation from the office culture and relationships. It can also be emotionally draining for people to constantly switch between schedules and locations. This may also not be possible for those who have client- or customers-facing jobs and may cause resentment towards other colleagues with more flexible deals. Should those who toil in the office get paid more?

Making hybrids succeed

Managers can ensure that hybrid arrangements run smoothly by taking certain steps.

Designate which days will be for office work. Prodoscore’s research shows that Tuesday to Thursday between 10:30 am and 3 pm is the most productive time for workers. However, creative tasks are best done at home. If a team is working from home, they will all perform poorly, because no one wants the extra time.

The manager should establish initial expectations. They should ask themselves why they are actually going hybrid. Will the team members be able to schedule their own work hours? They can also help the employees to interact with each other and use equipment while they are on site.

Communication policies should be clear. Provide feedback in person. Virtual tools and constant updates can be used to connect remote employees with in-house staff. You may have to modify software platforms in order to include data visualizations and progress reports, as well as project management.

The benefits of hybrid work are many

Insufficient longitudinal data exists to prove that hybrid workers are more efficient. It is evident that the ability to be flexible attracts and keeps talent. Make sure your employees are aware of their responsibilities, whether it’s for mental health, child care or access to green spaces. What do they do during their free time? Gallup says that they spend their at-home hours a mixture of working (86%), learning (27%), innovating (26%), attending meetings (24%) as well as exercising (22%).

You should take that with a grain of salt. Probably some are watching TV. Some managers are willing to make a trade-off in order to keep their team happy.

Taxes for Business Startups

It is important to not take this decision lightly. You will choose whether to start your business as a sole proprietorship or partnership, a limited liability company or corporation.

Taxes are one of the main factors that determine how your business is classified. Continue reading to learn more about the IRS situation that you will find yourself in depending on what type of business you run.

Sole proprietorships

Unincorporated businesses are sole proprietorships. This type of business may have tax obligations that include withholding income tax, Social Security and Medicare taxes, in addition to federal unemployment tax, income tax, and other taxes.

Partnerships

In the business world, a partnership is a relationship where two or more individuals have the intention to do business or trade in varying situations, in which each individual contributes money, assets, labor, or skills, and also shares in the profits or losses.

You must report all income from your partnership business, including any gains, losses, and deductions. This is done via an annual information return. Each partner must report his or her share of losses and profits from the partnership on their personal tax returns. The partnership is required to report its entire tax-related financial information on Schedule K-1.

Each partner may be required to submit the following information and forms:

  • Form 965-A: Individual Report of Net Tax Liability under 965
  • Schedule E to Form 1040 Supplemental Income Loss.
  • Forms for self-employment, tax estimation and international tax, if applicable.

LLCs

State statutes allow LLCs to be used as business structures. For federal tax purposes this classification is either a corporation, or a partnership.

Corporations

The people who have exchanged money or property for the stock of the corporation are those who constitute prospective shareholders. A corporation can generally claim the same deductions as a sole proprietorship. A corporation may be able to take additional deductions over and above those of sole proprietorships.

S corporations are limited to 100 shareholders. S corporations are not available to all businesses, but those who are are able to take advantage of the benefits that come with the designation. These include the ability to pass through corporate income and losses, as well as the deductions and credits for federal tax purposes.

Shareholders are required to report their flow-through losses and income as part of personal tax returns. The tax due will be calculated based on the individual tax rate, so they won’t have to pay twice as much tax for their corporate income. S corporations must also pay taxes at the entity level on passive income and built-in gains.

The following forms are required for each type of business:

  • Form 1065 is for partnerships or LLCs.
  • Corporations: Form No. 1120
  • S corporations: Schedule K-1, Form 1120S.

Corporate entities and pass-through

Small businesses with a similar structure as S corporations, LLCs or sole proprietorships are called pass-through businesses. Pass-through businesses account for 95% of U.S. business.

Tax Reform Laws and Standards

In 2017, a tax law reform offered a 20% deduction. However, new standards for 2022 will phase out this law, reducing the taxable income level from $170.050 to $220.050. Income levels for joint filers are adjusted from $340,100 to $440,100. The phase-out limit is currently $182.100 for single filers, and $340.100 for joint filers, as of 2023.

These limits will expire 2027. Businesses cannot deduct losses exceeding $540,000 for married couples filing jointly, since the 2017 tax law is temporarily suspended. Single filers are allowed to deduct up to $270,000.

All business income and losses are included in this information. This includes both Schedule C income and loss and that of pass-throughs. If you have losses above the annual limit, you can carry them forward to the following year in order to lower your taxable income.

Business losses can no longer be used to offset W-2 wage. Additionally, spouse income is taxed differently, so spousal earnings could result in an additional tax bill, regardless of whether business losses are greater than the total spousal earning. Small-business owners that received more than $600 in digital income from third-party platforms like Amazon, Etsy, or eBay will also receive Form 1099K to report this type of revenue after 2023. Platforms must also report this income. The pushback by businesses and taxpayers led to a delay of the 2023 Form 1099K until 2024.

This article is only a brief overview of a very complex subject that requires you to make some difficult decisions. Work with professionals in the financial and legal fields who can answer any questions you may have about your business.

Safeguard Your Digital Assets: The Importance of a Digital Estate Plan

In today’s digital world, having a well-crafted digital estate plan has become crucial for every individual and business. A digital estate plan serves as an effective means to protect your digital presence, safeguarding you against potential issues like identity theft, unauthorized access to your business’s financial information, and theft of private files such as insurance documents. This blog post aims to shed light on the importance and intricacies of managing and protecting your digital assets.

What are Digital Assets?

Before delving into digital estate planning, it’s essential to understand what digital assets are. While most people primarily think of digital assets as items they own, such as documents and images stored on their devices, digital assets extend beyond just ownership. For instance, when you purchase a song online, you acquire the rights to listen to it, but you do not own the rights to the music itself. In this case, the song is a digital asset that you license rather than own.

In the context of a business, digital assets not only include customer data and financial information but also various project files and intellectual properties. These assets are often stored on company servers or in cloud-based systems, making effective management crucial to protect their value.

Managing Digital Assets in Uncertain Situations

One of the most pressing concerns surrounding digital assets is how they will be managed and distributed in the event of a person’s incapacitation or death. This is where having a comprehensive digital estate plan comes into play.

Digital assets may include a wide array of internet-based accounts, such as bank accounts, gaming profiles, loyalty program memberships, and even cryptocurrency holdings. It’s crucial to address the distribution of these assets as part of your overall estate planning process.

Key Components of an Effective Digital Estate Plan

To create an engaging and informative digital estate plan, consider the following steps:

  1. Inventory your digital assets: Start by making a comprehensive list of your digital assets. This may include anything from email accounts and social media profiles to Cloud-storage subscriptions and licensed software.
  2. Assign value to digital assets: Some digital assets may have significant monetary or sentimental value associated with them. Identifying the value of your digital assets can help determine their importance in your estate plan.
  3. Appoint a digital executor: Choose a reliable person to manage your digital assets according to your wishes. This individual should also be entrusted with the task of accessing and closing your online accounts when necessary.
  4. Provide clear instructions: Clearly outline your wishes for each digital asset, specifying if they should be preserved, distributed, or deleted. It’s essential to include access information, such as account usernames, passwords, and any required security question answers.
  5. Consult legal and financial advisors: Speak with professionals familiar with digital estate planning to ensure your plan complies with relevant laws and considers tax implications.

In conclusion, creating a well-thought-out digital estate plan is integral to protecting your online presence and digital assets. By taking the time to inventory, value, and appoint a responsible digital executor, you can rest assured that your digital assets will be managed and distributed according to your wishes in any uncertain circumstances.

Navigating Employee Taxes: A Guide for Employers

Managing employee taxes may seem overwhelming at times, but as an employer, it is crucial to be well-informed and compliant in order to ensure the success of your business. In this article, we will guide you through the process of tax withholding and reporting, as well as delve into other key responsibilities associated with employee taxes.

Withholding Income Tax from Employee Wages

As an employer, it is your responsibility to withhold income tax from employees’ wages. To do this, you must refer to each employee’s Form W-4 and follow the instructions provided in Publication 15-T, Federal Income Tax Withholding Methods. Based on your organization’s size and the total amount of withheld taxes, you’ll deposit your withholdings accordingly.

Quarterly Filing and Year-End Reporting

Employers are required to file tax returns four times a year, and at the end of each year, prepare and file Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement. This form is used to report wages, tips, and other compensation paid to employees. Ensure that each of your employees receives a completed copy of their Form W-2. To submit the forms to the Social Security Administration, use Form W-3, Transmittal of Wage and Tax Statements.

Additional Employer Responsibilities

Apart from withholding income tax, employers must also withhold Social Security and Medicare taxes from employees’ wages. Additionally, you are responsible for submitting matching amounts for these taxes.

To compute the correct tax withholding, refer to the employee’s Form W-4, Publication 15, Employer’s Tax Guide, and Publication 15-A, Employer’s Supplemental Tax Guide. Make sure to deposit these taxes according to IRS requirements.

Social Security and Medicare Tax Rates

Keep in mind that the current tax rate for Social Security is 6.2% for both you, the employer, and the employee. For Medicare, the rate is 1.45% for each party, totaling 2.9%. Furthermore, an Additional Medicare Tax is applicable to individuals earning over a certain threshold.

In conclusion, employers have several important responsibilities when it comes to withholding and remitting employee taxes. By staying informed and compliant with IRS regulations, you can promote the smooth operation of your business