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Posts By: DeAnna Alger, CPA

As a business owner, one often invests much time and energy into the day-to-day operations.  As a result, many owners are likely to sidestep or forget to take the time to establish a long-term plan for the business and simply presume their child will hold the same passion for the business and knowledge in the industry as they have. But, what happens if the child or children have no desire to inherit the business? 

First, having a succession plan in place for the business is just as important as having a will for ones personal assets.  Without a succession plan, the company’s future, assets, and legacy are potentially at risk, regardless of who handles the business when an owner retires. 

Now that income tax filing season is behind us, it is not too early to plan and prepare for 2018. For many taxpayers, the idea of an income tax refund of any amount is welcome, anticipated, and often needed.

Few people think that they have “too much” money, and as taxpayers continue to receive their IRS income tax refund, folks begin to consider paying off credit cards or making a large purchase. Sadly, however, when Sallie Mae is on one’s personal payroll, that shopping spree or big screen TV may be just a virtual reality.  Sallie Mae is the nation's saving, planning, and paying for college company. Their mission is to help American students and families make the dream of higher education a reality through borrowing.

According to a recent article in Time Magazine, about 8 million (education loan) borrowers have given up paying on more than $137 billion in education debts. 

What does this mean? If a taxpayer has defaulted on their federal student loans, their refund may not be issued and instead, applied to what is called a tax refund offset.

Many closely-held business owners devote the majority of their lives to developing a successful business. 

Therefore, as part of their estate planning strategy, small business owners want to ensure that the worth of their business is properly valued, especially if the business must be sold in order to pay estate taxes.  If drafted properly, a buy-sell agreement is an effective tool that can be used to set the value of a closely-held business interest. 

Read more from Deanna Alger, CPA

Many of my clients have a child heading off to college in a month or two and have asked about 529 Plan withdrawals to help cover upcoming education expenses. 

Contrary to what some may think, not all withdrawals are tax-free.  Therefore, it is important to understand the basics of 529 plan distributions to avoid paying unwanted federal income tax. While it can be confusing, much like venturing into a college classroom, we’ve broken it down into three simple lessons.   

Now that we have a year of the ACA under our belts, and employers are now beginning to deal with complying with the Employer Mandate, this is a good time to review the reporting requirements that are being borne by individuals and employers.  While individuals have had a year to get used to their compliance requirements, employers are now entering unfamiliar territory. 

As we head into the last quarter of 2015, it's time to take a look at what is happening on the federal level that may impact the deductions and credits for you or your business. 

Below is a list of some of the most significant tax provisions affecting individuals and businesses that expired on 12/31/14.  It is quite possible that Congress will extend some, or all, of these through the end of 2015.  However, as of the current date this has not yet been done.  We may not know conclusively about the fate of these provisions until much later in the year.

With each passing year, additional states are considering legalizing the sale of marijuana for medical and/or recreational purposes.  Ohio is among those states considering legalization, with the issue up for vote on the upcoming November ballot. 

While state law is becoming more and more accepting of the idea, the act is still prohibited under federal law.  As one can imagine, this can create some interesting tax issues. 

Related read: How to Deduct Expenses Related to Personal Property