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Charitable Giving Pièce de Résistance: Artwork Donations
Charitable giving is a key part of estate planning for many people. If you’re among them and own valuable works of art, they may be ideal candidates for charitable donations during your life. Generally, it’s advantageous to donate appreciated property because, in addition to gaining a valuable tax deduction, you can avoid capital gains taxes. ...

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How Profitable are Your Customers?
“We love our customers!” Every business owner says it. But all customers aren’t created equal, and it’s in your strategic interest to know which customers are really strengthening your bottom line and by how much. Sorting Out the Data If your business systems track individual customer purchases, and your accounting system has good cost accounting ...

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Tax Basis Planning Worth a Look if Estate Taxes Aren’t a Threat
For many people today, income tax planning offers far greater tax-saving opportunities than gift and estate tax planning. A record-high gift and estate tax exemption — currently $5.49 million ($10.98 million for married couples) — means that fewer people are subject to those taxes. If gift and estate taxes aren’t a concern for your family, it can ...

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5 Ways to Dance Through Digital Disruption
You’ve probably heard the term and wondered whether it could happen to your company. Maybe it already has. We’re referring to “digital disruption” — when new technologies and business models affect the value proposition of existing goods and services. Perhaps the most notorious recent example of this is the rise of ride-sharing companies such as ...

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Find the Right Path Forward with KPIs
From the baseball field to the boardroom, statistical analysis has changed various industries nationwide. With proper preparation and guidance, business owners can have at their fingertips a wealth of stats-based insight into how their companies are performing — far beyond the bottom line on an income statement. The metrics in question are commonly referred to ...

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Estate Tax Relief For Family Businesses Is Available … In The Form Of A Deferral
If a substantial portion of your wealth is tied up in a family or closely held business, you may be concerned that your estate will lack sufficient liquid assets to pay federal estate taxes. If that’s the case, your heirs may be forced to borrow funds or, in a worst-case scenario, sell the business in ...

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Have You Properly Funded Your Revocable Trust?
If your estate plan includes a revocable trust — also known as a “living” trust — it’s critical to ensure that the trust is properly funded. Revocable trusts offer significant benefits, including asset management (in the event you become incapacitated) and probate avoidance. But these benefits aren’t available if you don’t fund the trust. The ...

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Ensuring a Peaceful Succession with a Buy-Sell Agreement
A buy-sell agreement is a critical component of succession planning for many businesses. It sets the terms and conditions under which an owner’s business interest can be sold to another owner (or owners) should an unexpected tragedy or turn of events occurs. It also establishes the method for determining the price of the interest. This ...

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Back-to-School Marketing Ideas for Savvy Business Owners
August is back-to-school time across the country. Whether the school buses are already rumbling down your block, or will be soon, the start of the school year brings marketing opportunities for savvy business owners. Here are some examples of ways companies can promote themselves. A Virtual “Brag Book” A creative agency posts on social media ...

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Powers of Attorney: Springing vs. Nonspringing
Estate planning typically focuses on what happens to your assets when you die. But it’s equally important (some might say more important) to have a plan for making critical financial and medical decisions if you’re unable to make those decisions yourself. That’s where the power of attorney (POA) comes in. A POA appoints a trusted ...

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Beware the GST Tax When Transferring Assets to Grandchildren
As you plan your estate, don’t overlook the generation-skipping transfer (GST) tax. Despite a generous $5.49 million GST tax exemption, complexities surrounding its allocation can create several tax traps for the unwary. GST Basics The GST tax is a flat, 40% tax on transfers to “skip persons,” including grandchildren, other family members more than a generation ...

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Immigrants who are detained by Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers and placed in removal proceedings in Louisiana will most likely be either be housed either at the LaSalle Detention Facility in Jena, Louisiana or the Pine Prairie Correctional Center in Pine Prairie, Louisiana. These facilities are run and operated  by The Geo Group, Inc., ...

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Rev Up Retirement Offerings with an NQDC Plan
Many business owners and executives would like to save more money for retirement than they’re allowed to sock away in their 401(k) plan. For 2017, the annual elective deferral contribution limit for a 401(k) is just $18,000, or $24,000 if you’re 50 years of age or older. This represents a significantly lower percentage of the ...

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Use a Noncharitable Purpose Trust to Achieve a Variety of Goals
Generally, trusts must have one or more human beneficiaries, but there’s an exception for certain “purpose” trusts. One type of purpose trust that you may be familiar with is the charitable trust. But don’t overlook the noncharitable purpose (NCP) trust as a potential tool for achieving your estate planning goals. What is an NCP Trust? ...

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4 Tough Questions to Ask Before Expanding to a New Location
Is business going so well that you’re thinking about adding another location? If this is the case, congratulations! But before you start planning the ribbon-cutting ceremony, take a step back and ask yourself some tough questions about whether a new location will grow your company — or stretch it too thin. Here are four to ...

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