Congress is enacting the biggest tax reform law in thirty years, one that will make fundamental changes in the way you, your family and your business calculate your federal income tax bill, and the amount of federal tax you will pay. Since most of the changes will go into effect next year, there's still a narrow window of time before year-end to soften or avoid the impact of crackdowns and to best position yourself for the tax breaks that may be heading your way. Here's a quick rundown of last-minute moves you should think about making.
Last month, the European Union Community made headlines with their release of a diplomatic document that, for the first time, defines cyber-terrorism by a foreign power as an act of war. The EU document is expected to say that member states may respond to online espionage or cyber-attacks against their infrastructure or political processes with conventional weaponry in “the gravest of circumstances.”
Now is the time to focus on year-end tax planning. Careful and strategic planning can help minimize your tax bill and maximize what you keep. Given the uncertainty and sweeping scope of proposed tax law changes, planning is both more complex and more important than ever this year. Below, we discuss five year-end tax planning strategies you can use to maximize how much of your own money you keep.
Socially Responsible Investing (SRI) is just what it sounds like – putting your money where your mouth is. If you are concerned about environmental issues, healthcare, debilitating diseases, labor abuses or even buying domestically manufactured products, SRI identifies companies that align with an investor’s values.
Investors and their advisors frequently are influenced by a variety of factors, ranging from news, rumors, biases, gut instinct, emotions (from exuberance to fear), marketing tactics, compensation models and business models. While any of these influences can lead to investment outperformance, they are just as likely to lead to flat or underperformance as well. Without real fundamental analysis, investing is just a combination of luck and conjecture.
Call it ironic that on the very day Equifax went public with news of its massive data breach, Congress was holding hearings on reducing the regulations imposed on U.S. credit bureaus.
What's next for The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act?
Goal-based investing became popular after the Great Recession of 2008-09. Many salaried, middle-class workers lost their jobs, had to stop contributing to their 401(k) plan or, worse yet, had to make hardship withdrawals from it. These events triggered a realization that this blip in their long-term life plan could derail retirement dreams. For many, it may have been the first time they equated retirement investing with actual retirement income.
How much time do your employees squander on various distractions that take their time and attention away from work? Recent surveys from staffing organizations suggest that almost half of participating employers believe the majority of their workers lose one to two hours a day in productivity due to distractions. In some instances, employers estimated that workers were distracted for as much three or even four hours a day.