Macpage e-Newsletter Archive

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Converting an Unincorporated Business Into an S Corp

April 26, 2017

Are you fed up with paying high Social Security and Medicare tax bills for your unincorporated business? The following article illustrates how you might be able to substantially reduce those taxes by converting your business into an S corporation. Of course, there are some caveats, but a conversion strategy might work in your situation.

The...
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Notify the IRS if You Change Your Address

April 26, 2017

It's important to tell the IRS if you change your address. It will help the agency notify you if there is a problem with a tax return you filed — or if you are due a refund. In fact, the burden is on taxpayers to tell the IRS they have moved — it is not on the IRS to find them. One individual discovered this in a court case. This article explains the rules and the facts of the case.

It's...
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Establishing Residency for State Tax Purposes

April 26, 2017

Which state (or states) do you call home? Many individuals move to a new state with lower personal state income tax rates, hoping to reduce their tax bills. But some people run into problems when they fail to establish legal residency in the new state — or terminate it in the old state. Here, we discuss the importance of establishing "domicile" and several effective ways to prove it for state tax purposes, including a recent decision based on the location of the taxpayer's beloved pet.

Have...
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Do you know the tax implications of your C corp.’s buy-sell agreement?

April 25, 2017

A buy-sell agreement is critical to most closely held businesses with multiple owners. But a C corporation’s buy-sell agreement could produce adverse tax consequences if not structured properly.

Private...
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Individual tax calendar: Key deadlines for the remainder of 2017

April 18, 2017

Look beyond April 18 to the tax-related deadlines you face for the rest of 2017. If you don’t, you could become subject to interest and penalties or simply miss out on tax-saving opportunities.

While...
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Save the Date! Fine Art Opening

April 12, 2017

Please join us for out 11th Fine Art Exhibition, Dreamy & Surreal! Featuring Celeste Roberge & Emily Barrera. Exhibition Opening Reception is May 18th, 5-7pm; at Macpage LLC in South Portland. Click the link for more information.

Spring...
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Welcome to the First Edition of the Macpage Video Blog Series!

April 12, 2017

Macpage team members will be here every other week to discuss frequently asked questions. Watch this weeks video with Nick Norton, manager of our Information Assurance Services team, as he discusses what exactly the term "The Internet of Things" means.

What...
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Arbitration Agreements Save Headaches and Dollars

April 12, 2017

Court battles with employees can be enormously costly in time and money, but your company can avoid much of that waste by asking employees to agree in advance to put grievances through arbitration. Click "Full Article" for guidelines on alternate dispute resolution programs where both sides can win.

If...
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Tax Court Interprets Exceptions to the PAL Rules for Rental Properties

April 12, 2017

Do you own rental real estate properties? If so, it's important, for tax purposes, to determine whether you're a passive investor or whether you materially participate in renting the property. Here are several U.S. Tax Court decisions that clarify whether certain taxpayers qualify for special exceptions to the passive activity loss (PAL) rules for rental properties.

Real...
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Recent Developments May Affect Passive Investors with Losses

April 12, 2017

If you have business or rental activities that generate tax losses, you could be subject to the IRS rules on passive activity losses (PALs). Here are seven tests to determine whether you materially participate in an activity, thereby exempting you from PAL rules, along with two recent developments that clarify how to apply the PAL guidance in real world situations.

Do...
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Non-Compete Agreements: What Can They Accomplish?

April 12, 2017

They are based on fear -- fear that an employee might run off to a competitor and take along some highly specialized knowledge. And while that concern is legitimate, non-compete agreements must be phrased carefully and they cannot unreasonably restrict a former employee's activities. Here's a guide to what you can do to protect your company's interests.

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A timely postmark on your tax return may not be enough to avoid late-filing penalties

April 11, 2017

Because of a weekend and a Washington, D.C., holiday, the 2016 tax return filing deadline for individual taxpayers is Tuesday, April 18. The IRS considers a paper return that’s due April 18 to be timely filed if it’s postmarked by midnight. But dropping your return in a mailbox on the 18th may not be sufficient.

Because...
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Remember the New FBAR Filing Deadline

March 29, 2017

Did you have an interest in (or authority over) a foreign financial account during 2016? If so, you'll need to electronically file a form called the "Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts" (FBAR). That form — which is due on April 18, 2017 — may be reviewed by IRS examiners as part of its efforts to unearth offshore tax evasion. Here's an overview of how to comply with the IRS regulations on reporting foreign accounts.

Do...
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Search Your Company For Extra Cash

March 29, 2017

Profits aren't the sole province of your company's accounting staff or your chief financial officer. Each department contributes to the bottom line in one way or another and it's critical that all your employees understand how each area of the company accomplishes that. Click "Full Article" for some profit-boosting suggestions and how to get everyone more involved in the process.

Does...
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Keep Top Talent on Board

March 29, 2017

Building an effective staff means giving employees plenty of leeway. A desirable environment combines a focused, flexible atmosphere with open communication and challenging work. Here are some smart, family-friendly elements to help your company retain top employees.

Offer...
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AICPA Cybersecurity Examinations Introduce New Opportunities for Organizations

March 29, 2017

Cybersecurity is one of the key national security issues facing the United States government. Cyber attacks continue to threaten the business world and wreak havoc on our personal lives. The design and effectiveness of cybersecurity risk management programs is critically important. Stakeholders seek to understand the cyber risks that face organizations and want proof that organizations are taking action to mitigate such risks.

Cybersecurity...
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Macpage Bowling Team Wins Again!

March 29, 2017

The Macpage bowling team is at it again, winning their 3rd Consecutive Division A bowling title in the Casco Bay Sports League! Congratulations team!

The...
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2017 Q2 tax calendar: Key deadlines for businesses and other employers

March 28, 2017

Do you know what tax-related deadlines your business faces in Q2 of 2017? If you miss them, you could be subject to interest and penalties.

Here...
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Save the Date! 11th Fine Art Exhibition Opening

March 15, 2017

Dreamy & Surreal Exhibition Opening Reception, May 18th, 2017, 5-7pm. Click the link for more information. Macpage is committed to improving our local community and supporting the arts and artists in Maine through events such as our biannual fine art exhibition. We do not take a commission on any sold works therefore the artists receives 100% of sale price.

  May...
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Will You Have to Pay Tax on Social Security Benefits?

March 15, 2017

During your working years, you pay Social Security taxes on earned income and look forward to the day you can retire and get some of that money back. So once you start receiving Social Security benefits, you may be surprised to find out that you could owe federal (and possibly state) income tax on the payments. This article explains how to find out if Uncle Sam will take a tax bite out of your benefits.

Some...
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Maximize Write-Offs for Business Interest Expense

March 15, 2017

Personal loans used for business purposes can generate interest expense write-offs. But to make the most of these deductions, it helps to know the rules. Click "Full Article" for a look at how to trace loan proceeds, as well as strategies to maximize the tax benefits.

When...
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Self-Employment Tax Reduction Strategies for Spouse-Owned Businesses

March 15, 2017

Do you and your spouse own an unincorporated business that's treated as a partnership for tax purposes? If so — and it's profitable — you may be paying more in self-employment (SE) tax than is necessary. Here are three ways that spouse-owned businesses may be able to lower their SE tax hit.

If...
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When an elderly parent might qualify as your dependent

March 7, 2017

Are you supporting an elderly parent? You might qualify for the adult-dependent exemption, which allows a deduction of up to $4,050 per adult dependent claimed on your 2016 tax return. For you to qualify, in most cases your parent must have less gross income for the tax year than the exemption amount. Generally Social Security is excluded, but payments from dividends, interest and retirement plans are included. And you must have contributed more than 50% of your parent’s financial support. Contact us for more information on qualifying for this break or others.

When...
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Investigate Zoning Laws Before Committing to a Location

March 1, 2017

Land-use regulations outline legally acceptable uses for locations, and previous use is no guarantee that your business will be able to set up shop at your desired locale. Before you sign a rental agreement or a contract to buy commercial real estate be sure to check out the local zoning laws. Taking this precaution can help avoid expensive troubles. Read the "Full Article" for the details.

Location,...
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Executive Terminations: Sever Ties Carefully

March 1, 2017

Firing an employee can be difficult at best. When that individual is one of your top staff members it can be even more complicated, not only raising complicated legal issues but also affecting morale among remaining employees who may wonder if their jobs are in jeopardy. Here are some recommendations.

Firing...
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Seniors: Consider These Tax Breaks When Filing for 2016

March 1, 2017

There are some special tax breaks that can help "experienced" taxpayers reduce their federal income tax bills, including the bill for last year. Here are the details to help you decide if the tax-saving opportunities for itemized medical expenses and catch-up contributions to retirement accounts can work for you — and your senior friends and family members.

    Are...
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New England Pond Hockey Tournament

March 1, 2017

Our employees participate in a variety of sports teams, organizations, and events. Brad Weller, CPA, Principal, participates in the New England Pond Hockey Annual Tournament in Rangeley each February, which draws people from all over the US. Click the link to read more about this fun event.

  Brad...
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Working Out a Tax-Free Perk

March 1, 2017

Like to exercise? There might be a healthy tax-free fringe benefit your company can provide to all employees — or just a chosen few. This article explains the basic tax rules involved in setting up a gym on your company's premises.

Your...
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Deduct all of the mileage you’re entitled to — but not more

February 21, 2017

You probably know that miles driven for business can be deductible. But did you know you may be able to deduct miles driven for other purposes? Rather than keeping track of the actual cost of operating a vehicle, you can use a standard mileage rate when you use your vehicle for the following purposes: Business: 54 cents (2016), 53.5 cents (2017). Medical: 19 cents (2016), 17 cents (2017). Moving: 19 cents (2016), 17 cents (2017). Charitable: 14 cents (2016 and 2017). But the rules surrounding the various mileage deductions are complex, so contact us for details.

Rather...
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Mind of an Artist: Honour Mack, Prominent Maine Painter

February 15, 2017

The walls of Macpage's South Portland office are filled with beautiful artwork produced by talented local artists. As part of our commitment to our community, we host rotating art exhibitions to support the arts and artists in Maine! Click the link to read our interview with Honour Mack, a prominent Maine artist and Painting and Drawing Professor at the Maine College of Art. She is a featured artist in our current exhibition, Transcend, on view until May 15th, 2017.

Honour...
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Macpage Proudly Continues our Sponsorship of the Go Red for Women Luncheon!

February 15, 2017

Macpage will again serve as a sponsor of the Go Red for Women Campaign, held annually by the American Heart Association; which serves to educate the public about the risk of heart disease, the difference of symptoms in men and women, and how to prevent it. Click the link to learn more about this great cause!

February...
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Remember RMDs this Tax Season

February 15, 2017

If you're 70½ or older, you're required to take required minimum distributions (RMDs) from your traditional IRA (or IRAs) every year. Here are the requirements — including an extended April 1 deadline for taking RMDs for the year you turn 70½ — as well as details about a tax-free alternative that can satisfy the RMD rules for charitably inclined seniors.

Did...
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Do you need to file a 2016 gift tax return by April 18?

February 14, 2017

If you made gifts to loved ones in 2016, a gift tax return may be required (or recommended). Not filing (and paying tax due, if any) could result in interest, penalties, or even unnecessary tax liability.

Last...
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Use Polygraph Tests With Caution

February 8, 2017

Polygraph tests are highly regulated, but they can be used in certain circumstances following very strict standards. Click "Full Article" for a look at the law and what companies need to know before they even suggest a lie detector test.

If...
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How S Corporations Can Save on Federal Employment Taxes

February 8, 2017

Are you an owner of a sole proprietorship, partnership or LLC? If so, federal self-employment tax bills may be costing you thousands of dollars each year. Operating as an S corporation can help reduce federal employment taxes for small businesses that are currently unincorporated. Here's how this strategy works and why it's important to act fast to implement the changes for calendar year 2017.

If...
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What you need to know about the tax treatment of ISOs

February 7, 2017

Incentive stock options allow you to buy company stock in the future at a fixed price equal to or greater than the stock’s fair market value on the grant date. If the stock appreciates, you can buy shares at a price below what they’re then trading for. However, complex tax rules apply to this type of compensation.

Current...
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Telecommuting Tax Issues

February 2, 2017

With continuing innovations in communication technology, employees and employers are increasingly recognizing the benefits of employees working remotely and telecommuting. However, the rise in popularity in telecommuting can also result in unexpected state tax issues for both the employer and the employee.

By...
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10 Important Tax-Related Developments for 2016

February 2, 2017

Do you recall the major federal tax law changes that happened last year? From HRAs and premium tax credits to delayed refunds and FBAR reporting, 2016 was eventful. Reviewing recent tax-related developments can give individuals and businesses a jumpstart on tax season 2017. In fact, many changes will be reflected on your 2016 tax return. A sidebar discusses the "extenders" that Congress left in limbo when it adjourned last year.

Several...
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Handling Interest Expense on Loans to Inject Capital

February 2, 2017

Injecting capital into an S or C corporation with proceeds from a personal loan can generate interest tax write-offs. But there are certain rules that must be followed. This article takes a look at how to allocate these cash injections to maximize your tax deductions.

There...
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Are You Eligible for the Health Insurance Premium Tax Credit?

February 2, 2017

The Affordable Care Act established the premium tax credit (PTC) to make health insurance coverage more affordable for people with modest incomes who don't receive qualifying employer-sponsored coverage. Unfortunately, the rules for qualifying for and quantifying this refundable credit intimidate many taxpayers. Here are the basics for computing the credit.

The...
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The “Manufacturers’ Deduction” Isn’t Just For Manufacturers

January 31, 2017

The Section 199 deduction is intended to encourage domestic manufacturing. In fact, it’s often referred to as the “manufacturers’ deduction.” But this potentially valuable tax break can be used by many other types of businesses besides manufacturing companies.

Sec....
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Tax Fraud Awareness: How to Protect Your Identity and Assets

January 18, 2017

Do you know the warning signs that you may be a victim of tax-related identity theft? Here we explain those signs along with ways thieves can turn your personal information into quick cash. Tax season starts on January 23. There's no time like the present to take simple steps to safeguard your data online and at home from identity thieves.

The...
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Macpage Bowling Team Wins the Championship Again!

January 17, 2017
The...
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Build Teams for Growth and Success

January 4, 2017

Individual creativity and an entrepreneurial spirit are widely admired traits among Americans. But a growing number of companies are discovering what the Japanese have known all along: Teamwork builds success. Here are a few tips on how to turn your staff into a lean, effective team.

Teamwork....
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Happy New Year!

January 1, 2017

Happy New Year! We have had an excellent holiday season and we hope you did as well! The holidays are an important time for us at Macpage to give back. Click the link to learn about what we did for the community in 2016.

Macpage's Ralph...
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Portland Boxing Club Boxer Earns Bronze at USA Boxing National Championship

January 4, 2017

Durward Ferland, a Principal at Macpage, is a volunteer at the Portland Boxing Club and mentors Josniel Castro, one of the amateur boxers there. Castro, an elite level welterweight, recently had the opportunity to compete in the USA Boxing National Championships in Kansas City, MO.

Durward...
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PCI Compliance: Protect Customer Information

January 4, 2017

The use of credit and debit cards has skyrocketed in recent years. That means merchants and other businesses are in receipt of more personal information about customers and clients. To protect this information, businesses must comply with Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS). The volume of transactions of a business determines the specific compliance requirements that must be met. Here are the details.

The...
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Important Tax Figures for 2017

January 4, 2017

Every year, the dollar amounts allowed for various federal tax benefits are subject to change based on inflation adjustments and legislation. Here are some important tax figures for 2017, compared with 2016, including the estate tax exemption, Social Security wage base, qualified retirement plan and IRA contribution limits, driving deductions, allowable business write-off amounts and more.

The...
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Few changes to retirement plan contribution limits for 2017

December 28, 2016

It’s time to start thinking about how much you’ll contribute to retirement plans in 2017. Find out what the 2017 limits are and whether you can increase your contributions.

Retirement...
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Happy Holidays!

December 21, 2016

From our families to yours, wishing you a very Happy Holiday season! Every year we give back to the community by providing Christmas presents to one local family. Click the link to learn more about our charitable giving.

From...
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Artist Feature: Meg Brown Payson

December 21, 2016

Every few months we feature and interview one artist who has participated in our shows. Our artist feature this month is Meg Brown Payson, a prominent Maine artist and professor at the Maine College of Art. She is a featured artist in our current exhibition, Transcend, on view until May 15th, 2017.

The...
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Employee, Partner or Both? Recent Developments Help You Decide

December 21, 2016

Long-standing IRS guidance says a partner can't also be an employee of the same partnership. Unless the IRS makes some exceptions to this guidance, taxpayers with even a small ownership interest in a partnership will be classified as partners. Here, we discuss these rules and highlight two recent cases that support the IRS's hard-line stance on recognizing partnership income. (Warning to LLC members: This IRS guidance also extends to you.)

Are...
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Resolve Customer Billing Disputes Promptly

December 21, 2016

Customers' disputes over their bills hurt your business and your cash flow and, unfortunately, many companies seem permanently entrenched in collection conflicts. Click "Full Article" to learn the signals that can indicate your company is one of those, along with steps that can help avoid problems.

Every...
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Help New Employees Reach Their Potential

December 21, 2016

Ease employees into your company. Think about assigning veteran staffers as coaches to new hires. You'll save time and money in training and turnover costs. And make sure the orientation is spread over time to allow more information at a slower pace. Here are some tips.

No...
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Why making annual exclusion gifts before year end can still be a good idea

December 13, 2016

The 2016 gift tax annual exclusion allows you to give up to $14,000 per recipient tax-free. Even with a possible 2017 estate tax repeal, 2016 annual exclusion gifts may be tax-smart.

A...
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Fringe Benefits Taxation - Health for S Corporation 2% Shareholders and Employer Provided Auto

December 7, 2016

Andrew Wells, of Macpage gives a general discussion of the tax consequences of employer provided fringe benefits in certain circumstances.

By...
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How to Negotiate with Edgy Lenders

December 7, 2016

If your company slams into some tight times it can be easy to fall behind on bills and creditors might start calling every day asking where their money is. That is not the time to panic -- it's the time to face facts, brace yourself and prepare for some smart negotiating.

It's...
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Employers: Genetic Law May Require Changes

December 7, 2016

A law that went into effect in 2009 provides greater protection against discrimination of employees based on genetic information. Now, new federal regulations clarify the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act. The new regulations may require changes to employer wellness programs run in conjunction with group health plans. Here are the details.

Ensure...
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Spotlight On Business Tax Trends

December 7, 2016

What's the most popular choice of entity: sole proprietorship, C corporation, S corporation, partnership or limited liability company? A recent report by the Joint Committee on Taxation answers this question — and highlights trends in how businesses have been structured over the last 35 years. With the recent election and proposed tax reforms in the works for 2017, however, it's possible that these trends could reverse or slow down in the future.

The...
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Debt or Equity? New Guidance Helps You Decide

December 7, 2016

Is a payment from a shareholder to a corporation considered bona fide debt or a capital contribution? Here are two recent developments on this issue — a U.S. Tax Court decision and long-awaited IRS regulations — as well as eight factors to consider when distinguishing debt from equity.

Corporations...
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Ensure your year-end donations will be deductible on your 2016 return

November 29, 2016

Will your year-end donations qualify for a 2016 charitable deduction? Only if their “unconditional delivery” is by Dec. 31 and the organization is eligible to receive tax-deductible contributions.

Donations...
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Wishing You a Happy Thanksgiving

November 22, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at Macpage! During the holidays, we at Macpage try to give back to our local community, check out what we have been up to this fall!

 ...
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Year-End Reminder: Don't Forget FSAs

November 23, 2016

November is benefits enrollment time for most companies. Do you know how health care Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs), child care FSAs and Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) differ? Here, we explain the differences and provide year-end spending and budgeting strategies. Beware: Employees who don't spend the remaining funds in their FSAs before year end could forfeit what's left over, unless a special provision applies.

The...
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New Version of Form I-9 Issued

November 23, 2016

Federal law requires every employer that hires an individual for employment in the United States to complete Form I-9, "Employment Eligibility Verification." The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently issued a new version of Form I-9 that employers must start using soon. Here are the details of the new form.

The...
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Don't Overlook a Roth IRA if You Are Self-Employed

November 23, 2016

Roth IRAs have a number of unique benefits but many eligible people don't take advantage of them. Don't miss out on this tax-saving vehicle because you assume you don't qualify or you believe your tax rate during retirement won't be very high. In this article, we explain why these assumptions might be wrong and how you might be able to build a substantial tax-favored retirement fund with a Roth IRA.

Saving...
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When Can You Deduct Moving Expenses?

November 23, 2016

The tax impact of moving is a story of good news and bad news for individuals. On the plus side, a variety of moving-related expenses may be deductible on your federal tax return. On the downside, there are IRS tests involved and not every moving cost can be deducted. This article explains the rules, including how employer reimbursements work.

Some...
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Year-end tax strategies for accrual-basis taxpayers

November 21, 2016

Accrual-basis taxpayer? One way to save tax is to properly record and recognize expenses that were incurred this year but won’t be paid until 2017. Here are more details and other year-end tips especially for you.

The...
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You're Invited to our 10th Fine Art Exhibition!

October 26, 2016

You are invited to Macpage's 10th Fine Art Exhibition, Transcend, featuring prominent local artists, Honour Mack and Meg Brown Payson, and other artists working with abstraction. Please join us for art, refreshments and to meet the artists. November 17th, 5-7pm. Click the link for more details.

Transcend Opening...
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A brief overview of the President-elect’s tax plan for individuals

November 15, 2016

What’s the President-elect’s tax plan for individuals? The top tax rate would go down and the estate tax would be abolished. But some taxpayers could see their taxes go up. Here’s more.

Now...
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There’s still time to set up a retirement plan for 2016

November 14, 2016

Small business owners: If you don’t already have a tax-advantaged retirement plan, consider setting one up this year. Here are some options.

Saving...
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It’s critical to be aware of the tax rules surrounding your NQDC plan

November 14, 2016

If you have an NQDC plan, be sure you’re familiar with the applicable tax rules. Some rules might require action before year end. And the penalties for noncompliance can be severe.

Nonqualified...
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The Employer's Role in Documenting Workers

November 9, 2016

Job applicants must show that they are legally authorized to work in the United States and it's up to you to obtain this verification before you hire them. At the same time, you need to guard against discriminatory practices based on eligibility to work in this country. Read the full article for some guidelines.

The...
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Get Ready Businesses: Some Filing Due Dates Are Changing

November 9, 2016

Upcoming due dates for some business tax returns are changing due to legislation passed last year. In addition, the filing deadlines for Forms 1099-MISC and W-2 are also changing in 2017. This means you'll have to submit information to the IRS earlier than in the past. This article explains what the new deadlines are and how your business can comply with them.

Thanks...
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Year-End Tax Strategies for Small Businesses

November 9, 2016

Are you looking for last-minute strategies to help lower the 2016 tax bill for your small business? Here are some effective tax-saving moves, based on current tax law, that may be worthwhile. Strategies include timing income and deductible expenses, buying vehicles and equipment, selling qualified small business corporation stock, and taking advantage of net operating losses.

It's...
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New Tax Form Filing Deadlines Beginning in 2017 (Form W-2 and Form 1099-MISC)

November 9, 2016

Beginning in 2017 (for the 2016 year), a new January 31 filing deadline will apply to both Form W-2 and Form 1099-MISC.

By:...
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Get Up and Running After a Disaster

November 9, 2016

Income loss following a disaster can be severe. one of the keys to ensuring that your company remains viable is to file an accurate and timely claim against a business interruption insurance policy. This article provides a rundown on what to do and to see why you need to involve your professional advisors.

If...
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Managing the Ups and Downs of Seasonal Businesses

November 2, 2016

During their busy times, seasonal businesses experience a surge in revenues that tapers off in the slow season. Ebbs and flows in the business cycle can create cash flow shortages and human resource issues. Plus, seasonal businesses have less room for error in their marketing and sales campaigns. Here are some creative solutions for the challenges that seasonal fluctuations present.

What...
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Fraud Alert: The ACFE Puts a Spotlight on White Collar Crime

November 2, 2016

The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) sets aside the third week in November as International Fraud Awareness Week. The ACFE's goal is to encourage companies join the fight against white collar crime by discussing best practices in fraud prevention and detection. Here are some simple ways you can beef up your antifraud efforts.

The...
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Enjoying Tax Breaks at a Convention

November 2, 2016

Sunshine, beaches and business can mix, and the IRS allows deductions for business conventions held in some exotic areas. The IRS agency has updated its list of locations that fit the bill for travel-expense deductions. Click "Full Article" for details and acceptable locales.

Are...
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Kids and Claws Logo

Don't miss the 8th Annual Kids & Claws Dinner!

October 26, 2016

Show support for the Boys and Girls Club of Southern Maine and meet the players from the Maine Red Claws at the 8th Annual Kids & Claws Dinner to be held on November 9th at the Portland Expo! Click the link for more information or to purchase tickets.

Don't...
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IRS Issues New Regs on Allocating Debt to Partners and LLC Members

October 26, 2016

Partnerships and limited liability companies (LLCs) face new IRS guidance on how to allocate debt for tax purposes. Here's a summary of new temporary and final regulations that interpret Section 752 of the Internal Revenue Code and how they'll affect owners' basis in these entities.

On...
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New IRS Regs on Disguised Sales Affect Partnerships and LLCs

October 26, 2016

The IRS recently issued new guidance that will affect many partnerships and limited liability companies (LLCs). Here's a summary of new temporary and final regulations that interpret the disguised sale rules of the Internal Revenue Code and how the new guidance may affect transactions between these entities and their owners.

In...
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Improve Your Messages to Improve Communication

October 26, 2016

Leaders can avoid misunderstandings and confrontations when communicating with associates and employees. How? By avoiding the misuse of memos and e-mail messages. It's best to communicate corrections, reprimands, praise and compliments face-to-face. Don't use a casual approach in written messages. For some examples of poor communications, click "Full Article."

Imagine...
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Limit Exposure When Signing a Lease

October 26, 2016

Leasing can be a shrewd alternative to purchasing when it comes to items like equipment, business cars and space. And shrewdness also comes into play when you negotiate the payments. Click "Full Article" to see how to avoid twisting in the wind after signing your next lease contract.

Prudent...
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Beware of income-based limits on itemized deductions and personal exemptions

October 26, 2016

Many tax breaks are reduced or eliminated for higher-income taxpayers. Two of particular note are the itemized deduction reduction and the personal exemption phaseout.

Income...
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Beware of a 100% Personal Liability Penalty

October 12, 2016

A harsh and expensive tax penalty can be personally imposed on any person responsible for collecting, accounting for, or turning over taxes to the federal government that were withheld from employees' paychecks. There's often more than one person in a firm who can be hit with the Trust Fund Recovery Penalty, which is also called the 100% Penalty. This article shows you how it works.

A "100%...
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What You Need to Know About the Alternative Minimum Tax

October 12, 2016

The alternative minimum tax (AMT) rules are among the most misunderstood provisions of the Internal Revenue Code. Many people mistakenly believe the AMT applies to only higher-income taxpayers. But over the years, it has begun to affect upper-middle-income households, too. Here are some strategies for minimizing the AMT.

Congress...
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Are you timing business income and expenses to your tax advantage?

October 11, 2016

The timing of your business’s income and deductible expenses can have a big impact on your tax liability. Here’s how to determine the right timing strategies for you this year.

Typically,...
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How to Make the Most of Medical Expense Deductions

October 12, 2016

Health insurance premiums and medical care costs seem to increase every year — and the IRS has been cutting back on tax breaks related to health care. Here are a couple of planning strategies to consider over the next two years that could help reduce your tax liability and ease the burden of rising health care costs.

With...
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IRS Publishes Travel Per Diem Rates for Fiscal Year 2017

October 5, 2016

The IRS offers simplified methods for reimbursing employees' out-of-town lodging, meals and incidental expenses. By using travel per diems instead of documenting actual expenses, businesses and employees don't need to prepare detailed expense reports. This article discusses government-approved rates, the high-low method and changes that go into effect for travel starting on October 1, 2016.

Tired...
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Like Us on Facebook and We Will Donate to the United Way!

October 5, 2016

October is Macpage's annual United Way Campaign. As part of this years campaign, Macpage will donate an additional $1 for every new 'Like' we receive on our Facebook page. Please give us a like, and be sure to invite your friends and family to like us as well!

United...
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Spotlight on Gains from Qualified Small Business Stock

October 5, 2016

Under the qualified small business stock (QSBS) rules, eligible gains from selling QSBS may qualify for a 0% federal tax rate. Sound too good to be true? These rules were made permanent under the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act of 2015. Here are some important details about this tax-saving opportunity, including the most important restrictions and limitations.

Whether...
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Tax-smart options for your old retirement plan when you change jobs

October 4, 2016

Don’t get hit with taxes and penalties on retirement plan assets when you change jobs.

There’s...
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Save Taxes While Controlling Employee Health Costs

October 5, 2016

As an employer, you are probably fed up with rising health care costs. Many employers have responded by rethinking the benefits they offer. There are ways to provide tax-advantaged health care programs to your employees, and at the same time, cut your overall costs. Here are three options to consider.

If...
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Business Equipment Tax Reimbursement and Business Equipment Tax Exemption Programs

September 28, 2016

Macpage's Jim Cardosi provides a general overview of Maine's Business Equipment Tax Exemption (BETE) and Business Equipment Tax Reimbursement (BETR) programs.

By...
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Update on Home Mortgage Interest Deductions

September 28, 2016

Itemized deductions for qualified residence interest are an ongoing source of controversy between taxpayers and the IRS. Here, we review the rules and summarize several recent developments for deducting interest from acquisition and home equity debt for federal income tax purposes. Some of the latest Tax Court decisions might even surprise you.

The...
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Survey Reveals Most Drug and Alcohol Abusers Work Full-Time

September 28, 2016

Most of the nation's illicit drug users and heavy alcohol drinkers hold full-time jobs, according to one study released by the federal government. These employees are less productive and more prone to harming themselves and others in the workplace. What can an employer do to help prevent liability and the costly consequences of drugs and alcohol? Which industries have the most substance abuse among employees?

Most...
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Smart Ways to Handle Off-Site Employees

September 28, 2016

Telecommuting eliminates many problems, but having employees working off site also creates unique management challenges. Read the "Full Article" for some tips on how to avoid some of the pitfalls and make telecommuting work at your company.

With...
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Start-up Costs Defined for Book (GAAP) vs. Tax, with Examples

September 28, 2016

Mike Santo recently presented at a webinar discussing start-up costs. Most new business owners, or those looking to expand, want to categorize expenses in the most beneficial manner for tax purposes. However, the rules for defining start-up costs can often be confusing. In order to maximize tax savings, it is important to understand the differences between these costs, how they should be accounted for and their tax implications. Read Mike's highlights from his presentation.

General...
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Get 2 tax benefits from 1 donation: Give appreciated stock instead of cash

September 27, 2016

If you’re charitably inclined, making donations is probably one of your key year-end tax planning strategies. But if you typically give cash, you may want to consider another option that provides not just one but two tax benefits: Donating long-term appreciated stock.

More...
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Prepaid tuition vs. college savings: Which type of 529 plan is better?

September 20, 2016

If you’re thinking about investing in a 529 plan to help fund college for your child or grandchild, you’ll need to choose between a prepaid tuition plan and a savings plan. Learn how they compare.

Section...
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Documentation is the key to business expense deductions

September 16, 2016

If you have incomplete or missing records and get audited by the IRS, your business will likely lose out on valuable deductions. Here are two recent U.S. Tax Court cases that help illustrate the rules for documenting deductions.

Case...
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Featured Artist Erin McGee Ferrell

September 14, 2016

When clients walk through our doors they are greeted by walls of artwork produced by talented artists from across Maine. We host rotating art exhibitions as part of our support of the arts and artists in Maine! Every few months we feature and interview one artist who has participated in our shows. Our featured artist this month is Erin McGee Ferrell, a prominent artist working out of Maine and Philadelphia. She is a featured artist in our current exhibition, Contemporary Landscapes, on view until October 21st, 2016.

Erin...
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Loan Applications: Put Your Best Foot Forward

September 14, 2016

Withdrawals from a line of credit and asset-based loans can help your business grow. But applying for bank credit can be time-consuming and nerve-wracking. Here are insights into your lender's mindset, factors underwriters consider when making credit decisions and a list of documents to gather for your loan package. Following these best practices can help increase the chances that your loan application will be approved.

Need...
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Does Multi-Tasking Have a Place in the Workplace?

September 14, 2016

Numerous studies have given multi-tasking a bad rap. But some research indicates that switching quickly from one task to another can, in some cases, be vital to success in today's workplace. This article provides insights on the pros of multi-tasking on job performance at your organization, as well as research outlining the disadvantages.

Multi-tasking...
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Macpage Donates Artworks to Charities

September 14, 2016

Artwork and charity are valued highly at Macpage, and sometimes we like to combine the two!

Macpage...
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Be Cautious When Accepting Checks

September 14, 2016

Check fraud and bounced checks are a major problem for many businesses. The best defense is a proactive approach that prevents rather than detects the crime. Here are some ways to reduce the losses suffered from bad checks.

Check...
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Tax impact of investor vs. trader status

September 6, 2016

If you invest, whether you’re considered an investor or a trader can have a significant impact on your tax bill. Do you know the difference?

Investors Most...
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Maine's Pine Tree Development Zone Credit

August 31, 2016

A summary of Maine's Pine Tree Development Zones program and the related tax incentives. For more information contact our Tax team or visit our tax services webpage, links in article.

By...
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It's Time to Review Your Financial Planning Options

August 31, 2016

As the summer winds down, consider revising your financial planning strategies based on changes in your personal circumstances, market conditions and tax laws.

Fall...
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How Consumer Protection Laws Affect Your Business

August 31, 2016

Business owners can get trapped by numerous state and federal consumer protection laws. Click "Full Article" for a rundown of some of the statutes related to advertising, pricing and more. It's important to take these laws into account in advertising and pricing.

In...
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A Winning Press Kit Helps Spotlight Your Company

August 31, 2016

Looking for some favorable publicity about your company? Grab the attention of journalists by putting together a good "press kit." Here's what you need to know about this important public relations tool.

Every...
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Now’s the time to start thinking about “bunching” — miscellaneous itemized deductions, that is

August 26, 2016

Many expenses that may qualify as miscellaneous itemized deductions are deductible only to the extent they exceed, in aggregate, 2% of your adjusted gross income (AGI). Bunching these expenses into a single year may allow you to exceed this “floor.” So now is a good time to add up your potential deductions to date to see if bunching is a smart strategy for you this year.

Should...
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No Current Deductions Before Business Commences

August 23, 2016

Current deductions are not allowed for most expenses incurred while a business is still in the start-up phase. For tax purposes, the business must be functioning at the time the expenses are incurred. Many entrepreneurs may be unaware of this rule. This article explains the tax rules for start-up companies.

Starting...
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Rx for Itemizing Medical Expenses

August 23, 2016

Congress increased the threshold for deducting medical expenses on your personal tax return. But a lower threshold still applies to some taxpayers until 2017. Here are more details on these itemized expenses, including a checklist of medical, dental and vision care items to consider when compiling your annual expenses for tax purposes.

Medical...
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Back-to-School Tips for Grownups

August 23, 2016

From a business perspective, back-to-school time is about more than selling school supplies and clothing. It provides many creative marketing opportunities for owners of all types of businesses who can think outside the pencil box. On a personal level, remember to save your receipts. Whether you're a teacher or parent, this article provides a refresher course on education-related federal tax breaks for individuals, too.

August...
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Combining business and vacation travel: What can you deduct?

August 16, 2016

If you go on a business trip within the United States and tack on some vacation days, you can deduct some of your expenses. But exactly what can you write off?

Transportation...
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3 strategies for tax-smart giving

August 9, 2016

To maximize what goes to loved ones vs. Uncle Sam, you need to carefully plan your gifts.

Giving...
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Claiming Business Deductions for Work-Related Education Costs

August 3, 2016

In today's environment, some business owners may head back to the classroom to pursue work-related education. They may even decide to pursue a degree, such as a Masters in Business Administration. When can you deduct education costs as work-related business expenses? This article explains the rules.

If...
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7 Tax-Savvy Ways to Give to Charity

August 3, 2016

Charitable giving isn't just good for society and your karma — it can also lower your tax bill, if you follow federal tax rules and keep detailed records. When the philanthropic mood strikes you, think beyond cash and online donations. Here, we provide several creative alternatives for sharing your good fortune with your favorite charity, as well as advice on how to receive a "gift" of your own from the IRS.

Charitable...
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Guard Against Age-Bias Suits When Downsizing

August 3, 2016

Layoffs can be unavoidable, and when they are, your business should take protections to avoid litigation, particularly when it comes to age discrimination. While you can ask employees to waive their right to file age-bias suits, federal law governs the terms of those accords rigidly. Click "Full Article" to understand how the statutory requirements work.

While...
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Using Dual Monitors Saves Paper and Time

August 3, 2016

No matter what industry your company is in, there are ways to go green -- in terms of eliminating waste -- that are healthy for the bottom line. Not to mention, many customers feel better about dealing with companies that are good citizens and good stewards of resources. Find out how using dual monitors on your computers can be a win/win for your business and a boost to your bottom line.

If...
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Potential Pitfalls of Debt Issuances and Exchanges

August 3, 2016

This article discusses the potential tax pitfalls involved with debt issuances and exchanges, including those related to debt-attached warrants in a corporate deal context, potential gain or COD income recognition in connection with debt exchanges, and debt/equity concerns in an international context.

By:...
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Don’t roll the dice with your taxes if you gamble this year

August 2, 2016

For anyone who takes a spin at roulette, cries out “Bingo!” or engages in other wagering activities, it’s important to be familiar with the applicable tax rules. Otherwise, you could be putting yourself at risk for interest or penalties — or missing out on tax-saving opportunities.

Wins You...
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Should you make a “charitable IRA rollover” in 2016?

July 26, 2016

Last year a break valued by many charitably inclined retirees was made permanent: the charitable IRA rollover. If you’re age 70½ or older, you can make direct contributions — up to $100,000 annually — from your IRA to qualified charitable organizations without owing any income tax on the distributions.

Satisfy...
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To deduct business losses, you may have to prove “material participation”

July 25, 2016

Most business owners don’t have to worry about the “material participation” rules. But if you have losses you’d like to deduct, you must spend a certain amount of time in an activity.

You...
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Workplace Dress Code: A Delicate Balance

July 20, 2016

Employees should reasonably be expected to conform to certain standards when they set foot in your workplace. When it comes to a dress code, knowing where to draw the line can be tricky. It requires balancing the needs of the business and employees' expectations not to be micromanaged on matters of personal taste. Here are some guidelines.

When...
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What to Do If You Haven't Filed Last Year's Tax Return or Can't Pay the Bill

July 20, 2016

Although the federal tax filing deadline is in April, many taxpayers file an extension that gives them until October to send in their Form 1040s. They may do this because they don't have the money to pay. Other people don't file at all because they believe they don't owe anything. But that can be a mistake. This article explains what to do if you didn't file an extension — or if you did and you can't pay the amount you owe.

Unless...
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FAQs about Social Security Retirement Benefits

July 20, 2016

Applying for Social Security retirement benefits is a rite of passage. But many seniors are uncertain about their options, including when to start collecting benefits, how to apply, who qualifies for survivor benefits and whether benefits will be subject to income tax. Here are the answers to some common questions, along with insight into the long-term viability of the Social Security system.

For...
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Macpage's Durward Ferland Featured in Yahoo! Finance Article

July 20, 2016

According to Durward Ferland, who leads the Information Assurance Services practice at Macpage LLC, "The use of SOC 2 examination reports has greatly expanded and is often used by eHealth Technologies' user entities as part of their third party due diligence activities." Get the link here.

Macpage's...
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Protect Receivables from the Outset

July 20, 2016

How can you prevent accounts from becoming delinquent? Of course, you can't guarantee that your customers will pay up, but this strategy should dramatically help your collection rate.

When...
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There’s Still Time for Homeowners to Save with Green Tax Credits

July 12, 2016

Thinking of going green at home? You may be able to save both energy and tax with an extended credit for investments in energy-efficient home improvements and equipment purchases.

The...
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3 Mutual Fund Tax Hazards to Watch Out For

July 8, 2016

Mutual funds offer many benefits, such as diversification and professional management. But they also can come with a few tax hazards if you hold them in taxable accounts.

Investing...
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The Financial Rewards of Buying a Condo for Your Kid's College Housing

July 6, 2016

If you have a kid in college, living expenses can be significant. One way to save money is to invest in an on-campus condominium for him or her and any roommates to reside in. As an added bonus, you may be able to sell the condo for a gain after graduation. Here are the details on the federal tax rules on rental properties for college kids and advice on how to avoid potential pitfalls.

With...
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Tee Off for Success

July 6, 2016

Driving a dimpled ball down the fairway can be good for business -- as long as you know what you're doing. Here's a guide to business golf that can help you build relationships and open the door for more sales. Just remember: The course probably isn't the place where the deal is clinched.

Golf...
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The Source of a Satisfied Customer

July 6, 2016

Service shouldn't be an add-on. It needs to be a central focus when dealing with customers. Here is the password to improved customer relations and the four steps your business should consider.

Quality...
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Awards of RSUs can provide tax deferral opportunity

June 28, 2016

If restricted stock units (RSUs) are part of your compensation package, you may have a tax deferral opportunity. RSUs are contractual rights to receive stock (or its cash value) after the award has vested, but RSUs aren’t taxable until you actually receive the stock. So try arranging with your employer to delay delivery. This will defer income tax and may reduce or avoid your exposure to the additional 0.9% Medicare tax (because the RSUs are treated as FICA income). Any income deferral must satisfy the strict requirements of Internal Revenue Code Section 409A.

Executives...
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Relief from Student Loan Debt: What Are the Tax Implications?

June 22, 2016

Many of today's college students graduate with a bundle of loan debt. Sometimes the loans are discharged or forgiven. In other cases, employers pay off all or part of student loans as a fringe benefit. In either case, there are tax implications for the student loan borrower. This article explains.

Today's...
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What Can Employers Do with Forfeited Employee FSA Balances?

June 22, 2016

A flexible spending account (FSA) is a health care benefit that provides tax savings for employers and employees. FSAs contain a "use-it-or-lose-it" feature. This could result in employees losing money not spent in accounts after a certain amount of time. Click "Full Article" to learn the basics of FSAs, as well as what employers' options are for forfeited employee balances.

When...
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Do You Own a Vacation Rental Home with Limited Personal Use?

June 22, 2016

Many people invest in vacation rental properties that they use infrequently or occasionally share with their family and friends. These properties are subject to a different set of tax rules than vacation homes with more significant personal use. Here's how to tell which rules apply to your property and suggestions on ways to maximize your tax savings on vacation rentals that have only limited personal use.

Vacation...
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Midyear Planning for Vacation Home Rentals with Significant Personal Use

June 22, 2016

Many people own properties that they primarily use for family vacations. When they contemplate renting out these vacation homes, questions often arise about taxes. Here are the tax basics for vacation homes that are rented out to third parties but that also have significant personal use. Summer is a good time to plan how to use such properties for the rest of the year to maximize the tax benefits.

Summer...
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Throw a company picnic for employees this summer and enjoy larger deductions

June 21, 2016

Many businesses host a picnic for employees in the summer. It’s a fun activity for your staff and you may be able to take a larger deduction for the cost than you would on other meal and entertainment expenses.

Deduction...
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Finding the right tax-advantaged account to fund your health care expenses

June 14, 2016

HSAs, FSAs and HRAs all offer tax-advantaged funding of health care expenses. But each type of account has its own rules and limits. Here’s the lowdown on how they compare.

With...
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Heavy Vehicle Purchases Offer Significant Business Tax Breaks...For Now

June 8, 2016

Qualifying business vehicle purchases may be eligible for Section 179 depreciation, 50% first-year bonus depreciation and regular depreciation deductions. Combined, these deductions can be substantial. But the favorable tax rules may not last. If you're considering purchasing an SUV or other heavy vehicle for business, it could make sense to act before year end in case the rules are changed after Election Day.

Favorable...
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Executive Compensation: How Much is too Much?

June 8, 2016

Many organizations are rethinking executive salary and perks. While public companies are bound by SEC disclosure rules, even private companies and not-for-profits are re-evaluating their executive compensation packages. Click "Full Article" to learn more about trends in executive compensation, including severance and fringe benefit packages, as well as the tax implications.

With...
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Business Interruption Claims Require Professional Help

June 8, 2016

Collecting on insurance loss claims can take months after a company's operations are forced to shut down temporarily because of a severe storm or other devastating event. Click "Full Article" for the reasons why you should seek advice from an accountant rather than go it alone if your company has to file a claim under a business interruption insurance policy.

Smart...
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Combine business travel and a family vacation without losing tax benefits

June 7, 2016

One way to take a low-cost family vacation is to bring loved ones along on a business trip and extend your stay. But review the rules to preserve the tax benefits of business travel.

Are...
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Stock market volatility can cut tax on a Roth IRA conversion

May 31, 2016

Roth IRAs offer many benefits, but income-based contribution limits prevent some taxpayers from taking advantage of them. Converting a traditional IRA to a Roth can be the solution, and stock market volatility can reduce the tax bite.

This...
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Monthly Artist Feature: May 2016, Jeffrey Fitzgerald

May 25, 2016

When clients walk through our doors they are greeted by walls of artwork produced by artists from across Maine. We host rotating art exhibitions as part of our support of the arts and artists in Maine! Every month we will feature one artist who has participated in our shows! Jeffrey Fitzgerald is a prominent Maine artist working out of York. He has participated in multiple Macpage exhibitions, and is a featured artist in our current exhibition, Contemporary Landscapes! On view from May 19th - November 11th, 2016.

Jeffrey...
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For Richer or Poorer: Financial and Legal Considerations in Marriage

May 25, 2016

The cost of the average U.S. wedding has grown more than $5,500 over the past five years. Before you or a loved one ties the knot, it's important to establish budget guidelines and discuss other financial and legal issues upfront, especially for people who've been married before. Here are the latest weddings trends, including who's paying for the wedding and how much it's likely to cost.

Last...
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Covenants Not To Compete: Protection for Your Business

May 25, 2016

If your business requires employees to sign agreements that contain non-compete covenants in case they leave the company, make sure they are not overly restrictive. Here are the factors that must be in place for non-compete covenants to be enforceable, as well as the tax rules involved in deducting related costs.

Are...
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New Overtime Rules Issued: What it Means for You

May 25, 2016

Starting December 1, new overtime rules kick in that will make millions more employees qualify for overtime pay. The changes include a dramatically higher pay threshold that determines whether workers are eligible for overtime at a rate of at least one and one-half times their regular pay. With a few months of lead time, employers need to take a look at their operations and decide how to incorporate the changes. This article explains.

A change...
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Refinance Debts to Trim Interest Costs

May 25, 2016

When interest rates drop, take advantage of reduced credit costs by refinancing business mortgage loans and other existing debt. Here are some creative options.

When...
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You are Invited to Macpages Art Exhibition, Contemporary Landscapes

May 11, 2016

Please join Macpage LLC for an Art Opening Reception on May 19th, 2016 from 5-7pm to enjoy art, refreshments and conversation, and to meet the artists! The contemporary Landscapes theme is inspired by the works of Jeffrey Fitzgerald and Erin McGee Ferrell.

Please...
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Made in America: The Pursuit of Life, Liberty and Global Opportunities

May 11, 2016

One issue that virtually every American supports this U.S. presidential election year is revitalizing our manufacturing sector. Since 1998, millions of manufacturing jobs have been outsourced to countries with lower wages and fewer regulations. But that trend is slowly reversing due to resurgence in the Made-in-America movement, the growing benefits of "reshoring" and government efforts to expand export opportunities.

This...
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Tap Into the Power of Customer Testimonials

May 11, 2016

Positive comments from satisfied buyers can add immeasurably to your company's bottom line. Here's a guide to collecting and successfully using customer testimonials to boost your credibility and sales — without spending a fortune on an ad campaign.

"You...
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Six Tactics To Improve Your Search Engine Results

May 11, 2016

What business doesn't want to increase traffic to its website? More than 90 percent of people who visit websites today enter them via search engine links rather than by typing in a specific URL. Consequently, search engine optimization (SEO) presents a huge opportunity for businesses looking to increase their site traffic. Take a look at six tactics to help increase your website traffic.

To...
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QSB stock offers 2 valuable tax benefits

May 3, 2016

By investing in qualified small business (QSB) stock, you can diversify your portfolio and enjoy two valuable tax benefits.

By...
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How to Create an Effective Small Business Website

April 27, 2016

An effective website is an essential tool for small businesses today, enabling them to broaden their geographic reach and inexpensively market their products and services. In celebration of National Small Business Week, we've outlined current best practices for small business websites, as well as highlighted other technology-based tools to spice up your marketing mix.

National...
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Follow Detailed Recordkeeping Rules for Vehicle Expense Deductions

April 27, 2016

Deductions for vehicle expenses may be easy targets during IRS audits. That's because many taxpayers misunderstand the rules and fail to maintain detailed mileage logs. Or they mistakenly assume their company qualifies for an exception from the IRS's strict record keeping requirements. Here's what you should know to preserve your deduction for vehicle expenses.

Many...
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Avoiding the 10% Penalty On Early IRA Withdrawals

April 27, 2016

Do you have a traditional IRA? You may have wondered whether you should take money out of it when financial needs come up. If you are under age 59 1/2, there's generally a 10% penalty for early withdrawals — in addition to any regular income tax on the amount. However, there are exceptions to the penalty, as explained in this article.

For...
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Why it’s time to start tax planning for 2016

April 19, 2016

Now that the April 18 income tax filing deadline has passed, it may be tempting to set aside any thought of taxes until year end is approaching. But don’t succumb. For maximum tax savings, now is the time to start tax planning for 2016.

More...
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Congratulations to Devin Rheaume

April 13, 2016

Despite the busy tax season, Macpage employee Devin Rheaume co-coached the Leading Ladies to championship in Las Vegas, Nevada! Read the full article to learn more of this accomplishment.

Leading...
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Danielle Gerber Featured in RAW Boston Presents Trend Artist Showcase

April 13, 2016

Danielle Gerber, local artist & Macpage marketing coordinator, will be featured in RAW Boston Presents TREND, an artist showcase, on May 26th, 2016! For more details, read the full article.

Maine...
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Protect Your Accounts from Identity Theft and Fraud

April 13, 2016

Technology helps people share information and conduct business. But it also provides opportunities for dishonest individuals to commit fraud. Criminals continually find new ways to exploit the Internet, smart devices and social media for their personal gain. Here are simple ways for individuals to fortify their personal defenses, plus some insight into the latest technology-based frauds.

From...
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The Latest Tax Developments for Partnerships

April 13, 2016

If your business operates as a partnership or multi-member limited liability company, you should know about important developments on the tax front that have gone into effect — or will soon. These changes alter when partnerships file their taxes, how they're audited by the IRS, how they determine distributive shares of partnership tax items and much more.

In...
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Disaster Recovery: Ask 'What If?'

April 13, 2016

A quick rebound after a disaster is critical to your company's success, so a lot of effort should be put into contingency planning. Here's a list of critical issues to consider when reviewing or developing your organization's recovery plan after an unthinkable catastrophe.

Disasters...
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Filing for an extension isn’t without perils

April 5, 2016

Should you file for a federal income tax return extension this year? Depending on your situation, it could make sense. But beware of the potential pitfalls.

Yes,...
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Entrepreneurs: What can you deduct and when?

March 29, 2016

Are you an entrepreneur or thinking about launching a new business? Be aware that not all start-up expenses can be deducted on your tax return right away. Some may have to be amortized over time.

Starting...
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Is the IRS Targeting Partnerships?

March 30, 2016

Audits of partnerships rose in 2015 as the IRS shifted agents away from C corporations and toward pass-through entities, according to a recent enforcement report. In addition, Congress has enacted legislation that will revise the audit rules for partnerships. The new rules may be complex, but one thing is certain: Partnerships and other types of pass-through entities will likely face higher audit risks in the coming years.

IRS...
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Could Your Company Defend Itself in an Age Discrimination Lawsuit?

March 30, 2016

If your company is sued for age discrimination, an expert witness statistician could dig up damaging evidence about your practices. Click "Full Article" for a look at the federal Age Discrimination Employment Act as well as 12 key points to include in your organization's approach toward older employees.

Could...
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Ranking Your Credit Customers

March 30, 2016

Ratings are critical in deciding whether to offer credit to a customer and in determining a credit limit that the customer is likely to maintain. Once you start letting customers buy on credit, however, you can set your own in-house ranking to further categorize the risk quotient of your buyers and help minimize your company's risks.

No...
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Tips for deducting losses from a disaster, fire or theft

March 23, 2016

Victim of a disaster, fire or theft? You may be eligible for a tax deduction. But many rules and limits apply. Here are some things you should know.

If...
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3 Income-Tax-Smart Gifting Strategies

March 16, 2016

If your 2015 tax liability is higher than you’d hoped and you’re ready to transfer some assets to your loved ones, now may be the time to get started. Giving away assets will, of course, help reduce the size of your taxable estate. But with income-tax-smart gifting strategies, it also can reduce your income tax liability — and perhaps your family’s tax liability overall:

1....
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Macpage Cookbook: Warm Soup for a Cold Day

March 16, 2016

There are few things in the world more comforting on a blustery day than a hot bowl of hearty soup. What else can so easily evoke that Norman Rockwell-esque ideal of a warm New England home in winter than the smells and sounds which emanate from a slowly simmering pot of well made soup?

By:...
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Green Tax Breaks for Individuals

March 16, 2016

Recent legislation extends the personal income tax credits for certain energy-efficient home improvements and equipment purchases, as well as purchases of qualifying electric vehicles. So, these eco-friendly expenditures can save both energy and taxes. Here are the ins and outs about which costs qualify and how to claim these federal tax credits.

Some...
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Keep a Tight Rein on Branch Operations

March 16, 2016

Setting up branch operations can help expand your revenue, boost profits and get your company's brand farther afield. But satellite operations can be disastrous if everyone is not on the same page working together.

If...
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Write Email Messages with Selling Power

March 16, 2016

Writing an email message that results in sales is an art and a science. You don't have to be an advertising pro to put together an effective sales message but you do have to follow some fundamental guidelines. Click "Full Article" for seven tips that will make your email pitch a winner and boost your bottom line.

Chances...
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Make a 2015 contribution to an IRA before time runs out

March 9, 2016

Tax-advantaged retirement plans allow your money to grow tax-deferred — or, in the case of Roth accounts, tax-free. But annual contributions are limited by tax law, and any unused limit can’t be carried forward to make larger contributions in future years. So it’s a good idea to use up as much of your annual limits as possible. Have you maxed out your 2015 limits?

April...
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2 benefits-related tax credits just for small businesses

March 2, 2016

Tax credits reduce tax liability dollar-for-dollar, making them particularly valuable. Two valuable credits are especially for small businesses that offer certain employee benefits. Can you claim one — or both — of them on your 2015 return?

Retirement...
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Join the Maine Red Claws for Alzheimer's Awareness Night!

March 2, 2016

Join the Maine Red Claws on March 11th for Alzheimer's Awareness Night, generously sponsored by Northeast Laboratory Services. Discounted tickets are available with promo code #endalz, proceeds will support the 2016 Maine Walk to End Alzheimer's.

Purchase...
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Ensure You Qualify for Charitable Donation Deductions

March 2, 2016

Like most tax breaks, charitable deductions come with many rules. This article covers some of the details of writing off donations of cash, non-cash items, appreciated securities, and even vehicles, boats and planes. It also provides eight steps to finding an IRS-approved charity.

Giving...
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Five Last-Minute Moves to Lower Your 2015 Tax Bill

March 2, 2016

Tax Day is right around the corner. Many people delay filing their taxes until the last minute, especially if they expect to write checks to the U.S. Treasury Department. Fortunately, there are a few simple strategies that qualifying individuals and small business owners can still use to lower their 2015 tax liability.

Tax...
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Strictly Speaking: Travel and Entertainment Recordkeeping

March 2, 2016

The IRS takes a strict position on travel and entertainment deductions. If you don't follow recordkeeping requirements, the tax agency may disallow the sought-after deductions. This article explains the basic rules, lays down some guidelines for providing proper receipts, and delves into a few additional points that both employers and employees will find helpful.

If...
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What’s your charitable donation deduction?

February 23, 2016

When it comes to deducting charitable gifts, all donations are not created equal. As you file your 2015 return and plan your charitable giving for 2016, it’s important to keep in mind the available deduction:

Cash....
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Macpage employee Wins 2 Gold Medals at the Special Olympics

February 17, 2016

The 47th annual Special Olympics Maine Winter Games were held at Sugarloaf Ski Resort opening on Sunday with a huge community supper in the base lodge on Sunday and ending on Tuesday with a closing ceremony, where awards were announced.

Sophie...
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How to max out education-related tax breaks

February 16, 2016

If there was a college student in your family last year, you may be eligible for some valuable tax breaks on your 2015 return. To max out your education-related breaks, you need to see which ones you’re eligible for and then claim the one(s) that will provide the greatest benefit. In most cases you can take only one break per student, and, for some breaks, only one per tax return.

Credits...
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10 Facts You Should Know about the Do Not Call Registry

February 17, 2016

The government recently released its biennial report about the Do Not Call (DNC) Registry, which reveals that more than 222 million people have signed up for this free service over the last 13 years. Here are the DNC rules and exemptions, including how to register and file a complaint against illegal telemarketers. We also debunk common myths about telemarketing calls to your cell phone.

 Most...
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Focus on Your Profit Centers

February 17, 2016

The profit mentality at your company can make or break the business. Take the time to identify your profit centers and eliminate marginal products or services. Here are some tips and a questionnaire to help your company develop an attitude that maintains high-margin sales and solid profits.

It...
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Brace Your Business for Disaster Scams

February 17, 2016

In the wake of a hurricane, tornado, flood, fire, earthquake or other disaster, fraud is always quick to surface. Businesses affected by unexpected catastrophes need to be aware of shady operators — including construction con men — who are only too eager to profit from the misfortune of others.

 Few...
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Deduct home office expenses — if you’re eligible

February 10, 2016

Today it’s becoming more common to work from home. But just because you have a home office space doesn’t mean you can deduct expenses associated with it.

Eligibility...
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Seven Cybersecurity Questions

February 3, 2016

Cyber attacks are ranked as the top threat to national security. Organizations need to protect their digital information against theft and misuse. Every organization, regardless of its size and complexity, should be able to answer "Yes" to these seven Cybersecurity questions. A lack of Cybersecurity controls may make your organization more vulnerable to cyber attacks.

 By...
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Genetic Nondiscrimination Law Affects Many Work Practices

February 3, 2016

A law is now in effect that provides protection against discrimination against employees based on genetic information. But what if your workplace has wellness programs or other benefits that involve employees divulging medical information? In order to comply with the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act, here are some steps that employers can take.

Take...
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The Art of Bill Collecting

February 3, 2016

Exercising is good not only for your physical health but also for the health of your company's accounts receivable. Your company probably doesn't stand out among the others when it comes to having customers who consistently pay late or occasionally fall behind. Click "Full Article" for a set of exercises that will help get your billings in shape and keep them there.

Like...
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Tackle Key Financial Issues as you Face Retirement

February 3, 2016

Retirement can be an exciting time as you focus your attention on hobbies, travel and family. But it also can be daunting as you plan for the financial contingencies and government red tape you'll eventually encounter. Whether you're ready for retirement or not, here's a summary of key milestones to expect during your golden years, requiring you to make important financial decisions — and reasons you can't afford to neglect your finances.

  The...
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Macpage serves as Sponsor for Sugarloaf Charity Summit

February 3, 2016

16th Annual Sugarloaf Charity Summit, January 30th, 2016 “Raising a mountain of money to find a cure.”

Macpage...
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Extension means businesses can take bonus depreciation on their 2015 returns – but should they?

February 2, 2016

Bonus depreciation allows businesses to recover the costs of depreciable property more quickly by claiming additional first-year depreciation for qualified assets. The Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015 (the PATH Act) extended 50% bonus depreciation through 2017. The break had expired December 31, 2014, for most assets. So the PATH Act may give you a tax-saving opportunity for 2015 you wouldn’t otherwise have had. Many businesses will benefit from claiming this break on their 2015 returns. But you might save more tax in the long run if you forgo it.

What...
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File early to avoid tax identity theft

January 27, 2016

If you’re like many Americans, you may not start thinking about filing your tax return until the April 15 deadline (this year, April 18) is just a few weeks — or perhaps even just a few days — away. But there’s another date you should keep in mind: January 19. That’s the date the IRS began accepting 2015 returns, and filing as close to that date as possible could protect you from tax identity theft.

How...
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Secure & Efficient Electronic Delivery Methods of Confidential Information

January 20, 2016

File sharing portals are quickly becoming a must-have for businesses. Protection of your confidential data is very important to Macpage. Macpage has implemented the highest technical standards by providing two secure methods to share information and tax returns with our clients. Portals provide you with unlimited access to tax returns as well as quickly and easily exchanging working documents with Macpage.

    NetClient...
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Ethical Sales Is Not an Oxymoron

January 20, 2016

You know you're operating a reputable business, but is that the impression your sales force is leaving with potential customers? Or is your sales team willing to say whatever it takes to seal the deal? In today's cutthroat business climate, it's easy to lose sight of what constitutes an ethical sales program. To preserve your company's good name, don't overlook your sales force when building an ethical business culture.

Walk...
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Getting the Most Out of Banner Ads

January 20, 2016

As anyone marketing on the Internet knows, it can be hard to get people to click on banner ads. How can you get the attention of prospective customers with an enticing banner given the limited amount of space there is to work with? Here are some ways your organization can get the most out of its banner ads.

A...
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ACA Boosts Popularity of Health Savings Accounts

January 20, 2016

Health Savings Accounts have become more attractive since passage of the Affordable Care Act. Year-to-year data shows a 23% jump in the number of accounts and a 25% gain in account balances. Here, we explore the ins and outs of these accounts and their impact on other health coverage.

The...
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The New-and-Improved Research Credit Is Now Permanent

January 20, 2016

Does your business spend money on research and development? If so, you may qualify for the research credit and other tax breaks for these activities. A recent law has retroactively extended the research credit for the 2015 tax year and beyond. It also expands the research credit for certain employers starting in 2016. Here are more details on these tax-saving opportunities.

The...
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Art & Accounting

January 6, 2016

You may not normally associate art with accountants, but Macpage LLC, is working on changing that dynamic. You won't see generic stock art when visiting our office in South Portland, Maine. We are not your typical firm and the usual decor just doesn't fit our personality. When you walk through the doors you are greeted by walls of unique, rotating work, produced by artists from across Maine. These exhibitions, cycling every 6 months, feature many accomplished local artists.

In...
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Important Tax Figures for 2016

January 6, 2016

Every year, the dollar amounts allowed for various federal tax benefits are subject to change based on inflation adjustments and legislation. Here are some important tax figures for 2016, compared with 2015, including the estate tax exemption, Social Security wage base, qualified retirement plan and IRA contribution limits, driving deductions, allowable business write-off amounts and more.

The...
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Good News in the New Year: IRS Extends ACA Filing Deadlines

January 6, 2016

For the 2015 tax year, some employers and other entities are required to file information returns containing the type and period of health insurance coverage provided to employees. The IRS recently announced that it's extending the deadlines for filing Forms 1094 and 1095. This article reveals the new deadlines.

Employers...
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Tax Rules When Your Business Trip Involves a Passport

January 6, 2016

Are you self-employed and traveling overseas on business? There might be ways to maximize your tax deductions when adding some vacation time to a business trip. Keep in mind the tax rules for foreign business travel are different from those for domestic travel. Here is an explanation of the rules and how to protect deductions when you mix business with vacation.

If...
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Don't Overlook Miscellaneous Itemized Deductions

January 6, 2016

Most itemized deductions on an individual federal tax return are fairly well known. But miscellaneous itemized deductions are typically less well known and often misunderstood. This article provides many examples of items that may qualify as miscellaneous itemized deductions and discusses the rules for claiming them.

Many...
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The PATH Act - What it Means for You

December 23, 2015

The Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act of 2015 was passed by Congress and signed into law last week. The PATH Act extended, and even made permanent, numerous business and personal income tax incentives that had been allowed to expire at the end of 2014. This article provides a quick summary of some of the highlights of last week's legislation, as they relate to both individuals and business owners.

The...
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A Gift from Uncle Sam: Congress Passes the Extenders Package

December 23, 2015

This holiday season, taxpayers are receiving a "gift" from Washington, D.C. It's the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015 or, simply, the PATH Act. It does more than just extend expired tax provisions for another year. The bipartisan deal makes about one-third of these tax provisions permanent. Many others have been extended for periods ranging from two to five years.

This...
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Surprising Mistakes Employers May Face

December 23, 2015

Running a business these days has become increasingly complicated. With employment-related claims and lawsuits on the rise, management must have a basic understanding of numerous federal, state and local laws. Here are three cases that illustrate some employer liability trends.

Running...
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Choosing the Right Legal Entity for Your Business

December 23, 2015

Choosing the appropriate legal form for a business is one of the first issues most entrepreneurs face. It is an important decision at the formation stage and also as a business grows. Sole proprietorships are generally the easiest. Corporations offer some different advantages, but often with additional complexity.

  Choosing...
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Painting Donated to Make a Wish Holiday Auction

December 16, 2015

This year, Macpage LLC, in conjunction with artist and employee Danielle Gerber, donated an oil painting from their current art exhibition entitled, Travel Home & Abroad, to the NH Credit Union League's Holiday Auction, to benefit Make A Wish of New Hampshire. The event took place in Manchester, NH at the Executive Courtyard on Tuesday, December 8th 2015.

This...
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Need a Loan? Here's an Essential Checklist

December 9, 2015

Most small businesses require a cash infusion at some point, for needs like expansion, working capital or investments. Getting a large loan involves more than pouring your heart out to a bank officer and hoping the lender will take a risk on you. You need to be prepared to tell the whole story, present a business plan and make the lender believe in the future of your company.

  Most...
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Make the Most of Year-End Physical Inventory Counts

December 9, 2015

For retailers, manufacturers and many other businesses, a significant amount of working capital is tied up in inventory. But how accurate is the amount reported on the balance sheet? To best answer that question, a physical count of raw materials, work-in-progress and finished goods is essential at year end. For calendar-year entities, your year end is fast approaching on December 31.

  For...
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Day One Awards Ralph Hendrix the 2015 Making a Difference Award

December 9, 2015

On November 5th our COO Ralph Hendrix was awarded the 2015 Making a Difference Award from Day One, a partner agency of United Way designed to help at-risk youth. Day One has been working with Maine youth for 42 years; their mission is to dramatically reduce substance abuse and address mental health needs among young people to help them live productive, healthy and rewarding lives.

  On...
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Turn Your Website into a Marketing Magnet

November 25, 2015

Generally your company's website really has only one purpose — to sell. And that means you need to attract as many potential customers as possible while maintaining your current clientele. In reality, people are always searching for your business — or at least, the types of products and/or services it offers. They type what they are looking for into a search engine and scan the results. Research has shown that at least two-thirds choose a business listed on the first page of the results. If your company's website isn't among the first they see, it risks losing sales.

  Generally...
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Could Buying a Heavy SUV, Pickup or Van Help Save Taxes?

November 25, 2015

Buying a gas-guzzling SUV, pickup or van may be frowned upon for environmental reasons. But these vehicles can be useful if your business needs to haul people, materials, inventory or equipment around. They also offer major tax advantages for businesses when they're acquired.

  Buying...
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A Dozen Ways to Negotiate Better

November 25, 2015

When a deal is pending, the best negotiators know that the goal isn't to scoop up everything and leave the other side with little or nothing. The real goal is generally to exchange items of value so that both sides leave satisfied they have protected their basic interests and made a deal that benefits their companies.

  A...
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New Law CLoses Loopholes Involving Social Security Benefits

November 11, 2015

A new law closes loopholes in the Social Security rules that have allowed married couples to receive more benefits over their lifetimes by following certain strategies. The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, signed by President Obama on November 2, 2015, shuts down loopholes that Congress said will "prevent individuals from obtaining larger benefits than Congress intended."

  A...
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Tax Advice for Military Families and Veterans

November 11, 2015

Members of the U.S. Armed Forces and veterans are required to pay taxes on their income like everyone else. But special rules sometimes apply. Here's an overview of key tax benefits that the IRS provides to military personnel to thank them for risking their lives for our country.

  Members...
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'Loan Payments' Can Be Taxable Corporate Distributions to Shareholders

November 11, 2015

There can be negative tax consequences when purported loan payments are recast as corporate distributions to shareholders. In some cases, the courts have ruled that withdrawals from two closely held corporations were constructive corporate distributions rather than loan proceeds and repayments. As such, the withdrawals triggered taxable dividends and capital gains for the shareholders.

  There...
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Tax Consequences of Borrowing From a Retirement Plan

November 11, 2015

If you participate in a qualified retirement plan through your job or self employment -- such as a 401(k), profit-sharing, or Keogh plan -- you might be allowed to borrow from the account. (The borrowing option is not available for traditional IRAs, Roth IRAs, SEPs or SIMPLE-IRAs.)

  If...
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Don't Miss the Opening Exhibition of the Travel Home and Abroad Art Show

October 28, 2015

The art in this exhibition will display captured moments from around the world and close to home: from Italy and Egypt to Portland Harbor. Come take a trip around the world at the opening reception which will feature paintings, mixed media artwork and sculptures. This event is open to the public, so invite your friends!

  The...
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Sports: The Language of Business

October 28, 2015

Have you seen the Chevrolet commercial where the boss tells a group of employees to "take a knee, team?" One young man drops into a quarterback kneel and the boss asks, "What's he doing?" With the rest of the group looking confused, the employee responds, "You said 'take a knee.'"

  Have...
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News on Social Security Benefits: Read All About It

October 28, 2015

The Social Security Administration (SSA) recently announced some important news. Rumors about a benefits freeze had surfaced in the summer. Finally, on October 15, the SSA formally announced that the consumer price index it uses to gauge inflation wasn't high enough to trigger cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) for the upcoming year. Although the announcement is generally good news for higher income individuals in the workforce, it's bad news for retirees and others who receive Social Security benefits.

  The...
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2015 Year-End Tax Planning Tips for Small Businesses

October 28, 2015

Virtually all small business owners are frustrated with our current tax system. In fact, five out of today's Top 10 small business concerns relate to state and federal tax issues, according to the Small Business Problems and Priorities survey released by the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), a small business advocacy group. Small businesses are most frustrated by the complexity of the tax code and the disparity between effective tax rates of small vs. large businesses. Tax reform will undoubtedly be a hot button during the 2016 presidential race.

  Virtually...
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Managing Your Business through a Crisis: 6 Steps to Success

October 28, 2015

By nature, most people avoid planning for crisis situations. After all, there is so much to do in the here and now without trying to second guess the future. Business leaders are no exception when it comes to the often thankless task of crisis planning. Unfortunately, disaster can strike any company, at any time. Even more difficult than actually planning for such an occurrence is the task of determining what possibilities to plan for.

  By...
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Doing Business with China: Opportunities and Concerns

October 14, 2015

During his first state visit to the United States in September, Chinese President Xi Jinping discussed a range of global, regional and bilateral issues with U.S. President Obama. The leaders' discussions included their joint vision for an international agreement on climate change that will be concluded in Paris this December.

  During...
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Pair the Right Mentor With the Right Employee

October 14, 2015

Good mentors can teach your staff in ways that can't be duplicated by training programs or seminars. However, mentoring isn't just a matter of asking new employees to follow seasoned staff members around the office. You'll have to set goals and guidelines so that your mentoring program meets the employee's - and the company's - expectations.

  Good...
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Successful Bill Collecting Begins with Information

October 14, 2015

Regardless of the economy, there will always be customers who don't pay their bills on time. Your efforts are complicated by your unique relationships with customers and the responses they have to different collection strategies. To improve results, consider customizing guidelines for each account.

  Regardless...
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Fiscal Year 2016 Travel Per Diem Rates Now Available

September 30, 2015

Documenting business travel expenses causes administrative headaches for employers and employees alike. Typically, employees are required to collect receipts as they travel, noting the time, place and business purpose of each expenditure. They then must submit monthly expense reports that are subject to approval of their supervisors. Sometimes, administrative delays occur if documentation is incomplete or a supervisor questions the business purpose (or reasonableness) of an item. Employers must hold on to all of this documentation for several years in case the IRS questions business travel deductions. Isn't there any easier way to reimburse workers for their travel costs?

  Documenting...
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Share a Concept and Stretch Your Budget

September 30, 2015

Advertising sells. But it also costs money and adds up quickly. If your marketing budget is tight or you're looking to cut advertising costs, find a partner to share your marketing efforts. Big corporations pair up all the time in advertising, For example, Disney and Delta Airlines have sold packaged vacations together. Here are two surefire ways that your company can use the same concept to boost sales.

Share...
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Broaden Your Sales Circle with 4 Simple Steps

September 30, 2015

If you're like most sales professionals, you probably spend much of the day keeping your existing customers happy. Since there's often not much time left to drum up new business, it's essential to make the most of your precious networking hours -- or even minutes.

Broaden...
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What You Need to Know About 529 Plan Withdrawals

September 16, 2015

The big advantage of Section 529 college savings plans is that withdrawals used to cover qualified higher education expenses are free from federal income tax (and usually state income taxes too). That part is very easy to understand, but the full story on withdrawals is not so simple. What are qualified expenses? What happens if you take out money for expenses that aren't qualified?

What...
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Must Joint Activities Be Treated as Partnerships?

September 16, 2015

For federal income tax purposes, an unincorporated joint venture or other contractual or co-ownership arrangement under which several participants conduct a business or investment activity and split the profits is generally treated as a partnership. This general rule applies even if the joint venture or arrangement is not recognized as a separate legal entity (apart from its owners) under applicable state law.

Must...
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Harnessing the Power of the Internet Today and Tomorrow

September 16, 2015

Over the last two decades, the Internet has become an increasingly important part of our everyday lives. Now that Internet penetration levels are nearing saturation for many demographic groups, many technology experts are speculating about how the Internet will continue to affect our personal and work lives over the next 10 years. Here's a closer look at who's currently using the Internet and where the "Internet of Things" may be headed by 2025

Harnessing...
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A Strategic Plan Should Also Include a Succession Plan

September 2, 2015

Many small businesses prepare -- and regularly update -- a strategic plan, but many overlook this important task. Whether your business falls into the "have" or a "have-not" category, a strategic plan can be an invaluable resource to help your company accomplish its ultimate objectives. And part of this process involves having a succession or exit plan.

A...
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Develop a Strong Hand to Negotiate Loan Covenants

September 2, 2015

If you are about to ask for a business loan, expect to deal with the issue of covenants -- constraints lenders impose on your company to keep it operating within specified financial ratios and to prevent it from taking certain actions.

Develop...
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The IRS Takes a Proactive Stance against Identity Theft and Tax Scams

September 2, 2015

The Federal Trade Commission estimates as many as 9 million Americans have their identities stolen every year. Although the security of personal data is a top priority of all types of entities, the IRS is especially vigilant, because tax-related identity theft is the most common form of reported identity theft.

The...
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Insuring Employees Who Drive their Own Cars

August 19, 2015

In many companies, employees drive during the course of their jobs -- to make deliveries, call on customers or pick up supplies. In some cases, they use their personal cars rather than company cars. This can have several advantages for the employer:

Insuring...
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The Challenges of Administering Family and Medical Leave

August 19, 2015

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) provides employees with the security of job protection for up to 12 weeks for a qualified leave. But when does the clock on the 12-week period begin to run?

The...
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EMV Compliance: Are You Ready for the October 1 Deadline?

August 19, 2015

Can you imagine using a computer from the 1960s to run your business? Of course you can't. But many U.S. merchants and banks still use payment cards with magnetic strip technology that's more than 50 years old. On October 1, a liability shift goes into effect that may entice businesses to adopt modern "chip" technologies to more effectively combat fraud from counterfeit cards. Here's critical information that merchants and consumers should know about the liability shift going forward.

EMV...
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Maximize Your Return on Social Media Spending

August 5, 2015

The 2015 Duke University CMO Survey reports that companies spend roughly 10% of their marketing budgets on social media outlets. Although that amount is expected to more than double by 2020, most marketing professionals surveyed were unable to quantify the return on their social media spending.

Maximize...
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Let 'Bluebirds' Lift the Spirits of Sales Reps

August 5, 2015

Managing a sales team involves keeping the troops motivated -- most commonly with a well-structured commission package. But money isn't always enough when a disheartened salesperson has heard too many rejections. That's when it's time to let some "bluebirds" fly.

Let...
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Smart Surveys Get Smart Results

August 5, 2015

To keep your customers or win new ones, you need to ask questions and listen. One of the most effective tools for listening is a customer survey. The problem is, many surveys are too long, cumbersome and designed with the company in mind -- rather than the consumer. Here are four smart moves to craft a questionnaire that will get the results you really need:

Smart...
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Guard Against Losses From Employee Theft

July 22, 2015

All businesses can be hurt by employee theft - and when staff members steal, they're literally walking off with a portion of your profits. One survey revealed that a third of employees would steal from their employers if they thought they could get away with it. Another study showed that 38 percent of those surveyed had already stolen something from their companies.

Guard...
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Managing Remote Employees: Five Issues to Consider

July 22, 2015

Allowing employees to work from home can provide significant benefits for employers and employees. It can improve morale, reduce real estate and facility costs -- and even reduce traffic congestion and make the environment cleaner. However, when the appropriate oversight is lacking, fraud and abuse can result and wipe out many, if not all, of the benefits associated with a work-from-home program.

Managing...
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Form SS-8: How Should You Handle Worker Classification?

July 22, 2015

New guidance issued by the U.S. Department of Labor provides clarification on the definition of an independent contractor (Administrator's Interpretation No. 2015-01). This guidance may be helpful to employers who are contemplating hiring extra workers but are concerned about all of the obligations associated with hiring employees, including health insurance, workers' compensation, unemployment insurance, sick time and vacation time.

Form...
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DOL Gets Tough on Independent Contractor Classification

July 22, 2015

The Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division (WHD) continues to receive numerous complaints from workers alleging misclassification, and the Department continues to bring successful enforcement actions against employers who misclassify workers," said a detailed document issued July 15.

DOL...
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Proposed DOL Rule May Make Millions More Eligible for Overtime Pay

July 8, 2015

In his 2015 State of the Union Address last January, President Obama said employees should get the overtime they've earned. He then directed the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) to review and amend the overtime rules under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) to make more workers eligible. On June 30, the DOL took steps in that direction, proposing to significantly change the federal overtime rules. However, the path from the proposed rule to a final rule could take several months — and could be derailed.

Proposed...
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President Signs Two Trade Bills into Law with Tax Provisions

July 8, 2015

President Obama signed two trade bills into law on June 29 that include various tax provisions. The focus of the trade bills is mostly foreign competition and domestic jobs, but they contain new rules for claiming higher education tax credits, new fees for failing to file information returns, new retirement withdrawal rules for public safety workers, an extension of a health insurance premium tax credit that certain jobless individuals can take and other provisions.

President...
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Watch Profits Soar by Subleasing Extra Space

July 8, 2015

Most business owners believe they don't have any unused space to rent out. But if you search a little, you may be able to turn unnecessary space into increased profits.

Watch...
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Disaster Planning: Expect the Unexpected

June 24, 2015

Along with warm temperatures, summer can bring natural disasters. It's currently hurricane season along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts, severe storm season in the Midwest, flood season along the Mississippi River, and wildfire season in the Southwest and West. When disaster strikes, affected individuals and businesses may incur substantial financial losses. However, some losses can be mitigated with proactive planning.

Disaster...
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Sustainable Business Accounts for the Whole System

June 24, 2015

Former Senator Gaylord Nelson succinctly captured the essence of sustainability and its value to the long term outlook of organizations when he said: "The economy is the wholly-owned subsidiary of the environment, not the other way around."

Sustainable...
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Two Great Events to Support Alzheimer's and Brain Awareness Month!

June 24, 2015

We hope you'll join the Alzheimer's Association, Maine Chapter for two great events during Alzheimer's and Brain Awareness Month!

Two...
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Tailor Marketing to Your Competition

June 24, 2015

One of the best sources of marketing information is just around the corner. Take a close look at the competition and tailor your marketing in response to what you see. It doesn't matter whether your business opponents are doing it all right or are in worse shape than you, you can learn from them.

Tailor...
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Five Rules That Open the Gates

June 24, 2015

Chances are, you've lost a sale that you thought was in the bag. The way to improve the odds of success is to learn and follow the five "Rules of Qualification."

Five...
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Don't Horse Around with Hobby Losses

June 10, 2015

The tax law is all about semantics. For instance, if you're legitimately trying to make a profit in an endeavor, it may be classified as a "business" by the IRS. In that case, you can deduct the full amount of expenses relating to the business operation. Typically, you might show losses in the early years of ownership. These losses can be used to offset other income such as investment earnings or wages from a full-time job (either yours, your spouse's, or both).

Don't...
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Rules on Deducting Business Start-Up Expenses

June 10, 2015

A recent U.S. Tax Court decision drives home the important point that current deductions aren't allowed for most expenses incurred while a new business is still in the start-up phase. Other decisions have dealt with the same issue in recent years. So, the proper federal income tax treatment of start-up expenses remains an ongoing source of confusion for taxpayers. Here's what you need to know about deducting start-up costs, along with a real-life example of how the Tax Court applied the rules.

Rules...
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Understanding the Benefits Of S Corporations

June 10, 2015

Whether you're setting up a new company or you've been in business for years, you need to evaluate which legal structure is best for your enterprise. No one option is best for every type of operation. The right choice depends on several factors including the number of owners, taxes and your business goals.

Understanding...
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Tax and Financial Benefits from Hiring Your Children

May 27, 2015

It can be difficult in the current job market for young people and recent college graduates to find full time and summer jobs. Business owners with children in this situation may be able to provide them with valuable experience and income while generating tax and financial savings for themselves.

It...
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How To Recognize a Good Leader for Your Company

May 27, 2015

Traditional interviews, background checks, and clever "scenario" questions might help you turn up a good leader. But sometimes, in spite of your best efforts, you end up hiring a problem, and then struggling to get rid of him or her. Here are some characteristics of good leaders and bad, that may help you find the pearls and avoid the pain.

Traditional...
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Struggling Firms Get a Second Chance

May 27, 2015

For many business owners and executives, filing Chapter 11 bankruptcy seems like admitting defeat. But it shouldn't be that way.

For...
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Supreme Court Removes Double Tax for Maryland Residents

May 27, 2015
In...
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The Anatomy of Embezzlement

March 1, 2015

By Nancy A. Chase, CPA, CFE, CIA

(Note...
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