The Pros and Cons of a Remote Office

Remote work is a trend that has grown as more employees of all generations change the way they work. But working remotely at least part of the time works better in some industries than others: An information system manager is more likely to be able to work at home than is a retail store sales associate.  

It takes a little planning and the right tools to build a successful remote office. It’s clear that not every employee is overjoyed to work from home, so flexibility may be the best policy. Some workers miss in-person conversations, lunches, happy hours and the structure of office life. More than a few people get stressed when their kids can interrupt them at work, and others even miss the reading they got done while commuting. And not all home setups are suitable for remote work.

Deducting Business Expenses: Separating Fact From Myth

When you’re filing your tax returns, what expenses can you deduct from business income? It’s a complex question. To start with, a business expense must be both ordinary and necessary to be deductible, according to the IRS. An ordinary expense is one that’s common and accepted in your trade or business. A necessary expense is one that’s helpful and appropriate for your trade or business; it doesn’t always mean an indispensable cost. Since only business expenses are deductible, they must be separated from other types of expenses: those that are included in the cost of goods sold, capital expenses and personal expenses.

The cost of goods sold is figured by valuing inventory at the beginning and end of each tax year. The total value is deducted from your gross receipts to figure your gross profit for the year. If you include an expense in the cost of goods sold, you cannot deduct it again as a business expense.

New: Special PPP Loan Provisions for Small Businesses

Starting on Feb. 24, 2021, the SBA is establishing 14-day, exclusive PPP loan application period for businesses and nonprofits with fewer than 20 employees. This is according to guidance on the SBA and White House sites. According to the statement, this will give lenders and community partners more time to work with the smallest businesses to submit their applications.
The statement further noted that a critical goal from Congress for the latest round of PPP was to reach small and low- and moderate-income (LMI) businesses who have not received the needed relief a forgivable PPP loan provides. Although Congress set a $15 billion set-aside for small and LMI first draw borrowers, the current round has only deployed $2.4 billion to small LMI borrowers, “in part because a disproportionate amount of funding in both wealthy and LMI areas is going to firms with more than 20 employees.” The SBA believes this special 2-week window and the other changes will allow the distribution of more funds. 

Election Outcome Update: Tax Policy Post-Georgia Senate Runoffs

Election Outcome Update: Tax Policy Post-Georgia Senate Runoffs  

Prior to the 2020 election, BDO explored four possible scenarios for the future of tax legislation. Now that the Georgia Senate runoff results are in and we know definitively that the White House, House of Representatives and Senate will be under Democratic control, we have a better idea of what tax policy may look like in 2021 and beyond.

As we described in Scenario 4, we can expect the House and Senate to pass substantive tax legislation, possibly during 2021. How such legislation will pass through Congress, however, likely depends on whether the Senate maintains or abolishes the legislative filibuster. If the Senate preserves the legislative filibuster, any tax legislation it passes will likely be through the budget reconciliation process. In such a case, tax law changes that were not paid for (i.e., offset with revenue) would expire during the 10-year budget window, similar to provisions in the 2017 “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.” If, however, the Senate abolishes the legislative filibuster, it could likely pass a more permanent standalone tax bill that would not be required to expire, irrespective of whether it is paid for.

Managing Risk in Estate Planning

Managing Risk in Estate Planning

Risk management should be a part of any long-term estate plan, especially when a plan is expected to cover several generations. Multigenerational clients tend to be more concerned with preserving wealth than taking risk on the upside of markets. They look at risk management from a portfolio construction standpoint — to reduce liability and have the right insurances and protections in place.

What’s involved? A solid risk management plan does a 360-degree assessment of the risks to be minimized or mitigated. Risk management smooths the path to true wealth transfer.

To execute your plan with as few risk issues as possible, you need to consider the following issues:

2020 Year-End Tax Planning for Individuals

As the year-end approaches, individuals, business owners and family offices should be reviewing their situations to identify any opportunities for reducing, deferring or accelerating tax obligations. Areas that should be looked at in particular include tax reform provisions that remain in play, as well as new opportunities and relief granted earlier in 2020 under the CARES and SECURE Acts. This article highlights specific areas and provides preliminary inflationary adjustment items for 2021 as of October 15, 2020, compared to current 2020 amounts, to aid taxpayers as they plan deferrals and accelerations before year-end (anticipated inflationary adjustments provided by Thomson Reuters Checkpoint and Bloomberg Tax & Accounting are used; official numbers have not yet been published by the IRS, but are expected to be made available later in 2020).

A discussion about 2020 year-end tax planning likely should involve a discussion about the U.S. presidential election. To date, neither candidate has released a formal plan regarding the tax code. Taxpayers can still make informed decisions by taking into consideration what the candidates have said about tax policy on the campaign trail. Of note, Joe Biden has spoken to: