Death Taxes and the Stretch IRA

Dying is expensive.  Despite this year’s $5.43 million federal estate-tax exclusion, many heirs will still face steep tax bills mostly because of the income taxes due on inherited retirement accounts.   If you pass on a stock in a regular taxable account that has climbed in value, the cost of the investment for tax purposes […]

Repair Regulations Under Section 179

If you buy, build, or repair business assets, you probably have questions when trying to decide whether your costs are currently deductible on your federal income tax return or whether they’re capital improvements.  The answer falls under Section 179 of the tax code, and has always been an important one for small business owners. Together […]

NC Breweries Dominate the South

The Discovery Channel’s documentary “How Beer Saved the World” (check Netflix) traces the important role that beer has played throughout history — from the origins of beer at the dawn of history, to special beer developed specifically for space missions.  It’s a fun flick and in it the filmmakers present a fairly reasonable case for […]

Hedging 101, part 2: Accounting for Hedges

Earlier this month I provided an overview of hedging — how it works and what techniques investors and companies use — to help clear the confusion surrounding this often misunderstood financial topic.  And while a general understanding of hedging is good, it’s important to understand how it can affect your balance sheet and how you […]

Election 2016: The Democratic Candidates and Their Tax Plans

We’ve taken a look at the Republican candidates and their plans to reform taxes (part 1 and part 2).  Let’s now turn our attention to the Democratic candidates:   Lincoln Chafee The independent Rhode Island governor and former Republican senator from Rhode Island has yet to put forward a detailed tax plan.  On his campaign website, […]

Election 2016: Part 2, the remaining Republicans

Continuing in our series on presidential candidates and their positions on tax reform, here are the remaining Republican candidates.  Again, they are listed alphabetically. Carly Fiorina The former Hewlett-Packard CEO is considered to be the hands-down winner of the JV debate that took place just hours before the main debate last week. Like much of […]

Election 2016: Part 1, The Republican Top 10

The first official Republican presidential debate kicks off tonight. Ten of the seventeen candidates made the cut, a cut determined based on an average of the five most recent national polls. Participating tonight are real estate magnate Donald Trump; former Florida Governor Jeb Bush; Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker; former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee; retired neurosurgeon […]

Hedging 101

The term hedging is one of the most confusing financial topics but it’s one every investor should understand.  Let’s take a look at what hedging is, how it works, and what hedging techniques investors and companies use. It’s like insurance. When people hedge, they are protecting themselves against the impact of a negative event.  You […]

Why We Won’t See Federal Tax Reform

Rewriting the tax code remains a critical long-term priority.  But the hopes for this Congress passing true tax reform before the next election are all but gone.  Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, when asked about his priorities in the next year, said there was no hope in passing true tax reform under this president.  And […]

New Overtime Rules Impact Businesses

Business owners are scrambling to track and manage the hours their employees really work following last month’s White House proposal that would put more American workers in line for overtime pay.   The rules won’t be finalized for months, but companies need to understand these rules, how to comply, and how to keep labor costs from […]