SEC Crackdown: How Effective Are Your Anti-Fraud Controls?
In fiscal year 2014, the SEC filed a record number of enforcement actions against public companies and related individuals for financial misconduct. The effectiveness of anti-fraud controls is the primary target of many SEC investigations, because strong control programs can be essential tools in the war against fraud. Here are the components of an effective anti-fraud control program for public and private companies.
Ten Year-End Tax Planning Ideas for Individuals
Another year is winding down. Before the hustle and bustle of the holidays sets in, it's a good time to brainstorm ideas to lower your 2014 personal tax bill. Here's an overview of what's happening in the world of tax -- including individual rates, capital gains and phase-out amounts -- as well as 10 tax-saving strategies that you can implement before December 31.
Year End Tax Planning Strategies for Small Business
The Small Business Administration reports that small businesses pay average effective tax rates ranging from about 13.3 percent for sole proprietorships to 26.9 percent for S corporations. How can you reduce your company's effective tax rate? Proactive owners address tax planning before year end. Check out these four legitimate maneuvers to lower your company's 2014 tax bill.
Are You Ready to Play the Charitable Giving Game?
Qualified charitable contributions support worthy, recognized causes. They can also lower taxes if you play by the IRS rules. A recent U.S. Tax Court case reminds taxpayers about the strict substantiation requirements. This article also discusses charitable giving trends, including a surprising income-giving gap, a decline in corporate donations, and the most (and least) generous places to live.
Answers to Your Questions About Wage Garnishment
Many creditors have turned to wage garnishments to recoup debts that mounted during the recession. In this article, we discuss a recent study on the prevalence of wage garnishment, as well as the convoluted, sometimes conflicting, federal and state laws that employers must follow when they garnish employee wages. We'll also tell you about some of the most (and least) debtor-friendly places to live in the United States.
Business Travel Per Diems May Simplify Expense Reporting
Are you tired of keeping detailed records to substantiate business travel expenses? The IRS offers simplified methods for reimbursing employees' out-of-town lodging, meals and incidental expenses that may be worthwhile for some companies. This article discusses government-approved per diem rates, the mechanics of the high-low method and changes that go into effect for travel starting on October 1, 2014.
Investing in College: Tax Credits and Other Tips to Maximize Your Return
College costs have skyrocketed in recent years, causing many people to question whether the benefits outweigh the costs. A recent study shows that the value of a college degree has been steady since the 1990s. Here is an overview of the costs and benefits of pursuing higher education, including the lowdown on two tax credits that may improve your return on investment.
Award Points: What's Includable in Taxable Income?
Suppose you receive reward points for keeping a minimum balance in your bank account. Do you need to claim income on your tax return when you redeem the points for prizes? A recent Tax Court case reminds taxpayers of the broad scope of items that should be reported in taxable income. This article explains the facts of the case and reviews the rules for employers planning to give holiday gifts to employees.