Test Your Fraud IQ

The typical business loses 5 percent of its revenues each year to fraud, according to a recent study. This equates to $50,000 for every $1 million in annual revenues. Part of the problem is that many business owners and managers believe they're too smart to be duped by a fraudster. Test your fraud awareness with this 10-point quiz -- and find the answers to our bonus question: "Which Industries Are the Riskiest?"


Think Outside the Gift Box This Holiday Season

Fruitcakes may be clich. Business card holders may be pass. Alcohol is taboo. How can you use corporate holiday gifts to stand out from your competitors? A well-thought-out concept doesn't have to break the bank to reinforce your brand and cement business ties. Here we discuss some clever, relevant ideas, highlight some embarrassing faux pas and review the IRS guidelines related to holiday gifts.


IRS Issues Guidance about Employee Leave Donated to Ebola Victims

The IRS has issued guidance on qualified relief payments and employee leave-based donations provided to Ebola victims in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. This article provides the details. Before donating to an Ebola charity, however, the BBB warns about recent scams and the importance of donating to a legitimate exempt organization.


What's the Outlook for the Expired Tax Breaks?

After the dust settles from this week's elections, Congress may finally act on several business and personal tax breaks that expired at the end of last year. Taxpayers welcome swift action, because it's hard to make estimated payments, evaluate capital investment decisions or make other moves if you don't know the tax laws that will apply. Here's an overview of the "extenders" that may complicate year-end planning.


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.


 

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