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Estate Planning and the Profound Questions Around Inheritance 

There is a lot to consider when planning your estate and what you want to leave behind for those you love. It can complicate things, especially when dealing with different estate taxes and laws that surround a person’s estate.  The whole idea of inheritance comes from English common law and was passed on to the colonies. Over time, some of these laws have changed some. Let’s look at a few common mistakes that people make when planning their estate and some of those deeper questions you can ask when it comes to inheritance and what you leave behind. Also, what is an estate tax and how should that come into play? These are all important questions to consider as you approach this very important stage.  A History of Inheritance Law Like many pillars of our legal system, inheritance law is derived from the traditions of English Common Law. After we gained our independence from Britain, many colonies passed their versions of some of these laws with their modifications. As westward expansion increased in the mid 19th century and new states began forming and joining the Union, some states became community-property states and adopted aspects of civil law. For example, most states would give widows the power over any fortune left from their husband's estate.  Throughout the 20th century, widows were certainly treated with priority when it came to inheritance, and spouses were seen more favorably than children. Every state has its own set of laws and thus the role of inheritance can vary slightly from state to state. During colonial times, the colonies largely adopted English Common Law, but in later periods began making modifications in respect to inheritance, distribution of personal wealth, and had [...]

Estate Planning and the Profound Questions Around Inheritance 2020-10-23T14:03:32-05:00

Cash Flow Planning and Budgeting Tips for Difficult Times 

So, how do you go from having career earnings in the billions, being the largest taxpayer in 1973, having a giant estate that constantly produces revenue, and leave only a few millions behind, 70% of which end up in the hands of Uncle Sam for estate taxes? Well, it happened and it happened to the one and only Elvis Presley. When Presley died of a heart attack, his finances were everything but figured out and—thanks to his infamously dishonest and slimy manager Tom Parker—bad deals and constant lack of planning would consistently rob the Presley estate of huge potential.  Most people might not be dealing with billions of dollars and three Grammys but it just goes to show just what lack of financial planning can really do and how it can affect people and families even after a person is gone. This month, we thought we’d scratch the surface and take a look at some common tips that can get people started thinking differently about their finances, particularly as the economy remains in the post-corona slump.  Always Keep an Eye on Your Finances Both as an individual and a business, you want to stay on top of your finances. Planning out a budget is important and key to having stability in your finances. What is referred to as cash flow planning can be different in different contexts? If you are an individual, cash flow refers to you balancing your budget, staying within budget, and even saving. When it comes to businesses, it’s about balancing the costs and earnings that your business is bringing in. On the surface, it might seem pretty straightforward, but there are a few key insights that might help you approach it [...]

Cash Flow Planning and Budgeting Tips for Difficult Times 2020-08-24T16:50:05-05:00

Financial Planning in a Post Coronavirus World: Tips for Getting Back On Your Feet 

The year 2020 caught everyone by surprise. Many would lose their jobs, some their livelihoods, others their property and long fought-for restaurants, bars, and other businesses. Others might have been touched in a more immediate way by the virus itself and seen a loved one or close friend affected. And there are many things that society is learning about what really matters and the importance of taking care of ourselves and our families. Aside from many other things, we learned some important lessons about the importance of financial planning and how proper preparedness can save you in a crisis.  Biel Fisette Iacono provides financial advising services that help people and business owners think about their money and assets. Financial planning is not about money, so much as it is about life’s goals and obtaining the objectives that each person or business sets out to accomplish. Money is simply the catalyst and a force of nature that we all must contend with.  The Origins of Financial Advisors and Why They Matter Today  Financial planning is a relatively new profession. In fact, the profession did not really exist fifty years ago. Over the decades it has expanded and developed into a service that helps people manage wealth and plan for their future. What many people fail to see is that financial planning is about life goals and it is structured in a way that helps people achieve those life goals through a sound and achievable financial plan. The need for the profession arose organically out of a very real need to help people find financial stability. There is an entrepreneurial spirit behind the profession, as early financial advisers have found that the need for their services arose [...]

Financial Planning in a Post Coronavirus World: Tips for Getting Back On Your Feet 2020-06-25T12:06:39-05:00

Wealth Management During a Time of Crisis, Advice for Small Businesses

Business owners today—from small businesses to midsize businesses—are staring at their accounting or payroll and shaking their heads quietly. All across the country, people who have dedicated themselves to producing, creating, and providing a service, are going through an unprecedented time that is both uncertain and stressful. Every business has been affected, even those that remain open—for they too must now comply with new regulations and maintain new protocols, not to mention dealing with the same economic ripple effects that we will all contend with. Those whose doors remain closed today, or are barely reopening, probably have a lot of questions about what to do and how to move forward. Over the years, Biel Fisette Iacono has helped dozens of small businesses across various different industries with their wealth management. We thought we’d take a moment to look at some solutions for small businesses.  Every business is different. Your needs, your clientele, your specific operational necessities will vary.  Government Programs to Date We’ve discussed some of these programs already on our website; you can check out our blog page to reach more detailed posts. Let’s take a look at an overview of the kind of relief that small businesses have seen so far.  On March 27, President Trump signed an unrivaled $2.2 trillion economic stimulus. The package did include billions of dollars to small businesses. The package also included jobless aid that would apply to freelancers and gig economy workers. This bill offers small businesses SBA-backed loans to pay for basic expenses. Business owners will be relieved of paying back portions of this bill if they went to paying employees, mortgage, rent, or utilities. The banks that will be lending those loans will be reimbursed [...]

Wealth Management During a Time of Crisis, Advice for Small Businesses2020-04-28T14:10:56-05:00

Tax Relief Notices of 2020: How COVID-19 Has Affected Tax Returns and Deadlines

On March 18, 2020, the U.S. Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service released Notice 2020-17 and issued Notice 2020-18, clarifying the tax filing and payment relief related to the COVID-19 pandemic. We discuss what this means for you.  Filing Relief Individuals and businesses that were obliged to have their taxes filed by April 15, 2020, have been granted a respective tax return deadline extension, landing on July 15, 2020. In addition, the Extension Form 4868 and Form 7004 relating to extending your tax return time to file are now due on July 15, 2020.  Payment Relief The due date for individual and business federal income tax payments due on April 15, 2020, has been extended to July 15, 2020, but only for the Applicable Postponed Payment Amount. The Applicable Postponed Payment Amount is:  Up to $1,000,000 for a non-corporate taxpayer (e.g., an individual, estate or trust).  Up to $10,000,000 for each corporate taxpayer.  For individual taxpayers, the limitation is the same for a single individual and married individuals filing a joint return.  The payment relief also includes 2019 federal extension payments and 2020 federal estimated income taxes that were originally due April 15, 2020. This deferral also applies to self-employment taxes. However, it does not apply to other taxes such as payroll tax, sales tax, and others. Penalties and interest for failure to pay the Applicable Postponed Payment Amount will not begin to accrue until July 16, 2020.  Biel Fisette Iacono: Here to Assist You In the Best and Worst of Times  The professionals of Biel Fisette Iacono will continue to serve our clients’ needs during this pandemic. We are taking all necessary precautions to ensure the safety of our team and our clients, [...]

Tax Relief Notices of 2020: How COVID-19 Has Affected Tax Returns and Deadlines2020-04-08T09:15:58-05:00

What You Need to Know Regarding the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act or the “CARES Act”

As of March 27, 2020, the U.S. President signed a bill known as the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) intended to help citizens with the turmoil the pandemic has summoned by providing economic relief to individuals, families, small businesses and other sectors of the United States economy. We discuss some key CARES Act provisions for businesses and individuals to understand how it will apply to their income and earnings. For Businesses  The Paycheck Protection Program  The Paycheck Protection Program is intended to guarantee loans for small businesses. A portion of this loan can be forgiven if used for certain payroll costs and operating costs during the COVID-19 pandemic. The following is a list of the general provisions for the paycheck protection program:  Lenders: Local financial institutions.  Covered Period: February 15, 2020 to June 30, 2020. Eligibility: Businesses with 500 employees or less, sole proprietors, and independent contractions.  Maximum Loan Amount: The amount available to any eligible business will be the lesser of: (a) 2.5 x Average total monthly payroll costs for the 1-year period prior to the loan or (b) $10,000,000.00.  Payroll Costs Defined: Salaries, wages, payroll taxes, and benefits Payroll Costs Excluded: Any individual employee with payroll costs in excess of $100,000 is excluded from the maximum loan amount, and any payroll costs for employees residing outside of the United States.  Allowable Use: Payroll costs, interest payments on mortgage obligations, rent, and utilities.  Guarantees and collateral: None.  Fees: None.  Interest Rate: No higher than 4%.  Terms: 10 years, with 6 to 12 months payment deferral for most significantly impacted businesses.  Loan Forgiveness: Available allowable use expenditures made during the 8-week period beginning the date of loan origination. Reduction of Forgiveness:  [...]

What You Need to Know Regarding the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act or the “CARES Act”2020-04-08T09:21:18-05:00

Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act or the “CARES Act” 

On March 27, 2020, the President signed a bill known as the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). This bill will provide economic relief to individuals, families, small businesses and other sectors of the United States economy. The following is a summary of some key CARES Act Provisions for businesses and individuals: BUSINESSES: Paycheck Protection Program: The Paycheck Protection Program guarantees loans to small businesses. A portion of this loan can be forgiven if used for certain payroll costs and operating costs during the current pandemic. The following is a list of the general provisions for the paycheck protection program: Lenders: Local financial institutions. Covered Period: February 15, 2020 to June 30, 2020. Eligibility: Businesses with 500 employees or less, sole proprietors, and independent contractions. Maximum Loan Amount: The amount available to any eligible business will be the lesser of: (a) 2.5 x Average total monthly payroll costs for the 1-year period prior to the loan or (b) $10,000,000.00. Payroll Costs Defined: Salaries, wages, payroll taxes, and benefits.  Payroll Costs Excluded: Any individual employee with payroll costs in excess of $100,000 is excluded from the maximum loan amount, and any payroll costs for employees residing outside of the United States.  Allowable Use: Payroll costs, interest payments on mortgage obligations, rent, and utilities. Guarantees and collateral: None.   Fees: None. Interest Rate: No higher than 4%. Terms: 10 years, with 6 to 12 months payment deferral for most significantly impacted businesses. Loan Forgiveness: Available allowable use expenditures made during the 8-week period beginning the date of loan origination. Reduction of Forgiveness: (1) Average number of full time equivalent employees (FTE) per month during the 8-week period.   Divided by either (a) or (b) Average FTE [...]

Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act or the “CARES Act” 2020-04-02T14:03:37-05:00

Tax Relief – COVID-19 Pandemic

On March 18, 2020, the Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service released Notice 2020-17 and then issued Notice 2020-18, which clarifies the tax filing and payment relief related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Here is what this means for you: Filing Relief:  Individual and Businesses with a April 15, 2020 filing their respective tax returns until July 15, 2020.  Extension Form 4868 and Form 7004 relating to extending your tax return time to file are now due on July 15, 2020.   Payment Relief: The due date for individual and business federal income tax payments due on April 15, 2020 has been extended to July 15, 2020, but only for the Applicable Postponed Payment Amount.  The Applicable Postponed Payment Amount is:  Up to $1,000,000 for a non-corporate taxpayer (e.g., an individual, estate or trust). Up to $10,000,000 for each corporate taxpayer.  For individual taxpayers, the limitation is the same for a single individual and married individuals filing a joint return.  The payment relief also includes 2019 federal extension payments and 2020 federal estimated income taxes due on April 15, 2020. This deferral also applies to self-employment taxes. However, it does not apply to other taxes (i.e. payroll tax, sales tax, and etc.).  Penalties and interest for failure to pay the Applicable Postponed Payment Amount will not begin to accrue until July 16, 2020.  The professionals of Biel Fisette Iacono will continue to serve our clients’ needs during this Pandemic. We are taking all necessary precautions to ensure the safety of our team and our clients, and to ensure our clients tax, bookkeeping, payroll, audit and advisory needs are met. As a result, many of us will be working remotely from home to comply with all restrictions placed on [...]

Tax Relief – COVID-19 Pandemic2020-04-02T14:03:17-05:00

Estimated Tax Payments – A 2020 Crash Course

For millions of small businesses and freelancers every year, estimated tax payments are a year-round aspect of their tax payments.  Most people don’t have to deal with those changes, but small businesses and some individuals will have to pay these taxes throughout the year. In this short blog, we’ll give you a crash course in estimated tax payments so you can stay on top of it this year.  Estimated Tax Payments: What Are They?  Estimated tax is tax collection on the income that is not subject to withholding. Think certain income, self-employment, alimony, rent, interest, dividends, etc. This typically applies to small businesses and self-employment, among other special employment/income situations.  Generally, taxpayers need to pay at least 90% of their taxes through a combination of withholding or estimated tax. Underpaying (or paying late) can lead to being financially penalized by the IRS.  In 2020, estimated taxes are due quarterly, specifically on these dates: April 15th  June 15th September 15th  January 15th, following year If your fiscal year doesn’t start on Jan. 1, the payment schedule would be the 15th day of the 4th, 6th, 9th, and 1st month of the fiscal year.  Do I Need To Pay Estimated Tax? S corporation shareholders, partners, and individuals (including sole proprietors) will usually need to pay estimated tax if they expect to owe $1000 or more after filing their return. For corporations, the threshold is held at $500. According to the IRS, you will not have to pay estimated tax if all three of the below criteria are met:  You had no tax liability for the prior year You were a U.S citizen or resident for the whole year  Your prior tax year covered a 12-month period If [...]

Estimated Tax Payments – A 2020 Crash Course2020-03-03T09:08:33-06:00
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