4Thought Blog

4thought graphic - blog 2020

Act Now Before Year End for Best Estate Planning Opportunities

Posted by Tammie Yearwood on Fri, Oct 30, 2020

The election might bring about a lot of changes, especially to the current federal tax laws.

One of the potential biggest impacts would be on estate planning, so if you’re looking to transition wealth to the next generation, now is the time to do so.

The current lifetime gift tax exemption amount is $11.58 million dollars per individual, which is the highest it has ever been. It’s scheduled to sunset at the end of 2025 and revert back to a $5 million exemption level, adjusted for inflation, but that timeline could be shortened depending on the results of the election or other future congressional action.

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Topics: Estate and Trust Services

PPP Loans: The Latest on What Qualifies and What’s Taxable

Posted by Andrew Desiderio on Thu, Oct 29, 2020

Paycheck Protection Program loans have now been around for seven months, and in that time, there have been many major rule changes and clarifications.

As your business works to prepare your forgiveness application and get your books in order for year end, here are the latest qualification changes and rules on tax deductibility you should know.

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Topics: 2020 Coronavirus

Cybersecurity for Small Businesses: Consider This Flexible Strategy

Posted by Michael Bilby on Tue, Oct 27, 2020

Cybersecurity has become increasingly important to companies over the past several years. As technology continues to become more central to all areas of business, it is vital that companies consider cybersecurity not just as an IT function but as an integral part of their overall risk management strategy.

Small businesses are often faced with a dilemma; they are vulnerable to cyberattacks and other cybersecurity issues but often lack both the financial and human capital resources to properly mitigate the risks.

However small businesses cannot ignore the importance of cybersecurity and should have strategic initiatives to address the risk of cyberattacks and better protect their critical assets and operations.

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Topics: Business consulting

Should Your Nonprofit Adopt Remote Work Permanently? Pros and Cons

Posted by Concannon Miller on Tue, Oct 20, 2020

If your nonprofit's staffers can work from home during the COVID-19 pandemic, they probably are. But what about when the crisis ends?

As workers have become accustomed to remote work, many now prefer it. In fact, several recent surveys have found that approximately half of U.S. employees would rather work from home. This is particularly true of parents with younger children.

Many employers also like remote work. They're finding that employees are as productive — if not more productive — now. And if staffers remain at home after the pandemic ends, your organization may be able to break its office lease or sell its facility and save a bundle on operational costs.

Before you take that step, however, consider what the costs and risks may be.

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Topics: Nonprofit Organizations

Are Your Construction Contracts COVID-Proof? What to Include

Posted by Concannon Miller on Thu, Oct 15, 2020

It's the fourth quarter of 2020, and the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect the construction industry. Project delays, work stoppages, supply chain disruption and lost productivity remain a reality for many contractors.

All of this makes planning difficult, particularly when drafting project contracts. To protect your business from liability in these uncertain times, be sure to include the following clauses in project contracts.

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Topics: Construction & Real Estate Development

Manufacturers: Get a Tax Credit for Hiring Certain Workers

Posted by Concannon Miller on Tue, Oct 13, 2020

From February to August, U.S. manufacturing employment declined by 720,000 due to adverse conditions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. But the industry has been slowly recovering. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the sector's employment grew by roughly 403,000 jobs over the summer.

If your business has plans to rehire workers or expand its workforce, there's a valuable tax credit that you should consider: the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC). This tax break may be a limited time opportunity, however, unless Congress acts to extend it beyond 2020.

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Topics: Manufacturing

Attention Pennsylvania Businesses: New Overtime Pay Rules to Know

Posted by Concannon Miller on Fri, Oct 9, 2020

Attention Pennsylvania businesses: The state this week raised the threshold for determining whether employees are eligible for overtime pay.

The threshold is scheduled to continue to rise automatically in October 2021 and 2022 and every three years after that.

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Topics: Business consulting

Act Now: 7 Tax Breaks for Individuals Expiring in 2020

Posted by Concannon Miller on Tue, Oct 6, 2020

Several significant federal tax breaks are set to expire at the end of 2020, unless Congress renews them.

Lawmakers customarily extend these so-called "extender" provisions for another year or two, sometimes retroactively. However, in this tumultuous time, nothing is certain.

In the face of that uncertainty, you should consider the following seven tax breaks that are scheduled to go off the books at the end of this year.

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Topics: Individual tax planning

Monitoring Overtime Pay for Remote Workers: The New DOL Guidance

Posted by Concannon Miller on Thu, Oct 1, 2020

Paying your employees for hours that you know they've worked is straightforward enough. But what if they're doing more work than you think they are — or more than you've asked them to do? As federal regulations state, "Work not requested but suffered or permitted is work time" and, thus, must be compensated.

As explained in a new Department of Labor (DOL) field assistance bulletin (FAB), "If the employer knows or has reason to believe that the work is being performed, he must count the time as hours worked." The rub, the FAB explains, is this:

"While it may be easy to define what an employer actually knows, it may not always be clear when an employer 'has reason to believe that work is being performed,' particularly when employees telework or otherwise work remotely at locations that the employer does not control or monitor."

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Topics: Business consulting

Proactive Cyber Security Prevention Methods for Businesses & Nonprofits

Posted by Michael Bilby on Tue, Sep 29, 2020

It is no secret that cyberattacks are a serious and significant risk to businesses and organizations of all sizes. As more companies and organizations migrate their data and IT operations to the cloud and adopt the remote working environments necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic, the importance of cybersecurity has never been greater.

There has been a 67% increase in security breaches over the past five years and the cost of cybercrime has increased 72% during the same period, according to a recent study by Accenture. A successful cyberattack can cause considerable harm and result in loss of valuable data, money and customer confidence.

No company is immune from a cyberattack; in fact smaller organizations are often more susceptible to the tactics of cyber criminals due to having fewer IT resources and to the lack of a comprehensive plan addressing cybersecurity.

So is your company or organization prepared for a cyberattack? Below are several questions that every small business or nonprofit organization should ask to better assess their preparedness for a cyberattack.

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Topics: Business consulting

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