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4 Key Metrics to Fortify Your Business

Even the best, well-prepared business plans can unravel quickly without a process in place to evaluate performance. Creating a scorecard with quality metrics can give you the daily insight you need to successfully run a business without drowning in the details. Create a scorecard that works An effective scorecard gives you a holistic view of the state of your business in one report. The report consists of key financial and non-financial metrics to provide a daily

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This month:

April 15: – Individual tax returns due – C corporation tax returns due – First-quarter 2019 estimated tax due – Six-month filing extension – 2018 gift taxes – 2018 IRA contributions – 2018 HSA contributions

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What is Eminent Domain? Do I have to hand my property over to the government?

The government has the power to seize private property for public use under the authority of eminent domain. However, this doesn’t mean the government can take your land without compensating you for it. In fact, not only does the government have to provide you with “just compensation” you are also given an opportunity to object. The legal process of eminent domain is known as condemnation and is only used when private property is needed for the

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Estate planning critical for non-traditional couples

Generally speaking, estate planning laws were designed for the traditional nuclear family, a married couple with kids. But according to the 2010 U.S. Census, such families are less than 50 percent of the total. Non-traditional families, including single parents, blended families and unwed partners, need to pay particular attention to their estate plans to avoid unwanted consequences. If you die without a will, your assets will be distributed according to your state’s default laws. If you’re

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Preventing a will contest

When you write a will, you have control over how your assets will be distributed after your death. However, if someone in your family disputes your will, an anonymous probate court judge could end up with the final say over who gets your property. Emotions run high when someone dies. If family members aren’t content with what they’ve received or don’t believe your wishes are being interpreted properly, they may contest your will. Will contests can

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Protect assets, retain access with a Spousal Lifetime Access Trust

A Spousal Lifetime Access Trust (SLAT) is an estate planning tool that can be used to lock in the current estate tax exemption while still allowing a certain degree of access to trust assets. SLAT basics A SLAT is an irrevocable trust created by one spouse for the benefit of the other. The gift removes assets from your estate but allows your spouse to access the trust. It provides you with indirect access to the funds

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Opportunity Zones offer tax breaks

For a limited time, investors can help reinvigorate distressed communities while deferring capital gains on profits earned elsewhere. The 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act created the Qualified Opportunity Zone program in order to offer tax incentives for investment in economically blighted communities. When you invest in an Opportunity Zone, you can defer and possibly reduce taxes on recognized capital gains. If you will be subject to a large tax bill as a result of capital

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Employer can’t stop employees from taking selfies at work

An employer cannot ban all audio and video recording in the workplace, a federal appeals court recently decided. In the case in question, cellular giant T-Mobile included several controversial rules in its employee handbook, including a rule encouraging a “positive work environment,” a rule prohibiting arguing and failing to demonstrate “teamwork,” and a rule prohibiting all photography and audio/video recording without prior permission from management, HR or legal. A communication workers’ union challenged these rules before

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Suit over workplace comments can go forward in part

It’s a popular misconception that “freedom of speech” protections in the Constitution mean that you can say whatever you want in any circumstance and not have to deal with negative fallout. The truth is, your First Amendment rights protect you from being arrested, prosecuted, fined or imprisoned for things you say. But if you’re a worker expressing opinions at work that others find objectionable, don’t count on the law necessarily protecting you from employment consequences. If

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Thin line between ‘social networking’ and solicitation

LinkedIn is probably the most popular social media site for connecting with other professionals. That’s because users provide only work-related information on their pages, such as skills, experience, certifications, and networking groups. As a result, people have felt comfortable connecting with pretty much anyone in order to increase the size of their networks. But a recent Illinois case demonstrates that some employers will try to take action against professionals over whom they connect with on LinkedIn

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