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It doesn't matter your level, tenure, or title here — every Purple Squirrel has a voice at PayScale. We strive to ensure that everyone feels empowered to be their best self, both inside and outside the office. We're passionate about investing in the learning, development, and career growth of our people and we're dedicated to offering them opportunities they just don't get anywhere else. We're not afraid to take risks at PayScale. How else would we disrupt the human capital industry?

We explore, we innovate, and sometimes we even fail and get right back to work doing what we love. We feel so strongly about the creativity and ingenuity of our talented team that we save time to host a quarterly Hack Day event where Purple Squirrels from across the company can collaborate on their passion projects. Some even go into full production. If you work for PayScale, it's not just a job.

We want you to bring your whole self to work where you're a part of a collaborative team that elevates one another, supports each other's growth, and celebrates our successes. Together, we help to ensure that people are paid fairly, and let's be honest, you owe it to yourself to do work that matters.

PayScale data is regularly utilized by the media to delve into topics around compensation.

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Salary Surveys Other Compensation Topics. However, more employees are likely to receive less than 3 percent than receive more than 3 percent due to greater pay differentiation based on performance , a finding also noted recently by other experts. Regional Human Resources Business Partner.

Read the latest coverage. Our Mission Background Created with Sketch.

More than 6, customers, from small businesses to Fortune companies, use PayScale to power pay decisions for 16 million employees. Our Team Background Created with Sketch. Work With Us Join a mission-driven organization that is committed to helping organizations and their people develop a shared understanding around compensation.

Buck's survey of U. Among the key findings:. In44 percent of respondents used geographically adjusted pay ranges, most often based on the local cost of labor.

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The most common practice is to adjust ranges both above and below national rates 67 percent versus only above national rates 25 percent or only below national rates 8 percent. Both short-term incentives STI such as annual bonuses, and long-term incentives LTI such as time- or performance-based restricted stock grants, were weakened by the recession and tepid recovery. Fewer employees received STI inthe last full year this data was collected.

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The expected size of STI awards forecasted for is smaller than actual awards. Similarly, the percentage of employees expected to receive new-hire LTI grants is down for most employees, while the percentage of employees expected to receive ongoing grants has decreased for lower-level employees and increased slightly for higher-level executives.

The communication of pay practices has not changed substantively from previous years. The notable exception is the number of employees that share the pay range or band for a job with both managers and employees, which increased from 51 percent in to 58 percent in Employers are still least likely to share the full pay structure for jobs within the same class or group only 38 percent do so and the possible pay increases associated with particular levels of performance or steps within a pay structure 26 percent.

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Compensation Pay Trends for Salary Increases Hold Steady Employers still cautious with their salary budgets, and tougher with performance ratings. Among the key findings: Salary increases associated with being among the highest-rated employees on a five-point scale increased to 4. Respondents provided larger base pay increases for employees with particular skills and for those in IT and medical professions, while fewer respondents provided larger increases to workers in sales and engineering than was the case in the prior year's survey.

As a result of the Affordable Care Act, 8 percent of respondents have capped work hours of part-time employees, with an additional 12 percent considering taking this action. Eight percent are providing incentives for employees to obtain benefits via another source, and an additional 9 percent are considering this approach. Geographic Adjustments In44 percent of respondents used geographically adjusted pay ranges, most often based on the local cost of labor.

Buck Consultants figures are rounded. Prevalence of Short-Term Incentives Percent of Total Combination companywide incentive with individual performance component. Buck Consultants percentages are rounded.

Salary Surveys Other Compensation Topics. You have successfully saved this page as a bookmark. Please confirm that you want to proceed with deleting bookmark.

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Here are the main advantages that Bitcoin offers both players and operators when compared to fiat currencies e. One of the biggest reasons why gamblers like Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies is because the transaction fees are lower. But these charges are normally much cheaper than those seen with credit cards, eWallets, prepaid cards, and other traditional payment methods. Instead, BTC operates on the blockchain, which is a public ledger that records all Bitcoin transactions.

Another selling point on bitcoins is that withdrawals are processed quicker. If you withdraw your money from a Bitcoin casino, you can normally expect the money to hit your wallet in 1 3 hours.

Contrast this to another popular cashout method in eWallets. When you withdraw funds using Neteller, Skrill, or PayPal, it requires third party verification from the company itself. The end result is that you can end up waiting two or more days for money.

Companies still need to be licensed in regulated markets like the UK, France, Italy, Spain and so forth. But operators can operate in unregulated markets by accepting Bitcoin. Another benefit for gambling operators is that all Bitcoin transactions are final. This means there are no chargebacks to deal with for internet gaming companies. Some online casinos, poker sites, and sportsbooks even base their entire operation around BTC. But the transactions are harder to track when compared to credit cards and eWallets.

In order to crack down on this, certain governments have altered their internet gambling regulations to take aim at Bitcoin. This includes the Czech Republic, Poland, and the Netherlands. Cryptocurrency trading is often called a gamble by those who trade in traditional stock markets. The reason why is because of the volatility associated with Bitcoin and other crypto coins.

Nevertheless, you do take a fair amount of risk with both short term and long term cryptocurrency investments. In the first point, I covered how volatile Bitcoin was in December Some investors like to buy a number of risky altcoins based on minimal research. Here are a few points that these types of investors might look at:. Back to the original point, some gamblers spend money investing in cryptocurrencies that they would normally pump into online gaming sites. But this coin is definitely making a big impact on the industry.

Bitcoin has increased the number of available online gambling sites, lowers transaction fees, and speeds up cashouts. Ethereum has now entered the internet gambling space and is used at a small number of casinos.

But I expect this to increase greatly in the near future, because Ethereum transactions are even faster and the transaction fees are lower. This means that they could issue their own form of currency, which can be traded on the crypto market.

Long story short, the disruptions that Bitcoin is causing are only the beginning. Expect to see many more changes in the future thanks to blockchain and cryptocurrencies. Award-winning gambling platform from Microgaming, Quickfire, now features an entire slots collection from Iron Dog Studio, daughter company of 1X2 Network.

The agreement includes smash hit titles like Neon Jungle, Blood Queen and Cherry Blast, whereas the software provider announces new editions by the end of March. According to Kevin Reid, CCO at 1x2 Network, the agreement with thriving iGaming suppliers is a successful continuation of growth and a strong acknowledgement from esteemed brands such as Microgaming.

The supplier recently announced a new slot edition of Playboy , which is to launch on March 7th. Its live version will represent the first branded live dealer game in the world! Furthermore, adding innovative development achievements to the platform will strengthen the interconnection between partnering companies, whose content represents an astonishing addition to the industry. Quickfire offers instant access to a large portion of premium casino games, which are available on every device.

In conclusion, the platform is extremely popular thanks to its progressive jackpot network, easy integration and a selection of contemporary games with intelligent design. Provider specializes in casino, poker, bingo, live dealer and mini games, whereas Iron Dog Studio carries a large database of players and unique content — a commodity rarely seen for startups.

The Global Tourism Hub scheme was introduced last fall. It involves the construction of a multi-purpose complex with a casino as well as a number of accommodation, food and beverage, retail, and entertainment facilities. However, MPs said last year that it can technically be located anywhere within a kilometer radius from Cairns. The Queensland government opened a Registration of Interest process on October 30, , and interested parties had up until January 23 to submit their responses.

It became known earlier today that over 12 registrations were submitted, and some of them came from several globally renowned casino operators. The government said that it would not reveal the applicants for commercial-in-confidence reasons. However, it pointed out that registrations included a mix of state, national, and foreign casino brands.

While the Queensland government has decided against naming the operators that were interested in building a casino as part of the Global Tourism Hub, we believe that Las Vegas giant Caesars Entertainment Corp. Last spring, the company revealed plans for geographical expansion.

It said that it would explore opportunities to enter new markets once its main operating unit emerged from bankruptcy. Several months later, the government rejected the plan, citing environmental concerns and general discontent among Gold Coast residents. Cambodian casino operator NagaCorp may be another operator to have registered interest in the Global Tourism Hub scheme.

With the conclusion of the Registration of Interest process, the Queensland government is set to launch an Expression of Interest process for interested parties. It is also important to note that the government also undertook a community consultation last year. Members of the public are able to voice their opinion on the Cairns project until February 11, The casino industry in the state of New York could be defined as constantly providing topics for serious discussion and one of the latest is related to the allegedly over-saturated gambling field.

According to experts in the field, the decision of Gov. Andrew Cuomo to give the green light to a constitutional amendment which expanded […]. The post Experts Claim Gov. Reuters reported that Rothschild will hold a so-called beauty contest next week in a bid to engage banks to arrange the IPO for SkyBet. SkyBet was founded back in by British broadcasting company Sky. According to figures from the UK Gambling Commission, online gaming and betting currently accounts for a third of the British gambling market.

Its results from the past several years encouraged SkyBet to undertake expansion across other markets. Last year, the company went live with an online gambling website in Italy. It has also said that it is watching closely regulatory developments in Germany and has even hired staff to launch operations there. While interest in online gambling seems to be growing, iGaming and betting operators are gearing up for a bit of a hard time. The UK Gambling Commission recently presented proposed changes to its Licence conditions and codes of practice, including ones related to the way licensed companies are advertising their products.

A number of operators were imposed heavy fines last year, mainly due to their failure to comply with regulations when promoting their businesses to UK customers. Some of the violations involved third-party affiliate partners of the gambling companies. Last September, SkyBet announced its rather controversial decision to close its affiliate program and to terminate the contracts of all its affiliate partners, thus denying them commissions on previously referred players.

The UK government is set to announce by how much it will reduce the maximum stake of the highly controversial fixed-odds betting terminals any time now. The massive reduction could cost bookmakers hundreds of millions during the first year, and it is believed that companies with strong retail businesses across the UK will seek to boost their online gambling arms or to merge with major online gambling players to offset losses. The concept of virtual reality originated in the s, and online casinos emerged in , but it took until for an intrepid entrepreneur to blend them both.

Utilizing the highly advanced Oculus Rift VR headset and high-powered gaming PCs, SlotsMillion was the first fully immersive online casino to transport players directly into cyberspace. At the time, gamblers and industry insiders alike celebrated SlotsMillion as a trailblazer, paving the way for eventual widespread adoption of VR casinos.

As it turns out, players spanning the spectrum from teenagers to senior citizens are interested in VR casinos. The rate of adaptation continues, but only at a crawl, prompting many within the iGaming industry to wonder whether players will every truly embrace VR casinos. For that flat fee, users can enjoy boundless VR immersion, from the casino at SlotsMillion to any adventure you can imagination.

Unfortunately, owning an Oculus Rift headset is only the start for SlotsMillion players. For that price, you can forego virtual reality altogether and simply book a suite on the Las Vegas Strip. Alexandre Tomic, the co-founder and chief executive officer of SlotsMillion, recognizes that fact. In an interview with VegasMaster, Tomic explained that the price of VR technology will gradually come down, allowing more players to experiment with experiences like SlotsMillion:.

Once headsets and the related technology becomes more affordable, I fully expect the interest and experience levels to continue to rise sharply. Thankfully, as recent tech innovations like the smart phone and home assistance computers have shown, prices tend to drop dramatically after the first year or two of use. If VR technology follows the same trendline, it should only be a few years before Best Buy and the rest have Oculus Rift on sale. Placed in brick-and-mortar casinos and designed to resemble video game arcades, the Virtual Reality Cube is a kiosk that offers real-money wagering on VR games.

Imagine if not only you were able to bet money on how good you are killing monsters and then able to have your friends, instead of just sitting around watching you in goggles, have them not only see your viewpoint but also be able to bet on your experience.

Along with online VR casinos and skill-based kiosks like the Virtual Reality Cube, the gambling industry is exploring several other ways to monetize the emerging technology.

One of the most common complaints lodged by online casino enthusiasts is the solitary nature of the experience. Without fellow players at the table to sweat, or a dealer making small talk to pass the time, gambling online often feels sterilized and impersonal. Indeed, sitting silently for hours staring at a screen, not saying a word, is the default setting for most online gamblers. But even with live dealer games — which connect players to human dealers and genuine equipment via live streamed footage — players are stuck staring at the screen.

With a VR casino, however, players can walk around, sidle up to a table, and perform any action as they normally would. Handling chips, checking cards, and even ordering a cocktail — anything you can do in real life is possible on the VR casino floor. That includes making friends, as a VR casino like SlotsMillion is a fully immersive world. The excitement of watching your new pal win, their own celebration when you drag a pile of chips, and the mutual commiseration when the dealer makes their hand all add to the immersive nature of VR casinos.

Tomic knows this better than most, as he helped to design SlotsMillion as an outlet for social engagement on par with the best brick-and-mortar casinos:. This phenomenon is already on display within the world of competitive video games, as players in their teens encounter strangers on the other side of the world through Halo, Counter Strike, and League of Legends. For example, we volunteer at Northwest Harvest each winter. And lunch is on the house every day.

Yes, every day someone runs out to pick up lunch for the staff and everyone sits together and eats family style. It creates a work setting that feels like a club hangout.

More Time Off Employees can donate time off to fellow employees and earn extra time off for volunteer work. We need someone there—now. That drop-everything act of selflessness earned Fraser a Garcia Award, a pat on the back to RMI employees who get the job done without complaint or question.

RMI specializes in medical and rescue services in remote areas, providing support to clients who might, say, be sailing around the world or climbing the Himalayas. Part of the fun yes, fun of working for RMI is being a part of its team of world travelers and adventure seekers, a close-knit group that will climb Mount Rainier together in its off hours—or hold Ping-Pong tournaments.

The company is a hybrid of a high-performance team and a family. Daily minute exercise break. RMI covers percent of medical, dental, and vision premiums. You could be in the middle of Jordan or Tanzania or South America, and then be in Antarctica two weeks later. Communication Channels RMI uses yammer. Company intranet vaunts employee achievements.

Annual all-staff meeting encourages brainstorming, communication, and community. Free staff lunch once a month. The best new hires approach Greenfield like a very intense graduate school, and expect to grow in their capabilities from one project to the next. The work we do is fascinating and makes a difference in the world.

Completely anonymous, it allows employees throughout the organization to weigh in on how the company is doing, from communication to teamwork to Benefits. Updated April 28, What They Do In March, Zillow inked a deal to move into a big new office, reflecting its rise from a fledgling website that pinpointed home values on aerial maps to a nationwide repository of real estate data and advice for homeowners and renters. Zillow pays percent of medical, dental, and vision premiums.

Discount at local gym or YMCA. Free food and drinks. Culture Committee arranges office happy hours, family events, and tickets to sporting events. Annual company skiing day trip.

The Zuperstar award goes to employees who go above and beyond the normal scope of work, plus: What the Boss Wants Passionate people with ideas, voice, experience, and ambitions. Once a month over lunch, staffers discuss new products and business results, welcome new hires, and celebrate top performers.

Employer pays percent of medical, dental, and vision premiums. Organic fruit and snacks. Free in-office masseuse a couple times a year. Brown bag lunches with wellness-oriented seminars e. In-office happy hour every other Thursday. Communication Channels Weekly one-on-one meetings with direct reports. Social networking via Ning, Twitter, and Facebook. We have open floor plans and the founders share the same space with employees.

They design, manufacture, and market utilitarian water bottles, dishes, and glassware for year-old brands Stanley and Aladdin. PMI pays percent of medical, dental, and vision premiums. Monthlong Health and Fitness Challenge. There are no set work hours so we have flexibility to determine our own priorities.

Communication Channels Quarterly open forums held by the CEO allow staff to raise concerns and open them up for discussion. What They Do Everyone wants to know: If you work for online travel company Expedia sing along: Expedia offers 15 days of vacation plus 10 paid holidays to its Bellevue employees. And if they ever want to transfer, the London, Geneva, Paris, and Rome offices beckon. But who wants to leave? Pet insurance plan employee paid. Cuz you can go though corporste lot of tickets for nothing basically.

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Class II machines, though, vary from state to state. If no location is mentioned, note any additional contact information, such as a website or phone number. Another report by compensation consultant James Reda said that aligning pay to short-term performance, also known as rewarding risk, is in vogue.

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But please contact our firm for specific assistance with the home office deduction or any other aspect of filing your taxes as a self-employed individual. As tax-filing season gets into full swing, there are many details to remember. If your adjusted gross income AGI exceeds the applicable threshold, your personal exemptions will begin to be phased out and your itemized deductions reduced. Please contact our firm for specific strategies tailored to your situation.

If you're planning to make significant charitable donations in the coming year, consider a donor-advised fund DAF. These accounts allow you to take a charitable income tax deduction immediately, while deferring decisions about how much to give — and to whom — until the time is right. A DAF is a tax-advantaged investment account administered by a not-for-profit "sponsoring organization", such as a community foundation or the charitable arm of a financial services firm.

Unused deductions may be carried forward for up to five years, and funds grow tax-free until distributed. Although contributions are irrevocable, you're allowed to give the account a name and recommend how the funds will be invested among the options offered by the DAF and distributed to charities over time.

You can even name a successor advisor, or prepare written instructions, to recommend investments and charitable gifts after your death.

Technically, a DAF isn't bound to follow your recommendations. But in practice, DAFs almost always respect donors' wishes. Generally, the only time a fund will refuse a donor's request is if the intended recipient isn't a qualified charity.

As mentioned, DAF owners can immediately deduct contributions but make gifts to charities later. Even if you have a particular charity in mind, spreading your donations over several years can be a good strategy. It gives you time to evaluate whether the charity is using the funds responsibly before you make additional gifts. A DAF allows you to adopt this strategy without losing the ability to deduct the full amount in the year when it will do you the most good.

Another key advantage is capital gains avoidance. An effective charitable-giving strategy is to donate appreciated assets — such as securities or real estate.

You're entitled to deduct the property's fair market value, and you can avoid the capital gains taxes you would have owed had you sold the property. But not all charities are equipped to accept and manage this type of donation. Many DAFs, however, have the resources to accept contributions of appreciated assets, liquidate them and then reinvest the proceeds. A DAF can also help you streamline your estate plan and donate to a charity anonymously. Requirements and fees vary from fund to fund, however.

Please contact our firm for help finding one that meets your needs. If your company owns real property, or you do so individually, you may not always be able to dispose of it as quickly as you'd like. One avenue for perhaps finding a buyer a little sooner is an installment sale.

An installment sale occurs when you transfer property in exchange for a promissory note and receive at least one payment after the tax year of the sale. Doing so allows you to receive interest on the full amount of the promissory note, often at a higher rate than you could earn from other investments, while deferring taxes and improving cash flow. But there may be some disadvantages for sellers. For instance, the buyer may not make all payments and you may have to deal with foreclosure.

You generally must report an installment sale on your tax return under the "installment method. For every taxable year in which you receive an installment payment, you must report as income the interest and gain components. Calculating taxable gain involves multiplying the amount of payments, excluding interest, received in the taxable year by the gross profit ratio for the sale.

The gross profit ratio is equal to the gross profit the selling price less your adjusted basis divided by the total contract price the selling price less any qualifying indebtedness — mortgages, debts and other liabilities assumed or taken by the buyer — that doesn't exceed your basis.

The selling price includes the money and the fair market value of any other property you received for the sale of the property, selling expenses paid by the buyer and existing debt encumbering the property regardless of whether the buyer assumes personal liability for it. You may be considered to have received a taxable payment even if the buyer doesn't pay you directly.

If the buyer assumes or pays any of your debts or expenses, it could be deemed a payment in the year of the sale. In many cases, though, the buyer's assumption of your debt is treated as a recovery of your basis, rather than a payment. Where did the time go? Here are seven last-minute tax-saving tips to consider — you just must act by December Incur deductible medical expenses if your deductible medical expenses for the year already exceed the applicable floor. Pay tuition for academic periods that will begin in January, February or March of if it will make you eligible for a tax deduction or credit.

Keep in mind, however, that in certain situations these strategies might not make sense. To make absolutely sure which of these tips are right for you, and learn whether there are other beneficial last-minute moves you might make, please contact our firm.

We can help you maximize your tax savings for Are you in your 50s or 60s and thinking more about retirement? These are additional amounts beyond the regular annual limits that workers age 50 or older can contribute to certain retirement accounts. Catch-up contributions give you the chance to take maximum advantage of the potential for tax-deferred or, in the case of Roth accounts, tax-free growth. Plus, you can make IRA contributions as late as April 18, With a traditional IRA, contributions may be tax deductible, providing you with immediate tax savings.

The deductibility phases out at higher income levels if you or your spouse is covered by an employer retirement plan. Roth contributions are made with after-tax dollars, but qualified withdrawals are tax-free.

However, be aware that the ability to contribute to a Roth IRA is phased out based on income level. A solo k is a plan for those with no other employees. When many people think about charitable giving, they picture writing a check or dropping off a cardboard box of nonperishable food items at a designated location.

But giving to charity can take many different forms. One that you may not be aware of is a gift of appreciated stock. Yes, donating part of your portfolio is not only possible, but it also can be a great way to boost the tax benefits of your charitable giving. Many charitable organizations are more than happy to receive appreciated stock as a gift. But neither you nor the charity receiving the stock will owe capital gains tax on the appreciation.

So you not only get the deduction, but also avoid a capital gains hit. This way, you can take two deductions up to applicable limits: Inevitably, there are restrictions on deductions for donating appreciated stock. Any excess can be carried forward up to five years.

Moreover, you must have owned the security for at least one year to deduct the fair market value. Otherwise, the deduction is limited to your tax basis generally what you paid for the stock. Also, the charity must be a c 3 organization. Last, these rules apply only to appreciated stock. If you donate a different form of appreciated property, such as artwork or jewelry, different requirements apply. A donation of appreciated stock may not be the simplest way to give to charity.

But, for the savvy investor looking to make a positive difference and manage capital gains tax liability, it can be a powerful strategy. As the year winds down, many people begin to wonder whether they should put off until next year purchases they were considering for this year. One interesting wrinkle to consider from a tax perspective is the sales tax deduction. This tax break allows taxpayers to take an itemized deduction for state and local sales taxes in lieu of state and local income taxes.

The deduction is obviously valuable to those who reside in states with no or low income tax. But it can also substantially benefit taxpayers in other states who buy a major item, such as a car or boat.

Nonetheless, the tax impact of the deduction is worth considering. You can simply use an IRS sales tax calculator that will base the deduction on your income and the sales tax rates in your locale, plus the tax you actually pay on certain major purchases.

Then again, if you retain documentation for your purchases, you might enjoy a larger deduction. Examples include furnishing a new home, investing in high-value electronics or software, or purchasing expensive jewelry such as engagement and wedding rings.

The sales tax deduction offers an opportunity to save tax dollars while buying the items you want or need. Appraisals can inspire anxiety for many business owners. Perhaps the most common purpose of a valuation is a prospective ownership transfer. Yet strategic investments such as a new product or service line can also greatly benefit from an accurate appraisal.

As growth opportunities arise, business owners have only limited resources to pursue chosen strategies. A valuation can help plot the most likely route to success. But hold on — you might say, why not simply rely on our tried-and-true projected financial statements for strategic planning?

Thus, it can be difficult to compare detailed projections against other investments under consideration. Valuators, however, can convert your financial statement projections into cash flow projections and then incorporate the time value of money into your decision making.

If the sum of these present values — the NPV — is greater than zero, the investment is likely worthwhile. When comparing alternatives, a higher NPV is generally better. Each one needs to have a specific purpose. This could be as clear-cut as an impending sale. In other cases, an appraisal may be driven by strategic planning.

Have I grown the business enough to cash out now? Or how much further could we grow based on our current estimated value? But some assignments call for a different standard of value. In other words, do you truly control your company or are you a noncontrolling owner? Suppose a business is split equally between two partners. Because each owner has some control, stalemates could impair decision-making. An appraiser will need to definitively establish basis of value when selecting a valuation methodology and applying valuation discounts.

Often, we all find it difficult to be objective about the things we hold close. There are few better examples of this than business owners and their companies. But a valuation can provide you with an unbiased, up-to-date perspective on your business that can help you make better decisions about its future.

The traditional pension may seem like a thing of the past. Some defined benefit plans give retirees a choice between receiving payouts in the form of a lump sum or an annuity. Taking a lump sum distribution allows you to invest the money as you please. Plus, if you manage and invest the funds wisely, you may be able to achieve better returns than those provided by an annuity.

Bear in mind that guarantees are subject to the claims-paying ability of the issuing company. A single-life annuity provides you with monthly benefits for life. Deciding between the two annuity options requires some educated guesswork. You might choose the single-life option, for example, if you and your spouse have comparable life expectancies or if you expect to live longer.

Under those circumstances, the higher monthly payment will maximize your overall benefits. The difference could be substantial if your spouse outlives you by many years.

Your overall financial situation — that is, your expenses and your other assets and income sources — also play a major role.

Even if you expect a joint-life annuity to yield the greatest total benefit over time, you may want to consider a single-life annuity if you need additional liquidity in the short term. Although increasingly uncommon, these defined benefit plans can be a highly valuable asset. Please contact us for help managing yours appropriately.

If not, you need to find out now so that you can consider taking steps before year end to minimize potential liability. If your AMT liability is greater than your regular income tax liability, you must pay the difference as AMT, in addition to the regular tax. The maximum rate is lower than the maximum income tax rate of The AMT exemption an amount you can deduct in calculating AMT liability phases out based on income, so realizing capital gains could cause you to lose part or all of the exemption.

Interest on tax-exempt bonds issued for public activities for example, schools and roads is exempt from the AMT. Failing to plan for the AMT can lead to unexpected — and undesirable — tax consequences. Please contact us for help assessing your risk and, if necessary, implementing the appropriate strategies for your situation. High-income earners are typically most susceptible to the alternative minimum tax. But liability may also be triggered by:.

When plans first hit the scene, circa , they were big news. Just about anyone can open a plan. And you can name anyone, including a child, grandchild, friend, or even yourself, as the beneficiary. Investment options for savings plans typically include stock and bond mutual funds, as well as money market funds.

Some plans offer age-based portfolios that automatically shift to more conservative investments as the beneficiaries near college age. This can include tuition, room and board, books, fees, and computer technology at most accredited two- and four-year colleges and universities, vocational schools, and eligible foreign institutions.

Many states offer full or partial state income tax deductions or other tax incentives to residents making plan contributions, at least if the contributions are made to a plan sponsored by that state.

While plans can help save taxes, they have some downsides. Amounts not used for qualified educational expenses may be subject to taxes and penalties. Just like other investments, those within s can fluctuate with the stock market.

And some plans charge enrollment and asset management fees. Finally, in the case of prepaid tuition plans, there may be some uncertainty as to how the benefits will be applied if the student goes to a different school.

The tax rules governing savings plans can be complex. So please give us a call. We can help you determine whether a plan is right for you. These loans are attractive because:. Yet, despite their appeal, k loans present significant risks. Although you pay the interest to yourself, you lose the benefits of tax-deferred compounding on the money you borrow. Either way, you lose any future earnings and employer matches you would have enjoyed on those contributions.

Loans, unless used for a personal residence, must be repaid within five years. Generally, the loan terms must include level amortization, which consists of principal and interest, and payments must be made no less frequently than quarterly.

If you need the money for emergency purposes, rather than recreational ones, determine whether your plan offers a hardship withdrawal. Some plans allow these to pay certain expenses related to medical care, college, funerals and home ownership — such as first-time home purchase costs and expenses necessary to avoid eviction or mortgage foreclosure.

Like plan loans, hardship withdrawals are costly. In addition to owing taxes and possibly penalties, you lose future tax-deferred earnings on the withdrawn amounts. But, unlike a loan, hardship withdrawals need not be paid back. Generally, you should borrow or take hardship withdrawals from a k only in emergencies or when no other financing options exist and your job is secure.

For help deciding whether such a loan would be right for you, please call us. Other stipulations may apply. But a variety of other requirements apply. For example, the unearned income in question must come from only interest and dividends. Investing can teach kids about the time value of money, the importance of patience, and the rise and fall of business success.

One of the great things about setting up a home office is that you can make it as comfy as possible. To qualify for the deduction, you generally must maintain a specific area in your home that you use regularly and exclusively in connection with your business. The only option to calculate this tax break used to be the actual expense method.

In addition, you deduct direct expenses, including business-only phone and fax lines, utilities if you have a separate hookup , office supplies, painting and repairs, and depreciation on office furniture. Of course, if your deduction will be larger using the actual expense method, that will save you more tax. Please give us a call. Many families hire people to work in their homes, such as nannies, housekeepers, cooks, gardeners and health care workers.

If you employ a domestic worker, make sure you know the tax rules. Not everyone who works at your home is considered a household employee for tax purposes. To understand your obligations, determine whether your workers are employees or independent contractors. Independent contractors are responsible for their own employment taxes, while household employers and employees share the responsibility.

Workers are generally considered employees if you control what they do and how they do it. It makes no difference whether you employ them full time or part time, or pay them a salary or an hourly wage.

If you and the worker share the expense, you must withhold his or her share. You can also exclude reimbursements to employees for certain parking or commuting costs.

One way to provide a valuable benefit to household workers while minimizing employment taxes is to provide them with health insurance. Wages you pay to your spouse, children under age 21 and parents are excluded. In these instances, you must withhold federal income taxes on both cash and noncash wages, except for meals you provide employees for your convenience, lodging you provide in your home for your convenience and as a condition of employment, and certain reimbursed commuting and parking costs including transit passes, tokens, fare cards, qualifying vanpool transportation and qualified parking at or near the workplace.

As an employer, you have a variety of tax and other legal obligations. This includes obtaining a federal Employer Identification Number EIN and having each household employee complete Forms W-4 for withholding and I-9 which documents that he or she is eligible to work in the United States. And you must comply with federal and state minimum wage and overtime requirements. Having a household employee can make family life easier. Unfortunately, it can also make your tax return a bit more complicated.

Let us help you with the details. Or your home could be damaged in a storm or fire. Or you may need proof to cash in investments or claim insurance benefits. Grouping the items into broad categories such as these will make them easier to file and find later. Here are some tips for streamlining the process:. Create a central filing system. The ideal storage medium for personal documents is a fire-, water- and impact-resistant security cabinet or safe.

Create a master list of the cabinet contents and provide a copy of the key to your executor or a trusted family member. Designate a second storage location. Maintain a duplicate set of the records in another location, such as a bank safety deposit box, and provide access to a trusted individual preferably not the same individual with access to the original documents. Consider keeping originals of your important legal documents, such as your will, with your attorney.

Back up records electronically. It also makes sense to store copies of records electronically. Simply scan your documents and save them to a trustworthy external storage device. If opting for a cloud-based backup system, choose your provider carefully to ensure its security measures are as stringent as possible.

Make organizing your records an annual ritual and not just a one-time event. We can help you identify the specific documents pertinent to your situation and organize them appropriately. Having an emergency checklist of important personal records handy is essential in the event you must evacuate your home. That means storing the bare essentials in a portable container. Also consider storing and carrying electronic copies of key personal records on a USB flash drive.

The coming and going of Memorial Day marks the beginning of summer in the minds of many Americans. Although the kids might still be in school for another week or two, summer day camp is rapidly approaching for many families. If yours is among them, did you know that sending your child to day camp might make you eligible for a tax break? Day camp is a qualified expense under the child and dependent care credit. In addition, certain types of child care are ineligible.

A variety of additional rules may apply. For example, eligible costs for care must be work-related. In other words, parents need to pay for the care so that they can work or look for work. If you think you might qualify for the child and dependent care credit, please contact us.

Preserving and managing family wealth requires addressing a number of major issues. Juggling these competing demands is no trick. Rather, it requires a carefully devised and maintained family wealth management plan. It can also guarantee that your assets will be passed along to your heirs according to your wishes. Second, life insurance is essential. The right coverage can provide the liquidity needed to repay debts, support your children and others who depend on you financially, and pay estate taxes.

Most families face two long-term wealth management challenges: Scholarships, grants, loans and work-study may help pay for college — but only you can fund your retirement. Uncle Sam has provided several education incentives that are worth checking out, including tax credits and deductions for qualifying expenses and tax-advantaged savings opportunities such as plans and Education Savings Accounts ESAs.

But, your children or your parents, in the case of contributing to an ESA may be able to take advantage of them. Giving money, investments or other assets to your children or other family members can save future income tax and be a sound estate planning strategy as well. Depending on the number of children and grandchildren you have, and how many years you continue this gifting program, it can really add up.

By gifting assets that produce income or that you expect to appreciate, you not only remove assets from your taxable estate, but also shift income and future appreciation to people who may be in lower tax brackets. Also consider using trusts to facilitate your gifting plan. Creating a comprehensive plan for family wealth management and following through with it may not be simple — but you owe it to yourself and your family.

We can help you overcome the complexities and manage your tax burden. Do charitable gifts have a place in family wealth management? Properly made gifts can avoid gift and estate taxes, while possibly qualifying for an income tax deduction. Consider a charitable trust that allows you to give income-producing assets to charity, but keep the income for life — or for the charity to receive the earnings and the assets to later pass to your heirs.

These are just two examples; there are more ways to use trusts to accomplish your charitable goals. Like many taxpayers, you probably feel a sense of relief after filing your tax return.

In such instances, you may want or need to amend your return. Typically, an amended return — Form X, to be exact — must be filed within three years from the date you filed the original tax return or within two years of the date the applicable tax was paid whichever is later. Your choice of timing should depend on whether you expect a refund or a bill.

Then cash or deposit the first refund check while waiting for the second. If you owe additional dollars, file the amended return and pay the tax immediately to minimize interest and penalties. You can, however, track your amended return electronically. If you think an amended return is needed or warranted, please give us a call. We will be glad to help. Many people want to do something, however small, to contribute to a healthier environment. There are many ways to do so and, for some of them, you can even save a few tax dollars for your efforts.

Indeed, with the passage of the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of the PATH Act late last year, a couple of specific ways to go green and claim a tax break have been made permanent or extended. Air pollution is a problem in many areas of the country. Among the biggest contributors are vehicle emissions. So it follows that cutting down on the number of vehicles on the road can, in turn, diminish air pollution.

To help accomplish this, many people choose to commute to work via van pools or using public transportation. Energy consumption can also have a negative impact on the environment and use up limited natural resources. Many homeowners want to reduce their energy consumption for environmental reasons or simply to cut their utility bills. The PATH Act lends a helping hand here, too, by extending through the credit for purchases of residential energy property. This includes items such as:.

Going green and saving some green on your tax bill? Yes, you can do both. Please contact us for more information about how to claim these tax breaks or identify other ways to save this year. Restructuring debt has become a common approach to personal financial management.

Think of it this way: If a creditor forgives a debt, you avoid the expense of making the payments, which increases your net income.

You can have COD income if a creditor reduces the interest rate or gives you more time to pay. Calculating the amount of income can be complex but, essentially, by making it easier for you to repay the debt, the creditor confers a taxable economic benefit. You can also have COD income in connection with a mortgage foreclosure, including a short sale or deed in lieu of foreclosure.

Here, the tax consequences depend on which of the following two categories the mortgage falls into:. In a short sale, the lender permits you to sell the property for less than the amount you owe and accepts the sale proceeds in satisfaction of your mortgage.

A deed in lieu of foreclosure means you convey the property to the lender in satisfaction of your debt. In either case, if the lender agrees to cancel the excess debt, the transaction is treated like a foreclosure for tax purposes — that is, a recourse mortgage may generate COD income. Keep in mind that COD income is taxable as ordinary income, even if the debt is related to long-term capital gains property.

Other exclusions include certain canceled debts relating to bankruptcy and insolvency. The rules applying to COD income are complex. Like many taxpayers, you may have been expecting to encounter a few roadblocks while traversing your preferred tax-saving avenues. If so, tax extenders legislation signed into law this past December may make your journey a little easier. However, this deduction is phased out for higher income taxpayers.

The law likewise extends through the exclusion from gross income for mortgage loan forgiveness. Those living in a state with low or no income taxes or who make large purchases, such as a car or boat will be pleased that the itemized deduction for state and local sales taxes, instead of state and local income taxes, is now permanent.

Your deduction can be determined easily by using an IRS calculator and adding the tax you actually paid on certain major purchases. The law also permanently extends the rule that eliminates qualified small business stock gain as a preference item for alternative minimum tax AMT purposes. First, the research credit has been permanently extended, with some specialized provisions for smaller businesses and start-ups. Does your company provide transit benefits? Please contact us to discuss these and other provisions that may affect your situation.

There are virtually countless charitable organizations to which you might donate. You may choose to give cash or to contribute noncash items such as books, sporting goods, or computers or other tech gear. In either case, once you do the good deed, you owe it to yourself to properly claim a tax deduction. Here are five things to know:. A canceled check or credit card statement is sufficient. Alternatively, you can obtain a receipt from the recipient organization showing its name, as well as the date, place and amount of the contribution.

So you must have a receipt or bank record. Plus, you typically must estimate a reasonable value for the donated item s. Organizations that regularly accept noncash donations typically will provide you a form for doing so. Keep in mind that, for donations of clothing and household items to be deductible, the items generally must be in at least good condition. Bigger cash donations mean more paperwork. Among other things, a contemporaneous written acknowledgment must be received on or before the earlier of the date you file your return for the year in which you made the donation or the due date including an extension for filing the return.

In addition, it must include a disclosure of whether the charity provided anything in exchange. If it did, the organization must provide a description and good-faith estimate of the exchanged item or service. You can deduct only the difference between the amount donated and the value of the item or service. The written acknowledgment also must include a description of the item. Generally, both a contemporaneous written acknowledgment and a qualified appraisal are required — unless the donation is publicly traded securities.

We can verify the documentation of any type of donation, but contributions of this size are particularly important to document properly. Maybe in the past you decided against one of these arrangements, or perhaps you just decided to sleep on it. With a Roth IRA, you give up the deductibility of contributions for the freedom to make tax-free qualified withdrawals.

With a Roth IRA, you can withdraw your contributions tax-free and penalty-free anytime. On the plus side, you can leave funds in your Roth IRA as long as you want. Your modified adjusted gross income MAGI may also affect your ability to contribute, however. When you do a Roth conversion, you have to pay taxes on the amount you convert. So if you expect your tax rate to be higher in retirement than it is now, converting to a Roth may be advantageous — provided you can afford to pay the tax using funds from outside an IRA.

If you expect your tax rate to be lower in retirement, however, it may make more sense to leave your savings in a traditional IRA or employer-sponsored plan. Roth IRAs have become a fundamental part of retirement planning.

Some married couples assume they have to file their tax returns jointly. Others may know they have a choice but not want to rock the boat by filing separately. Granted, married taxpayers who file jointly can take advantage of certain credits not available to separate filers.

But there are circumstances under which filing separately may be a good idea. Many factors play into the joint vs. The IRS is taking steps to reduce such fraud, but taxpayers must play their part, too. Naturally, the fake returns claim that the filer is owed a refund — and the bigger, the better.

The increasing rate of tax-related fraud — not to mention the well-publicized IRS data breach — has spurred government agencies and private sector businesses to act. This past June, a coalition made up of the IRS, state tax administrators, tax preparation services and payroll and tax product processors announced a new program with five initiatives:.

Coalition members will review transmission data such as Internet Protocol numbers. Members will share fraud leads and aggregated tax return information.

The Refund Fraud Information Sharing and Assessment Center will help public and private sector members share information. Members will be required to adopt the National Institute of Standards and Technology cybersecurity framework.

Taxpayer awareness and communication. Members will increase efforts to inform the public about identity theft and protecting personal data. Be sure to keep your Social Security card secure, and if businesses including financial institutions and medical providers request your Social Security number, ensure they need it for a legitimate purpose and have taken precautions to keep your data safe.

Also regularly review your credit report. You can obtain free copies from all three credit bureaus once a year. Having multiple accounts requires you to spend more time tracking and reconciling financial activities and can make it harder to keep a handle on how much you have and whether your money is being invested advantageously. Start by identifying the accounts that offer you the best combination of excellent customer service, convenience, lower fees and higher returns.

You should also keep accounts with different beneficiaries separate. When closing accounts, make sure you stop automatic payments or deposits and destroy checks and cards associated with them.

To prevent any future disputes, obtain letters from the financial institutions stating that your accounts have been closed. Closing an account generally takes several weeks. When you sell a capital asset, the sale results in a capital gain or loss. A capital asset includes most property you own for personal use such as your home or car or own as an investment such as stocks and bonds.

Here are some facts that you should know about capital gains and losses:. A capital gain or loss is the difference between your basis and the amount you get when you sell an asset. Your basis is usually what you paid for the asset. You must include all capital gains in your income, and you may be subject to the NIIT. The NIIT applies to certain net investment income of individuals who have income above statutory threshold amounts: The rate of this tax is 3.

You can deduct capital losses on the sale of investment property. You cannot deduct losses on the sale of property that you hold for personal use. Capital gains and losses are either long-term or short-term, depending on how long you held the property.

If you held the property for more than one year, your gain or loss is long-term. If you held it one year or less, the gain or loss is short-term. If your long-term gains are more than your long-term losses, the difference between the two is a net long-term capital gain. If your net long-term capital gain is more than your net short-term capital loss, you have a net capital gain. The capital gains tax rate, which applies to long-term capital gains, usually depends on your taxable income.

Short-term capital gains are taxed at ordinary income tax rates. If your capital losses are more than your capital gains, you can deduct the difference as a loss on your tax return. If your total net capital loss is more than the limit you can deduct, you can carry over the losses you are not able to deduct to next year's tax return. You will treat those losses as if they happened in that next year.

Yes, that is too good to be true, but we got your attention. As you are painfully aware, it is extremely difficult to earn much, if any, interest on savings, money market funds, or CDs these days.

So, what are we to do? Well, one way to improve the earnings on those idle funds is to pay down debt. The same goes for car loans and other installment debt. But, the best return will more likely come from paying off credit card debt! We are not suggesting you reduce liquid assets to an unsafe level, but examine the possibility of paying off some of your present debt load with your liquid funds.

Your health insurance company may request that you provide the Social Security Numbers SSNs for you, your spouse, and your children covered by your policy. This is because the Affordable Care Act requires every provider of minimum essential coverage to report that coverage by filing an information return with the IRS and furnishing a statement to covered individuals.

The information is used by the IRS to administer — and by individuals to show compliance with — the health care law. The law requires coverage providers to list SSNs on this form.

Your health insurance company may mail you a letter that discusses these new rules and requests SSNs for all family members covered under your policy. The IRS has not designated a specific form for your health insurance company to request this information. However, it should be a written request that is mailed to you through the U.

Postal Service, not emailed to you. If you receive an email request, it could be a phishing attempt by a hacker who is aware of this requirement, so be cautious and take precautions to protect yourself. The Form B will provide information for your income tax return that shows you, your spouse, and individuals you claim as dependents had qualifying health coverage for some or all months during the year. You do not have to attach Form B to your tax return.

However, it is important to keep it with your other important tax documents. Anyone on your return who does not have minimum essential coverage, and who does not qualify for an exemption, may be liable for the individual shared responsibility payment. The information received by the IRS will be used to verify information on your individual income tax return. If you refuse to provide this information to your health insurance company, the IRS cannot verify the information you provide on your tax return, and you may receive an inquiry from the IRS.

You also may receive a notice from the IRS indicating that you are liable for the individual shared responsibility payment. Continuing to work while receiving Social Security benefits may cause the benefit to be reduced below the anticipated amount.

If you are under the full retirement age currently 66 , an earnings test determines whether your Social Security retirement benefits will be reduced because you earned more from a job or business than an annual exempt amount.

As a general rule, the earnings test is based on income earned during the year as a whole, without regard to the amount you earned each month. However, in the first year, benefits you receive are not reduced for any month in which you earn less than one-twelfth of the annual exempt amount. Social Security benefits are not affected by earned income beginning with the month the beneficiary reaches full benefit retirement age.

The federal income tax rates for are the same as last year: However, the rate bracket beginning and ending points are increased slightly to account for inflation. For , the maximum Higher-income individuals can also get hit by the 0. If your total itemized deductions each year are normally close to these amounts, you may be able to leverage the benefit of your deductions by bunching deductions, such as charitable contributions and property taxes, in every other year.

This allows you to time your itemized deductions so they are high in one year and low in the next. However, the alternative minimum tax AMT , discussed later in this article, should be considered when using this strategy. Contribute as much as you can stand, especially if your employer makes matching contributions.

Even if you already have an estate plan, it may need updating to reflect the current estate and gift tax rules. Also, you may need to make some changes that have nothing to do with taxes.

There can also be payroll tax savings and the ability to contribute to an IRA for the child. Remember that effective tax planning requires considering at least this year and next year. And finally, watch out for the AMT in all of your planning, because what may be a great move for regular tax purposes may create or increase an AMT problem.

Again, these are just a few suggestions to get you thinking. Adult children may be able to acquire a more expensive home than they might otherwise afford by using a shared equity financing arrangement, under which parents or other relatives share in the purchase and cost of maintaining a house used by the children as a principal residence.

The nonresident owner rents his or her portion of the home to the resident owner and obtains the annual tax benefits of renting real estate if the statutory requirements are satisfied. A shared equity financing arrangement is an agreement by which two or more persons acquire qualified home ownership interests in a dwelling unit and the person or persons holding one of the interests is entitled to occupy the dwelling as his or her principal residence, and is required to pay rent to the other person s owning qualified ownership interests.

When the tenant owns an interest in the property, this exception to the general rule applies only if the rental qualifies as a shared equity financing arrangement. Mike and Laura have agreed to help their son, Bob, purchase his first home. Mike and Laura pay half of the down payment and make half of the mortgage payment pursuant to a shared equity financing agreement with Bob. Because his use is not attributed to his parents, Mike and Laura, they treat the property as rental.

If the property generates a tax loss, it is subject to, and its deductibility is limited by, the passive loss rules. One drawback to shared equity arrangements is that the nonresident owners will not qualify for the gain exclusion upon the sale of the residence. The result will be a taxable gain for the portion of the gain related to the deemed rental.

The gain may also be subject to the 3. Parents should consider guaranteeing or cosigning the mortgage, instead of outright joint ownership, if excluding potential future gain is a major consideration. If it is anticipated that the resident owner will ultimately purchase the equity of the nonresident owner and the rental will generate losses suspended under the passive loss rules, special care must be taken when the lease terms are agreed to, because suspended passive losses normally allowed at disposition are not allowed when the interest is sold to a related party.

This problem can be minimized by making a larger down payment that decreases mortgage interest expense, or by charging a rent at the higher end of the reasonable range for the value of the interest being rented to the resident owner. The net investment income tax, or NIIT, is a 3. It first took effect in After filing your return, you may have been hit with this extra tax for two years, and you may now be ready to get proactive by taking some steps to stop, or at least slow, the bleeding for this year and beyond.

The NIIT can affect higher-income individuals who have investment income. While the NIIT mainly hits folks who consistently have high income, it can also strike anyone who has a big one-time shot of income or gain this year or any other year.

For example, if you sell some company stock for a big gain, get a big bonus, or even sell a home for a big profit, you could be a victim. The types of income and gain net of related deductions included in the definition of net investment income and, therefore, exposed to the NIIT, include—.

However, these thresholds are not all that high, so many individuals will be exposed. The amount that is actually hit with the NIIT is the lesser of: As we just explained, the NIIT hits the lesser of: Therefore, planning strategies must be aimed at the proper target to have the desired effect of avoiding or minimizing your exposure to the tax.

You should focus first on strategies that reduce net investment income. Of course, some strategies that reduce net investment income will also reduce MAGI. If so, that cannot possibly hurt. You should focus first on strategies that reduce MAGI. Of course, some strategies that reduce MAGI will also reduce net investment income. Perhaps the most obvious way to reduce exposure to the NIIT is to invest in tax-exempt bonds via direct ownership or a mutual find.

There are other ways, too. Contact us to identify strategies that will work in your specific situation. Since the Supreme Court's Windsor decision, same-sex couples who are legally married under state or foreign laws are treated as married for federal tax purposes just like any other married couple.

The Supreme Court's Obergefell decision issued in late June now requires all states to license and recognize marriages between same-sex couples. Specifically, the decision states that same-sex couples can exercise the fundamental right to marry in all states and that there is no lawful basis for a state to refuse to recognize a lawful same-sex marriage performed in another state. Therefore, same-sex couples who are legally married in any state are now allowed to file joint state income tax returns wherever they reside.

They are also entitled to the same inheritance and property rights and rules of intestate succession that apply to other legally married couples. Therefore, same-sex couples should now be able to amend previously filed state income, gift, and inheritance tax returns for open years to reflect married status and claim refunds. Furthermore, these couples likely need to rethink their estate and gift tax plans. Before the Obergefell decision, members of married same-sex couples who live in states that did not previously recognize same-sex marriages had to file state income, gift, and inheritance tax returns as unmarried individuals.

This caused additional complexity and expense in filing state returns. Other implications of an individual's marital status include spousal privilege in the law of evidence; hospital access; medical decision-making authority; adoption rights; the rights and benefits of survivors; birth and death certificates; professional ethics rules; campaign finance restrictions; workers' compensation benefits; health insurance; and child custody, support, and visitation rights.

The ruling does not apply to individuals in registered domestic partnerships, civil unions, or similar formal relationships recognized under state law, but not denominated as a marriage under the laws of that state. These individuals are considered unmarried for federal and state purposes.

Individuals in these relationships can now obtain marriage licenses, get married, and thereby qualify as married individuals for both state and federal tax purposes. Most of us have more than enough to do. We're on the go from early in the morning until well into the evening — six or seven days a week.

Thus, it's no surprise that we may let some important things slide. We know we need to get to them, but it seems like they can just as easily wait until tomorrow, the next day, or whenever. Supreme Court decision reminds us that sometimes "whenever" never gets here and the results can be tragic. The couple divorced 20 years later.

As part of the divorce decree, Liv waived her rights to benefits under William's employer-sponsored retirement plans. However, William never got around to changing his beneficiary designation form with his employer.

When William died, Liv was still listed as his beneficiary. William's estate sued the plan, saying that because of Liv's waiver in the divorce decree, the funds should have been paid to the estate. The Court disagreed, ruling that the plan documents which called for the beneficiary to be designated and changed in a specific way trumped the divorce decree. William's designation of Liv as his beneficiary was done in the way the plan required; Liv's waiver was not.

The tragic outcome of this case was largely controlled by its unique facts. If the facts had been slightly different such as the plan allowing a beneficiary to be designated on a document other than the plan's beneficiary form , the outcome could have been quite different and much less tragic.

However, it still would have taken a lot of effort and expense to get there. This leads us to a couple of important points. If you want to change the beneficiary for a life insurance policy, retirement plan, IRA, or other benefit, use the plan's official beneficiary form rather than depending on an indirect method, such as a will or divorce decree.

It's important to keep your beneficiary designations up to date. Whether it is because of divorce or some other life-changing event, beneficiary designations made years ago can easily become outdated. One final thought regarding beneficiary designations: While you're verifying that all of your beneficiary designations are current, make sure you've also designated secondary beneficiaries where appropriate.

This is especially important with assets such as IRAs, where naming both a primary and secondary beneficiary can potentially allow payouts from the account to be stretched out over a longer period and maximize the time available for the tax deferral benefits to accrue. A Health Savings Account HSA represents an opportunity for eligible individuals to lower their out-of-pocket health care costs and federal tax bill.

Since most of us would like to take advantage of every available tax break, now might be a good time to consider an HSA, if eligible. An FSA permits eligible employees to defer a portion of their pay, on a pretax basis, which is used later to reimburse out-of-pocket medical expenses. In addition, there are no income phaseout rules, so HSAs are available to high-earners and low-earners alike. Naturally, there are a few requirements for obtaining the benefits of an HSA.

The most significant requirement is that an HSA is only available to an individual who carries health insurance coverage with a relatively high annual deductible. For many self-employed individuals, small business owners, and employees of small and large companies alike, these thresholds won't be a problem.

In addition, it's okay if the insurance plan doesn't impose any deductible for preventive care such as annual checkups. Other requirements for setting up an HSA are that an individual can't be eligible for Medicare benefits or claimed as a dependent on another person's tax return. The contribution for a particular tax year can be made as late as April 15 of the following year.

The deduction is claimed in arriving at adjusted gross income the number at the bottom of page 1 on your return. Thus, eligible individuals can benefit whether they itemize or not. Unfortunately, however, the deduction doesn't reduce a self-employed person's self-employment tax bill. When an employer contributes to an employee's HSA, the contributions are exempt from federal income, Social Security, Medicare, and unemployment taxes. An account beneficiary who is age 55 or older by the end of the tax year for which the HSA contribution is made may make a larger deductible or excludible contribution.

The HSA must be established exclusively for the purpose of paying the account beneficiary's qualified medical expenses.

These include uninsured medical costs incurred for the account beneficiary, spouse, and dependents. However, for HSA purposes, health insurance premiums don't qualify. Seeking a seasoned operations manager from the travel industry.

Seeking an operations or general manager from an industrial manufacturer. Experience in agricultural or road equipment, tractor, material handling equipment desirable. Information Technology and Data Processing Positions: Develop tools to help manage valuation, risk and securities databases for multi-asset investment management firm. Work closely with research, data and portfolio teams. Should have expert skills in one of the following: Responsibilities Include system security plans, risk assessments, certification test plans and test cases.

Handle design and development of neuro-diagnostics applications which include real-time display of EEG, EMG and potential data from neurology and sleep patients. Lead global project management and IT development related to aftermarket sales and support warranty and product service plus spare parts. Key clients are digital and control valve specialists.

BS IT or Engineering. Establish and maintain database designs. Handle strategy, performance tuning, documentation, query optimization, testing, software and hardware recommendations. Financial applications experience a strong plus. Design and implement data and voice projects for clients and vendors. Must come from financial services. Handle projects in operations, sales, inventory. Be responsible for the kernel, file system, device drives and the audio and video for wireless devices.

BS CS or Engineering. Software Manager Wireless , TX. Supervise a team developing and integrating radio protocol stack SW for wireless technology.

Background in any of these a plus: Make recommendations; perform storage provisioning, disaster recovery, and infrastructure storage maintenance. Supervise staff and establish strategy for developing systems and acquiring SW and HW for application needs.

Help determine IS solutions; write articles; handle hiring and training. Math and analytical ability necessary. Perform design, release testing and beta support on SW projects. Handle research and analysis, bug, verification, testing.

Support development of enterprise security solutions. Develop FW requirements and multi-phase migration plan. Must have developed and implemented complex security solutions. Cyberguard and sidewinder firewalls a plus. Work with clients advising on large enterprise wide solutions to incorporate SAP programs.

Will consider working from a virtual home-based office anywhere in US. Involvement in system management, installations, maintenance, performance tuning. Support sales and marketing teams with HR initiatives for a Fortune consumer manufacturer. Be involved with recruitment, OD, training, employee relations, succession planning, strategy implementation. Be responsible for the planning, design and implementation of advanced strategic HR programs.

Manage multiple projects in intranet communications. Seeking a highly analytical and accomplished HR professional with related experience with a Fortune manufacturer or consulting company. Formulate compensation programs and make recommendations on benefit plans.

Develop and execute a supplier management system in Human Resources. Partner with IS and legal. Logistics, Distribution and Materials Positions: Purchasing Director Aerospace , PA. Coordinate purchasing and supply chain activities for multi plants. Be involved with inventory management, forecasting, demand planning, supplier evaluations and relationships, strategies, negotiations.

Procurement Manager Food , MA. Oversee global procurement strategy for packaging materials. Perform financial modeling, market research, sourcing, forecasting.

Be involved with logistic support analysis, cost analysis, sparing estimates, technical documentation and classroom training. Should have ability to get secret clearance. Manage strategic planning, forecasting, analysis, advertising, trade shows. Will consider candidates with marketing experience from large industrial companies.

Supervise two brand assistants and be involved in long range planning, new products, brand strategy, promotions, advertising, media plan development. Seeking a proven CPG marketing record with a well-known company. Salary depends on experience plus there is a car allowance, bonus and expenses. Develop and execute local marketing programs, events, promotions, and media partnerships, including radio. Work cross functionally with sales teams and keep distributor networks up to date. Related experience with radio promotions and executing sports activations helpful.

Can come from agency or company. Supervise brand strategy, planning, new products, promotions, advertising, PR, market research. Seeking a successful marketing manager from the wine or beverage industry.

Oversee online marketing program involved with international web strategy and web analytics, internet programs, interactive planning, search engine marketing, forecasting. Seeking an online marketing specialist from a well-known craft related company. Develop and oversee strategic marketing plans for CRM. Employ analytics, database marketing, profitability analysis, modeling, business intelligence.

Need strong knowledge of direct marketing and database marketing. Supervise staff working closely with marketing and sales teams involved with qualitative and quantitative research, shopper insights, advertising and promotional research, strategic insights. Seeking a proven Director with a well-known CPG company. Manage field marketing managers; advise on regional and national strategies, sports marketing, distributor relationships, training, events, trade marketing, business planning.

Food industry experience may be acceptable. Oversee brand managers and develop strategies in new products, advertising, promotions, packaging, PR, market research. Manage staff in areas of E-marketing, database development, PR, advertising, promotions, direct mail. Work with ad agency. Manage forecasting, program management, planning, and business development targeting defense contractors and government agencies.

Work with engineering department. Be in charge of primary and secondary research, strategic planning, new product studies, advertising and promotions analysis. Will need syndicated data and consumer data panel experience. Salary depends on experience. Assist Brand Manager to develop and implement strategic goals. Focus on creative projects label copy, website, advertising etc. Requires years' classical brand marketing experience with an image oriented CPG product, preferably in food or beverages.

Media planning background a plus. Can come from company or agency. Interest in major sports and sports marketing required. Be in charge of all marketing i. Need proven Marketing Director or VP from a major consumer goods company. Assist in new products, PR, promotions, advertising, media planning, market research, copy development, pricing.

Launch new product and supervise staff in strategic planning, forecasting, analysis, trade shows, sales support. Pre-launch experience with pipeline products a plus. Be involved with marketing, strategies, market research, pricing, promotion, packaging, new products, sales planning, financial analysis. Be responsible for major chain accounts on branded products. Manage sales strategies and planning, promotions, budgets, analysis, customer marketing. Develop sales and market strategy; identify new technologies; perform market research; manage pricing; negotiate contracts.

Product Managers Pharmaceuticals , 2 positions in NJ. One position is for a senior level person and other is at a junior level. Be responsible for planning, forecasting, market analysis, trade shows, and new product launches on oncology drugs. Preference is for oncology experience but will consider other pharma specialties. Lead licensing-in global businesses and brands in leisure and entertainment products and evaluate potential licensing-out opportunities.

Work cross functionally with product development, sales and operations, developing marketing initiatives. Should know how to build a licensed business. Lead product development for national brands.

Be involved with sourcing, advertising, market research, channel marketing, marketing strategies, while working cross functionally with key departments. Support Vice President in development of relationships with Big Box retailers. Work with teams working on promotions, advertising, pricing, new products, analysis, merchandising. Develop and execute national marketing communications programs and advertising strategies.

Implement PR and media relations activities and oversee advertising in print and electronic media. Be responsible for marketing strategy, business analysis, new product development, forecasting, packaging, design, pricing, merchandising materials. Focus on new product development. Drive growth of a major company brand including new product introductions, analysis, forecasting, trade shows, promotions, PR.

Supervise large staff managing syndicated and customized research, advertising and promotional research, segmentation studies, store tests, qualitative and quantitative research. Work closely with creative team and media department. Advertising or promotional background a plus. Assist Brand Manager to promote and market a national product … advertising, promotions, analysis, PR, packaging, innovation. Supervise a marketing team from the standpoint of strategies, advertising, product management, packaging, pricing, market analysis, promotions, PR, new product launches.

Seeking a candidate with a proven marketing record from the consumer durables industry. Brand Manager Food , OH. Develop strategies involving promotions, CRM, merchandising, broadcast, print, internet, communications, budgets, market research, ad agency management.

Manage new product innovation, sales and marketing, analysis, advertising, promotions. Work with operations, finance, supply chain, product development teams. Develop market strategy, keep abreast of trends, create a plan incorporating the sales process for new products and estimate the financial impact of the new product. Work closely with engineering and sales. Seeking a proven technical marketing manager with experience with an RF electronics measurement product.

Oversee launch of a new product and perform brand management duties planning, research, advertising, promotions, packaging etc. Also function as a lead person on licensing opportunities. Need a good record of brand innovation and launching new products with a well-known CPG company.

Help launch new national brand while being involved in advertising, promotions, market analysis, forecasting. Oncology background a major plus but not necessary. Be responsible for all marketing matters, i. Be involved in branding, pricing, new products, market research, product development, labeling, advertising materials. Work with quality and regulatory matters. Neurosurgery exposure a plus. Handle strategic management and forecasting for both sales teams and business development teams.

Some general management background a plus. May consider strong technical aptitude in lieu of an engineering degree. Brand Manager Consumer , NJ. Supervise APMs in advertising, market research, analysis, promotions, packaging, product development and launch, PR, etc.

OTC background a plus. Manage medical education projects for large pharma and biotech companies. Seeking a manager from a pharma ad agency or medical educational communications company. May consider candidates with pharma marketing experience with some CME or promotional medical education background. Marketing Managers Dermatology , NJ. Supervise new products, market research, sales support, forecasting, trade shows. Any dermatology exposure a major plus. Payments and portfolio management experience necessary.

Supervise category management, new products, promotions, trade marketing, sales planning. Manage lead research for assigned categories in US and abroad. Be involved with in-store promotions, new products, category management, trade marketing, trends, sales planning. Supervise 12 reps selling promotional products. Be responsible for sales and operations. Sell enterprise software solutions for security applications integration and development into the Telco and media vertical for Fortune company.

Manage 7 reps selling to cardiac surgery. Must also have CV, pacing or surgical background. Sell domestic accounts and global mutual fund products to endowments, foundations and family offices.

Work closely with investors. Need proven sales record in financial services; asset management experience a strong plus. A deep rolodex of relationships is desirable. Be involved with presales for complex software applications supporting the mobile industry Tier 1 and Tier 2 wireless carriers. Need business intelligence, financial performance management knowledge. Major account sales background a plus. Be involved in applications development and sales calls selling lubricants in the oil and gas industry.

No staff; will build department. Supervise brokers in the Northeast selling food primarily to the grocery channel. Be involved with merchandising, distribution, strategies, promotions, profits. Must have a successful broker management record working with perishable food. Drive sales of truck bodies working through dealers and distributors.

Handle hiring and training. Seeking a proven sales manager from the truck industry. Oversee sales team and call on key accounts; develop new business strategies; evaluate competitors, proposals; develop relationships with government and businesses.

Military aircraft and security clearance necessary. Expand sales; provide freight alternatives; execute sales strategies, pricing, proposals,; develop relationships; create customized solutions. Supervise direct sales and a wholesale distributor network. Familiarity with Japanese culture a plus. Need successful record selling this type of product. Maintain medical capital equipment relationships, selling hygiene therapy products.

Be responsible for a major broker handling sales for western states. Category management experience helpful. Broker background is not necessary. Supervise team and function as the lead person calling on national accounts. Handle secondary marketing duties … product development, promotions, pricing, strategy, forecasting. Need a successful national account manager with background selling any seasonal product.

Gift or related experience not necessary. Call on large IDN facilities in the state of Florida, selling capital and surgical equipment, endoscopy, orthopedics, instrumentation. Supervise district sales managers and build strong relationships with key dealerships and develop growth strategies. Multi-channel distribution and sales training experience a plus.

Manage 10 reps who sell products to spine and orthopedic surgeons. New product launch background a plus. Prefer spine or ortho experience but will consider background with Davol and cardio companies. Seeking a top producer to develop business in outsourcing sales, manufacturing and CPG retail markets. Seeking a field sales pro — not a VP. Must have a top sales record selling IT software for a well-known corporation or consulting firm. Sell ERP asset management software to end users. Seeking a proven sales hunter who has sold this type of software to end users.

Call only on Fortune accounts at C-level selling on demand business intelligence and business analytics software.

Must have solid record selling this software to the Fortune companies. National Account Manager Beverage , any city in Carolinas or Georgia near major airport — no relocation. Be responsible for national account sales in food, drug, mass, c-stores in the SE and Mid Atlantic. Must have a good national accounts record in the beverage industry. Prefer non-alcoholic product experience.

We are seeking a rising star who has sold beverages to Convenience and Gas Key Accounts. Company is rapidly expanding and there is lots of opportunity for a top producer who is a go getter. Increase sales of products and services to auto lubricant installers, i.

Sell direct and through distributors. Coordinate promotions and trade programs. Sell Oracle consulting services. Company implements PeopleSoft and Siebel applications. Design and implement sales strategy. Lead sales teams in consultative and relationship selling.

Requires analytical skills, CRM knowledge, sales training, digital media and instructional design background along with financial services sales background. Build sales teams selling branded products to retail and food service industry. Develop sales and marketing strategies. Seeking a seasoned food Sales Vice President or Director with some marketing background. Need strong retail sales focus in the frozen food field with some experience in food service and DSD markets.

Vice President of Sales Industrial and Fluid Power , 2 positions -- northern city and southern city — no relocation.

existing regular having

The survey was open to all publicly and privately held companies with at least 15 employees in the Seattle area. Best Companies Group, an independent research firm, managed the registration process, conducted the surveys, evaluated the data, and ultimately chose the firms good enough to make the list.

BCG manages 37 other regional, state, and industry programs across the country and internationally. BCG analyzed the two combined sets of data to determine which companies best demonstrate workplace excellence. Annual days off include allowable vacation, personal, and sick days after one year, as well as paid holidays.

Unattributed quotes are taken directly from company representatives who completed the surveys. They have a Jagermeister machine in their downtown Seattle office. And company karaoke parties. But when the going gets tough, Zaaz lets the tough go home. Campau has finished her three-month maternity leave, but she can still work from home twice a week to help her husband now on paternity leave with their newborn.

Plus, everyone gets a standard—issue iPad—a new one. Three-week sabbatical after five years on staff, six-weeks after 10 years. Free All-Star Fitness memberships. We do not value burnout, politics, greed, or cynicism.

Check your ego at the door. Communication Channels The CEO , president, and COO host lunches for groups of five to 10 new hires, allowing employees to connect with the founders on a personal level. How many companies win state civics awards for their volunteer work during a recession? They go fly-fishing, run marathons. The marketing manager is lead singer, two vice-presidents are on guitar, and field supervisors play bass and drums.

They call themselves the -uGLYs—brand conscious to the end—and are available for client parties and happy hours. On-site exercise facility, group exercise classes. Annual and quarterly awards e. I have doubled my workouts per week. Each executive mentors up to five new employees annually. What They Do SEOmoz pronounced ess-ee-OH-mahz develops search engine optimization software to help clients grow brands, and hosts a community of over a quarter—million members who share SEO experiences and best practices.

Reasons to Love This Job Catered lunch and treats in the office a few times each week. In addition, nearly every employee gets together personally at least quarterly with the CEO. For example, we volunteer at Northwest Harvest each winter. And lunch is on the house every day. Yes, every day someone runs out to pick up lunch for the staff and everyone sits together and eats family style.

It creates a work setting that feels like a club hangout. More Time Off Employees can donate time off to fellow employees and earn extra time off for volunteer work.

We need someone there—now. That drop-everything act of selflessness earned Fraser a Garcia Award, a pat on the back to RMI employees who get the job done without complaint or question. RMI specializes in medical and rescue services in remote areas, providing support to clients who might, say, be sailing around the world or climbing the Himalayas. Part of the fun yes, fun of working for RMI is being a part of its team of world travelers and adventure seekers, a close-knit group that will climb Mount Rainier together in its off hours—or hold Ping-Pong tournaments.

The company is a hybrid of a high-performance team and a family. Daily minute exercise break. RMI covers percent of medical, dental, and vision premiums. You could be in the middle of Jordan or Tanzania or South America, and then be in Antarctica two weeks later. Communication Channels RMI uses yammer. Company intranet vaunts employee achievements.

Annual all-staff meeting encourages brainstorming, communication, and community. Free staff lunch once a month. The best new hires approach Greenfield like a very intense graduate school, and expect to grow in their capabilities from one project to the next. The work we do is fascinating and makes a difference in the world. Completely anonymous, it allows employees throughout the organization to weigh in on how the company is doing, from communication to teamwork to Benefits.

Updated April 28, What They Do In March, Zillow inked a deal to move into a big new office, reflecting its rise from a fledgling website that pinpointed home values on aerial maps to a nationwide repository of real estate data and advice for homeowners and renters.

And even though some of their wins against the lesser teams have been unconvincing, when they played against top opponents, they always delivered.

Philadelphia Fusion won their last two matches, and one of them was against New York Excelsior. So, team morale is definitely high, and they surely are on an upward trend. That assessment would be correct if you only looked at the overall statistics Los Angeles Valiant has won more maps than Philadelphia Fusion so far.

But if you put things in context and also take current team form into account, the assessment is automatically reversed. This should be a relatively easy victory for Los Angeles Gladiators. A bet on this match would definitely be worthwhile, as the likelihood of success is extremely high but the odds are still good enough to make a decent profit: Houston Outlaws are likely to win this one without dropping a single map.

Philadelphia Fusion is the clear favorite for this dispute, and the chance of an upset is very low. Statistics slightly favor Seoul Dynasty for this match. In principle, they should be able to beat London Spitfire, considering the results from week 3. These two teams are of roughly the same strength, so a bet on either of them might be risky. Boston Uprising is very likely to win this match. As their last two victories against London Spitfire and Dallas Fuel proved, they are at the top of their game right now and should have no problem crushing a significantly weaker team such as Los Angeles Gladiators.

A victory for London Spitfire is almost a certainty for this match. Based on the leaderboards statistics, Los Angeles Valiant is stronger. But the chance of an upset is quite high, due to the fact that Boston Uprising has a lot of momentum right now. They won both of their matches during the third week of the Overwatch League, and they clearly changed something about their playstyle. Defeating a team like London Spitfire is no easy feat.

This is the perfect type of match to bet on when using an esports betting strategy that relies on upsets. Most people will assume that Los Angeles Valiant is a much stronger team, not taking into account the shifts and changes that have taken place recently.

As a result, betting on Boston Uprising will yield a much greater potential reward. An on-and-off Academy Award winning actor, frontman of 30 Seconds to Mars, the band holding the Guinness record for the longest concert tour with concerts, and a tech investor, Jared Leto also seems to have familiarized himself with the bitcoin craze as he has recently joined the growing debate over the nature of cryptocurrency investing.

In an interview with Australian radio station Nova, Leto presented his opinion on the matter, slamming bitcoin investing as gambling. The multi-faceted artist warned future investors against putting their money into bitcoin.

He called cryptocurrency investing gambling and speculation, and went on to say that the activity is not something a person who could not afford to lose their money should delve into. The Bank of Canada has recently become the latest financial institution to join the debate over the proper definition of cryptocurrency investing.

The official further pointed out that the Bank of Canada will be working with regulators from different parts of the world for crafting regulations aimed to put limitations on certain aspects of cryptocurrency investing and trading. While digital currencies and investing in those are considered a form of gambling by many, actual gambling regulators have pointed out that they have no authority over the regulation of the activity. The Netherlands Gaming Authority was one such regulatory body to comment on the matter.

The potential of digital currencies has been spotted by the global gambling industry. A number of online gambling operators have added cryptocurrency transactions to their lists of available payment options, and many more are expected to follow suit. Generally speaking, cryptocurrencies allow a relative anonymity, cutting out banks and other third-party financial institutions. The UK Gambling Commission has been among the regulators to acknowledge the use of bitcoin and altcoins for gambling-related transactions, as long as these are conducted between UK gambling customers and UK-licensed operators.

However, the regulator has warned of the risks of transactions of this type. The Nevada Gaming Control Board has opened a probe into the recently emerged sexual misconduct allegations against Steve Wynn, the regulatory body confirmed on Tuesday. The announcement about the probe comes shortly after the regulator carried out a preliminary review of the matter. Wynn forcing himself upon former and current employees at Wynn Resorts.

The property is slated to open doors in the spring of The Macau Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau also confirmed that it was reviewing the sexual misconduct allegations against Mr. Wynn and that it was deeply concerned by these. Through its subsidiary, Wynn Macau, Wynn Resorts currently operates two integrated resorts in the special administrative region, known to be the only Chinese territory where casino gambling is legal. The regulatory investigations into Mr.

Wynn stirred speculations of the potential ouster of the casino mogul from the Board of his company. Several years ago, Bitcoin was a novelty that was rarely used by the average person. The use of Bitcoin BTC has only further increased when considering the recent cryptocurrency boom. Now, more online gamers know of bitcoins than at any other point. This is good for the online casinos that rely on Bitcoin. One of the hardest things about being a Bitcoin gambler is that you never know what your bankroll is going to be worth tomorrow.

Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies fluctuate wildly on the marketplace. Your bankroll could be worth 0. Bitcoin is considered the gold standard among cryptocurrencies, because it was the first crypto coin and is easily the most famous. Likewise, the altcoins commonly rise along with Bitcoin.

This means that even those who are gambling with other cryptocurrencies like Ethereum and Litecoin will see their bankrolls fluctuate too. Obviously this was great for Bitcoin gamblers, given that their bankrolls nearly doubled. Anybody who gambles online is somewhat risk adverse. But even the most ardent gamblers stressed out about this roller coaster ride.

Some players would rather stick to gambling on the cyber tables and slot machines, rather than having a side gamble on how much Bitcoin will be worth the following day. Others appreciate this volatility in hopes that their funds will increase in value. Interestingly enough, online gaming was one of the first industries to dive into the Bitcoin world. This began when Satoshi Dice opened its cyber dollars in and accepted Bitcoin deposits. Another big milestone occurred in , when gaming developer SoftSwiss created its own advanced payment processing system for Bitcoin.

SoftSwiss, which sells entire casino packages to companies, has since worked with a number of gaming operations to get their Bitcoin sites up and running. SoftSwiss deals with a lot of offshore gaming sites that operate in unregulated markets. This law essentially prevents American banks from handling unregulated online gambling transactions. The LCCP is designed to prevent money laundering or any other shady dealings by an online gaming company. Given its acceptance in the UK and the promise of more gaming jurisdictions approving it, Bitcoin has burst into the mainstream internet gambling world.

The reality is that more and more gamblers are using BTC every day. Here are the main advantages that Bitcoin offers both players and operators when compared to fiat currencies e. One of the biggest reasons why gamblers like Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies is because the transaction fees are lower. But these charges are normally much cheaper than those seen with credit cards, eWallets, prepaid cards, and other traditional payment methods. Instead, BTC operates on the blockchain, which is a public ledger that records all Bitcoin transactions.

Another selling point on bitcoins is that withdrawals are processed quicker. If you withdraw your money from a Bitcoin casino, you can normally expect the money to hit your wallet in 1 3 hours. Contrast this to another popular cashout method in eWallets.

When you withdraw funds using Neteller, Skrill, or PayPal, it requires third party verification from the company itself. The end result is that you can end up waiting two or more days for money. Companies still need to be licensed in regulated markets like the UK, France, Italy, Spain and so forth. But operators can operate in unregulated markets by accepting Bitcoin. Another benefit for gambling operators is that all Bitcoin transactions are final.

This means there are no chargebacks to deal with for internet gaming companies. Some online casinos, poker sites, and sportsbooks even base their entire operation around BTC. But the transactions are harder to track when compared to credit cards and eWallets.

In order to crack down on this, certain governments have altered their internet gambling regulations to take aim at Bitcoin. This includes the Czech Republic, Poland, and the Netherlands. Cryptocurrency trading is often called a gamble by those who trade in traditional stock markets. The reason why is because of the volatility associated with Bitcoin and other crypto coins. Nevertheless, you do take a fair amount of risk with both short term and long term cryptocurrency investments.

In the first point, I covered how volatile Bitcoin was in December Some investors like to buy a number of risky altcoins based on minimal research. Here are a few points that these types of investors might look at:. Back to the original point, some gamblers spend money investing in cryptocurrencies that they would normally pump into online gaming sites.

But this coin is definitely making a big impact on the industry. Bitcoin has increased the number of available online gambling sites, lowers transaction fees, and speeds up cashouts. Ethereum has now entered the internet gambling space and is used at a small number of casinos. But I expect this to increase greatly in the near future, because Ethereum transactions are even faster and the transaction fees are lower.

This means that they could issue their own form of currency, which can be traded on the crypto market. Long story short, the disruptions that Bitcoin is causing are only the beginning. Here are some facts that you should know about capital gains and losses:. A capital gain or loss is the difference between your basis and the amount you get when you sell an asset. Your basis is usually what you paid for the asset.

You must include all capital gains in your income, and you may be subject to the NIIT. The NIIT applies to certain net investment income of individuals who have income above statutory threshold amounts: The rate of this tax is 3.

You can deduct capital losses on the sale of investment property. You cannot deduct losses on the sale of property that you hold for personal use. Capital gains and losses are either long-term or short-term, depending on how long you held the property.

If you held the property for more than one year, your gain or loss is long-term. If you held it one year or less, the gain or loss is short-term. If your long-term gains are more than your long-term losses, the difference between the two is a net long-term capital gain.

If your net long-term capital gain is more than your net short-term capital loss, you have a net capital gain. The capital gains tax rate, which applies to long-term capital gains, usually depends on your taxable income.

Short-term capital gains are taxed at ordinary income tax rates. If your capital losses are more than your capital gains, you can deduct the difference as a loss on your tax return. If your total net capital loss is more than the limit you can deduct, you can carry over the losses you are not able to deduct to next year's tax return.

You will treat those losses as if they happened in that next year. Yes, that is too good to be true, but we got your attention. As you are painfully aware, it is extremely difficult to earn much, if any, interest on savings, money market funds, or CDs these days. So, what are we to do? Well, one way to improve the earnings on those idle funds is to pay down debt. The same goes for car loans and other installment debt. But, the best return will more likely come from paying off credit card debt!

We are not suggesting you reduce liquid assets to an unsafe level, but examine the possibility of paying off some of your present debt load with your liquid funds. Your health insurance company may request that you provide the Social Security Numbers SSNs for you, your spouse, and your children covered by your policy.

This is because the Affordable Care Act requires every provider of minimum essential coverage to report that coverage by filing an information return with the IRS and furnishing a statement to covered individuals. The information is used by the IRS to administer — and by individuals to show compliance with — the health care law.

The law requires coverage providers to list SSNs on this form. Your health insurance company may mail you a letter that discusses these new rules and requests SSNs for all family members covered under your policy. The IRS has not designated a specific form for your health insurance company to request this information. However, it should be a written request that is mailed to you through the U.

Postal Service, not emailed to you. If you receive an email request, it could be a phishing attempt by a hacker who is aware of this requirement, so be cautious and take precautions to protect yourself. The Form B will provide information for your income tax return that shows you, your spouse, and individuals you claim as dependents had qualifying health coverage for some or all months during the year.

You do not have to attach Form B to your tax return. However, it is important to keep it with your other important tax documents. Anyone on your return who does not have minimum essential coverage, and who does not qualify for an exemption, may be liable for the individual shared responsibility payment.

The information received by the IRS will be used to verify information on your individual income tax return. If you refuse to provide this information to your health insurance company, the IRS cannot verify the information you provide on your tax return, and you may receive an inquiry from the IRS.

You also may receive a notice from the IRS indicating that you are liable for the individual shared responsibility payment. Continuing to work while receiving Social Security benefits may cause the benefit to be reduced below the anticipated amount. If you are under the full retirement age currently 66 , an earnings test determines whether your Social Security retirement benefits will be reduced because you earned more from a job or business than an annual exempt amount.

As a general rule, the earnings test is based on income earned during the year as a whole, without regard to the amount you earned each month. However, in the first year, benefits you receive are not reduced for any month in which you earn less than one-twelfth of the annual exempt amount.

Social Security benefits are not affected by earned income beginning with the month the beneficiary reaches full benefit retirement age. The federal income tax rates for are the same as last year: However, the rate bracket beginning and ending points are increased slightly to account for inflation. For , the maximum Higher-income individuals can also get hit by the 0.

If your total itemized deductions each year are normally close to these amounts, you may be able to leverage the benefit of your deductions by bunching deductions, such as charitable contributions and property taxes, in every other year. This allows you to time your itemized deductions so they are high in one year and low in the next.

However, the alternative minimum tax AMT , discussed later in this article, should be considered when using this strategy. Contribute as much as you can stand, especially if your employer makes matching contributions. Even if you already have an estate plan, it may need updating to reflect the current estate and gift tax rules.

Also, you may need to make some changes that have nothing to do with taxes. There can also be payroll tax savings and the ability to contribute to an IRA for the child. Remember that effective tax planning requires considering at least this year and next year.

And finally, watch out for the AMT in all of your planning, because what may be a great move for regular tax purposes may create or increase an AMT problem. Again, these are just a few suggestions to get you thinking. Adult children may be able to acquire a more expensive home than they might otherwise afford by using a shared equity financing arrangement, under which parents or other relatives share in the purchase and cost of maintaining a house used by the children as a principal residence.

The nonresident owner rents his or her portion of the home to the resident owner and obtains the annual tax benefits of renting real estate if the statutory requirements are satisfied.

A shared equity financing arrangement is an agreement by which two or more persons acquire qualified home ownership interests in a dwelling unit and the person or persons holding one of the interests is entitled to occupy the dwelling as his or her principal residence, and is required to pay rent to the other person s owning qualified ownership interests.

When the tenant owns an interest in the property, this exception to the general rule applies only if the rental qualifies as a shared equity financing arrangement. Mike and Laura have agreed to help their son, Bob, purchase his first home. Mike and Laura pay half of the down payment and make half of the mortgage payment pursuant to a shared equity financing agreement with Bob. Because his use is not attributed to his parents, Mike and Laura, they treat the property as rental. If the property generates a tax loss, it is subject to, and its deductibility is limited by, the passive loss rules.

One drawback to shared equity arrangements is that the nonresident owners will not qualify for the gain exclusion upon the sale of the residence. The result will be a taxable gain for the portion of the gain related to the deemed rental.

The gain may also be subject to the 3. Parents should consider guaranteeing or cosigning the mortgage, instead of outright joint ownership, if excluding potential future gain is a major consideration.

If it is anticipated that the resident owner will ultimately purchase the equity of the nonresident owner and the rental will generate losses suspended under the passive loss rules, special care must be taken when the lease terms are agreed to, because suspended passive losses normally allowed at disposition are not allowed when the interest is sold to a related party.

This problem can be minimized by making a larger down payment that decreases mortgage interest expense, or by charging a rent at the higher end of the reasonable range for the value of the interest being rented to the resident owner. The net investment income tax, or NIIT, is a 3. It first took effect in After filing your return, you may have been hit with this extra tax for two years, and you may now be ready to get proactive by taking some steps to stop, or at least slow, the bleeding for this year and beyond.

The NIIT can affect higher-income individuals who have investment income. While the NIIT mainly hits folks who consistently have high income, it can also strike anyone who has a big one-time shot of income or gain this year or any other year. For example, if you sell some company stock for a big gain, get a big bonus, or even sell a home for a big profit, you could be a victim. The types of income and gain net of related deductions included in the definition of net investment income and, therefore, exposed to the NIIT, include—.

However, these thresholds are not all that high, so many individuals will be exposed. The amount that is actually hit with the NIIT is the lesser of: As we just explained, the NIIT hits the lesser of: Therefore, planning strategies must be aimed at the proper target to have the desired effect of avoiding or minimizing your exposure to the tax.

You should focus first on strategies that reduce net investment income. Of course, some strategies that reduce net investment income will also reduce MAGI. If so, that cannot possibly hurt. You should focus first on strategies that reduce MAGI. Of course, some strategies that reduce MAGI will also reduce net investment income.

Perhaps the most obvious way to reduce exposure to the NIIT is to invest in tax-exempt bonds via direct ownership or a mutual find. There are other ways, too. Contact us to identify strategies that will work in your specific situation. Since the Supreme Court's Windsor decision, same-sex couples who are legally married under state or foreign laws are treated as married for federal tax purposes just like any other married couple.

The Supreme Court's Obergefell decision issued in late June now requires all states to license and recognize marriages between same-sex couples. Specifically, the decision states that same-sex couples can exercise the fundamental right to marry in all states and that there is no lawful basis for a state to refuse to recognize a lawful same-sex marriage performed in another state.

Therefore, same-sex couples who are legally married in any state are now allowed to file joint state income tax returns wherever they reside. They are also entitled to the same inheritance and property rights and rules of intestate succession that apply to other legally married couples.

Therefore, same-sex couples should now be able to amend previously filed state income, gift, and inheritance tax returns for open years to reflect married status and claim refunds. Furthermore, these couples likely need to rethink their estate and gift tax plans.

Before the Obergefell decision, members of married same-sex couples who live in states that did not previously recognize same-sex marriages had to file state income, gift, and inheritance tax returns as unmarried individuals.

This caused additional complexity and expense in filing state returns. Other implications of an individual's marital status include spousal privilege in the law of evidence; hospital access; medical decision-making authority; adoption rights; the rights and benefits of survivors; birth and death certificates; professional ethics rules; campaign finance restrictions; workers' compensation benefits; health insurance; and child custody, support, and visitation rights.

The ruling does not apply to individuals in registered domestic partnerships, civil unions, or similar formal relationships recognized under state law, but not denominated as a marriage under the laws of that state. These individuals are considered unmarried for federal and state purposes.

Individuals in these relationships can now obtain marriage licenses, get married, and thereby qualify as married individuals for both state and federal tax purposes.

Most of us have more than enough to do. We're on the go from early in the morning until well into the evening — six or seven days a week. Thus, it's no surprise that we may let some important things slide.

We know we need to get to them, but it seems like they can just as easily wait until tomorrow, the next day, or whenever. Supreme Court decision reminds us that sometimes "whenever" never gets here and the results can be tragic. The couple divorced 20 years later. As part of the divorce decree, Liv waived her rights to benefits under William's employer-sponsored retirement plans.

However, William never got around to changing his beneficiary designation form with his employer. When William died, Liv was still listed as his beneficiary. William's estate sued the plan, saying that because of Liv's waiver in the divorce decree, the funds should have been paid to the estate. The Court disagreed, ruling that the plan documents which called for the beneficiary to be designated and changed in a specific way trumped the divorce decree.

William's designation of Liv as his beneficiary was done in the way the plan required; Liv's waiver was not. The tragic outcome of this case was largely controlled by its unique facts. If the facts had been slightly different such as the plan allowing a beneficiary to be designated on a document other than the plan's beneficiary form , the outcome could have been quite different and much less tragic.

However, it still would have taken a lot of effort and expense to get there. This leads us to a couple of important points. If you want to change the beneficiary for a life insurance policy, retirement plan, IRA, or other benefit, use the plan's official beneficiary form rather than depending on an indirect method, such as a will or divorce decree.

It's important to keep your beneficiary designations up to date. Whether it is because of divorce or some other life-changing event, beneficiary designations made years ago can easily become outdated.

One final thought regarding beneficiary designations: While you're verifying that all of your beneficiary designations are current, make sure you've also designated secondary beneficiaries where appropriate.

This is especially important with assets such as IRAs, where naming both a primary and secondary beneficiary can potentially allow payouts from the account to be stretched out over a longer period and maximize the time available for the tax deferral benefits to accrue.

A Health Savings Account HSA represents an opportunity for eligible individuals to lower their out-of-pocket health care costs and federal tax bill. Since most of us would like to take advantage of every available tax break, now might be a good time to consider an HSA, if eligible. An FSA permits eligible employees to defer a portion of their pay, on a pretax basis, which is used later to reimburse out-of-pocket medical expenses.

In addition, there are no income phaseout rules, so HSAs are available to high-earners and low-earners alike. Naturally, there are a few requirements for obtaining the benefits of an HSA.

The most significant requirement is that an HSA is only available to an individual who carries health insurance coverage with a relatively high annual deductible. For many self-employed individuals, small business owners, and employees of small and large companies alike, these thresholds won't be a problem. In addition, it's okay if the insurance plan doesn't impose any deductible for preventive care such as annual checkups.

Other requirements for setting up an HSA are that an individual can't be eligible for Medicare benefits or claimed as a dependent on another person's tax return. The contribution for a particular tax year can be made as late as April 15 of the following year. The deduction is claimed in arriving at adjusted gross income the number at the bottom of page 1 on your return. Thus, eligible individuals can benefit whether they itemize or not.

Unfortunately, however, the deduction doesn't reduce a self-employed person's self-employment tax bill. When an employer contributes to an employee's HSA, the contributions are exempt from federal income, Social Security, Medicare, and unemployment taxes.

An account beneficiary who is age 55 or older by the end of the tax year for which the HSA contribution is made may make a larger deductible or excludible contribution. The HSA must be established exclusively for the purpose of paying the account beneficiary's qualified medical expenses. These include uninsured medical costs incurred for the account beneficiary, spouse, and dependents. However, for HSA purposes, health insurance premiums don't qualify.

You may be tempted to forget all about your taxes once you've filed your tax return, but that's not a good idea. If you start your tax planning now, you may avoid a tax surprise when you file next year. Also, now is a good time to set up a system so you can keep your tax records safe and easy to find. Here are some tips to give you a leg up on next year's taxes:. Take action when life changes occur.

Some life events such as marriage, divorce, or the birth of a child can change the amount of tax you pay. When they happen, you may need to change the amount of tax withheld from your pay. If you make estimated payments, those may need to be changed as well. Put your tax return and supporting records in a safe place. If you ever need your tax return or records, it will be easy for you to get them. You'll need your supporting documents if you are ever audited by the IRS.

You may need a copy of your tax return if you apply for a home loan or financial aid. Make tax time easier. Have your family put tax records in the same place during the year. That way you won't have to search for misplaced records when you file next year. There can also be payroll tax savings; plus, the earnings can enable the child to contribute to an IRA.

However, the wages paid must be reasonable given the child's age and work skills. Also, if the child is in college, or is entering soon, having too much earned income can have a detrimental impact on the student's need-based financial aid eligibility.

Avoid the hobby loss rules. A lot of businesses that are just starting out or have hit a bump in the road may wind up showing a loss for the year. The last thing the business owner wants in this situation is for the IRS to come knocking on the door arguing the business's losses aren't deductible because the activity is just a hobby for the owner.

If your business is expecting a loss this year, we should talk as soon as possible to make sure you do everything possible to maximize the tax benefit of the loss and minimize its economic impact.

If you go on a business trip within the U. The question is how much. On the other hand, if vacation is the primary reason for your travel, then generally none of your transportation expenses are deductible.

Transportation costs include travel to and from your departure airport, the airfare itself, baggage fees and tips, cabs, and so forth. Costs for rail travel or driving your personal car also fit into this category. The number of days spent on business vs. Your travel days count as business days, as do weekends and holidays if they fall between days devoted to business, and it would be impractical to return home. Standby days days when your physical presence is required also count as business days, even if you are not called upon to work on those days.

Any other day principally devoted to business activities during normal business hours is also counted as a business day, and so are days when you intended to work, but could not due to reasons beyond your control local transportation difficulties, power failure, etc. You should be able to claim business was the primary reason for a domestic trip whenever the business days exceed the personal days.

Be sure to accumulate proof and keep it with your tax records. For example, if your trip is made to attend client meetings, log everything on your daily planner and copy the pages for your tax file.

If you attend a convention or training seminar, keep the program and take some notes to show you attended the sessions. Once at the destination, your out-of-pocket expenses for business days are fully deductible. Expenses for personal days are nondeductible. Letter C is mailed through the U. Postal Service to the address on the return. It asks taxpayers to verify their identities in order for the IRS to complete processing of the returns if the taxpayers did file it or reject the returns if the taxpayers did not file it.

It is important to understand that the IRS does not request such information via e-mail; nor will the IRS call you directly to ask this information without first sending you a Letter C. The letter number can be found in the upper corner of the page. Letter C gives you two options to contact the IRS and confirm whether or not you filed the return: You can 1 use the www. Before accessing the website, be sure to have your prior-year and current-year tax returns available, including supporting documents, such as Forms W-2 and You will be asked a series of questions that only the real taxpayer can answer.

Once your identity is verified, you can confirm whether or not you filed the return in question. If you did not file the return, the IRS will take steps at that time to assist you. If you did file the return, it will take approximately six weeks to process it and issue a refund. You should always be aware of tax scams, efforts to solicit personally identifiable information, and IRS impersonations. A number of charities now ask their donors to consider donating life insurance policies rather than or in addition to cash in order to make substantially larger gifts than would otherwise be possible.

The advantage to donors is that they can make a sizable gift with relatively little up-front cash or even no cash, if an existing policy is donated. The fact that a charity may have to wait many years before receiving a payoff from the gift is typically not a problem, because charities normally earmark such gifts for their endowment or long-term building funds. Of course, good reasons may exist for keeping the policy in force such as to provide liquidity for a taxable estate or to meet the continuing needs of a surviving spouse or disabled child.

Still, for individuals with both excess life insurance and a charitable intent, the donation of a life insurance policy may make sense. If handled correctly, a life insurance policy donation can net the donor a charitable deduction for the value of the policy.

A charitable deduction is also available for any cash contributed in future years to continue paying the premiums on a policy that was not fully paid up at the time it was donated. However, if handled incorrectly, no deduction is allowed. For this reason, we encourage you to contact us if you are considering donating a life insurance policy. We can help ensure that you receive the expected income tax deduction and that the contribution works as planned.

You had a financial interest in or signature authority over at least one foreign financial account which can be anything from a securities, brokerage, mutual fund, savings, demand, checking, deposit, or time deposit account to commodity futures or options, and a whole life insurance or a cash value annuity policy ; and. The FBAR is filed on a separate return basis that is, joint filings are not allowed.

The Form must be filed by June 30, , and cannot be extended. Furthermore, it must be filed electronically through http: Please give us a call if you have any questions or would like us to prepare and file Form for you.

If your college-age child is or will be receiving financial aid, congratulations. Keep in mind that the economic characteristics of financial aid, rather than how it is titled, will determine its taxability.

However, these terms are also sometimes used to describe arrangements involving obligations to provide services, in which case the payments are taxable compensation. If the financial aid is conditioned on the student performing services, the amount that represents payment for such services is taxable income and will be reported on a Form W-2 or Form However, they could work for other employers under the auspices of a work-study program.

Naturally, student loan proceeds are not taxable income because the borrowed amounts must be paid back. However, some college education loans are subsidized to allow borrowers to pay reduced interest rates. Fortunately, college loan interest subsidies are nontaxable to the same extent as if they were provided in the form of an outright scholarship, fellowship, or grant.

An above-the-line deduction i. The deduction is phased out for taxpayers with adjusted gross income exceeding certain amounts. Fortunately, taxable scholarships, fellowships, grants, and compensation from work-study programs count as earned income. Dependents are not entitled to a personal exemption. Besides being the last day to file or extend your personal return and pay any tax that is due, first quarter estimated tax payments for individuals, trusts, and calendar-year corporations are due today.

So are returns for trusts and calendar-year estates, partnerships, and LLCs, plus any final contribution you plan to make to an IRA or Education Savings Account for SEP and Keogh contributions are also due today if your return is not being extended. Second quarter estimated tax payments for individuals, trusts, and calendar-year corporations are due today. This limit applies to the total of all gifts, including birthday and holiday gifts, made to the same individual during the year.

However, any payment made directly to the medical care provider for example, doctor, hospital, etc. So, when paying tuition or large medical bills for parents, grandchildren, or any other person who is not your dependent minor child, be sure to make the payment directly to the organization or service provider. Accordingly, careful analysis of the trade-offs between the gift tax exclusion and impairment of financial aid eligibility should be considered.

Thankfully, TIPA retroactively extends most of the federal income tax breaks that would have affected many individuals and businesses through So, these provisions may have a positive impact on your returns. Unfortunately, these extended provisions expired again on December 31, TIPA retroactively restored it for Tax-free treatment for forgiven principal residence mortgage debt. For federal income tax purposes, a forgiven debt generally counts as taxable Cancellation of Debt COD income.

However, a temporary exception applied to COD income from canceled mortgage debt that was used to acquire a principal residence. TIPA retroactively extended this break to cover eligible debt cancellations that occurred in This break expired at the end of , but TIPA retroactively restored it for Mortgage insurance premium deduction. Premiums for qualified mortgage insurance on debt to acquire, construct or improve a first or second residence can potentially be treated as deductible qualified residence interest.

The deduction is phased out for higher-income taxpayers. TIPA retroactively restored the break for premiums paid in Option to deduct state and local sales taxes. In past years, individuals who paid little or no state income taxes had the option of claiming an itemized deduction for state and local general sales taxes.

The option expired at the end of , but TIPA retroactively restored it for Thus, charitably inclined seniors could reduce their income tax by arranging for tax-free QCDs to take the place of taxable RMDs.

This break expired at the end of , but TIPA retroactively restored it for , so that it was available for qualifying distributions made before This break expired at the end of Unfortunately, as we said at the beginning of this article, none of these favorable provisions will be available for , unless Congress takes further action.

This is entirely possible, but far from certain. With direct deposit, your refund goes directly into your bank account. There's no need to make a trip to the bank to deposit a check. Choosing direct deposit is easy. You can split your refund among up to three financial accounts. Checking, savings, and certain retirement, health and education accounts may qualify.

Check with your bank for its direct deposit requirements. Rather than keeping track of the actual cost of operating a vehicle, employees and self-employed taxpayers can use a standard mileage rate to compute their deduction related to using a vehicle for business. Likewise, standard mileage rates are available for computing the deduction when a vehicle is used for charitable, medical or moving purposes. The standard mileage rates for use of a vehicle are In addition to deductions based on the business standard mileage rate, taxpayers may deduct the parking fees and tolls attributable to the business use of an automobile, as well as interest expense relating to the purchase of the automobile and state and local personal property taxes.

However, employees using a vehicle to perform services as an employee cannot deduct interest expense related to that vehicle. For plan years beginning after , the Affordable Care Act ACA institutes so-called market reform provisions that place a whole host of new restrictions on group health plans. Under employer payment arrangements, the employer reimburses employees for premiums they pay on their individual health insurance policies or the employer sometimes pays the premium on behalf of the employee.

These arrangements have long been popular with small employers who want to offer health insurance but are unwilling or unable to purchase group health coverage. Limited exception for one-employee plans. The market reform provisions do not apply to group health plans that have only one participating employee.

Therefore, it is still allowable to provide an employer payment arrangement that covers only one employee.

Note, however, that nondiscrimination rules require that essentially all full-time employees must participate in the plan. While still technically allowed under the tax code, employer payment arrangements, other than arrangements covering only one employee, are no longer a viable alternative. You are not alone. The impact of the market reform provisions to these plans has come as a great surprise to many small business employers, not to mention the tax practitioner community, and we believe there is reasonable cause to keep the penalty from applying for earlier payments.

However, it is important to discontinue making payments under the plan and rescind any written documents. Also, any reimbursements made after should be classified as taxable wages. Because of the ACA market reform requirements, employers are basically precluded from subsidizing or reimbursing employees for individual health insurance policies if there is more than one employee participating in the plan.

Employers can, however, continue to do any of the following:. A cafeteria plan can be set up for pretax funding of the employee portion of the premium. The employer can claim a deduction for the wages paid. Making Retirement Plan Contributions in The clock is ticking down to the tax filing deadline. Essential security Saving for retirement is essential for financial security. Basic qualifications For you to qualify for the adult-dependent exemption, in most cases your parent must have less gross income for the tax year than the exemption amount.

Easing the burden An adult-dependent exemption is just one tax break that you may be able to employ on your tax return to ease the burden of caring for an elderly parent. Additional bonus An additional bonus: Here are five common mistakes to avoid: Here are a few common examples: The date you mail it. The date you make the charge. The date the financial institution pays the amount. Mutual Funds and Taxes Many people overlook taxes when planning their mutual fund investments.

Avoid year-end investments Typically, mutual funds distribute accumulated dividends and capital gains toward the end of the year. Invest in tax-efficient funds Actively managed funds tend to be less tax efficient. Watch out for reinvested distributions Many investors elect to have their distributions automatically reinvested in their funds.

Do your due Tax considerations should never be the primary driver of your investment decisions. Directing tax-inefficient funds into nontaxable accounts If you invest in actively managed or other tax-inefficient funds, ideally you should put these holdings in nontaxable accounts, such as a traditional IRA or k.

The IRS even addressed the issue in Announcement , where it said: Wills and Living Trusts: Estate Planning Imperatives Well-crafted, up-to-date estate planning documents are an imperative for everyone. The will A will is a legal document that arranges for the distribution of your property after you die and allows you to designate a guardian for minor children or other dependents. The living trust Because probate can be time-consuming, expensive and public, you may prefer to avoid it.

Other documents There are other documents that can complement a will and living trust. Foundational elements These are just a few of the foundational elements of a strong estate plan. Here are three strategies to help avoid underpayment penalties: For you to avoid penalties, your estimated payments and withholding must equal at least: To help simplify matters, here are five keys to disaster planning that everyone should consider: An example Participants can contribute rollover dollars to conventional and Roth IRAs on a pro-rata basis.

Golden years ahead HCEs face some complex decisions when it comes to retirement planning. Fixed-rate loans offer stability A fixed-rate mortgage, as its name suggests, is a loan whose interest rate remains constant for the life of the loan — typically 15 or 30 years.

ARMs provide flexibility Adjustable-rate mortgages ARMs typically offer a fixed interest rate for an initial period of years. The best for you The right loan type depends, naturally, on your financial position. The agency looks at a list of nonexclusive factors when making this determination, including: Doing a little bit of both. Direction of travel You must first carry back losses to the earliest tax year for which you qualify, depending on which carryback period applies.

Whatever the reason Many circumstances can create an NOL. Renting Out Your Vacation Home? Anticipate the Tax Impact When buying a vacation home, the primary objective is usually to provide a place for many years of happy memories. Brief examination This has been just a brief examination of some of the tax issues related to a vacation home. How it works Most inherited property is free from income taxes, but IRD assets are an exception.

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Conceptual estimating and international experience are pluses. Construction Manager Petrochemical , TX. Oversee projects including bids, contracts, proposals, scheduling, safety, cost, maintenance, environmental studies. Salary commensurate with experience. Private equity firm seeking a seasoned and knowledgeable executive in the commercial printing field.

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Information Technology and Data Processing Positions: Develop tools to help manage valuation, risk and securities databases for multi-asset investment management firm. Work closely with research, data and portfolio teams. Should have expert skills in one of the following: Responsibilities Include system security plans, risk assessments, certification test plans and test cases.

Handle design and development of neuro-diagnostics applications which include real-time display of EEG, EMG and potential data from neurology and sleep patients.

Lead global project management and IT development related to aftermarket sales and support warranty and product service plus spare parts. Key clients are digital and control valve specialists. BS IT or Engineering. Establish and maintain database designs. Handle strategy, performance tuning, documentation, query optimization, testing, software and hardware recommendations.

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Help determine IS solutions; write articles; handle hiring and training. Math and analytical ability necessary. Perform design, release testing and beta support on SW projects. Handle research and analysis, bug, verification, testing. Support development of enterprise security solutions. Develop FW requirements and multi-phase migration plan. Must have developed and implemented complex security solutions.

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Support sales and marketing teams with HR initiatives for a Fortune consumer manufacturer. Be involved with recruitment, OD, training, employee relations, succession planning, strategy implementation.

Be responsible for the planning, design and implementation of advanced strategic HR programs. Manage multiple projects in intranet communications. Seeking a highly analytical and accomplished HR professional with related experience with a Fortune manufacturer or consulting company. Formulate compensation programs and make recommendations on benefit plans. Develop and execute a supplier management system in Human Resources. Partner with IS and legal. Logistics, Distribution and Materials Positions: Purchasing Director Aerospace , PA.

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Manage strategic planning, forecasting, analysis, advertising, trade shows. Will consider candidates with marketing experience from large industrial companies. Supervise two brand assistants and be involved in long range planning, new products, brand strategy, promotions, advertising, media plan development.

Seeking a proven CPG marketing record with a well-known company. Salary depends on experience plus there is a car allowance, bonus and expenses. Develop and execute local marketing programs, events, promotions, and media partnerships, including radio. Work cross functionally with sales teams and keep distributor networks up to date.

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Seeking an online marketing specialist from a well-known craft related company. Develop and oversee strategic marketing plans for CRM. Employ analytics, database marketing, profitability analysis, modeling, business intelligence.

Need strong knowledge of direct marketing and database marketing. Supervise staff working closely with marketing and sales teams involved with qualitative and quantitative research, shopper insights, advertising and promotional research, strategic insights.

Seeking a proven Director with a well-known CPG company. Manage field marketing managers; advise on regional and national strategies, sports marketing, distributor relationships, training, events, trade marketing, business planning.

Food industry experience may be acceptable. Oversee brand managers and develop strategies in new products, advertising, promotions, packaging, PR, market research.

Manage staff in areas of E-marketing, database development, PR, advertising, promotions, direct mail. Work with ad agency. Manage forecasting, program management, planning, and business development targeting defense contractors and government agencies. Work with engineering department. Be in charge of primary and secondary research, strategic planning, new product studies, advertising and promotions analysis. Will need syndicated data and consumer data panel experience.

Salary depends on experience. Assist Brand Manager to develop and implement strategic goals. Focus on creative projects label copy, website, advertising etc. Requires years' classical brand marketing experience with an image oriented CPG product, preferably in food or beverages. Media planning background a plus. Can come from company or agency. Interest in major sports and sports marketing required.

Be in charge of all marketing i. Need proven Marketing Director or VP from a major consumer goods company. Assist in new products, PR, promotions, advertising, media planning, market research, copy development, pricing. Launch new product and supervise staff in strategic planning, forecasting, analysis, trade shows, sales support. Pre-launch experience with pipeline products a plus. Be involved with marketing, strategies, market research, pricing, promotion, packaging, new products, sales planning, financial analysis.

Be responsible for major chain accounts on branded products. Manage sales strategies and planning, promotions, budgets, analysis, customer marketing. Develop sales and market strategy; identify new technologies; perform market research; manage pricing; negotiate contracts.

Product Managers Pharmaceuticals , 2 positions in NJ. One position is for a senior level person and other is at a junior level.

Be responsible for planning, forecasting, market analysis, trade shows, and new product launches on oncology drugs. Preference is for oncology experience but will consider other pharma specialties. Lead licensing-in global businesses and brands in leisure and entertainment products and evaluate potential licensing-out opportunities. Work cross functionally with product development, sales and operations, developing marketing initiatives. Should know how to build a licensed business.

Lead product development for national brands. Be involved with sourcing, advertising, market research, channel marketing, marketing strategies, while working cross functionally with key departments. Support Vice President in development of relationships with Big Box retailers. Work with teams working on promotions, advertising, pricing, new products, analysis, merchandising. Develop and execute national marketing communications programs and advertising strategies. Implement PR and media relations activities and oversee advertising in print and electronic media.

Be responsible for marketing strategy, business analysis, new product development, forecasting, packaging, design, pricing, merchandising materials. Focus on new product development. Drive growth of a major company brand including new product introductions, analysis, forecasting, trade shows, promotions, PR. Supervise large staff managing syndicated and customized research, advertising and promotional research, segmentation studies, store tests, qualitative and quantitative research.

Work closely with creative team and media department. Advertising or promotional background a plus. Assist Brand Manager to promote and market a national product … advertising, promotions, analysis, PR, packaging, innovation. Supervise a marketing team from the standpoint of strategies, advertising, product management, packaging, pricing, market analysis, promotions, PR, new product launches. Seeking a candidate with a proven marketing record from the consumer durables industry.

Brand Manager Food , OH. Develop strategies involving promotions, CRM, merchandising, broadcast, print, internet, communications, budgets, market research, ad agency management. Manage new product innovation, sales and marketing, analysis, advertising, promotions. Work with operations, finance, supply chain, product development teams.

Develop market strategy, keep abreast of trends, create a plan incorporating the sales process for new products and estimate the financial impact of the new product. Work closely with engineering and sales. Seeking a proven technical marketing manager with experience with an RF electronics measurement product. Oversee launch of a new product and perform brand management duties planning, research, advertising, promotions, packaging etc. Also function as a lead person on licensing opportunities.

Need a good record of brand innovation and launching new products with a well-known CPG company. Help launch new national brand while being involved in advertising, promotions, market analysis, forecasting. Oncology background a major plus but not necessary. Be responsible for all marketing matters, i.

Be involved in branding, pricing, new products, market research, product development, labeling, advertising materials.

Work with quality and regulatory matters. Neurosurgery exposure a plus. Handle strategic management and forecasting for both sales teams and business development teams. Some general management background a plus. May consider strong technical aptitude in lieu of an engineering degree. Brand Manager Consumer , NJ. Supervise APMs in advertising, market research, analysis, promotions, packaging, product development and launch, PR, etc.

OTC background a plus. Manage medical education projects for large pharma and biotech companies. Seeking a manager from a pharma ad agency or medical educational communications company. May consider candidates with pharma marketing experience with some CME or promotional medical education background.

Marketing Managers Dermatology , NJ. Supervise new products, market research, sales support, forecasting, trade shows. Any dermatology exposure a major plus. Payments and portfolio management experience necessary. Supervise category management, new products, promotions, trade marketing, sales planning.

Manage lead research for assigned categories in US and abroad. Be involved with in-store promotions, new products, category management, trade marketing, trends, sales planning.

Supervise 12 reps selling promotional products. Be responsible for sales and operations. Sell enterprise software solutions for security applications integration and development into the Telco and media vertical for Fortune company. Manage 7 reps selling to cardiac surgery.

Must also have CV, pacing or surgical background. Sell domestic accounts and global mutual fund products to endowments, foundations and family offices. Work closely with investors. Need proven sales record in financial services; asset management experience a strong plus.

A deep rolodex of relationships is desirable. Be involved with presales for complex software applications supporting the mobile industry Tier 1 and Tier 2 wireless carriers.

Need business intelligence, financial performance management knowledge. Major account sales background a plus. Be involved in applications development and sales calls selling lubricants in the oil and gas industry. No staff; will build department. Supervise brokers in the Northeast selling food primarily to the grocery channel.

Be involved with merchandising, distribution, strategies, promotions, profits. Must have a successful broker management record working with perishable food. Drive sales of truck bodies working through dealers and distributors. Handle hiring and training.

Seeking a proven sales manager from the truck industry. Oversee sales team and call on key accounts; develop new business strategies; evaluate competitors, proposals; develop relationships with government and businesses. Military aircraft and security clearance necessary. Expand sales; provide freight alternatives; execute sales strategies, pricing, proposals,; develop relationships; create customized solutions.

Supervise direct sales and a wholesale distributor network. Familiarity with Japanese culture a plus. Need successful record selling this type of product. Maintain medical capital equipment relationships, selling hygiene therapy products. Be responsible for a major broker handling sales for western states. Category management experience helpful.

Broker background is not necessary. Supervise team and function as the lead person calling on national accounts. Handle secondary marketing duties … product development, promotions, pricing, strategy, forecasting. Need a successful national account manager with background selling any seasonal product. Gift or related experience not necessary.

Call on large IDN facilities in the state of Florida, selling capital and surgical equipment, endoscopy, orthopedics, instrumentation. Supervise district sales managers and build strong relationships with key dealerships and develop growth strategies.

Multi-channel distribution and sales training experience a plus. Manage 10 reps who sell products to spine and orthopedic surgeons. New product launch background a plus. Prefer spine or ortho experience but will consider background with Davol and cardio companies. Seeking a top producer to develop business in outsourcing sales, manufacturing and CPG retail markets. Seeking a field sales pro — not a VP. Must have a top sales record selling IT software for a well-known corporation or consulting firm.

Sell ERP asset management software to end users. Seeking a proven sales hunter who has sold this type of software to end users. Call only on Fortune accounts at C-level selling on demand business intelligence and business analytics software.

Must have solid record selling this software to the Fortune companies. National Account Manager Beverage , any city in Carolinas or Georgia near major airport — no relocation. Be responsible for national account sales in food, drug, mass, c-stores in the SE and Mid Atlantic. Must have a good national accounts record in the beverage industry. Prefer non-alcoholic product experience. We are seeking a rising star who has sold beverages to Convenience and Gas Key Accounts.

Company is rapidly expanding and there is lots of opportunity for a top producer who is a go getter. Increase sales of products and services to auto lubricant installers, i. Sell direct and through distributors. Coordinate promotions and trade programs. Sell Oracle consulting services. Company implements PeopleSoft and Siebel applications.

Now, time for a disclaimer. I love the simplicity, the way things just seem to work, and the passion for nice design. And the stock has been a winner for us as well. I am as excited as the rest of the planet about the future of the company, especially with the new iPhone in the works. So I am admittedly biased to see the Apple glass more than a little half-full.

Specifically, grants were issued with dates that were the most favorable to the grantees, and this news forced the resignation from the board of the CFO at the time of the grants. What impressed me the most is that the release disclosed quite frankly that Steve was aware of the issue. Most companies would first deny that anything like this happened, and their CEOs would almost certainly distance themselves from the fallout as quickly as possible. It is refreshing to see at least one company and the CEO admit the issue.

But to be clear, Steve is no saint in the realm of money. As a CEO compensation critic, this is just fine with me. As a purchaser of technical products, I love the fact that he has advanced the state of the art and am happy to let him get his just reward.

The stock is up fold in the last three years. There has been quite a bit of hubbub lately over the end-of-year bonuses paid by Goldman Sachs. It even provoked an op-ed piece in the venerable New York Times. The more serious people question whether the pay was justified, or was prudent for the company. I think there are three key measures by which to judge a compensation system:.

Forget about providing a living wage, or some sense of social fairness, or even public perceptions of the system.

If it meets these three measures, I think it is great. This is number one for a reason: There are many ways to apply the vision, but few are more effective than to base compensation on it. I have built compensation systems that are directly based on the company vision, and the results are astounding. Does the system at Goldman Sachs meet this test? But I can say that, from what I know of the company, the goal is to make deals and trades that benefit the buyers, the sellers, and Goldman Sachs.

And by all reasonable measures, they hit a home run there. And the compensation system should reward those who exceeded those objectives so dramatically. This is the point that catches up so many companies. Many firms have their compensation set extremely top-heavy, with those who control the purse strings, taking the most out of the purse.

I like to see a compensation system that is based on some simple, clear, and preferably public, metrics. Another key component of this is that the compensation system should be very broadly based. Not just a perk for those at the top, but dipping deep down into the organization, so that all people who have a part in creating the success can share in it. When I was at Microsoft, virtually all full-time employees were eligible for stock options.

There are stories of most employees seeing twice to three times their peers at other firms, and this is in line with their company performance against their competition. So what this all means is that the system is implicitly broad-based and relatively effective. This is where Goldman has me completely won over. You see, they pay compensation in arrears. They wait until the end of the year, and then, once all the numbers are in, they divvy up the spoils.

This has many great effects, a key one being that they never have to worry about paying for performance they might achieve. They know both how well the person has performed, and how much they can afford to reward them.

How clean is that? In addition, they have the benefit of drawing the bonuses not from pending revenue, but from cash on hand. I think every small firm that has had to scrape to make bonus payments would do well to consider a scheme like this. So, in summary, I think Goldman has it just about right. They pay people from their profits, they do it in a manner that rewards for definitive past performance, and in line with their corporate objectives.

Be a dealer in casino in Las Vegas. Want to make a little more than half that amount? This inequity makes it hard to convince talented people to leave the table and become a supervisor, with all the challenges that position entails. Experiencing trouble getting supervisors for his dealers, he added he pit bosses to the tip pool. This earned him the ire of the dealers, who worried about dilution of the tips and the honesty of the tip counting process which they had long controlled.

It was bad enough that, years ago, the tip process had been formalized so that it was taxable income. This experience points out one of my most important rules: I have learned this one the hard way, and spent one of the most challenging years of my career trying to fix just such a system. Microsoft was one of the first tech companies to spread stock options well down into the organization, essentially to all employees.

This had the wonderful effect of letting a very broad range of people share in the ride when the stock was on its incessant rise to the stratosphere, and minted numerous millionaires.

The excitement at the company in the late s was palpable. But of course, there were downsides. The signs were there, even when the stock was on the rise. People paid constant attention to the stock price. There were people spending their evenings writing desktop stock tickers, and mounting led stock tickers in the hallways.

And the pressure to constantly split the stock which seemed to spur further rises was enormous. It was all people talked about for weeks at a time approaching a split. And obviously, the ride was destined to end. It just had to stop. Without a constantly rising stock price, the entire compensation scheme would collapse. I spent the entire last year of my tenure at Microsoft reconstructing the compensation plan for all 35, employees to be less dependent on stock options.

And my successors there have been three have spent their tenures furthering the effort.

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