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nDash Writer Profile for Erin Forst

Erin Forst

Headline

Accounting and Legal Specialist Focusing on Small Business Issues

About Me

Experienced content marketer working in accounting, finance, law, and related niches at all levels of the content marketing funnel and content types including articles, blogs, landing pages, webpages, and white papers. JD, EA, MAcc.

INDUSTRIES SERVED

Legal

I’ve worked with everyone from American Law Reports and FindLaw to brand new solo attorneys. Most of my clients are in general practice areas such as criminal law, personal injury, family law, civil litigation, and small business law, but I’ve also helped many niche specialty firms. My job is to act as the translator between you, the practice area expert, and the consumer, who may have no legal knowledge, while optimizing for SEO results and new client signings.

Accounting & Finance

I work with a broad range of clients including small to mid-sized accounting firms, outsourced bookkeeping services, and SaaS companies proving solutions in the accounting and finance space. My clients target both individuals and small to mid-sized businesses. I help explain complex accounting, finance, and tax topics in plain English while demonstrating how working with an accountant or a software solution adds value that makes it more than worth the cost.

Business Lending

I work with a variety of lenders from direct lenders to commercial banks in product lines including traditional loans, lines of credit, factoring, merchant cash advances, business credit cards, and other products. I help business owners and decision makers to understand their options as well as how to use business debt as a smart investment in their business.

Startup Financing

In addition to business lending, I work with clients promoting other funding options such as angel investing, seed rounds, series A and B rounds, venture debt, equity crowdfunding, equity sales, and other options. This includes investment firms, securities lawyers, CPAs for startups, and others marketing to startups. My job is to help entrepreneurs understand their options as well as why they need help when trying to raise funds.

Consumer Lending

I work with a variety of consumer lenders ranging from local banks and credit unions to subprime and second chance lenders. I help consumers understand what their options are, how to get approved, and how to responsibly use debt to reach their financial goals in a way that encourages new loan applications or further inquiries.

Information Security

My accounting, legal, and financial services clients are under increasing pressure to safeguard their clients’ data. I help software and security companies target these niches with content on legal requirements, ethics responsibilities set by professional associations, and plain-English explanations of data security solutions.

Industries I Write About

Accounting

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Financial Services

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Law Practice

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Insurance

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Real Estate

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Human Resources

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Venture Capital

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Investment Management

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Computer & Network Security

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My Writing Samples

What’s the Section 199A Deduction for Pass-Through Businesses and How Do I Get It?

An informational post.

https://forst.tax/section-199a-deduction/

5 Reasons QuickBooks Sucks and 3 Reasons Why Everyone Still Uses It

A small business post in a clickbait style.

https://forst.tax/reasons-quickbooks-sucks/

Outbound Linking Best Practices for Professionals

One of my SEO guides for small professional services firms.

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/outbound-linking-best-practices-professionals-erin-forst/

Content I Write

Ideas and Pitches I Wrote

What's the Interest Rate on an SBA Loan?

Average interest rates. Explanation of how they're set and why they may vary by lender.

Content type: Blog Post

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How Do SBA Loans Work?

SBA loans overview: who qualifies, who issues them, how to apply, etc.

Content type: Blog Post

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The Power of Compounding: How Slow and Steady Wins the Race

How small monthly investments can build up over time and cover large expenses like college.

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How Much Will College Cost in 18 Years?

An overview of the current costs of going to college and how much things will cost in 18 years if tuition and other cost keep rising at the same pace.

Content type: Blog Post

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How the New Tax Law Impacts Landlords

Overview of the new tax provisions that will impact landlords such as the pass-through deduction and new depreciation rules.

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Why a Separate Business Bank Account is a Must

Many new businesses and even established independent contractors are still using personal accounts for business purposes. This makes accounting harder, could erase the protections of a corporation or LLC, and possibly gives up account protections when personal account terms are violated.

Content type: Blog Post

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Renting Makes Even More Sense Under the New Tax Law

For years, renters have been told they're throwing money away on rent even when the financial calculations say otherwise. With the removal of some tax advantages for homeowners, renting now becomes even better.

Content type: Blog Post

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How to Leave the Most to Your Heirs From Your IRA

This post will provide an overview of estate planning strategies for including your IRA in your will so you can pass it on in a way that minimizes taxes.

Content type: Blog Post

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What's the Right Business Structure for a Franchise?

Corporation, LLC, or sole proprietorship? Taxes, liability, and transferability are the key to deciding.

Content type: Blog Post

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How to Separate Yourself From the Pack When Selling Online

Add value, provide higher service, and provide unique options powered by understanding your consumer through data.

Content type: Blog Post

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Are You Ready for Post-Wayfair Sales Tax Changes?

Overview of the Supreme Court decision allowing states to collect tax from retailers with no physical presence. How botkeeper will help you.

Content type: Blog Post

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Which Loved Wealth Investment Option is Right for You?

Advanced portfolio takes out the guesswork of trying to pick your own investments and automatically adjusts for risk vs. returns depending on the time to your goal. The interest account provides safety and income for goals in the immediate future. Choosing your own portfolio lets you take a hands-on approach and match your investments to your other investments or savings plans.

Content type: Blog Post

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Business Entity Selection After Tax Reform

Tax changes mean it's time to take a new look at which is best — sole proprietorship, partnership, LLC, S-corp, or C-corp.

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Everything You Need to Know About Cryptocurrency and Taxes

Social media is flooded with people shocked by their tax bills for cryptocurrency trades, and the IRS has begun a highly-publicized crackdown on people not paying taxes on cryptocurrencies gains. This post will provide an overview of the basics, ways to reduce taxes on crypto trading, and what to do if you can't pay a surprise tax bill.

Content type: Blog Post

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Everything You Need to Know About Forming an S-Corporation

This post will cover a detailed list of what entrepreneurs forming an S-corporation need to know/do with brief explanations that serve as a launch point into service area pages or more detailed blog posts for an attorney or CPA.

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What Landlords Need to Know About Equal Housing Laws

Even well-meaning landlords can inadvertently run afoul of equal housing laws. This post will cover the basics that landlords should be aware of with a reminder to ask a lawyer for details.

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Everything New Business Owners Need to Know About the Law

This post will provide a broad overview of the basics such as entity selection, licensing, zoning, and employment law. It will teach clients what to ask their lawyer and/or lead in to more in-depth posts on each topic.

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Entity Selection and Tax Planning Under the Flat 21% Corporate Tax Rate

With the change in corporate tax rates, many pass-through entity owners are considering converting to a C-corporation. Whether they should depends on their business activity, distributions vs. reinvestments, personal tax rates, and other factors.

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Why Service Businesses Should Accept Credit Cards

Many service businesses resist accepting credit card payments because of transaction fees, but accepting credit cards increases collection rates, gets payments faster, and reduces time spent on collecting outstanding invoices.

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Should You Offer (And Promote) a Roth 401(k)?

Congress ended up leaving 401(k)s alone, but lowered tax rates make Roth 401(k)s more attractive. Having a Roth option as an advertised benefit in addition to your traditional 401(k) will help attract financially-savvy job seekers and will show both prospective and current employees that you're committed to maintaining a strong benefits package.

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Everything You Need to Know About Retirement Planning

Detailed guide covering basic definitions (ETF, mutual fund, active vs. passive), tax benefits, how much you need to save, choosing a portfolio, etc.

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Why Companies That Pay Moving Costs Should Pick the Movers

When you're paying for an employee to move to work for you, hiring the movers directly makes invoicing and reimbursement easier, eliminates stress for employees, and allows you to build ongoing relationships.

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How to Use Your Tax Refund Wisely

As tax refund checks come in, many consumers are asking on social media what they should do with the money. This post will cover smart financial choices from paying down debt to starting a retirement account

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Online Mortgages Continue to Rise: Opportunities and Risks for Lenders

The increasing popularity of online mortgages brings opportunities for lenders to enter the market or increase their market share, but they need to update their underwriting process to account for the risks of doing business remotely.

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Understanding Employee Misclassification Claims

With the rise of Uber and the gig economy, employee/independent contractor misclassification claims are on the rise. This post can either be tailored to how employers can protect themselves/defend claims or what employees need to know about their rights/bringing a claim.

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Should You Form a Corporation? 2018 Update

The lowered corporate tax rates has small business owners reconsidering whether they should incorporate. Here's an overview of the traditional considerations and how they change with the tax changes.

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Who Can You Sue if You're Injured By a Self-Driving Car?

This post will cover the legal considerations of who to make a personal injury claim against in a self-driving car accident (driver, manufacturer, operating company, insurance).

Content type: Blog Post

Keywords: personal injury

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What Happens if an Employer Won't Let an Employee Off for Jury Duty?

While many employers have good jury duty programs, others don't. What happens if an employer won't release an employee? Can the employer force the employee to reschedule? Does the employer have to pay for jury duty time?

Content type: Blog Post

Keywords: employment law

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How to Use the CSI Effect to Your Advantage

Thanks to TV shows, juries increasingly demand high tech proof. Use these shows as common ground during jury selection while managing expectations, give a strong visual presentation, and don't be afraid to poke holes in your opponent's low tech case.

Content type: Blog Post

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How to Separate Yourself From the Pack When Selling Online

How to achieve the market positioning touched on in early posts. Add value, provide higher service, and provide unique options powered by understanding your consumer.

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What Happens if There's a Hurricane on Moving Day?

What you need to do if an approaching hurricane will hit when you're scheduled to move and proactive steps to take to avoid this kind of problem.

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What's the Right Business Structure for a Franchise?

Corporation, LLC, or sole proprietorship? Taxes and liability are the key to deciding.

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Can You Crowdfund a Franchise?

Can you use a crowdfunding campaign to pay your franchise fees? Your options are a Kickstarter-type campaign or equity crowdfunding. Will they work?

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Can You Beat a DUI Even if You Were Drunk?

Many clients may feel that their case is lost and not realize the legal and technical arguments that could beat or reduce their charges.

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How Alimony Tax Changes Impact Your Divorce

Alimony no longer being deductible to the payor or taxable to the recipient will impact planning and property division decisions.

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What You Need to Know About Payroll Taxes

Basic overview of payroll taxes and accompanying accounting/bookkeeping for new business owners hiring their first employees.

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First-Year Tax Checklist for New Independent Contractors

Introductory list of what to keep to track income and expenses, tax deadlines, retirement account options, etc.

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Does Forming a Corporation Actually Protect a Freelancer?

Corporations provide a range of liability protections for debts, employee acts, etc., but little protection for an owner's own torts. When is it worth it to form a corporation and when is insurance alone a better answer?

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What Your Business Needs to Know About Accepting Bitcoin

As cryptocurrencies increase in popularity, more businesses are taking them as payment. Here are the risks and benefits, how to do it, and how it impacts your accounting.

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Why Does My Interest Rate Keep Going Up?

An overview of recent Fed rate increases, why they're happening, future projections, and how consumer loans are tied into the prime rate. This may be a good time to switch to fixed rate loans or to buy a car/house before rates go up more.

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# Things New Landlords Need to Know About the Law

Buying a rental property can be a wise situation in many situations, but not following the law to the letter could cost you far more than your initial investment. Here's what new landlords need to know about equal housing, tenant protection, etc.

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What's a Working Capital Loan?

Working capital loans are a common financing type in the business world but are a foreign concept to new business owners used to personal lending. Here's an overview of what they are and how they can help a business.

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Three Reasons Why Motorcycle Accidents Are Different

Many personal injury attorneys advertise they handle motorcycle accidents, but few have actual experience. Here's why motorcycle accidents are different and you may want to have an attorney with specific motorcycle accident experience.

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Taxes and Divorce: What You Need to Know

What you need to know about divorce and taxes including the elimination of the alimony deductions, claiming children under the new law, and when your status changes.

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Key Financial Ratios: Accounts Receivable

Learn why tracking your accounts receivable is important, key financial ratios to use, and what these numbers mean for your performance and your cash flows.

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Key Financial Ratios: Profitability

Learn how to measure your business's performance, the key financial ratios to use to measure profitability, and when is the best time to use each of the ratios.

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Key Financial Ratios: Inventory

How quickly are your products selling? Is obsolete inventory dragging you down? Learn how to find these answers and more using key inventory financial ratios.

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Is Using Your Personal Credit to Finance Your Business the Right Move?

Personal credit cards and even loans are often easier to obtain than business financing. However, they come with risks. In addition to personal liability, the heavier usage can hurt your credit score and scare lenders who think you're running up your cards with consumer purchases. This can in turn make it harder to qualify for business credit. Here's the approach you should take.

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Manufacture, License, or Co-Pack: What's Right for Your Business?

Each strategy has its own pros, cons, and capital requirements. Here's an overview so you can decide what's best for your business's plans for future growth.

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Does Forming an S-Corporation Help Your Business Raise Capital?

An S-corporation usually isn't ideal for selling equity since shareholders are limited, but the process of formalizing your financials could make you more attractive to bank lenders.

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How to Have a Tax-Free Retirement

Want to pay no income taxes in retirement? It's possible to do so legally. Here's how to structure your retirement accounts and planning to avoid taxes.

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How to Maximize Your Credit Score While Getting Out of Debt

Why: Increase refinancing opportunities to lower interest rates until able to pay off completely. How: Optimize credit card utilization, be strategic about new credit applications to transfer debt, etc.

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Why Your 401(k) May Not Be the Tax Haven You Think It Is

401(k)s bring a tax break today, but this is a trade for being taxed in retirement. If tax rates go up, more things are tied to income like healthcare, or you need the money before retirement age, you could be in for a portfolio killing tax bill.

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Does it Make Sense to Refinance Your Mortgage With Interest Rates Rising?

Interest rate increases are in the news, so existing mortgage borrowers may think they can't do better than the rate they already have. A lower rate may still be possible thanks to improved credit, shopping lenders, or other factors.

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How to Make Sure You're Getting a 20% Deduction for Your Business

Overview of the Section 199A deduction for pass-throughs. Who it applies to and planning steps to take to make sure you qualify.

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What Should You Do About Wayfair Bringing Sales Tax Online?

The Supreme Court's decision in Wayfair allowing states to impose sales tax on online sales should put retailers on notice, but South Dakota is the only state with a law on the books so far. The answer is to keep watching for new developments and make sure you're tracking sales by state.

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How to Get Out of Bitcoin Tax Trouble

Yes, cryptocurrency is taxed. How it's calculated. Yes, the IRS will find out. What to do if you can't pay what you owe + offset your gains with losses.

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When Do You Need to Collect Sales Tax on Services?

Sales tax guide for service businesses. When are services subject to sales tax? What about services in other states? What if the service includes tangible property?

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How to Get Your Home Ready for Hurricane Season

Double check insurance especially flood coverage. Make sure roof is in good shape. Have storm shutters. Make sure trees, landscaping, playground equipment, etc isn't a threat...

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Everything You Need to Know About Selling Software and Sales Tax

Which states apply sales tax and when? Things that matter: How delivered (cloud, hard copy, installation service). Customized or not. Additional services/support. Pricing models (license, SaaS).

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Florida Sales Tax: What Small Businesses Need to Know

What's taxable. How and when to file. Selling in other states. (Talk to your accountant for details.) Collected tax is not your money so should go into a separate bank account (not required in FL but is mandatory in other states).

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Are You Ready for Post-Wayfair Sales Tax Changes?

Overview of the Supreme Court decision allowing states to collect tax from retailers with no physical presence. How Infinity Data Corp will help you.

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Are You Saving for a New Roof? If Not, Watch Out

Did you know an old or damage roof could lead to a cancelled homeowners insurance policy especially with Florida's hurricane risk? Did you know Florida law requires a roof replacement if you have to repair 25% of the roof within 12 months? A new roof can cost as much as a new car and even when insurance applies, it doesn't cover full replacement value. Make sure you have a savings plan and a designated account/CDs for a new roof or other major home expenses.

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What Should You Do With Your Stuff if You Lose Your Roof?

Hurricane, tornado, or fallen tree put a hole in your roof? Have another disaster? Putting up a tarp may not be enough to protect your belongings. Unpakt can help you get your stuff into storage or a temporary rental and avoid water damage plus humidity while you're waiting for repairs. Your insurance may even cover it.

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Do Orlando Homebuyers Need to Worry About Hurricanes?

Orlando is generally safe from the worst of hurricanes and is even an evacuation point for coastal residents. But there is still the risk of high winds, so homebuyers should make sure the home is up to code and has a solid roof. Also find out if a nearby lake, river, or drainage problem can cause localized flooding. Get good insurance. Rare inconvenience of hurricanes far outweighed by benefits of Central Florida living.

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Debt vs. Emergency Fund: Which Comes First?

It's good to knock out high interest debt as quickly as possible, but facing an unexpected expense when your credit is already maxed out could spell financial disaster. Here's how to set your priorities.

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Bad, Damaged, or Old Roof? Good Luck Getting Homeowners Insurance

If your roof has a hole in it, has a minor problem like algae, or is just plain old, your homeowners insurance company could end up dropping you. Make sure your roof is in great shape to keep your coverage.

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Can Your Roof Hold Up to a Winter Storm?

Homeowners insurance requires you to keep your roof in good condition, so make sure it is, or you may find yourself uninsured the next time a blizzard strikes.

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What Are the Estate and Gift Tax Consequences When You Pass on a Family Business?

When you pass on a family business, do you have to pay taxes? How? Is there any way around it?

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Business Entity Selection After Tax Reform

Tax changes mean it's time to take a new look at which is best — sole proprietorship, partnership, LLC, S-corp, or C-corp.

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Does Gramm-Leach-Bliley Apply to CPA Firms?

Many CPA firms are oblivious to Gramm-Leach-Bliley or think it only applies to banks. This post will provide an overview of the requirements that apply and how to use notices and software to comply.

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Why Your Business Needs a Succession Plan

The death of an owner can quickly ruin even the most successful of small businesses. Problems include temporary disruptions in management as well as lack of desire or ability of family members to continue operations. Succession planning is key to ensure that the business either continues to operate or maintains value to be sold as part of the owner's estate.

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Wills, Trusts, Estates, or Buyouts: What to Use for Business Owner Estate Planning?

Business interests are in many ways like any other assets that can be passed on to heirs but are unique because the owner is often heavily involved in the business and may have one or more partners. What's the right way to account for this in an estate plan?

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What Happens to a Partnership When a Partner Dies?

The death of a business partner is not only disruptive but can also carry tax and legal implications. What happens depends on the percent of ownership and any buy/sell agreements that are in place. Succession and estate planning are key.

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Can or Should a Business Be Passed on in a Will?

A business interest is part of an estate, but that doesn't mean its the best option. Your family members may not want to take over the business or your business partners may not feel they have the expertise. If you use a will, make sure both sides are comfortable including what role your heir will play (same as you, passive owner, or other). Otherwise, look to a buy/sell agreement or other succession planning tools.

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Tax Strategies to Make the Most of an Inherited IRA

This post will provide an overview of inherited IRA tax implications including withdrawing the money right away, lifetime distributions, what happens if you leave it in, and refusing the inheritance.

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Succession Planning Beyond the Numbers: Is Your Family Willing and Able?

Succession planning takes more than just figuring out who gets what and minimizing taxes. You need to make sure that your proposed heir has the willingness, business, ability, and maturity to take over. This might include an intermediate plan that has someone else take over while they gain education or experience.

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Why Business Valuation is a Prerequisite to Succession Planning

1) Many families are forced to sell to pay estate taxes if they haven't planned ahead. 2) You want to make sure heirs who won't receive shares or play an active role are still treated fairly. 3) If you decide to sell outright or put a buy-sell agreement in place, you need to know what your business is worth.

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What You Need to Know About Tip Pooling Regulations (Post 2018 Changes)

With tip jars becoming increasingly common, so is employers setting rules on tip pooling. What's clear is that employers (owners and management) can never be in the tip pools. The other rules vary based on whether the employer pays a full minimum wage or takes a tip credit to reach minimum wage.

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FBAR: When Do You Have to Report Foreign Accounts and What Happens if You Don't?

Clients hold assets in foreign accounts for a variety of reasons including travel, diversification, or tax avoidance. Foreign bank account reporting requirements are in place to reduce illegal uses of foreign accounts while still allowing them for legitimate purposes. This post will provide an overview of what needs to be reported and how.

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Tax Reform 2.0: What's Happening and Why

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was passed under special rules requiring fewer votes and setting dollar limits on the impact of the bill. Some provisions had to be passed with expiration dates, and Congress is now seeking to make them permanent. There are also new proposals regarding savings, medical deductions, and startup businesses.

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Can Your Small Business Ignore GDPR?

If you're a US-based business, you may think the European Union can't tell you what to do. If you're not doing business in Europe, there's a good chance that you're right. However, GDPR also raises cybersecurity awareness and data protection concerns that you should be aware of to protect yourself from liability and avoid taking a hit to your reputation from a data breach.

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What are the Legal Implications of Using a Coworking Space?

Do you have liability if a client is injured on site? What about your employees? Do you need to follow zoning and permitting requirements? What about the Americans with Disabilities Act? What are your landlord-tenant rights?

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What's the Difference Between a Commercial and Residential Lease?

Many business owners don't realize that commercial leases aren't as regulated as residential leases and don't give them the same rights. This post will provide an overview of the differences.

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Can You Still Deduct Your State Taxes on Your Federal Return?

New SALT deduction limit. Average SALT deduction claimed is over the limit but may be offset with standard deduction increase or other changes. Other state taxes fall under the same limit. What out for the charitable deduction in lieu of tax workaround. Careful planning could avoid a large tax bill.

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What is a Specified Service Business for the 20% Pass-Through Deduction?

If you're a service business, you only get the new 20% Section 199A deduction if you fall under the income limits. Learn what a service business is and whether you can separate service and non-service portions of your business.

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How the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Impacts Your Investment Planning

New tax brackets and Roth vs. Traditional, converting to Roth by 2025, no more undoing Roth conversions, and REIT placement under Section 199A.

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How Much Does it Cost to Raise a Child and When Do You Need the Money?

This post will cover the general cost of raising a child plus specific events to plan for such as college, a first car, playing sports, etc.

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What You Need to Know About Getting a Mortgage with Student Loans

Many student loan borrowers believe they can't get a mortgage, but this isn't true. While student loan debt may be part of the decision, it is still possible to qualify based on the total debt load and credit standing.

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What to Know About Buying a Home in a Hurricane Zone

Often a good location if you like the beach and good weather. But higher insurance costs and may need special coverage. Flooding and evacuations. Downsides could mean getting a better deal than expected especially after a busy hurricane season.

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What Makes Stock Prices Go Up and Down?

This post is intended for new investors or those who just put money into their 401(k) without understanding it. It will provide a high level overview including individual company performance, risk premiums, bear vs. bull markets, and economic conditions.

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What's the Right Asset Allocation for Your Retirement Portfolio?

This post is intended for beginner to intermediate investors trying to set their mix between stocks and bonds and U.S. and foreign holdings. It will cover the big picture such as risk vs. reward, historical performance of different allocations, fixed vs. glide path allocations, and common recommendations.

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How Many Funds Does Your Retirement Portfolio Need?

This post will discuss the pros and cons of a simple vs. more complex investment approach including diversification, returns, simplicity, costs, and overlap. It will compare target date and traditional one-fund portfolios to a three or four-fund portfolio as well as more complex allocations.

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What's the Best Way to Pay Down Debt?

Comparing the debt snowball method against attacking the highest interest rates first plus managing your credit score so you can refinance/balance transfer to a lower interest rate.

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How to Use Your Tax Refund Wisely

As tax refund checks come in, many consumers are asking on social media what they should do with the money. This post will cover smart financial choices from paying down debt to starting a retirement account

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How to Document Qualifying Expenses to Claim Your Full R&D Credit

Lack of documentation means leaving money on the table or potentially losing an audit. Here's what you should do to be able to claim all of your qualifying expenses.

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Does the QBI Deduction Devalue Tax-Advantaged Retirement Contributions?

The final Section 199A regs require business owners to subtract employer retirement contributions from their QBI. This means losing the QBI deduction on this income now and not having the deduction when withdrawn as ordinary income in retirement. How does this change the analysis? Comparing current/future effective tax rates and the potential increased Roth advantage.

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How to Protect Yourself from a Stock Market Crash

2019 has been a rebound from the end of 2018, but many investors are still nervous. Now is the time to make sure your asset allocation is right and you have a solid emergency fund. After that, stay the course and keep up your regular investments no matter what.

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What Happens if My Obamacare Subsidy Was Wrong?

If your income was higher or lower than you expected when you signed up for Obamacare, you may be receiving too much or not enough in subsidies. This will be sorted out when you file your return either by paying back some of the subsidy with your taxes or as an additional tax credit if your subsidy was too low.

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REITs: Are They A Substitute for Direct Real Estate Investments?

What's the difference between investing in a REIT and investing directly in properties. Diversification between properties, geographies, and industries. Not having to become a property manager. Easier to buy and sell.

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Should You Form a Corporation? 2019 Update

The lowered corporate tax rates has small business owners reconsidering whether they should incorporate. Here's an overview of the traditional considerations and how they changed with the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

Content type: Blog Post

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How to Avoid Higher Costs From Revenue Recognition Implementation

When ASC 606 came into effect, companies saw increased compliance costs as they needed more manual work to properly recognize revenue. The key is proactively identifying project milestones to allow for greater automation.

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What Non-Profits Need to Know About Accepting Cryptocurrency Donations

What non-profits need to consider before accepting crypto donations and what they need to do if they do.

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Why Your Business Strategy Must Include Social Impact

Social impact is no longer just a personal goal for a business owner. Customers are demanding it, and they have the buying power to make it happen whether you're in or out.

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How to Get Your Rental Home Ready for Hurricane Season

As with other maintenance, don't expect your tenants to take the same care you would during last minute preparations. Use storm shutters so they don't have to board windows. Check your landscaping early in the season. Make sure you have the right insurance coverage including flood coverage. Know your rights and responsibilities if your tenants must evacuate, if there's a prolonged power outage, and if your home is damaged or destroyed.

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How to Revamp Your Sales Tax Tracking After Wayfair

The Supreme Court says states can now collect sales tax from out-of-state retailers. Is your accounting system ready to keep track of it all? Tracking sales by location, getting rates, segregating funds, etc.

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Do You Really Need a Local Bookkeeper?

Smart bookkeeping is all about automation and tying into your existing systems. Having someone in-house is too expensive and overkill for most small businesses, while someone a few blocks away you see once a month is less connected than someone with 24/7 remote access to your books. Go digital for the best balance of cost, communication, and service.

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Is AI Accounting Safe?

1. Security: Bank grade protections eliminate concerns. 2. Reduces human error. 3. Still has human oversight to keep the AI from "going rogue" and miscategorizing things. 4. Reduces employee fraud by adding checks and balances that are often too expensive for small organizations with small staffs to implement.

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Why Do Interest Rate Keep Going Up?

An overview of recent Fed rate increases, why they're happening, future projections, and how consumer loans are tied into the prime rate. What this means for the real estate market and real estate pros' income.

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How Does the Qualified Business Income Deduction Work for Real Estate Pros?

Real estate professionals may be eligible for the new 20% tax deduction subject to income limitations. Real estate pros are not subject to the "specified service business" limitation. How to maximize your deduction.

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What's the Best Retirement Plan for a Real Estate Pro?

What's the best retirement plan? Personal, SEP, or SIMPLE IRA or a small business 401(k)? Whether you're independent or have employees matters. Plus taking advantage of the recent tax changes.

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Does Gramm-Leach-Bliley Apply to CPA Firms?

Many CPA firms are oblivious to Gramm-Leach-Bliley or think it only applies to banks. This post will provide an overview of the requirements that apply and how to use notices and software to comply.

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Should You Offer (And Promote) a Roth 401(k)?

Lowered tax rates made Roth 401(k)s more attractive. Having a Roth option as an advertised benefit in addition to your traditional 401(k) will help attract financially-savvy job seekers and will show both prospective and current employees that you're committed to maintaining a strong benefits package.

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Should You Ask About Previous Salary History?

States and cities are adding laws prohibiting employers from asking job seekers about their salary history, and the information may not be that useful anyway.

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Should You Ask About Previous Salary History?

States and cities are adding laws prohibiting employers from asking job seekers about their salary history, and the information may not be that useful anyway.

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Understanding Employee Misclassification Claims

With the rise of Uber and the gig economy, employee/independent contractor misclassification claims are on the rise. How employers can protect themselves/defend claims.

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What Happens if an Employer Won't Let an Employee Off for Jury Duty?

While many employers have good jury duty programs, others don't. What happens if an employer won't release an employee? Can the employer force the employee to reschedule? Does the employer have to pay for jury duty time?

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Do Expense Ratios Matter Anymore?

The ETF and mutual fund fee wars mean investors can now select funds with 0% expense ratios. Investors have long been told to go for lower fees, but that started in the days of 1-3% expense ratios. Today, index composition, tracking error, securities lending income, bid/ask spread, and other factors can outweigh a difference of a few basis points.

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How Tax Reform Changes the Value of Retirement Accounts

The old Roth vs. Traditional decision process is changed by tax brackets that are temporarily lower through 2025. For business owners and contractors, the 20% qualified business income adds a new wrinkle as it lowers the effective tax rate while deductible retirement contributions lower the QBI deduction. How to prioritize: Roth vs. Traditional, Personal IRA vs. Work Plan, Employee vs. Employer Contributions.

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S-Corporations and Reasonable Compensation: What You Need to Know

Many new or non-tax-savvy business owners see S-corporations as a way to cut their tax bills by saving money on employee taxes. S-corporations have benefits but not taking a reasonable salary as the owner can mean trouble with the IRS.

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S-Corporation Shareholder Basis: What is it and Why Does it Matter?

General post for those considering or needing to understand how to use an S-corporation. Why tracking basis is important: loss deductions, distributions, and sales. How to track basis.

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How the Qualified Business Income Deduction Works for S-Corporation Shareholders

General post for those considering or needing to understand how to use an S-corporation. What counts as QBI (versus wages). Qualified property/wages for deduction limitation assigned pro rata to shareholders. Income/income limits on per shareholder basis. Note difference in employee vs. employer retirement contributions (employer reduces QBI). Don't run afoul of reasonable compensation rules trying to increase deduction.

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You Don't Have to Be a Scientist to Claim the R&D Credit

Many SMBs don't consider the R&D credit because they think they don't do "research." An overview of activities that count for the credit they may not have realized.

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Don't Miss Out On State R&D Credits

Many states also offer R&D credits. Mostly follow the federal guidelines but varies by state (e.g. some restrict to target industries or only certain entity types). List of states. How multi-state businesses qualify.

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Why Service Businesses Should Accept Credit Cards

Many service businesses resist accepting credit card payments because of transaction fees, but accepting credit cards increases collection rates, gets payments faster, and reduces time spent on collecting outstanding invoices.

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Key Financial Ratios: Liquidity

How much cash do you have available? Is your business model sustainable? Get these answers and more with key liquidity ratios to use in assessing your business's performance.

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What Credit Score Do You Need for an SBA Loan?

What are the credit qualifications by an SBA loan? Standards will vary by lender and there's no exact credit score. Personal credit matters because most businesses applying for an SBA loan won't have enough credit history to stand on business credit alone.

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How to Get Your Financial Statements Ready to Apply for a Loan

Lenders will often ask for detailed financial statements with a business loan application. In addition to showing a profit, clearly showing how your business operates and following accounting standards is important. What you need to do.

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Should You Start a Business with a Personal Loan?

Personal loans can be easier to get than business loans but don't have the same protections and can have a bigger impact on your personal credit. What you should consider before you apply for a personal loan for business purposes.

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