About Emil Estafanous, CPA

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So far Emil Estafanous, CPA has created 3092 blog entries.

Remember to use up your flexible spending account money

Do you have a tax-saving flexible spending account (FSA) with your employer to help pay for health or dependent care expenses? As the end of 2021 nears, there are some rules and reminders to keep in mind.   An account for health expenses A pre-tax contribution of $2,750 to a health FSA is permitted in [...]

Many factors are involved when choosing a business entity

Are you planning to launch a business or thinking about changing your business entity? If so, you need to determine which entity will work best for you — a C corporation or a pass-through entity such as a sole-proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company (LLC) or S corporation. There are many factors to consider and proposed [...]

Would you like to establish a Health Savings Account for your small business?

With the increasing cost of employee health care benefits, your business may be interested in providing some of these benefits through an employer-sponsored Health Savings Account (HSA). For eligible individuals, an HSA offers a tax-advantaged way to set aside funds (or have their employers do so) to meet future medical needs. Here are the important [...]

Feeling generous at year end? Strategies for donating to charity or gifting to loved ones

As we approach the holidays, many people plan to donate to their favorite charities or give money or assets to their loved ones. Here are the basic tax rules involved in these transactions. Donating to charity Normally, if you take the standard deduction and don’t itemize, you can’t claim a deduction for charitable contributions. But [...]

Competitive intelligence can give your marketing campaigns an edge

It’s understandable and indeed critical to focus a marketing campaign on the strengths and distinctive benefits of the products or services in question. However, something that’s easy to overlook is how your business and its offerings differ from — and are preferable to — the competition. Making this distinction isn’t as simple as, “Well, we’re [...]

Factor in taxes if you’re relocating to another state in retirement

Are you considering a move to another state when you retire? Perhaps you want to relocate to an area where your loved ones live or where the weather is more pleasant. But while you’re thinking about how many square feet you’ll need in a retirement home, don’t forget to factor in state and local taxes. [...]

Employers: The Social Security wage base is increasing in 2022

The Social Security Administration recently announced that the wage base for computing Social Security tax will increase to $147,000 for 2022 (up from $142,800 for 2021). Wages and self-employment income above this threshold aren’t subject to Social Security tax. Background information The Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) imposes two taxes on employers, employees and self-employed [...]

Thinking about participating in your employer’s 401(k) plan? Here’s how it works

Employers offer 401(k) plans for many reasons, including to attract and retain talent. These plans help an employee accumulate a retirement nest egg on a tax-advantaged basis. If you’re thinking about participating in a plan at work, here are some of the features. Under a 401(k) plan, you have the option of setting aside a [...]

Protect your business with a cybersecurity assessment

Years ago, it may have seemed like only government agencies with top-secret intel or wealthy international banks had to worry about hackers. Nowadays, even the smallest small business could see its reputation ruined by a data breach, while larger companies could have their sensitive data taken hostage in a ransomware attack that costs millions to [...]

What business owners should know about stop-loss insurance

When choosing health care benefits, many businesses opt for a self-insured (self-funded) plan rather than a fully insured one. Why? Among various reasons, self-insured plans tend to offer greater flexibility and potentially lower fixed costs. When implementing a self-insured plan, stop-loss insurance is typically recommended. Although buying such a policy isn’t required, many small to [...]

Get your piece of the depreciation pie now with a cost segregation study

If your business is depreciating over a 30-year period the entire cost of constructing the building that houses your operation, you should consider a cost segregation study. It might allow you to accelerate depreciation deductions on certain items, thereby reducing taxes and boosting cash flow. And under current law, the potential benefits of a cost [...]

You may owe “nanny tax” even if you don’t have a nanny

Have you heard of the “nanny tax?” Even if you don’t employ a nanny, it may apply to you. Hiring a house cleaner, gardener or other household employee (who isn’t an independent contractor) may make you liable for federal income and other taxes. You may also have state tax obligations.   If you employ a [...]

Engaging in customer-focused strategic planning

When creating or updating your strategic plan, you might be tempted to focus on innovative products or services, new geographic locations, or technological upgrades. But, what about your customers? Particularly if you’re a small to midsize business, focusing your strategic planning efforts on them may be the most direct route to a better bottom line. [...]

New per diem business travel rates became effective on October 1

Are employees at your business traveling again after months of virtual meetings? In Notice 2021-52, the IRS announced the fiscal 2022 “per diem” rates that became effective October 1, 2021. Taxpayers can use these rates to substantiate the amount of expenses for lodging, meals and incidental expenses when traveling away from home. (Taxpayers in the transportation [...]

Vacation home: How is your tax bill affected if you rent it out?

If you’re fortunate enough to own a vacation home, you may want to rent it out for part of the year. What are the tax consequences? The tax treatment can be complex. It depends on how many days it’s rented and your level of personal use. Personal use includes vacation use by you, your relatives [...]

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