When inheriting money, be aware of “income in respect of a decedent” issues

 

Once a relatively obscure concept, “income in respect of a decedent” (IRD) may create a surprising tax bill for those who inherit certain types of property, such as IRAs or other retirement plans. Fortunately, there may be ways to minimize or even eliminate the IRD tax bite.

Your nonprofit’s board needs to know these financial warning signs

Is your board staring at financial red flags without knowing it? Although some warning signs — such as those experienced when the pandemic first hit — are obvious, others are easy to overlook. Here are several signs of trouble that board members need to be aware of and prepared to act on.

There still may be time to cut your tax bill with an IRA

If you’re getting ready to file your 2021 tax return, and your tax bill is more than you’d like, there might still be a way to lower it. If you’re eligible, you can make a deductible contribution to a traditional IRA right up until the April 18, 2022, filing date and benefit from the tax savings on your 2021 return.

Keeping your nonprofit’s remote workers connected

Many employees have embraced the opportunity to work from home during the pandemic — but not all of them. Some workers have experienced feelings of disconnection and isolation. So if your not-for-profit plans to make remote working a longer-term proposition, you should look for ways to make everyone feel connected to the job and their colleagues.

Can you deduct the costs of a spouse on a business trip?

If you own your own company and travel for business, you may wonder whether you can deduct the costs of having your spouse accompany you on trips.

The rules for deducting a spouse’s travel costs are very restrictive. First of all, to qualify, your spouse must be your employee. This means you can’t deduct the travel costs of a spouse, even if his or her presence has a bona fide business purpose, unless the spouse is a bona fide employee of your business. This requirement prevents tax deductibility in most cases. 

Keeping meticulous records is the key to tax deductions and painless IRS audits

If you operate a business, or you’re starting a new one, you know you need to keep records of your income and expenses. Specifically, you should carefully record your expenses in order to claim all of the tax deductions to which you’re entitled. And you want to make sure you can defend the amounts reported on your tax returns in case you’re ever audited by the IRS.

Married couples filing separate tax returns: Why would they do it?

If you’re married, you may wonder whether you should file joint or separate tax returns. The answer depends on your individual tax situation.

In general, it depends on which filing status results in the lowest tax. But keep in mind that, if you and your spouse file a joint return, each of you is “jointly and severally” liable for the tax on your combined income. And you’re both equally liable for any additional tax the IRS assesses, plus interest and most penalties. That means that the IRS can come after either of you to collect the full amount.

How to recruit when job candidates have the upper hand

The Great Resignation hasn’t been so great for not-for-profit organizations. As many for-profit businesses — particularly in traditionally low-wage industries — have raised pay and hiring incentives, nonprofits have lost staffers. According to a New York Times analysis of Current Population Survey data, nonprofit employment in November 2021 was 4.8% below its prepandemic level, compared to 1.5% lower in the for-profit sector.

To replace lost employees or add people to staff growing operations, you’ll need to up your recruiting game.