9 Financial Tips During COVID-19’s Possible Recession

map of united states coronavirus outbreak

The Coronavirus known as COVID-19 has changed the world’s day-to-day life. The future is uncertain in terms of health and social interaction. One of the biggest concerns many face is financial stability. One in five American households are out of work because businesses are closing, and the stock market is becoming increasingly volatile. Because of this, income insecurity is turning into a very real problem.

However, there are elements that you can control to feel more stable in a time of instability. These tips for managing finances can help you to survive a recession while setting yourself up for success in the future.

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The Tax Cut and Jobs Act: Meals & Entertainment Deductions

deducting meals & entertainment inforgraphic header

Nearly all tax professionals have become familiar with the changes introduced by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, which went into effect at the beginning of 2018. Among other implications, the act affects deductions made for tax returns. Below is an infographic guide to the new laws surrounding meals and entertainment deductions for businesses.

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HRA: The Alternative Health Benefit Option

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Health Reimbursement Agreements (HRAs) have been around since the 1970s, but are getting more attention due to the recent changes implemented by the Departments of Health and Human Services, Labor, and Treasury. On June 13, 2019, they issued a new rule beginning in 2020 that allows employees to use an HRA set up by their employer to pay for health insurance premiums, a perk that was not allowed under previous HRA rules.

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Pros and Cons of Using a Per Diem

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What is a Per Diem?

A Per Diem (Latin for “per day”) is a fixed daily reimbursement that a business gives to its employees who are traveling longer than a day for business purposes. Per Diem payments can be given for both lodging and meals & incidental expenses (M&IE) or only M&IE, depending on the situation and where the employee is traveling. For example, the company may have a dedicated condo for employee travel in a specific city and thus would not need to reimburse its employees for lodging there. M&IE includes any expense associated with traveling away from home that doesn’t fall into the lodging category. M&IE examples are meals, room service, luggage handlers, dry cleaning, and tips.

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3 Reasons to Incorporate Your Business

When starting a new business, one of the first decisions to make is whether to form your company as a sole proprietorship, partnership, Limited Liability Company (LLC) or incorporating a business. Incorporating an existing business brings up other questions of when, why and how. There are advantages and disadvantages to each type, but the benefits of incorporating your business should play a key role in your decision-making process. Here are the top 3 reasons to incorporate your business:

3 Reasons to Incorporate Your Business Infographic

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9 Paper Documents to Keep Forever

As tax season comes to an end and you file away your records, you may be looking at your ever-growing file cabinet and wondering, “can I get rid of some of these documents?” While there are many reasons to keep or discard certain paperwork, there are some documents you should never throw away! (IRS Tax Returns and supporting documents should be kept for 5-7 years, by the way.)

Below are the 9 paper documents you should keep forever in their original form:

Infographic of nine documents to keep forever in their original physical form

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4 Tips To Help You Save Money on Your State and Federal Tax Returns

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Here are some things to consider that may save you some money when filing your state and federal income taxes:

1. Filing Joint or Separate Returns

Typically it works out better financially for couples to file a joint return because the IRS does give joint filers one of the largest standard deductions. However, there are times when it is better to file separately, and here are the top reasons why you may want to:

  • One person has a high amount of losses to claim
  • One person has a large amount of out-of-pocket deductible medical expenses

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