Get More From Giving
The 2015 PATH Act has made permanent the ability for a taxpayer to make a charitable contribution of up to $100,000 from their IRA and have it count toward their required minimum distribution (RMD). Doing this changes the contribution from being an itemized deduction to effectively being a "front page" deduction and reducing adjusted gross income (AGI). This increases the tax benefit for certain individuals because it may reduce other items that are impacted by AGI, such as the amount of social security benefits that are taxed, the phase-out of itemized deductions or the tax on net investment income. Certain credits are also phased out as income increases.
Connecticut taxpayers have an added benefit - our state income tax system does not allow itemized deductions, but by using your RMD to donate to a charity you will reduce the amount of income that is subject to Connecticut income tax.
Changes In Fair Labor Standards
Recent changes to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) go into effect on December 1, 2016 and drastically reduce the number of employees who are exempt from being paid overtime. Three tests generally must be met to claim exemption:
Salary Based Test: Generally employers must pay an employee their full salary regardless of the number of days or hours worked in a week.
Salary Level Test: An employee must be paid at least $913 per week to be exempt, an increase from the previous $455 per week.
Standard Duties Test: An employee's primary duty must fall under the Executive, Administrative, Professional, Outside Sales, or Computer Employee exemption. Each of these categories has their own special rules associated with it.
If you currently have employees for whom you do not pay overtime, you should take a closer look at how these changes will impact you. There are too many details to enumerate here, but additional information is available on the Department of Labor website
The changes apply to nonprofit organizations, which the DOL addresses here.
Online hacking has become a big business; being careful with password selection is one way to protect yourself. Here are some password tips:
Don't use your name, a single word, or a phrase ("password" is one of the top passwords still used!).
Make it at least 12 characters long.
Use random letters with numbers and symbols mixed in.
Don't use the same password in multiple places.
Change sensitive passwords periodically, such as those used for bank accounts.
Need a password that you can remember? Start with an old phone number you no longer use and add some additional characters. Or pick a word and use a random word for each of the letters of the first word. For example, pick FASTER then choose fastalbertsoupteamechorope.