Blog


  • 2021 Social Security Tax and Benefit Increases Announced

    Posted Date December 1, 2020 Posted Time 12:00 pm Published in

    The Social Security Administration recently announced 2021 increases to both benefits and the taxable wage base for FICA taxes. Increases Announced for 2021 Workers are facing a 3.7 percent increase in the taxable wage base subject to Social Security taxes, increasing the amount from $137,700 up to $142,800. This means high earners who make as much as or more than the taxable wage base will pay $8,853.60 of the employee withholding portion or $17,707.20 in total for the self-employed – who pay both employee and employer portions of the tax. Retirees receiving benefits will only garner a 1.3 percent cost-of-living (COLA)... View Article

  • How Businesses Can Adapt, Grow During COVID-19

    Posted Date December 1, 2020 Posted Time 12:00 pm Published in

    In order to survive – and even thrive – during these unprecedented times, small businesses have had to find new ways to make money. The UPS Store’s Small Biz Buzz survey found that 41 percent of small businesses in the United States took steps to modify their businesses in hopes of survival. Fifteen percent provided customers with curbside delivery options, 28 percent moved to online sales as their primary source of sales, and 65 percent made a concerted effort to grow their e-commerce capabilities. More than 50 percent of those polled by a U.S. Census Bureau Small Business Pulse Survey... View Article

  • How Will the Biden Administration Influence the Federal Reserve?

    Posted Date December 1, 2020 Posted Time 12:00 pm Published in

    With the nation on the precipice of a transition of administrations on Jan. 20, 2021, there will need to be many roles filled both in and out of the White House. With the potential for Janet Yellen to replace Steven Mnuchin as the next treasury secretary, there is much speculation about how the Federal Reserve will be shaped by the Biden administration. Predicting Changes to the Federal Reserve When 2022 arrives, Chair of the Federal Reserve Jerome Powell’s term will expire. While presidents have historically given another term to first-term chairs who were appointed by the outgoing administration, there is... View Article

  • Last Minute Financial Moves for Year’s End

    Posted Date December 1, 2020 Posted Time 12:00 pm Published in

    There are certain year-end financial transactions that must clear by Dec. 31 to be reported on the 2020 tax return. It’s important to take a good look at your financial portfolio in light of the plethora of unusual events that occurred this year. Now is a good time to see if you have fallen off track and reposition your portfolio for better opportunities in 2021. Investment Portfolio Despite the dramatic stock market drop that accompanied the outbreak of COVID-19 on our shores, markets have recovered remarkably well. This means the traditional strategy of harvesting gains and losses at year-end could... View Article

  • COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout: Where We Are So Far

    Posted Date December 1, 2020 Posted Time 12:00 pm Published in

    While the pandemic is not over, we do have some good news. There are vaccines and they will be available soon. Here’s where we are in terms of an overall plan and where states are with distributing the vaccines. Operation Warp Speed The current administration has already purchased hundreds of millions of doses of several vaccine candidates. Two of them are from Moderna and Pfizer and they’ve shown significant efficacy in Phase 3 clinical trials. The incoming Biden administration will take on distribution and has established a COVID-19 Task Force. A limited number of doses may become available as early... View Article

  • Will StarLink be the Next Disruption to the Telecommunication Industry?

    Posted Date December 1, 2020 Posted Time 12:00 pm Published in

    With every new project comes expectations, uncertainties, questions, opposition, and more. Elon Musk’s StarLink internet is one such project. Just last month, on Nov. 24, SpaceX launched 60 StarLink internet satellites – making a total of more than 900 of its flat-panel satellites already on low earth orbit (LEO). This also marked the company’s 23rd space launch since the start of 2020. But just what is StarLink; why is it a big deal; and will it replace existing internet infrastructure? Follow along for information already in the public domain that will help answer some of these questions. What is StarLink?... View Article

  • A Flush of Protections for Veterans and Native Americans

    Posted Date December 1, 2020 Posted Time 12:00 pm Published in

    Veterans’ Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act of 2020 (HR 6168) – Introduced by Rep. Elaine Luria (D-VA) on March 10, this bill increases Vet compensation benefits by 1.3 percent (the same as for Social Security recipients). The increase impacts veteran disability compensation, compensation for dependents, the clothing allowance for certain disabled veterans, and dependency and indemnity compensation for surviving spouses and children. This bill passed in the House in May and the Senate in September, and was signed into law by the president on Oct. 20. Veterans’ Care Quality Transparency Act (HR 2372) – Designed to improve mental health care for... View Article

  • Our Top 6 Year-End Tax Planning Tips

    Posted Date November 1, 2020 Posted Time 12:00 pm Published in

    This has been a year of economic and tax uncertainty with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, potential stimulus bills and the presidential election. As a result, tax planning may be more important than usual this year. To help guide you, we will cover six year-end tax planning strategies – three for individuals and three for businesses. Individual Year-End Tax Planning Tips and Strategies 1. Take advantage of above-the-line charitable deductions. Unlike previous years, where taxpayers needed to itemize their deductions in order to see any tax benefit from charitable deductions, everyone can benefit on their 2020 tax return. The... View Article

  • How to Effectively On-board & Train Employees Virtually

    Posted Date November 1, 2020 Posted Time 12:00 pm Published in

    With COVID-19 still requiring remote working, companies that effectively on-board new workers retain their workers longer, have better worker performance and increase their profits by almost 100 percent, according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. However, there are many considerations that companies should take during this important process. For remote orientations, a welcome package that discusses the company’s products or services can be emailed to attendees prior to the live introduction. It’s also imperative that essential employees for the new hires (training and supervisors, for example) and existing employees who they will be working with are on the virtual meeting... View Article

  • How Would a Second Stimulus Check Impact Markets?

    Posted Date November 1, 2020 Posted Time 12:00 pm Published in

    The $1,200 stimulus check sent out to individuals had mixed impacts on our economy, based on academic research, including by the University of California-Davis. For recipients with $3,000 or more in their bank accounts, there was no positive impact on the economy. However, for recipients with bank account balances up to $500, they spent 44.5 percent of their check, on average, within 10 days of receiving the stimulus check. The first stimulus check was part of the CARES Act, which guided how the checks were issued: The IRS began with those who filed 2018 and/or 2019 taxes, and looked at... View Article

 

Copyrights @ 2019. James O. Taylor