Monthly Archives

June 2020

Retirement Plan Options for Small Businesses

By | Advice

The SECURE Act and CARES Act may complicate the decision.

Provided by American Wealth Management

As a small-business owner, figuring out retirement choices can be a little intimidating. How do you pick the most appropriate retirement plan for your business as well as your employees?

There are three main types of retirement plans for small businesses: SIMPLE-IRAs, SEP-IRAs, and 401(k)s. Read on below to learn more about each type of retirement plan. Also, keep in mind that recent legislative changes that occurred with the passing of the SECURE Act and CARES Act may complicate the decision.

SIMPLE-IRAs. SIMPLE stands for Savings Incentive Match Plan for Employees. This is a traditional IRA that is set up for employees and allows both employees and employers to contribute. If you’re an employer of a small business who needs to get started with a retirement plan, a SIMPLE-IRA may be for you. While this plan doesn’t require an employee to contribute, employers must contribute 2% of their employee’s salary to a retirement fund. If you do choose to offer a matching contribution to your employee’s SIMPLE-IRA plan, you can match up to 3% of your employee’s compensation. Employees can also participate in a SIMPLE-IRA plan by having automatic deductions go straight from their paycheck to their SIMPLE-IRA.1,2,3

Distributions from SIMPLE-IRAs are taxed as ordinary income, and if taken before age 59½, may be subject to a 10% federal income tax penalty. However, during the 2020 calendar year, the CARES Act allows eligible participants to take an early distribution of up to $100,000 without paying the 10% penalty. Generally, once you reach age 72, you must begin taking required minimum distributions.

For a business to use a SIMPLE-IRA, it typically must have fewer than 100 employees and cannot have any other retirement plans in place. There are also no filing requirements required by the employer.2

SEP-IRAs. SEP plans (also known as SEP-IRAs) are Simplified Employee Pension plans. Any business of any size can set up one of these types of retirement plans, including a self-employed business owner. This type of retirement plan may be an attractive option for a business owner because a SEP-IRA does not have the start-up and operating costs of a conventional retirement plan. It also allows for a contribution of up to 25% of each employee’s pay. This is a type of retirement plan that is solely sponsored by the employer, and the contribution to each employee’s SEP-IRA must be the same amount. Employees are not able to add their own contributions. Unlike other types of retirement plans, contributions from the employer can be flexible from year to year, which can help businesses that have fluctuations in their cash flow.4

Much like SIMPLE-IRAs, SEP-IRAs are taxed as ordinary income, and if taken before age 59½, may be subject to a 10% federal income tax penalty. The CARES Act applies to SEP-IRAs too. Generally, once you reach age 72, you must begin taking required minimum distributions.

401(k)s. 401(k) plans are funded by employee contributions, and in some cases, with employer contributions as well. In most circumstances, you must begin taking required minimum distributions from your 401(k) or other defined contribution plan in the year you turn 72. Withdrawals are taxed as ordinary income, and if taken before age 59½, may be subject to a 10% federal income tax penalty. As of right now, the CARES Act exemptions apply only in the 2020 calendar year.5

Because of the recent legislative changes, resulting from the passage of the SECURE Act and the CARES Act, let’s talk further about which of these plans may work best for you and your business.5

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This material was prepared by MarketingPro, Inc., and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting party, nor their affiliates. This information has been derived from sources believed to be accurate. Please note – investing involves risk, and past performance is no guarantee of future results. The publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. If assistance is needed, the reader is advised to engage the services of a competent professional. This information should not be construed as investment, tax or legal advice and may not be relied on for the purpose of avoiding any Federal tax penalty. This is neither a solicitation nor recommendation to purchase or sell any investment or insurance product or service, and should not be relied upon as such. All indices are unmanaged and are not illustrative of any particular investment.

Investment advice offered through American Wealth Management (“AWM”), a SEC-registered investment adviser. Certain personnel of AWM may also be registered representatives of M.S. Howells & Co. (“MSH”), Member FINRA/SIPC, a registered broker-dealer, and therefore, may offer securities through MSH. AWM and MSH are not affiliated entities.

Citations.
1 – IRS.gov, January 15, 2020
2 – IRS.gov, January 8, 2020
3 – IRS.gov, January 9, 2020
4 – IRS.gov, January 15, 2020
5 – U.S. Chamber of Commerce, February 20, 2020

Making a Charitable Contribution

By | Advice

There are benefits and limitations when you decide to donate stock.

Provided by DJ Lee, CFA

Why sell shares when you can gift them? If you have appreciated stocks in your portfolio, you might want to consider donating those shares to charity rather than selling them.

Why, exactly? Donating appreciated securities to a tax-exempt charity may allow you to manage your taxes and benefit the charity. If you have held the stock for more than a year, you may be able to deduct from your taxes the fair market value of the stock in the year that you donate. If the charity is tax-exempt, it may not face capital gains tax on the stock if it sells it in the future.1

Keep in mind this article is for informational purposes only. It’s not a replacement for real-life advice. Make sure to consult your tax, legal, and accounting professional before modifying your gift-giving strategy.

When is donating stock a better choice than gifting cash or just selling the shares? There are several reasons to consider donating highly appreciated stock to a tax-exempt charity. For example, you may own company stock and have the opportunity to donate some shares. There also are potential tax benefits to consider if you donate appreciated securities that you have owned for at least one year.2

If you sell shares of appreciated stock from a taxable account and subsequently donate the proceeds from the sale to charity, you may face capital gains tax on any potential gain you realize, which effectively trims the tax benefit of cash donation.3

When is donating cash a choice to consider? If you provide the charity with a cash gift, there may be some limitations. Cash gifts are deductible up to 50% of adjusted gross income. As an example, if a donor in the top 37% federal tax bracket gives a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization a gift of $5,000, the net cost can work out to just $3,150 with $1,850 realized in tax savings. A donor may also need to consider possible implications of state taxes in addition to federal.2

If you donate shares of depreciated stock from a taxable account to a charity, you can only deduct their current value, not the value they had when you originally bought them.3

Remember the tax rules for charitable donations. If you donate appreciated stock to a charity, you may want to review I.R.S. Publication 526, Charitable Contributions. Double-check to see that the charity has non-profit status under federal tax law, and be sure to record the deduction on a Schedule A that you attach to your 1040.4,5

If your contribution totals $250 or more, the donation(s) must be recorded – that is, the charity needs to give you a written statement describing the donation and its value and whether it is providing you with goods or services in exchange for it. (A bank record or even payroll deduction records can also denote the contribution.)

If your total deduction for all non-cash contributions in a tax year exceeds $500, then complete and attach Form 8283 (Noncash Charitable Contributions) to your 1040 when filing. If you donate more than $5,000 of property to a charity, you will need to provide a letter from a qualified appraiser to the charity (and by extension, the I.R.S.) stating the monetary value of the gift(s).4,5

Gifting cash or securities to an organization is a wonderful opportunity. But keep in mind that tax rules are constantly being adjusted, and there’s a possibility that the current rules may change. Make certain to consult your tax, legal, and accounting professionals before starting a new gifting strategy if you intend to use the gift as a tax deduction.

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DJ Lee is an Investment Adviser Representative of American Wealth Management (“AWM”), an SEC‐registered investment adviser. Any opinions or views expressed by Mr. Lee are solely those of Mr. Lee and do not necessarily reflect the opinions or views of AWM or any of its affiliates, or any other associated persons of AWM. Any such views are subject to change without notice. You should not treat any opinion expressed by Mr. Lee as investment advice or as a recommendation to make an investment in any particular investment strategy or investment product. Mr. Lee’s opinions and commentaries are based upon information he considers credible, but which may not constitute research by AWM. Mr. Lee does not warrant the completeness or accuracy of the information upon which his opinions or commentaries are based.

Neither Mr. Lee nor AWM has any duty or obligation to update the information contained herein. Further, no representations are being made, and it should not be assumed, that past investment performance is an indication of future results. Moreover, wherever there is the potential for profit there is also the possibility of loss.

This article is for informational and educational purposes only and should not be used for any other purpose. The information contained herein does not constitute and should not be construed as an offering of advisory services or an offer to sell or solicitation to buy any securities or related financial instruments in any jurisdiction. Certain information contained herein concerning investment product types, economic trends and performance is based on or derived from information provided by independent third‐party sources. Neither Mr. Lee nor AWM can guarantee the accuracy of such information and neither Mr. Lee nor AWM have independently verified the accuracy or completeness of such information or the assumptions on which such information is based.

This material was prepared by MarketingPro, Inc., and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting party, nor their affiliates. This information has been derived from sources believed to be accurate. Please note – investing involves risk, and past performance is no guarantee of future results. The publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. If assistance is needed, the reader is advised to engage the services of a competent professional. This information should not be construed as investment, tax or legal advice and may not be relied on for the purpose of avoiding any Federal tax penalty. This is neither a solicitation nor recommendation to purchase or sell any investment or insurance product or service, and should not be relied upon as such. All indices are unmanaged and are not illustrative of any particular investment.

Citations.

1 – Fidelity.com, October 9, 2019

2 – Forbes.com, October 19, 2019

3 – Schwab.com, August 13, 2019

4 – Vanguardblog.com, September 19, 2019

5 – IRS.gov, March 3, 2020