Don’t overlook the April 1st deadline

You may be approaching an important deadline if you have retirement accounts and you turned 70½ last year. Generally, you must begin withdrawing money from tax-favored retirement plans in the year you turn 70½. However, you may postpone your first withdrawal until April 1 of the year after you turn 70½. That means you have until April 1, 2015, to complete your required 2014 distribution. period-481478__180

The minimum distribution rules don’t apply to your Roth IRA accounts. And if you are still working at age 70½, you are generally not required to withdraw funds from a qualified employer-sponsored plan until April 1 of the calendar year following your actual retirement.

If you postponed your first distribution, you must take two distributions this year – one for 2014 and one for 2015. Your 2014 distribution must be completed by April 1, while your 2015 distribution must be completed by December 31, 2015. After that, you must take a distribution by December 31 each year until your retirement funds are depleted.

Generally, the amount of the RMD for any year is based on your age. You take the balance in all your traditional IRAs as of the last day of the previous year, and divide by a factor representing your life expectancy. The IRS has published a standard life expectancy table to use in the calculation. Special rules might apply if your spouse is more than ten years younger than you are and is the sole beneficiary of your IRA.

Make sure you notify the holder of your retirement account in time to complete your distribution. Follow up to ensure that the transaction will be completed on time. You may withdraw more than the required amount, but if you fail to take at least the minimum distribution on time, you are subject to a 50% penalty tax.

Don’t overlook this important distribution deadline. Call our office if you would like assistance in planning your retirement withdrawals.

8 step checklist to monitor and manage your business’ health

You get an annual checkup from your physician to monitor and manage your personal health. Shouldn’t you do the same for your business? To keep your operation in top shape, consider an annual business review. The benefits of such a review are evaluating current performance and better planning of future operations.hook-405091__180

Some things you should evaluate in an annual business review include the following:

1. Revisit your business strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities. Is your competitive position improving, or are you losing ground?

2. How did you perform relative to your business plan? Did you meet or exceed your objectives? Are sales, profit margins, and cash flow improving?

3. Get a pulse on your customers. An annual customer satisfaction survey is a great way to assess performance, obtain insight on potential new products or services, and to let your customers know how much you value their business.

4. Evaluate your team. Are you developing a superior team, employing their unique talents, and training them to improve performance? Do you reward on merit or simply on seniority?

5. How effective is your marketing? Are your current methods and channels working well, or are you simply doing what you’ve always done?

6. Meet with your insurance agent. Is your coverage adequate and appropriate for changes in your business activities and acquisitions?

7. Review your business tax strategy. Identify opportunities for tax savings. Are you using the right form of business entity? Are you aware of recent changes in the tax code that might benefit your business?

8. How is your score-keeping? Do your measurements track your progress or do they measure things that don’t matter? What are the key performance measures that drive your business?

If you are serious about improving your business, consider a yearly assessment of your operation. For any assistance you need, give us a call.