We were a bit surprised with the results of our latest survey of residential furniture manufacturers and distributors. In September, we had heard that business had picked up a bit, but the surprise to us was how much. The total for new orders for the participants was up 14% in September 2016 versus September 2015. While all of the participants were not up, we had numerous participants report healthy double digit increases for September. August new orders were up 5% over August 2015 after posting a 5% decline in July.
With the election of Donald Trump as President, and the Republicans maintaining majorities in both houses of Congress, many clients are beginning to ask if the estate tax is going away. Furthermore, they are wondering if they should continue to make gifts given this possible change.
The US Department of Labor rule that raised the threshold on employees exempt from overtime has been blocked via an emergency injunction. Set to take effect on December 1, this rule and its widespread impact are currently on hold. Employers who had been ready to provide overtime to employees making up to $47,476 (instead of the previous $23,660 threshold) as of December are now given a break. Appeals are expected, but for now, the current rules apply.
It’s that time of year again. Time to focus on year-end planning strategies. Year-end planning for individuals is particularly important this year given the large number of recent tax law changes that offer new tax savings opportunities, in addition to the many “time-tested” tax savings techniques that continue to apply.
Year-end planning for businesses is particularly important this year given the large number of recent tax law changes that offer new tax savings opportunities and increased certainty about breaks that have been set to expire in recent years. It seems every year we are faced with a long list of business tax breaks that have either recently expired, or are scheduled to expire in the near future. Fortunately, the Protecting Americans From Tax Hikes Act Of 2015 (the PATH Act) has made many (but not all) of these business tax breaks permanent.