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Business Planning


The future sustainability of your business depends on a solid succession plan – one that answers such questions as, “
How will I transition my business?” “Who will take over?” “What happens if I lose one of my key executives?” “Should I arrange to sell my business?” As business owners ourselves, we have an intimate understanding of the many considerations you face and seek to alleviate some of your major stresses.

This includes:

  • Succession planning
  • Transferring the business to a family member
  • Business valuation services
  • Key person insurance
  • Executive benefits
  • Employee benefits
  • 401(k) and Profit Sharing plans
  • Employee Stock Option Plans (ESOPs)
  • Banking relationships

We have over 30 years of experience helping various types of businesses meet their goals and objectives. We have designed over a thousand business succession plans and work hand in hand with your other professional advisors, including your attorney and CPA, which is a critical to reaching your goals.

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Newsletter Article
Federal Tax Reform and Nonqualified Deferred Compensation—What's the Potential Impact?
With healthcare reform in limbo, the hot topic now in Washington, D.C., is federal tax reform. As our political leaders debate changes, many are left wondering how it could impact businesses and key employees—and what that could mean for retirement savings and specifically for nonqualified deferred-compensation plans. Andrew Dalgliesh, of Principal Financial Group, provides insight. Details >>

Newsletter Article
IRS: No More Closing Agreements 
under FICA Special Timing Rule
A recent IRS Chief Counsel Memorandum raises the stakes for employers that fail to apply the proper FICA taxation rules to nonqualified deferred compensation. An option previously available to those employers has been taken off the table. Under this option—which required a formal “closing agreement” with the IRS—both employer and employee FICA taxes could be minimized by voluntarily paying those taxes for years as to which IRS assessments were otherwise barred under the tax code’s 3-year statute of limitations. Without this correction option, employers have an even greater incentive to apply the proper FICA taxation rules to their deferred-compensation arrangements. Details >>

Newsletter Article
Understanding Employee vs. Contractor Designation
In Fact Sheet 2017-09, the Internal Revenue Service reminds small businesses of the importance of understanding and correctly applying the rules for classifying a worker as an employee or an independent contractor. Worker classification is important because it determines if an employer must withhold income taxes and pay Social Security, Medicare taxes, and unemployment tax on wages. The IRS Small Business and Self-Employed Tax Center on the IRS website offers helpful resources. Details >>

Journal of Financial Service Professionals
Does an Incentive Plan Provide Wages or ERISA Benefits? It Can Be the Employer's Choice 
The issue of coverage under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) of certain bonus, incentive, stock, severance, and other similar arrangements remains a source of considerable controversy and litigation. This column reviews the factors courts use to determine whether compensatory arrangements are being provided pursuant to an ERISA-covered plan. Furthermore, there is not a great deal of certainty in how courts will determine whether an ERISA-covered plan exists. Given this uncertainty, it is recommended that during the planning stages and as part of an employer’s overall risk management strategy, serious consideration should be given to the pros and cons of deciding whether a benefit plan should be covered by ERISA. Details >>

Live Event
The Arizona Institute: January 21-25, 2018, 
at the Wigwam Resort, Phoenix, AZ 

Learn from world-class faculty; network with industry leaders; and join a community of powerhouse practitioners by attending the Society of FSP’s 2018 Arizona Institute. Speakers include Jim Aussem, Michael Finke, Tom Commito, Michael Meese, and Kathleen Bilderback. Details >>

Additional Sections Newsletters

October Qualified Plans: 403(b) Plans Must be Universally Available—Is Yours?— With IRS audits of 403(b) plans on the rise, CPA Peter Alwardt advises that it is critical that 403(b) plan sponsors review how they are applying the universal eligibility rule in operation under their plan. The IRS frequently finds operational errors in the application of this universal eligibility rule, so it is imperative that plan sponsors review the decisions they are making with regard to eligibility and correct any errors prior to an IRS audit.

October Risk Management: Cybersecurity Risk Management Reporting Framework Can Provide a Key Component of an Organization's Risk Management ProgramThe Organizations of all shapes and sizes face cyber risks. As with most things related to cybersecurity, it is not a matter of if, but a matter of when. Some will seek to transfer these risks to insurance carriers. Others will create ad-hoc solutions or simply hope for the best. Those looking to ensure their own security controls and protect their business interests will stay ahead of the curve by making the necessary investments before a devastating breach occurs. Tom Wojcinski and Jeff Krull, of Baker Tilly, highlight the AICPA’s recently introduced guidance relating to a cybersecurity risk management reporting framework.

All Section newsletters are now available for a $10 fee. If you are interested in any additional articles, visit Articles. If you are interested in adding additional Sections newsletters to your membership, submit a Sections request here.

Business & Compensation Planning is published four times a year by and for Business & Compensation Planning Section members. This newsletter is designed to provide a forum for ideas and topics pertinent to business and compensation planning. Statements of fact or opinion are the responsibility of the authors and do not represent an opinion on the part of committee members, officers, individuals, or staff of the Society of Financial Service Professionals. 
Chair: Stephen F. Libby, CLU, ChFC, RHU, REBC, [email protected] 
Questions: Anne Rigney [email protected]