Same-Sex Marriage and Your Financial Benefits

t finally happened! In June 2015, the Supreme Court issued a decision expanding to all same-sex couples the constitutional right to marry, regardless of their state of residence. As a result, more Americans are recognized as married for purposes of income tax filing. The ruling also impacts entitlement to Social Security benefits or eligibility for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments.

Of course, it takes time to develop and enact policies and instructions to implement the Supreme Court decision. In the meantime, if you’re a spouse, divorced spouse, or surviving spouse of a same-sex marriage or non-marital legal same-sex relationship, you should apply right away for benefits. Applying now will preserve your filing date, protecting you against the loss of potential benefits.

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Is it An Opportunity or A Risk?

You get an offer to invest in a friend’s business or to take a new job 500 miles away. Is it a risk to part with your money or move your household? Or are you being presented with the opportunity of a lifetime?

You can’t predict or guarantee the future. But you can take steps to determine if an offer is more of an opportunity or a risk to you. These four steps can help you form a plan so you aren’t left guessing about an important business decision.

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Getting More from your Resources

“Resources” are people, tools, time and money. All four are available in limited amounts to businesses and non-profits for making products and delivering services. The bottom line depends on the right employees/volunteers, using the appropriate tools, within an optimal schedule, for the lowest cost.

How do you accomplish all that and get the most from your resources? Attention to four management fundamentals will help get more from your people, tools, time, and money, and add to your bottom line.

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FIFA and the Forensic Accountant

When the FIFA corruption scandal hit the news, did you think about accounting? No? Believe it or not, accountants are the unsung heroes of news stories about money scandals. Who do you think gathers the evidence for the local prosecutor or, in this case, the Department of Justice? The “heroes” are specialists called forensic accountants.

The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners’ website says that forensic accountants “combine their accounting knowledge with investigative skills, using this unique combination in litigation support and investigative accounting settings.”

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Controlling Errors and Waste

The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners estimates that businesses lose an average of 6% of annual revenue due to fraud. Fraud is an intentional act, such as using the company credit card for personal items or inflating sales volume to earn a commission. That 6% loss estimate does not include lost revenue or excess costs due to errors.

Errors cost money that can really add up — paying invoices inaccurately or more than once; misapplying supplier credits and discounts; paying for goods or services not received; not collecting accounts receivable; and not billing for all provided goods or services.

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