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Q1 2017 Issue

RBF News is our quarterly summary of the important tax, business and financial news and opinion you may need to see the bigger picture... and make more informed decisions.

Economic Snapshot
A construction worker or foreman at a construction site with blue prints and a hard hat
In the first glimpse of the economy that the Trump administration is inheriting, the U.S. Labor Department reported that 227,000 jobs were added in January, well ahead of December's gain of 157,000 jobs. The national unemployment rate ticked up a bit to 4.8%.  Locally, the jobs picture was even brighter, as Massachusetts ended 2016 with the lowest unemployment rate (2.8 percent) in 16 years. 

Meanwhile, confidence in the U.S. economy among business leaders surged in the wake of the presidential election, according to a survey of 300 large privately held companies by BSI Global Research for PwC. Corporate optimism jumped from 38 to 59 percent in the latest quarter.

Accountants were feeling good, too as the Accountants Confidence Index followed the jump it took in December with another increase in January. The 3-month ACI came in at 53.94, up from the previous month's 53.24.  Readings above 50 indicate expected growth among  a volunteer survey group of more than 1,500 tax and accounting professionals.
Taxes and Tax Planning
The White House
Video: How Trump's proposals may affect every income tax bracket - Many taxpayers stand to gain from President Trump's tax plan, which includes proposals to raise the standard tax deduction and to repeal the AMT, according to CNBC. But other parts of his plan could hurt certain taxpayers, too. 

Tax records: what to keep - As tax filing season gets into full gear, the Internal Revenue Service has information for taxpayers who may be wondering how long to keep tax returns and other financial documents.

IRS warns of second wave of W-2 email scam - The Internal Revenue Service, along with state tax authorities, are cautioning businesses to beware of an email phishing scam using a corporate officer's name asking for employee W-2 forms from their payroll and human resources departments.

How to keep your parents' assets from the taxman - Here are seven strategies that can save your parents money in their later years and limit the taxes owed by the estate after their death. Some are steps they can take; some are ones you can take. 
Managing Your Business
Photo of business people stretching the rope in the stadium
Saving a family business from emotional dysfunction - Too often, family business  power-holders  fail to keep interpersonal conflicts - grudges, misunderstandings, and envy - from festering and eventually damaging both the business and the family. Writing for Harvard Business Review, executive coach Manfred F. R. Kets de Vries offers these suggestions .
 
The top five HR trends for 2017 - Some companies seem less eager about ditching annual performance reviews than they were a year ago. Here, according to fastcompany.com are five of the biggest HR trends impacting the field right now.
 
10 rules that will help you win negotiations - serial entrepreneur Yoram Solomon, writing in inc.com, used these rules when he bought a car, a kitchen -- and when he bought one company and sold another. So, he says, can you.
Around the Office
South Korea president Hwang and Dr. BJ Park.
In RBF client news, South Korea's acting president Hwang Kyo-ahn recently presented our longtime client Dr. Byiung Jun ("BJ") Park with a National People's Medal for his philanthropic support of educational initiatives in that country. Dr. Park was chosen for the award from a field of over 700 candidates. A  research center named after Dr. Park and his wife Chunghi will also be established at Korea's Advanced Institute of Science and Technology.
 
RBF partner Paul Bardaro has been elected second vice president of the board of trustees of Hallmark Health. He has also been appointed to the finance & audit committee of Hallmark's new parent company, Wellforce, the health care system of Tufts Medical Center, Lowell General Hospital and Circle Health.
 
RBF has formed an internal working committee to review the coming changes to the U.S. accounting industry's revenue recognition and lease accounting standards, and how they will affect our client companies when the new rules begin to go into effect beginning in 2018. "These are two significant standards that will impact a broad number of transactions within virtually every company," said RBF partner Jack Malley, who is involved in the initiative.
 
To help those who struggle at professional networking events, the firm's Women's Initiative group hosted a "Networking 101" workshop in January. Attendees discussed why networking is important at every career level, and how individuals can develop and nurture a personal brand in the workplace. 
 
In the publishing arena, RBF partner Jack Malley's article, "The Importance of Planning for Uncertainty in Business," appeared in the Winter 2017 issue of The Professional Contractor, the member magazine of the Associated Subcontractors of MA.  An electronic version of the article can be found here.
Rucci, Bardaro & Falzone PC
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Phone 781.321.6065     Fax 781.321.7747

RBF is the  New England-area affiliate of Russell Bedford International, a leading global network of independent accounting and business consulting firms.
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