119 Old State Rd., Ellisville, MO 63021 CapitalAdvisoryGrp.com THE WEALTH ZONE OCT 2019
A Halloween Standoff IS THE TAX MAN SCARIER THAN FREDDY KRUEGER?
Have you heard the story of Craig? Craig was an astute business owner who’d built his company to an enviable size and level of sustainability. One Hallow’s Eve, when the moon was bright but shrouded by clouds, Craig went out to his mailbox. As he opened it, he saw something that made his heart stop: a big envelope from the IRS. It was only then that he remembered: He hadn’t been tracking any of his deductible expenses! Not for years! And worse yet, he had no idea where any of his receipts were stashed away. In fact, it was possible he’d thrown them out. The horror! Sounds like a nightmare, right? In classic spooky tales, the villain stalks their victims and goes after them silently, not unlike an IRS audit. In the case of creepy guys like Freddy Krueger, not much can be done to stop them. But in the case of taxes, there’s a lot you can do to prevent the scenarios you fear. Here are a few examples. Scary: Getting Audited Scarier: Not Hanging Onto Receipts From Deductions The Solution: Get Organized
While audits can seem like the scariest thing in the world, in reality, they don’t need to be. It’s not like Michael Myers is after you! In some cases, the IRS is just performing an audit to see receipts associated with certain deductions. It doesn’t automatically mean you’ll owe anything. If you’ve been keeping your receipts and documents neatly filed away, you can ignore the anxiety-inducing representation of audits in movies and prepare for a pretty seamless process. The takeaway here is to stay organized, not just for that potential audit but for your own benefit every year. Hang onto receipts, keep them organized in a file, and keep your tax returns up until the date recommended by the IRS.This will allow you to maximize your taxes and get the most from your returns. And in the rare instance you do get audited, it will mean you’ll have everything close at Scarier: Not Preparing at All The Solution: Have a Tax Team It’s daunting (and a little anxiety- inducing) to think that this is the last quarter of the year, meaning it’s time to hunker down on your tax prep if you hand and ready to go. Scary: Tax Preparation
want to maximize your 2019 returns. As you make those final contributions and last purchases of 2019, keep the receipts and stay organized so you’re not left scrambling come spring.This may be something you can delegate to a team member if it’s for your business. Better yet, work with us as your advisor and tax strategist to find out the best way to set yourself up for a seamless tax season. You don’t have to go it alone; they’ll help you find a good system to categorize everything. Come springtime, you’ll get to pass everything off to them and *poof* — that lingering tax ghost will be gone. Like many of the things we fear, the fear itself is often scarier than the taxes themselves. With some minor preparation and the right team in place, there’s really nothing to be scared of. We promise! Happy Halloween, -Jeff and John Zufall
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Business Card Etiquette in 3 Different Countries PUT YOUR BEST CARD FORWARD
In 1790, a school teacher named Ichabod Crane was riding home alone from a harvest festival in the village of Sleepy Hollow when he encountered a mysterious rider on horseback. Crane, horrified by the horseman’s missing head, turned and ran in the opposite direction.The Headless Horseman gave chase, hurling his own decapitated head at the terrified teacher. Ichabod Crane was never heard from again ... or so goes “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” by Washington Irving. This story, first published in 1820, has become a Halloween favorite.The legend is so beloved that in 1997, the village of North Tarrytown, New York, where many events of the story take place, officially changed its name to Sleepy Hollow.Today, the town becomes one big Halloween party during the month of October. Sleepy Hollow is home to many historic landmarks, including the Headless Horseman Bridge and the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, where Washington Irving himself was laid to rest. Evening lantern tours of the cemetery are a popular attraction, and Irving isn’t the only spooky celebrity buried there. Fans of the Gothic soap opera “Dark Shadows” will be delighted to enter the crypt of famed vampire Barnabas Collins. Another highly anticipated stop for many guests is Sleepy Hollow’s premier annual attraction, Horseman’s Hollow, an experience not for the faint of heart. During the event, the 300-year-old Philipsburg Manor is transformed into a living nightmare, where vampires, witches, ghouls, and undead soldiers lurk in the shadows.They all serve the dreaded Headless Horseman and are determined to make sure guests don’t leave alive! But it’s not all scares in Sleepy Halloween Celebrations in Sleepy Hollow HAYRIDES AND HEADLESS HORSEMEN
The business card is a nearly ubiquitous way to give your name, position, company, and contact information to potential clients and business partners all over the world. And while the exchange of business cards in the United States does not come with a lot of pomp and circumstance, that is not the case in many other countries. If you find yourself in one of the following places, remember these tips about exchanging business cards. JAPAN Known in Japan as meishi, the exchange of business cards comes with a lot of ceremony. Present your card with both hands, as this gesture is seen as respectful. Japanese culture places a lot of value on hierarchy and status, so make sure your title is listed prominently. When receiving a card, take a minute to look it over and comment on it. Immediately putting it away is disrespectful, and once you’re done looking at it, put it in a cardholder, folder, or binder. CHINA In China, as in many other countries, having your credentials and contact info in English on one side and in the local language on the other is good practice. Gold lettering is considered auspicious, and if your business is relatively old, make sure the year it was founded is on your card.The practice of giving and receiving cards is very similar to that of Japan. Finish the exchange with a bow as a way to thank your acquaintance for meeting with you. INDIA Business cards are exchanged even in nonbusiness interactions in India. Much like hierarchy and status are valued in Japan, academic achievements are valued in India, so list your university, degrees, and honors along with your other information. When exchanging cards, always give and receive them with your right hand.This is also common practice in many Middle Eastern countries. Exchanging business cards the wrong way probably won’t be detrimental to your business deal, but learning the proper etiquette in the country you’re visiting can go a long way in starting a professional relationship on the right foot.
Hollow.There’s plenty of Halloween fun for all ages. Sleepy Hollow boasts relaxing hayrides, tours of Irving’s home, live readings of famous Halloween stories, performances of a brand-new musical based on Irving’s spooky tale, and the Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze, an incredible exhibition of over 7,000 hand-carved pumpkins. If you want a real Halloween experience, you can’t go wrong in Sleepy Hollow. Just be careful not to lose your head!
MAKE THE MOST OF THE LAST QUARTER Get Organized and Check These Tasks Off Your List
During the last quarter of the year (We know — how did it go by so quickly?), there are some final items you’ll want to check off your list to set you and your business up for a happy tax season. With Improve Your Office Day on Oct. 4, here are some tasks you can take care of fairly quickly to maximize your taxes and bring about a happier, more productive workplace for everyone. Review the Mileage Log for Your Vehicle Your mileage log documents how many business miles you travel each year compared to total miles traveled. If you plan to make vehicle deductions this year, you’ll need this document to support those. Now is a great time to review your log and ensure it’s up to date.
Get Reimbursed for Your Business Expenses If you’ve personally paid for business expenses and haven’t been reimbursed, you should submit that expense report and get paid. Make sure you hang on to those receipts! If you’ve had meals with clients, vendors, or employees in the last year, ensure these have been accounted for under a meal section in your expense spreadsheet.These meals are typically deductible at 50%. However, some meals, like snacks provided to employees at the office, are 100% deductible. Make sure your accounting Double Check Your Expense Account for Meal Deductions
spreadsheet represents this difference so you can maximize your taxes this year. Check Your Documentation Finally, in the rare event that you get audited, it will take all the weight off your shoulders to know your documentation is organized and up to date.This is also a great way to increase tax deductions. Proper documentation leaves less room for missed deductions. As always, when you’re unsure about deductions or how to categorize your business expenses, turn to your tax advisors and strategists at Capital Advisory Group. As experienced professionals who help our clients navigate the tax world, we’ll help you keep more of what’s yours.
Ingredients TAKE A BREAK MISO CARAMEL APPLES
• 4 Granny Smith apples • 1/2 cup raw pistachios • 1 1/2 tsp plus 1 cup sugar • 3 tbsp sesame seeds • 2 tbsp white miso, divided • 4 Popsicle sticks • 2 tbsp light corn syrup
• 1/4 cup heavy cream • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
1. Heat oven to 275 F. 2. In a food processor, pulse pistachios and 1 1/2 tsp sugar. Add sesame seeds and 1 tbsp miso, pulsing until miso is fully broken up. Spread evenly on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 15–20 minutes and let cool. 3. Meanwhile, insert a Popsicle stick into the center of each apple. 4. In a saucepan, bring corn syrup, 1 cup sugar, and 2 tbsp water to a boil. Boil
for 5–7 minutes, swirling infrequently, until caramel is a light amber color. whisking to combine.Transfer to a large mixing bowl and quickly whisk in remaining miso. 6. To assemble, first roll apple in caramel, then in pistachio mixture, before resting on greased baking sheet. 7. Let cool 30 minutes and serve. 5. Add cream and salt to caramel,
Inspired by Bon Appétit
119 Old State Rd. Ellisville, MO 63021 CapitalAdvisoryGrp.com
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Are Taxes Scarier Than Freddy Krueger?
The Real Legend of Sleepy Hollow
International Business Card Etiquette
Make the Most of the Last Quarter
Miso Caramel Apples
International Coffee Day
Celebrate International Coffee Day
Is there anything better in the morning than the promise of a fresh pot of coffee? How about the first sip from your mug? If you’re a fellow coffee devotee, you’re in good company. Oct. 1 is International Coffee Day, a celebration of the liquid magic that fuels people around the globe. From iced lattes to tiny cups filled with strong espresso, the world loves coffee. Here are three facts you may not know about the popular morning beverage. Coffee was almost banned inTurkey and Italy. In the 16th century, in both the Ottoman Empire and Italy, leaders attempted to ban coffee, fearing it would
encourage radical thinking and political dissent.Thank goodness for Pope Clement VIII! He’s said to have taken one taste of the beverage and put to rest any discussion of banning it. “It should be baptized,” he supposedly declared. In Brazil, don’t ask for a cappuccino — it’s a cafeziñho. As in many South American and European countries, Brazilians don’t drink a large cup of coffee.They drink cafeziñho, a small cup of very strong coffee, traditionally sweetened with sugar. In Brazil, cafeziñho isn’t just a drink; it’s a ritual symbolic of the welcomeness and hospitality of a country that has long been the world’s top producer of coffee.
We’re not the most coffee-obsessed country, nor is Brazil. It’s Finland. You might be surprised that neither the United States nor Brazil consumes the most coffee in the world. Coming in at the No. 1 spot for most coffee consumed per person, per year, Finns are a coffee-loving people.The average person consumes 4–5 cups a day, though some report having as many as 10! Coffee is so popular there that it’s even been written into the law: Employers are required to give employees an official coffee break at work.
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