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Q3 2016 Issue

Welcome to the latest edition of RBF News - our summary of the important tax, business and financial news and opinion you need to see the bigger picture... and make more informed decisions.

Economic Snapshot
Once the dust settled, Britain's vote to leave the European Union (Brexit) didn't seem to have much of an effect on business confidence beyond Europe.

In fact, finance professionals around the world felt more upbeat about the economy in the second quarter of the year, according to a survey by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants and the Institute of Management Accountants.

Here in the U.S., small businesses were anticipating a more profitable year, according to a July survey by SurePayroll. Sixty-two percent of businesses polled in July reported a profit, while 87 percent expected to be profitable in the second half of 2016. In addition, 47 percent were on pace to beat revenues from the prior year.

But the Commerce Department's July 29 report on U.S. GDP showed an unexpectedly tepid growth rate of 1.2 percent. Economists pointed to a draw down in business inventories as the main culprit. They expect GDP growth to accelerate in the second half against the backdrop of strong consumer spending.

Taxes and Tax Planning
The Treasury Department in Washington DC with statue of Alexander Hamilton in front of stairs
U.S. aims to clamp down on tactic to avoid estate taxAccording to a Wall St. Journal report, the plan from the Treasury Department and IRS would place new limits on a common technique used to transfer interests in family businesses.

Midyear strategies to cut your 2016 tax bill - If you're looking for something to do this summer, focus on reaping financial rewards in 2016 with these tax planning strategies compiled by Kiplinger.com.
Higher taxes don't scare millionaires into fleeing after all - A recent study uncovered by Bloomberg.com found that most millionaires don't move out of state just to avoid taxes. When they do move, it's often for other reasons... such as their affinity for the beach.
Muni tax exemption risks becoming target as ownership narrows - The share of households owning municipal bonds fell by almost half between 1989 and 2013, which could weaken the political will of Congress to maintain the tax exemption of the bonds, according to a joint study by Brandeis University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology published by the Brookings Institute.

Managing Your Business
Employee Performance Evaluation form with check on the exceptional
8 signs an employee is truly exceptional - Many are good. Some are superior. And a few - just a few - are exceptional in ways that never show up on their formal performance evaluations. Here from Inc.com contributor Jeff Haden are some ways to tell the difference.
What's the best corporate structure to protect small business owners? - Owners of limited liability companies, limited partnerships, and corporations are usually only financially liable up to the amount they've invested in the business, while personal assets are protected. And then there are taxes. Money.com helps compare the pros and cons of these structures.
Video: break your big goals into small steps - Setting work goals is easy. Accomplishing them is another matter. If you want your resolutions to stick, here are four tips from the Harvard Business Review.

Client Spotlight: The Chicken & Rice Guys
The three guys, all in their 20s, started their food truck business in 2012 modeled after the halal trucks they'd seen in New York. Now they've gone brick-and-mortar, with stores in downtown Boston and Medford.
A profile of the thriving business appeared recently in the Boston Globe.

Around the Office
In June, a contingent of RBF staff members (left) spent the day cleaning up Woburn's popular Horn Pond recreation area. The effort was part of the sixth annual "Day of Service" sponsored by the Massachusetts Society of CPAs, which encourages its members once a year to get involved in their communities through volunteer projects. 

RBF partners Bill Rucci and Ronald Baptista served as guest experts in a recent Harvard University Extension School course for budding entrepreneurs.  The one-day session, "Financial Analysis as a Business Tool," helped students create the financial ratios needed to monitor the financial health of their businesses in real time, and to compare their results to broader industry standards.

RBF continues to be a proud sponsor of the Ray Carey '67 Diversity Scholarship Fund Golf Tournament, held in June at the Ipswich Country Club (right). Proceeds from the annual tournament provide tuition assistance for students from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds who wish to attend St. John's Preparatory School in Danvers.

In the publishing arena, RBF partner Vinny Botta's article, "Four Common Tax Mistakes Contractors Make," appeared on the national website ForConstructionPros.com. Vinny's article was also featured in the site's daily e-newsletter on July 7th.

On July 28, RBF Women's Initiative members traveled back in time to the 1960's, thanks to Time Warp, an escape room adventure in Peabody, MA (left) where teams of travelers work to find clues and solve puzzles in order to return home to the present. The team-building experience "had us working together toward a common goal, which helped strengthen our work relationships," said Rose Dello Russo.

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.