Lane Report Archives

Displaying 41 through 80 of 156  
New Legislation Includes Variety of Tax Changes
Wednesday, August 1, 2007
Congress has sometimes been known to include in the laws it writes provisions which are not necessarily related to the main subject of the bill. This is particularly true when the bill is mainly for appropriations - the need to pay for essential government functions can help other, unrelated matters pass into law. That's what happened in the case of the...
Isolationism Won't Create U.S. Jobs, Global Market Will
Sunday, July 1, 2007
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke is under fire for attacking tariffs and quotas. He believes that curbing international trade will blunt our competitive edge in a global market, and he's right on the money. Yet Congress and President George W. Bush, a free-trader, face enormous political pressure to protect American manufacturers and workers from...
Pay Referendum Can Drive Value for Shareholders
Friday, June 1, 2007
Corporate shareholders should soon have the legal right to weigh in on the compensation packages public companies award their top executives. "Say on pay" would tamp down executive greed and force directors to link pay to performance. Although Mercer Human Resource Consulting's annual study of CEO compensation reported the encouraging news that more than...
Make Your Website an Asset and Not a Liability
Tuesday, May 1, 2007
Web site templates and inexpensive domain names have allowed individuals and companies of all sizes to own web sites. The sites serve as creative outlets and advertising tools, and they provide access to an audience of virtually unlimited size. However, along with these benefits come significant legal risks. All web site owners should be aware of these...
Partisan Pandering Stifles Innovation, Entrepreneurship
Sunday, April 1, 2007
Illinois should lead the nation in entrepreneurship and innovation. But it doesn't, and partisan bickering in Springfield and Washington helps explain why. The state is a great trading center, a master builder of financial markets, the site of federal research labs and a powerhouse of professional talent. Yet Illinois lags 20 states in the Small Business...
Smart Businesses See Value, and Profit, in Promoting Women
Thursday, March 1, 2007
The pace at which women are invited into the city's boardrooms and executive suites remains sluggish at best. Until that changes, corporate Chicago is denying itself the talent pool it needs to compete effectively, role models who can lure and retain the best employees and the informed judgment that comes only from the airing of diverse perspectives. My...
Dialing into Savings: Don't Miss a One-Time Refund On Your 2006 Tax Return
Thursday, February 1, 2007
For over a century, the federal government has been collecting a tax designed to pay the cost of a war that lasted 113 days. However, this year individual and corporate taxpayers will have a one-time opportunity to receive a refund for payment of the federal telephone excise tax. Taxpayers will be able to claim a telephone tax credit on their 2006 federal...
Tax Exemptions for Religion Break Against Business
Monday, January 1, 2007
In the Bill of Rights, James Madison and his brethren wisely proclaimed religious freedom and tolerance. Congress followed through by exempting religious organizations from federal income tax and delimiting the IRS' authority to audit religious congregations. But today, religious organizations escape tax charges other non-profits face, exploiting the...
Life Cycle Funds: A New Alternative for Retirement Planning
Friday, December 1, 2006
One of the hottest new trends in asset allocation for retirement planning involves so-called "life cycle" funds. Basically, a life cycle fund is a mutual fund through which an investor plans for retirement by choosing a target retirement date and the asset allocation automatically changes annually based on that date. For example, an investor might choose...
Shareholder Democracy Finally in Sight, if SEC Does the Right Thing
Wednesday, November 1, 2006
Corporate shareholders are poised to reclaim their authority over the boardroom. Within months, they may be able to elect directors who are answerable to them, without bankrolling an expensive proxy contest against management's hand-picked candidates. And the spurious practice of permitting shareholders only to withhold support from incompetent or...
U.S. House Mulling State-Funded Corporate Tax Boondoggle
Sunday, October 1, 2006
The U.S. House of Representatives will soon consider looting state government treasuries to enrich national businesses adept at dodging taxes. If the Business Activity Tax Simplification Act is enacted, state and local governments would no longer collect corporate income taxes and other levies tied to sales from out-of-state businesses, or taxes on...
Pension Protection Act Creates New Opportunities
Friday, September 1, 2006
A new Federal law, signed into law with little fanfare last month, has created new opportunities for retirement plan participants, individual retirement account owners, and their beneficiaries, while also having an impact on charitable organizations. The law, known as the Pension Protection Act of 2006, includes a variety of provisions, with some of the...
Give Shareholders Vote to Improve Returns, Board Performance
Tuesday, August 1, 2006
As proxy season winds down, the shareholders of some of Chicago's biggest companies remain disenfranchised. Most directors are still retained or elected under an arcane "plurality" vote standard, grudgingly allowing shareholders to withhold their support from incompetent or even crooked directors — but never to oust them. And most directors, often...
Realize and Maximize Your Trademarks and Copyrights
Saturday, July 1, 2006
Trademarks and copyrights are making headlines. Dan Brown defended the copyright in his popular book The Da Vinci Code in United States and London courts. Owners of the small town ice cream shop "Krispy Kream" defended their trademark rights in their company name against donut giant Krispy Kreme Doughnuts Inc. Owners of the Kentucky store "Victor's Little...
Corporate Boards Feel Shareholder Heat
Thursday, June 1, 2006
The business textbooks say that shareholders control the company they own. Each share gets a vote and together the shareholders select directors who run the company for their benefit. But "one share, one vote" is a myth. In most companies, shareholders can either vote for management's hand-picked slate of directors or withhold their votes. Either way,...
April 15, 2006 is the Time to Start Planning for Next Year's Tax Deadline.
Monday, May 1, 2006
You have just finished filing your 2005 tax return. And, if you are like most people, you vow to be more prepared next year. The following is a summary of the most important tax developments that have occurred in the past three months of 2006 that may affect you, your family, your investments, and your livelihood. Energy-efficient home improvements tax...
Why Choose a Professional to Manage Your Assets? The Answer - DISCIPLINE
Saturday, April 1, 2006
In recent years, professional asset managers have enjoyed a renewed sense of credibility. Gone are the days when individual investors could simply buy any company's stock with a dot-com suffix and the mere promise of “future” earnings, and expect double - or triple - digit gains. Add to that individual investors' tendency to let emotions drive...
Investors Advocating for a Change?
Wednesday, March 1, 2006
Socially responsible individuals and institutions seeking to realize competitive profits on their investments need not sacrifice their core values to do so. And investment advisors who shrug off their fiduciary duty to give voice to their clients' values sell their clients short. Both in the boardroom and in society at large, socially responsible investing...
Develop Your Invesment Game Plan
Wednesday, February 1, 2006
The savvy investor doesn't panic when markets inevitably correct. He's not euphoric when a hot stock he owns delivers triple-digit returns. And, he's never frozen with indecision. The successful investor conquers emotions. As the stock market gains momentum, he checks his optimism before it turns to greed. And once the market peaks, he has no reason to...
Online Businesses vs. Storefront Retailers - Who Has to Collect Sales Tax From its Customers?
Sunday, January 1, 2006
Thinking about selling your product online? Don't forget to collect sales tax from your buyers. Online businesses are just as liable as storefront retailers for collection of local and state sales taxes as long as they have “nexus” in that state. Both storefront and Internet retailers generally have a nexus in states other than their home states...
Tax Relief Opportunities Have Been Created in Reaction to Hurricane
Thursday, December 1, 2005
Individuals with a mind toward making charitable contributions to reduce their tax liability should be aware that Congress has made increased tax deductions available for the rest of the year 2005 only - and, depending on your income and the charitable contributions you are making, your potential tax deductions could be much higher than usual this year. ...
The Latest Twist in Retirement Planning
Tuesday, November 1, 2005
How much money will I have in my retirement portfolio when I retire? Will I have enough money to maintain my desired lifestyle? When can I afford to retire? How much money will I get from Social Security? Will I need to work part-time? Can I retire and still send my children to college? How do I budget for unanticipated outlays, such as a major illness? As...
Profiting from Principled Investing
Saturday, October 1, 2005
Socially responsible investors may salve their consciences by declining to buy tobacco stocks or to fund the war machine, or by steering clear of other businesses they find objectionable. Fearing that screening out whole industries might sabotage their investment returns, however, they may hold their noses and honor the guiding principle of Modern Portfolio...
Determining the True Value in Your Brokerage Account
Thursday, September 1, 2005
There's an old quip that goes like this: "There's no product or service in this world that someone else can't make a little bit cheaper and at a lot lower quality and those who consider price as the only factor when they buy are this person's legitimate prey." This quote may be one hundred years old yet it is as valid today as it was years ago. We would...
Managing Risk in Bond Portfolios Through Laddering
Monday, August 1, 2005
Bond investors have a lot to think about whether they are simply rolling over CDs at a local bank or trying to actively manage a bond portfolio. Inflation rates, the direction of interest rates, credit quality, maturity and its cousin, duration, as well as trading costs are the most obvious concerns. The impact of rising interest rates and inflation on...
Life Settlements Can Provide You with Lifetime Benefits from Your Own Life Insurance Policy
Friday, July 1, 2005
Despite the benefits of having life insurance, in some circumstances you may find that it would be better to receive a settlement of your insurance policy during your lifetime rather than leave the proceeds of your insurance to your beneficiaries after your death. You should consider receiving a settlement of your life insurance policy if any of the...
REPEAL OF THE ESTATE TAX - - THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY
Wednesday, June 1, 2005
On April 16, the House of Representatives approved H.R. 8, the Death Tax Repeal Permanency Act of 2005. This bill would repeal the Federal estate tax permanently, effective in 2010. (Under current law, the estate tax is scheduled to be eliminated for one year only, as to decedents who die in the year 2010, but the tax is scheduled to be reinstated as to...
Supreme Court Ruling Confirms Greater Burden on Investor-Plantiffs in Fraud Suits
Sunday, May 1, 2005
Recent Wall Street accounting scandals launched a wave of lawsuits by investors alleging corporate fraud as a result of purchasing stock at "inflated" prices. One appellate court decision significantly lowered the burden for plaintiffs to prove their cases by eliminating the need to show a causal link between the company's action and losses suffered by the...
Wishful Thinking: Do I Really Need a Power of Attorney?
Friday, April 1, 2005
The Need Is Here, The Time Is Now The recent federal and state court battles concerning the controversial, gut-wrenching case of Terri Schiavo have many people thinking about the need for a living will and other advance directives. Yet some people are still wondering if they really need a power of attorney. Can't they just tell their spouse and family...
Delaware Series Limited Liability Companies: A New Approach To An Old Probblem
Tuesday, March 1, 2005
Although the United States comprises only about five percent of the world's population, it has been estimated that the U.S. is home to nearly three-quarters of the globe's litigation. Over the years, entrepreneurs have sought ways to protect their personal assets from the risks associated with their business enterprises. For more than a century, the...
ERISA Section 404(c): Shifting Liability in Participant-Directed Profit Retirement Plans
Tuesday, February 1, 2005
Employer sponsors of defined contribution plans have traditionally created goodwill and improved employee morale by offering profit sharing and retirement savings programs. In the wake of some of the more recent stock market scandals, these plans have also created something more for employers; liability. However, some relief has arrived in the form of...
'TIS THE SEASON: A Flurry of Recent Tax Developments
Saturday, January 1, 2005
Beginning in October, 2004, and extending into 2005, new federal tax laws, regulations and rulings impact a broad variety of taxpayers. The American Jobs Creation Act of 2004 and the Working Families Tax Relief Act of 2004 contain comprehensive legislation affecting your personal and corporate tax concerns, including the following: Selected Personal Tax...
Illinois Takes Another Look at Estate Taxes, But Many States Just Go with the Flow
Wednesday, December 1, 2004
If one thing is certain about estate tax laws, it's that we can expect them to change frequently. We've seen this particularly since Congress passed the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 (the "2001 Tax Act"). The 2001 Tax Act not only reduced rates of tax imposed on decedents' estates, but also increased the exclusion amount (the...
Multiple Class Diversification May Be Just What Your Stock Portfolio Needs!
Monday, November 1, 2004
Most high net-worth investors understand the virtues of strategic asset allocation. This process involves setting specific target ranges for general asset classes (stocks, bonds, and cash equivalents). Then, as market movement pushes sector exposure beyond target limits, sector exposure is either trimmed back or increased. Doing so effectively reallocates...
Municipal Bond Investing Becomes User-Friendly
Friday, October 1, 2004
Many investors are mystified by the difference between the way common stocks and bonds are traded. Most are certainly aware of the two major stock exchanges, the New York Stock Exchange and the NASDAQ over-the-counter market. Orders for stocks are placed on a computer terminal and an execution usually happens within moments. Placing an order for a bond,...
CORPORATE GOVERNANCE: IT'S NOT JUST FOR THE "FOR PROFIT SECTOR" ANYMORE
Wednesday, September 1, 2004
Tax Exempt Organizations Come Under The Microscope The movement towards instituting new organizational oversight and corporate governance to prevent abuses revealed by recent scandals has largely focused on the for-profit sector. However, attention has recently shifted in the direction of the not-for-profit corporate boardroom. In June the Senate...
Introduction to Advocacy InvestingSM
Sunday, August 1, 2004
The socially responsible (or perhaps more accurately --- "principle-focused" --- since who, after all, decides what is "responsible?") segment of the total U.S. investment pool is very significant: it is estimated that today it constitutes nearly $2 trillion of the entire $19.2 trillion in investment assets under professional management by major...
Corporate Governance and the 2004 Proxy Season
Thursday, July 1, 2004
As the first half of the 2004 proxy season comes to an end, investors have noticed a recurring theme --- Corporate Governance. With the Enron, WorldCom, Tyco, and Martha Stewart scandals dominating business headlines over the past two years, investors are paying a significantly higher level of attention to corporate governance. In past years, proxy...
See Spot Smile: Pet Trusts Gain in Popularity
Tuesday, June 1, 2004
More than one-third of the states (and now including Illinois) allow pet owners to provide directly for their pets should they become unable to do so, either during the owner's lifetime or after the owner's death. For many pet owners, the legislation enacting "pet trusts" has been long-awaited. According to some estimates, more than 500,000 pets are...
Deduct Most Medical Care Costs with a Self-Insured Medical Plan
Saturday, May 1, 2004
There's an enormous new tax opportunity employers ought to know about. It's called a "Healthcare Reimbursement Arrangement," or an "HRA," and it's an exciting - - and terrifically tax-advantaged - - self-insured medical reimbursement plan. A self-insured medical reimbursement plan reimburses employees for "qualified health care expenses." Qualified health...
Displaying 41 through 80 of 156  

Announcing Marc J. Lane's 35th Book:

The Mission-Driven Venture: Business Solutions to the World's Most Vexing Social Problems

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