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Serving Anchorage Since 1991

Our Blog

Back to School on a Budget

Don Rulien

August 15, 2018

August is upon us once again. The collective “UGH!” is heard nationwide as families trudge toward the school supplies aisle in preparation for the upcoming academic year. Sadly, the “days-gone-by” supplies such as a box of crayons, spiral-ring notebooks and a pack of #2 pencils have evolved into a much longer list. But never fear, we’ve put together these useful tips to help you do “back to school” on the cheap.

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Healthy Summer Eating Made Easy – Part II

Katelyn Senn

August 1, 2018

So popular was the topic of our last post, that we created Part II to create our eating-healthy-this-summer-themed blog series. Enjoy these added nutritional and time-saving tips for summer meal planning.

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5 Tips to Eat Healthy While on Vacation this Summer

Lance Bodeen

July 16, 2018

If you are like most, summer is prime time for family and friend vacations. It’s a time to unwind and recharge…to see new places and try new things. For many, “new things” often means food. And if you are trying to maintain or lose weight, that can be a problem. So, for all you travelers trying to stay healthy this summer, here are 5 great tips to help you stay on a healthy eating plan and still enjoy your vacation!

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5 Tips to Get Kids Out of Technology and Into Nature this Summer

Don Rulien

July 2, 2018

If you are like most families, summer means vacation. And if your kids are like most kids, they tend to be tethered to their technology. Whether planning to travel abroad or a long weekend at a local campground, summer is a time for exploration and simply paying attention to the beauty around us.

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Ideas for Multigenerational Family Vacations this Summer

Katelyn Senn

June 18, 2018

Multigenerational family vacations have experienced an uptick in popularity, especially with older generations being more active and families living farther apart. Family getaways certainly bring people together physically, but also emotionally. Dedicated family time is simply good for the soul…even more so when multiple generations take part. With this in mind, we bring you a few ideas and tips to consider when planning your next multigenerational vacation.

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Your Smartphone Preparedness Travel Guide

Lance Bodeen

June 4, 2018

For many of us, our smartphone is a vital travel tool. We rely on it for navigating unfamiliar places, taking photos, and identifying recreational activities. Michael Zhao, an editor for TheWirecutter.com, offers the following tips on what to pack in addition to your smartphone—so you won’t be stranded when traveling this summer...or any other time of the year.

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Facing the Facts: How to Interpret Facial Expressions at Work

Don Rulien

May 15, 2018

You may be completely proficient at decoding emojis on social media and in text messages, but for many of us, figuring out what other people’s facial expressions mean can be quite a challenge. Here’s a quick rundown of how to interpret different facial stances based on research from people-communicating.com:

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Summer is Just Around the Corner— And So Are Potential Childcare Tax Credits

Katelyn Senn

May 1, 2018

Summer will be here before you know it! If you are a working parent with school-aged children, you know that it can also mean pretty steep bills for childcare and summer camp. However, you may be able to soften the hit to your family’s budget if these services qualify for the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit.

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Employee Recognition – A Great Way to Motivate Your Staff!

Lance Bodeen

April 18, 2018

Quite often we can get so wrapped up in checking projects off the company’s to-do list that we forget to recognize the labor that went into each accomplishment. Acknowledging milestones provides opportunity to show appreciation to the employees who helped you achieve them...

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Receiving a Tax Refund? Spend It Wisely With These Tips!

Don Rulien

April 2, 2018

Are you expecting a tax refund? If so, don’t treat your tax refund as ‘bonus’ cash. Rather look at it as simply a return of taxes paid beyond your actual obligation. This will help you think about using this money purposefully. Here are some ideas to try:

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Spring Cleaning Time is Here! An Easy 3-Step Checklist for Cleaning Your Office

Katelyn Senn

March 19, 2018

The spring season is here! In addition to taxes, many of us want to take care of some overlooked cleaning tasks. Procrastination often creeps in when it comes to cleaning—especially our offices. It can feel overwhelming and somewhat unproductive to spend time decluttering and cleaning your workspace, but once complete, most people feel a sense of relief and calm. Use this handy checklist...

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Disappearing Tax Deductions! Don’t Miss Them on Your 2017 Tax Return

Lance Bodeen

March 5, 2018

Have you filed your 2017 taxes yet? If not, you still have the opportunity to make sure that you lower your tax obligation as much as possible. With new tax laws in effect for 2018 and beyond, the following deductions will disappear after this tax season—check them out to see which ones may help you lower your taxable income...

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Tips to Boost Client Appreciation Efforts… Even When Time is Tight

Don Rulien

February 15, 2018

When you are super busy running a business, it can be easy to let customer appreciation slide to the bottom of your long to-do list. The problem is, if you don’t show your customers love on a regular basis, they’re going to feel neglected, which can put their continued loyalty at risk.

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Considering Hiring a Cybersecurity Professional? Here’s What to Look For.

Katelyn Senn

February 1, 2018

With the occurrence of cybercrimes affecting businesses increasing daily, many companies are looking for outside expertise to help them mitigate their risks. If your company has never engaged a cybersecurity professional before, you may be unsure of what to look for. The IRS suggests businesses use the following four steps when evaluating and selecting a cybersecurity...

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Need Help Trying to Make New Habits Stick? Try These Simple Tips…

Lance Bodeen

January 16, 2018

Even if you are not a New Year’s resolution maker, it’s likely that at some point in your life you’ll want to adopt healthier or more productive habits. When you do want to make a change for the better, consider trying the following tips from lifehack.org to increase your chances of making your new good habits stick:

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Quick Tips to Help You Tackle Your Taxes with Ease

Don Rulien

January 3, 2018

Tax season is approaching quickly. It’s just a few weeks until the IRS officially starts accepting returns, which means now is the perfect time to use the tips below to help you net some last-minute tax-savings and tackle tax season with ease.

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New Tax Law: Overview of Changes for Individuals

Rulien + Associates

December 28, 2017

Dear Client,

The recently enacted Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) is a sweeping tax package. Here's a look at some of the more important elements of the new law that have an impact on individuals. Unless otherwise noted, the changes are effective for tax years beginning in 2018 through 2025.

  • Tax rates. The new law imposes a new tax rate structure...

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New Tax Law: Overview of Changes for Businesses

Rulien + Associates

December 28, 2017

Dear Client,

The recently enacted Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) is a sweeping tax package. Here's a look at some of the more important elements of the new law that have an impact on Corporations, S Corps, Partnerships, and LLC’s. Unless otherwise noted, the changes are effective for tax years beginning in 2018 through 2025.

  • Corporate income tax rate...

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Tips to Help You Truly Enjoy the Most Wonderful—and Overwhelming—Time of the Year

Katelyn Senn

December 18, 2017

It’s amazing how much festive fun can be packed into a few weeks. While the holidays truly can be wonderful, they can also feel overwhelming with too much to do and too many temptations that derail us from enjoying what is truly important. To help you make your holidays feel more fulfilling and less frantic, try these suggestions...

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Tax Reform Update: A Snapshot of Key Proposals in the GOP Bill

Lance Bodeen

December 4, 2017

On November 16, the House passed a new tax reform bill that moves the GOP closer to bringing the legislation to fruition. Now the Senate is preparing its own tax reform package. If passed, it must be reconciled with the House before any final legislation goes to the White House. Here is a snapshot of some of the key changes proposed in the tax reform bill:

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Tips to Simplify Your Thanksgiving Spread

Don Rulien

November 14, 2017

With just days to go before Thanksgiving, the clock is ticking down to some of the most memorable meals of the year. However, for many of us, the pressure of preparing a perfect Thanksgiving feast can be overwhelming. If this is true for you, consider these tips to simplify your seasonal spread.

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Plan Now and Take Advantage of 2017 Tax Savings

Katelyn Senn

November 1, 2017

The end of the year is often hectic, which is why it’s important to take some time now to reduce your tax bill. Our firm can offer additional strategies to further mitigate your tax burden; however, the following 5 tips are an excellent starting point:

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Simplify Seasonal Staffing with these Smart Strategies

Lance Bodeen

October 16, 2017

Whether your business needs temporary workers to get through the holiday season or you hire short-term help on a regular basis, the process of finding the right candidates can be challenging. Try applying these strategies to make seasonal staffing easier:

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5 Tips to Reset Your Stress Response

Don Rulien

October 2, 2017

Because stress related to work, family issues and other events is something that affects many of us, it’s important to reset your own stress response to protect your health and productivity. Sharon Melnick, Ph.D., a business psychologist, offers these tips:

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Proposed Tax Reform Plan: What Could It Mean for You?

September 29, 2017

Tax reform, one of President Trump’s key legislative agenda items, is moving closer to fruition. Based on the outline of his proposed tax reform package, which he unveiled on September 27, 2017, we’ve compiled this brief overview of the President’s major tax proposals:

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Impacted by the Equifax Hack? Take These Steps Now!

Katelyn Senn

September 14, 2017

If you were a victim of the recently announced Equifax hack, you need to take action to mitigate any negative impact it may have on your finances and credit. If you’re not sure if you were affected, you can use Equifax’s Potential Impact tool to find out. You will need to input your last name and the last six digits of your social security number to use this tool.

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Tips for Maximizing the Value of Your Next Staff Retreat

Lance Bodeen

August 30, 2017

Staff retreats can offer companies a lot of value. They can also be expensive and, unless managed effectively, not particularly productive. Before you plan your next (or first) staff retreat, review the following key factors to help you make the most of...

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Free Money-Saving Apps for Every College Student

Don Rulien

August 15, 2017

There likely aren’t many college students who don’t have a smart phone loaded with helpful apps. However, it is unlikely that any of these apps are dedicated to helping them build their financial fortitude. This is why we created our list below—chock-full of apps designed to make it easier for college students of any age to save money.

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Expert Advice to Keep Your Internet-Enabled Devices Safe from Cyber Criminals

Katelyn Senn

August 1, 2017

Did you know that your webcam and even your home or office internet router can be the gateway through which cyber criminals gain access to your most sensitive data? If not, don’t panic—we have helpful tips below from the experts at the National Cyber Security Alliance to ensure that you head off this type of malicious action.

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Be Alert and Aware: Tax Scammers Don’t Take a Summer Vacation

Lance Bodeen

July 13, 2017

The IRS has identified several new variations of standard tax scams involving fake tax bills and demands for payments. Many of these scams involve purchasing and transferring information using a gift card or iTunes card. Other scams to be aware of include:

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Tips for Implementing a Successful Flex-time Schedule this Summer

Don Rulien

June 29, 2017

Now that summer/vacation season is here, your business may be enjoying a more relaxed vibe with employees taking time off or leaving early. If you’ve ever thought about implementing a flexible work program, now may be the time to pilot one, especially if your business is a bit slower this time of year. To help, we offer the following tips...

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Four Money-Saving Mid-Year Financial Planning Tips

Katelyn Senn

June 15, 2017

It’s almost exactly the mid-point of the year, which makes it prime time for a mid-year financial review. If you need some monetary motivation for evaluating your financial progress so far this year, you may want to think of mid-year planning as a series of potential money-saving opportunities, for example:

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How to Protect Your Business from the Next “Wanna Cry” Attack

June 1, 2017

The recent “Wanna Cry” ransomware attack that paralyzed several large organizations in the U.S. and Europe is a solemn reminder that the risk of cyber security breaches is real. Every business owner should take steps...

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Tips to Help You Stem the Flow of Potential Risks This Flood Season

Lance Bodeen

May 16, 2017

Whether from heavy rains or hurricanes, this time of year can bring with it the risk of floods across many parts of the United States. While you may not be able to predict the likelihood of a flood in your area, with these tips you can help to mitigate physical and financial damage if a flood occurs where you live.

  1. Treat structural damage seriously. In any...

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How to Really “Clean Up” at Your Next Yard Sale

Don Rulien

May 4, 2017

This time of year is when you often see yard sale signs popping up. For some, holding a yard sale is a means of clearing out unwanted items. For others, it’s an opportunity to get some great “finds.” Whichever side of the yard sale fence you’re on, these tips can help you “clean up”:

Choose your timing carefully. Research continues...

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Take Your Spring Cleaning to the Office with These Tips

Katelyn Senn

April 19, 2017

Window washing, carpet cleaning, garden grooming—these are all popular spring cleaning chores for homeowners. However, with year-end and tax season behind you, this time of year is also perfect for spring cleaning at the office. These tips will help you and your staff get—and keep—that “just cleaned my office” feeling:

Start with a clean sweep of...

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These Tax Day Treats Shine Light at the End of the “Tax Season Tunnel”

Lance Bodeen

April 3, 2017

With just a few weeks to go until Tax Day on April 18, it’s time to make sure that you’re on track to get your individual return filed. If you haven’t already engaged our firm to help you with your taxes and you need assistance, don’t delay…it’s time to let us know!

While tax season can be stressful, Tax Day itself can be quite rewarding if you...

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Do You Sit All Day? Take a Stand Against a Sedentary Lifestyle

Don Rulien

March 20, 2017

The average American sits a lot. Many of us sit while we work, while we relax and while we learn. Over the long term, this sedentary way of life can have a negative impact on our health, increasing the risk of diabetes, heart disease and cancer—in addition to shortening life spans. To counteract these negative effects, it’s important to get up, get active and get...

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Set the Stage to Help Your Home Sell This Spring

Katelyn Senn

March 1, 2017

Spring is in the air...which means peak home-selling season isn’t far away. In fact, according to recent market data, 60 percent of all home sales in the United States will occur in the spring and summer months. If you’re thinking about putting your home on the market, now is the time to get prepared—which includes considering how you will “stage” your home to...

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Avoid March Madness—Why You Should File Your Taxes Now

Lance Bodeen

February 17, 2017

For sports fans, this time of year is an exciting one. First the Super Bowl, and then the buildup toward the NCAA March Madness tournament. While tax season isn’t quite as exciting as these events, you’ll still want to make the effort to get ahead of the game—and the April 18 deadline—to score the benefits of early filing.

Avoiding identity...

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Small Businesses Can Restart Health Reimbursement Accounts in 2017

Don Rulien

February 1, 2017

Although the fate of the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) is not yet clear, thanks to the passing of the 21st Century Cures Act at the end of 2016, employers with fewer than 50 employees can now start funding stand-alone health reimbursement accounts (HRAs) again. Employees can use HRAs to pay for medical expenses, including health insurance coverage on the Obamacare health insurance...

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Tips to Defend Your Business from Cyber Attacks

Katelyn Senn

January 17, 2017

You need only tune into the news to see that cybercrimes are a very real threat. From viruses to malware, everyday computer use and online browsing can leave you vulnerable to hackers who want your valuable information. If you have a small business, your risk of a cyberattack is likely even higher, especially if you do not have the resources or know-how to enact effective security policies....

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Break Barriers in 2017 with These Mind-Changing Mini Resolutions

Lance Bodeen

December 28, 2016

There’s a reason why the regular New Year’s resolutions like losing weight, exercising more and sticking to a budget are popular—so many of us need to do them! There’s also a common reason why so many of us fail to meet our goals in these areas: we haven’t developed the mindset to support the changes that we want to make.

Instead of setting a big,...

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Keep the Holidays Merry with These Simple Stress Relievers

Don Rulien

December 14, 2016

The holiday season can be wonderful, but they can also be one of the most stressful times of the year. Fortunately, the experts at Psychology Today also offer these simple stress relievers to put the joy back in this special time of year:

  1. Take a time-out. Time-outs aren’t just for toddlers who have a tantrum. In fact, rather than being a...

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Obama’s New Overtime Pay Rule is On Pause—What Does it Mean for Your Business?

Katelyn Senn

November 30, 2016

Just days before it was scheduled to be implemented on December 1, a federal judge in Texas has blocked the implementation of the new Department of Labor (DOL) federal overtime rule, which would have doubled the Fair Labor Standards Act’s (FLSA’s) salary threshold for exemption from overtime pay. According to an NPR report, this extension of overtime eligibility would have...

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Take Note of New Business Tax Deadlines in 2017

Lance Bodeen

November 15, 2016

As a result of the highway funding extension bill signed into law by President Obama in 2015, there are important changes coming in 2017 to deadlines for business tax filings including:

  1. W-2 and 1099 filings are due January 31 in 2017 instead of March 31. These forms are still due employees and contractors by January 31, so it’s important to prepare and...

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Five Key Areas Every Business Owner Should Review Before Year End

Don Rulien

November 1, 2016

We’re well in to the fourth quarter of the year, which means year end is fast approaching. Here are five important areas of your business to review before the calendar turns to 2017.

  1. Tax planning opportunities. November and December are prime time for tax planning, which can pay big dividends when filing time arrives. Touch base with our firm now to...

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Take Note! The Filing Deadline for W-2s and 1099s is January 31 in 2017

Katelyn Senn

September 1, 2016

Consider this blog post as early notice that the date by which employers must file their W-2s and 1099s with the Social Security Administration (SSA) and IRS will change to January 31 in 2017.

Previously, W-2s and 1099s were not due to governmental agencies until March 31, so this new deadline will significantly reduce the window for making any necessary changes. These forms are still...

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