Minnesota’s New Gift Tax: What You Need to Know

Minnesota may hold a steady place near the top of Gallup’s annual Best Places to Live, but a recent Wall Street Journal article claimed the state is also edging out the competition on another list: Worst Places to Die.

Minnesota’s place on the list, which also recommends against passing away in Washington and Nebraska, was established by its high 16% estate tax (or “death tax”). But the state’s number shot up recently after the state passed an additional 10% gift tax—a fee for transferring property to another person during your lifetime.

Here’s the breakdown: 10% of gifts in excess of $14,000 are counted toward your lifetime credit of $100,000 (which comes to an exemption of about $1 million in gifts total). While legislators are quick to assure panicked residents that the majority of people in the state won’t ever see the tax, for many small-business or multiple-property owners, the … Read More

How Much Are You Worth?

Building a business from the ground up is an exhilarating endeavor that comes with a number of decisions: the name of the company, whom you should hire, where you’re headquartered. But there is one question that many entrepreneurs don’t consider until things are already in motion:  what are you worth?  How much should you really pay yourself for owning and running the place?

Unfortunately, there’s not a magic answer. There are actually a number of approaches business owners take in determining their salary—it all depends on several factors, including the size of the business, the owners’ determination to re-invest in the company, and the amount of debt owed.

Many financial experts, including the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), recommend following one of the following approaches:

  1. Pay yourself what others in the field earn. This means doing a little research (the SBA’s income statistics page is a good place to start)
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