4Thought Blog

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Small Businesses: Get Free Financing, Tax Advice for Small Business Week

Posted by Concannon Miller on Thu, Apr 27, 2017

Small businesses are the lifeblood of the U.S. economy.

That’s recognized nationally through National Small Business Week and locally through the Pennsylvania Small Business Week.

Both weeks run April 30 through May 6, and both the federal and state governments are holding multiple free webinars providing small businesses with tax, financing, marketing and other guidance.

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Topics: Business consulting, Small business

Improve Your Business’s Cash Management Through Financial Statement Reconciliation

Posted by Laura Gaythwaite on Thu, Jan 26, 2017

The start of a new year is the prime time for resolutions, including financial resolutions.

If you’re a business owner or finance officer, those resolutions should include reconciliation of your bank and financial statements. Closing out your 2016 bank statements and starting with a fresh accurate bank statement in 2017 is one step in ensuring you have solid cash management practices in place.

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Topics: Business consulting, Small business

A Tax Tip for Family Businesses: Hire Your Kids

Posted by Concannon Miller on Tue, Oct 18, 2016

Here's a great tax-saving idea for those who have teenagers who can work part-time in the family business – hire the kids as legitimate employees. This strategy works best if your business operates as:

  • A husband-wife partnership (owned only by you and your spouse).
  • A husband-wife Limited Liability Company (LLC), which is treated as a husband-wife partnership for federal tax purposes.
  • A sole proprietorship.
  • A single-member LLC, which is treated as a sole proprietorship for federal tax purposes.
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Topics: Business tax planning, Small business

New Overtime Rules Start Dec. 1 - Are You Ready?

Posted by Concannon Miller on Tue, Sep 20, 2016

UPDATE: New Federal Overtime Rules Suspended a Week Before Deadline

The deadline for the Department of Labor's new final overtime rule is Dec. 1, 2016. While CFOs at most large U.S. companies have been working overtime themselves to prepare for the changes, many small and midsize firms haven't been as quick to react.

Current Overtime Rule

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is the federal law that controls overtime pay. It requires employers to pay employees 1.5 times their regular pay rate for overtime above 40 hours a week, unless specifically exempted. The FLSA "white collar" exemptions exclude from the federal overtime rules certain executive, administrative and professional (EAP) employees and outside salespeople.

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Topics: Overtime, Small business

Business Owners: Are You Ready for Same Day ACH?

Posted by Laura Gaythwaite on Tue, Aug 9, 2016

Beginning Sept. 23, 2016, the electronic payment association NACHA has adopted a new rule to allow same-day processing of ACH – or automated clearing house – payments.

Currently most ACH payments settle on the next business day. This new rule includes a “Same Day Fee” on each same day transaction that many ACH originators may not be aware of.

If you process your own payroll via ACH or if you use a payroll processor that pays via ACH, you need to be aware of these changes. It is now critical to be aware of the EED (Effective Entry Date) and ensure it accurately reflects the type of transaction.

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Topics: Business consulting, Small business

Looking to Reduce Health Care Costs? Check Out This Tax Credit for Small Businesses

Posted by IRS on Fri, Jun 17, 2016

If you are a small business owner, there is a tax credit that can put money in your pocket.

The Small Business Health Care Tax Credit benefits employers that:

  • have fewer than 25 full-time equivalent employees
  • pay an average wage of less than $50,000 a year
  • pay at least half of employee health insurance premiums
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Topics: Business tax planning, Health care, Small business

Need a Pickup or Large SUV for Business? Check Out These Tax Breaks

Posted by Concannon Miller on Thu, Jun 16, 2016

Favorable depreciation rules for business use of "heavy" SUVs, pickups and vans were locked in by the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act of 2015. By taking advantage of these rules, you may be able to write off the entire business-use portion of a heavy vehicle's cost in the first year.

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Topics: Business tax planning, Small business

Tips for Business Owners to Reduce Credit Card Chargebacks

Posted by Laura Gaythwaite on Tue, Jun 14, 2016

Have you seen a rise in credit card chargebacks since the October 2015 liability shift rules were put in place? 

Many retailers feel that this is an issue and they have seen significantly more chargebacks in larger dollar amounts. 

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Topics: Business consulting, Small business

5 Steps Businesses Should Consider Now for a Better 2016 Tax Return

Posted by Concannon Miller on Tue, Jun 7, 2016

Late last year, Congress made permanent more than 20 tax benefits and also extended many other important benefits through 2016 or 2019.

Now that your 2015 taxes are behind you, now is the time to take advantage of the many tax benefits available to businesses under the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act of 2015.

Business owners should strongly consider these five midyear tax strategies that could result in 2016 tax savings:

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Topics: Business tax planning, Small business

5 Steps Business Owners Should Take Now for the New Overtime Rules

Posted by Geri Stanus on Wed, May 25, 2016

UPDATE: New Federal Overtime Rules Suspended a Week Before Deadline

Last week, the federal government announced changes to the overtime regulations included in the Fair and Labor Standards Act (FLSA) that will affect nearly every business owner. The most significant and most talked about change is the employee wage base.

Background: The FLSA excludes certain employees from federal minimum wage and overtime requirements. To qualify for an exemption, employees generally must: (1) be salaried, meaning that they are paid a predetermined and fixed salary; (2) be paid a salary that is at least equal to a specific threshold and (3) perform the executive, administrative, or professional duties set out in Department of Labor regulations, or the so-called duties test. These employees are considered “exempt,” and federal law does not require that they be paid the minimum wage or receive overtime for hours worked over 40.

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Topics: Overtime, Small business

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