4Thought Blog

4thought graphic - blog 2020

Attract, Retain Employees with New Tax-Deductible Benefits

Posted by Concannon Miller on Tue, Jun 21, 2022

The labor market is tighter today than it has been in decades, and many employers are going above and beyond the ordinary to attract and retain top talent.

One idea for your organization is to sweeten the pot of fringe benefits. A cafeteria plan, for example, allows employers to offer more benefits to employees, generally at a reasonable cost.

This type of plan also provides tax-favored perks to employees under Section 125 of the tax code. (This is why cafeteria plans are sometimes called Sec. 125 plans.) Plus, payments are tax-deductible by employers.

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Topics: Business consulting

Buying a Business? Learn the Tax Implications of Noncompete Agreements

Posted by Concannon Miller on Thu, Jun 2, 2022

Noncompete agreements are commonly included in business purchase transactions to prevent the seller from competing against the buyer for the term of the noncompete agreement. These arrangements are also sometimes called covenants-not-to-compete or noncompete covenants.

Important: Laws regarding noncompete agreements vary from state to state. For example, courts in California generally reject noncompete agreements because state law makes them unenforceable except in limited circumstances. Because noncompete covenants are generally not allowed in the state, California employers often use confidentiality agreements and other types of contracts to protect trade secrets and other information. Still, in many jurisdictions, noncompete covenants can be enforceable if certain conditions are met.

Noncompete agreements have important tax implications. Here are the details.

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Topics: Business tax planning, Business consulting

7 Hiring Tips for Summer 2022 and Beyond

Posted by Concannon Miller on Thu, May 12, 2022

In today's tight labor market, small businesses — including restaurants, delivery services, retail stores and manufacturers — are struggling to attract and retain top-quality staff.

The conditions are likely to worsen in many sectors as demand ramps up during the summer months. To be competitive with other employers, you'll need to be proactive in identifying candidates with the right fit at a reasonable cost.

Here are seven tips on how to find the help you need before the summer rush begins:

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Topics: Business consulting

Tips to Keep Your Business Strong Despite Inflationary Pressures

Posted by Concannon Miller on Tue, Mar 22, 2022

Over the last year, consumer prices rose 7.9%, according to the latest data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The Consumer Price Index covers the prices of food, clothing, shelter, fuels, transportation, doctors' and dentists' services, drugs, and other goods and services that people buy for day-to-day living. This is the highest 12-month increase since 1982.

Increases in the price of consumer goods will affect most businesses, sooner or later. For example, if you operate a restaurant, spikes in food prices directly affect you. If you operate a fleet of delivery vehicles, you're already feeling the effect of rising gas prices. And manufacturers have been hit with higher energy, commodity and shipping costs.

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Topics: Business consulting

Cash Flow Management: Tips to Speed Up Accounts Receivables

Posted by Concannon Miller on Tue, Jan 25, 2022

Many companies are experiencing a buildup of accounts receivable on their balance sheets as customers — especially large corporate buyers — are stretching out their payment terms.

While these bills may eventually be paid, delays are causing a cash flow crunch across many supply chains.

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Topics: Business consulting

The Top 8 Resolutions for Business Owners for 2022

Posted by Concannon Miller on Thu, Dec 30, 2021

Have you compiled a list of New Year's resolutions for your small business in 2022?

Resolutions don't have to be limited to your personal life. Consider how you can improve in the upcoming year in your role as a small business owner.

Of course, everyone's list will be different. But here are eight common aspirations that usually make good business sense.

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Topics: Business consulting

Minimum Wage Increases: The New Rates to Know for 2022

Posted by Concannon Miller on Tue, Dec 21, 2021

In today's tight labor market, many employers have been raising wages substantially to maintain operations. That's most evident in the leisure and hospitality sector, where average hourly wages rose 12% for the year ending October 2021.

For many organizations, getting by with paying minimum wage is generally a distant memory. That's particularly true where the state's minimum wage is the same rate — $7.25 — as the federal rate that's been in place since 2009.

In other states with minimums as high as double the federal rate, it can be a different story. Even a small minimum wage increase can have significant financial consequences for a business or nonprofit organization.

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Topics: Business consulting

Offering New Benefits to Attract Employees? Watch for Tax Consequences

Posted by Concannon Miller on Thu, Oct 14, 2021

Although some companies that sent workers home during the pandemic have returned them to the office, many businesses continue to rely on remote workers. At the same time, companies in a range of industries are struggling to find and keep employees.

This unusual business environment has spawned some innovative fringe benefits — or expanded traditional offerings — from counseling to pizza deliveries to birthday gifts. What are the tax consequences of offering them? It depends.

"Fringe benefit" typically is used to describe services, property or some other item of value an employer provides its employees. Normally, a fringe benefit constitutes taxable income to the recipient unless a statutory exclusion applies. For some employees, the special tax-exempt perks are the real fringe benefits.

The list of statutory exclusions in the tax code includes common benefits, such as health insurance and retirement plan matching contributions. But other less-known benefits may fit your company's current needs. Here are eight to consider — and their potential tax treatment:

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Topics: Business tax planning, Business consulting

Post-PPP Financing Options to Grow Your Business

Posted by Concannon Miller on Thu, Sep 16, 2021

Business activity ground to a halt in many areas during the pandemic. Fortunately, the Paycheck Protection Plan program and other relief programs rescued many small enterprises from financial crisis. If certain requirements are met, all or part of PPP loan proceeds may be forgivable — similar to a grant from the federal government.

The PPP loan program ended on May 31, 2021. Now, struggling businesses might be applying for affordable conventional loans — or negotiating more favorable terms for their existing debt. Doing so can help reduce interest expense and working capital requirements. Don't wait for lenders to make the first move. Here's how to get the optimal terms from your lender.

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Topics: Business consulting

Should You Have the Same Office Post-COVID? Maybe Consider a New Approach

Posted by Concannon Miller on Thu, Sep 2, 2021

Where your business is located, and how you use the commercial space that you have, can mean the difference between thriving and just limping along — or worse.

That fact was brought home for many business owners during the COVID-19 pandemic, when lease payments became a big financial strain, and dust was accumulating on the desks of employees working remotely.

Even with the economy bouncing back in many sectors, returning to previous uses of commercial real estate could be a big mistake. Here are some reasons why:

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Topics: Business consulting

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