4Thought Blog


Individual Coverage HRAs: Expanded Health Insurance Options for Employers

Posted by Concannon Miller on Thu, Aug 8, 2019

First the old news: Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), employers with at least 50 employees (or full-time equivalents) are required to provide health benefits and pay for a good portion of the cost.

And many smaller employers that aren't required to offer health coverage do so anyway. Why? They may do it to compete successfully for talented employees in today's low unemployment environment or out of genuine concern for the well-being of their workers. What few employers like, however, is being in the time-consuming and complex business of selecting and administering health plans.

And here's the new news: That employer sentiment is why many may be tempted by a radical liberalization of regulations governing health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs), which kicks in next year. Chances are many employers will need some time to digest the 500-plus pages of new HRA rules, so they won't make any big changes immediately. But it's a good idea to be prepared for changes in buying individual health coverage.

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Topics: Business tax planning, Business consulting

The New Rules for Independent Contractors: What Business Owners Should Know

Posted by Concannon Miller on Tue, Jul 23, 2019

The so-called "gig economy" challenges conventional practices between companies and the people who perform the work. A key question is: Are these workers independent contractors or employees?

The U.S. Department of Labor recently published a new wage and hour opinion letter, spelling out its position with respect to a specific virtual marketplace company. Though the letter is directly applicable only to the specific employer that sought the opinion, it still offers insight on how the DOL might rule in similar cases.

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Topics: Business consulting

Retail Survival Tips: Be Digitally Savvy, Customer-Centric

Posted by Concannon Miller on Tue, Jun 11, 2019

It’s been a rough few years for many brick-and-mortar retailers, with several high-profile bankruptcies altering the face of local malls with thousands of store closures. Despite strong underlying economic fundamentals and high consumer confidence, many large malls have faced significant headwinds. Retailers in outdated malls, or those that have lost anchor stores, have been hardest hit.

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Topics: Business consulting

Tips on Reducing Social Security and Medicare Taxes for Small Business Owners

Posted by Concannon Miller on Thu, May 30, 2019

If your small business is unincorporated, you may be fed up with paying the federal self-employment tax. This tax is how the federal government collects Social Security and Medicare taxes from self-employed individuals. However, you may be able to lower your exposure to these taxes if you structure your business as a subchapter S corporation for federal tax purposes. Here are the details on how this tax-saving strategy can work.

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Topics: Business tax planning, Business consulting

Understanding Financial Statements: How Privately-Held Business Owners Can Benefit

Posted by Andrea Brady on Thu, May 16, 2019

Many privately-held business owners think putting together financial statements is busywork.  You have a business to run, so can’t your accountant just whip up what you need and send it off wherever it needs to go?  In theory, yes they could do that. 

But the most forward looking business owners understand that doing the numbers isn’t just perfunctory.  Your financial statements tell very specific stories about your business.  Gold has value because of its beauty and rarity.  Your business has value because of its profitability, cash flow and potential for future wealth. 

The value of your company is communicated through its financial statements.  And reading financials can be very frustrating if you don’t know what you’re looking at.

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Topics: Business consulting

Free Business Growth Conference for National Small Business Week

Posted by Concannon Miller on Mon, May 6, 2019

As part of National Small Business Week, the U.S. Small Business Administration and SCORE are hosting a free business growth and advisory virtual conference for small businesses.

The event features eight online webinars on May 7 and 8, 2019, or on demand after.

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Topics: Business consulting

Attention Business Owners: New Draft Overtime Rules to Know

Posted by Concannon Miller on Thu, Mar 21, 2019

Today (and since 2004) salaried employees who earn at least $455 per week aren't eligible for overtime pay under the Fair Labor Standards Act, if their job duties are executive, administrative or professional (EAP) in nature. That's true no matter how many hours these employees work in a week. 

Under proposed regulations, the limit would rise to $679 in 2020. So, salaried employees earning up to around $35,308 annually would be overtime-eligible even if they fall into those EAP job roles as defined by the Department of Labor (DOL). 

Although the jump in the threshold is substantial, it's not nearly as high as the $913 weekly pay threshold set in an earlier version of the proposed regulations. If that version — which was blocked by a federal judge — had passed, it would've been much more costly to employers.

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Topics: McDonald's management, Business consulting

Mergers and Acquisitions: Post Tax Reform Business Buying Strategies

Posted by Concannon Miller on Thu, Mar 14, 2019

Many businesses will pay less federal income taxes in 2018 and beyond, thanks to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. And some will spend their tax savings on merging with or acquiring another business.

Before you jump on the M&A bandwagon, it's important to understand how your transaction will be taxed under current tax law.

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Topics: Business consulting, Business Valuation, 2017 Federal Tax Reform

10 Tax Planning & Business Tips for Privately-Held Companies

Posted by Tony Deutsch on Thu, Feb 14, 2019

The federal, state and economic environment is in a state of constant change.

The end of 2017 was the Tax Cuts Jobs Act – the biggest federal tax change in 30 years. Last year’s Wayfair v. South Dakota sales tax case now requires out-of-state sellers of goods and services to collect sales tax if they have no physical presence. We also saw the North American Free Trade Agreement renegotiated and new tariffs imposed on imported products.  

While we always advise tax and business planning be done annually, these changes make it more crucial than ever. Here are 10 business and tax planning tips to boost your business.

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Topics: Business tax planning, Business consulting

10 Financial Resolutions to Boost Business in 2019

Posted by Concannon Miller on Tue, Jan 8, 2019

New Year's is traditionally a time to make resolutions for the upcoming months. Once you set your personal goals, it's time to get serious about your business goals. Here are 10 resolutions you might consider making — and sticking to — to put you on track to prosper in 2019.

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Topics: Business consulting

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