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Small Businesses

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IRS Releases New Guidance on QSEHRAs

Notice & Other Requirements Clarified The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has released guidance further clarifying the rules regulating qualified small employer health reimbursement arrangements (QSEHRAs). QSEHRAs—which are health reimbursement arrangements exempt from the Affordable Care Act's market reforms—may be offered by employers with fewer than 50 full-time equivalent employees that do not offer a group health plan to any of its employees to reimburse employees for medical expenses, including individual health insurance policy premiums. Highlights of the guidance are described below. Guidance Highlights Written Notice Deadline: An employer that provides a QSEHRA during 2017 or 2018 must generally furnish its initial written notice...

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IRS Highlights 7 Resources for Small Businesses

The Internal Revenue Service is reminding small business owners of the following helpful resources: The Small Business and Self-Employed Tax Center contains information for small businesses with assets under $10 million. The IRS Tax Calendar for Businesses and Self-Employed includes monthly tax due dates and actions. Users can subscribe to calendar reminders or import the calendar to their desktop or mobile device. The A-to-Z Index for Business is a tool for finding topics on IRS.gov. E-News for Small Businesses gives information on deadlines, emerging issues, tips, news, and more. The IRS Video Portal offers learning events and videos on business topics. The Small Business Forms and...

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Critical connection: How costs impact pricing

As we head toward year end, your company may be reviewing its business strategy for 2017 or devising plans for 2018. As you do so, be sure to give some attention to the prices you’re asking for your existing products and services, as well as those you plan to launch in the near future. The cost of production is a logical starting point. After all, if your prices don’t exceed costs over the long run, your business will fail. This critical connection demands regular re-evaluation. Reconsider everything One simple way to assess costs is to apply a desired “markup” percentage to your expected...

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Final 2017 Instructions for Forms 1094 and 1095 Now Available

Used for Reporting in Early 2018 The IRS has released the final 2017 Instructions for Forms 1094-B, 1095-B, 1094-C, and 1095-C to help employers prepare for calendar year 2017 Affordable Care Act (ACA) information reporting. Employers will use the final versions of the forms and instructions in early 2018 to report on health coverage offered (or not offered) in the 2017 calendar year. Key Changes for 2017 Reporting The 2017 instructions differ from the 2016 instructions as follows: Instructions to Forms 1094-C and 1095-C: The final instructions have been revised to remove discussion of section 4980H transition relief, as none is available for 2017. Instructions...

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Business as Usual: Overtime Rule Struck Down

A federal judge struck down the Department of Labor’s (DOL) overtime rule, which would have raised the Fair Labor Standards Act minimum salary threshold from $23,660 to $47,476. Based on the court’s ruling, the DOL will need to present a more reasonable salary threshold if it wishes to pass any future overtime rules. This means employers should continue operating as usual, but they should be aware that an increase is possible down the road....

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How profitable are your customers?

“We love our customers!” Every business owner says it. But all customers aren’t created equal, and it’s in your strategic interest to know which customers are really strengthening your bottom line and by how much. Sorting out the data If your business systems track individual customer purchases, and your accounting system has good cost accounting or decision support capabilities, determining individual customer profitability will be simple. If you have cost data for individual products, but not at the customer level, you can manually “marry” product-specific purchase history with the cost data to determine individual customer value. For example, if a customer purchased 10...

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Don’t let “founder’s syndrome” impede your succession plan

Are you the founder of your company? If so, congratulations — you’ve created something truly amazing! And it’s more than understandable that you’d want to protect your legacy: the company you created. But, as time goes on, it becomes increasingly important that you give serious thought to a succession plan. When this topic comes up, many business owners show signs of suffering from an all-too-common affliction. The symptoms In the nonprofit sphere, they call it “founder’s syndrome.” The term refers to a set of “symptoms” indicating that an organization’s founder maintains a disproportionate amount of power and influence over operations. Although founder’s syndrome...

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Bridging the divide with a mezzanine loan

In their efforts to grow and succeed, many companies eventually reach the edge of a precipice. Across the divide lies a big step forward — perhaps the acquisition of a competitor or the purchase of a new property — but, financially, there’s no way across. The money is just not there. One way to bridge that divide is with a mezzanine loan. These instruments (also known as junior liens and second liens) can bridge financing shortfalls — so long as you meet certain qualifications and can accept possible risks. Debt/equity hybrid Mezzanine financing works by layering a junior loan on top of a...

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Upcoming EEO-1 Report Will Not Contain Pay Data Collection

Race, Ethnicity & Gender Reporting Requirement to Remain in Effect The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has announced that the upcoming EEO-1 reporting form will not contain pay data collection information. Upcoming EEO-1 Report In July of 2016, the EEOC changed the EEO-1 reporting form requirements, so that private employers with 100 or more employees and certain federal contractors would have been required to report aggregate W-2 income by sex, race, ethnicity, and job group. On August 29, 2017, this change was halted by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Instead, employers should plan to comply with the March...

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IRS warns of new phishing scam

Ransomware Scheme Impersonates IRS and FBI The IRS has issued an urgent warning about a new email phishing scheme that uses IRS and FBI emblems to entice users into clicking a link to download a fake FBI questionnaire. The link downloads ransomware, which prevents users from accessing data from their devices unless they pay the scammers. The IRS advises victims of the scheme not to pay the ransom, as hackers often fail to provide access to the hostage data even after being paid. According to the agency, people with a tax issue will not get their first contact from the IRS with...

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