National Small Business Week: May 1-7, 2016

Small Business Week

As the nation celebrates Small Business Week May 1-7, the IRS will host four free webinars. The webinars will help small business owners with their taxes. The IRS also highlights popular products and services available on IRS.gov.

Here are some details about the free webinars:

  1. Tax Tips for Your New Business, May 2. Small business owners and tax professionals with small business clients who may be starting new endeavors are the focus of this webinar. 

    Topics include:

    • Deciding if it’s a business or hobby
    • Selecting a business structure.
    • Understanding business taxes.
    • Recordkeeping requirements.
    • Choosing a tax preparer.
    • Finding out where to go for IRS help.
  2. Staying Afloat: Planning for Emergencies Before they Happen, May 3. Small business owners, tax professionals and payroll organizations learn about emergency preparedness in this broadcast. 

    Topics include:

    • Business continuity planning.
    • How to create an emergency plan.
    • Employee preparedness.
    • Payroll continuity and supply chain protection.
    • Protecting your records and data.
    • What happens after a disaster is declared.
    • IRS resources to help you plan.
  3. Worker Classification: Employee or Independent Contractor? May 4. This webinar is in Spanish. It teaches Spanish-speaking small business owners, tax professionals and payroll organizations how to classifying workers. 

    Topics include:

    • Differences between employees and independent contractors.
    • Common law rules.
    • Form SS-8.
    • Employment tax obligations.
    • Voluntary classification settlement program.
  4. Tip Reporting and Tips vs. Service Charges, May 5. This webinar provides small business owners, employers, tax professionals and payroll organizations with details on tips and reporting.
    Topics include:

    • Recordkeeping and reporting responsibilities.
    • Understanding the difference between tips and service charges.
    • Filing Form 8027, Employer’s Annual Information Return of Tip Income and Allocated Tips.

All four webinars are an hour long and start at 2 p.m. (ET). Live Q&A sessions with IRS experts will be available. To register and to find out more visit the Webinars for Small Businesses page on IRS.gov.

Many other IRS products and services provide small business owners with the help they need. Here are three pages that you can check out anytime:

  • The Small Business and Self-Employed Tax Center is your complete tax resource. For example, you can link to a list of free workshops and events offered in your area. Or visit the IRS Video Portal to watch videos on a wide range of topics, including prior live webinars.
  • The Self-Employed Individuals Tax Center is for sole proprietors and others who are in business for themselves. This site has many useful tips and references to the tax rules that a self-employed person may need to know.
  • The Online Learning and Educational Products page has tools that can help you learn about taxes on your own time, and at your own pace. For example, the IRS Tax Calendar for Businesses and Self-Employed has important tax dates for your business.

Visit IRS.gov to get small business forms and publications. You can also call 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676) to get them by mail.

IRS Special Edition Tax Tip 2016-06, May 2, 2016

Management Training Series Seminar

The Challenges of Today’s Workforce

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Our Training was a success! Thank you so much to those of you who were able to make it out to yesterday’s Management Training session! Our training began with Roger Trueba talking about the four categories of today’s workforce:

  • Baby Boomers
  • Generation X
  • Millennials (Generation Y)
  • Generation Z

Roger touched on the pros & cons of each generation and how to utilize them in your organization. Each generation comes with their own mindset on their career path and where they see their future in your company. He teaches us that we don’t need to be apprehensive of the new generations that are coming into the workforce, but to adapt and be open to the knowledge and ambition that comes with them.

We closed with the discussion of the possibility of a new FLSA law taking affect, presented by MariaElena (M.E.) Ayala, VP of HR & Client Services. The possible new law proposes changes to the salary base for most white collar exemptions: Executive, Administrative and Professional Exemptions of the FLSA. This affect will potentially increase the salary requirement from $455 per week ($23,660/year) to $970 per week ($50,440/year). DOL’s rationale is that the new salary level reflects the 40th percentile of earnings for full-time salaried employees.

We recommend that you review current positions in the “threshold” and determine feasibility of the following;

  • Revisions of extent of non-exempt amount of work performed by exempt employees.
  • Increase Pay
  • Reduce Hours
  • Restructure pay to account for regular and overtime hours

To find out more information on the new FLSA rule, please click the link below for a PDF copy of the material that was discussed at yesterday’s training. If you have further questions regarding the FLSA, please contact our Client Services team at 770-339-0000, option 3.

New FLSA Overtime Rules

We have also attached a copy of Roger’s Multi-Generational presentation for more information, Multigenerational Workforce 2016. If you are interested in learning more about the multi-generational workforce in your organization, please contact Roger Trueba at RTrueba@hr-strategies.com.

Tuesday Tax Tip: Small Business Health Care Tax Credit

Do you own a small business or run a tax-exempt organization with fewer than 25 full-time equivalent employees? If  you do, the Small Business Health Care Tax Credit can help you provide insurance to your employees. You may be able to save on your taxes if you paid for at least half of their health insurance premiums. Here are seven tax tips about this credit:

  1. Maximum Credit.  The maximum credit is 50 percent of premiums paid by small business employers. The maximum credit is 35 percent of premiums paid by small tax-exempt employers, such as charities.
  2. Number of Employees.  You must have fewer than 25 full-time employees, or a combination of full-time and part-time employees. For example, two half-time employees equal one full-time employee for purposes of the credit.
  3. Average Annual Wages.  For 2015, the average annual wages of your employees must have been less than $52,000. The IRS will adjust this amount for inflation each year.
  4. .Half the Premiums.  You must have paid a uniform percentage, at least 50%, of the cost of premiums for all enrolled employees.
  5. Qualified Health Plan.  Generally, you must have purchased a qualified health plan from a Small Business Health Options Program, or SHOP, Marketplace. There are limited exceptions to this requirement.
  6. Two Year Limit.  As of 2014, an eligible employer may claim the credit only for two consecutive taxable years.
  7. Tax Forms to Use.  Employers use Form 8941, Credit for Small Employer Health Insurance Premiums, to calculate the credit. Small businesses employers claim the credit on the annual income tax return. Small tax-exempt employers claim it on Form 990-T, Exempt Organization Business Income Tax Return.

If you are a small business employer and the credit is more than your tax liability for the year, you can carry the unused credit back or forward to other tax years. If you are a small tax-exempt employer, the credit is refundable, so even if you have no taxable income you may receive a refund (so long as it does not exceed your income tax withholding and Medicare tax liability for the year).

Each and every taxpayer has a set of fundamental rights they should be aware of when dealing with the IRS. These are your Taxpayer Bill of Rights. Explore your rights and our obligations to protect them on IRS.gov.

IRS Tax Tip 2016-56, April 6, 2016

Tuesday Tax Tip: Can’t Pay Taxes on Time?

The IRS urges you to file on time even if you can’t pay what you owe. This saves you from potentially paying a penalty for a late filed return.

Here is what to do if you can’t pay all your taxes by the due date.

  1. File on time and pay as much as you can. You can pay online, by phone, or by check or money order. Visit IRS.gov for electronic payment options.
  2. Get a loan or use a credit card to pay your tax. The interest and fees charged by a bank or credit card company may be less than IRS interest and penalties. For credit card options, see IRS.gov.
  3. Use the Online Payment Agreement tool.  You don’t need to wait for IRS to send you a bill before you ask for a payment plan.  The best way is to use the Online Payment Agreement tool on IRS.gov. You can also file Form 9465, Installment Agreement Request, with your tax return. You can even set up a direct debit agreement. With this type of payment plan, you won’t have to write a check and mail it on time each month.
  4. Don’t ignore a tax bill.  If you get a bill, don’t ignore it.  The IRS may take collection action if you ignore the bill. Contact the IRS right away to talk about your options. If you are suffering financial hardship, the IRS will work with you.
  5. File to reconcile Advance Payments of the Premium Tax Credit.  You must file a tax return and submit Form 8962 to reconcile advance payments of the premium tax credit with the actual premium tax credit to which you are entitled. You will need Form 1095-A from the Marketplace to complete Form 8962. Failure to reconcile your advance payments of the premium tax credit on Form 8962 may make you ineligible to receive future advance payments.

Remember to file on time. Pay as much as you can by the tax deadline and pay the rest as soon as you can. Find out more about the IRS collection process on IRS.gov. Also check out IRSVideos.gov/OweTaxes.

IRS Tax Tip 2016-48, March 25, 2016

Interviewing Do’s & Don’ts

Gumby

Interviewing a candidate is full of pitfalls. Asking the right questions can help you find the perfect candidate for your company. Asking the wrong questions can lead to legal woes! Click on the “Interviewing Do’s & Don’ts” link below to find out what questions are and aren’t acceptable to ask during an employee interview.

Interviewing Do’s and Don’ts

World Health Day – Employee Health & Safety

whd

In honor of National World Health Day, we are promoting the importance of Employee Health and Safety guidelines. Managers should utilize all resources possible to create and maintain health and safety standards for their employees within their organization. Human Resources has a vital role in ensuring employee health and safety practices be used in order to boost and sustain employee health and safety in the workplace. You can do this by considering these four simple practices:

Establish Open Communication

A key component of maintaining employee trust is encouraging open communication on any and all health and safety issues observed. No employee should fear expressing concern or bringing light to an issue they believe interferes with the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) goals of the company. To prevent a fear of communication, recruit and educate the best supervisors to encourage accessibility and interaction within each department. Develop a hiring process that heavily weighs a potential supervisor’s concern for the safety of themselves and those around them. Require human resources personnel to hold one-on-one meetings to actively check-in with employees. An employee feeling hesitant to express concern to their direct manager may feel more comfortable speaking with human resources professionals. Address minor health and safety issues, such as a spreading illness or commute weather advisory, via a company-wide notice or email.

Implement Strict Safety Policies

Ideally, a workplace is completely hazard-free. However, some trades, such as ground construction and mechanical engineering, inherently involve precarious work and unstable environments. Employees not designated to work in certain high-risk positions should be discouraged from entering hazardous zones or attempting jobs they are not certified to complete. Spread awareness by labeling unsafe environments, posting general warning signs and referencing the qualifications needed to enter various regions of a worksite. For corporate office environments that present less physical risk, identify all potential hazards early on and control minor dangerous mishaps, such as broken glass or plumbing leaks.

Coordinate with Facility Management

Similarly to HR, facilities departments play an important part in carrying out safety policies for businesses. By harmonizing OSH goals, HR and facilities managers can better protect employees. HR specialists are aware of the work environment and the unique risks that employees encounter under specific circumstances. Encourage facility managers to invest in products designed to prevent slip and fall accidents, such as anti-slip safety mats, and restroom handrails. In addition to promoting safety and hygiene, these simple yet effective safety products cultivate a general sense of wellbeing in the workplace.

Provide Health and Safety Training

Implement required safety training programs for all employees. These programs should include first aid and emergency action plan training. Supply each work zone with first aid kits so small injuries can be quickly remedied. Hold fire and emergency drills as required by jurisdiction; also ensure these procedures are taken seriously and incite active engagement. Encourage employees to be responsible and take sick time when necessary without reprimand.

The best way to execute these strategies is to commit to improving workplace health and safety standards. If necessary, make these goals a part of a yearly business development plan.

With safety standards in place, a business can avoid potential lawsuits and other monetary loss. Further, an employee-focused culture that emphasizes health and safety creates a positive environment for optimal job satisfaction, morale, and productivity.

Four Practices provided by: Sarah Walden | Occupational Health & Safety Writer for Umbrella Blog | http://www.trinet.com/blog/2014/03/07/four-hr-strategies-to-promote-employee-health-and-safety/

“Hoppy Easter”

Just a reminder that HR Strategies will be closing at 2:00 pm today in order for our employees to spend time with their families and loved ones, on this Good Friday.

We wish you and your loved ones the renewal of love, happiness and life.

Have a wonderful Easter!

%d bloggers like this: