National Mom & Pop Business Owners Day is on Sunday

mom and pop local shop dayNational Mom & Pop Business Owner’s Day celebrates all of the hard-working small business owner’s which comprise more than 28 million small businesses in our nation, who create more than 70% of all jobs in the country.

HR Strategies is proud to stand alongside many successful small businesses. We do this by handling their HR needs, including payroll and administration, employee health and retirement benefits, workers’ compensation insurance, state and federal compliance issues, and employee and management training.

When Mom & Pop Business Owners partner with HR Strategies they free key personnel from the paperwork and complex issues of HR administration, therefore allowing your employees to focus on generating income.

Are you a Small business in need of HR support and administration?

Call us today! 770-339-0000

Tuesday Tax Tip

Taxable or Not – What You Need to Know about Income

IRS Tax Tip 2015-24, February 23, 2015

All income is taxable unless the law excludes it. Here are some basic rules you should know to help you file an accurate tax return:

  • Taxed income.  Taxable income includes money you earn, like wages and tips. It also includes bartering, an exchange of property or services. The fair market value of property or services received is taxable.

Some types of income are not taxable except under certain conditions, including:

  • Life insurance.  Proceeds paid to you because of the death of the insured person are usually not taxable. However, if you redeem a life insurance policy for cash, any amount that you get that is more than the cost of the policy is taxable.
  • Qualified scholarship.  In most cases, income from this type of scholarship is not taxable. This means that amounts you use for certain costs, such as tuition and required books, are not taxable. On the other hand, amounts you use for room and board are taxable.
  • State income tax refund.  If you got a state or local income tax refund, the amount may be taxable. You should have received a 2014 Form 1099-G from the agency that made the payment to you. If you didn’t get it by mail, the agency may have provided the form electronically. Contact them to find out how to get the form. Report any taxable refund you got even if you did not receive Form 1099-G.

tax helpHere are some types of income that are usually not taxable:

  • Gifts and inheritances
  • Child support payments
  • Welfare benefits
  • Damage awards for physical injury or sickness
  • Cash rebates from a dealer or manufacturer for an item you buy
  • Reimbursements for qualified adoption expenses

Hello Spring!

Today is the first day of spring!

Each spring many of us spend time purging and sprucing up our homes, cars, and even offices.  We rid our spaces of cobwebs and items that we no longer have a use for; we even update outdated items.  Doing so can give us a feeling of revival of energy after a long winter. This concept of Spring Cleaning through purging and updating may be just what some of your business functions need to revive your employees and your company itself.

When was the last time you reviewed your policies and procedures?  This may be a great first step in “Spring Cleaning” for your business.  As we enter recovery from the great recession, you may find your business in the position to acquire new talent.  As you review your policies and procedures, take the time to do a comparison against other companies to ensure that you are competitive in the hiring process.  Are your handbooks up to date? Or do they need to be updated with new policies and procedures from when they were first created?

To remain competitive in hiring new employees, maybe it’s time you looked at your benefits package?  Are you offering the best package you can? When attracting new employees, a good benefits package can be just as important as salary.  HR Strategies can help you offer a premium benefits package to your employees, while keeping you in compliance with benefit regulations.  Speaking of being in compliance, when was the last time you looked to make sure that all of your Notice of Employee Rights and other postings, required by law, were up to date? “Spring Cleaning” is a great time to do so!

The recession brought about many changes in job duties for many of us. Some employees took on additional roles, some moved up in the ranks, and some have moved down in rank.  “Spring Cleaning” is a good time to review your written job descriptions, to make sure that they are accurate.  While taking the time to do so, why not also review compensation policies. With new job descriptions written out, do you see where an employee/job may not be compensated properly? Does an increase need to be in the works? Or have the job duties decreased, and a decrease in salary needs to be implemented?

HR Strategies provides all the solutions and consulting you need to be able to “Spring Clean” your business HR functions. Give us a call today; so that we can start ridding your company of HR cobwebs!

770-339-0000

tulips

Tuesday Tax Tip

What You Should Know if You Changed Your Name

IRS Tax Tip 2015-22, February 19, 2015

Did you change your name last year? If you did, it can affect your taxes. All the names on your tax return must match Social Security Administration records. A name mismatch can delay your refund. Here’s what you should know if you changed your name:

  • Report Name Changes.  Did you get married and are now using your new spouse’s last name or hyphenated your last name? Did you divorce and go back to using your former last name? In either case, you should notify the SSA of your name change. That way, your new name on your IRS records will match up with your SSA record.
  • Dependent Name Change.  Notify the SSA if your dependent had a name change. For example, this could apply if you adopted a child and the child’s last name changed.

    If you adopted a child who does not have a SSN, you may use an Adoption Taxpayer Identification Number on your tax return. An ATIN is a temporary number. You can apply for an ATIN by filing Form W-7A, Application for Taxpayer Identification Number for Pending U.S. Adoptions, with the IRS. You can visit IRS.gov to view, download, print or order the form at any time.

  • Get a New Card.  File Form SS-5, Application for a Social Security Card, to notify SSA of your name change. You can get the form on SSA.gov or call 800-772-1213 to order it. Your new card will show your new name with the same SSN you had before.
  • Report Changes in Circumstances in 2015.  If you purchase health insurance coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace you may get advance payments of the premium tax credit in 2015. If you do, be sure to report changes in circumstances, such as a name change, a new address and a change in your income or family size to your Marketplace throughout the year. Reporting changes will help make sure that you get the proper type and amount of financial assistance and will help you avoid getting too much or too little in advance.

ssn new name card

Tomorrow is Saint Patrick’s Day!

Rivers will be died green. Parades will happen. Kids will be waking up tomorrow and remembering to wear their green, so they can go to school and be a pincher and not a pinchee! Adults may be flocking to their local establishments to partake in adult beverages.

It will be a festive and fun day for many as we keep an eye out for leprechauns. But if we aren’t careful, our Pot O’ Gold, may suffer by not following some simple tips for Saint Patrick’s Day when it comes to work.

1. No Green Beer

Simply put: alcohol and work do not mix. So save the green beer and Jameson for your personal time after hours! A green tinted non-alcoholic punch or drink would be a great way to celebrate with your co-workers!

2. Costumes

Be mindful of what you are representing when picking out your attire. It is always imperative that your attire stays within the realms of your company’s dress code. That being said, why not sport a green top, tie, or socks?

3. No Pinching Zone

Legend has it that if you don’t wear green on St. Paddy’s Day then you get pinched. This is one thing that we need to leave in the school yard. No green pinch is worth a sexual harassment claim!

4. Irish Flu

The day after St. Paddy’s Day has long been a day of high absenteeism. As an employee, do you have a PTO day you can schedule? As a boss, are you prepared for scheduling problems?

With those for things in mind, be ready to sport your shamrocks, eat your corned beef and cabbage, and have a festive day!

st patricks day hat

Happy Birthday Girl Scouts!

girl scouts green logoToday is the 103rd birthday of the Girl Scouts. On this day in 1912, Juliette Gordon Low registered the first 18 girl members, right here in our home state of Georgia.

According to the article “Why Girl Scouts Become Entrepreneurs”, in Inc. Magazine, “More than two thirds of the female members of Congress and an incredible 80% of women business owners were Girl Scouts.”

Stats like that make us happy to support not only small businesses but also the Girl Scouts!

Happy Birthday Cupcake

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