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Blog March 2012
The Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) did a deep dive into the 2007 Survey of Business Owner data released by the U.S. Census Bureau and found minority-owned firms are more likely to export compared to non-minority-owned businesses. Export activity of minority-owned firms spanned 41 countries, with Mexico, Brazil, and the Dominican Republic dominating the list. Across the oceans, minority-owned firms are also selling their products and services to countries that include Turkey, India, China and the Philippines according to data from the U.S. Export Import bank.
The Obama Administration has set a goal of doubling the nation’s exports in five years and minority-owned firms are playing a crucial role in meeting this goal. Further analysis of the Census Bureau data revealed that minority-owned firms were three times more likely to own firms that generate 100% of their revenue through exports than those of non-minority-owned firms. In addition to being more likely to export, minority-owned firms were twice as likely to have operations abroad when compared to non-minority-owned firms and publicly held firms.
With over 140 million consumers, a growing middle class, and almost unlimited infrastructure needs, Russia remains one of the most promising markets for U.S. exporters. Russia is the world’s 11th largest economy and has the highest per capita GDP ($15,900) of the BRIC countries. It is an upper middle income country, with a highly educated workforce and sophisticated, discerning consumers. Russia’s economy has begun to recover from the economic crisis that started in 2008, with GDP growth at 4.0% for 2010.
This growth was slightly less than anticipated due to drought and wildfires, which disrupted agriculture, commerce and industry. Economists forecast real GDP growth of 4.3% in 2011. Russia was the U.S.’s 37th largest export market and the 17th largest exporter to the U.S. in 2010. U.S. exports to Russia were $5.97 billion, a 12% increase from 2009.
Russian exports to the U.S. were $26.5 billion, up 41% from 2009. Russian sources list the country’s leading trade partners as: Netherlands, China, Germany, Italy, Ukraine and Turkey. U.S. accumulated investment in Russia is approximately $21.3 billion. According to Russian data, the U.S. is Russia’s 10th largest foreign investor.
Whether retirement days are near or far, you should be up-to-date on the types of retirement plans available to you and your employees. The plans you will hear most about are IRA, SEP, SIMPLE and 401(k). In addition to providing for your retirement, they may offer significant tax benefits today.
Individual Retirement Arrangement, IRAs are plans that let you set aside money for your retirement. Banks, financial institutions, mutual funds and stockbrokers are among those who offer IRA accounts.
To contribute to a traditional IRA, you must be under age 70½ at the end of the tax year and have taxable compensation greater than or equal to your contribution during the year. Contributions may be tax deductible in full or in part, depending on your circumstances. The amounts earned by your IRA contributions are usually not taxed until you withdraw the money. Generally, you can’t withdraw money from your IRA before you turn age 59½ without paying income taxes and a 10 percent additional tax.
Regardless of your age, you may be able to set up a Roth IRA. You can’t deduct your contributions, but if certain requirements are met, earnings will be tax-free.
CASH VS. ACCRUAL
Every business taxpayer is required to have an accounting method to report income and expenses. The two most commonly used methods are cash and accrual. Once you choose your accounting method, you must follow it consistently. Generally, you may not change your method of accounting unless you obtain permission from the IRS.
Due to its simplicity, the cash method is a popular choice for small businesses. To determine gross income, add up the cash, checks, and fair market value of property and services you receive during the year.
If you receive a check on December 28, 2011, but decide not to cash or deposit it until after December 31, 2011, you must still count the check as income in the year you received it.
Business expenses are usually deducted in the year they are paid. For example, you order office supplies in October 2011 and they arrive in December 2011. You send a check to pay for them in January 2012. Under the cash method, you should claim that business expense deduction on your 2012 tax return because that is the year you paid for the supplies. Certain businesses cannot use the cash method. In addition, special rules apply for the accounting of inventory.
Central Contractor Registration (CCR) is the official, free on-line registrant database for the U.S. Federal Government. CCR collects, validates, stores and disseminates data in support of agency acquisition and award missions.
Purpose: Client Resource, Marketing Businesses
Who should register in CCR?
- Current and potential vendors must be registered in CCR prior to an award or contract, basic agreement, basic ordering, or blanket purchase agreement [See FAR 4.11]
- Private non-profits, educational organizations, state and regional agencies that apply for assistance awards via grants.gov must now register with CCR
- A foreign company that performs work outside the US is required to register in the CCR system in order to be awarded a contract [See FAR 4.1102(a)(5)]
- Exceptions are reserved for classified contracts (see 2.101) or contracts to support unusual or compelling needs
What is required to register?