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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?
China responded quickly to the global economic downturn in 2008 and, as a result of a combination of monetary, fiscal, and bank-lending measures China’s GDP grew 9.2 percent in 2009 and an impressive 10.3 percent in 2010. Projections are for the GDP growth to slow slightly in 2011 to between 9 and 9.5 percent.
Accompanying the rise in China’s GDP, U.S. exports to China increased in 2010 by over 32 percent to almost $92 billion. Of course, China’s exports to the U.S. also increased by 23 percent, leading to a balance of trade deficit of $273 billion. After falling in 2009, the trade imbalance with China is now on the rise again. China remains the U.S.’s second largest trading partner after Canada.
After near zero percent inflation in 2009, in 2010 consumer price index rose 3.3 percent, exceeding the authorities’ target of 3.0 percent. Inflation reached 5.1 percent in December 2010, alarming authorities who undertook a multipronged effort to bring real estate prices, food prices and monetary liquidity driven by bank lending under greater control.
The “Made in America” brand remains strong, with a growing number of businesses bringing production and jobs back to the U.S. from overseas.
Recent studies indicate on-shoring is likely to increase over the next several years due to rising transportation costs and as companies take advantage of America’s high workforce productivity and strong quality control.
Do You Plan to Bring Production Home? The U.S. Small Business Administration’s International Trade Loan (ITL) Program Can Help!
The U.S. Small Business Administration’s ITL program provides small businesses with capital to finance their fixed assets, including real estate, and working capital needs. This program offers private lenders a 90% guarantee on loans as an incentive to encourage lending to growing small businesses.