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Financial Education


  • Submitted on 03 May 2012

    The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and U.S. Small Business Administration today announced new resources to support small businesses across the nation.  Acting Chairman Gruenberg and SBAs Associate Administrator for Entrepreneurial Development Michael Chodos released Money Smart for Small Business, a training curriculum for new and aspiring business owners.

    Developed in partnership between both agencies, this curriculum is the latest offering in the FDIC’s award-winning Money Smart program.

  • Submitted on 01 May 2012

    Institutions participating in the Small Business Lending Fund significantly increased small business lending in the 4th quarter of 2011 by $1.3 billion over the 3rd quarter—for a total of $4.8 billion over their baseline. A substantial majority of SBLF participants have now increased their small business lending by 10% or more.

  • Submitted on 29 March 2012

    With business tax-filing deadlines fast approaching, the Internal Revenue Service today encouraged small employers that provide health insurance coverage to their employees to check out the small business health care tax credit and then claim it if they qualify.

    The recently-revamped Small Business Health Care Tax Credit page on IRS.gov is packed with information and resources designed to help small employers see if they qualify for the credit and then figure it correctly. These include a step-by-step guide for determining eligibility, examples of typical tax savings under various scenarios, answers to frequently-asked questions, a YouTube video and a webinar.

  • Submitted on 20 March 2012

    Estimated Taxes CalculatorEstimated tax is the method used to pay tax on income that is not subject to withholding. This includes income from self-employment, interest, dividends, alimony, rent, gains from the sale of assets, prizes and awards. You also may have to pay estimated tax if the amount of income tax being withheld from your salary, pension, or other income is not enough.

    Estimated tax is used to pay income tax and self-employment tax, as well as other taxes and amounts reported on your tax return. If you do not pay enough through withholding or estimated tax payments, you may be charged a penalty. If you do not pay enough by the due date of each payment period you may be charged a penalty even if you are due a refund when you file your tax return.

  • Submitted on 08 March 2012

    Money and CompassWhether 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.

    TRADITIONAL IRA

    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.

    ROTH IRA

    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.

  • Submitted on 06 March 2012

    Cash and PenCASH 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.

    CASH METHOD

    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.

  • Submitted on 29 February 2012

    Metal WorkThe “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.

  • Submitted on 25 January 2012

    When you’re running a business, you don’t need to be a tax expert, too. But you do need some tax basics. IRS Small Business Advantage gives you the  information you need to stay tax compliant so your business can thrive. 

    AccountingChoosing a Tax Professional

    With your new responsibilities, you may decide to hire a professional tax preparer to assist with your taxes. Enrolled agents, tax attorneys, and certified public accountants have training and expertise in federal taxes. When selecting a tax professional, ask a few questions to see if he/she offers what you are looking for:

    Experience: Does the tax professional have experience in working with similar size and type businesses? Is the professional familiar with your particular line of business?

    Services: Does the tax professional offer electronic filing—the safest and most efficient way to file your tax returns?

    Price: What does the tax professional charge for services? If the IRS examines your return, what is the tax professional’s policy on assisting you? Is the tax professional authorized to practice before the IRS?

    Qualifications: New regulations require all paid tax return preparers to register with the IRS and obtain a Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN). Ensure that the tax professional you choose has a PTIN.

  • Submitted on 20 January 2012

    Health Care Tax Credit

    Health Care Tax CreditHealth coverage legislation enacted in 2011 included a Small Business Health Care Tax Credit to help small businesses and small tax-exempt organizations provide health insurance coverage to their employees.

    Small businesses and tax-exempt organizations providing health insurance coverage will qualify for a special tax credit. Included in the health care reform legislation, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act encourages small business employers to offer health insurance coverage for the first time or maintain coverage they already have. In general, the credit is available to small business employers paying at least half the cost of single coverage for their employees.

    Go to www.irs.gov, search: Health Care Tax Credit.

  • Submitted on 18 January 2012

    2012 Tax CalendarKnowing when and what you have to file can save you a lot of headaches at tax time. To avoid paying penalties, mark your calendar with the following key dates.

    If a filing or payment deadline falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, the deadline will be the next business day.

    January 31, 2012

    • Furnish Forms 1098, 1099 and W-2G to recipients for certain payments during 2011. Furnish Form W-2 to employees who worked for you during 2011.

    March 15, 2012

    • Corporations: File Form 1120 for 2011 calendar year and pay any tax due. For automatic 6-month extension, file Form 7004 and deposit estimated tax.

    • Electing Large Partnerships: Furnish Sch. K-1 (Form 1065-B) to each partner.

    • S Corporations: File Form 1120S for 2011 calendar year and pay any tax due. Furnish a copy of Sch. K-1 to each shareholder. File Form 2553 to elect S Corporation status beginning with calendar year 2012.

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