Business News

FresnoBee.com: California Business

Expert: Promoter created conflict with Jackson doc


Mon, 17 Jun 2013 16:48:23 PDT
The promoter of Michael Jackson's ill-fated series of comeback shows created a conflict of interest with the singer's physician when it negotiated terms of his deal, an expert testifying for the superstar's mother told a jury Monday. Read comments


The Business Journal - LOCAL NEWS

Visalia bank announces Q4 dividend


2014-11-22T00:40:35+00:00

Valley Commerce Bancorp, parent company of Valley Business Bank of Visalia, announced an eight-cent cash dividend to its shareholders for the fourth quarter.

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Valley Commerce Bancorp, parent company of Valley Business Bank of Visalia, announced an eight-cent cash dividend to its shareholders for the fourth quarter.

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California Newswire®

Women of Excellence, Lifetime Achievement and Business of the Year Awards 2014


Wed, 19 Nov 2014 22:23:44 +0000

SACRAMENTO, Calif. /California Newswire/ -- More than 500 people are expected to attend the annual award luncheon Saturday, November 22, to recognize winners of the 'Women of Excellence, Lifetime Achievement and Business of the Year Awards' presented by the Sacramento Chapter of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women (NCBW).

The version of above news story edited by Christopher Simmons, Women of Excellence, Lifetime Achievement and Business of the Year Awards 2014 was published on California Newswire. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without express permission is prohibited except under fair use provisions of international copyright law. Content based on press releases may be owned by the news source mentioned in the news story. Information is believed accurate but is not guaranteed.


WSJ.com: Small Business

Three Year-End Tax Moves for Small Businesses


Fri, 21 Nov 2014 22:07:01 EST
By Laura Saunders The U.S. has more than 28 million small businesses, and they employ nearly half of private-sector workers, according to federal data.What they often lack is staff dedicated to tax matters. Yet this year small businesses face thorny new issues.In particular, owners of small businesses should consider taking these three steps: Scrutinize health reimbursement arrangements, or HRAs. In the past, many smaller businesses have chosen to reimburse workers who buy individual health-insurance policies rather than purchase group coverage. Under prior rules, employees often didn’t have to pay tax on the money. (Note: HRAs differ from health savings accounts, which allow tax-deductible payments to savings accounts to be used for health costs.)Now, these HRAs violate the rules of the Affordable Care Act. Businesses that have them could be fined up to $100 per employee a day, meaning a $36,500 penalty for each worker a year, says Eddie Adkins, a benefits specialist with the accounting firm Grant Thornton in Washington.Many small businesses are still unaware of the drastic penalties that HRAs can now trigger, says Mr. Adkins. “They think that because they have fewer than 50 employees, ACA penalties don’t apply to them. But this is a huge trap.” Under the ACA, businesses with fewer than 50 employees generally don’t have to provide health plans.It’s important for affected businesses to act right away. One fix, experts say, is to make the payments to workers regardless of whether they use the money to purchase health coverage and to count it as taxable compensation.There are also important exceptions to the new penalty. For example, it doesn’t apply to HRAs that have only one participant who is an employee. This means that many very small firms can continue to use HRAs as they did before, says Mr. Adkins.Another exception: If the firm offers an ACA-approved health plan as well as an HRA, and employees in the HRA participate in the plan, the firm won’t owe a penalty, he says. Prepare to act quickly on depreciation. The tax code generally requires businesses investing in equipment and property to spread deductions for these costs (known as depreciation) over several years rather than taking them all at once, which is better for owners.However, Congress in the past has granted more generous write-offs for these business investments. The enhanced Section 179 depreciation, for example, allowed an immediate deduction of up to $500,000 for capital investments rather than just $25,000.So-called bonus depreciation, another enhancement Congress passed, provided additional incentives.Both benefits expired at the beginning of 2014, as did other provisions. Such lapses have happened before, and lawmakers have retroactively reinstated the benefits for two years. But the outcome this year is uncertain following the recent election.One real possibility, experts say, is that Congress will reinstate the provisions for only one year—2014. Then they will expire again, as of Jan. 1, 2015.The upshot: Business owners could have just a few weeks—or less—to make investments under the more generous rules. Dave Kautter, who heads the national tax office of accounting firm McGladrey, is urging businesses that would benefit from the enhanced depreciation to prepare to act quickly.“Right now nobody knows what’s going to happen, even the Congress members and their staffs,” says Mr. Kautter. If the provisions are reinstated for only that brief period, and Congress then tackles broader tax overhauls next year, the provisions “might become a bargaining chip and never reappear in their current form.” Grapple with the “repair regs.” In 2013, the Internal Revenue Service finally issued new regulations for Section 263 of the tax code, which also involves depreciation.This guidance details which expenditures qualify for an immediate deduction, such as the repair of a broken window, and which must be written off over several years, unless Congress grants more generous treatment, as described above.The new rules, known as the “repair regs,” took effect for 2014. They apply to all businesses that are “buying, building or bettering business property and equipment—any firm with a depreciation schedule,” says Don Williamson, who heads the Kogod Tax Center at American University.Some experts say the rules are too complex and can force firms to dig up records going back 20 years to comply. “Businesses shouldn’t have to spend a dollar to get a dime’s worth of benefit,” says Melissa Labant, a tax specialist with the American Institute of CPAs. Critics hope the IRS will simplify the rules.However, Mr. Williamson says that small businesses should be aware of possible benefits in the new rules. For example, such firms can often immediately deduct capital investments under $500, as well as the cost of many significant improvements to buildings, instead of stretching the deductions over several years.


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