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    Friday, October 29, 2010

    Top 5 Business Tips on How to be Sure You Are Adequately Insured

    With the economy still sputtering, your business needs to take advantage of the resources available to them. SCORE (http://www.score.org) offers useful, free resources, business counseling and business tools to small businesses.

    One of SCORE’s great resources is its lists of “Top 5 Business Tips.” My pick for this week is SCORE’s 5 tips on How to be Sure You Are Adequately Insured  - check it out at: http://www.score.org/5_tips_om_8.html.

    We recommend involving your accountant and business lawyer in reviewing your business insurance needs to ensure you adequately address and cover your business risks.

    SCORE is a partner with the Small Business Administration (SBA) and is a national association dedicated to helping small business owners form and grow their businesses. SCORE offers terrific free resources, business counseling and business tools for small businesses.


    For information on how the business lawyers at Griffith & Jacobson, LLC can help your business grow, contact Arieh M. Flemenbaum at 312-236-8110 or by email at Contact Us (http://www.gjlaw.com/contact). Or visit us at our website: http://www.gjlaw.com
    Griffith & Jacobson, LLC – We know business – Chicago’s Business Lawyers.

    There is Still Time for Your Business to Take Advantage of the HIRE Act!

    There is still time for your business to take advantage of the tax credits available for hiring unemployed workers.  The tax credits are available in 2010 as part of the Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment (HIRE) Act.

    There are 2  tax benefits are now available to employers hiring workers who were previously unemployed or only working part-time:

    1. Employers who hire unemployed workers this year (by 12/31/10) may qualify for a 6.2-percent payroll tax incentive. This hiring incentive effectively exempts the employers from their share of Social Security taxes on wages paid to the hired employees for 2010. Employers would still need to withhold the employee’s 6.2-percent share of Social Security taxes, as well as employer and employee’s shares of Medicare taxes and withholding for income taxes.

    2. In addition, for each worker retained for at least a year, businesses can claim an extra general business tax credit, up to $1,000 per employee, when the company files its 2011 income tax returns.

    See the following IRS article for more guidance: http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=220326,00.html

    Thursday, October 28, 2010

    IRS delays reporting requirements for Group Health Care Coverage for Businesses

    Under the recently passed Affordable Care Act of 2010, businesses should have started reporting group health care coverage in 2011. The Act requires businesses to report the value of employer-sponsored health coverage, by indicating the cost of the health insurance coverage they provide employees on each employee's annual Form W-2.  However, IRS has decided to delay such reporting requirements.

    The IRS determined that interim relief was needed to to provide employers the time they need to make changes to their payroll systems or procedures in preparation for compliance with this requirement. So, the IRS will defer the reporting requirement for 2011, making that reporting by employers optional in 2011. The interim relief from the IRS does not require companies to file the reports until 2012.

    See IRS guidance: http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-drop/n-2010-69.pdf http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=220809,00.html

    Wednesday, October 27, 2010

    Is Your Business Eligible for the Small Business Health Care Tax Credit?

    As part of the health care package recently passed by Congress, a credit is given to small businesses for certain payments of employee healthcare coverage for low to moderate income workers. This credit will help small businesses offer employer-sponsored health coverage by making the cost of covering their employees more affordable. In general, the credit is available to small employers that pay at least half the cost of single coverage for their employees. The credit can be applied to new health insurance coverage or it can help the small business owner maintain the coverage they already offer.

    Here are the “Fast Facts” for the Health Care Tax Credit:

    Credit Amount: Starting in 2010, the (small business) healthcare tax credit is worth up to 35% of your business' health care premium costs.

    ▸ The maximum rate (i.e., up to 35%) applies for 2011 through 2013 as well.

    ▸ On January 1, 2014, your credit increases to 50%.


    If you can answer yes to these 3 requirements, your business may be eligible to claim the small business health tax credit:

    1.   Number of Employees: You are a “small business” for the purposes of this tax credit if your businesses has less than 25 full-time workers.

    ▸ There is a progressive reduction (or phase out) of the credit after 10  full-time employees.

    2.  Wages: The average wage or salary paid to your employees is less than $50,000 per year.

    ▸ The credit phases out gradually for enterprises with average wages between $25,000 and $50,000.

    ▸ Even if you have employees who earn more than $50,000 per year, you may still qualify for the credit for those who fall below this cut-off.

    3.  Coverage Payments: You pay at least 50% of the employee’s single coverage rate (i.e., coverage for the employee-only).

    To determine if your business is eligible, use the IRS worksheet (“Three Simple Steps”): http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-utl/3_simple_steps.pdf

    Reporting: Businesses will use new Form 8941 to calculate and report the small business health care tax credit.

    ▸ A draft of the form is available (http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-dft/f8941--dft.pdf)

    ▸ A final Form 8941 be available later this year.

    For more information see the IRS website on this credit go to: http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=223666,00.html


    The attorneys at the Chicago business law firm of Griffith & Jacobson, LLC can help your business with this tax credit.

    For information on how our business lawyers can help you, contact Arieh M. Flemenbaum at 312-236-8110 or info@gjlaw.com .

    Visit our website at http://www.gjlaw.com.

    Griffith & Jacobson, LLC – Chicago’s Business Lawyers.