Three new provisions to help small businesses In a previous article, I stated that our present Congress is not a “do nothing” Congress. They have shown that they are not afraid to pass bills and make laws. Not everyone agrees with the bills they have passed and laws they have instituted, but they do keep trying. For example, just last Thursday Congress passed the Small Business Jobs and Credit Act of 2010. This bill has some provisions that will help many small businesses such as self-employed sole proprietors, partnerships and small corporations. Of course, it also has a myriad of provisions that seem to be written to affect about one person or entity in the entire United States. I will highlight the provisions that affect many of my tax clients. First, and perhaps best, there is a provision that will allow self-employed taxpayers to deduct premiums paid for health insurance for the owner and owner’s family when calculating the taxpayers’ self-employment tax. In light of the cost of health insurance today and where those costs are heading, this is huge. This provision only affects the 2010 tax year, but one year is better than no years. Making this change is perceived as leveling the playing field between employees and self-employed taxpayers. Currently, if a taxpayer works for a company and the company supplies health insurance for the taxpayer, this is a totally tax-free fringe benefit. The company deducts the premiums paid and the taxpayer does not have to claim the premium as a taxable benefit. However, up until now that has not been the case for self-employed taxpayers. The self-employed taxpayer has always been allowed to deduct the premium as an adjustment to income so they don’t pay any regular tax on the premium. But they have never been able to deduct the premium when calculating the amount of Social Security tax due on their profit. Social Security tax is calculated at 15.3% of the taxpayer’s profit. So while the employees of the world don’t tax regular tax or Social Security tax on their tax-free fringe, the self-employed taxpayers of the world have been forced to pay a 15.3% tax on their almost tax-free fringe. That has always been perceived as not being fair and […]
October 7 2010
Cub Scouts from Pack 3285 at Crestwood Elementary School took part in the 9/11 Remembrance Salute at Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum in downtown Grand Rapids. This year over 3,500 Scouts took part in the salute. “We had a wonderful turnout this year, in spite of the rainy weather,” according to Ryan Kreisch, Eagle Spirit District Executive. “The number of participants continues to increase every year.” Each year since 2002, the salute is held to honor those who lost their lives and those who gave so much love and help following the terrorism attack on September 11, 2001. The sun-up-to-sun-down salute conducted by Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, law enforcement, area fire services, EMS, active military, veterans and citizens is the only memorial held in the nation for the entire day.
Type O negative blood needed The American Red Cross has launched local public appeals for blood donors to combat a decline in the number of people giving blood this month. The American Red Cross Great Lakes Blood Services Region is currently in desperate need for Type O negative and new blood donors to help them be good stewards of the blood supply. City of Rockford offers fall tree planting program The City of Rockford will once again be offering a 50/50 fall tree planting program. Residents who are interested in participating in this program are asked to contact City Hall to make arrangements for the type and location of the tree to be planted. The City offers this program for parkway trees, where the City pays 50 percent of the cost and the resident pays the other 50 percent for the trees planted between the sidewalk and curb area. Once the chosen location is determined to be appropriate for a parkway tree, the City will schedule Miss Dig in advance of City crews planting the trees. Trees to be offered as part of this year’s fall planting program will include Superform Maples at a cost of $40 per tree to the resident, and Red Sunset Maples at a cost of $50 per tree. This program is available to City of Rockford residents only. Please contact City Hall at (616) 866-1537 to reserve your tree today.
D&W Fresh Markets, Family Fare offer flu, pneumonia vaccinations Local D&W Fresh Markets and Family Fare neighborhood stores are providing seasonal flu and pneumonia vaccinations. This provides convenient locations for area residents to receive low-cost seasonal flu and pneumonia vaccinations and educational materials. The Rockford D&W at 201 Marcell Drive will provide flu and pneumonia vaccinations on October 5 and 7 from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. The Family Fare store at 4175 17 Mile Road, Cedar Springs, will provide both vaccinations on October 6 and 12 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. “We urge area residents to take advantage of this low-cost community service and protect themselves against both influenza and pneumonia,” said Eddie Garcia, director of pharmacy for Spartan Stores. “According to the Centers for Disease Control, the single best way to protect against the seasonal flu is to get your vaccination each year.” The cost of a seasonal flu shot is $24.99 while the pneumonia vaccine, available at select locations only, is available for a $50 charge. Participants may pay with cash, check or money order. Medicare part B is also accepted unless the participant has a supplement insurance provider. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, www.cdc.gov/, in general, anyone who wants to reduce the chances of getting the flu should get vaccinated every year. Annual vaccination is especially important for people at high risk of having serious flu-related complications or people who live with or care for high-risk individuals. People who are at high risk for complications from seasonal flu and should get a seasonal flu vaccine each year are: • children 6 months through 18 years of age, • pregnant women, • people 50 years of age and older, • people of any age with certain chronic medical conditions, and • people who live in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities. People who live with or care for those at high risk for complications from seasonal flu and should get a seasonal flu vaccine each year are: • household contacts of persons at high risk for complications from the flu (see above), • household contacts and out-of-home caregivers of children less than 6 months of age (these children are too young to be vaccinated), and • healthcare workers. The […]