New Form I-9 Required January 22, 2017

New Form I-9 Required January 22, 2017

U.S. Citizens and Immigration Services (USCIS) has released a new version of Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification.

What is a Form I-9?

Federal law requires employers to hire only individuals eligible to legally work in the United States – either U.S. citizens or foreign citizens who have necessary authorization. To comply with the law, employers must verify the identity and employment authorization of each person they hire by completing and retaining Form I-9.

When do I need to use it?

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Hiring: Part-Time VS Full-Time

Hiring: Part-Time VS Full-Time

When hiring new employees, there is always much to consider. However, one of the most important choices you can make is whether to hire your new employees as part-time or full-time help. Both options have their own benefits and drawbacks. Here are some things you should consider when making your decision.

  1. 1.Part-time is inexpensive

Part-time employees tend to be your least expensive help for hire. This is due to the fact that part-time employees are almost always paid an hourly wage instead of a fixed salary. You will only ever have to pay them for the work that they do. And, so long as you are at or above the minimum wage, you get to decide your employee’s hourly pay. Part-time employees may also be less likely to expect pay raises than their full-time counterparts.

  1. 2.Part-time employees are great for times of flux

One of the best reasons to hire part-time is that you can schedule your employees strategically so that you always have exactly right amount. Since these employees only get paid for the amount of time that they work, you should never have to pay them undeservingly. This is not the case with full-time workers, as you cannot send them home on slow days. Because of the unpredictability part-time jobs can sometimes have, you should expect your employees to come and go. This is just the nature of business.

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DOL Appeals Nationwide Preliminary Injunction Against New Federal Overtime Rule

DOL Appeals Nationwide Preliminary Injunction Against New Federal Overtime Rule

On Dec-1 2016 the U.S. Department of Justice, on behalf of the U.S. Department of Labor filed a notice to appeal the nationwide preliminary injunction previously granted against implementation and enforcement of the new federal overtime rule, which was set to become effective on December 1, 2016. 

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Despite The 2016 Election Results ACA is currently the law of the land for now...

Despite The 2016 Election Results ACA is currently the law of the land for now...

If you would ask for one word to describe the year 2016 as it relates to the direction of the country it would be “Uncertainty” , the entire election year had many surprises and in many cases where those with a crystal ball predicted one way it turned out just the opposite.

The same can also be said in a way on the question of what’s next with ACA, and while we have heard from the President Elect, Vice President Elect, Speaker of the House and the Senate majority leader that repealing Obamacare will be of the first thing on their agenda we can’t know how long it will take and whether there will be different reporting requirements in the 2016 reporting.

At this point the original ACA law is still the law of the land, and we have to operate with this assumption until action is taken by the federal government which changes the laws.

That said; some relief does exist as we have previously notified you that the IRS has extended certain due dates 

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NYS Minimum Wage Changes

NYS Minimum Wage Changes

Effective 12-31-2016 there will be 6 minimum wage rates in the state of NY; it will depend on the location, Industry and in NYC it will also depend on the size of the company. Employers now need to review carefully the factors effecting the minimum wage in order to determine which minimum wage rate applies to them, employers need to ensure that they pay their employees with the minimum wage applicable to their company.

Following is the basic 6 minimum wage rates

  1. Employers Located in NYC and employ 11 or more employees. Minimum Wage 11.00
  2. Employers Located in NYC and employ 10 or less employees. Minimum Wage 10.50
  3. Employers Located in NYC and are in the Fast Food Industry (regardless of size). Minimum Wage 12.00
  4. Employers Located outside NYC and are in the Fast Food Industry (regardless of size). Minimum Wage 10.75
  5. Employers Located in Suffolk, Nassau, Westchester (regardless of size). Minimum Wage 10.00
  6. Employers Located in in the rest of NYS (regardless of size) Meaning outside of NYC or Suffolk, Nassau, Westchester Counties Minimum Wage 9.70
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Are you earning tax credits for hiring employees?

Are you earning tax credits for hiring employees?

You could be! The Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) rewards employers for hiring individuals from targeted groups, find out how you can benefit today.

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6 Tips For Training A New Employee

6 Tips For Training A New Employee

As a business owner, you are going to see a constant flow of new employees as your business grows. As you may already know, nothing spells success for your business more clearly than a well prepared, well trained, enthusiastic employee. An employee that has been well trained will be more trusting of you as an employer, and more worthy of your trust in return. That being said, the actual process of training an employee on the job can be a little bit messy and take some time, if you haven’t prepared yourself to do it right. Here are a few of the most important tips for how to train a new employee.

1. Show Your New Employees Around

This one may seem like the ultimate no-brainer, but it is actually a fairly important. Showing your employees where all of the supplies they need to succeed on the job are is crucial if you want to prevent new employees from fumbling around or wasting time. While this does, of course, include simple places like offices and bathrooms, you may find it wise to let your employees in on the location of less frequently visited locations such as supply rooms and the mail room, as well as the security office for the building. The time and difficulty this step takes will depend greatly on the physical size of your employee’s work location.

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Compliance Alert: New December 1 2016 Overtime Rules on hold for now..

Compliance Alert: New December 1 2016 Overtime Rules on hold for now..

On November 18 2016 we reminded you about the new overtime rules which are scheduled to go into effect on December 1 2016.

However, on November 22nd 2016 a federal judge in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas has granted a nationwide preliminary injunction against the U.S. Department of Labor's (DOL) new federal overtime rule.

Following are some of the changes which employers found most relevant to them.

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IRS Extends Certain ACA Deadlines

IRS Extends Certain ACA Deadlines

On Nov. 18th 2016 the IRS issued Notice 2016-70 which states that they have determined that a substantial number of employers and other insurance providers needed additional time to gather and analyze the information necessary to prepare the 2016 Forms 1095-C and 1095-B to be furnished to individuals, and is therefore giving employers subject to the Affordable Care Act's (ACA's) 2016 information-reporting requirements up to an additional 30 days to deliver these forms to employees.

The notice affects upcoming deadlines for ACA information reporting as follows:

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New Overtime Law From The Department Of Labor   

New Overtime Law From The Department Of Labor   

The US Department of Labor (DOL) released its final rule that will raise the white-collar overtime exemption threshold under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) – a decision that could affect about 7.4 million organizations.  The Final Rule guarantees a minimum wage for all hours worked and limits to 40 hours per week the number of hours an employee can work without additional compensation.

Rule Highlights.

  • Effective Start Date - The effective start date will be December 1, 2016.
  • Salary Threshold – The salary level threshold for full-time exempt “white collar” workers is raised from the $455/week ($23,600 Annually) to $913 per week; $47,476 annually.  
  • Highly Compensated Employee Threshold – The exempt highly compensated employees (HCEs) threshold for full-time salaried workers will be $134,004 annually.
  • Future Updates – There will now be an automatic update done every three years (1) The minimum salary level to the 40th percentile of full-time salaried workers in the lowest income region of the country; and (2) The HCE threshold to the 90th percentile of full-time salaried workers nationally.
  • Discretionary Bonuses - The Final Rule amends the salary basis test to allow employers to use non-discretionary bonuses and incentive payments (including commissions) to satisfy up to 10% of the new standard salary level.

Unaffected Employees.

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2017 Filing Deadlines (NEW) For W-2 And 1099 Forms

2017 Filing Deadlines (NEW) For W-2 And 1099 Forms

Starting with the 2017 tax filing season, the deadline for submitting your government copies of W-2 and 1099 forms will be January 31, 2017.  No longer will you have the option to wait until February 28, 2017 to file these forms. The new due dates are applicable to tax year 2016 for the following forms:

  • W-2
  • 1099-R
  • 1099 MISC


You are required to provide all employees their W-2 forms and all contractor 1099 forms by January 31, 2017.  In addition, you will also need to file your Federal Copy A (Forms W-2, 1099-R, and/or 1099-MISC as appropriate) with the Social Security Administration (SSA) or the IRS by January 31, 2017. 

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IRS Releases Affordable Care Act 2016 Forms and Instructions

IRS Releases Affordable Care Act 2016 Forms and Instructions

This past September, the IRS published final Forms 1094-C and 1095-C, and the final 2016 Instructions for Forms 1094-C and 1095-C.

Click here to read the IRS’ 2016 Instructions For Forms 1094-C and 1095-C.

 

For clarification purposes, the IRS wants all Applicable Large Employers (ALEs) to know the importance of offering coverage to at least 95% of full-time employees and their dependents (e.g., must check the Yes box in Column (a) in Part III of the Form 1094-C that month) in order for such employers to be able to take advantage of affordability safe harbors on Form 1095-C.

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7 Ways to Improve Workplace Communication

7 Ways to Improve Workplace Communication

When you’re running your own business, communication is key. Open communication is what keeps a business running smoothly, and leads to ultimate success. If you feel like you and your employees struggle to communicate, you should address it immediately. Here are 7 ways to improve workplace communication.

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7 Common Mistakes that Small Business Owners Make

7 Common Mistakes that Small Business Owners Make

Whether you're just starting out as a business owner, or you’ve been in the game for a while, mistake can happen. Here are some common mistakes to try to avoid making.

  1. 1.Not separating themselves from their business

It can be very difficult to distance yourself from your business. Your business is your brainchild, and you pour yourself into it, but that doesn't mean that you are one in the same. Distancing your identity from your business is not only a good professional practice, but a healthy personal practice. That way, you don’t bring personal issues into your business, and your business issues don’t affect your social life or your self-esteem. Easier said than done, but a good goal to work towards.

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6 Ways Small Business Owners Can Reduce Stress

6 Ways Small Business Owners Can Reduce Stress

Owning your own business is taxing, but rewarding. However sometimes the former sees to outweigh the latter. Here are some suggestions for how you can handle and reduce your stress as a small business owner.

  1. 1.Start with a plan

Many small business owners find themselves struggling with the big picture, and ignoring the small projects and details that are actually more important. This is because it is not uncommon for small business owners not to have a solid big picture in mind when they start their company. Then, they discover that they don't have a set goal, and it becomes all they focus on. You should have a plan of what your want your business to be so that once it's up and running, you and your employees can concentrate on making your way to that goal. Don't go in without a plan.

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12 Ways Small Businesses Can Save Money

12 Ways Small Businesses Can Save Money

Small companies tend to operate with narrow margins of profit--and as every business owner knows, a dollar saved is a dollar earned. So in the spirit of helping small businesses everywhere succeed, here are 12 tips that can help you save some money.

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Founder’s Syndrome

Founder’s Syndrome

In recent years, and increasing amount of attention has been given to a common problem in the world of small business: founder’s syndrome. This problem, per its corresponding Wikipedia article, is defined as “a difficulty faced by organizations where one or more founders maintain disproportionate power and influence following the effective initial establishment of the project, leading to a wide range of problems for both the organization and those involved in it.” Wikipedia goes on to point that founder’s syndrome is, ironically, often the result of too much of a good thing. “The passion and charisma of the founder,” continues the article, “which was such an important reason for the successful establishment of the organization, becomes a limiting and destructive force, rather than the creative and productive one it was in the early stages.”

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Employers Have Until September 28 to Request Certification for Eligible New Hires

Employers Have Until September 28 to Request Certification for Eligible New Hires

The IRS is urging employers to take advantage of a special September 28, 2016 certification deadline regarding the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC).

Background
The WOTC is a federal tax credit available to employers for hiring individuals from certain target groups who have consistently faced significant barriers to employment.

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The PR Basics

The PR Basics

Does your company have a comprehensive PR strategy in place? If not, don’t stress--managing this important component of success is easier than you might imagine. Here are a few of the PR basics that all business owners should know.

Have a Press Kit Ready. This will allow you to cooperate with any members of the media who wish to cover your company. (Which is almost always an amazing opportunity to get your name out there. All press is good press, as the old saying goes.) The basics of a good press kit include photos and bios of your company's execs and important employees, high-quality company logo images, useful marketing videos, product descriptions, and a well-written overview of your company, its mission statement, and any other info you would like coverage of. Understand that the media will assume that you should have these things ready for them, and failing to do so could reflect on your company negatively, or even cost you the opportunity that you worked so hard to get.

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7 Budgeting Tips for Small and Medium-Sized Businesses

7 Budgeting Tips for Small and Medium-Sized Businesses

We’ll be frank: budgeting is not easy. In fact, budgeting could practically be defined as the art of making tough decision. Especially for small and medium-sized businesses, who tend to have less resources to work with, budgeting can present a real challenge. However, it is nothing to shy away from: budgeting decisions are, in large part, the decisions that will determine your success or failure.

There are no hard and fast rules in the budgeting. In fact, recent history is full of controversial budgeting decisions that went against the grain yet paid off big—just look at virtually any big name in the tech industry for an example. But, with all this being said, it is true that there are a few general guidelines that most businesses do well to follow. Here are some of our favorites:

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