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Archive for the 'Business Tax' Category

Tax Incentives for Businesses in Texas

The state of Texas has the second largest GDP in the United States, and at $1.6 trillion it accounts for nearly 9 percent of the US total. A Forbes report listed the Lone Star state in fourth place along a number of crucial rankings, including Best Place for Business and Best in Business Costs. Other key metrics like business density, start-up activity, and business survival rates are also among the top 5 of all 50 states. More importantly, the state is known for its favorable tax climate, which ranked 10th in the 2016 State Business Tax Climate Index. Overall Texas spends a total of $19b per year on incentive schemes, of which $743 million are devoted to corporate rebates or reduction programs, such as the ones listed below.

Enterprise Zone Program

This program was created to promote job creation and attract private investment in designated distressed counties. The program offers businesses involved in qualifying projects a sales tax refund whose amount depends on capital investment and the number of jobs created. Total refunds go from $25,000 up to a maximum of $3.75 million.

Texas Enterprise Fund

This Fund was created in 2004 to favor the creation of high paying jobs and to promote Texas as a top destination for business. The incentive involves the award of a cash grant whose specific dollar amount varies depending on scope of the project, but can go anywhere from $194,000 to $50 million. So far, cash grants have been awarded to businesses of all sizes and sectors, from JPMorgan Chase to Tyson Foods, Jamba Juice, and Petco.

Data Center Exemption

Under this incentive scheme, exemptions are applied to use and state sale taxes (which amount to 6.25 percent) for the purchase of cooling and or electrical systems, electricity, hardware, software, peripherals, emergency generators, and any other equipment needed to operate personal property within the building. To qualify, data centers must employ a minimum of 20 people and make an initial capital investment of $200 million. Read more »

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How will the 2016 Budget affect UK Businesses?

The UK’s 2016-2017 Budget was unveiled on 16 March. On the whole, British businesses welcomed the new measures outlined in this year’s Budget, as it was clear that the key changes were made in an attempt to stimulate the economy from bottom to top and to facilitate job creation while providing solid incentives for entrepreneurial activities nationwide. Approximately £24 billion have allocated to industry, agriculture, and employment, which have become top priorities given the crucial role that they play in driving economic growth in the country. This article provides an overview of how the new measures outlined in this year’s Budget will affect UK businesses.

UK Budget 2016: What large companies need to know

Read more »

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Key Dates for Companies and Businesses in the USA – Federal Requirements and Deadlines for 2016

Companies that operate in the United States have a lot of dates to remember throughout the year. Federal deadlines are important in filing tax information, keeping up on employment notifications and making sure that self-employed individuals pay their estimated taxes each quarter. Missing a federal deadline could mean penalties, fines and possible tax consequences.

January 15, 2016

  • All 1040-ES 2015 fourth quarter payments must be submitted

February 1, 2016

  • People who chose not to pay their final 1040-ES payments on January 15, 2016 can file their full returns and not sustain a penalty
  • Businesses must issue all 1099 forms
  • Farm employers must file form 943 for Social Security and Medicare filings
  • All employers must file form 940 for 2015 unemployment taxes
  • Form 720 for fourth quarter of 2015 must be filed
  • Companies must file form 2290 for any vehicles that were first utilized in December 2015

February 16, 2016

  • Employees must file income tax exemption forms with employers

February 29, 2016

  • Businesses must file information returns for payments made in 2015
  • Form 1096 for payment of gambling winnings and copy A of form W-2G must be filed
  • All employers must file their W-3 and copy A forms for each W-2 issued in 2015
  • Large food and beverage employers must file form 8027 regarding tip income
  • Form 730 required for all wagers placed in January
  • Form 2290 required for all vehicles first put into service in January

March 15, 2016

  • All corporations must file a form 1120 for their annual return
  • Partnerships must distribute K-1 forms to all partners

March 31, 2016

  • All forms 1097, 1098, 1099, 3921, 3922 and W2-G must be filed electronically
  • Employers must file all W-2 forms electronically

Read more »

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What Businesses in the US Need To Know About Preparing For the Holidays

The Holiday season is often the busiest time of year for a lot of businesses. From shipping deadlines to taxable and non-taxable gift guidelines, there is a lot of  things to bear in mind to ensure that your business is ready for the Holidays.

Christmas 2015: Dates and Deadlines for US Businesses

Official Holiday Dates

In 2015, Christmas Day will be Friday, December 25th. The vast majority of businesses (with the exception of restaurant chains and some convenience stores) will be closed on Christmas Day, and many will operate a reduced schedule on Christmas Eve too. Banks will be closed across the United States, and some financial institutions will also close early on December 24th.

Holiday Shipping Deadlines

Every year, the United States Postal Service publishes its Holiday posting and shipping deadlines. Domestic letters and parcels sent via Standard Post service must be posted by December 15th if they are to arrive on December 24th at the latest. Letters and parcels sent within the United States using First Class mail service must be posted by December 19th. Domestic items sent via Priority Mail should be on their way by December 21st, whereas letters and parcels sent to US addresses using Priority Mail Express can be posted as late as December 23rd.

The following deadlines apply to items sent to military or diplomatic addresses:

  • November 7th for items sent via Standard Post
  • November 25th for items sent via Space Available Mail
  • December 3rd for items sent via Parcel Airlift Mail
  • December 10th for items sent via Priority Mail and First Class Mail
  • December 17th for items sent via Priority Mail Express – Military service

The deadlines for letters and parcels addressed to international destinations vary from country to country, with last shipping dates ranging between December 1st for First Class International mail to December 21st for items sent via Global Express Guaranteed. For a full list of international destinations and their applicable deadlines, please visit the USPS site at Read more »

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Top Cities for Business: New York

As the world’s undisputed financial and commercial hub, New York is considered a prestigious location for businesses in all industry areas. Companies large and small choose to be base their businesses in this thriving US city, which serves as a springboard for further expansion. This article takes a look at some key figures that demonstrate how New York is a top choice for business and startups.

Economic overview

New York’s prosperous economy is characterised by its focus on diversity and innovation. This global business city has a healthy balance between public and private sector jobs and between small, medium, and large-sized companies. In 2015, the state’s GDP was estimated at $1.3 billion.

According to the Economist, New York ranks first in terms of its Global Competitiveness Index, and commercial think-tank Z/Yen lists the city as the number one global financial centre. A United Nations report shows that New York is second in the global prosperity index ratings, whereas the NYCEDC reports that the city’s innovation index is marked by a constant upward trend in six key areas: finance, R&D, human capital, intellectual property, entrepreneurship, and high-tech gross product. Federal Reserve data shows that job growth is slightly below the national average, although still well within an acceptable range at 1.8 per cent. As of March 2015, the local unemployment rate was 5.7 per cent.

Major industries

According to the latest data set released by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the most important industry sectors across the state of New York are education and health services, finance, trade, transportation and utilities, professional and business services, the public sector, leisure and hospitality. Read more »

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Registering your Business in the UK

Setting up a new business is an exciting process. For entrepreneurs dreaming of selling a new product or providing an innovative service, there are several steps they must take in order to lawfully register their business.

When setting a business, owners must first choose the structure of their new company. The structure of the company will affect how the business is registered and how it operates. Businesses are generally categorised as a sole trader, a limited company, or a business partnership. Sole traders are self-employed owners, while limited companies must have a registered office and at least one director in the UK. A business partnership is where partners share responsibility for running a company.

To register a business in the UK, a sole trader who is the only owner of the company and either works alone or employs staff must register for self-assessment tax with HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC). This means the owner or his/her accountant will calculate the applicable tax. Sole traders must have a National Insurance (NI) number. Sole traders can trade under their own name or choose a business name. Read more »

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Tax Deadlines for Businesses in the US for 2015

Every business has to pay taxes, but paying taxes can get complicated when you miss some of the important deadlines throughout the year. It is important to have a reliable resource you can use to help you keep an accurate calendar of tax due dates throughout 2015 to make sure that you avoid any penalties for late payments.

January 15, 2015

This is the deadline to file estimated payments for the fourth quarter of 2014 for self-employed individuals.

January 20, 2015

This the date when the IRS officially begins processing all of the corporate and individual returns it has received up to that point. This is not the deadline for filing your return.

February 2, 2015

This is the official deadline for W-2 and 1099 forms to be postmarked and mailed.

February 17, 2015

This is the final day of the month for employees to file their tax exemptions forms with their employers that determine how much is withheld from their paychecks for federal taxes. This is also the date where all 1099-B forms (income received through stock transactions) and 1099-S forms (income received from buying or selling real estate) must be issued for 2014 by responsible organizations.

February 28, 2015

By this date, all companies who utilize independent contractors must have their 1099 and 1096 forms for 2014 submitted to the IRS.

March 17, 2015

Any corporation that uses the calendar year as its fiscal year must have its corporate tax returns filed by this date. This is also the deadline date for corporations that do use the calendar year as their fiscal year to file for a six-month extension for their corporate returns.

April 15, 2015

This is a busy day on the tax calendar as it is the date for self-employed people to file estimated tax payments for the first quarter of 2015, the deadline for filing and paying all 2014 personal income taxes, and it is also the last day to file an amended return for the 2011 tax year. This is also the filing deadline for any taxpayer looking for a six-month extension to submitting their 2014 return. This is also the date that sole proprietors, LLCs, and partnerships must file their corporate taxes. Read more »

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Business Tax Changes for the USA 2015

Each new year means another new set of tax rules for businesses across the country. There are some major business tax changes for 2015 and then there are also some smaller ones that are still very important to note and implement.

Even if you have a tax accountant take care of your business taxes, it is important to know the business tax law changes so you can alter the way you collect information throughout the year. The more you know about the pending changes, the more you can help your tax accountant to maximize your deductions and save you money on your taxes.

Affordable Care Act

If your small business is below the 50-employee threshold for the tax implications of the Affordable Care Act, then your concerns in 2015 are no different than they were in 2014. But if you do have 50 employees or more, then the ACA could affect your taxes at the end of the year.

One of the changes that 2015 brings with the ACA is an increase in tax penalty for people who do not have coverage. Along with stiffer fines comes the requirement that employers offer adequate insurance for a reasonable price. A professional tax expert can explain to you exactly what constitutes adequate insurance and reasonable prices.

If you are planning an expansion in 2015 that will force you to hire more employees, then the ACA could become an issue for you in 2016. With the ACA, it is always best to plan at least one year in advance to avoid tax problems. Read more »

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Business Tax Changes for the UK 2015

You may have heard the news that the way VAT (Value Added Taxation) is charged to companies based in the UK is changing. Those earning revenue through online trading need to pay VAT to the EU member state where the customer lives, as opposed to the previous system where the company paid the VAT from the country they chose to supply the goods or services from.

It is worth deciding if your firm needs to make a note of any new requirements. The government introduced changes specifically applying to anyone supplying telecommunications, broadcasting products and e-services. Below is a short summary of what to look out for, courtesy of HM Treasury and Customs.

VAT Changes – new supply rules and the introduction of the VAT Mini One Stop Shop (MOSS)
The new VAT rules apply to UK businesses from 1 January 2015. Some compliance issues worth considering are:
• Compliance option 1 – the main compliance issue each business will need to ask itself, is does it want to register for VAT, separately, in each Europe member state. This applies if they have a consumer, or non-VAT registered customer that is resident in that state.
• Compliance option 2 – Businesses can choose to apply for the mini one-stop shop (MOSS) option, which means the scheme simplifies VAT responsibilities into customer groupings by EU member state.

Under either scheme, a business will need to know the individual EU VAT rates in each member state they are trading in, and the particular rules that apply there.

Businesses need to be aware they are subject to an audit from that member state.

Systems and Processes Will Change for Business Account-keeping and VAT
Businesses will need to identify exactly where their customers are located. For many, this will mean a complete overhaul of record keeping systems. How customers are managed, means improved technology systems, which can take hold of large amounts of data. Part of the process of doing business may mean a business needs to enable more server space, for example.

New ways of storing customer information, and the increased details needed, mean a business will need to get this checked out by a legal team. If working in a B2B environment, this could lead to needing to negotiate new trading terms with suppliers.

Ways of invoicing customers will need to change. Member state invoices need to be in the language of the customer’s country, and with the corresponding local taxation and VAT information clearly displayed.

Commercial Issues around Pricing
For a business, deciding how to apply VAT in the past would mean adding a percentage value wherever the VAT applies. Obviously, each product or service will attract a different percentage VAT addition, depending on where the customer lives.

Pricing can be applied on an individual member state level, known as dynamic pricing, yet a business will need a good technology algorithm to apply the variations needed for auto-calculations to be accurate every time. It may be the case, a business will need to think about their customers at the point-of-sale. Do they need to fill out a bit more information, and if so, do contact and order forms need adjustment?

Another option is to go for a blended rate, or universal pricing, which gives uneven margins, but to the business provides an acceptable level of profit. This may be the preferred method of pricing.

Issues over pricing may cause a business to relocate, if many customers are in a certain EU state where VAT is lower than their current location.

Click here for a list of Accounting Services in the UK.


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Key UK Tax Dates for Businesses 2015

Get the New Year off to a great start by organising your key UK tax dates in your diary for 2015.

January 2015
Deadline for online submission of Self Assessment tax returns for tax year ended 5 April 2014.
Deadline for paying Self Assessment ‘balancing payments’ for tax year ended 5 April 2014.
Deadline for first Self Assessment payment on account for tax year ended 2015.

February 2015
No deadlines for NICs (National Insurance Contributions), PAYE (Pay as You Earn), or Self Assessment returns.

March 2015
As above – no deadlines.

April 2015 – July 2015 - for businesses with employees and a payroll.
If you are a business employer running payroll, you need to:
Report to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) on the previous tax year (which ends on 5 April) and give your employees a P60.
Prepare for the new tax year, which starts on 6 April.
Send your final payroll report of the year – by 5 April Read more »

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