Hurricane Sandy and Employers

As you are aware, Hurricane Sandy left a path of devastation across the East Coast. The IRS has provided an interesting way to help those affected rebuild.

If you are an employer, you may offer for your employees to donate their paid-time-off (sick, vacation, etc.) to a charity working in the area, from now until January 1, 2014.

Here’s how it would work:

Employee designates how many hours of leave they’d like to donate.
That leave would be cashed out directly to the charity.
This transaction would NOT be taxable to the employee (or the employer).
One note, because this is not taxable, the donation is also not tax-deductible to the employee.

If you are an employee, ask your employer if they will participate.

Please let us know if you have any questions. If we are your payroll company, we’d be happy to help you offer this to your employees.

Ref: IRS Notice 2012-69

Business Tax Updates

WA B&O Tax Rate Increase

The B&O Tax Rate for Services has increased from 1.5% to 1.8%, effective May 1, 2010.  Retail and other classifications are not affected.

HIRE Act – Incentives for hiring

There are two new tax benefits for hiring new “qualified” employees.

A “qualified” employee is:
– Hired between February 3, 2010 and January 1, 2011
– Not employed in the 60 days prior to their hire date
– Not hired to replace another employee (unless that employee had quit or been fired for cause)
– Not related to you

If you have (or intend to) hire a qualified employee, have them complete Form W-11 to certify they had been unemployed.

These employees qualify you for an exemption from the 6.2% employer social security tax on their wages through the end of 2010.

If a qualified employee are retained for at least 52 weeks, you will also be eligible for a credit up to $1,000 on your annual federal tax return.

Health Care Reform

While the Health Care Reform bills are big and involved, I’m just going to highlight a couple of points.

First, employers are not required to provide health insurance coverage.  After 2013, employers with 50 or more full-time employees will be penalized if they do not provide coverage.

In 2010 through 2013, small employers (less than 25 employees with average annual wages under $50,000) will be eligible for a tax credit for up to 35% of the health insurance premiums paid.  (Note, premiums paid from employees’ salary do not count.)

Last, in 2013, individuals earning over $200,000 per year and married filing jointly couples earning over $250,000 per year will start paying an additional .9% Medicare tax and a 3.8% tax on ‘unearned’ income (interest, dividends, rents, royalties, etc.).  While these are not taxes paid by businesses, business owners may need to take these new taxes into consideration when planning.

I hope this information has been helpful.  Please remember these are brief summaries of complex tax laws and should not be relied upon as tax advice.

Book your appointment online!

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Micro to Millions!

Count Me In

Seattle, WA – June 11, 2008 – Non-profit business program, Make Mine A Million $ Business has selected Jesica Abella of Abella Tax Services, Inc. as one of 5 business women awardees to win the Micro to Millions awards package at the Seattle event on June 11, 2008 at the Seattle Center Fisher Pavillion. The exciting event will feature female entrepreneurs from Seattle and other regions of the country who compete for business development packages that include $5,000 in financing, coaching, and membership in a nation-wide community of women business owners providing assistance to help their businesses grow to million-dollar enterprises. The event will also include educational and network opportunities in addition to keynote speeches by Washington State Governor Christine Gregoire and Renee Scholfield, Founder of Tongass Substance Screening.

Abella Tax Services focuses on providing continual bookkeeping, payroll, tax preparation, and planning services to small businesses.  Small business owners leave the stress and tedium of number crunching and deadlines to their friendly business advisors, and they regain peace of mind and time to pursue the activities they love.

More than one thousand women applied for the packages being awarded at this event. The Micro to Millions program is an offshoot of the Make Mine a Millon $ Business program, which began in 2005 to provide packages of support to women who had been in business for over two years and had reached $200,000 in annual revenue. The Micro to Millions program was created to provide the right help to women who had not yet achieved that level of growth, but were determined to reach the million-dollar mark.

Described as a cross between “The Apprentice” and “American Idol,” the Make Mine a Million $ Business competition provides twenty women whose businesses have hit $200,000 in annual revenue the opportunity to present their business in a 3 minute “elevator pitch” to a panel of business experts and a live audience. Ten Make Mine a Million $ Business winners will be chosen by the audience and judges who collaborate on the selection process.

Launched in 2005 by Count Me In for Women’s Economic Independence and founding partner OPEN from American Express®, the Make Mine a Million $ Business program was created to help post-start up, women-owned businesses grow to one million dollars in annual revenue. Since the inception, the program has hosted 12 competitions in cities around the country and grown into a nationwide movement. For the Los Angeles event, 1,222 applications were submitted in hopes of securing being awarded a package.

“We are excited to launch our first Make Mine a Million $ Business in Seattle,” said Nell Merlino, founder and president of Count Me In. “The number of applicants mirrors the growth of our entrepreneurs’ businesses and their desire to take them to the million dollar level.”

The Make Mine a Million $ Business program has garnered support from organizations who are all joining hands in order to make an impact in women’s lives and strengthening the US economy. The impressive list of blue-chip national sponsors include OPEN from American Express, Cisco, FedEx, QVC, Jet Blue, Marriot, and Dell. Sponsors provide an array of products and services that serve as invaluable tools for growth.

For more information about how women can grow their businesses please visit

About Count Me In
Count Me In for Women’s Economic Independence is the leading national not-for-profit provider of on-line business loans and resources for women to grow their micro businesses into $million enterprises.  Find us at or call 212-245-1245.

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