The IRS has changed the rules for deducting business meals

One of the changes made by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act passed last November eliminated the tax deduction for business related entertainment expenses.  Employee business expenses, such as meals & entertainment, travel, and dues were also eliminated.  The tax deduction for business meals wasn’t addressed, and many people also thought it was also eliminated. About a week ago, the IRS announced that the tax deduction for business meals had not changed.  If you’re interested, you can view the notice at https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-drop/n-18-76.pdf . These are the rules in plain English: The meal has to be directly related to your business It can’t be extravagant You have to be there The meal has to be with a current or potential customer, or a business contact If the meal is provided during entertainment, the meal must be billed separately You have to keep a log of meal expenses to document the time, place, amount, reason, and who you met Only half of the cost of the meal is deductible There are of course limits and exceptions.  In some instances, such as client appreciation dinners or staff meetings, the rules and amount of the deduction are different.   Frank F. Monetti, CPA, MAcct

By | 2018-10-24T11:58:09+00:00 October 24th, 2018|Business Advice, Productivity|Comments Off on The IRS has changed the rules for deducting business meals

Guide To The New Paid Sick Leave Law, effective October 29, 2018

GUIDE TO THE NEW PAID SICK LEAVE LAW Assembly Bill No. 1827, concerning earned sick leave for employees, was recently signed into law and goes into effect October 29, 2018. General Information: Sick leave applies to all workers, full- and part- time, employed in the State of New Jersey, with the exception of: construction workers under contract pursuant to collective bargaining: per diem healthcare employees; or public employees already provided with sick leave. Beginning on October 29, 2018, or on the date that the employee is hired (whichever occurs later) employee earns one (1) hour os sick leave for every 30 hours of work. Sick leave must be paid at the same rate and with the same benefits that the employee normally earns. The pay rate shall not be less than minimum wage. Employees can use sick leave after 120 calendar days from start of their employment. Employees can earn up to 40 hours over a 12-month consecutive period, also known as benefit year. Employers cannot require the employee using sick leave to find a replacement to cover the hours that they are using sick leave. To learn more: State Chamber Paid Sick Leave Guide (1)

By | 2018-09-14T15:29:02+00:00 September 14th, 2018|Business Advice, Chamber News, Featured|2 Comments

A Commerce Wish List on Minimum Wage Issue

Higher minimum wage is coming; the question is how gradually it will be phased in, and whether some seashore tourism businesses will be exempted, commerce leaders said at a recent seminar. From the national and state chambers of commerce, area businesses heard the latest on that and other upcoming policies that will potentially impact small businesses. Thomas M. Sullivan, vice president of Small Business Policy, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and Thomas Bracken, president and CEO of the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce, spoke at the luncheon held by the Ocean County Commerce Coalition and sponsored by TD Bank. A delegation from the Southern Ocean County Chamber of Commerce was at the event, held in Toms River. “We have a governor who campaigned heavily on a $15 minimum wage,” Bracken began. “I don’t want to speak for the room, but I think it probably scares the majority of folks sitting in this room who look at their business models and say, ‘What do I do with a $15 minimum wage, and how am I going to have to raise prices or who am I going to have to lay off?’ “Minimum wage is going to change; there is no two ways about it,” he

By | 2018-03-07T13:43:14+00:00 March 7th, 2018|Business Advice, Chamber News|Comments Off on A Commerce Wish List on Minimum Wage Issue

Greater Toms River Chamber of Commerce Economic Development Committee’s Statement on Federal Tax Reform

If you are following the news in recent weeks, there is no doubt that you have heard details outlining the pending tax reform legislation. The Greater Toms River Chamber of Commerce business community supports tax reform, but we cannot support the proposed legislation in its current form.   While the proposal may result in a net positive for the Country, that would not be the case at the State-level for people of New Jersey. Some of the direct downsides of the proposed legislation include the elimination of state and local tax deductions and limiting the property tax deduction to $10,000 (per the House GOP proposal - the Senate is looking for a plan that eliminates credits and deductions altogether).  Additionally, there are various business industries that would, specifically, be harmed by the proposed legislation including the healthcare and higher education sectors.   One of the largest, indirect, downsides of the proposed legislation is the continued, and potentially increased, outmigration that we are seeing  Outmigration results in the loss of jobs, economic activity, labor income, and household income.  Already staggering statistics put New Jersey near the top of the list for the highest, domestic, outmigration in the United States year after

By | 2017-12-11T22:45:41+00:00 December 11th, 2017|Business Advice, Chamber News, Featured|Comments Off on Greater Toms River Chamber of Commerce Economic Development Committee’s Statement on Federal Tax Reform

NJBIA’s Outmigration by the Numbers: How do we Stop the Exodus?

On the heels of the first Affordability Summit where serious issues about New Jersey’s economic future were presented, Opportunity NJ (ONJ) has released its white paper analysis of the event to the state’s gubernatorial candidates, Legislature and current Administration with an urgent call for a comprehensive state strategic plan for a more affordable New Jersey. For a copy of NJBIA’s outmigration report, visit https://www.njbia.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/njbiaoutmigrationreport.pdf.

By | 2017-10-26T17:42:44+00:00 October 26th, 2017|Business Advice, Featured|Comments Off on NJBIA’s Outmigration by the Numbers: How do we Stop the Exodus?

The time for tax reform is now.

For years, Congress has talked about their vision for tax reform. Now, we have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to fix our nation’s tax code, grow the economy, create more jobs, and put more money in the pockets of hard-working Americans.   The last time we had comprehensive tax reform was 1986 – Top Gun was the number one movie and Ronald Reagan was president. That’s too long for the American families and businesses who have suffered under a complicated and costly tax code.   The time for tax reform is now.   In partnership with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, we’re pleased to announce the launch of www.TaxReformForAmerica.com to drive action and share real stories from your fellow taxpayers.   We encourage you to visit the site, contact your legislators, and give us your take on how tax reform could affect your business’s hiring, growth, planning, and strategy. Your testimonial may be included as part of our broader grassroots efforts to drive engagement with Congress.   Whether you believe that that real reform will create more jobs, help American families with the cost of living, or create a simpler, fairer system for all Americans, we appreciate your support in telling Congress that it’s

By | 2017-09-18T17:29:59+00:00 September 18th, 2017|Business Advice, Chamber News, Featured|Comments Off on The time for tax reform is now.

OpportunityNJ’s Upcoming “Affordability Summit” to Bring Together New Jersey Business Leaders, Residents to Propose Agenda for Next Governor

Contact: Bob Considine (609) 858-9502 Scott Goldstein (609) 989-7888 ext. 113 September 6, 2017 OpportunityNJ’s Upcoming "Affordability Summit" to Bring Together New Jersey Business Leaders, Residents to Propose Agenda for Next Governor OpportunityNJ Co-Chairs Michele Siekerka and Tom Bracken today announced the speakers, agenda and goals for the first Affordability Summit, to be held on Sept. 18 at the First Baptist Church at Lincoln Gardens in Somerset. The event, which is expected to be attended by hundreds of state business leaders and residents, will feature a keynote address by former New Jersey Secretary of State Rev. DeForest Soaries, as well as presentations from Steve Van Kuiken (Senior Partner at McKinsey & Company); Dr. James W. Hughes (University Professor and former Dean of the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University) and Tom Byrne (Founder and Managing Director of Byrne Asset Management). Following the presentations, attendees will be invited to participate in breakout sessions for brainstorming discussions centered on tax reform, workforce development and jobs, regulation reform and infrastructure. News media panels, involving several New Jersey reporters, will also be part of the program. The aim of the Affordability Summit is to synthesize the priorities and

By | 2017-09-08T18:37:01+00:00 September 8th, 2017|Business Advice, Chamber News, Events, Featured|Comments Off on OpportunityNJ’s Upcoming “Affordability Summit” to Bring Together New Jersey Business Leaders, Residents to Propose Agenda for Next Governor

Ocean County Commerce Coalition Reminds All to Show The Love To Local Professional Chambers Oct 18 Ocean County’s Brick, Greater Toms River, Lakewood, Point Pleasant and Southern Ocean chambers spread the word on National Chamber of Commerce Day happening October 18

SHIP BOTTOM, N.J. - Aug. 23, 2017 - -- Support Your Local Chamber of Commerce Day is observed annually on the third Wednesday in October. Representing Ocean County's professionally staffed chambers the coalition works together to represent interests of approximately 2500 businesses that make up their combined membership. Their primary objective is to strengthen the economic climate and development for businesses of all sizes. The Ocean County Coalition suggests that the best way to honor the day is to use the services of their member businesses. If you are a business in a service of area of one of the coalition chambers, make it a point to see how you can get more involved in the work they do each day. The term "Chamber of Commerce" dates back more than 400 years. The definition of a chamber of commerce is a local network of businesses, governed by a board of directors and run by professional staff, who work to serve and advance business interests. The role of a chamber is a constant source for businesses providing professional development, networking, and communications through multiple platforms. The daily activities taking place at staffed chamber of commerce offices eases the need for the

By | 2017-09-08T16:59:24+00:00 September 8th, 2017|Business Advice, Chamber News, Featured|Comments Off on Ocean County Commerce Coalition Reminds All to Show The Love To Local Professional Chambers Oct 18 Ocean County’s Brick, Greater Toms River, Lakewood, Point Pleasant and Southern Ocean chambers spread the word on National Chamber of Commerce Day happening October 18

Guides to help employers hire Veterans, Reservists and National Guard Members

Free Guides to help employers hire Veterans, Reservists and National Guard Members we have published for you to share with your Chamber members.  The Guides cover federal tax benefits, best practices for recruiting veterans, and compliance with federal contractor regulations.  The Guides are especially helpful to smaller employers which have limited HR resources.   So far, more than 125,000 copies of these free Guides have been downloaded by employers and associations across the U.S.  Sponsors of the Guides include Phillips 66, The Marcus Foundation and DaVita Corporation.  Two prestigious law firms donated their time to help us prepare the Guides – Baker & McKenzie, and Caplin & Drysdale.   There are nearly one million veterans and service members across the U.S. looking for full-time jobs that will take advantage of their training, skills and experience.  More than 200,000 service members leave the military every year to transition to civilian employment.   Center for America (CFA), a nonprofit, nonpartisan 501(c)(3) organization, has published these Guides to help employers identify and hire veterans and service members more efficiently and faster.  CFA coordinates the American Jobs for America’s Heroes campaign in which more than 2,000 U.S. employers are participating.    Please share the

By | 2017-05-17T17:38:00+00:00 May 17th, 2017|Business Advice, Featured|Comments Off on Guides to help employers hire Veterans, Reservists and National Guard Members

Sometimes It’s Good to be Small

SOMETIMES IT’S GOOD TO BE SMALL                 By Ralph E. Wolff, Jersey Coast Appliance Proud to be a GTRCC member. Whether you are a one person shop working out of your home or large enough to have a brick and mortar location, it is sometimes good to be small. Small as you know is a subjective word and your definition may differ from Webster’s.  Webster defines small as “having comparatively little size.” Or minor in influence, power or rank”.  Some feel that small is a disadvantage when it comes to influence but it might just be what we need to survive. A small business is personal.  Many customers are starving for businesses that allow them to connect to something beyond the products and services they offer.  A small business has a story to tell and one that most customers can relate to.  Everyone loves a story and especially one that is honest and heartfelt.  How did you start your business?  I’ll bet that many can say that their dad or mom or someone in the family taught them the ropes and then they took over from there.  What a wonderful story, a family tradition.  It’s something to be proud of.  A

By | 2017-03-16T15:44:49+00:00 March 16th, 2017|Business Advice, Chamber News, Featured|Comments Off on Sometimes It’s Good to be Small
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