Business Feed

The Great Resignation created by folks deciding not to return to their jobs after extended COVID-19 absences has led to a lot of new businesses. That means there a many new bosses out there, most of them dealing with a different part of the Internal Revenue Service for the first time. As business owners, they potentially face new types of taxes. Exactly which taxes depend largely on how their new company is established. That's why selection of a business entity is a major tax decision. Business entity options: As part of 2021's National Small Business Week, sponsored annually by the... Read more →


Black's, an iconic Central Texas barbecue chain, was caught improperly distributing tip money to managers, instead of the 270 employees to whom it should have been paid. Those restaurant workers now have their proper gratuities, which are taxable income. Being a restauranteur has always been a challenge. The same can be said for eatery staff. Then along came the COVID-19 pandemic, amped up the workplace issues both owners and employees face. So what else could complicate things? Tips. In one famed Central Texas BBQ joint, it was the way tips were collected and distributed among workers. The U.S. Department of... Read more →


More companies are pushing to get employees to leave their home workspaces and return to the office. Until that happens fully, tax professionals are asking for updated tax guidance on dealing with hybrid and work from home arrangements. Summer's over. Schools are back in session. And more businesses are telling employees to return to the office. But many companies expect that at least some of their workers won't comply. And how will they handle these in-office holdouts? Office returns sought: Overall, more firms now are firmly nudging workers to return. A recent survey by business consulting firm Gartner, and reported... Read more →


I suspect everyone involved in this ceremonial big check delivery is much happier than they appear in this Secret Service photo. COVID-19 federal financial assistance was a boon to many businesses that struggled during the pandemic's height. Now it's Uncle Sam who's getting relief. The U.S. Secret Service today announced the return of around $286 million in Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) to the Small Business Administration (SBA). The loans were granted based on fraudulently submitted applications that contained fabricated or stolen employment and personal information. Debit cards to hide, move funds: The investigation was initiated by the Secret Service's... Read more →


Colorado, Oregon, New York, and Montana are the latest states selected for State Small Business Credit Initiative funds. Photo by DISRUPTIVO on Unsplash Small businesses revitalization is a key component of the U.S. economy's recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. To help that sector's efforts, Uncle Sam continues to provide financial support. Some of the federal money comes from the State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI), which was first established in 2010. The SSBCI was reauthorized and expanded in March 2021 as part of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). The newly-reauthorized small business program has nearly $10 billion in federal... Read more →


Tax legislation is much more than just changes to the Internal Revenue Code. It's also a political statement. In an election year, which is essentially every year nowadays, it's also a political weapon. Republicans, who currently are slightly outnumbered on Capitol Hill by Democrats, didn't waste any time latching on to the Senate's passage on Aug. 7 of the Inflation Reduction Act. Notably, they cited potential added Internal Revenue Service scrutiny of taxpayers, thanks to part of the bill. Well aware that every federal return filer, even the most honest among us, worries about the IRS taking a closer look... Read more →


Some on Capitol Hill want to make it easier for you to use your Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies to make small, every day purchases. The 2022 election year legislative calendar might be working against them, but Congressional fans of cryptocurrency still are looking at ways to make it more appealing to mass consumers. On July 26, two Senate Banking Committee members, including the committee's top Republican, introduced the Virtual Currency Tax Fairness Act. The bill, cosponsored by Ranking Member Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pennsylvania) and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Arizona) would, in part, make small personal virtual currency transactions for goods and... Read more →


The state of Texas, which I celebrate personally in my house with many Lone Star-themed furnishings, shows a lot of love for businesses, but not so much for its residents, according to a recent CNBC analysis. (Photo by Kay Bell) The Lone Star State has a storied literary tradition, but it's a 19th century English writer's description that apparently now applies to Texas. It's the best of times for Texas businesses, but the worst of times for the state's residents, according to a Charles Dickens' echoing report by CNBC. The cable business news network scored all 50 states on 88... Read more →


Photo by Amina Filkins In 2021, Americans applied to start 5.4 million new businesses, more than 20 percent higher than any previous year on record, according to a recently released White House report. In addition, the Biden Administration analysis found that smaller firms created more U.S. jobs than ever before. Businesses with fewer than 50 workers accounted for 1.9 million jobs in the first three quarters of 2021, the highest rate of small business job creation ever recorded in a single year. To keep the entrepreneurial trend going, the Treasury Department awarded the latest round of State Small Business Credit... Read more →


A scene from AMC's Dark Winds, starring Zahn McClarnon (standing) as Lt. Joe Leaphorn of the Navajo Tribal Police, and Kiowa Gordon as his deputy Jim Chee. The series, which has been renewed for a second season, is shot in New Mexico. (Photo by Michael Moriatis/Stalwart Productions/AMC) Later today, the hubby and I will watch the season finale of Dark Winds. Tomorrow night, we'll be planted in front of our TV for the next episode of Better Call Saul. Not only are both shows on AMC, they are great television. They also are filmed in New Mexico, primarily because the... Read more →


Photo by Karolina Grabowska Cryptocurrencies are going through a rough patch, at least as far as the investment world is concerned. But devotees of the virtual assets insist they are here to stay, and that general acceptance of digital currency as payments for retail purchases is on the way. A recent survey seems to support that position. Widespread retail crypto payments expected soon: A majority of U.S. retailers expect digital currency payments to be the norm in the next five years, according to a study released last month by Deloitte in collaboration with PayPal. The study's poll in December 2021... Read more →


The Internal Revenue Service is under scrutiny again, this time for conducting unusual and intensive audits of two top FBI officials who were critical of Donald J. Trump. The IRS has asked the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) to investigate how former FBI director James B. Comey and his deputy, Andrew G. McCabe, both were subjected to a rare, compliance research audit that is supposed to random. Congress also will get involved. Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-New Jersey) already, and repeatedly, has taken IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig to task for IRS shortfalls and missteps. In May, during a hearing... Read more →


Houston Astros' mascot Orbit generally stays in no-income-tax Texas in doing his job, so he doesn't have to worry about jock taxes. (Photo by Kay Bell) What are you doing this Fourth of July weekend? In addition to the traditional cookouts and fireworks, many folks across the United States head out to ballparks. I love the Independence Day break because it means more day baseball. I'm not going to any Major League Baseball (MLB) games in person this year, but you can be sure that I'll be watching them on television, starting this afternoon. MLB got a late start this... Read more →


19 states are holding sales tax holidays this summer, most focusing on back-to-school shopping. But some states are offering tax savings on other items and have multiple events planned, led by Florida with 9 tax holidays on the way for a wide variety of shoppers. Many school supplies, like these at my local grocery store, will be sales-tax-free in Texas later this summer. (Photo by Kay Bell) Florida's official nickname is the Sunshine State, but this year it qualifies for another title. It's king of the state sales tax holiday season. Florida, along with 17 other states, is offering the... Read more →


Photo by Andrea Piacquadio I'm later than usual posting today because the hubby and I finally cleaned a room that we've ignored for way too long. That meant it took longer than if we'd just dusted a bit more regularly. That's why I'm thinking of hiring a cleaning person. OK, I probably won't. I do think about it every time we do some major cleaning job, since I find housekeeping a total drag. Just ask the hubby. But I'm not really one for people I don't really know being in my house. Plus, if we do hire cleaning help, we... Read more →


Evening traffic on Pennybacker Bridge in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Manuel Garza via Flickr) The Internal Revenue Service today delivered a bit of good news to taxpayers who use their vehicles for medical and business purposes. The standard optional mileage rates used to calculate tax deductible amounts are going up on July 1. The increase of the rates, which last were adjusted in December as part of the IRS' annual review of transportation costs, comes as the nation's national average price for a gallon of regular gasoline nears $5. "The IRS is adjusting the standard mileage rates to better reflect... Read more →


This coming Memorial Day long weekend is the first in more than two years that millions of Americans are treating as more-or-less normal. (Remember that?) And people's pent-up travel wishes are pushing aside COVID-19 pandemic worries in a big way. AAA Memorial Day 2022 forecast AAA predicts 39.2 million people will travel 50 miles or more from home this Memorial Day three-day holiday. This is an increase of 8.3 percent over 2021, and brings travel volumes almost in line with those in 2017. But another year also comes to mind. Back in 2012, gasoline was $3.64 per gallon. When adjusted... Read more →


The Small Business Administration's annual Small Business Week events ended earlier this month, but another federal agency now is doing its part to support companies. The U.S. Treasury Department this week announced five states will receive the first round of newly-reauthorized State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) money. SSBCI was first established in 2010. The program was reauthorized and expanded in March 2021 as part of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). It now has nearly $10 billion that will go to states for programs that promote entrepreneurship nationwide. Hawaii, Kansas, Maryland, Michigan, and West Virginia are the first states... Read more →


Billowing smoke from the wildfire ravaging norther New Mexico. (Screen shot of video posted on The Weather Channel, provided by Jackson Mathey via Storyful) The Hermits Peak and Calf Canyon wildfires that have merged and been burning a large swath of northern New Mexico for weeks now has been designated as the largest in the state's history. The combined blazes, driven by straight-line winds, have engulfed nearly 300,000 acres, or around 469 square miles, of the Land of Enchantment as of this morning. Only around a quarter of the fire area has been contained, according to InciWeb, a U.S. government... Read more →


Unemployment benefits can help relieve some of the sting of losing your job. But there are downsides. The monthly amounts again are fully taxable. And during the COVID pandemic, criminals have had a field day getting fraudulent payments, and causing tax troubles for those individuals whose identities they stole. The COVID-19 pandemic and employment still are inextricably linked. When the coronavirus hit the United States in 2020, the concern was for the companies that had to shut down, and their employees who suddenly were without paychecks. Congress passed a series of COVID relief bills that provided relief options for companies... Read more →


Here are this weekend's full Flower Moon eclipse stages. The moon moves right to left, passing through the penumbra and umbra, leaving in its wake an eclipse diagram with the times (Eastern time zone) at various stages of the eclipse. Visualizations by Ernie Wright, NASA Scientific Visualization Studio. Click here for the video version. And if it's cloudy where you live, you can livestream the eclipse. It's Friday the 13th, the only one in 2022. A total lunar eclipse will turn the full Flower Moon red Sunday night. The only thing that could amp up our combined superstitions and natural... Read more →