The Real State of the Union

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Health and wellness, Leadership, News and Politics, Small Business, Values

I’ve spent much of my career, now in its 5th decade, focused on addressing the devastating impact of the widening wealth and income inequality gap. I first recognized the problem while working for two Wall Street firms in the middle 1980s. The problem has gotten much worse lately. It is not just an issue of […]

My unlikely ramble into national politics

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Accounting, New Jersey, News and Politics, Small Business

A reflection on my unlikely journey from neighborhood flood response to construction techniques to national politics. Before 2016 I was not personally active in politics. Yet as a small business owner I financially supported a number of candidates in both parties, typically in small dollar amounts from $250 to $500 per campaign over several decades. […]

Benefit of 401(k) tax credit for small business that start 401(k) plans

Posted Leave a commentPosted in 401(k), Retirement, Small Business, Tax Planning

My brother John Novak, a well established 401(k) expert, shared some calculations that he made for his own clients illustrating the impact of the SECURE act tax credit for small businesses that want to start a 401(k) plan. This is the first analysis of this type that I’ve seen using “real life” 401(k) plan fees […]

Big tax savings for New Jersey small businesses

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Accounting, Small Business, Taxes

Today New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed into law the Pass-Through Business Alternative Income Tax Act. This new law allows flow-through businesses in New Jersey to elect to pay income taxes at the entity level instead of at the personal income tax level. Since there is no limit on deductions on the federal level for […]

Update on Gig Workers

Posted Leave a commentPosted in News and Politics, Payroll, Small Business, Tax Planning

The evolving saga of “employee vs contractor”, from the small business employer’s perspective, means that you should  revisit the conversation for business planning purposes now. Background In case you’ve been so engrossed with other headlines that you haven’t read any business news: the world of independent contractors, so-called “gig workers” is facing rapid and dramatic […]

Worker classification status; proposed change in New Jersey

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Accounting, New Jersey, Small Business

This is how the so-called ‘ABC’ codification test may change for determining proper classification of independent contractors in New Jersey. Under current law, a worker can be classified as an independent contractor if: A. Such individual has been and will continue to be free from control or direction over the performance of such service, both […]

Fast paced change brings 2020 opportunities to small businesses

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Accounting, Financial Planning, Small Business, Tax Planning

After some tweeking (thanks to my peers for the crowd-sourced feedback!) this is the version of the email message that will be used this week: Dear _ : This past year brought more changes for small business owners than any other year in the past generation. This means new opportunities to save money but also […]

Grateful for New Jersey Christmas trees

Posted Leave a commentPosted in New Jersey, Small Business

New Jersey is home to hundreds of small farms that grow Christmas trees. Most are small family-run business operations. Together, these farms cover 4,600 acres that produce 69,000 Christmas trees every year. Overall, this small but important industry generates about $3.5 million annual revenue each December. Most of these farms invite families to come out […]

Impact of the SECURE Act on business retirement plans

Posted Leave a commentPosted in 401(k), Employee Benefits, Retirement, Small Business

Ted Benna, called “the father of 401(k)s” was one of my first business mentors when I left Wall Street in 1997 and started my own firm serving small businesses in the Doylestown, Pennsylvania area. His comments today in ThinkAdviser on the impact of the new SECURE Act are ‘spot on’: • “Hopefully the operating efficiencies a […]

Why the changes to NJ S4202 ( employee vs contractor) are no big deal

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Accounting, Employee Benefits, New Jersey, Self-employed, Small Business, Taxes

Keep it simple: if you primarily provide your labor to someone for pay then you are an employee. If you run a licensed business, with typical business features like a business plan, advertising, business insurance, and pay business taxes then you likely work as an independent contractor. I’m aware that some people are making a […]