DOL Seeks Expedited Review of Overtime Appeal
The Department of Labor’s (DOL’s) Dec. 2 arguments for expedited review of its appeal of an order blocking implementation of the overtime rule “are not slam dunks”, according to some experts. Even if an expedited hearing is granted, it is expected that the appeal won’t be decided until early March at the soonest.
In the DOL’s motion for expedited review, the DOL argued that a salary-level test has existed for 75 years, so the right to have a salary-level requirement is established.
It’s anyone’s guess as to the outcome, particularly in light of the intervening change in administrations and no word as to how the Trump administration and a new secretary of Labor will decide how to address this matter. For those reasons, most employers should wait and keep their fingers on the pause button.
Keep your plans to comply on hold while the case is pending in case you need to implement them. In the meantime, track affected employees’ hours of work in case back overtime needs to be paid.
OSHA Moves Forward with Construction Crane Rule Changes
Changes to OSHA regulations for construction cranes are the focus of three rulemakings moving forward in 2017, agency officials told building industry representatives last week.
OSHA agreed in 2013 to reconsider requirements for operator certification by third-party evaluators and operator qualification after crane industry representative said the 2010 crane rule requirements weren’t what was envisioned by a panel of industry and OSHA representatives as it drafted the rule in 2003 and 2004.
OSHA officials interpreted the rule as requiring operators to be certified not only for the type of crane-such as a tower crane or hydraulic crane-but also by the lifting capacity of the crane. For example, an operator certified to control a hydraulic crane would need separate certifications for hydraulic cranes with different weight capacities.
While industry representatives agree that type certification is needed, most have objected to capacity certification, saying it would add expenses not envisioned by the rulemaking panel, tie up cranes for certification tests instead of being at building sites and take operators away from projects.
Small Business Taxes: What to Expect in 2017
As a new administration transitions into the White House, the potential for volatility in the realm of tax policy is high. Here’s what you need to know to prepare your business for everything that 2017 has in store.
First and foremost, there are some changes to filing deadlines that business owners need to be aware of. C-Corp filing dates will be pushed back, while Partnerships’, LLCs’ and S-Corps’ filing deadlines are moving up.
The due dates for C-Corporations (Form 1120) were pushed back a month from March 15 to April 15. Likewise, the due dates for Partnerships (Form 1120) and S-Corporations (Form 1120-S) were pushed forward from April 15 to March 15.
Also, the Social Security Administration announced this year that it would raise the cap on taxable income subject to the combined 7.65 percent tax rate for Social Security and Medicare from $118,500 to $127,200. For those who are self-employed, the employer match requirement means they will ultimately pay a tax of 15.3 percent on the first $127,200 of income they earn.
Just because tax law can be complicated doesn’t mean you have to get overwhelmed. Here are some tips on how to manage your taxes year-round.
> Think about taxes all year long. Small business owners should not treat income taxes as a once-a-year event. Rather, tax planning should be a year-round activity. Waiting until the last minute makes tax preparation more complicated, and it limits your money-saving options.
> Hire a pro. A knowledgeable tax attorney or accountant is well worth the expense, experts say. Tax laws are complex, and they’re difficult for many busy small business owners to weed through. A professional can identify tax breaks and deductions you might otherwise miss.
> Be aware. Even with the help of a skilled professional, a small business owner must keep up with news related to laws. Read the business papers and keep up with Congress’ work on tax laws.
> Don’t make assumptions. Tax planning, to some extent, is a gamble. Never make business decisions assuming that particular tax breaks will pass, or that certain policies will be enacted.