2017 Tax Filing Deadlines

by Mark Pudzrak

CPA

Mark Puzdrak is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) with more than 13 years of professional experience helping small to medium-sized businesses with their tax and accounting needs including individual, corporate, and partnership income tax returns along with business and individual tax planning. Mark is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants. He is licensed as a Certified Public Accountant in Texas and Pennsylvania. He earned both of his bachelor of arts degrees in accounting and finance from Lycoming College in Williamsport, PA. Mark is committed to delivering tax and planning services that meet each client's unique objectives with a focus on services for small to medium-sized businesses as well as clients in the Real Estate, Manufacturing, Entertainment, and Professional Services industries. Mark lives in Austin, Texas with his wife, Kelly. He enjoys reading biographies, visiting small Texas towns, and the occasional scotch and cigar.

Tax laws are ever-changing, and this year is no exception. This year for 2016 tax filings, the usual April 15th deadline for Partnerships (Form 1065) is March 15th.

This change is due to a bill that was signed in 2015 called the Surface Transportation and Veterans Health Care Choice Improvement Act. Though this bill deals primarily with highway infrastructure funding, it has a large impact on business tax returns, including the deadline change.

Raising Cash: Debt vs. Equity

by DJ Lewis

Business Bank of Texas

D. J. Lewis is First Sr. Vice President, Business Bank of Texas, N.A. D.J. is responsible for business development and relationship management for Business Bank of Texas, N.A. He graduated in 1993 from the University of Houston with a BBA in Accounting. While attending college he started his career in banking working at a small Savings and Loan. In 1991 that same Savings and Loan was acquired by a large national bank. Soon after the acquisition, D.J. took advantage of an opportunity to transfer to Austin where he has called home for the past 15 years. After 19 years with a large national bank D. J. was presented with another opportunity and made the decision in October 2010 to start a career with Business Bank of Texas, N.A. D. J.’s 22 years of banking experience includes 7 years in bank operations, 6 years as a Branch Manager, 6 years as a Commercial Lender, and 3 years as a SBA Lender.

At some point in every growing business, it becomes apparent that moving forward will require raising cash. Whether it’s to buy or replace equipment and other assets, hire new staff, move to a bigger facility, or any of the other elements that come into play when a company is expanding, business owners often find themselves at a crossroads.

Topics: Strategic Planning

Practical matters: Selling a small business

by Kathy Tremmel

Tremmel Law

Kathy Tremmel has significant experience both as a business attorney and corporate executive. Her career spans both legal practice and business management and she opened her own solo law practice in January 2010. In additional to running her own practice, she also is of Counsel with Selman, Munser & Lerner, which is a business transaction law firm in Austin, Texas. Ms. Tremmel has more than 10 years’ experience as a business attorney, providing transactional legal services to a diverse client base, from start-up ventures to well established companies. She helps companies with all their contracts, including customer agreements, non-compete agreements, employment agreements, buy-sell agreements, loans, and leases, helps people set up new businesses, and represents buyers and sellers of businesses. In addition, Ms. Tremmel has 10 years of management experience working with start-up companies. As VP of Operations at Tusker Group, an international litigation support company, Ms. Tremmel led international teams, managed production and quality issues, handled price negotiations, worked closely with clients to determine the scope of their projects, provided project management services, and developed, implemented and documented best practices for processing and training. Ms. Tremmel earned a Doctor of Jurisprudence from the University of Colorado School of Law and a Bachelor of Arts from Dartmouth College. She is a Texas licensed attorney and a certified Project Management Professional.
 
Selling a business is a complex and emotionally taxing process. Most small business owners do not have prior experience selling a business. Here is an overview of several common mistakes small business owners make during this process, which can be very expensive .

Topics: Legal

The Value of Procrastination

by Dave Zander

Back Nine Financial

After spending the first 25 years of his career on what he calls the “front nine” (the accumulation phase), Dave has dedicated the last 16 years to the “back nine” (the income phase). He ran both Aetna’s and Lincoln National’s income divisions before starting Back Nine Financial in 2005. Back Nine is strictly an educational, consulting and speaking firm. He primarily works with CPAs, corporations and individuals to help them understand and maximize Social Security benefits. Dave has conducted Social Security Workshop across the country for a variety of audiences, including the Texas CPA Tax Institute and the CPA societies in Houston, Dallas, San Antonio and Austin for each of the last 3 years. With 10,000 Baby Boomers turning 66 every day for the next 17 years, Dave feels it is incumbent upon financial advisors, CPAs, HR departments and other professionals to make sure their clients, employees and the American public best understand not only how to take Social Security, but to also understand and integrate that claiming decision with their other assets.
 Dave is a graduate from the University of Wisconsin – Whitewater with a BBA, majoring in marketing with a minor in accounting. He left EF Hutton and gave up Wisconsin winters in 1983, moving to Houston where he met Diane. They been married 30 years and have been blessed with 2 children, Macy and Miles, who have now graduated from college and are on their own. Dave & Diane live outside of Boerne, TX.
 
When it comes to claiming Social Security benefits, procrastination can be a good thing. The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 eliminated two of the main Social Security claiming strategies . The first one, File and Suspend, was eliminated in its entirety on April 29th of last year.
 
The second strategy, the Restricted Claiming Provision, was eliminated for individuals born after January 1, 1954 . Using this strategy, Spouse A would file for benefits anytime after age 62, (assuming they were no longer working) . Spouse B would claim spousal benefits when they turned 66. Spouse B would defer their own benefits and earn delayed credits (8% per year for 4 years) until age 70.

Topics: Strategic Planning

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The Challenge of Bringing Jobs Back

by Dave Sather

Sather Financial Group

Dave Sather is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER and President of the Sather Financial Group, Inc. Sather Financial Group is a $400 million “fee-only” wealth management firm based in Victoria. Sather Financial is ranked as one of the top independent wealth management firms in the country according to Financial Advisor Magazine. Dave was raised in El Paso, received his B.A. in Business Management from Texas Lutheran University and received his M.B.A. from Texas A&M University. He has spent the past twenty years in the financial analysis, investment and banking industries. Dave is an adjunct professor in the business program at Texas Lutheran University. Additionally, Dave is a director of Business Bank of Texas as well as the Chairman of the Finance and Investments Committee for the Brownson Children’s Home and is a member of the Executive Advisory Council at Texas Lutheran University. He resides in Victoria, Texas.

A key repetitive promise from then-candidate Donald Trump was that he would bring back jobs—especially manufacturing jobs.

Although I wish him well, I have my concerns.

Alyssa Becker named Assistant Vice President — Operations

by Ed Lette

Business Bank of Texas

Ed Lette is founder, president and chief executive officer of Business Bank of Texas, N.A. and serves as chairman on the company’s Board of Directors. Serving as a licensed CPA since 1983, Ed’s extensive experience in the banking industry has led him to become the founding president of four national bank charters including Business Bank of Texas, N.A., and the chief financial officer of five national banks during his 45 year career. Ed serves as director of the Texas Bankers Association District 4, chairman of the Executive Advisory Council to the School of Business at Texas Lutheran University, and is a life member of the Texas Association of Business.

The Business Bank of Texas Board of Directors has officially appointed Alyssa Becker to the title of Assistant Vice President — Operations. Ms. Becker has been with Business Bank of Texas for over 4 years. During her tenure with us, Alyssa has worked in lobby services and as an assistant controller.

Topics: News

Hunting in a Farmer's World

by John F. Dini

John F. Dini is a consultant and coach to hundreds of business owners, CEOs and Presidents of companies with over 11,000 hours of delivering face-to-face, personal advice to entrepreneurs. He is the author of three business books including Beating the Boomer Bust and 11 Things You Absolutely Need to Know About Selling Your Business, now in its second edition. He is a serial entrepreneur, but prefers the term “chronically unemployable.” John holds a BS in accounting from Rutgers University, and an MBA from Pepperdine University, and has six additional certifications in exit planning, business brokerage, behavioral analysis, medical practice management, facilitation and coaching. John writes numerous articles on small business topics for newspapers, magazines, and in his own blog at www.awakeat2oclock.com. He speaks frequently to business groups and national associations, and is a 15-year member of Jim Blasingame’s “Braintrust,” appearing regularly on “The Small Business Advocate,” a nationally syndicated radio program, as an expert in the issues of business ownership. His latest book, Hunting in a Farmer’s World: Celebrating the Mind of an Entrepreneur, has won recognition including “Best Business Book” at the New York Book Festival and the National Silver Medal for business books from the Independent Publishers’ Association.

Everyone in business is either a Hunter or a Farmer. The working style that fits you best isn’t really a matter of choice, nor is it determined by your job description. It is ingrained by eons of cultural evolution.

Hunters are linear. It is their nature to focus on the kill. A hunter moves towards a goal, and on reaching it begins to immediately look for another objective to accomplish. A farmer’s work is cyclical, tracking the seasons from planting to harvest. Their evolutionary traits apply to an office environment as well as the outdoors.  

What You Need To Know About External Benchmarking

by Ed Lette

Business Bank of Texas

Ed Lette is founder, president and chief executive officer of Business Bank of Texas, N.A. and serves as chairman on the company’s Board of Directors. Serving as a licensed CPA since 1983, Ed’s extensive experience in the banking industry has led him to become the founding president of four national bank charters including Business Bank of Texas, N.A., and the chief financial officer of five national banks during his 45 year career. Ed serves as director of the Texas Bankers Association District 4, chairman of the Executive Advisory Council to the School of Business at Texas Lutheran University, and is a life member of the Texas Association of Business.

Is your business as profitable as it could be? Are you spending a reasonable amount considering how much you're bringing in? Could you be doing things better or more efficiently?

If you run a business, questions like these probably come to mind on a regular basis. With all the other responsibilities you're balancing, it's entirely possible for such thoughts to enter your head fleetingly and then get buried under everything else you have to do – but they shouldn't.

Topics: The Corner Office, Content Type

Asking about salary history: a thing of the past?

by Kay Oder

Insperity

Kay Oder has owned six companies, has been a resource to thousands to businesses and brought solutions to help business owners minimize risk, improve business performance and navigate today’s highly regulated and complex “business of being an employer”.

Today, Kay uses the insights gained throughout her career as a speaker, business owner and business advisor. Audiences enjoy her candid, informed perspective on HR related topics as well as her razor-sharp southern wit.

Kay is also a Certified Business Performance Advisor with Insperity, the $2.6 billion business performance solutions provider she has called home since 1993. Kay has consistently been among the company’s top producers during her 20 plus years with the organization, earning Insperity’s highest honors, including the Top Volume, Circle of Excellence and the Chairman’s Club awards.

Prior to Insperity, Kay was the President and Co-founder of Texas Valve Specialists, a supplier in the oil and gas industry. She has also owned companies in the construction, demolition, machining and promotional apparel arenas. She spent four years as a client of Insperity and upon selling her last venture, joined the Insperity team.

From an early age Kay demonstrated an entrepreneurial spirit, beginning at age six when she sold cantaloupes from her parents’ front yard, which she offered three for fifty-cents, with a free puppy.

Kay and her husband, Dale, relocated to Austin from the Houston area in 1996 when a theft occurred in their family: their granddaughter was born and stole their hearts, so they had to follow.

Insperity, a trusted advisor to America’s best businesses for more than 30 years, provides an array of human resources and business solutions designed to help improve business performance. Insperity® Business Performance Advisors offer the most comprehensive suite of products and services available in the marketplace. Insperity delivers administrative relief, better benefits, reduced liabilities and a systematic way to improve productivity through its premier Workforce Optimization® solution. Additional company offerings include Human Capital Management, Payroll Services, Time and Attendance, Performance Management, Organizational Planning, Recruiting Services, Employment Screening, Financial Services, Expense Management, Retirement Services and Insurance Services. Insperity business performance solutions support more than 100,000 businesses with over 2 million employees. With 2015 revenues of $2.6 billion, Insperity operates in 60 offices throughout the United States. For more information, visit http://www.insperity.com.

“How much do you earn at your current job?”

Whether you are an employer asking the question or a job candidate who is responding, this particular query tends to lead to discomfort.

Despite the uneasiness it may generate, many employers still commonly inquire about current and past earnings as part of the interview process. They often ask the question because a candidate’s responses can offer insight into their motivations, their personal assessment of their own value and their expectations for future earning potential. Asking this question can also demonstrate whether or not candidates conducted any research prior to the job interview on the pay trends of the overall industry and the company that is hiring.

Topics: Human Resources

Contracts: Documenting Business Decisions

by Kathy Tremmel

Tremmel Law

Kathy Tremmel has significant experience both as a business attorney and corporate executive. Her career spans both legal practice and business management and she opened her own solo law practice in January 2010. In additional to running her own practice, she also is of Counsel with Selman, Munser & Lerner, which is a business transaction law firm in Austin, Texas. Ms. Tremmel has more than 10 years’ experience as a business attorney, providing transactional legal services to a diverse client base, from start-up ventures to well established companies. She helps companies with all their contracts, including customer agreements, non-compete agreements, employment agreements, buy-sell agreements, loans, and leases, helps people set up new businesses, and represents buyers and sellers of businesses. In addition, Ms. Tremmel has 10 years of management experience working with start-up companies. As VP of Operations at Tusker Group, an international litigation support company, Ms. Tremmel led international teams, managed production and quality issues, handled price negotiations, worked closely with clients to determine the scope of their projects, provided project management services, and developed, implemented and documented best practices for processing and training. Ms. Tremmel earned a Doctor of Jurisprudence from the University of Colorado School of Law and a Bachelor of Arts from Dartmouth College. She is a Texas licensed attorney and a certified Project Management Professional.

One of the single most important pieces of advice you can get is to document business decisions and put all business agreements in writing. Verbal understandings are extremely difficult to enforce and resolving contract disputes can be very time consuming and expensive.

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