Michael Crowley

Welcome to Rethink Your Business Podcast with Dave Hall

Experts in Customized Business (Life) Planning and Implementation

3: He Came, He Saw, He Invented — Michael Crowley Keeps the Ball Rolling in Business

michael Crowley

Guest:

Mike Crowley, Founder and CEO of InfoMotion Sports Technologies. Mike Crowley is a seasoned entrepreneur with 15 years of startup success. He has successfully led the early stage positioning and financing for firms in a diverse set of industries including consumer entertainment, software, and medical devices. As a founder or co-founder in all of his business ventures, Mike has also worked closely with numerous other ventures from concept to financing. Mike played his collegiate basketball at St. Joseph’s College in Rensselaer, IN, and graduated in 1993 with a B.B.A in Accounting. Mike later earned his MBA from the University of Michigan. He began his professional career as a C.P.A. specializing in early stage and entrepreneurial clients.

Show Details:

In episode 3, Dave Hall speaks with Mike about how as a team they created a smart sensor basketball called the 94fifty, capable of measuring and analyzing athletic performance. This tool has literally revolutionized the way athletic performance improvement is taught and viewed by players and sports fans.

They discuss more in depth of PMF (Product/Market Fit) and Michael shared his knowledge earned from playing college basketball to develop a product now carried by Apple Retail stores all over the world. He is putting personal coaching at players’ fingertips for an affordable price.

Episode Links:

For more about the 94Fifty Smart Sensor Basketball www.94fifty.com

For more about infomotion sports www.infomotionsports.com

Reach out to Mike Crowley on Twitter – @94FiftyCEO

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Lonny Weissman

Welcome to Rethink Your Business Podcast with Dave Hall

Experts in Customized Business (Life) Planning and Implementation

2: Choosing the Right Entity Formation

Guest:

Lonny WeissmanLonny Weissman is an expert in setting up the proper business structures for clients in order to achieve Asset Protection, Wealth Preservation, Estate Planning, Privacy, and maximize their tax benefits. Lonny has spoken at numerous real estate seminars and business owner seminars on the above mentioned topics.
One of Lonny’s strengths is completely educating the individual on the structure that is being put into place so that they can smoothly and efficiently continue to operate under their protective layer.

Show Details:

In episode 2, Dave Hall speaks with Lonny Weissman, one of the country’s leading experts on entity formation and asset protection. Over the last 15 years, Lonny has helped thousands of business owners protect themselves by selecting and organizing the correct entity structure.

You will learn the difference between C Corporations, S Corporations and Limited Liability Companies and why if you want maximum asset protection, a Nevada entity is so important.  You will also learn what it is a registered agent does, and why you should be hiring a professional registered agent for your company.

Episode Links:

For more information visit: www.myeasg.com

Reach out to Lonny Weissman: info@myeasg.com

To subscribe to the podcast, please use the links below

Click Here to Subscribe via iTunes

Please leave a review HERE in iTunes if you enjoyed the show. We also would love to have you share our podcast with the social links below. Your help is much appreciated. Thank you!

Tax Changes for 2014

Welcome 2014! As the New Year rolls around, it’s always a sure bet that there will be changes to the current tax law and 2014 is no different. From health savings accounts to retirement contributions and standard deductions, here’s a checklist of tax changes to help you plan the year ahead.

Filing Season Delayed by 10 Days

Taxpayers should note that the 2014 tax season opens on Jan. 31, 2014.

In most years, the filing season opens on Jan. 21; however, due to the 16-day government shutdown that took place in October 2013, the filing season is delayed by 10 days this year. No returns, paper or electronic, will be processed by the IRS before this date.

The April 15 tax deadline is set by statute and will remain in place, although taxpayers can request an automatic six-month extension to file their tax return. If you think you need an extension, please let us know.

Individuals

For 2014, more than 40 tax provisions are affected by inflation adjustments, including personal exemptions, AMT exemption amounts, and foreign earned income exclusion, as well as most retirement contribution limits.

For 2014, the tax rate structure, which ranges from 10 to 39.6 percent, remains the same as in 2013, but tax-bracket thresholds increase for each filing status. Standard deductions and the personal exemption have also been adjusted upward to reflect inflation. For details see the article, “Tax Brackets, Deductions, and Exemptions for 2014,” below.

Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT)

Exemption amounts for the AMT, which was made permanent by the American Taxpayer Relief Act (ATRA) are indexed for inflation and allow the use of nonrefundable personal credits against the AMT. For 2014, the exemption amounts are $52,800 for individuals ($51,900 in 2013) and $82,100 for married couples filing jointly ($80,800 in 2013).

“Kiddie Tax” 

For taxable years beginning in 2014, the amount that can be used to reduce the net unearned income reported on the child’s return that is subject to the “kiddie tax,” is $1,000 (same as 2013). The same $1,000 amount is used to determine whether a parent may elect to include a child’s gross income in the parent’s gross income and to calculate the “kiddie tax”. For example, one of the requirements for the parental election is that a child’s gross income for 2014 must be more than $1,000 but less than $10,000.

For 2014, the net unearned income for a child under the age of 19 (or a full-time student under the age of 24) that is not subject to “kiddie tax” is $2,000.

Health Savings Accounts (HSAs)

Contributions to a Health Savings Account (HSA) are used to pay current or future medical expenses of the account owner, his or her spouse, and any qualified dependent. Medical expenses must not be reimbursable by insurance or other sources and do not qualify for the medical expense deduction on a federal income tax return.

A qualified individual must be covered by a High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) and not be covered by other health insurance with the exception of insurance for accidents, disability, dental care, vision care, or long-term care.

For calendar year 2014, a qualifying HDHP must have a deductible of at least $1,250 for self-only coverage or $2,500 for family coverage (unchanged from 2013) and must limit annual out-of-pocket expenses of the beneficiary to $6,350 for self-only coverage (up $100 from 2013) and $12,700 for family coverage (up $200 from 2013).

Medical Savings Accounts (MSAs)

There are two types of Medical Savings Accounts (MSAs): the Archer MSA created to help self-employed individuals and employees of certain small employers, and the Medicare Advantage MSA, which is also an Archer MSA, and is designated by Medicare to be used solely to pay the qualified medical expenses of the account holder. To be eligible for a Medicare Advantage MSA, you must be enrolled in Medicare. Both MSAs require that you are enrolled in a high deductible health plan (HDHP).

Self-only coverage. For taxable years beginning in 2014, the term “high deductible health plan” means, for self-only coverage, a health plan that has an annual deductible that is not less than $2,200 (up $50 from 2013) and not more than $3,250 (up $50 from 2013), and under which the annual out-of-pocket expenses required to be paid (other than for premiums) for covered benefits do not exceed $4,350 (up $50 from 2013).

Family coverage. For taxable years beginning in 2014, the term “high deductible health plan” means, for family coverage, a health plan that has an annual deductible that is not less than $4,350 (up $50 from 2013) and not more than $6,550 (up $100 from 2013), and under which the annual out-of-pocket expenses required to be paid (other than for premiums) for covered benefits do not exceed $8,000 (up $150 from 2013).

AGI Limit for Deductible Medical Expenses

In 2014, the deduction threshold for deductible medical expenses remains at 10 percent (same as 2013, but up from 7.5 percent in 2012) of adjusted gross income (AGI); however, if either you or your spouse were age 65 or older as of December 31, 2013, the new 10 percent of AGI threshold will not take effect until 2017. In other words, the 7.5 percent threshold continues to apply for tax years 2013 to 2016 for these individuals. In addition, if you or your spouse turns age 65 in 2014, 2015, or 2016, the 7.5 percent of AGI threshold applies for that year through 2016 as well. Starting in 2017, the 10 percent of AGI threshold applies to everyone.

Eligible Long-Term Care Premiums

Premiums for long-term care are treated the same as health care premiums and are deductible on your taxes subject to certain limitations. For individuals age 40 or younger at the end of 2014, the limitation is $370. Persons more than 40 but not more than 50 can deduct $700. Those more than 50 but not more than 60 can deduct $1,400, while individuals more than 60 but not more than 70 can deduct $3,720. The maximum deduction $4,660 and applies to anyone more than 70 years of age.

Medicare Taxes 

The additional 0.9 percent Medicare tax on wages above $200,000 for individuals ($250,000 married filing jointly), which became effective last year, in 2013, remains in effect for 2014, as does the Medicare tax of 3.8 percent on investment (unearned) income for single taxpayers with modified adjusted gross income (AGI) more than $200,000 ($250,00 joint filers). Investment income includes dividends, interest, rents, royalties, gains from the disposition of property, and certain passive activity income. Estates, trusts and self-employed individuals are all liable for the new tax.

Foreign Earned Income Exclusion

For 2014, the foreign earned income exclusion amount is $99,200, up from $97,600 in 2013.

Long-Term Capital Gains and Dividends

In 2014 tax rates on capital gains and dividends remain the same as 2013 rates; however threshold amounts are indexed for inflation. As such, for taxpayers in the lower tax brackets (10 and 15 percent), the rate remains 0 percent. For taxpayers in the four middle tax brackets, 25, 28, 33, and 35 percent, the rate is 15 percent. For an individual taxpayer in the highest tax bracket, 39.6 percent, whose income is at or above $406,750 ($457,600 married filing jointly), the rate for both capital gains and dividends is capped at 20 percent.

Pease and PEP (Personal Exemption Phaseout) 

Both Pease (limitations on itemized deductions) and PEP (personal exemption phase-out) have been permanently extended (and indexed to inflation) for taxable years beginning after December 31, 2012, and in 2014, affect taxpayers with income at or below $254,200 for single filers and $305,050 for married filing jointly.

Estate and Gift Taxes 

For an estate of any decedent during calendar year 2014, the basic exclusion amount is $5,340,000, indexed for inflation (up from $5,250,000 2013). The maximum tax rate remains at 40 percent. The annual exclusion for gifts also remains at $14,000.

Individuals – Tax Credits

Adoption Credit

In 2014, a non-refundable (only those individuals with tax liability will benefit) credit of up to $13,190 is available for qualified adoption expenses for each eligible child.

Earned Income Tax Credit

For tax year 2014, the maximum earned income tax credit (EITC) for low and moderate income workers and working families rises to $6,143, up from $6,044 in 2013. The credit varies by family size, filing status and other factors, with the maximum credit going to joint filers with three or more qualifying children.

Child Tax Credit

For tax year 2014, the child tax credit is $1,000 per child.

Child and Dependent Care Credit

If you pay someone to take care of your dependent (defined as being under the age of 13 at the end of the tax year or incapable of self-care) in order to work or look for work, you may qualify for a credit of up to $1,050 or 35 percent of $3,000 of eligible expenses in 2014. For two or more qualifying dependents, you can claim up to 35 percent of $6,000 (or $2,100) of eligible expenses. For higher income earners the credit percentage is reduced, but not below 20 percent, regardless of the amount of adjusted gross income.

Individuals – Education

American Opportunity Tax Credit and Lifetime Learning Credits

The American Opportunity Tax Credit (formerly Hope Scholarship Credit) was extended to the end of 2017 by ATRA. The maximum credit is $2,500 per student. The Lifetime Learning Credit remains at $2,000 per return.

Interest on Educational Loans

In 2014 (as in 2013), the $2,500 maximum deduction for interest paid on student loans is no longer limited to interest paid during the first 60 months of repayment. The deduction is phased out for higher-income taxpayers with modified AGI of more than $65,000 ($130,000 joint filers).

Individuals – Retirement

Contribution Limits 

The elective deferral (contribution) limit for employees who participate in 401(k), 403(b), most 457 plans, and the federal government’s Thrift Savings Plan remains unchanged at $17,500. Contribution limits for SIMPLE plans remains unchanged at $12,000. The maximum compensation used to determine contributions increases to $260,000 (up $5,000 from 2013).

Income Phase-out Ranges

The deduction for taxpayers making contributions to a traditional IRA is phased out for singles and heads of household who are covered by an employer-sponsored retirement plan and have modified AGI between $60,000 and $70,000, up from $59,000 and $69,000 in 2013.

For married couples filing jointly, in which the spouse who makes the IRA contribution is covered by an employer-sponsored retirement plan, the phase-out range is $96,000 to $116,000, up from $95,000 to $115,000. For an IRA contributor who is not covered by an employer-sponsored retirement plan and is married to someone who is covered, the deduction is phased out if the couple’s modified AGI is between $181,000 and $191,000, up from $178,000 and $188,000.

The modified AGI phase-out range for taxpayers making contributions to a Roth IRA is $181,000 to $191,000 for married couples filing jointly, up from $178,000 to $188,000 in 2013. For singles and heads of household, the income phase-out range is $114,000 to $129,000, up from $112,000 to $127,000. For a married individual filing a separate return who is covered by a retirement plan, the phase-out range remains $0 to $10,000.

Saver’s Credit

In 2014, the AGI limit for the saver’s credit (also known as the retirement savings contribution credit) for low and moderate income workers is $60,000 for married couples filing jointly, up from $59,000 in 2013; $45,000 for heads of household, up from $44,250; and $30,000 for married individuals filing separately and for singles, up from $29,500.

Businesses

Standard Mileage Rates

The rate for business miles driven is 56 cents per mile for 2014, down from 56.5 cents per mile in 2013.

Section 179 Expensing 

For 2014 the maximum Section 179 expense deduction for equipment purchases decreases to $25,000 of the first $200,000 of business property placed in service during 2014. The bonus depreciation of 50 percent is gone, as is the accelerated deduction, where businesses can expense the entire cost of qualified real property in the year of purchase.

Transportation Fringe Benefits

If you provide transportation fringe benefits to your employees, in 2014 the maximum monthly limitation for transportation in a commuter highway vehicle as well as any transit pass is $130 down from $245 in 2013. The monthly limitation for qualified parking is $250.

While this checklist outlines important tax changes for 2014, additional changes in tax law are more than likely to arise during the year ahead.

 

Rethink Your Business

As I look forward to 2014, and beyond, I can’t help but be excited for the opportunities that lie ahead for each one of us and our businesses.  We live in an ever changing world that is full of opportunity for those who are willing to prepare themselves for it.  One of the best ways I have found to do this in my own business is to regularly rethink what it is I am doing.  To step outside the box and make sure I am still on track with my original goals, and that they can be accomplished under the current business environment.

In my own business, and those of the clients I work with, I use a four step process, which takes me from analysis to implementation.  In this article, I am providing you with this process, so that you can use it to make your own business more successful.

First, you start by analyzing your business.  It is important that you really come to understand where your business is currently at in the market and how external influences are affecting you.   It is important you know and understand your people, processes and products.

Does your business have the right people to allow you to reach your goals and objectives?  Does each of them know their responsibilities and what is expected of them?  Is there an accountability system in place that will help hold them accountable for their time and accomplishments?  Your people are the most valuable asset of your business and it is important you understand each one of them so you can manage them effectively.

Are your processes current and efficient?  Are you using outdated technologies, business strategies, or planning tools that are not current with the way business is now being done?  There will be a lot of analysis done at this point, because your business is filled with dozens of processes, from the way you protect yourself from legal liability, to the way you save taxes, to the way you produce and distribute your products.  Make sure you take time here to analyze all of your processes and whether or not they are effective or not.

The last thing you need to analyze is your products.  Do you have the right products for the market you are trying to reach?  Are you able to purchase and sale your products with the necessary profit margins to make your business a success?  All too many business owners are using the majority of their time and resources selling the wrong product.  You want to make sure you are focusing on the product that provides your business with the greatest potential for success.

Remember that if any one of these things (people, processes, or product) is out of line, your business will struggle, and if two of these things are out of line, your chances for success are almost zero.  It is time to take control of your business and you will do it by continuing on with the remaining steps.

Second, now you have analyzed your company, it is time to customize a plan that will help ensure that your people, processes, and products are optimized.  You will want to map this plan out on paper and make sure you understand how your business will change because of this new plan.  This plan may look completely different than what you had in place last year, but remember that is part of the process that allows for continued improvement.

Third, you need to advise your team about the customized plan you have developed and how it is going to affect them.  You should make sure each of them is aware of any new requirements they will have under the plan and any new accountability systems you will be implementing.  In order to advise your team properly, it will require you have regular meetings and that you follow-up on each part.  You can’t expect others to catch your new vision without explaining it to them first, and then making sure they understand why you have this new direction and why it is so important to the business.

Forth, it is now time to implement.  As a result of this process you have gone through you now better understand your business, you have a plan, and your people know what is expect of them, it is now time to implement all of this.  Depending on the changes your customized plan includes, this may take weeks, or even months, but it all must be implemented.  You should establish an accountability system and a schedule to help keep you on track and ensure you are accomplishing what you have set out to do.

Hopefully each of you is looking forward to a more prosperous New Year, because by using the above process, you will open yourself up for additional opportunities, which will ultimately result into increased success.

2012 Tax Return Filing Delayed Until January 30th for 1040 Filers

istock_000002998026xsmallAccording to the IRS they will not begin accepting and processing personal tax returns until January 30, 2013.  This is later than normal, but is a result of the January tax laws made by Congress under the American Taxpayer Relief Act (ATRA).   This announcement means that the vast majority of tax filers – more than 120 million households – should be able to start filing tax returns starting January 30.

The IRS estimates that the remaining households will be able to start filing in late February or into March.  Those of you who will need to wait are those of you who are claiming residential energy credits, depreciation of property or general business credits.  If these restrictions apply to you, you are probably used to waiting until closer to April 15th to file your return anyway.

“We have worked hard to open tax season as soon as possible.”  IRS acting Commissioner Steven T. Miller said.  “This date ensures we have the time we need to update and test our processing systems.

You should be aware that the IRS will not process paper tax returns before the anticipated January 30 opening date, so don’t think you can get your refund faster by filing a paper return before the 30th.   You will still receive your refund much faster by e-filing with direct deposit.

“The best option for taxpayers is to file electronically,” Miller said.

If you have questions regarding your own return and when you will be eligible to file, please contact our offices or look for updates at www.davehallsba.com