Where to Look

January 26, 2018

It is always nice to hear good things about our company

 

When I was on the other side of the table

Looking to make a major purchase or an upgrade

I always made it a point

To get as much information as possible

 

I was looking to see

Who would be the most qualified

To implement the program or vision

We looked to achieve

 

I never liked long winded explanations

Just give me the facts

 

When giving the presentation

Give an apple to apples comparison

 

That is the only way you can make an objective decision

 

If a presentation leads to more questions than answers

I found that disheartening

 

Why am I babbling about this…

 

Recently…I was delighted

When a client complimented HBS

On the completeness of our presentation

 

They went on to say…..

We interviewed another broker…

 Their presentation was confusing….

 Leaving more questions than answers….

 

They felt our proposal was self-explanatory

It provided all the information they needed to know

They liked our attention to detail

 

Our proposal also noted

What items were under contract

And their expiration dates

 

Our goal has always been…

Define the client’s needs…

Properly address the client’s needs…

Show value with our solution….

Build a relationship of trust with the client….

Continually educate our clients

 

Everything we do

Is done with the client’s best interest in mind

 

HBS has provided substantial savings

To many of the Delaware Valley’s

Most successful firms

 

Many were surprised to find savings from 20% up to 40% and more

 

Deregulated Energy…Communication…Unemployment Taxes…Sales Tax…Property Tax

 

How do we do it…

We know where to look

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WASHINGTON (Kevin Drawbaugh) – Twelve big U.S. companies paid far less than the statutory corporate tax rate from 2008 to 2010, despite making substantial profits in that period, said a report released on Wednesday.

With the Obama administration drafting a corporate tax reform plan, the report found General Electric Co, American Electric Power Co Inc, DuPont Co and nine other companies had a negative 1.5 percent tax rate on $171 billion in profits over the three years studied.

“Not a single one of these companies paid anything close to the 35 percent statutory tax rate,” said the report from Citizens for Tax Justice, a left-leaning group based in Washington that promised more details later this year.

The White House and Congress are considering an overhaul of the corporate tax system as a partial solution to the federal deficit, projected to hit $1.4 trillion this year.

Critics say tax loopholes promoted by corporate lobbyists and enacted by Congress are to blame for a system that lets companies avoid taxes, usually in perfectly legal ways.

Some business leaders have said they could live with closing some of these loopholes, but in return, they have said they want the statutory tax rate lowered. It is among the highest rates in the industrialized world.

Both President Barack Obama and Republicans want to trim the rate. Obama has said he wants to end enough corporate tax breaks to compensate for the revenue that would be lost from a lower rate. Republicans have blasted that as “tax hikes.”

The Business Roundtable, a lobbying group for corporate CEOs, issued a report in April that said U.S.-based companies faced an average effective tax rate of 27.7 percent in the 2006-2009 period, more than their non-U.S. competitors.

The debate promises to go on for months and possibly years. U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner last week predicted movement on tax reform later in 2011.

Citizens for Tax Justice produced a report in the 1980s that helped lead to President Ronald Reagan’s landmark 1986 tax reforms. Since then, the tax code has become riddled with exemptions, deferrals and other special breaks.

Companies singled out in Citizens for Tax Justice’s newest report also included Verizon Communications, Boeing Co, Wells Fargo & Co, FedEx Corp and Exxon Mobil Corp.

‘TIP OF ICEBERG’

“These 12 companies are just the tip of the iceberg of widespread corporate tax avoidance,” said Bob McIntyre, director of Citizens for Tax Justice, which is working on a broader report covering the Fortune 500 companies.

Elected officials should make “reducing or eliminating the vast array of corporate tax subsidies the centerpiece of any deficit-reduction strategy,” he said.

GE spokesman Andrew Williams said the company is “fully compliant with all tax laws. There are no exceptions.”

He said GE’s 2010 tax rate was low because the company lost billions of dollars in GE Capital, its financial arm, as a result of the global financial crisis. “GE’s tax rate will be much higher in 2011 as GE Capital recovers,” he said.

Citizens for Tax Justice said that in the 2008-2010 period, 10 of the dozen companies studied enjoyed at least one year in which they were profitable, but paid no taxes.

Exxon Mobil had a 14.2 percent effective tax rate over the 3-year period, the highest of the 12 companies cited in the report, according to the group.

Exxon Mobil spokesman Alan Jeffers said, “Our effective tax rate in this country over the past six years has averaged about 32 percent. Last year our total taxes and duties to the U.S. government were $9.8 billion, which includes an income tax expense of $1.8 billion.”

American Electric Power and DuPont did not respond to requests for comment. DuPont effectively paid $258 million in taxes in the first quarter of 2011, a 15.2 percent tax rate.

(Additional reporting by Matthew Daily and Ernest Scheyder in New York, Anna Driver in Houston, Scott Malone in Boston; Editing by Richard Chang)

Copyright 2011 Thomson Reuters

 

As reported in AP

 

Wholesale prices post biggest gain in 6 months, propelled by energy and food costs

 

WASHINGTON (AP) — Wholesale prices bolted ahead in May at the fastest pace in six months as energy and food costs marched higher.

 

The Labor Department reported Tuesday that its Producer Price Index, which measures the costs of goods before they reach store shelves, shot up 1.4 percent in May. That was up from a modest 0.2 percent rise in April and marked the biggest increase since November.

 

However, stripping out energy and food prices, which can swing widely from month to month, the “core” rate of inflation rose 0.2 percent in May, an improvement from the prior month’s 0.4 percent increase. That suggested that other prices were fairly well behaved.

 

The overall inflation rate of 1.4 percent was higher than the 1 percent rise many economists were forecasting. But the increase in core prices matched their expectations.

 

 

Our perspective:

 

Food and energy are becoming the basic necessities nowadays. Throw in medical and other insurances and that seems to be all we are working for. To cover the basics.

 

We have to take a long hard look.

 

It seems that the last 20 – 30 years our economy has skyrocketed and at the same time it is becoming unaffordable. This would tell you that we are not addressing the issues properly.

 

We must be willing to look outside the box to define and create real solutions that work and benefit all, just not a few.

 

We do this in business everyday.

 

Hutchinson Business Solutions prides itself on “ Thinking out of the box,” creating opportunities to provide savings and increase efficiencies.

 

Whether it is Business Taxes, Energy, Communications or Insurance; we are addressing these topics with an eye towards the future. 

 

We would like to know your thoughts? You may email george@hbsadvantage.com

 

Hutchinson Business Solutions     …….     Your CFO on the Go

 

Creating Opportunities Today…..Providing Savings for Tomorrow

 

Visit us on the web www.hutchinsonbusinesssolutions.com

 

 

 

 

 

During the last few weeks I have noticed there is a lot of attention being paid to unemployment. Many people have logged onto our blog to find out information regarding unemployment.

 

Below you will find information about:

  • What is unemployment?
  • How do you become eligible?
  • How do they calculate the amount paid?
  • How does it effect employers account?

 

 

 

Per NJSSI

 

The unemployment rate measures the number of people actively looking for jobs as a share of those considered to be in the labor market. Unemployment affects individual well-being, and the rate of unemployment tells us about the health of the state’s economy. High unemployment means financial hardship for individuals and families. They, in turn, are less able to buy goods and services, which detracts from the strength of the economy.

 

New Jersey Eligibility

 

To be eligible for unemployment benefits, you must have worked at least 20 base weeks in covered employment or you must have earned $7,200. For weeks worked in 2006, the amount needed to establish a base week is $123; for weeks worked in 2007, the amount is $143; and for weeks worked in 2008, the amount is $143.  These wages must have been earned during a 52 week period that is called a base year.

Base Year Period

Your regular base year period consists of 52 weeks that is determined by the date of your claim. The chart below shows what your regular base year period would be if you filed your claim any day between January 1, 2008 and December 31, 2008.

If your claim is dated in:

Your claim is based on
employment from:

January 2008
February 2008
March 2008

October 1, 2006
to
September 30, 2007

April 2008
May 2008
June 2008

January 1, 2007
to
December 31, 2007

July 2008
August 2008
September 2008

April 1, 2007
to
March 31, 2008

October 2008
November 2008
December 2008

July 1, 2007
to
June 30, 2008

Example: Mary Jones filed her unemployment claim as of May 11, 2008.  Her month and year appear in the second box on the left of the chart. This means that her Base Period is from January 1, 2007 to December 31, 2007.

If you do not meet the above requirements but you worked at least 770 hours in employment involving the production and harvesting of agricultural crops during your base year, you may still be eligible for benefits.
Alternate Base Year Period

If your earnings during your regular base year period do not meet the qualifications for a claim, earnings in other base year periods will be reviewed. You may qualify for benefits if you worked at least 20 base weeks (a base week in 2006 is minimum weekly earnings of $123; a base week in 2007 is minimum weekly earnings of $143; and a base week in 2008 is minimum weekly earnings of $143), or a total of $7,200 in any one-year period in the last 1 1/2 years for a claim dated in calendar year 2008. Generally, if you have established 20 base weeks or earned at least $7,200 in any one-year period in the last 18 months, you may qualify for a claim.

Figuring Out Your Benefit Amount
How Much Can You Collect?

Weekly Benefit Rate

The amount of unemployment benefits you may receive each week is your Weekly Benefit Rate (WBR). The amount will be 60% of the average weekly earnings during your base year period, up to a maximum of $560 (in 2008). The maximum amount may change each year.

If you are not entitled to the maximum amount of weekly benefits, you may be able to increase your entitlement with Dependency Benefits.

Total Amount

The total amount of benefits you may collect is called your Maximum Benefit Amount (MBA). The MBA is equal to the WBR times the total number of weeks worked in the base year period. Generally, for every week you worked during your base year period, you may be entitled to a week of benefits, up to a maximum of 26 times your Weekly Benefit Rate.

Example 1: An individual worked 20 weeks during the base year period. His Weekly Benefit Rate is $200. His Maximum Benefit Amount will be $200 times 20 weeks ($4,000).

Example 2: An individual who is entitled to a maximum 26-week claim (because he worked at least 26 or more weeks during the base year period) at a Weekly Benefit Rate of $300 will have a Maximum Benefit Amount of $7,800. (This is because $300 times 26 weeks = $7,800.)

Your unemployment claim will be in effect for approximately one year from the date of your claim. If you return to work before you collect all the benefits in your claim, and then become unemployed again before the one-year period ends, you should immediately reopen your claim (see the section entitled “Apply for Benefits”). If your one-year benefit year expires before you collect all the benefits in your claim, the remainder cannot be paid to you. You would then have to file a new claim for benefits.

 

 

 

Employers:

 

State unemployment laws were set up to help both employees and employers. However, Employers must beware to not take everything the state does as gospel.

 

The State of New Jersey has a 12 % error rate in the payment of claims.

 

Although an employee may be eligible to collect unemployment, the state may be paying either too much money or not properly allocating the cost of the benefit.

 

Your unemployment account is very much like having a checking account with the state.

 

The State annually determines and assigns the rate to your company. The rate is based on the relationship between the current reserve balances to the average taxable wages paid by the employer.

 

This rate determines how much an employer will be paying into their account for the next year.

 

The State also notifies you as to how much they have paid out of your account in claims.

 

The balance left in the account is called a reserve. (This is your checking account balance).

 

Employers should be looking at their current rates and asking, are they correct?

 

If your company has been thru a merger or an acquisition in the last 3 years there is a 50% chance that you have been assigned the incorrect rate and that you are overpaying unemployment taxes.

 

We are finding many companies (our clients) are overpaying unemployment taxes and have received refunds.

 

Are your unemployment rates correct?

 

Are you overpaying unemployment taxes?

 

Do you qualify for a refund?

 

All you have to do is contact us and ask.

 

We offer a no cost review of your current rates.

 

Do you have a question?

 

Let us know your thoughts?

 

You may email george@hbsadvantage.com

 

Hutchinson Business Solutions ……Your CFO on the Go.

 

Creating Opportunities Today,…Defining Savings for Tomorrow.

Visit http://www.hutchinsonbusinesssolutions.com/ to learn more about saving opportunities available for your company.

 

Spread the good news….. share this information with a friend.

M&A Bankers Suffer 35% Drop in Fees as Deals Dry Up From Record  

As reported in Bloomberg

 

March 31 (Bloomberg) — Mergers and acquisitions bankers suffered a 35 percent drop in fees during the first quarter, just weeks after cashing bonuses from a record year.

Advisory fees fell to about $8.7 billion from $13.4 billion in the first three months of 2007, data compiled by analysts at New York-based Freeman & Co. show. Executives at Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. and Bank of America Corp. predicted in December that takeovers would decline about 20 percent this year.

“As recently as three months ago, we thought we had seen the worst and it was going to begin to get slowly better,” said Eduardo Mestre, 59, the former head of Citigroup Inc.’s investment banking unit and now vice chairman of New York-based advisory firm Evercore Partners Inc. “It only got worse.”

The collapse of the U.S. sub prime mortgage market threatens to stifle economic growth and further curb corporate purchases. New York-based Goldman Sachs Group Inc., the world’s leading M&A adviser, reported a 47 percent decline in revenue from providing takeover advice in the first quarter from the fourth.

Our Perspective 

Is bigger always better?

Companies are looking to expand their footprint, increase their brand awareness.

Once a merger or acquistion is proposed, all the due dilligence is done upfront. Attorneys and accounts pour over documents and make recommendations as to the feasibility of the proposal.

Once all the i’s have been dotted and the t’s are crossed, signatures are placed on the contract. The next step is that all these papers must be sent to the state(s) to be registered.

The wheels come off the cart 

Once the contracts have been signed, all the focus goes into reviewing the existing operations and implementing efficiencies. What most companies fail to realize is that the states have a very difficult time recording these transactions.

 50% error rate 

The Department of Labor statistics show that 50% of the companies who have been involved with a merger or an acquisition have been assigned the wrong rates and as a result are overpaying payroll taxes.

How can this be? Isn’t this 2008! 

Again, let me make this clear. These errors have nothing to do with all the due diligence that was done prior to the acquisition or merger. Companies fail to take the next step and determine if these transactions were properly recorded.

Our clients are taking the next step.

We have a 90% success rate.

Our clients’ rates are corrected. 

They are getting refunds. 

Has your company been involved in a merger or acquisition within the last 3 years?

What rates were assigned to your company?

These errors can effect as many as 5 different tax rates.

Are you overpaying payroll taxes? 

Our services are done on a contingency fee.

There are no upfront costs.

Let us know your thoughts?

Do you have a question?

You may email george@hbsadvantage.com

Hutchinson Business Solutions ……Your CFO on the Go.  

Creating Opportunities Today,…Defining Savings for Tomorrow.

Visit http://www.hutchinsonbusinesssolutions.com/ to learn more about saving opportunities available for your company. 

Spread the good news….. share this information with a friend. 

  

        Many corporations view sales tax as just another cost of doing business. We would like to take a moment to review why it is important that companies review their procedure for paying sales tax.

 Here are a few questions to think about:

·        Do you know how much sales / use tax your company pays every year?

·        Does your company have a sales tax procedure in place?

·        Are these procedures being followed?

·        How much training has been given to the people responsible for accruing use tax?

·        Has there been frequent turnover in the position that handles this responsibility? 

Recently we spoke to a potential client who stated that over the last 3 years they had invested from  $250m upto $280m in capital improvements in their facilities. During this process either the owner or a subcontractor is purchasing material for specific improvements. Taxes may be paid for an item at the time of purchase however the ultimate test for tax is how is the item being used.  

 We have one client who was purchasing granite counter tops. The subcontractor was paying the tax on the granite tops and passing the tax onto our client thru a stipulated contract. Our audit defined that the granite counter tops were being installed into each unit thus becoming real property, which would make the purchase tax exempt.

These factors, and many others, contribute to why so many companies are paying more use and sales tax than they should.   

Part of an audit procedure should be looking at the entire operation within your company and how it is broken down into independent operating divisions. Each operation should be treated as a separate entity and determine the tax implications for each of their purchases.

It is also important to look at both sides of the equation. The state will come in and do an exposure audit. Is your company not paying tax on purchases that should be taxable. 

We not only look at that aspect but also determine if you are paying taxes on purchases that are actually tax exempt.  

Tax laws are complicated. Our staff is comprised of former state auditors who are familiar with the the tax codes in multiple sates.

In these difficult budget times, most states are running at a deficit and are becoming more aggressive at bringing in additional revenue. Don’t expect them to tell you if your company has overpaid its use and sales tax!

The onus is on you!

Do you feel that you may be overpaying Sales Tax?

For your own protection, you need someone who has your company’s best interest at heart.

Our clients are receiving significant refunds for overpayment of sales tax.

Let us know your thoughts?

You may email george@hbsadvantage.com

Hutchinson Business Solutions ……Your CFO on the Go.  

Creating Opportunities Today,…Defining Savings for Tomorrow.

Visit http://www.hutchinsonbusinesssolutions.com/ to learn more about saving opportunities available for your company.

Spread the good news….. share this information with a friend.  

What’s it worth?

January 11, 2008

Just in the last week, firms operating in Pennsylvania received their new Unemployment Tax Rate notices in the mail…….. Happy New Year!

 What is your new rate? 

Many people don’t realize it but Unemployment is the 2nd highest employer mandated tax.

Mistakenly, it is taken as just another cost of doing business.

 The whole Unemployment process can be likened to having a checkbook with the State.

  • The State tells you what your rate is.
  • The State tells you how much money you should be depositing in this account over the next year.
  • The State tells you how much they have taken out of your account to pay claims.

 Who is holding the State accountable that the rate is correct?

 Who is holding the state accountable that the claim amount taken from your account is correct? 

That is what we do!

The national average for overpaying Unemployment Claims is 9.5%, in some states it is over 25%.

Maybe this is something you should be keeping an eye on?

This is just not another cost of doing business. 

Did your rate increase?

I was speaking to a prospective client the other morning. They told me their Unemployment rate went up 2%. Doesn’t sound like much?

Well 2% to this small company means an additional $24,000 in Unemployment taxes for the next year.

How much additional revenue will be needed to cover this cost?

Stop the runaway train! Start asking questions!

Is your current unemployment rate correct?

Why not ask us?

We will do a no cost analysis of your current rate.

We have a 90% success rate reducing unemployment cost and getting refunds for overpayments.

 You may fax your current rate notice to our office 856-857-1233 for a no cost analysis of your current rate. 

Call 856-857-1230 or email us george@hbsadvantage.com to discuss your current unemployment rate. 

Hutchinson Business Solutions…Your Business Tax Advocate.

Our clients do not overpay taxes!