Economy Surging | Tax Reform Boost | 2018 Tax Info | High Achievers

StaffLink’s Small Business Week — January 19 Highlights

In StaffLink’s Small Business Week this week, the economy continues to set records; passage of the tax reform bill prompted many companies to increase employee wages and bonuses; 7-Eleven raids in Florida serve as a cautionary compliance tale for employers; 2018 tax information and tips for businesses preparing for the coming tax season; a look at workplace legal trends; and, how high achievers start their days.

Trump, the Economy, and tax reform 

Love Him or Hate Him, Trump deserves Credit for Booming Economy announces Investor’s Business Daily’s January 12, 2018, editorial. The editorial cites increased wages, bonus payments, and industrial expansions as evidence.  He is not alone, even some of the President’s media critics are now granting the president begrudging praise about his economic policies.

CNBC’s Market Insider with Patti Domm wrote Trump economy’s sustained growth pace unlike anything seen in 13 years. Will the good times last? Some economists tell Domm that they are waiting to see what happens in Q1 of 2018, but for the most part, there is strong optimism in the business community.  In fact, small business optimism is the highest its ever been in the 45 years since it was first measured. 

Corporate America is also proving critics wrong about the impact of tax reform.  More than 164 companies have either increased wages, paid bonuses, or both, including Apple, Walmart, JetBlue, American Airlines, and several large banks, to name a few.  You can find the list in Paul Bedard’s  article, Boom: 164 companies give bonuses, lower fees to millions. 

Which company is serving up the biggest bonus awards? The Street’s Annie Palmer tells us that most employees of Apple will receive $2,500 bonuses in Apple Just Handed Employees the Biggest Tax Bill-Related Bonus So Far.

What can we learn from the mistakes of others?

As the dust settles following the Department of Homeland Security’s raids on 100 7-Eleven stores, including several in Florida earlier this month, Workforce contributor Montserrat C. Miller examines what we can learn from the event. Miller also offers his tips to ensure that your business has its paperwork in order in Raid on 7-Elevens a Stark Lesson in I-9 Immigration Compliance.

Withholding tables plus small business tax hacks for 2018.

The new tax law included several changes that affect individual income withholdings. What should employers and employees do about the changes? SHRM’s Stephen Miller explains in IRS Issues New Withholding Tables for 2018. According to the article, the Trump administration anticipates that ninety percent of wage earners will take home more of their pay following the adjustments.

What can small businesses do to keep more of their money out of the tax collector’s hands? Entrepreneur contributor Peter Daisyme offers up 10 Tax-Savings Hacks That SMall Business Owners Often Miss to help us out. Save those receipts!

Making the most of your morning.

Inc. contributor Christina DesMarais says that high achievers get a head start by starting their mornings right. She tells us their formula for success in Here’s How the Highest Achievers Start Their Days Differently Than Everyone Else.

A look at the latest workplace legal trends.

Sharing good news and bad, SHRM’s Lisa Nagele-Piazza and Allen Smith have put together 8 Workplace Legal Trends for 2018. They predict that the Department of Labor will be employer-friendly and the Obama era overtime rule will see a rollback. Business challenges will include navigating harassment and retaliation claims. Plus, companies will need to adjust to changes in various state drug laws.

Watch This–

Political and social division is deep in many places, not just the U.S.  And, both sides are to blame.  But in the ‘down under’ one organization thinks it’s come up with a solution, and their ad was voted ‘top ad’ in the world this week in BestAdsonTV.   

There may be ‘mutt-in’ better than lamb to heal the  political divide.

Job Growth and Stock Market Climb | New Income Tax Brackets | 2018 Trends for Talent and Tech

Welcome to 2018! StaffLink’s best for the week ending January 5 includes signs of economic strength, news of the new income tax brackets, and a court ruling on Miami Beach’s municipal minimum wage ordinance. Plus, this year’s talent acquisition and tech trends.

The economy is on the up and up.

On January 4, the Dow Jones Industrial Average made history. Fox Business News reported that the index hit an all-time high of 25,000 during this first week of 2018. If the trend continues through today, the Dow will hit its 90th record close since the November 2016 elections. Fox Reporter Leia Klingel writes all about it in Dow 25,000 powered by fastest 1,000-point advance ever.

MarketWatch’s Andrea Riquier added to the positive economic news on Thursday with Private-sector job growth sizzles in December, with 250,000 jobs added, ADP says. “The American job machine remains in full swing,” Moody’s Analytics chief economist Mark Zandi told Riquier before cautioning that future growth may be limited by a shrinking labor pool.

The new tax law shifts taxpayer brackets.

The Republican-backed Tax Cuts and Jobs Act became law in December and brought with it a set of new income tax brackets. CNBC’s Darla Mercado breaks down the new numbers in New year, new tax brackets. Here’s where you stand.

Mileage deduction rates see a small adjustment.

Beginning on January 1, 2018, the standard mileage rates for deductible business mileage will increase by 1 cent to 54.5 cents per mile writes SHRM’s Stephen Miller in IRS Announces Higher Standard Mileage Rate for 2018. The deduction for moving and medical driving expenses increased as well, Miller reports.  However, the deduction when driving for charity remained unchanged.

A district court decides a Florida minimum wage dispute.

In December 2017, a district court in Florida found that Florida local governments’ authority to set minimum wage rates were preempted by state law. The ruling resolved an issue of interpretation between an amendment to the Florida Constitution and Florida statutes. SHRM contributor Sarah Smith Kuehnel explains the details of the ruling in Florida Statute Preempts Miami Beach Minimum Wage Ordinance, Court Finds.

Sourcing new hires in the new year.

How are hiring managers and recruiters adjusting to demographic shifts in the labor market? SHRM brings us some predictions in Tim Sackett Peers into the Future: Talent Acquisition Trends and Predictions for 2018. Millennials are no longer the new kids in the cubicles as members of Generation Z began graduating from college in 2017.

Finally, from CNET, we bring you this video featuring a look at the tech you may expect to see influencing your life in 2018. From augmented reality to voice assist, the future is here (even the Star Trek ad at the front) … 

Benefits and Compensation in 2018 | Affordable Care Act Deadlines and Deals | Marketing in 2018

StaffLink’s Week Ending December 29 Highlights

Closing out 2017, StaffLink brings you good tidings for retailers, updates on benefits and compensation trends, the latest ACA events, and a peek at what marketers are planning for 2018.

Employee benefits and compensation are changing with the times.

Earlier this month, SHRM’s Stephen Miller took a look back over employee pay trends in 2017 and made some predictions for 2018. In 4 Key Compensation Trends in 2017, he offers his insights into what employers should expect in 2018. One notable development for 2018 is that hiring managers in some jurisdictions will be prohibited from asking candidates about their past salaries.

Also from SHRM’s Stephen Miller is 5 Big Benefits Trends Going into 2018. Miller writes that employers will invest more in financial wellness programs for employees. He also predicts that health care costs will continue to rise, and everyone will need to adjust to the Affordable Care Act’s requirements.

Retailers enjoyed robust sales this holiday season.

Earlier this week, Fox Business reported that holiday sales increased by almost 5% between November 1 and Christmas Eve with electronics purchases leading the way. Fox Business shares the sales results and reactions from shoppers and retail representatives in Retailers feel shoppers’ Christmas Cheer.

Making a plan for personal success.

It’s that time of year when people begin making plans for their futures, setting goals, and resolving to achieve them. If you are short of ideas on what you’d like to change in the coming year, check out 30 Habits, Qualities and Secrets That Lead to Success from Entrepreneur.com.

ACA change-ups: Employers get a little more time and individuals get to avoid a penalty.

On December 22, the IRS announced an extension of the 2018 deadline for employers to provide ACA-related insurance coverage information forms to their employees. However, SHRM reports in IRS Extends Deadline to Supply ACA Forms to Employees, employers are still required to meet the existing deadlines for filing their information forms with the IRS. Employers may also qualify for a good-faith exemption from penalties in circumstances where inaccurate information is filed.

Speaking of penalties, the tax reform bill passed by Congress lifts the so-called individual mandate penalty for 2019. This change will effectively eliminate the individual coverage mandate under the Affordable Care Act in 2019. How will this affect employers and employees? Read, What Individual Mandate Repeal Means for Employers at SHRM.org.

What will marketers do differently in 2018?

Inc. contributor Melanie Deziel asked a few people to find out. She tells us their plans and predictions in What 28 Entrepreneurs & Marketers Are Doing Differently in 2018 (And You Should Too). Among the predictions are a move to video and a focus on building stronger connections with customers.

For more on what marketers will be up to in 2018, check out this video from MSNBC. (That was quick. The move to video has already started.)