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New Tax Break for Small Business Owners

KNOW | TWELVE, FEBRUARY 2019 

This New Tax Break Can Make a Big Difference for Small Business Owners

The IRS regulations on Qualified Business Income was a major piece of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. This deduction is available for tax years 2018-2025 to eligible individuals, estates, and trusts that own interests in pass-through entities. For QBI deduction purposes, pass-through entities are defined as sole proprietorships, single-member (one owner) LLCs that are treated as sole proprietorships for tax purposes, partnerships, LLCs that are treated as partnerships for tax purposes, and S corporations. While the QBI deduction is available to individuals, estates, and trusts, the proposed regulations refer to all three as “individuals.”

Qualified business income means the net of qualified items of income, gain, deduction, and loss from an eligible business that’s operated via a pass-through entity. The deduction does not reduce your adjusted gross income (AGI). In effect, it’s treated the same as an allowable itemized deduction. The QBI deduction also does not reduce net earnings from self-employment for purposes of the self-employment tax nor does it reduce your net investment income for purposes of the 3.8% net investment income tax. The bottom line is that the QBI deduction regulations are lengthy and complex. This column only scratches the surface of the proposed rules. You may need to employ a tax professional to help you sort through the details and get the best QBI deduction results in your specific circumstances. - MarketWatch

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Amazon’s Foray into Healthcare

KNOW | TWELVE, JANUARY 2019 

Translating the New Tax Bill for Small Businesses

Business owners have many questions since the passage of the massive new tax bill. This article outlines what’s in the new provision, who it affects, and why you likely don’t need to change a thing to benefit. The most important outcome of the new tax law (officially the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, or TCJA) was to give a large, permanent tax cut to corporations. But most businesses in the US are small businesses, not large corporations. So rightfully, Congress introduced a provision into the TCJA to create a little more parity, called the deduction for Qualified Business Income (QBI) (also known as Section 199A). This provision, unlike the corporate tax cuts, is strictly for businesses known as “pass-through entities.” In terms of taxation, there is only one corporate entity that actually pays taxes, the C-Corporation.

A C-Corporation is usually very large and is primarily structured in order to take on shareholders, as a public company or one that is traded on the stock market. Every other type of business, from a tax standpoint, is known as a pass-through entity. The new deduction for Qualified Business Income (QBI), allows you to deduct 20% of your “qualified business income” from your total business income. For example, if I made $100,000 in profit from selling paintings as an artist, I get to deduct 20% of that — ie, $20,000. This benefit is phased out for individuals making between $157,500 ($315,000 if married) and $207,500 ($415,000 if married) in a number of service-based fields. There are a ton of details and restrictions in this particular new provision, especially if your income falls within the phase-out window, so know that you need to do research or talk to your accountant before you apply it. - Hyperallergic.com  

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Google Calendar SMS Notifications Cancelled

KNOW | TWELVE, DECEMBER 2018 

Google Calendar SMS Notifications cancelled

SMS notifications for Google Calendar events will be removed January 7, 2019. The notifications will cease to work on that date and instead in-app notifications will be the main method of reminding users of upcoming events. Google has confirmed that users that have the SMS notifications set up will be automatically notified in one of two ways. If a user has Calendar open or the Google Calendar app on a mobile device, they will receive in-app notifications. If a user has SMS notifications set up for new events, changed events, cancelled events or response, they will receive an email. If you have disabled calendar notifications, then head to Settings > Apps & notifications > Find the Calendar app > Turn notifications on. Google also stated that the Calendar API will be updated to reflect this upcoming change. - 9to5Google

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Facebook Messenger Gets A Back to Basics Facelift

KNOW | TWELVE, NOVEMBER 2018 

Facebook Messenger Gets A Back to Basics Facelift

Facebook is rolling out a redesigned Messenger focused on simplicity. Facebook’s Messenger was initially presented as a simple way for Facebook users to send messages while using Facebook on a desktop. After the expansion to a mobile app many additional features including games, bots and payment, were added which made the once simple Messenger feel bloated to users. The newly redesigned app is hoping to return the focus to chats and present a more streamlined experience by combining many of those extra features. The extras will still be accessible but will be hidden away where you can safely ignore them.

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New Tariffs Will Impact Small Business Owners in a Big Way

KNOW | TWELVE, OCTOBER 2018 

Walmart wants to bring its 'everyday low prices' to health care

Walmart, which markets itself as the leader in "Everyday Low Prices," is working on increasing its presence in the health care sector. The retail giant has entered into a deal with Anthem, one of the nation's largest insurers, to entice more Medicare enrollees to buy over-the-counter medications and health supplies at its stores. Former Humana executive Sean Slovenski has been hired to lead its health and wellness division and it was reportedly looking to buy PillPack before Amazon purchased the online pharmacy in June.

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Apple to Introduce New Low-Cost Macbook Laptop

7 Sep 2018,
Posted by Emily Morgan

KNOW | TWELVE, SEPTEMBER 2018 

Apple Is Planning a New Low-Cost MacBook, Pro-Focused Mac Mini

Apple has announced a new lower cost laptop along with a professionally focused upgrade to the Mac mini desktop later this year. Apple typically releases new Macs in October following the launch of new iPhones. Apple experts believe that the company is planning to debut three new iPhones, Apple Watches with larger screens, and new iPad Pros later this year.

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KNOW | TWELVE, AUGUST 2018

Google Assistant now gives you a quick rundown of your day

Google recently announced a new feature available on Android and iOS phones that will allow Google Assistant to provide a quick rundown of your day. Assistant will pull together curated personal information, like flight times, restaurant reservations, scheduled meetings, expected package deliveries, reminders and more, and lay them out in a single overview you can scroll through.

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KNOW | TWELVE, JULY 2018

Facebook launches Workplace for Good, a free version of its enterprise product for non-profits

Workplace, an enterprise communications app from Facebook, is launching a new tier of the product called Workplace for Good, which will let non-profits use the product for free. Facebook has always allowed non-profits to use Workplace without fees but is now going to be making a bigger push toopen the product up to charities, educational institutions and non-governmental organizations, regardless of their size.

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KNOW | TWELVE, JUNE 2018

31 May 2018,
Posted by Emily Morgan

Google’s File on Me Was Huge. Here’s Why It Wasn’t as Creepy as My Facebook Data.

Though Google has far more data about us than Facebook, because we use it for not only our internet searches but also for our emails, calendaring, maps, photo uploads, video streaming, mobile phones and web browsers, Google has sidestepped controversy while Facebook has under fire for improperly leaking user data. To find out why, I downloaded a copy of all of the information that Google has on me and compared that data to what I already knew Facebook had obtained on me. What I found was that while my Google data archive was much larger than my Facebook file it was also packed with fewer unpleasant surprises and I was relieved to find out I could delete the data. In contrast, when I downloaded my Facebook data, I found that a lot of what I saw could not be purged.

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KNOW | TWELVE, MARCH 2018

Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway, and JPMorgan Chase to partner on US employee health care

A partnership has been announced between Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway, and JPMorgan Chase to cut health-care costs and improve services for their U.S. employees. Together these giant companies employ more than 1.1 million workers and will team up to target technology solutions to simplify the health-care system and remove profit-making incentives. Following the announcement shares of Berkshire and J.P. Morgan fell slightly, while Amazon edged higher. Principals of Amazon, Berkshire and J.P. Morgan noted that the way it will work remains to be seen but they're hoping that their sheer size will help bring the necessary scale and resources to tackle the issue.

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