Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Small Business Jobs and Tax Relief Bill

President Obama signed the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010 (HR 5297) yesterday.

The Act expands loan programs through the SBA, strengthens small business preference programs for federal government projects, provides export incentives, and offers a variety of small business tax breaks. Many of the provisions are effective immediately.

These changes are in effect for 2010 and provide some great tax planning opportunities:

  • Increased section 179 expensing
  • Extension of 50% first-year bonus depreciation
  • Zero capital gain tax rate from IRC Sec. 1202 small business stock
  • Increased IRC Sec. 195 deduction for business startup expenses
  • Five-year carryback of general business credits
  • New deduction for self employed health insurance costs on the Schedule C
  • Removal of cell phones from the definition of listed property
You can read more details in this Journal of Accountancy article on the House Bill.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Biking to Work

This month is the bike to work commuter challenge sponsored by the Bicycle Transportation Alliance. Today was the first day of the challenge and I started by riding 5 miles to Toastmasters for a 7am meeting and then 2.2 miles back into work. I feel good and can't wait to see the physical results of commuting by bike every day this month.

Team TriLibrium has a goal of 100% participation on 100% of the days in September. So far so good as everyone rode to work today.

The beauty of this event is the fact that it is a month long. The length will actually force me to deal with all the issues (clothes, showers, commute time, locks, lights, storage, rain gear, etc.) that need to be solved to make daily biking viable. I had a number of logistical issues this morning that I'll get solved before next week so the commute is easy and comfortable.

Having recently completed our FY2010 green house gas inventory, I know that 80 percent of our firm's CO2 emissions is from employee commuting. We will never be sustainable driving to work in single occupancy vehicles.

So many of the changes necessary for us to become sustainable are easy and simply need to be implemented. We know we can't go on driving everywhere like we did 20 years ago but when do we actually make the change? I am hoping that today was a day of significant change. For our firm to be sustainable, we can't rely on fossil fuels to get us around.

I'll also take this time to remind readers that the tax code provides a $20/month non-taxable fringe benefit to employees who ride bikes. I mentioned it in this earlier blog post.