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Tax Cuts and Jobs Act: What Your Business Needs to Know

Posted Friday, December 29, 2017 by Jules VanSant.

by Chris Morgan, Barran Liebman alt text

With the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act now officially signed into law, it is important for employers to be diligent in evaluating how these changes affect the structure of their business and employee benefit programs. While many factors will determine the impact on a particular business, this Alert focuses on a few key issues for employers.

1) Prohibition on Business Deductions for Payments Related to Sexual Harassment. Effective immediately, companies may no longer deduct as a business expense any settlement or payment amount (including attorneys’ fees) related to sexual harassment or sexual abuse if such settlement or payment is subject to a non-disclosure agreement.

2) Paid Family Leave Credit. The Bill provides a federal tax credit for employers that provide at least two weeks of paid family and medical leave for employees.

3) Qualified Non-Profits Will Pay an Excise Tax on High Income Employees. Qualified non-profit entities, including many universities, will pay a 21% excise tax on employees who earn more than $1,000,000 per year. This may include hospitals, Credit Unions, charitable organizations, and quasi-governmental entities (including large deferred compensation payments in lieu of stock options, or pensions in the private realm).

4) Rates Drop for Corporations and Other Business Entities. Corporate tax rates drop from 35% to 21%, and the Act contains a pass-through ownership deduction of 20%. These lower rates should be considered with your CPA on tax planning of distributions and compensation as well as contributions to deferred compensation or retirement.

5) Employee Fringe Benefits. The Bill either reduces or eliminates some of the fringe benefits that many employers provide for employees including mass transit, parking, and employer provided food and beverage.

6) Elimination of Individual Mandate for Health Insurance. The Bill eliminates the individual mandate, which previously required individuals to carry a minimum level of health insurance or owe a penalty. While the Affordable Care Act remains in place, fewer employees not offered sufficient health insurance under the ACA definition may seek insurance, thus lowering potential shared responsibility penalties for employers.

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Industry News: GPA Adds new Specialty Substrates to Wide Format Offering

Posted Thursday, December 21, 2017 by GPA.

Source: GPAalt text

GPA, the market leader in substrate solutions for digital, wide format, and offset printing, announces the addition of five product families to their wide format offering. These new specialty synthetics and photo papers continue to show GPA’s dedication to their customers, and will assist in expanding the range of profitable solutions they can offer their own clients.

With this latest collection of unique substrates, graphic arts professionals can create even more attractive graphics that allow their client’s messages to take center stage. It includes materials for creating brilliant lightbox displays, easy-install window graphics, opaque display graphics, resilient signage, and large photo prints. They are ideal for industries ranging from retail, restaurants, boutiques, automotive, corporate, schools and higher education, government, and more.

Each of these items is easy to work with, both in the pressroom and in its end-use environment. Whether it’s superior durability, dimensional stability, extreme opacity, or quick drying properties, these materials offer the confidence that projects will perform and look their best. The new collection includes:

  • GPA Polyester Backlit Film
  • GPA Low Tack Window Film
  • GPA Blockout Display Film
  • GPA Polycarbonate Film
  • GPA Photo Papers

GPA currently offers these materials in 100’ roll lengths, in widths from 36” to 60”. For more information or to request sample sheets, contact GPA Customer Support at 800-395-9000 or info@askgpa.com.

About GPAGPA redefines the boundaries of print by providing innovative substrates, personalized business solutions, and unparalleled support to the graphics arts industry. Founded in 1940, their offering complements the widest range of printing technologies, including HP Indigo, dry toner, wide format, offset, and desktop printing, to help make impactful visions a reality. GPA is part of Fedrigoni Group, a leading international manufacturer and converter of value-added specialty papers founded in 1888. For more information on GPA or the products it offers, visit www.askgpa.com or contact Customer Support at 800-395-9000.

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Sustainable Green Printing Community Day Recap

Posted Wednesday, December 20, 2017 by Sustainable Green Printing Partnership.

Source: Sustainable Green Printing Partnershipalt text

The Sustainable Green Printing Partnership held its SGP Community Day on Nov. 14, 2017 in Portland, OR. Attendees came for the networking opportunities and learning more about sustainable printing.

The event brought together leading print professionals, brands and sustainability champions for conversations on growing strategic programs and partnerships. The conference included presentations and lively discussions on procurement, circular economy and sustainability practices from leading companies. Jeremy Carroll, Co-Founder of Latitude, a brand and experience design firm, inspired the group with the story of his organization and its impact on their customers, supply chain and the world.

Other speakers included:

Pam Johnson, State Procurement Analyst for the State of Oregon, discussed green procurement on the state and federal level and provided insights on creating a dialogue with procurement officials.

Nicole Bassett, Co-Founder of The Renewal Workshop, presented the story of her company and how the textile industry can become circular.

Kim Holmes, VP of The Plastics Industry, discussed the “second life” of plastics and a new initiative which will focus on identifying the technical and economic feasibility of recovering plastics from different industry sectors.

Roundtable discussions gave the opportunity to have face-to-face discussions on alternative substrates, understanding SGP certification, how to become SGP certified, using SGP as a sustainability platform, going beyond recycling, tips for capitalizing on SGP status, sustainable procurement and continuous improvement projects.

That evening, SGP hosted the “Partnership for Sustainable Print” dinner featuring inspiring conversations on all things sustainable with nearly 100 leading brands, sustainable print providers and SGP Community members.

Save the date for next year’s community day: November 14, 2018!

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Economist Says Too Many Americans Are Going to College

Posted Wednesday, December 20, 2017 by Kyle Smith for the National Review.

Source: Kyle Smith for the National Reviewalt textEconomist Bryan Caplan of George Mason University has crunched the data for years from every angle and argues devastatingly in a piece in The Atlantic (adapted from his forthcoming book The Case Against Education) that college is, for many of those who go there, a boondoggle. Forty-five percent of those who enter college fail to graduate within five years. If you are in the bottom 25 percent of your high-school class, you are not going to make it through college. It’s much worse than a waste of time. It’s a waste of money, perhaps a great deal of it. If, at age 22, with a college degree, you settle in for a career in retail that doesn’t require a college degree, laden with student loans, you’d have been much better off if you had started your career four years earlier instead of spending four years puzzling over T. S. Eliot, post-revolutionary Africa, and trigonometry.

An even better idea for those who aren’t well-suited for college: Go to the kind of school that actually teaches you a job — i.e., a vocational school, where students stay engaged by doing things and learning in the process — rather than dozing your way through a lecture. Learn to be an electrician or a plumber and you might even lose interest in Club Upper Middle Class. You’ll be warmly welcomed at Club Successful Working Class, and you may find the people who go there more fun to talk to anyway. As Caplan notes, college hardly ever teaches you usable job skills. This is because colleges still work largely the way the first ones were set up in the 18th century (or, in the case of Harvard, the 17th). They weren’t conceived as job-prep programs. They were set up as finishing schools for men — to make them better, more well-rounded people before they went on to the clergy, or the law, or the family business.

Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/454680/bryan-caplans-case-against-education-persuasive

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Last chance to meet electronic filing deadline with OSHA is December 31, 2017!

Posted Wednesday, December 20, 2017 by Vigilant Council For Employers.

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The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced that December 31, 2017, is the final deadline for covered employers to electronically file their 2016 OSHA Summary (Form 300A). In essence, OSHA says it really means it this time, and any covered employers who fail to turn in their reports as required may be subject to enforcement action. We previously reported that OSHA had extended the deadline to December 15, 2017. Employers in Idaho, Oregon, and Montana are potentially subject to OSHA’s electronic reporting requirement. Not so for employers in California and Washington, because their state safety and health agencies haven’t begun rulemaking on this subject.

The first electronic reports of the 2016 OSHA Summary (Form 300A) were scheduled to be submitted by July 1, 2017, for large establishments (250 or more employees) as well as establishments in designated high-risk industries (including agriculture, manufacturing, warehousing, and residential care facilities) with at least 20 employees. OSHA later extended the deadline to December 1, 2017, then December 15, 2017, and now finally to December 31, 2017. Covered employers are expected to submit their OSHA Form 300A through OSHA’s online Injury Tracking Application (ITA).

Tips: It’s frustrating that OSHA waited until after the December 15, 2017, deadline passed to announce this final extension. However, if you are a covered employer in Idaho, Oregon, or Montana, and you haven’t yet electronically submitted your 2016 OSHA summary, you have one last chance to do so.

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