Welcome to PayTech’s October Update
The Southwest is expected to continue eclipsing the national economy in terms of economic growth and job creation over the next few years.
That’s according to former Citibank CEO Eugene McQuade, who spoke at the annual Phoenix Business Journal-Salt River Project 2017 Economic Forecast, held today at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge in Phoenix.
McQuade told the crowd that, while the U.S. will see increasing — but still low — interest rates, national growth will be flat in the coming year.
However, he expressed optimism in the Arizona and Southwest regional economy.
“People in the streets, standing room at bars, cranes in the air,” said McQuade. “That is something I look for in any city I visit because it is a measure of opportunity stronger than risk worries. Things look strong in Arizona.”
All that strength is helping lure companies and businesses to the state and region.
“Where would you want to have a business right now?” McQuade said. “Around the country, executives are saying, ‘the Southwest.’”
Still, despite the strength of Arizona and neighboring states, there will be challenges.
“I think you’re going to continue to see challenges in hiring and payroll,” McQuade said. “In Arizona, service sector is still stronger than manufacturing. This is a very attractive location for manufacturing to expand.” (read more)
The Board of Trustees of the Social Security Trust Fund reports each year on the financial condition of the social security program. The 2016 report is now available on the Social Security Administration’s website.
Wage Base Projections
Using “intermediate” forecasting assumptions (described as “best estimates”) and projecting out 10 years, the report estimates that the social security wage base will be $126,000 in 2017. This is up from this year’s $118,500. By 2025, wage base is expected to increase to $175,200.
In addition to the “intermediate” forecasting, the report also projects possible wage bases under a “low-cost set of assumptions,” and a “high cost set of assumptions.” These forecasts project a possible range for the wage base in 2017, from $118,500 (high-cost) to $126,000 (low-cost). Note: These numbers are only estimates. The formal announcement of the 2017 wage base will not come until mid-October.
Revised Form I-9 to Be Released by November 22
USCIS has announced that a revised Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, has been approved by the Office of Management and Budget. USCIS must publish the form by November 22. The current version of Form I-9, which has a revision date of 3/8/13, may be used until January 21, 2017, and the new form will have to be used for employees hired after that date. Additional information is available in the “What’s New” section of USCIS’s I-9 Central.
The end of the calendar year means a lot of things for small businesses. It’s time to start thinking about what you want to achieve next year and work on your formal goal setting process.
Your are probably in the midst of holiday shopping for your employees, vendors, clients and colleagues. And, of course, it’s time to start closing out your books for this calendar year.
In fact, right now is the time to check-in with your accountant to see if there is anything you should be doing to make sure your business ends the year fiscally healthy.
A few small changes can make a big difference in your total income and tax liability for the year.
To get you started, here are a few important year-end tax preparation steps you can take in order to close out the year financially and take advantage of additional deductions: (read more)