An important new change to U.S. tax law quietly passed before the end of the year. I know, it sounds dull, but it’s actually quite exciting; the change is intended to help small and mid-sized businesses and might even work to stimulate the economy.
The boost for SMB owners comes from an adjustment to Section 179 of the US tax code dealing with deduction. The new rule establishes a permanent deduction for purchases of qualifying equipment.
With a new year comes the annual desire to understand what may be the important Human Resources topics, issues, and insights in the months ahead. In 2015, we saw a number of new trends, and in 2016, the HR landscape is changing more rapidly than ever before. Read on for 8 HR trends to look for in 2016.
Overtime changes – The Department of Labor has been hinting a major changes to overtime eligibility rules that will affect the minimum salary threshold. Much to the relief of much of the business community however, the DOL recently claimed that the rules likely wouldn’t be issued until late 2016. This gives employers more time to prepare for the shift; but be aware it is coming.
Just a friendly reminder to all, be extra diligent when opening emails this time of year!
Hundreds of thousands of computers become infected from phishing emails appearing at first glance to be legitimate, and these email appear more than ever during the Holiday Season. Phishing is a form of online identity theft in which fraudsters trick users into submitting personal information to illegitimate web sites. Below is a list of items (from our friends at TechRepublic) that can help you identify phishing emails. If you receive one, just simply delete it permanently by holding down the shift key while pressing the delete key. This will help protect your computer as well as the company’s assets.
It has been over a month since EMV’s adoption began here in the U.S., and an overwhelming number of consumers are still unaware of this major change in the payments world.
If you haven’t yet heard, from this point on, merchants will assume responsibility of fraud brought from swiping an old magstripe card instead of scanning or dipping cards with chips. However, as with all new technologies, it’s going to take a little time to adapt.
When Target opened in 1962, the Dayton Family wanted to make it easy for shoppers to find what they needed at a discounted price. Since then, Target has spread all over the country, making it convenient (and overly tempting) for shoppers to get everything they need in one place. Through the years, the mega-store has partnered with designers to sell clothing and home decor exclusively for Target, they’ve incorporated groceries and electronics; Target even offers medications. Target has really become a one-stop shop for anything and everything you need. Now, in at least one city, Target will begin offering something you might not expect.
With the increased frequency and sophistication of modern cyber attacks, it is more important than ever for business owners to educate themselves and their staff about the dramatic effects of a data breach. With so many big businesses making the headlines for failed security over the past year (Target, Sony, Anthem, just to name a few), it’s easy to think breaches only happen to Fortune 5’s, but poor security affects everyone. In fact, one report found that 71% of security breaches target small businesses (Trustwave Global Security Report).
And, unfortunately, it’s easy to understand why:
There’s often no dedicated IT person in SMB organizations
After the discovery of a major software vulnerability in Chrysler’s Uconnect dashboard computers, the company was forced to issue a formal recall for 1.4 million vehicles. The flaw, first uncovered in July of 2015, allows hackers to remotely control cars, via an internet connection, and expose drivers to extreme danger. The vulnerability affected all Chrysler brands equipped with Uconnect 8.4-inch touch displays, including Dodge, Jeep, and Ram models. CNN reports that the vulnerability allows hackers to “cut the brakes, shut down the engine, drive [the comprised vehicle] off the road, or make all the electronics go haywire.” After the news broke mid-July, Chrysler announced a critical software update and recommended all customers install it as soon as possible. Chrysler then fixed the loophole within its own network.
Reality check: your Facebook profile isn’t actually private. CNN reported that, “in a decision that raises crucial issues in the digital age, a New York state appeals court ruled this week that Facebook cannot protect users against search warrants obtained by law enforcement officials to access users’ digital information.” Manhattan prosecutors are currently investigating a huge social security fraud situation, which required approximately 381 search warrants to access users’ private profiles. Facebook tried to refuse this request, but the appellate court voted against the right to do so this past Tuesday.
With the 2016 presidential election approaching, candidates are now firmly focused on their campaigns. November 8th, 2016 is not too far off, and candidates are racing to raise millions of dollars – millions which will be spent on what many experts predict will be the most expensive election cycle in U.S. history. This leads us gracefully to the topic of processing payments, and how donor funds get from point A (your hands) to point B (their campaign machine). Most donors fail to realize that there are processing fees involved in all ACH, debit, and credit card processing activities.
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