Volume 45, Issue 5 - May 2010


How to Hire
Your Guide to Hiring Incentives

by Paul Bieber

The U.S. government is now giving every company in America a simple tax savings upon hiring new people. Itís one benefit that will impact every glass and metal shop.

It is called the HIRE Act (Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment). Every employee you hire during 2010 who has been unemployed for at least 60 days earns you an exemption of 6.2 percent of their payroll, which, by no coincidence, is the FICA tax you pay.

What does this come to? This saves you $258 a month for the rest of the year, on an employee earning $50,000 per year. The 6.2 percent savings applies to the first $106,800 of earned income in 2010. The tax savings applies to all employees hired after February 3, 2010.

For a Washington program, there is surprisingly little red tape. You can claim the tax benefit on your quarterly tax forms. If you have a payroll vendor, they will walk you through this. The basic rules are 1) you cannot hire a family member and 2) you need a letter from the new employee saying they have been out of work for at least 60 days, and have not worked more than 40 hours for anyone, in any capacity, in the last 60 days.

The law is intended for new hires. If you hire someone for a current position, the position has to be vacant because of a voluntary resignation or a termination for cause. In other words, you canít lay someone off, and then rehire someone just to get the tax break.

There is more. Retain this new hire for one full year (52 weeks) and receive a general business $1,000 tax credit in 2011. Questions? Always speak with your accountant or tax advisor for specifics.

So, if you are planning to hire, what should you do? Always hire the best available candidate. Donít base your hiring on eligibility for this tax break. If you were not ready to increase your overhead, donít. If you were thinking about hiring, this may help. That is the purpose of the law. Push those borderline decisions into the hiring column now.

Glass Tax Credits
Understanding tax credits can also help you sell glass. The federal government is giving consumers a 30 percent tax credit, up to a maximum of $1,500, for most energy-efficiency purchases or upgrades to their home. If customers ask you to price windows, make sure they know that Uncle Sam is giving this credit. It very well could be the tipping point in helping you make the sale. Just about anything that reduces energy usage will qualify. New windows, doors, clear IG replaced with low-E all qualify. You could even replace your windows at home or your mother-in-lawís house and get the credits. Many states are offering credits in addition to the federal credit. A quick call to your accountant or tax advisor will get you the answer.

The economy is slowly starting to turn. Now is the time to start preparing for growth in your business, especially when Uncle Sam is helping.

Paul Bieber has 30 years in the glass industry, including 21 years as the executive vice president of Floral Glass in Hauppauge, N.Y., from which he retired in 2005. Mr. Bieberís opinions are solely his own and do not necessarily reflect the views of this magazine.

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