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Q1 2015 Edition

Rucci Bardaro & Falzone, PC
The Right Size Accounting Firm
919 Eastern Avenue
Malden, MA 02148
7 Main Street
Atkinson, NH 03811
T: 1-781-321-6065
F: 1-781-321-7747


Welcome to the latest issue of RBF News - our summary of the important tax, business and financial news and opinion you need to see the bigger picture, and make more informed decisions.


Economic Snapshot
proud family business partners owners of a small bookstore
With the recent surge of positive data about the economy's performance and outlook, American small businesses appear to be finally shaking off the effects of the Great Recession. 

In a survey compiled by the National Federation of Independent Business, optimism among business owners rose in December to hit 100.4, the highest level since October 2006. Eight of the index's 10 indicators were up, with the biggest gains coming in expectations for higher sales and a sense that now is a good time to expand.

Our own survey of RBF business clients mirrored the optimism of the NFIB index. A resounding 89% of RBF clients who responded expressed optimism about their prospects, with 62% believing their number of employees would increase in 2015.

Business owners weren't the only ones feeling good. Consumer confidence hit its highest level since 2004, according to the University of Michigan's Index of Consumer Sentiment, which rose 4.6 points to 98.2 in January. That's 17 points above where it was a year ago.

Taxes and Tax Planning

5 reasons business owners will appreciate this year's tax season - if you own a business, it's never fun closing out the books, putting together the files and waiting to find out what you'll ultimately owe. But Inc. columnist Gene Marks shares a few reasons why this tax season may be your best ever.


(Note: Some business owners may be a bit less sanguine, however, as new rules governing the capitalization of tangible property take effect for the 2014 tax year. Here's our summary of the new regulations.) 


IRS offers publication explaining Obamacare - The Internal Revenue Service has issued a new publication to help you better understand how the Affordable Care Act affects your taxes. The publication breaks down what's new for the 2014 federal tax return you will be filing in 2015.


Watch out for fraud during filing season - The Treasury Inspector General for Taxpayer Administration (TIGTA) has issued a reminder to taxpayers to beware of scammers making calls claiming to represent the IRS, especially during the current tax season. The reminder includes steps to take if you've been targeted. 


Bid to lower corporate tax rate stirs backlash...from business - in a stab at federal tax reform, legislators are floating a plan to reduce the 35% corporate tax rate and curbing business tax breaks to help pay for it. But millions of U.S. businesses don't pay taxes through the corporate system. Instead, income and tax breaks appear on the individual returns of those businesses' owners, writes Richard Rubin on Bloomberg.com.  


IRS raises standard mileage rates - The Internal Revenue Service has issued the 2015 standard mileage rates used to calculate the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business, charitable, medical or moving purposes. For business use of a car, van, pickup or panel truck  the rate will be 57.5 cents per mile driven, up from 56 cents in 2014.

Managing Your Business
Group of happy young  business people in a meeting at office

12 signs your company has a great workplace culture -

there is nothing better than waking up every day and looking forward to getting back to work with people you enjoy being around. Here, according to author and leadership expert Tim Stevens, are twelve signs that a great culture exists in your organization or company.

Are no-tip policies the future of the restaurant industry? - Some eateries find that higher wages and employee benefits lead to a better overall business. The unusual model highlights a debate about pay and conditions in an industry that employs 10 percent of the U.S. workforce. Will the idea stick? Writer Kathy Matheson provides some food for thought.    


7 ways successful people build exceptional relationships - It may appear that successful people are more confident or sophisticated than others, but they actually are following a simple model of behavior that leads to lasting and loyal professional relationships, writes author Rhett Power. Here are his suggestions. 


Around the Office

Bill Rucci was featured in the "Member Spotlight" section of SumNews, the quarterly publication of the Massachusetts Society of CPAs. Bill spoke about his recent election as chairman of Russell Bedford International, his duties in that role, and what he hopes to accomplish for this global network of independent accounting firms during his tenure.


RBF has released the results of a recent online survey of its clients. The survey was undertaken in late 2014 in an effort to gauge overall client satisfaction with our services and to collect their suggestions for how we might improve.


The firm's newly-launched Women's Initiative met in January to share tips and tricks for getting through the "busy season." The group's discussion included setting expectations at home, methods for prioritizing work tasks, and the importance of healthy sleeping, eating and exercise habits.

Last month, Bill Rucci presented a "best practices" workshop to building contractors looking to better understand the health of their businesses through financial tools and measurements. Held in Seekonk, Mass. the workshop covered topics such as how to drive best-in-class financial performance, tax-reducing strategies and how to optimize the value of a contractor business. 


Rucci, Bardaro & Falzone PC  beatricec@rbfpc.com | http://www.rbfpc.com
919 Eastern Avenue  Malden, MA 02148