|By Mark Johnson, Senior VP of Government Affairs
The Internal Revenue Service and the Department of Labor and Industries hosted a small business forum last week for stakeholders that represent small businesses. The half-day event was attended by about 40 people.
There were several helpful and informative presentations:
- The Secretary of State’s Corporations Office demonstrated its recently launched corporations filing system. The new system allows corporations – small and large – to create and file Articles of Incorporation or Certificates of Formation for LLC’s, as well as file annual reports and search business records. There are approximately 575,000 corporations in Washington State.
- We heard an update on the new statewide paid family leave program from the Employment Security Department. The new law requires businesses and their employees to start paying premiums January 1, 2019. Benefits will become available starting January 1, 2020, after the fund has grown. Employees will be eligible to take up to 12 weeks paid leave in most cases for care of themselves and family members. Businesses can opt to have a department approved voluntary plan that they run. It has to be as comprehensive or better than the state plan.
- We heard from the Microenterprise Development representatives at Ventures. Microenterprises are the smallest of the small from 1-5 people in the business. They explained how government partners can support microbusiness growth in communities across the state and discussed some barriers that entrepreneurs face in terms of benefits, opportunities for government contracts, and regulations. The group can be reached at www.venturesnonprofit.org.
- We also heard from the IRS on the new tax laws as they relate to small business and employee withholding taxes. Over 10 million Americans are penalized for not withholding the right amount. The IRS is suggesting businesses and their employees do a “paycheck checkup.” You will need a recent pay stub and this year’s tax filing. Go to: https://www.irs.gov/individuals/irs-withholding-calculator
The program will help you estimate what your future tax liability will be so you can adjust your withholdings if necessary.
We thank the IRS and Department of Labor and Industries for hosting this useful forum.