Generally, taxpayers who are self-employed, are shareholders in S-Corporations that typically pay out distributions in addition to the wages paid to the owners, partners in profitable partnerships, and/or report a good amount of investment income should consider paying in estimated taxes during the year.
The IRS now recommends that individuals make their estimated tax payments electronically. Read more at: National Small Business Week: Making estimated tax payments electronically is fast and easy | Internal Revenue Service (irs.gov).
To pay your estimated taxes electronically, go to www.irs.gov, click on Make a Payment and then click on Pay Now with Direct Debit. Follow the prompts and make the payment by direct debit from your bank account. Other options are available to pay your estimated taxes including how pay them by credit card and the associated fees to do so.
The purpose of insurance is to protect against extraordinary or catastrophic financial losses. One potential loss to consider is when a terminated or disgruntled employee hires an attorney to sue your practice for wrongful termination or for an array of other situations while a member of your staff.
Employment Practices Liability Insurance, or EPLI for short, is the type of insurance that protects against claims filed by disgruntled employees. Expect to pay annual EPLI premiums based on the size of your staff and the dollar amount of wages paid. In the grand scheme of insurances, the premiums are generally quite reasonable, especially when compared with the potential for a sizable settlement that could financially devastate your practice.
For an EPLI quote, please reach out to the insurance agent where you obtain your Property and Casualty (P&C) insurances, which includes business liability, workers compensation, and malpractice. Your life, disability, or health insurance agent probably can’t help with EPLI.
If you are unlucky enough to ever receive that certified letter notifying you that your practice is being sued by a disgruntled or terminated employee, you will be very glad that you purchased EPLI. Simply pass that certified letter along to the insurance company that issued your EPLI policy, and they should take over from there. Since your EPLI company takes on much of the risk of losing money on the settlement, they take whatever steps are necessary to minimize the claim.
In the many years that we have helped our healthcare practices, we thankfully haven’t seen too many employment-related claims. Even so, they do happen from time to time, and sometimes the losses can be substantial. For that reason, we recommend that all our clients who own their own practice and employ staff consider purchasing EPLI.
And Don’t Forget About Cyber Insurance:
While you’re getting a quote for EPLI for your practice, please also inquiry about obtaining Cyber insurance for your practice to protect against the costs and headaches that follow a cyber breach.
If you haven’t already filed for forgiveness of your PPP2 loan, please do so soon. Otherwise, your PPP2 lender will require that you begin making payments on that loan. Any payments made will be refunded when the PPP loan is ultimately forgiven, but why not just take care of filing for full forgiveness now?
Start by contacting the PPP2 lender and finding the link to submit for full forgiveness. If you prefer to handle things like this on your own, here are a few articles on our website that might be helpful:
Otherwise, we can help you apply for PPP Loan Forgiveness with your lender. Our fee for to complete the Form 3508S is $750, discounted to $500 if you use our firm’s payroll service, while our fee is $1,000 to complete the Form 3508EZ or $1,500 for the Form 3508.
From IRS News IR-2022-104, May 6, 2022
WASHINGTON — With many businesses facing a tight job market, the Internal Revenue Service reminds employers to check out a valuable tax credit available for hiring long-term unemployment recipients and other groups of workers facing significant barriers to employment. For any business now hiring, the Work Opportunity Tax Credit may help.
What is the WOTC?
This long-standing tax benefit encourages employers to hire workers certified as members of any of ten targeted groups facing barriers to employment. the IRS notes that one of these targeted groups is long-term unemployment recipients who have been unemployed for at least 27 consecutive weeks and received state or federal unemployment benefits during part or all of that time. The WOTC is available for wages paid to certain individuals who begin work on or before December 31, 2025.
The other groups include certain veterans and recipients of various kinds of public assistance, among others. Specifically, the 10 groups are:
- Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) recipients,
- Unemployed veterans, including disabled veterans,
- Formerly incarcerated individuals,
- Designated community residents living in Empowerment Zones or Rural Renewal Counties,
- Vocational rehabilitation referrals,
- Summer youth employees living in Empowerment Zones,
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients,
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients,
- Long-term family assistance recipients and
- Long-term unemployment recipients.
Qualifying for the credit
To qualify for the credit, an employer must first request certification by submitting IRS Form 8850, Pre-screening Notice and Certification Request for the Work Opportunity Credit, to their state workforce agency (SWA). It must be submitted to the SWA within 28 days after the eligible worker begins work. Employers should not submit Form 8850 to the IRS.
Claiming the credit
Eligible businesses then claim the WOTC on their federal income tax return. It is generally based on wages paid to eligible workers during the first year of employment. This is a one-time credit for each new hire and an employer cannot claim the WOTC for employees who are rehired.
The credit is first figured on Form 5884, Work Opportunity Credit, and then claimed on Form 3800, General Business Credit.
By Guest Write Stefan Zelich, President/Founder of FOCUS Healthcare Realty
Rent is typically a dental practice’s 2nd or 3rd highest expense behind payroll, but it’s also one of the most negotiable. This ability to negotiate one of the highest expenses to a practice allows doctors to improve their overall profitability significantly. I typically find most practices could save a significant amount of money by approaching their expiring lease with the proper amount of leverage.
How does the math work?
Let’s say that you have a 2,500 SF practice, and you’re looking at signing a 5-year extension. The practice has been there for ten-plus years and needs some updates. Many landlords are willing to provide generous tenant improvement allowances for a long-term lease because it represents a direct investment into their space. An allowance of $20 per SF comes to $50,000 and will likely cover new flooring, paint, and lighting for the practice.
If the practice can reduce its rent by $3 per SF, that’s $7,500 per year and another $37,500. Suppose you take that savings and invest it into an investment account at a 7% rate of return. That amount jumps to $45,000, which brings your total savings to $95,000. Then it’s just a matter of getting the landlord to return a piece of the original security deposit to get you to the total of $100,000 in savings.
How to accomplish the savings?
The scenario outlined above is not uncommon, but it can only be achieved by maximizing your leverage with the landlord. There are three keys to maximizing your leverage in a lease negotiation.
- Timing – You must have enough time to move your practice. If you don’t have enough time, your landlord will not be worried about you leaving and will not be willing to offer their best terms to get you to stay.
- Secure multiple offers – In any negotiation, it’s always the person with the most options that come out on top, so it’s critical that you go out and secure offers to move your practice elsewhere.
- Hire a real estate broker – The call/voicemail to your landlord goes like this: “Hi Mr./Mrs. Landlord, my name is Stefan Zelich, I’m a commercial real estate broker, and I’ve been hired by your tenant ABC Dental to help them decide what to do when their lease expires in 12 months. They’ve received offers on a couple of other properties and would be willing to sign an extension if we can agree on some new terms. We’ve drafted a letter of intent outlining those terms that I’ll send shortly. Please let me know if you have any questions.” This approach gives the idea of you leaving significantly more creditability than if you were to call the landlord on your own. The best part is that the landlord will pay your real estate broker’s fee in addition to the concessions, so you don’t come out of pocket for anything.
A significant amount of money is tied up in most practices’ real estate leases. Unlocking that money usually comes down to applying the three keys outlined above. Most doctors will only have one or two, maybe three, opportunities to negotiate new terms with their landlords. If handled correctly, the potential for future savings can be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. By hiring a broker well versed in the healthcare space, the doctor can focus on what they do best and let the real estate expert focus on what they do best.
Stefan Zelich, President/Founder
FOCUS Healthcare Realty